If you’re a He-Man fan that likes to keep their MattyCollector.com figures pristine in their packaging then look away. It’s about to get really sad up in here.
Originally published 5/12/16
MattyCollector is a special place where Mattel can supply fans of classic properties that might not have the mass market appeal they once did with the sort of collectible figures they’d spend a lot more on if a third party handled them. Thundercats and He-Man are perfect examples. Both are cartoon and toy lines with a dedicated fan base, but today’s kids maybe don’t connect with quite as well. They also regularly carry special items from Mattel’s other brands, like DC Comics stuff, Ghostbusters, Monster High and Barbie, but it’s a mandatory destination for Masters of the Universe and Thundercats fans.
The He-Man Classics line from MattyCollector has been supplying wannabe Eternians with perfect plastic for years now. I know this because the sole figure I owned in the line until recently was the 2009 re-release of 2008's first He-Man figure (the re-release fixed some paint and shoulder issues). He’s been sitting in a box for years, biding his time.
His time is now.
I love toy collectors of all shapes and sizes. We all share a passion for the characters and craftsmanship and compulsive collectibility. Some toy collectors like to keep their figures packaged.
And that’s fine. I get it. They’re like built-in display cabinets.
If I have a figure boxed it means either I have a duplicate of it loose somewhere, or I just haven’t gotten around to opening it. A toy in my collection is little more than wall or shelf art until I’ve gotten my hands on it.
The imminent release of Anti-Eternia He-Man gave me the perfect excuse to crack open his real-Eternia counterpart.
MattyCollector really loves digging for obscure characters that only the most ardent of fans would love. Anti-Eternia He-Man is the perfect example. This dark mirror version of Eternia’s champion comes from episode 11 of the German Europa He-Man audio dramas.
You can read the translated transcript for the 1985 episode over at He-Man.org. The point is MattyCollector has taken this character, one described but not really depicted, and made him into a real anti-boy.
Anti-Eternia He-Man comes packaged with basically the same stuff as my 2008 He-Man Classics figure, only his sword, shield and axe are black.
Oh, and along with the round shield he also comes with a shield that looks like the tattoo artist ran out of ink colors. He’s metal like that (or plastic like that).
Getting your hands on Anti-Eternia He-Man might be a little tricky. He’s not part of Club Grayskull, the subscription service. Instead, he’ll be offered randomly from the MattyCollector website.
This figure is only offered intermittently on MattyCollector.com, with no guarantee of availability at any specific time.
Tricky, but kind of fun. Certainly easier to procure than 2008's He-Man, who shares a striking resemblance with his Anti-Eternia counterpart.
They’re basically the same would with different colors, which in this case works perfectly. Same poseability, same expression, same lovely hair. One is made of evil, the other made of good.
These figures are for waging a constant battle across my shelves and desk. Swords sing, shields clang.
The third figure I unbox and play with in the video above has something else in mind. He’s the Classics 2.0 He-Man, part of a new series of figures inspired by the Filmation animated series. You get the same articulation and the same solid builds, but the details are more cartoonish. Check him out.
Shinier, smoother skin, less detail on the fur, armbands and harness, all in the name of animation emulation. He’s pretty much perfect, from his haircut to those glorious eyebrows. He’s the figure you’d want in your collection if you planned on doing a stop-motion video of the classic “What’s Going On?” masterpiece.
He’s no Prince Adam but let’s be real here—he’s always Prince Adam.
Getting Funimation He-Man is going to be expensive and aftermarket at this point. He was the February 2016 release for Club Grayskull, a monthly subscription service offered during a very short window during the end of the year. Members members pay a fee and then pick a plan to purchase exclusive figures throughout the year. Non-members generally get a day to buy club items once a month, but that month has long since passed.
There’s a full explanation covering how to purchase what when over at the MattyCollector website. If you can find him out there and he’s not too expensive, he is a joy to have on my desk. Working on a dance number diorama as soon as I’m finished writing this.
MattyCollector’s Masters of the Universe line of collectible figures has been going strong for almost a decade now, which says something about both the power of fandom and the enduring appeal of He-Man and his colorful cast of bulky heroes and villains. Between these toys and DC Comics current He-Man: The Eternity War comics, I’m a bigger fan now than I was three decades ago.
Now everybody dance!