Sometimes the coolest figures in a toy line are in the final waves when there is very little interest in the line. Tragically, they go unnoticed... until the line becomes collectible and collectors trip all over themselves to get those super-awesome figures that they wish they hadn't missed. Such is the case with Scareglow in the classic MOTU line. But does this new Masters of the Universe Classics update capture the awesomeness of the original?
Size: roughly 7.5"
Price: $20 at MattyCollector.com
Packaging: Carded (within a mailer box)
At first glance, Scareglow's a really cool-looking dude. The white/dark purple color scheme is distinctive and interesting. He's certainly a tribute to the original MOTU figure, cracked skull and all. And speaking of the skull, its sculpt is just fantastic!
But Scareglow falls short of true awesomeness. The lack of paint wash on the head makes all the great detailing of the skull fade and flatten out. And the painted bones on his body are way too simplistic. I know the original figure had overly simplified bones, but times change. If this dude is supposed to be a skeletal ghost, as opposed to some guy wearing body paint, I'm not buying it.
Let's not forget about the reuse of parts! Scareglow's entire body was reused from Skeletor. This isn't all that egregious considering Scareglow's drastically different color scheme, but if you're looking for distinctive sculpting, look elsewhere.
You're probably familiar with MOTUC articulation at this point: ball-socket neck, ball-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, hinge torso, swivel waist, ball-hinge hips, hinge knees, swivel shins, and hinge ankles. It's a great range of movement, and Scareglow's not restricted by armor like other MOTUC figures.
Scareglow comes with some pretty cool accessories. The cape is sweet: its color gradates from purple to translucent, and features some nice frayed details at the base.
Scareglow might look cooler with Skeletor's armor and sword.
The halberd is okay, I suppose. I like the length as it allows Scareglow to strike some dynamic poses, but the neon green color and blade shape are wrong for an undead dude. A purple scythe would have been much more appropriate. The packaging even says that this is a Scythe of Doom, but scythe it is not.
The coolest accessory is the mini Castle Greyskull that you can chain to Scareglow's wrist. The sculpt is sweet and you can pop off the top to reveal a key to the castle! That's just all kinds of cool.
I usually give MOTUC figures an average score for value. Although the price is high at $20, you get a figure of excellent quality. But the reuse of parts in this case trumps that reasoning. I know I bemoan this a lot, but how can a figure that costs very little in terms of development and new molds like Scareglow possibly justify a $20 price tag?
Skeletons are super-awesome. Glow in the dark figures are super-awesome. Normally, these two points alone would be enough to push a figure like Scareglow to a 5. But by staying true to the original figure, Mattel boxed itself in. A character like Scareglow lends itself so many awesome possibilities in action figure design, such as: a clear plastic body with bones embedded in the body parts; all-black body base with super-detailed GITD painted bones; or an entirely skeletal design, a la Deadman. All of which would be crazy cool... none of which are this figure.
You ain't afraid of no ghosts, eh?
The problem with Scareglow is less what he is and more what he could have been. The overly simplified "bone" body paint looks archaic and there are no washes to bring out the awesome sculpting details in the skull. And the inability to think outside the box of the classic MOTU line eliminates any interesting figure possibilities that would have been fun and innovative. There's still some residual coolness to keep this figure afloat, but if an inherently awesome character like Scareglow can't be made into an awesome figure, then maybe Masters of the Universe Classics has already jumped the shark.