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ItsAllTrueReview: DC Classics vs. MOTU Classics 2pks

Joe vs. Cobra. Optimus Prime vs. Megatron. Ninja Turtles vs. The Foot. Marvel vs. Capcom. All great battles that fans have long taken sides on. Thanks to Mattel, we can add a new one to the mix: DC Universe Classics vs. Masters of the Universe Classics. Hey, it’s less clunky than Crisis of the Infinite Masters of the Universe…

Mattel’s first foray into bringing MOTUC to retail came with an unexpected twist, DC figures. ToyFare #152 first revealed the existence of these two-packs, Superman vs. He-Man & Lex Luthor vs. Skeletor, back in early February. Now, just weeks later, they’ve hit and fans are gobbling them up.

When I first heard about these packs, I was skeptical. It just seems so… contrary to normal toy company operation. I’ve long wanted Hasbro to merge Joes & Transformers into a compatible line, but Hasbro doesn’t think it would benefit either brand. And it seems to be standard procedure for a toy company to make their figures incompatible with other lines through scale or aesthetics. Even DC Classics and MOTU Classics aren’t exactly compatible toy lines. Different fans have different opinions about that, of course, some feel that He-Man should be a 6′ 9″ bodybuilder if he were to show up in the DC Universe. I’m not going to say no, but I’ll tell you that DCUCs and MOTUCs won’t be sharing a shelf at my house. Anyway, Mattel saw an opportunity to use the DC brand to bring He-Man back to retail and it seems to have worked so far based on the fan reaction.

The Superman in the He-Man 2pk is the same Superman from the Gotham City 5pk and the All-Star releases in DCUC11 and DCUC12. Personally, I’m full up on Superman figures (until we get some decent alternate costumes), but he does have superior neck articulation to my 5pk Superman at least.

The Luthor figure was recently reissued in the Kryptonite Chaos 2pk which itself was a reissue of the DCSH figure. Like the one from the 2pk, this Luthor features better neck articulation and the four pieces of kryptonite (green, red, blue, & gold). This was nice for me since I passed on the 2pk. Still, Mattel cheaped out and didn’t give Luthor his gun (despite displaying him with it at Toy Fair). Anyway, Luthor, like Superman, is still just an extra in the box for me. I bought both of these for the MOTU Classics.

There are things I like about this He-Man and things I don’t. I’m not a big fan of the colors including the pink gems or the bright yellow wristbands, but somehow, along with the copper belt and brighter harness, the figure pops and looks great. Though darker boots could only improve the whole presentation.

But what really makes this a nice piece is the head. I think the 4H did a great job sculpting the head, but I don’t think any of the final versions that I’ve received have been painted well. The first He-Man was glossy with irritated eyes. The reissue fixed those problems, but still looked off and the Battle Armor He-Man was painted too flat. But this He-Man seems to finally have it. The paint all seems to click and the wash on the hair sells it. Even if this doesn’t end up as my default He-Man, that will be the default head.

Skeletor is similarly appealing, but I’m not sure if he would end up as my default Skelly either. This figure is a repaint of the reissue Skeletor (with the tighter left hand), but with some paint differences. The first thing you notice is the all-yellow skull and black eye sockets. Vault loves it since its closer to the cartoon colors, but I’m happy with some green on old bonehead. Still, I admit this one looks sharp.

One thing that I do like is the more vibrant purple on the armor. It looks great, particularly with the blue. I don’t know… I could see myself going with this figure in the front of the display some of the time. Maybe the two Skeletors can timeshare. At least, until Battle Armor Skeletor gets here…

He-Man didn’t use a power sword in these comics, so he only comes with his ax and shield. The shield is in new colors, metallic silver with black rivets and grey recesses. The black paint was a little sloppy on mine and since it was designed to clip-on He-Man’s traditionally longer left wristband, it doesn’t work as well on the Tri-Klops forearm this figure uses. That’s okay. I already gave it to Battle Armor He-Man anyway. The axe is somewhat disappointing, I wish Mattel had painted it to match the shield instead of just repackaging it for the third time.

The other “unique” accessory comes with Skeletor, a translucent yellow power sword. It doesn’t really have any basis for its existence. The sword does glow yellow with energy from time-to-time, but it never looks quite like the final product here. Still, the sword is a cool accessory, and I suspect that at least some MOTU fans will be buying the 2pk just to get it.

Before I close out, I wanted to take a moment to mention the packaging. I really enjoyed the concept behind the packaging. Initially, Mattel was going for a simple notion – that a standard DCUC and a MOTUC package were slammed together (via Toysrus.com). Somewhere along the line, though, they changed their minds with mixed results. The He-Man cardback became a reprint of the cover to DCP #47 with Superman and He-Man removed and looks off, but the Skeletor one came with an excellent piece of art. On this one, I had to open the packaging carefully and did some quick photoshop work to remove the bubble remnants so I could show it off. It’s an image of the two Snake Mountains looks combined. If we ever get a Snake Mountain in this toy line. I want it to like this:

Overall, if you’re a MOTU fan, you should find these two-packs. At $30 a piece, they’re expensive, but if you’re buying one figure a month from Mattel, then you’re paying $28.70 anyway. For the extra few dollars you get a DC Classics figure. Yes, the figures are repaints, but for some fans, Vault included, they’re the best versions yet. But more importantly, there was something unexpected to finding them. As a kid, I loved getting toys in the mail. It was a rare treat that, as an adult, has become woefully common place. If you’re lucky enough to snag these at Toys R Us… well, let’s just say it was awesome to pick up He-Man at a store again. Well worth the cost of admission.

For more reviews, check out our MOTU Classics Collector’s & DC Classics Collector’s guides.

39 comments to ItsAllTrueReview: DC
Classics vs. MOTU Classics 2pks

  • Grenadier

    WHOO! Marvel vs. Capcom shout-out!

    • Grenadier

      Now that I’ve composed myself…

      I love this Skeletor; the deeper purples, metallic highlights and pupil-less eyes make this figure for me. I just hate the fact that I still need to get a regular Skeletor for a purple sword and his staff. And Keldor for his sweet-ass cape.

      The villain two-pack does double-duty for me since I don’t have that Lex Luthor and don’t care for Supergirl.

      • I was happy to finally get the extra K. I’ve cast some new colors for myself in the past, and gotten some really nice pieces from the Fwoosh, but it’s nice to get the gold K in gold.

        I’m kinding hoping for Keldor to come in the deeper purples. It’d be cool.

        • Grenadier

          Yeah, I too hope Keldor uses the colors of this “VS” Skeletor. I just hope Keldor’s cape matches Skeletor’s hood, so the whole thing look likes one piece.

  • LuckyStars

    I’ve yet to find these, but I am buying them just for the accessories. The figures do nothing for me.

  • 3B

    Man, I was lucky enough to find the LL vs Skelz two-pack yesterday afternoon. I was shopping with my wife and asked if she would mind us stopping at the nearby TRU, she didn’t. Now, I’ve intentionally held off walking into TRU because I knew finding these would set me back $60+, but after not making any action figure purchase since February’s Matty sale, I thought it was time.

    Once inside, I was very disappointed with that particular store. It seemed like they were going out of business! Most of the pegs in their “Collector” aisle were empty. On my first go around I didn’t find anything, even pressuring my wife to leave already. She was looking for something, so I went back around and the new Retro-Action Sinestro (the only one on the shelf) caught my eye. Those things are $20?! WTF?!

    But then, I looked down on the shelf just below Sinestro and there it was. One Lex/Skeletor pack sitting there. I quickly snatched it and basically ran over to where my wife was to show her, like a little kid running up to his mom. HA!

    I didn’t have the battle armor version of Lex and I like this version of Skeletor much better than my reissue. I’m happy with the set and glad I FINALLY went to TRU!

  • Blacklighter

    Finally found these yesterday. I got there right at open to find two He-Mans and one Skeletor. I’d been there the day before so I’m not sure where the Skeletor made it off too. Well, I know, but I’d like to pretend the employees don’t grab stuff while the store is closed. I was glad to finally find them!

    • I used to work at a TRU and I can tell you that that does happen. If you get a good manager though, they’ll police that and keep it in moderation.

  • I’ve yet to find these. I made a trip to Toys R Us on Sunday and they were woefully understocked on all things DCUC. There wasn’t a price sticker for these two-packs so they might not have gotten them yet…

    I really want the Lex and Skeletor pack since I have neither of them. He-Man and Superman I’ll probably still pick up, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t see them.

    • Ours always runs low on DCUC, but we have gotten two shipments of these so far. I’m still hoping TRU overdid it (like they do with most exclusives), but I don’t want them making Mattel think these failed.

  • Novelty

    I like the review. The pictures really show off the figures in a good light. Thanks for doing this Noisy.

  • Rocky

    You’ve got a lot of leftover Supes there.

  • Brinkman

    I got these right when they first hit. They’re the default Heman abd Skelly for me.

  • Sanskretch

    Still can’t find these.

  • Von Wilfford

    Excellent read!

  • el mariachi

    for you folks complaining about the sword… is it really that hard to just swap out the sword to he-man and the axe to skeletor? yikes! free thinking… run away, run away…

    i like the new colors on skellie… disco he-man, not as much. the head is nice, but the boots & belt make him look like he’s ready for rupaul’s drag race.

  • I knew the reviews would be coming in soon enough! I was very elated when I found these. Thankfully I had some TRU coupons, so I saved a little cash. The good news is that I liked these guys so much that I ordered some extras online as well.

    I love the power sword. As I said in my review, I imagine this is how the power sword looks when it’s completed. Rather than the two halves.

    Not that anyone has to follow my lead on that, mind you.

    • clark

      That is exactly how I’ve been using the yellow power sword with Skeletor (sorry, I guess I skipped that part when I read your review). He now has the two halves of the power sword, and my comic pack He-man is running around with the 200x sword (included with MAA) that Duncan created (with the help of the Sorceress perhaps?) to give him a weapon that, if not as powerful as Skeletor’s, can at least hold it’s own for a time.

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  • Nicholai

    I like the idea of the packs, but since I’m not a completionist for MOTUC I’m going to pass to save some money. My current He-Man and Skeletor are fine with me and the Supes and Lex are exactly the same as ones I’ve already got (or in the case of Lex have on order – still waiting for the Lex/Supergirl pack to ship). If there were some changes to Lex or Supes I’d be more interested.

    • Yeah, though it’s not exactly the same as the box in the picture, my Supes and Lex did end up in the cellar.

      I don’t mind having the duplicates on the MOTU figures, but that shelf is getting really full…

      Speaking of, I really need to fix my toy shelf after the Brimstone review. It’s a disaster area over there.

  • Aaron Norton

    As soon as I find it I’m picking up the villain pack. I need that Lex, and I can’t bring myself to open my one MOC Skelly reissue. I just wish this new pack included a Havoc Staff. For me, it’s much more important Skeletor have it than a Power Sword, no matter what color it is.

  • AllMindsAboutEverything

    Wow. That Snake Mountain art is wonderful.

  • kantboy2

    Great review. I picked up the Luthor/Skeletor 2-pack today. I was surprised to notice the additional paint detail Lex has in his boots, gloves and the black wash on the armor. Like it’s been said; hope Keldor gets done in the same colors as this Skelly or a Havoc Staff in a new 2-pack.