Masters of the Universe, 2002
From:
Mattel
Included in set:
He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Stratos, Skeletor, Beastman, Mer-Man, etc.

Once again, Mattel is bringing out the classics. After the moderate success of the re-editioning of the old Masters of the Universe figures (which you can now get in boxed sets), Mattel has decided to redesign a new series to be released around the time of the new "made for TV" feature film that looks to reintroduce the classic cartoon on Cartoon Network.

To keep with the spirit of the original series, Mattel has released three heroes - He-Man, Man-at-Arms and Stratos, and three villains - Skeletor, Beastman and Mer-Man. Along with these six are two special figures - Battle Sound He-Man and Skeletor, that come with extra "shiny" armor, much like the Battle Damage armor from the original series. Also available are Battle Cat and Panthor, each side's respective feline ally and a less than intimidating Castle Grayskull (it just doesn't have that same magic that the original did).

The design and look of the new series captures both the original feel with an added flavor of newness. The figures can not be mistaken for anything than what they are, while the new sculpts show a more dynamic look with deeper attention to detail. Skeletor's head alone looks vastly better than the original series. The poseability is not over-the-top, but allows for functional playing. As with the originals, these figures look to be simple, yet sturdy. This time around, the figures come with more weapons and assorted items (a must for the current generation of toys) and the weapons are actually fairly detailed and painted, unlike the monochrome plastic tools that we got in the original series.

Traditionalists may scoff at the new look as "too cool", but once again, Mattel has made a toy line that can both be collected and played with. Considering the push for the "new" Masters of the Universe and the promise of more re-done characters, I won't be surprised to see the aisles flooded with these toys.

- - Kinderfeld

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