When I was a kid, my grandparents would take me to flea markets on a regular basis. I would happily run around looking for the stray action figure while they looked at whatever it is grown-ups look for (I never figured that out, I’m still looking for those stray toys at flea markets). Now, there was one flea market that usually delivered more than the others. I remember getting Ghostbusters, Gobots, Joes, M.A.S.K., and even Super Powers figures there. I picked up Cyclotron and my first Golden Pharaoh for $1 each one time. When I was nine, I found a He-Man figure I’d never seen before. He was a skeleton, so I assumed he was some version of Skeletor. I didn’t know there was a cape and a halberd missing. I didn’t care though, he was made of glow-in-the-dark plastic and I thought that was the coolest thing (still do). He quickly became one of my favorites.
Years later, when the internet became a regular tool, I found out that my most-prized evil master was not Skeletor at all, but Scareglow. It worked for me. I liked him more as a unique character. When the 200x line was launched, I anxiously awaited an updated Scareglow, and then a staction of Scareglow. That didn’t turn out so well for me. When Classics was announced, I admit that I was lukewarm to the idea (little did I know…), but I knew, no matter what, I’d buy a Scareglow. Here it is, a year into the regular line, and Scareglow was awesome enough to make the first squad. Putting aside that it took Mattel/DR two weeks to get my subscription figure to me (he just arrived yesterday), I’m excited for this one. So, prepare yourself for the most biased review I’ve ever done…
When I finally learned about Scareglow, he had competing origins. The wording on the vintage package claimed he was the “Evil Ghost of Skeletor” and this led me to believe that my childhood assessment was right. That he was the ghost of Skeletor, but after careful thought I switched sides in that mini-MOTU debate and took the “of” to mean lackey (or super-awesome badass henchman). The reason for much of this debate was the total lack of cross-sell material for Scareglow. He came in the last wave, and was too cool to bother showing up in hardly any of the toy line’s ancillary material. He was a mystery. Mattel wanted to put a stop to the confusion this time around though. The new package lists him as the “Evil Ghost Serving Skeletor. Heck, they even put serving in italics just like that, so it’s official that Scareglow is his own man, er… ghost. Evil Ghost.
The reality is that Scareglow came this early in the Classic line, not because he’s the super-awesome badass henchmen in my mind, but because he required almost no new parts. Scareglow uses Skeletor’s body like a buck (right down to that wide left hand), with He-Man’s loincloth, a new cape, and a new head. He was so easy, Mattel sent along the directive that the 4H create a new accessory for him – whatever they wanted. That’s kinda sad, but it worked out wonderfully.
I have to say I love the cape. It’s got a great Victorian look, the tattering at the bottom is great, and it fades to clear overall. It looks perfect on him, but at my house – he’ll probably never wear it. That crazy nostalgia thing has reared its head and I’m happy to faithfully recreate the Scareglow I had as a kid. The other new piece is the skull. The 4H did a great job sculpting it to look accurate and still be ill-intentioned. There’s also a ton of detail, but you have to look close to see it. I’m glad there wasn’t a paint wash to bring out the cracks and line work because it might have made the GITD feature a little odd compared to the rest of the figure, but the downside is that a lot of that detail is invisible unless you’re up close.
A figure like Scareglow has to be perfect in the paint department and my Scareglow is just that. All the negative areas are crisp and that lets the GITD plastic look good in the light and the dark. The wash around the mouth outlines just the teeth and the eyes have that same red/yellow combination as the classic figure. Scareglow is “just like I remembered.”
Articulation is pretty much what you’d expect. The head is a little more limited than most MOTU figures in that it can’t look up (the ab crunch helps), but it has good down, tilt, and side-to-side motion. All the other joints are solid as to be expected. It’s funny that Mattel’s big “adult collector” line produces some of the most durable figures.
As I said above, Scareglow was so easy that Mattel wanted to make sure he had two accessories. His halberd, or the “Scythe of Doom” as it’s called, was an automatic. I like it well enough. Mattel did a great job of mixing the plastics. The upper portion is a softer plastic, but the main handle is the harder accessory plastic we’re use to. The blade features some great detail work and glows in the dark. It’s perfectly sized. Despite all these pluses, like the cape, my Scareglow will probably go without more often than not.
But the real treasure for me was the reliquary. I love the cuff (I kinda wish he had cuffs on both hands). I love the real chain. I love the detailed little Castle Grayskull atop it. And the key inside is pretty sweet too. Even though my vintage, loose Scareglow didn’t have this piece, it fits his character well and he’ll be keeping it when he’s on display. Bravo to the 4H!
Overall, Scareglow is admittedly a simple figure, but that just made the usual love and attention the 4H give MOTU Classics get focused into a great head sculpt and great accessories. The paintwork perfectly duplicates the old figure down to the shoulder blades. In short, I can’t recommend this figure enough. Like all MOTU, it’s already sold out, but if you have a second chance at this guy – pick him up. You might have reservations now, but they’ll melt when you see him in person.
Oh wait, I’m not done. Usually, I do the “overall” thing and then you leave a comment, but I got more. As I see it, Mattel has made a twenty-two year oversight in regard to poor Scareglow. See, I thought he was Skeletor for a long time and Skeletor needs a cat to ride – it just makes sense. And even though Scareglow turned out to be his own man, he should still have a cat. I mean, why not? He’s an evil ghost, so why can’t there be an evil ghost cat? I haven’t decided on a name, but I’m somewhat partial to Horror Cat. Anyway, if this large-scale beast thing takes off – I want this:
A quick shout out to Samuron, the big kahuna at the awesome ActionFigurePics.Com
for letting me use his Battle Cat photo as the basis for the photoshop. Thanks, Ron!
Okay, now I’m really done. I promise. For more MOTU reviews, check out our MOTU Classics Collector’s Guide.