not without difficulties, but I managed to get one with a little tenaciousness. Is Mer-Man worth the trouble?
Size: roughly 7.5"
Price: $20 at MattyCollector.com
This Mer-Man is one of the coolest-looking figures in the MOTUC line. The sculpt is fantastic. He comes with two heads, one designed after the classic figure and the other stylized after the illustrations on the back of the vintage cards, both of which capture the different looks perfectly. The body is the same as the Skeletor body, excepting the loin cloth, the hands, and the Mer-Gills around the neck; the latter two add some much-needed variety to the sculpt to differentiate the figure from Skeletor. The Mer-Gills look a little weird without the chest plate so I assume the figure is designed not to be nude.
Like the other MOTUC figures, the paint apps are fantastic. The head paint apps are sharp, with impressive precision in the teeth in particular. Spray apps on the body add volume and color variation to the figure. And a paint wash on the chest plate gives it some nice weathering. Speaking of the chest plate, it has a cool holster on the back for his sword.
Mer-Man has articulation similar to other MOTUC figures: swivel neck, ball shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, hinge chest, swivel waist, ball hips, swivel thighs, hinge knees, swivel shins and hinge ankles. The main difference between this figure and other MOTUC figures is that the neck, while structured as a ball-in-socket joint, effectively moves as a swivel joint because of the Mer-Gills. Also, the chest plate's shoulder guards restrict arm movement a bit. But there's nothing too egregious here.
Mer-Man comes with a nifty staff, a classic G1 sword, and an extra head designed like the Mer-Man depicted on the vintage cardback. The "cardback" head is the coolest MOTUC accessory to date because you can drastically change the appearance of the figure. It's like having two figures for the price of one! The other accessories are cool, too... although for some reason, they skimped on the paint wash weathering on the sword. Still, I don't have any significant complaints.
It's still difficult to justify spending $20 on these MOTUC figures. Mer-Man is top-notch in terms of quality, with solid plastic and precise paint apps, and he comes with some great accessories, too. But even though this is a high-end collectible, $20 is a bit much. I'd be much happier at the $15 price point.
Of course Mer-Man would score high in this category. Although the 2002 Mer-Man was cool, I always felt that its design was too dramatic a shift away from the classic figure's design. This time, the Four Horsemen gave the fans the choice whether to display Mer-Man with the classic figure head or the classic cardback head. Finally, I can get a cool, updated version of the figure from my childhood!
This is yet another fantastic showing for The Four Horsemen and Mattel. It's so awesome to get a figure that I loved so much as a kid redesigned into something new, yet familiar, utilizing current technology to update the figure with an incredible sculpt and wonderful paint apps. Okay, now that Mer-Man is out of the way, when can we expect Stinkor?
MOTUC He-Man and Beastman