Masters of the Universe Classics: Thunder Punch He-Man Review
It’s hard to get too excited about the fifth (6th? …9th?) He-Man in MOTUC, but I did really like Thunder Punch He-Man when I was a kid. You’d place a standard ring cap (like you’d use in a cap gun) in his backpack, pull him back, and he’d do a Power Punch™ with a loud bang. (He’d also smell like smoke afterwards, fun!) This release gives the vintage Thunder Punch design the MOTUC makeover, minus the action feature of course, and includes a pack-in item the vintage figures were known for.
Sculpt & Paint:
TP He-Man is pretty much exactly the same body as regular He-Man (and Faker, Man-at-Arms, etc.), just with the symmetrical wrist bands (which is accurate to the vintage toy) and the updated boots without ankle pegs showing. The only new body part is his fist, which is oddly wrinkly compared to other hands. (It also serves to point out how weirdly small the thumbs are on the normal male human hands, when you see this new fist next to his normal left hand.) It’s painted instead of cast in the same color plastic as the rest of his skin, which I’m never happy about because the paint can rub off (my Man-E-Faces took a tumble once and now has a blue finger), but especially here since you might want to have him punch things, and one of his accessories actually slides onto the fist. At least the color matches well enough.
Speaking of his skin tone, TP He-Man is noticeably lighter than the regular He-Man. It’s supposed to be to make him stand out. Some people have tried to explain this because, according to his bio, He-Man and crew are forced to live underground, so he doesn’t have the opportunity to work on his fabulous tan. Seems like pretty good reasoning. Apparently the vintage toy was lighter too. His wristbands and belt are painted red to match his armor, and his boots are a little lighter than the regular He-Man’s, and feature white furry tops like the vintage toy.
He has the same head as the regular He-Man, but something seems a little off to me about his face. I’m not sure if the mold is getting a little worn out, it’s not painted quite as well, or if the lighter skin tone is affecting the contrast, but there’s just something about it that bothers me. I’ve gotten used to it now, and it’s not really bad at all, but it was pretty jarring when I first saw it in the package.
Since TP He-Man has the standard MOTUC human body, there’s nothing surprising about the articulation. He has the ball-jointed head, double-jointed shoulders, triple-jointed hips, and joints for the ankles, boots, knees, wrists, elbows, biceps, waist and abs. The loin cloth is more flexible than older figures like the original He-Man, so you get more leg movement out of him. Most of the joints are nice and tight, but once again one of the ankles on mine is kind of loose.
TP comes with a translucent yellowish punch effect. It clips onto his fist, similar to the constructs that came with many of Mattel’s Green Lantern figures. There’s also a Power Sword that’s the same color. It looks pretty cool, but not really accurate to the vintage figure, which had a gold sword. If you have the sword from the Toys R Us 2-pack Skeletor you could consider displaying him with that, since it might be a little closer.
TP’s armor is similar to Snout Spout‘s, with a hard plastic backpack clipped onto a softer chest harness. It is removable, but the place where they connect is not as easy to access, and I just gave up after a while, since I’m sure I’d end up breaking the clips. The vintage toy had his armor as part of the chest sculpt, so this new one might look a little bulky compared to the old one, but I think it turned out great. The “H” on the front and the outline are vacuum metalized. I’m not too keen on that, because it chips too easily (as with the MOTUC Hurricane Hordak), and I usually associate it with really cheap toys. It was there on the vintage toy though, and it looks nice, so I don’t mind it (except that the H is kind of sloppy). Also featuring vacuum metalization is his shield, which looks very nice, but a piece of mine has already chipped off. I’m not sure if this happened at the factory or after I opened it.
Like the vintage TP figure, the shield has a spot to store a ring cap, and a (non-working) recreation of one is included. You can also store the sword there. This is actually a separate piece from the rest of the shield that’s not vac-metal, which is great so you don’t chip any off when removing the cap or clipping the shield onto his arm. Also like the vintage figure, the backpack opens up, and there’s a spot where a ring cap can be placed. It even has a working dial. It would’ve been nice if two caps were included since there are two places to store them. I was also hoping the cap would be the same size as a real one so you could plug them in instead, but it’s actually bigger.
Also included is the first of 3 minicomics to be included with figures this year. It’s a retelling (adjusted for MOTUC storyline) of the final minicomic in the vintage line, which would’ve introduced He-Ro, and was never concluded. It even has the same title and the same scene depicted on the cover art. One thing to note, the comic is held in with some crazy industrial strength glue. It’s almost impossible to remove it without ripping the card, or worse, bending up the comic. I’d recommend just cutting the bag open.
So you might not need another He-Man, but this is a nice update to the vintage figure you may have fond memories of. The minicomic, which fans have been asking for since MOTUC started, is also a nice bonus. Now we need a Dragon Blaster Skeletor.
Thunder Punch He-Man was sold in April 2012, so you’ll have to check places like Amazon, BigBadToyStore or eBay to get it now. New figures go on sale on MattyCollector.com each month, usually on the 15th. The lineup for the May 15 sale seems to be:
The Mighty Spector (30th Anniversary)
Snake Mountain Stands
Now available year round:
Posted on May 15, 2012, in Reviews, Toys and tagged action figures, Adam, Classics figures, He-Man, Heroic Warriors, Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel, MattyCollector, minicomic, MOTU, MOTUC, Thunder Punch, toys, variant. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.