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Fang man

Masters of the Universe Classics
by Shocka

It'd probably be too easy for me to begin this review with yet another MattyCollector rant about how nasty it was to limit his production to subscribers only, in an ongoing attempt to get more people to subscribe and have to buy whatever stupid three-pack they force on their fans next year (and look, surprise!! Subscriptions have reopened!! Who wants some Fighting Foe Men!!!), so instead I want to begin talking about how Fang Man looks like the weirdest freaking addition to Masters of the Universe Classics to date. It's not because the character is weird, per se - as you'll read in the bio below, he fits right into the universe and the mythos - nor the overall design, as we've seen part-men-part-dragons in the line before. No, it's that the look of this figure, unlike the majority of the MOTUC, is very obviously an animation brought to life. He looks like a cartoon, whereas most of the other Masters Classics do not.

Evolved from the ancient Dragosaur species, Fang Man spent his youth in the Valley of Dragons. Skeletor recruited Fang Man after discovering his ability to control the fire-breathing dragons to do his bidding. Fang Man used the Dragosaurs of the past to assist the Evil Lord of Destruction in his evil plans when Skeletor used the Wheel of Infinity to go back in time and stop Castle Grayskull from being built. Eventually, defeated by He-Man, Skeletor abandoned Fang Man in the past where he resides with his ancestors on Dragosaur Isle, waiting for the return of his master. Fang Man has piercing teeth and uses his mind-control ability to manipulate fire-breathing species.

Fang Man was featured in the Filmation cartoon for just a few minutes, and was never seen in any of the other media, so we can probably attribute his cartoonish sculpt to the fact that the Four Horseman had nothing else to base the sculpt from. But with this in mind, this is an excellent sculpt; he still looks great standing next to Skeletor or any other figure from this line, still manages to blend in somehow despite his appearance, and we can chalk this up to the 4H's sculpting expertise and the amount of extra detail they added to the detail-free character. Compare the face of the on-screen character and the face here, and take in the extra creases on his face and the lines on his neck, and you can see how this is actually a really excellent sculpt indeed.

Fang Man stands 7" tall, slightly smaller than the average MOTUC but it fits the character; alongside Skeletor he is a grovelling henchman, and he can't stand up to He-Man at all. Both his sculpt and paint are terrific; Fang Man has lots more new parts than the average MOTUC (making it more bizarre that they decided to limit this one to subscribers only) and is really nicely detailed all over. The paint on his face brings out the little details but also draws attention to the cartoonish origin - take a close look at his eyes and compare those to the more realistic eyes we see on most MOTUC. And yet it works, somehow - it's just enough both ways to make him fit everywhere, unlike, say, having Mezco's Cartman chill with your DCUC.

Fang Man features the same excellent articulation as the other MOTUC with one neat surprise: his tongue features a swivel joint and can move around in his mouth, either hanging out at the front between his teeth or on either side. Very cool feature, that adds to the dual asthetic I've talked about; having it at the front is more threatening and "realistic," but having it at the sides is closer to the animation. Very effective!

Fang Man features three accessories, and they're pretty neat. He has a sword (which I assured is the "Sword of the Ancients," featured in an episode I haven't seen), a "Force Field Rod," which looks more like some kind of wacky sci-fi slingshot, and a "Time Wheel." The latter is basically a flat plate thing with an infinity symbol in the middle, and it lacks a backing, but he looks fine holding it, so that's cool for now, until it forever goes into one of your accessory ziplocks.

Overall, Fang Man is a very cool toy, and another great addition to your MOTUC collection. The bummer is that - without warning - he became a subscriber only figure, like King He-Man, and is now incredibly difficult to get. This seems counterproductive to the amount they'd have spent on the newly sculpted parts; are there multiple eBay accounts where MattyCollector is selling this as a hot HOT toy to maximise their profits? Would we put this past them?? Let the conspiracy theories commence!

-- 04/15/13

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