Thursday, May 16, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Fang Man By Mattel

So they moved my trainee to another person because he is, quite frankly, a problem. I had a talk with the guy handling him now and he's having the same issues I did. I might end up with him again, but I hope not.

Anyway, to celebrate not being saddled with that jackass I sat down and wrote a couple of toy reviews. This is the first. The next one will go up on Monday.
 
 I totally forgot about this guy.

I opened him, took pictures, stuck him on the shelf. And then never gave him a second thought. I wasn’t all that excited about the figure in the first place. He didn’t look bad or anything; I just didn’t particularly care about him. But at least he wasn’t some tertiary female I’d never even heard of.

I watched the episode he appears in (is there more than one?) on Netflix after Fang Man was announced. It was fine and he was just some moron thug. Just like all of Skeletor’s minions. The characterization was just like the figure – nothing special, but nothing bad, either. I just can’t quite figure out why this guy got picked. I guess maybe it’s his big, stupid head. Because let’s face it – Fang Man has a big, stupid head.
First Glance: Fang Man does look quite unique and interesting in person. Similar to Beast Man, you can hunch the standard MOTUC buck over ad get a surprisingly different body profile. Add the new neck on top of that and this guy is pretty different.
Articulation: Fangy has the standard male MOTUC articulation. Plus a tongue.

Head – ball joint
Tongue - pivot
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Waist - swivel
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Boot tops - swivel
Ankles – pivot

The combination of the new neck and the head work to give Fangy an interesting range of motion. It isn’t quite snake-like, but there is a good degree of posability in all directions.
His shirt – which is another one of those damn belly shirts, but I’ll get to that – is a little thick on the sides, which gives him the usual weird neutral pose where he can’t hang his arms properly.

Fang Man’s tongue can pivot almost a full 180° across his open mouth.

The rest of the joints are tight and functional.
Sculpt: As far as the base sculpt goes, Fang Man’s only new parts are above the shoulders. He has a new neck piece and a new head that combine to give this figure a different profile from the majority of the Masters of the Universe Classics line; similar to what was done with Draego-Man.
The neck curves forward and the head is attached to the front. I like how the studded collar is the base of the neck and covers the opening of Fangy’s shirt. The fins that start toward the front of the head and go to the back of the neck add a lot to the look of the character. If not for those he might be totally schlubby. But they lend a bit of toughness to this otherwise goofy-looking guy. The Horsemen did manage to put a bit of menace into Fangy’s face. He looks dangerous in a slobbering, oafish sort of way. The actual sculpt is quite good and has captured the look of the Filmation character and the tongue mechanism works quite well.

Side Note: I’m a little torn on some of these Filmation likenesses. Yeah, Granamyr (who I passed on and don’t regret it) looks a bit cartoony. And Fang Man is definitely a good bit on the silly side. But Fisto has a gigantic fist and Stinkor is a giant man-skunk named “Stinkor”. So silly is kind of a stupid argument.

The rest of Fang Man’s base parts are things we’ve seen before and they all work for the character. He has a human body with the standard studded bracers on his wrists. His hands are clawed and large and seem new to me. If they have been used before, they’re from a character I don’t own.

For some reason they gave Fang Man a scaly torso. It's a part we wouldn't even see if the figure worked correctly, so I really don't understand.

The legs are also regular human parts. I like the combination of Skeletor’s calves with plain, booted feet. It’s different and looks good.
Coloring: I like the blue hues used on Fang Man’s skin and fins, but the yellow eyes are what really stick out. Even from across the room those piercing, bulbous orbs are Fangy’s most prominent features. His teeth are nicely done and the whitish color helps them stand out and give this guy a more menacing look. Of course, that’s all totally countered by his big, red Bill the Cat tongue.

Fang Man’s skin has a bit of a dark wash in places to give some depth. His collar and bracers are accentuated with metallic orange. Those parts make a very nice contrast to the light blue skin.

His boots have metallic red on the tops and a slightly different hue of flat red for the feet. I dunno. I get that the look is supposed to be greaves over boots, but it looks odd. I appreciate the effort, but I'm thinking maybe they should have just made them all metallic.
Flair: Fang Man has a new tunic and belted trunks that create the appearance of being a single piece. Well, except for the separation that allows his blue midriff to show through. But the only alternative to that would have been an entirely new abdomen and that’s not what this line is all about.

The sculpt on the clothing pieces is excellent. The shape of the upper piece pretty much completes the hunched-over look created by the neck and the right posing of the body. The design on the front is nicely reptilian and the colors look very good with the rest of the figure. 

His outfit thing -which, let's face it is a onesie - is actually amazingly detailed. All of the sculpted detail is great, from the design itself to the folds and wrinkles. The yellow portion down the front has gold trim and the designs on the shoulders are metallic red.

The belt is new and different, with a buckle and a couple of little stud pieces. There is simply nothing to be done about the gap between the top and bottom. No matter how you pose this guy some skin shows through. It's very frustrating because this is really the figure's only flaw.
Accessories: Fang Man comes with a force field rod, a sword, and the Wheel of Time (unrelated to the writings of Robert Jordan).

The force field rod is just weird. I mean, it’s great that we got it and all. And it looks like it should. But it’s a very odd-looking thing. The sword is awesome and has a sort of reptile face on the hilt. I like the size and shape of it quite a bit, and there is painted detail. A goon shouldn’t have a special sword. And the Wheel of Time is fine.
I’ve got to say, three accessories seems like an overabundance for a guy I couldn’t picture in my head the first time I heard him announced as a figure. But I’ll take ‘em.
Packaging: It’s the regular MOTUC blister card. Still neat and still effective. Here’s the bio:
That last bit makes Fang Man seem almost as redundant as Mekaneck. I mean, Beast Man can control any species. Including fire-breathers.
Value: Because of the accessories and the scope of the newly-sculpted pieces Fang Man feels like a slightly better value than some MOTUC figures. Still nowhere near being worth what he cost; but a bit more reasonable.
Overall: I think the Horsemen did a great job on Fang Man. If their intent was to show how great a figure based on a Filmation character could be in preparation for the Filmation sub; well they nailed it. I can’t help but think that the quality of Fang Man (combined with the fact that he “sold out” before Early Access – an occurrence I am very suspicious of) must have been responsible for a good number of the Filmation subs sold.
Having said all of that, I’m not sure that I actually like Fang Man enough to keep him. He is pretty darn goofy and is hardly essential. I am currently gathering up figures from various lines for an eBay purge and Fang Man may well be among them. But make no mistake – this is an excellent figure. Fang Man would get a perfect score if it weren't for his clothing issue.

4 out of 5

I think you’re going to have a tough time getting this guy for a reasonable price.

-Phantom

4 comments:

  1. Fang Man just seemed like a boring figure to me, so I was not upset when they did not offer him day-of.
    I have a big problem with the filmation figures. I know that the whole line is filled with silly characters, but I don't like that the filmation figures look just like they did in 30 year old cheaply animated cartoon. There could be a bit more realism (probably not the right word in this case) used, or just something to make them fit in better with the style of the existing figures.

    Also, I want to hear more about this trainee. At my old job we hired a guy who really did not have the background to warrant getting the position in the first place. That's not so bad, because you can learn; except this guy did not. Our manager new the issues we were having, but I was determined to tell the new guy to his face what my issues were (I never wanted the manager to talk to him on my behalf). Everyone else gave up on him a lot quicker than I did, and treated the guy like dirt because he was a drag on the rest of us.
    I pointed out where he was screwing up, and what steps he needed to take to get better, at the same time I was the nicest person in the whole place to him (evident because he latched onto me and followed me around). Nevertheless, I could not fix what was ultimately his laziness.

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    1. I don't know that I'm going to get into too much more detail on the whole trainee thing. I've trained others and never had any problems. This guy just has some serious attitude and personality issues.
      I agree with you about the Filmation style - they could do with being just a bit more realistic. It strikes me as odd that "Management" doesn't want anything in the 2002 style - as that would clash with the Classics style - but has no problem with the garish and cartoony Filmation characters being directly translated.
      Of course, I still signed up for the Filmation sub because I am a chump. And really want Sea Hawk. And Icer. Not because I know who Icer is, but because he looks AWESOME. I like Shokoti as well. And really, none of those are too cartoony.

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  2. I am pretty sure his hands are Demo Man's. Mine doesn't seem to have as much of the belly poking out problem. I am looking at him on the shelf right now and you don't see any belly.

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    1. Yes about the hands. And I just can't manipulate mine into a more modest stance. It's okay - I'm selling the fucker on eBay.

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