Thursday, November 29, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Dekker By Mattel

Okay, I have to admit to something because that’s what I do here. I try to be as honest as I can be and not ever act like a know-it-all. Just about everything here on Needless Things comes straight out of my head. Every once in a while I do look something up, but only if it’s so I can even talk about it in the first place.

I’ve watched the 2002 Masters of the Universe cartoon series in its entirety probably two-and-a-half times now and I don’t remember this guy at all. Like, not even in a “Oh, yeah – he looks kind of familiar,” kind of way. So I had to look him up. Which in itself was a somewhat difficult task.


Dekker appeared in one episode called “The Island” where he helped Duncan fight some crab people. I kind of remember the episode now, and I kind of remember Dekker. But I cannot agree that he was a character that needed to be made. He looks awesome and all, but no way should he be taking up a slot in the MOTUC line.
First Glance: He does look cool. I like the color scheme and I like the fact that he’s an old dude.
Articulation:
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Abdomen - pivot
Waist – swivel
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Calves - swivel
Ankles – rocker joint

I guess at some point I’m going to have to give up and just start calling these ankles pivots. The side-to-side motion is not enough to warrant a different description.

All of Dekker’s joints work like they’re supposed to. I’m also pleased to report that despite his big ol’ chest tunic thing his arms can hang down fairly well. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Sculpt: Dekker has a new head and new calves. Everything else is just He-Man parts.
I’m going to call the old man head the default one since that’s how it came in the package (and how I’m going to display this guy). It looks great. This is one of the more unique heads we’ve seen and it’s chock full of character. Maybe too much character. Between the scar, the eyepatch, the topknot, the braids, and the van dyke Dekker looks like he came straight out of Rob Liefeld’s pencil. I almost wish he had a bunch of pouches. But the detailing of the head is very good and accurate. He somehow manages to not look too much like a cartoon and is certainly distinctive among the rest of the MOTUC figures.

The He-Man body is perfectly fine thanks to the coloring and the tunic. 

The new calves are very cool. No matter how 90’s they may look, I’ve always liked the flipped-over pirate boot look. That dates back to my days of reading nothing but books published by TSR. I would wear these boots, but I don’t know with what.
Coloring: I think Dekker might be a black guy. I’m not positive. His old face is kind of indeterminate, but I think his young face definitely looks like a black guy.

The head has some good detailing. The hair is a well done grey/white, the eye and eyepatch are tight and all of the colors are where they should be. 

Dekker’s overall skin tone is good, but there’s a big problem on his right arm:


I believe that’s a symptom of black plastic, but it also could just be sloppy application. Whatever it is, it’s ugly and it mars the figure. It’s also just barely noticeable on his left arm. His bracers are, however, perfectly painted and I like the blues used.

The legs look good. The pants are just plain green, but the boots have several different colors to bring out the sculpted details. I find them utterly weird, but I like the ruby-looking things at the tops.
Flair: Dekker has an all-new tunic that consists of two pieces – a skirt and a top. The skirt limits his hip movement a lot. You can’t spread Dekker’s legs out very far or achieve quite a few of the poses I typically use to demonstrate articulation. But it does look good and it’s accurate to the show. 

The top portion is one of the better-designed pieces like this. Rather than having the item clasp under the arms like they normally do the Horsemen placed the clasps just behind the arms on the back. I don’t know why this has never occurred to them before. It could have saved a lot of figures from having goofy looking rest poses.

The actual sculpt on both of these items is cool. There are straps on the upper portion that are just kind of cool and overall it is very samurai-like. I also like that slightly different glosses were used to make the tunic stand out. The only real problem here is the upper portion doesn’t quite sit on top of Dekker’s belt so you can see his belly just a little bit. I’ve tried hunching him over, but it just won’t quite stay there.
Accessories: Dekker comes with an extra head and a mace.
The extra head is Dekker as a young man, back when he was training Randor and Duncan. He was sporting the same hairstyle then, but this was pre-eye injury. He was also just rocking a mustache; no van dyke. The sculpt is a good one, though it is strangely more cartoony than the old man head. The paint is solid. I wish I had something to do with this head.

The mace is the same one that comes with Man-At-Arms. I kind of wish they had done a retracted mace – you know how the one in the 2002 cartoon would pop out of the handle? It would be cool to just have the handle part.
Packaging: It’s the regular MOTUC blister card. Still neat and still effective. Here’s his bio:
I can’t think of anything funny to say about this one. I guess it’s just kind of inglorious that he ended up stuck on an island fighting a bunch of Clawfuls.
Value: $28.70 (including shipping) isn’t great for ol’ Dekker. I like him, but he honestly comes off as just some generic citizen of Eternia if you’re not familiar with him. I’d rather have the guy Prince Adam beat up in the bar in this comic.
Overall: Eh, he’s fine. The line is still plagued by black plastic issues, but aside from that I don’t think Dekker could be much better. It’s a fucking miracle that he came with two heads and an accessory.

4 out of 5

I doubt you’ll have much trouble finding this guy if you want him. I’m sure there are plenty of folks who consider him thoroughly non-essential. I might be one someday. When my shelf gets full enough I could see him going up on eBay.

-Phantom



4 comments:

  1. I do appreciate Mattel giving us the somewhat obscure characters, and in the case of Dekker, giving him a pretty cool design.
    However, Eff them and their stupid black plastic. I'm still not buying any figures until I know that they're back to casting the correct colors and giving them light washes.

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    Replies
    1. I'm hoping the 2013 figures will be a return to the high... er, slightly higher quality we used to get.

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  2. He does look cool. That is for sure.

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