I'll be the first to admit that the 1980's animated "He-Man & the Masters of the Universe" veered into the realm of camp craziness more often than not and the vintage toy line upped the ante at every turn! As more and more action figures were released and sold, the need for variations on He-man and Skeletor continued to grow and one fateful day Dragon Blaster Skeletor was born unto this Earth in a fusing of water-spraying plastic unlike anything that came before! His bright colors and self-injurious concept (Having a dragon chained to your back is just simply a bad idea!) quickly gained favor with my young heart and he was immediately my go-to Skeletor during my childhood years. Now, Mattel has released an updated version in their Matty Collector-exclusive Masters of the Universe Classics line and I've finally found the time to properly review the one they sent. Join me as I take a closer look at Dragon Blaster Skeletor: Evil Leader & His Dreadful Dragon with Paralyzing Spray!
Dragon Blaster Skeletor comes in the exact same packaging I've written about a ton of times in past reviews. Same small blister bubble. Same cardboard backer. Same cramped plastic prison for a toy that's yearning to be free!
The bio from the back of the package:
Real Name: Keldor of the House of Miro
As the ruler of Eternia following Randor's banishment, Skeletor created a new magical armor infused with an Eternian Dragon, giving him the power to paralyze his enemies at first glance. His rule was cut short, however, when Skeletor's former master Hordak returned from Despondos with the help of Evil-Lyn. Hordak not only overthrew Skeletor, but drove the Snake Men into hibernation. Forced into a war on multiple fronts, Skeletor continued to lead his Evil Warriors into battle, often having to fight side-by-side with his former enemies-- the now renegade Masters of the Universe. Perched on his master's armor, the Evil Dragon "pet" of Skeletor stops his enemies cold with his paralyzing jet spray of venom.
The sculpt for Dragon Blaster Skeletor relies heavily on re-use (a common theme for the line) while bringing in some new armor and accessories to recreate the vintage look. Skeletor's head is the same hooded skull we've seen before, along with his chest, upper arms, loincloth, and upper legs. His lower legs are like the ones used for Kobra Khan and the forearms were first seen on Whiplash. The chest armor is all new and has a metal chain running through a grommet on the front with a clasp on one end that attaches to Skelly's left wrist while the other end is hooked onto the collar of his imprisoned dragon-- that he keeps on his back. Gah! It's just seems like the worst plan ever! I wonder if Tri-Clops tricked him into doing by telling him how cool it would look, or something. The Dragon is an entirely separate piece and attaches by being impaled on a peg that protrudes from the back of the armor. While the body of the dragon looks fine, the head seems a little off, especially after seeing the incredible job the Four Horsemen did on Draego-Man.
Paint on Dragon Blaster Skeletor features clean lines and very little slop. The skin has been painted this go-around (more on that debacle later) with a very bright blue and the armor features red detailing. The dragon benefits from some nice airbrushing on the scales and Skeletor's loincloth sees more black added than usual. It's also worth noting that Skeletor's feet are painted purple instead of being blue, so I guess he's decided to finally become civilized and toss some boots on those three toes of his.
Quality control came up a little short in the paint department. Black plastic was used for the arms and hands, unlike the blue used on previous versions. This means that paint was added for Skeletor's sickly hue and it scratches like crazy! Mine had a scratch on the bicep straight out of the box and other reviews I've seen have scratches popping up all over. Hopefully, Mattel will soon get back to the plastic being molded in the proper color.
Articulation on Skeletor is about what you've come to expect from the Masters of the Universe Classics line. A Ball-joint head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel boot tops, and swivel/hinge ankles round things out, and the figure manages to maintain a large range of motion even with the bulky chest armor. The hinged torso isn't very useful on this figure, but the soft armor does allow Skelly to be bent forward if the need arises. The dragon only features one point of articulation in the form of a ball-joint neck. This allows the head of the dragon to be positioned left, right, forward... and that's about it really.
Skeletor comes packaged with a couple of accessories. The dragon could be an accessory, but since he's permenantly attached to Ol' Boneface, I'm not counting him as one. For proper add-ins, Skeletor has a purple Power Sword and the third mini-comic. The Power Sword is the same sculpt we've seen over and over, but unike Skeletor's previous blades, this version has a lighter-hued metallic paintjob on the blade, putting it more in line with Faker's Power Sword; but, purple instead of orange.
The third mini-comic sees a ton of s**t go down in very few pages and sort of sees things get tied together, for better or worse. I'm not going to ruin anything here in the review, but I will say that is overall a fun little comic to read as a pack-in. Like the bios on the back of the package, you can take it with a grain of salt and still enjoy the hell out of the figure,
All in all, Dragon Blaster Skeletor is a nice addition to the line. Sure i have a ton of nostalgia for the guy, but isn't that what Master of the Universe classics is all about? Granted, the chipped paint on his arm gives me some pause and I hope Mattel finds a way to keep this from being a problem on future figures. With this year's price increase, quality control becomes less and less tolerable. D.B. Skeletor went on sale during the September Matty Collector sale, so you're best chance to snag one now is through retailers like Big Bad Toy Store.
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Mattel and Masters of the Universe Classics coverage!