Masters of the Universe Classics: Snake-Man Fang-or Review
It was a big splash for the toy community when Mattel announced their collector-oriented website, Matty Collector, would be shutting their doors, with the production of their ten-year-old Masters of the Universe Classics toy line being put in the hands of independent toy company Super 7. Through their license agreement with Mattel, Super 7 will use the same sculpts and tooling of the figures but will be making, producing, and selling them without the backing of the toy giant. With the exception of some premium re-releases and some exclusives for the fan-convention Power-Con, the first wave of Super 7’s contributions to the MOTUC line has arrived in the hands of fans everywhere, including the figure for Fang-Or.
Fang-Or is one of several new characters who appeared in the mini-comics included with MOTUC figures from a few years ago. While some of those characters were based on figure concepts that were never materialized, Fang-Or was a completely new character conceived by Scott Nilecth and designed by in-house designer Axel Giménez. The backstory of the character has him as a member of the MOTU faction known as the Snake Men, serving as a mechanical engineer for the serpentine villains.
Packaging wise, Fang-Or shares the standard plastic shell accompanied by green card back. The back of the card features promo images of the other figures in the assortment, great art by Axel Giménez, and a bio written by Danielle Gelehrter and Eric Marshall.
The sculpt of the figure is fantastic. Like the Mattel run of Masters of the Universe Classics, Super 7’s figures are sculpted by the Four Horsemen Toy Designs, a group of sculptors stationed in New Jersey who has worked in the business for 25 years with many of the industry’s top companies including Mattel and McFarlane Toys. Masters of the Universe as a franchise has always implemented parts re-use, the toy concept of shared tooling and pieces from multiple figures in a line, to various degrees. Since Fang-Or was designed from the ground up, Giménez planned this ahead of time, incorporating parts from older figures along with new sculpted details for a unique figure. In regards to older figures, Fang-Or has leg guards of He-Ro, Rattalor’s loincloth, Skeletor’s feet, and Draego-Man’s limbs, neck, and chest.
New pieces included two different heads, a new piece of chest armor, and a new belt. Both the armor and the loincloth are made of a rubbery plastic that is detailed but does not hinder too much articulation. The paint of the figure is likewise stunning, covering a good amount of the figure, with the metallic golds on his armor and gauntlets being particularly eye-catching. Something that might disappoint longtime MOTUC fans is Super 7’s decision to glue the once-removable armor in place, eliminating the ability to swap out armors between figures or leaving it bare-chested. Fans who seek that modular interchangeability will be let down for sure, but for the other fans, it isn’t too much of a bother.
Scale-wise, MOTUC figures are considered to be 6” scale-ish. This means most MOTUC figures, like Fang-Or, stands somewhere between the 6.5” and 7” mark. Fang-Or shares the standard articulation scheme of figures with a MOTUC build: universal shoulders; bicep swivels; elbow with a 180 forward bend; ball-jointed head; wrist swivels; ab-crunch; waist swivel; universal leg joints that can go forward, backward, and inward; thigh swivels; calve swivels; and articulated foot complete with an ankle tilt.
Accessory wise, Fang-Or contains: a new sword based on a sword from the 2002 Masters of the Universe animated series; a serpent dragon pet based on the ‘80s Filmation cartoon, a beautiful set of tools that include; a wrench, screwdriver, and hammer; and most important of all an additional head sculpt featuring protruding fangs. Though Fang-Or is a character created in recent years, he still has an accessory to replicate what his ‘80s “action feature” would be. In-fiction Fang-Or has the ability to shoot fangs out like daggers, and his two heads emulate that ability, with one being his normal state and the other head, with longer fangs, being his longer-fanged form. His tools are fully painted and feature incredible detail especially for their small size. Of his accessories, the least impressive is the flying serpent, which is well sculpted, but its firm plastic and fixed posed to make it difficult to interact within a variety of ways. Plus the serpent provided in this review copy has some excess plastic molding around its lips, which is a distracting QC issue.
Fang-Or plays very well. Super 7 uses a different factory than Mattel, with a different plastic mixture. This means the plastic of the Super 7 figures is noticeably different from older Mattel figures. Some fans have found this to be sub-par and even gummy like, even noting quality control issues like looseness and breakage. The sample in this review does have some of that, particularly in right arm and feet. However, those issues, at least in the review copy, are minor and do not affect the overall play and display experience, which is great. All the same, a discerning buyer on the fence might want to avoid the figure altogether due to issues of the build as well as price.
Super 7 figures were made to order figures, so, unfortunately, the only way to buy the figures now is to get them through the aftermarket, sometimes at a very high markup.
Pros: Highly articulated, detailed sculpt, a wide range of accessories that add play and display value, beautiful and numerous paint applications, fun to play with.
Cons: Less rigid plastic than MOTUC fans are used to, QC issues not expected for a premium price point, non-removable chest armor and the non-posable flying serpent, huge aftermarket cost.
Overall, Fang-Or is a very enjoyable, collector-oriented figure. With a great sculpt, paint, and a wide array of play and display options, the value of Fang-Or as a premium priced figure is without dispute. Unfortunately, due to him being a made-to-order figure, the only way to get Fang-Or at his original retail price was via the initial pre-order. Aftermarket samples do exist, but at a much higher price point that might be off-putting to collectors. Those taking the plunge will be satisfied to add this malicious mechanic to their Snake-Men forces.