Toy Review: Masters of the Universe Revelation Masterverse Wave 2

Note: the following Masterverse wave 2 review is sponsored by Entertainment Earth, which provided the review samples. Superhero Hype is part of Entertainment Earth’s affiliate network, and may earn fees based on purchases made through site links.

Mattel‘s taken their time rolling out the new Masters of the Universe Masterverse toys, perhaps in part because the retro-styled Origins line only really started to become available recently. And then there’s the kids’ line based on the CG cartoon as well. So while wave 3 of Masterverse hits some stores, wave 2 just recently started to ship from online retailers. In keeping with the Masters of the Universe: Revelation show’s surprises, wave 1 didn’t even include the show’s actual protagonist, Teela. But wave 2 features her in the new look, along with an aged, battle-scarred Beast Man. The other half of the wave features classic designs for Spikor and Man-at-Arms, updated only slightly to fit the new aesthetic.

As of this writing, EE sold out of the first shipment and now solicits more preorders for February. Spikor and Beast Man only come in full sets.

The Masterverse figures more or less fit the same scale as the late, lamented Classics, which use a body style that can still be seen on Super7’s ThunderCats Ultimates. Classics/Ultimates figures boast bulkier physiques and slightly less poseability, but they should play together. All Classics sport much larger chests than Masterverse figures, who utilize leaner torsos.

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The Masterverse body, on both male and female figures, includes the following articulation. True ball-jointed neck, shoulders, hips, and mid-torso. Disc-and-pin wrists. Double-hinge elbows and knees. Shoulder and upper-thigh cuts. Hinge and rocker ankles. Mid-thigh/boot top cuts. Cut waist.

Both Man-at-Arms and Spikor use the nude/He-Man body. The parts re-use felt understandable on Classics, which needed to cut costs, but is a surprise here. Perhaps the same rules as Marvel Legends apply — some figures in the wave can feature original sculpts if reuse can save costs elsewhere. Teela and Beast Man seem almost entirely original. And in Beast Man’s case, the sculpt seems so specific that it won’t likely be reused for characters like Stratos or Zodac. (Moss Man, usually made as a Beast Man redeco, already exists and consists entirely of different parts.)

Beast Man’s articulation allows for a variety of poses, including upright and crouching, but the default, as in the package, is a slouchy hunch like the 2002 figure. Where this disappoints is that the 2002 figure was larger. This Beast Man feels the same size overall as the others. Combine that with the slouch and he even looks shorter. He should tower over the humans. That aside, the fur detail looks great, the mane makes a solid addition, and the body scars give him that beaten-up, old action figure in the toybox look. He includes a whip that can hook on to his belt, and three pairs of hands that include fists, palm shots, and whip-holding.

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Teela features fewer hands but more accessories, a trade more figures should make. Aside from weapon-holding hands, she gets a right fist and left palm. Watch that palm, though. When we tried to utilize the hinge joint to make her hand deflect, the plastic warped and whitened, creating the look of a giant callus.

Maybe don’t do that.

Teela on the show uses a multi-purpose baton that can extend into a pike and a sword. The figure comes with it in baton form, which can stash in a loop on the back of her belt. It also packs in the sword and pike versions.

The sword allows for the coolest poses, thought it does feel less medieval than most Masters sabers. Possibly purloined from Ninjor? Also her skirt has side-slits to allow for full leg articulation.

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Man-at-Arms donned multiple outfits in the show; it feels a tad disappointing that the first figure of him uses the vintage look he quickly discards. There’s nothing new about him save the aesthetic — it’s classic MAA through and through. One two-part shoulder armor, one leg guard, one mace. Multiple hands like Beast Man. A holster for the mace on the back might have been nice, but no, it’s smooth. Still, he can hold Teela’s extra weapons to power up.

Fans who already own some form of him may prefer to wait for a different look. But anyone wanting the classic toy design in a Netflix style should feel satisfied.

Spikor is one of those characters whose original design works better as a toy. Originally introduced when the classic line branched out from straight re-use, he felt like a radical new direction in the ’80s. Now, he looks like an ’80s toy. The trident arm in the minicomics used to spew flames, but no toy ever reproduced that feature. On prior toys it used to extend; that’s gone now too. But it can substitute for either hand.

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Missing arm gimmick aside, this Spikor basically is the vintage one with more articulation. If the character comes to the origins line, it’s hard to imagine him that different. Some design tweaking might have felt cooler here — like connecting the turquoise studs to the collar, as the old minicomics did. But it’s show-accurate, so that’s how it goes.

Entertainment Earth and other online retailers stock these figures for $23.99, or $99.99 per set. (Only a better deal if individuals sell out, as they tend to.) Walmart may charge less, if you can find them there. Masters fans tend toward the rabid [hand raised], but once they buy their fill, casual consumers don’t seem to pick the figures up as often.

The best thing about the new figures is that because they scale well with Classics, they don’t insist on turning over a whole new collecting leaf. Display them separately, or together — they’ll fit in the Classics vehicles and playsets that Mattel likely won’t make again for this line. With Masterverse reportedly dividing into multiple new sub-lines this year, that universal playability matters even more. Thanks to Entertainment Earth for allowing us to check them out.

Check out the gallery below for more pictures. Then leave your thoughts in comments.

Recommended Reading: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection

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