2012 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Masters of the Universe franchise and the celebration just keeps on rolling! Not only has DC Comics announced a new monthly MotU comic series, but Mattel is continuing to release action figures as part of their Masters of the Universe Classics 30th Anniversary Collection. These figures, starting with Fearless Photog, have a new entrant designed solely by MotUC sculptors extraordinaire, The Four Horsemen: Draego-Man the "Evil Fire-Breathing Menace!" Join us for our in-depth review of this half-dragon, half-human hybrid and see if he's got what it takes to truly be a part of the Masters of the Universe Classics line!
*SPOILER ALERT* No QC issues + 100% Four Horsemen Created = Action Figure Bliss!
Draego-Man will not be constrained by conventional packaging! Actually he will-- but just barely. As you can see, Draego-Man has to glance sideways out of his blister with his face mostly hidden away behind the Classics logo. Luckily, it can hide his huge dragon tears since he was forceably amputated at the wings and tail in order to make it into his tiny plastic prison.
This is the same packaging that's been used throughout the life of the Masters of the Universe Classics line, so nothing much new to report besides the "Created by the Four Horsemen" starburst on lower left. It's not a big addition, but one that all fans know the guys have deserved for a while and it's great to see it here on their creation for the line.
As usual with our Classics reviews, here's the bio from the back of the package:
Real name: (Renounced his given Dragonian name)
During the Great Wars, the Dragons of Darksmoke fought in many epic battles against King Grayskull and the Snake Men. A magical half human/half dragon creation of the Great Black wizard, Draego-Man was shunned by Granamyr and allied himself instead with the Free People of Eternia. After the Truce of the Three Towers, Draego-Man became so disgusted with the humans that he isolated himself from all civilization, living as an outcast in the Caverns of Rakash. After several millennia of bitter retreat, Draego-Man discovered Skeletor's plans to enslave his dragon kin and use them as weapons against the Royal Palace. He returned from hiding to join Skeletor's Evil Warriors seeking revenge against all who betrayed him. Draego-Man uses his flame breath and ability to manipulate fire to battle for the side of evil!
When it comes to the sculpt for Draego-Man, the Four Horsemen definitely showcased their skill for their signature character. While there are a few pieces here that have seen use before (King Hssss's arms and legs, Whiplash's tail, the long loincloth, etc.), most of this scaly brute is all new. The chest armor is applied directly over a plain male upper torso, but is permanently attached, unlike most of the armor pieces in the line. It also accommodates the extra neck piece (like the one used on Mer-Man) to help bulk up Draego-Man's overall appearance. His armor itself, along with his bracers and boots, share a scale pattern throughout and compliment each other perfectly. His head, neck, and hands are very detailed with every bit of scales sculpted on to perfection. Honestly, his head, wings, and every other square inch of this figure are textured and sculpted to bring no doubt that Draego-Man not only looks the part of a MOTUC figure, but that he could destroy any others who get in his path!
Our only fault with the sculpt on our figure came from a damaged area on the ridge above his right eye. At first we thought it might be excess glue, but upon closer inspection it seems he suffered a friction burn/scrape while in the package. Granted, this shouldn't exist on other figures, so it should be something you'll have to worry about with your own copy.
While Draego-Man's intricate sculpting is impressive, it's the paint work that helps to really show it off. The hot red and orange color scheme of the dragon is offset by the cooler blue and purple of the armor pieces. It's a nice contrast that breaks up the figure into sections. The figure has mostly been molded in the proper colors of red and purple with addition shading added to bring out the sculptural details. This is especially noticeable with the wings with it's darker airbrushing on the back scales and two shades of bright orange painted inside. The metallic blue used for the scale patterns on the armor also helps to break up the matte purple and give the armor the appearance of having an underlying metal construction. From his teeth to the buckles on his boots, there were no instances of paint slop of mistakes to be seen on our figure.
Articulation for Draego-Man consists of the same tried-and-true set of joints we've come to expect from MOTUC with the addition of two swivel/hinge joints at the base of the wings to give them a wider range of posing options. The rest of the Horsemen's Beast comes by way of a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel boot tops, swivel/hinge "rocker" ankles, and a swivel at the base of the tail. All of the joints on the figure we reviewed moved nicely and held their positioning well, even with all of the extra weight Draego-man has to support. The torso hinge is limited somewhat, but is still very useful in posing the figure. we were surprised to find that none only does the head have a decent range of motion, but thanks to the deep recess in the head and long barbell in the neck, he can "look" everywhere but up.
As for accessories, Draego-Man comes with far less than what he was originally shown with due to his overall tooling cost, but still manages to have his flaming sword with which to burn the hell outta He-Man and his pals. We were a little crushed when Mattel announced he'd no longer be sporting his shield and flaming whip, but after seeing his packaging, they'd have had to send an extra box in order to find a spot for them! Hopefully, we'll get them in an upcoming Weapons Pak (Why no "C" Mattel? Spellcheck hates you!) since no upcoming figures that we can think of at the moment would make sense being packaged with them. The sword itself is molded in yellow and orange translucent plastic in order to give it a fiery look. The handle is painted purple to match his armor and the whole thing comes off looking like a million bucks-- a million melted bucks, that is! Yes, the rounded edges on the flames tends to give the flaming sword a rather melt-y look. Of course, if it were made of insanely hot, molten steel that's far scarier and more pain-inducing than plain ol' fire. You've all seen the "crown scene" in Games of Thrones Season 1, right?
Draego-Man went on sale exclusively at the Matty Collector website on Monday April, 16th and as of this writing was well on his way to selling out. People who got him with their 30th Anniversary sub or ordered him directly can rejoice, as we mourn those who didn't and will be forced to pay the hiked 3rd party pricing once they come to their senses and see just how friggin' badass this figure is!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your Mattel and Masters of the Universe Classics coverage!