For a company that emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of MattyCollector, Super7 have very rarely earned collectors' ire. They'e done a surprisingly good job with their messaging when it comes to the continuation of the Masters of the Universe Classics line, managing to toe the line with their audience while still trying different things. So it's strange to see them fail so spectacularly with this new exclusive, teased just prior to Thanksgiving with a simple image suggesting a Santa He-Man, a variant that has been hotly in demand since the beginning.
A quick look at the MOTU forums and various Facebook groups showed fans were unanimous in their thinking about how this figure would be correctly executed. Ideally, Santa He-Man would be based on this appearance from the Filmation cartoon:
With a plump Santa body and long beard, akin to Eldor or Demo-Man, a Santa Claus in the MOTU Classics scale would double as a Warrior Santa in every other collection, say, in Mythic Legions, and he could easily have a regular He-Man head to show him being in disguise. With a sack of presents or some similar accessory, this would be a no-brainer!
Alas, after more teasing, this is what Super7 finally revealed:
Yes. They did it.
Fans reaction was exactly as you'd expect, and rightfully so. He-Man's gift wrapped, or candy cane, or whatever variant sword is visually unappealing and makes no sense; it's just as cheap and disappointing addition as the hat.
The one issue that Super7 does have is that they've continued the MattyCollector tradition of keeping toy costs raised, and a $35 exclusive of a toy most of us have (and some of us have many versions of already) with a new hat is preposterous. It's hard to imagine they thought this would go down well with anyone.
A special holiday "Holiday Special" He-Man could have been a truly great thing - unfortunately, even with Super7, we're still getting "Matteled."