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Mo-Larr vs. Skeletor

Masters of the Universe Classics
by yo go re

It must be awesome to be famous. I mean, we play with toys, nobody cares: Seth Green plays with toys, he gets a tv show. Now, don't take this as some sort of jealousy on our part - we know damn well how hard it would be to work on Robot Chicken, and we love watching every new season. But still, it would be awesome to have a toy based on something you made up.

The sixth episode of Season 2, "1987," premiered on May 7, 2006, introducing us to Mo-Larr, Eternian Dentist. At Toy Fair 2010, it was revealed that Mo-Larr would be turned into a real toy, available at SDCC. But it wouldn't just be Mo-Larr: there'd be an exclusive variant of Skeletor, as well! The two are sold together in one large box, much like Battle Cat's packaging, and the figures are posed dynamically. Mo-Larr is standing, and Skeletor is reclining in his vibrating chair - a nice display for MOCers. But screw them, let's get this puppy open!

When an impacted wisdom tooth or an infected molar threatens the oral health of anyone in the Dark or Light Hemispheres, Mo-Larr, Eternian Dentist, is called! Relentlessly dedicated to his craft, Mo-Larr has been known to travel to the gates of Snake Mountain itself to insist his clients keep their appointments! Whether hero or villain, it's all the same to Mo-Larr - the sworn enemy of all Eternian cavities!

Although "Mo-Larr" is a wonderfully typical name from the toyline that brought us Sy-Klone and Man-E-Faces, the Classics series is weaving an intricate backstory, and that includes giving everyone a real name. Mo-Larr is in reality Dr. Moe Larrstein, which is a surprisingly mundane appellation. Yeah, it sounds like a dentist's name, but who knew there were Jews on Eternia? [Those lost tribes really get around. --ed.]

When he appeared on the show, Mo-Larr was just some generic MotU figure wearing a little cloth smock. Fitting, then, that the MotU Classics line just uses generic bodies. His uniform is soft PVC, rather than cloth, which was probably due more to time issues than cost: yes, companies have to pay extra for "soft goods" pieces on their figures, but con exclusives already go for a premium, so no one would have noticed; more likely there wasn't time to get the labcoats fabricated and slipped onto the figures before they had to be on the boat to California. On the plus side, it's sculpted with buttons, pockets, and even seams where the sleeves have been ripped off. He's wearing the usual fur boots and panties, but also has blue rubber gloves (taken from Hordak).

Morris (Maurice?) gets an all-new head, which is nice. The figure's head on the show was entirely non-descript, so Mattel could have gotten away with repainting one of the existing heads, but instead we get something new. It has the thick brown hair graying at the temples, and a triumphant, far-off look. Mo-Larr was voiced by Michael Ian Black, so as far as I know, this is the first action figure of a member of The State. Somebody get on making Reno 911 toys so we can do a Barry and Levon Figuretoon.

As promised, Mo-Larr comes with his dental tools: a drill, a mirror, that suction thing (or maybe a water pick), dental floss and a pair of tongs. There's a dental probe in his coat pocket, but it's just a molded implement, not an actual accessory. The drill, mirror, suction unit and tongs are all vac-metallized, but each has plain black grips, as well. The floss pulls out of its container, but good luck rewinding it. Nah, just kidding - it's not a spool or anything, just a bundle of green string, and the lid of the container opens.

Mortally wounded in battle with his half-brother Captain Randor, Keldor turned to his dark-arts master Hordak to save his life. Merging Keldor with the extra-dimensional being Demo-Man from Despondos, Keldor was forever changed into Skeletor, Overlord of Evil! He gathered together the greatest outcasts and evil warriors of Eternia in his quest to gain entry into Castle Grayskull and obtain what he believes is the universe's ultimate power source.

There have been several releases of Skeletor since this line began. There was the original release, the slightly tweaked re-release and the DCU vs. MOTUC two-pack version, and we haven't even started getting into costume variations yet. If this had just been another plain Skeletor, it really would have dragged the set down, but there's been one smart change made. A change we'll get to in a moment. For all the info about Skeletor himself, go read either of the reviews linked above. There's not enough of a difference to make you read it all over again. He comes with his ram's head staff and halves of he Power Sword, painted in two-tone metallic purple.

What has been changed, though, is the figure's head. Mo-Larr came to see Skeletor about an impacted wisdom tooth. After fighting his way through Skeletor's minions, he throws the villain to the ground and, proving that perhaps he's not such a great dentist after all, extracts an incisor. Since Robot Chicken is basically a glorified "Twisted ToyFare Theatre," all the characters' mouths are just paper cutouts, and after Mo-Larr was done, Skeletor was indeed missing a tooth. This figure does one better, completely remolding the head to show that gap. Yes, I was willing to buy this set precisely because it's less complete than a normal version.

We already mentioned the packaging in general terms, but there are a few specifics worth mentioning. The backdrop has the same rocky pattern all the figures get, with a shield on the wall, what looks like a fireplace, and a window looking out on the full Eternian moon. On the show this scene took place in Skeletor's throne room, which explains the decor - like we said, they even have the massage chair Skeletor wanted to marry. There's a men's magazine on the floor, complete with MotU-based jokes and puns on the cover. The back of the packaging has the usual cross-sell photos of other toys, but even those become jokes: one picture shows Beast Man tied up with floss, the other shows Grizzlor with a *&#@%! drill in his eye (*&#@%! drill not included); both are references to the episode in question, which makes them absolutely hilarious choices.

There's one thing that even the line's most strident defenders will concede, and that's that the MotU Classics are overpriced. $20 for figures that have, at most, one or two unique parts? Kudos to Mattel, then, for not inflating the price on this set: two figures, $40. In its own strange way, that seems entirely fair. By convention standards, it's a sale! Getting Mo-Larr, a figure from a Robot Chicken sketch, turned into an official part of the MotU canon? That would be pretty awesome, even if the figure weren't a quality production with cool packaging and appropriate accessories. Fan of He-Man? Of Robot Chicken? Of blatant metatextual humor? Get yourself a Mo-Larr set, before he decides to come for you.

-- 08/09/10

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