“By the Power of Grayskull, I have the Powerrrr!!!!”
You know that (much recited) oath that He-Man yelled at the top of his damn lungs? Well, he was talkin’ about this guy: King Grayskull! This dude is 6 inches of muscle, swords, and ponytails; so, we here at MTV Geek are intimidated to no end. Welcome to our review of Mattel’s re-issue of the King Grayskull figure from their extremely popular action figure-line, Masters of the Universe Classics. Normally, we don’t get into the packaging aspect too heavily, especially since most MOTUC figures share the same blister; however, Grayskull is posed holding two Power Sword halves and lightning has been printed on the blister to look as if it’s rippling between the blades. Freakin’ awesome?! You bet! If that’s any indication to the coolness of this figure, we should really start the review. Let’s get to it!
For the uninitiated, King Grayskull is the great ancestor of both He-Man and She-Ra. He rose to power from meager beginnings and worked his way through blood and battle to become king of Eternia, or Pre-Ternia… we get kind of confused in that regard. Anyway, D’Vann Grayskull decided to rebel against the Snake Men and take back his homeland after his brother was devoured by their reptilian overlords. After years of hacking his way through the forces of King Hiss, D’Vann was crowned King; not because of his royal blood, but because he was a pure, unadulterated badass! His death after a battle with Hordak (who he previously teamed with to take out Hiss) set plans into motion for his sword to grant great power to any of his ancestors to wield it in Eternia’s time of need. Just so happens, it ended up being that loveable lay-about: Prince Adam. So there you have it; no King Grayskull, no He-Man.
King Grayskull’s sculpt will be familiar to long-time fans and collectors of MOTUC. This is a re-issue, and as such, features no new sculpting. However, The Four Horsemen have managed to keep the line consistent, so he still looks just as good today as he did upon his first release. He’s wearing what is now the standard fare for He-Man. Funny how Eternian fashion doesn’t evolve in 500 years. It’d be cool if there was an awkward tiger-furred bellbottom phase at some point during the timeline… ah well, back to the subject at hand. Grayskull’s hair falls far from the pageboy-style made famous by He-Man. He instead has two loosely-wrapped ponytails falling down each side of his face, while the rest of his hair sleekly cascades down his back. His face is set in a serious, but neutral expression with his brows furrowed ever so much. K.G.’s chest harness is set wide and features the familiar 2002-cartoon series’ 6-sided emblem. Other than the chest harness, Grayskull also has a longer furred-loincloth than He-Man. Why? Looks like “things” were just bigger back then. D’Vonn’s cape is the other piece of sculpting that really sets off this figure as something unique. The shoulders are covered in a fur, while the billowing cloak itself is tattered in spots, showing the war-won nature of Grayskull himself. K.G.’s overall sculpt shows that the Horsemen had great foresight in designing the line as he is simple, yet perfectly representative of the “Classics” version of the character.
The paint on Grayskull is where he begins to differentiate himself from the originally released figure. First off, there were no sloppy spots on the figure we reviewed. Everything looks nice and tight, with the correct colors being right where they should. The face is always our first concern, and it seems that K.G. has almost perfect paint apps in that regard. For the most part, the same paint-scheme is used for the re-issue of Grayskull with nice washes being used to bring out the sculptural details. Grayskull’s cloak is where the largest color-changes occur. While this time molded in a deep red, the cape has been “flocked” in white along the shoulders. Darker shades of red have been airbrushed onto the body of the cloak as well to give the perception of deep folds. It’s been noted that this cape gives King Grayskull the appearance of a barbarian Santa, bringing yuletide vengeance on the end of his blade! We just figure it’s a happy coincidence.
K.G.’s articulation is the epitome of all MOTUC figures to date. The Horsemen have found a tried and true method for this line and if it’s not broke, why fix it? Grayskull features: ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel upper thighs, hinged knees, swivel boot-tops, hinged ankles, & “rocker” ankles. Everything on this figure works well… except the ankles. Usually the hinge on the ankle tends to be loose on the figures wearing the furry boots like He-Man; however, this figure’s loose ankles come from the rocker joints. It’s not so bad that the figure is unable to stand on its own; but, attempting to set him up on any surface that isn’t perfectly flat may become a slight headache. The head’s hindered movement was a worry upon first inspection; but thankfully, the pliability of the hair coupled with the sculpt, still allow King Grayskull to look around rather well when not wearing his cloak.
King Grayskull is packaged with some great accessories. First up, we have the two halves of the Sword of He. They are the same mold we’ve seen time and again, and a silver blade is painted above the gray handles. The cool thing about these swords is that they actually fit together extremely well. We’re talking to the point that you almost can’t tell they were ever two halves! Now we don’t know the condition of the sword halves that you fellow collectors have gotten with He-Man, Faker, Adam, Skeletor, et.; but, ours never seemed to mesh all that well. Thanks to Grayskull’s halves, we have a fully battle-ready Power Sword to toss into the hands of a worthy Eternian! Grayskull also comes packaged with another Power Sword. This one represents the unrelenting power that rests in the blade. It has been molded in a translucent-blue plastic with metallic flakes embedded inside. The handle has been painted gray, and the blade is silver until about halfway up the blade where it fades into the eye-catching blue. This sword in itself is one of the best looking accessories in the line so far! It would be perfect for display, held high above He-Man’s head as he calls upon the Power of Grayskull. Speaking of that translucent-blue plastic, K.G. also has an orb molded out of the stuff. The orb is just a tiny, plastic ball and is representative of the power that was hidden in Castle Grayskull to be protected by his widow, the first Sorceress. Lastly, King Grayskull has his shield. It’s the basic He-Man shield, and as such, clips on the wrist snuggly. It has the same red color as his cloak embedded into the design, and like all He-Man shields we own, sadly now has stress lines in the plastic after snapping it onto a figure’s arm.
King Grayskull is the barbarian-warrior who out barbarian-warriors He-Man, so you know he’s just about as tough as they come. This figure is a great update to the original, and now allows a lot more fans to experience the warrior-king in his entire snake killin’ majesty! Most fans of MOTUC have surely ordered this puppy when he went on sale November 15th on www.mattycollector.com. For those of you just now deciding you need this figure, may the Gods of Eternia assist you on your hunt through the perilous realm of e-bay.