He-Man and Beastman is the iconic villain, Skeletor! When I first saw pictures of this figure, I was a bit disappointed. Although it captured the look and feel of the classic figure, it still seemed a bit bland. But last month's MOTU Classics figures really impressed me, so I had to pick up Skeletor. Let's see if those first pictures really are indicative of the production figure.
Size: roughly 7.5"
Price: $20 at MattyCollector.com
I was really surprised, but Skeletor is the best looking of the MOTU figures so far. What the pictures on the web have trouble conveying is the slight color variations in the figure: the skin has some dark spray so that the muscles seem to bulge, and the armor has different hues of purple throughout to make details and textures pop. But the sculpt is really what makes this figure shine. The different textures of the armor capture the look and feel of leather, metal, or cloth effectively. And I love the look of the arm fins and creature feet.
Of particular note, though, is the head sculpt. My initial impression of the pics of the figure on the web was that there seemed to be little detail in the skull. But this sample has excellent detail. You can see the mental foramen in the mandible and where the maxilla and zygomatic bone fuse. And if you look really closely, you can even see the infraorbital foramen. Very nice.
As a side note, it looks like there was a running change in the paint apps because I've seen reviews with some Skeletors that look terrible, with paint just glopped on the skull. There's no way to definitely get the better head since Skeletor is only available online, so good luck!
Skeletor has the same articulation as the other MOTU Classics: ball-in-socket neck, ball shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, hinge chests, swivel waists, ball hips, swivel thighs, hinge knees, and hinge ankles. The neck is a little bit restricted, but everything else moves pretty well. No real complaints here.
Skeletor comes with a ram skull staff, his "evil" Power Sword, and an evil half of a Power Sword. The staff has a pretty sweet sculpt and looks great. And the shiny purple paint on his Power Sword really looks awesome. But as can be expected, the half sword just doesn't fit very well with He-Man's half. The pegs don't quite line up and the swords are so thin they're warped a bit, so it's kind of a throw-away accessory.
As with the previous figures, $20 for a figure of this size is steep. But the quality is high with this line (solid construction, quality plastic, precise paint apps), so I don't feel like it was a rip-off.
The Skeletor figures were some of the coolest in the vintage MOTU line, probably because of Skeletor's weird mix of a ghoulish zombie's face, a pro wrestler's muscles, and a fish creature's arm and leg fins. The atomic skull colors, contrasted with the dark purple armor and blue skin, also made the figure stand out. This MOTU Classics Skeletor retains all that coolness and amps it up with this modern figure based on the classic design.
Since Skeletor is one of the most iconic MOTU characters, Mattel really needed to nail this figure... and they did. With awesome sculpting detail, sharp paint apps, and excellent quality, Skeletor is the star of the MOTU Classics line so far. The only way this figure could be possibly cooler is if it had Battle Armor playability. But hopefully that's for a future figure.
Related review: MOTU Classics He-Man and Beastman