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Masters of the Universe Classics
by Shocka

As I've mentioned before, a big part of the appeal for Masters of the Universe Classics - at least for me - is that the figures have cross-series appeal. These characters have such scattered canons across different mediums that there's really nothing stopping you from taking them out of your MOTU display and putting them with any of your other action figures. At their core, they're just cool toys. Even if you hadn't watched the Filmation cartoon as a kid, or hadn't read any of the minicomics, you'd still want to take He-Man and have him bash Skeletor in the head with his sword. So cool designs rule the day, and this has extended to the Club Filmation subline with varying results. Today's review, Nepthu, falls on the better end of the scale: at his core, he's a Masters-ized Egyptian-stereotype weilding a magic Ankh.

A devoted servant to Count Marzo, Nepthu was devastated when his master was transformed into a powerless old man and vowed revenge. Without magical ability of his own, he spent years scouring the Sands of Fire and Sands of Time until he was also an old man. Nepthu eventually found the Temple of the Sun and within it the Sun Scarab and was transformed into a young wizard with a fervent desire to control the universe. His scarab was destroyed by He-Man, leaving him powerless, but he transformed once more when he pledged his devotion to King Hssss during the Second Ultimate Battleground. Nepthu has powerful magical abilities that include freezing energy blasts as well as the ability to block telepathy and create an army made out of sand.

Most collectors have never even heard of him, as with most of the Club Filmation members, but as a dedicated reviewer I went out of my way to be informed. The episode from which Nepthu hails, "Temple of the Sun," is largely inoffensive, introducing the character as a Skeletor fill-in with a more prominent moral about abusing power than most of the flimsy tacked-on lessons to be found in the series. There's a few amusing moments but it's neither clever nor ridiculous enough to be memorable. As a foil for He-Man, Nepthu is far from terrible but not one that stands out. I'd say that this action figure is far better than the character.

Nepthu stands a head higher than He-Man thanks to his bulbous headpiece, which fits with the Egyptian look. With his big ripped chest he looks very much like a He-Man in Egyptian garb: the standard furry undies is replaced with a short white skirt adorned with an Egyptian belt piece and loincloth that hangs down, and he has a neat blue collar, upper-arm and wrist pieces that go with his boots. It's a simple but excellent design that will fit right in with any other Egyptian-themed action figures you own. None of it gets in the way of his articulation, either, which is the standard and excellent articulation you expect from your MOTUC.

Nepthu features two neat accessories; the first, his Scarab of the Sun Ankh, from which he gained all of his power. He weilds this nicely in his opened left hand, although the paint is a little spotty. His other accessory is cooler - he features a crystal Zoar, an episode-specific accessory which is pretty awesome in its own right. In the episode, he freezes the Scorceress in her bird form as crystal. (Crystalizes?) Here, the bird looks very fitting alongside Nepthu, although Mattel frustratingly neglected to include a stand for the bird to sit on. Others had some success affixing the bird's feet to Nepthu's right thumb, but I didn't. And that's all that Nepthu includes. I feel like the toy would have been better value had it included some kind of stereotypical Egyptian weapon to go alongside what we've got here, to fit into his closed right fist, although what he has is far better than some of the poorer MOTUC offerings.

I wasn't sure whether or not to buy Nepthu but I came to realise just how much I dig Egyptian-themed toys. I'm a huge fan of pretty much any Mummy action figure, and I love anything Anubis-related, and Nepthu can hang with any of these. All the standard MattyCollector complaints apply, and it's been curious how little press these figures seem to be getting now - yo go re, sadly, wasn't even aware this figure was coming out. No doubt Matty/MOTU fever has faded, but have they even stopped advertising their upcoming releases? Either way, Nepthu is awesome, and if anyone has a spare, please send it to yo!

-- 11/25/13

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