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Masters of the Universe Classics
by Poe Ghostal

I can't recall ever seeing a single episode of The New Adventures of He-Man. I'm sure, as an adolescent, I caught one randomly somewhere and thought "That's not He-Man! Lame!" (along with "Man, am I way too old for He-Man" - it would be another 10 years before I was again the right age for He-Man). As I've mentioned before, I did own Optikk, because it was a scifi alien dude with an eyeball for a head. But the rest of the NA universe didn't exist.

A great pilot from the cloud city of Levitan on planet Primus, Icarius is equipped and ready to "flip" into battle at a moment's notice. After his 18th birthday, he left home to join the Galactic Protectors. Rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Icarius traveled with Captain Hydron on his quest to find the legendary twin warriors prophesied to defeat the Horde Empire. Arriving on the distant planet Eternia shortly after the end of the Second Ultimate Battleground, they recruited not only He-Man and She-Ra, but several other Masters of the Universe who were eager to pursue Skeletor to the stars. Nicknamed "Flipshot," Icarius utilizes a battle helmet, back mounted jet pack and concussion grenade wrist rockets in battle against Skeletor and his new Space Mutant army.

I certainly never owned Flipshot, known as Icarius overseas (because "Flipshot" doesn't translate well - they're not using it this time around because the name is already being used for toys). If I'd seen him at a store as a kid, I probably would have dismissed him as a generic-looking science fiction soldier guy with a jetpack who looked an awful lot like other toys, especially Ace McCloud from the Centurions.

And on the surface, that's what his Masters of the Universe Classics figure is, too. However, Icarius has been lovingly crafted by the Four Horsemen into an amazing action figure - possibly the best since Trap Jaw.

Icarius comes in the usual MOTUC packaging, but it was a huge pain in the ass to get him out of it. You're best off using scissors to cut both the plastic bands and the tray he's in, or you risk bending or breaking some of the accessories. That said, the tray does a good job of preventing any warping, at least.

The Horsemen have done a great job on Icarius's sculpt. Much of the figure's sculpt is new: the biceps and forearms, outer chest armor, pelvis, calves, and boots are new for Icarius. They're all very closely based on the the vintage figure, so it will be interesting to see how they're re-used on other figures (the upcoming Slush Head only has the pelvis and calves).

As you'd expect, the Horsemen have added some details not seen on the vintage figure, such as the rockets on the inside of his calves and the red visor on his helmet. The helmet was removable on the vintage figure, but here we get two heads: one helmeted, with a flip-up visor, and one bare head. That flip-up visor is one of those little touches that makes Icarius an exemplary action figure.

In terms of articulation, Icarius has the standards for the line: a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders and hips, swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and top of the thighs, and hinges at the knees, elbows, ankles, and abdomen. He may have swivels at the top of his boots, but I couldn't get mine to move. The only disappointment here is the head. This is a flying character, and as wonderful as this figure is, I think Mattel should have gone the extra mile to give him a head that can look straight forward when flying.

The real draw for this figure is the accessories. Icarius comes with his jetpack, two removable missiles, two heads, and a missile launcher. The missile launcher's missiles can be removed as well, but they're stuck together and it doesn't really make sense. The jetpack is fantastic. It has some great details, some of which are painted, and the wings can move on a pivot (which was a feature of the vintage figure as well - they could be folded). The removable missiles on the jetpack are interesting because they weren't a feature of the original toy, but are a nice bonus. The jetpack connects to the back of the figure via a small plug, and it's a nice snug fit. The missile launcher clips to either forearm.

The bare head is amusing because it's so clearly Val Kilmer as Iceman from Top Gun. So much so that we're surprised likeness rights weren't involved. Some fans have said they see Jean Claude Van Damme in there, but we can only see Iceman. It's a fun little treat, and it's certainly a fitting reference for the character. I'm glad they didn't go with Maverick (though if any religion would believe there was an alien war on a planet called Primus, it's Scientology [or Transformersism --ed.]).

As mentioned with Optikk, Mattel and the Four Horsemen seem to give the New Adventures figures a little something extra, perhaps because they know they'll be less popular. The massive jetpack adds a ton of value to the figure and makes him feel almost like a deluxe item. With some MOTUC figures you may not feel like you're getting your money's worth, but Icarius is just the opposite. He's not a beloved character, but he is a fine example of everything an action figure should be.

-- 11/14/11

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