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Masters of the Universe Classics
by Shocka

Many have theorized that the reason He-Man is a gay icon and popular with the LGBT crowd is that the series' blatant homo-eroticism couldn't be more explicit; the main line-up is a veritable sausage-fest comprising such uber-masculine names as HE-MAN and MAN-AT-ARMS with basically no female representatives outside of the Leia-bikini-stealing Mardi-Gras-ready Teela and the blatantly hot Sorceress. The central character's costume is essentially a loincloth, with some straps that barely cover this ripped body. Subtle. And then, it gets completely ridiculous, with names like Ram Man and today's hot HOT stuff, FISTO.

The older brother of Duncan, Randor's first Man-At-Arms, Malcom served under King Miro during the Great Unrest but was wounded in battle and stricken with magical amnesia. Wandering through Eternia, he settled in the Mystic Mountains in a mining settlement, unable to piece together how he lost his battalion. His life changed when the Snake Men attacked his town and he helped save the Masters of the Universe from their trap. But in doing so, Malcom shattered his right hand. In gratitude, Duncan replaced it with a robotic strong arm. Now known as Fisto, he has made up with his brother and fights as a heroic member of the Masters of the Universe smashing evil with his giant knuckles!

The first episode Fisto was featured in in the Filmation series was "Fisto's Forest," and if anyone ever offers to take you there, YOU RUN, DON'T WALK! Anyway, back when I was a naysayer asshole about MOTUC (instead of the general asshole I am now) I would rant on and on about how Masters characters were defined not by the actual characters from their narratives, but rather their action features, which is true to an extent; the series' fiction is so scattered and different from writer to writer that the only thing that is consistent is those action features, now removed for MOTUC. Regardless, my argument was that removing the action features made the toys pointless and dumb. Turns out, I'm wrong - to an extent. Fisto is an awesome toy, and an awesome representation of this character. But is he awesome enough? Read on!

Fisto stands an impressive 6⅞", perfectly in scale with the other MOTUC and featuring the rare gorgeous sculpt that strikes the perfect balance between the original '80s action figure and the 2003 remake. His costume is perfectly painted with the right color scheme of silver and purple, with the same bare, ripped arms you expect from a guy who spends all day fisting - and the right arm is bigger than the left, a gag the Four Horsemen have pulled before.

The fist he uses is, incidentally, ideal: it's not as ridiculously oversized as the MO2K figure but large enough to be notable and with the same harsh clench one desires for such a character. His other fist is the standard male hand that can hold one of his swords, and his costume features the same expected loincloth and strapped booties we know and love.

Beyond the big metal fist what's notable here - as in, what the Four Horseman really succeeded at for this figure - is producing two unique heads, a variation on the original and the remake, that essentially transform the figure between the two eras just by interchanging them. The original head has the same gruff bearded look we want from Fisto, and the modern head smartly subverts this with the excellent tiara-like headpiece that matches his armor. He also has a removable belt, and snapping on the alternate head and this belt basically converts him to an entirely new figure - such is the craft that went into this toy! It's excellent and is guaranteed to please all of the fans, no matter their era of preference.

Articulation is the MOTUC standard, which is to say that it is excellent. He moves at all the usual places, with a good firm assortment of poses and playability with his big fist. Accessory-wise he includes the aforementioned interchangeable heads and belt, as well as two swords: one based on the vintage figure and reused from Tri-Klops, sharply-metallic-purple matching his armor; and the second an enormous Millennium sword I call the Giant's Knife (after the similarly sized blade in Ocarina of Time), which was originally an accessory for the '03 figure before it was cut for budget reasons. It's massive and absolutely awesome - he looks terrific with it, although due to the size it makes him a little topple-prone, but that doesn't matter, because it's so cool! It even fits on his back, which further shows off the ingenuity of the 4H in making this figure. Very impressive - you can swap this over to any of your other figures if you so desire, and it looks great with larger figures like Tytus.

Honesty, coming down to it, Fisto is one of the best MOTUC figures ever made. He looks terrific and has all of the poseability and playability and accessories you could want - he is going to appeal to every MOTU collector, and that's a very rare thing. But - but - imagine if he'd had the action feature, and could actually FIST!! Just like he's supposed to!! Just like his name suggests!! You see, one of the main arguments against play features like this is that it'd get in the way of the sculpt and articulation, but in this case adding the launchable fist wouldn't have got in the way of the articulation since the fist only spins anyway, which could have been left in. "I-AM-AN-ADULT-COLLECTOR"-purists could have ignored it, and everyone else could have fisted away!! FISTED TO THEIR HEARTS' CONTENT!! Unfortunately, it seems only us with the vintage and MO2K figures will be fisting, and that's a damn shame.

-- 03/18/13

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