Star Wars has its Rebel Troopers. G.I. JOE has its Green Shirts. Transformers has… well, they all pretty much have names. Anyway, Masters of the Universe has never been known for its troop builders; but today, that all changes! We’re taking a look at the upcoming Eternian Palace Guards 2-Pack from Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics series of figures. Their package is chock full of weapons, heads, and armor plates; so, let’s get this review started! Here’s their bio, straight from the back of the box:
From across the Light Hemisphere of Eternia, the bravest and most noble warriors in Randor’s Kingdom were recruited by Man-At-Arms and later Clamp-Champ to help guard the Royal Family. Often called upon to aid the Masters of the Universe, the royal guards are trained in multiple forms of hand-to-hand combat and are masters of many weapons including the Power Staff and several types of Energy Blasters. Whenever the Royal Palace is threatened, it is the strength of the elite guardsmen which often repels evil. Brave Palace Guards like Lieutenant Spector defend the Royal Family from attack.
The sculpts for these figures, like most of the set, are a mix of old and new. The set contains 4 heads that are all newly tooled. There are 2 human guards, one modeled after MOTUC brand manager Scott Neitlich, and the other possibly a young Clamp Champ, and they have the same level of detail as all other human characters in the line. One head is that of a Qadian warrior, and is very much in the same style as the, previously released, Chief Carnivus figure; giving us one more cat-person for our armies.
The last head is that of a Snakeman. Rumor has it that Man-At-Arms was gonna end up as a Snakeman if the 200X series had kept airing; so, we’re just gonna pretend this is Duncan. It sure as hell explains that somber expression on his face. The Snakeman head features the most detail with scaling and wrinkles sculpted over his entire visage. All four heads have notches in the sides of their helmets in order to attach the included face shields. The rest of the sculpts use the same base body we’ve seen on He-Man, Man-At-Arms, and many others; the armor however, is something more. The chest armor is brand new and features changeable chest plates like Battle Armor He-Man. The arm and lower leg armor of Man-At-Arms has also been used, and then mirrored to fit to cover all the appendages of the Guards. Regardless if this means M.A.A. is a tougher bastard, it makes the Guards look very, very cool.
The paint on this set is nicely done, for the most part, and very subdued; sadly, almost to the point that the shading doesn’t catch the eye as readily as it could. The bodies and armor are molded in the correct colors, and then paint has been added for the details and shading. The heads, as is the odd-way of MOTUC, have been molded in blue and then painted. Granted, this is the same shade of blue as the helmets, so at least it makes some kind of sense in this instance. The faces are all painted simply (in the case of the Qadian, almost too simply), with cleanly applied eyes, except for the Snakeman. Yep, the Snakeman head has been given a sweet fade paintjob from green to yellow, and has large and glossy red eyes. The armor has been highlighted with a metallic orange in some areas, with silver being the chosen color for the deep scratches in the chest plates. The rest of the paint work mimics Man-At-Arms, and is nice and tight for most of the toys. You might wanna pay attention to the belt, however; as our figures had some run-over between the two shades of blue.
As you’ve probably deduced by now, the Eternian Palace Guards share the same articulation as the rest of the MOTUC line. Each figure features: ball-joint head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel boot tops, & double hinged “rocker” ankles. Thanks to the use of the Keldor boots, these guys have sturdy ankles to go along with the rest of their joints. Yep, no problems with these two in the movement department; although, we DID have to use some force to get one of the Guards torso hinge moving, since it was stuck tight upon first opening them.
The accessory department is where this 2 pack really brings the goods. The pack comes with (the previously described) 2 extra heads, 2 face shields, 2 halberds, 1 axe, 1 mace, 2 shields, & 2 alternate chest plates. The weapons are all silver in color, and match those from the vintage (and upcoming) Castle Grayskull Weapon Rack. The mace is by far the coolest weapon of the bunch, and the shields are definitely the worst. The reason for this is due to the extra armor worn by the Guards on their forearms. This causes the shield’s clamp to be stretched out of shape. Luckily, it seems to be made of a more pliable plastic than He-Man’s so the risk of it completely snapping in a moment of weakness seem to be less. The same can’t be said for the Guard’s armor though. While the weapons DO look intimidating as hell strapped on the backs, the handles cause the armor’s attachment points to “white out” easily, so be careful! The chest pieces insert easily into the armor and the 2 halves snap back together easily, but once again, keep an eye out for breakage. Right now, our review copies are sporting the eagle insignia chest, and the one bearing 2 deep cuts. The face shields are also a nice addition. They press easily into the openings on each side of the helmet and really up the “badass factor” of the Guards. Just look at those guys! Of course, if you’re gonna be constantly assailed by Skeletor’s forces, we guess you’re gonna have to be some fairly tough individuals.
All in all, this Eternian Palace Guards 2 Pack is really a great addition to any Masters of the Universe Classics collection, despite the possible problems with the armor’s attachments. If you feel King Randor is in need of some extra protection, or if Man-At-Arms has just went too damn long without anyone to boss around, then be sure to pick these guys up when they go on sale Tuesday January 18th at Noon Eastern, only on mattycollector.com.