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Evil Seed

Masters of the Universe Classics
by yo go re

The second figure in "Club 200X" (so-named because Mattel apparently thinks we're living inside a giant Mega Man game) has roots that extend all the way back to the '80s.

Uh, no pun intended.

Created by Moss Man to aid Grayskull in the Great Wars against King Hssss and the invading Horde armies, Evil Seed betrayed his master and turned to evil, finding joy in corrupting all forms of plant life for his own amusement. Catching up with his vile creation, Moss Man imprisoned him in enchanted chains, keeping him restrained for many millennia. Sero was eventually freed by Orko, whose curiosity lead him to regrettably release the evil master of plants. Now an enemy of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Evil Seed fights to corrupt all plant life, using his twisted vines in deadly combat!

Evil Seed (whose real name, Sero Malustro, can be translated as "sow the bad swamp") appeared in three episodes in the 2002 Mike Young Productions cartoon series: the one described by his bio (though the bit about Moss Man creating him is definitely new info), and also the two-parter where he was part of Skeletor's Council of Evil alongside Count Marzo, Webstor, and the three evil Giant brothers. But he was an update of a one-shot villain from 1983 who was so bad that He-Man and Skeletor were forced to team up in order to defeat him.

The original Evilseed (yes, until this toy's release, it's always been one word - but why should Mattel care about history?) looked like Chop Chop Master Onion without a mustache. The new one is vastly creepier, with pointed spikes above his eyes, a mass of tendril-like "hair" poking out of the top of his head, and a mouth that's just a series of rips in the center of his face. Horrific!

For a line based on heavy re-use of just a few molds, Evil Seed has a surprising amount of new parts. In fact, looking at him, it seems that the only reused parts are the biceps, the upper and lower torso, the crotch (maybe) and the thighs. His hands, forearms, shoulders, shins and feet are all definitely new sculpts. He's barefoot, and has long brown nails. There are ridges on the feet that run right into matching elements above his ankles, and similar creases on his arms. Big thorny spikes poke out of elbows, shoulders, knees, and even on the back of his shins.

Because that alone wouldn't be enough to create the look of Evil Seed, he gets a bit of "armor" that features woody brown vines framing his chest, pointed shoulders, and a tall disco collar. He's also got a pair of briefs covering his crotch, with more vines that wrap around his waist, then run down his legs. To make his legs look unique without having to remold them, the vines hang from his drawers, then loop around the knees. It preserves the full range of motion, and keeps the sculpt from "breaking" when you move the legs. A very smart design!

Evil Seed is painted a nice pea green, with a shadow airbrushed down the front of his torso. The eyes and mouth are bright red, and while there is a little bit of unevenness where the greens and browns meets, none of it is so off-the-mark that it looks blatantly wrong. He's got the standard assortment of MotU Classics articulation, and none of his add-ons get in the way of that.

The figure comes with two accessories, only one of which makes sense with him. First we've got a golden stick, which he never used in either 1983 or 2003 - it's the Scepter of Power, an item which only ever appeared in one episode ("Magic Falls"). Why is it here? Why not with one of those lame-o '80s figures, since it's an '80s accessory? The only character who ever used it was Burger King, so give it to him if you have one.

His other piece Mattel calls a "vine-wrapped staff," but it's actually one of his evil hyrda plants, ready to attack the Masters. It wraps around his arm, like he's growing it straight out of his body. The way the "mouth" is the exact diameter as the tail suggests that at one point, they were considering making it bendy, so you could wrap it around figures to ensnare them. When he's not using it, there are two little bumps on his back that can act like a weapon clip, as long as you balance it carefully.

The original Evilseed wanted to take over Eternia, while the updated Evil Seed was more of a Plants' Rights Activist, like Poison Ivy. Seemed to have her powers, too. In fact, the only real difference between Evil Seed and Moss Man was their motivation. And hey, at least this figure isn't flocked and doesn't reek of floor polish! Mattel may have given Evil Seed a superfluous space in the middle of his name, but the Four Horsemen gave him a really great toy design.

-- 08/31/15

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