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Moss Man

Masters of the Universe Revelation
by yo go re

Netflix's new Masters of the Universe: Revelation cartoon has premiered, and it's good. Real good. How good? It passes the ultimate test: it makes us want the toys.

Once believed to be nothing more than a legend, the mythical Preternian plant creature Moss Man is wise beyond his million years. His powers of great strength, plant control, and shape shifting into any form of plant life make him an invaluable ally to He-Man in the fight against Skeletor. As a protector of Castle Grayskull's secrets, Moss Man's sagely advice helps guide his friend He-Man to the right path.

The Revelation Moss Man seems to take some cues from Swamp Thing, in that he can apparently grow himself a new body wherever he wants to go, rather than having a single, solid form that he needs to manually ambulate from one place to another. He doesn't seem as versatile or skilled as Swamp Thing (because that would make him god-tier), but it's better than just being a guy semi-natural ghille suit.

The original Moss-Man was just a repainted Beast-Man, and the Mo2K version (an exlusive you could only get by buying three MotU figures on the same receipt at a time when there was nothing but repaints and pegwarmers available) was too, despite the Four Horsemen's best efforts), so this toy's face bears the same similarities: a distinct "beard," a ridge over the scalp, pointed ears, etc. This is exactly the kind of update that made the 2002 line so vastly superior to MotU Classics, so it's nice to see its legacy continued here.

Below the neck, he's much more than green-flocked fur. He does have sections that look like that, that look like moss, but the upper arms, upper legs, and abdomen are left "bare," revealing musculature that has the appearance of thick, twisted plant material. There are a few branches or roots visible on the surface of his body (the way they're used to create his clavicles is pretty inspired, and their use as fingers and toes makes a lot of sense), and a few leaves sprout from the body as well. The roots around his waist are a very smart way to update the old figure's belt, so props to that, too!

The colors of the figure are ideal. His mossy areas are a light green, while the "skin" parts are dark Both hues lean toward yellow more than blue, so we know he's on He-Man's side and not Skeletor's. The brown roots are a warm shade as well, and are painted well enough to stand out without being overbearing or sloppy. The eyes and teeth are pure white, so if those were painted badly you'd know it right away.

Moss Man (thank goodness they dropped that "Kreann'ot n'Horosh" idiocy, huh?) stands about 7¼" tall, and has plentiful articulation: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a barbell-jointed head. The chest doesn't move very freely, the plastic gripping itself when you try to do anything. Additionally, the ankles should really be more rocker style, so the big feet can actually get flat on the ground in anything other than a very straightforward pose.

The figure's accessories are all hands: open wide, relaxed, or gripping. Even though he has nothing to grip. (The cartoon didn't show him using his old club or anything, so nothing like that is includes here.) He does get one further hand, with the fingers coverted to long vines to shoot out and grab some enemy. That's a bit heavy for the arm joints to really support, but if you lean it on another figure, like he's grappling them, it holds up better.

I really had zero interest in these doubly-oversized MotU figures before watching the first season of the cartoon, but after, it was a struggle to not grab Evil-Lyn as soon as I saw her. It's just the size that's a turn-off: Moss Man may make sense at 7" tall, but the others don't.

-- 08/23/21

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