Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Lord Dactus

When toy lines run for a few years, it can become hard to think of new things to say about what become increasingly old toys. Sure, some details might be different and represent different characters, but the underlying architecture is still the same. Like adding vinyl siding to an old house, you can change the appearance, but only so much. Masters of the Universe Classics was a line designed from the ground up to use as few original parts as possible. In theory, this leads to more affordable figures and happier collectors. In practice, at least in Mattel's case, this leads to premium prices for figures that often feature at more two or three new parts.

Of course, sometimes there are exceptions, and Lord Dactus is one of them. Masters of the Universe Classics is coming to a close next year, and quite a few characters have been left uncreated. This means that unique tooling they have been putting off will have to be done. Translation? It should be a pretty decent year for the line, even though several of the announced figures are rehashes of He-Man and Skeletor. One would suspect that some of the unique tooling on Lord Dactus will be used again for this last year, but honestly? I'm just happy to have a unique looking figure on my shelf instead of yet another repeat.

Without a doubt, Lord Dactus is unique. Between the pale blue coloring and bat-like appearance, he definitely stands out from the other figures. Most importantly, however, are his wings, which are able to be very dynamic when posed.

Despite being packaged with a bare chest, he comes with a set of armor, with a sort of burnt orange color. This armor is made out of pliable rubber, which was a brilliant idea. So many figures in this line came packaged with chest armor of hard plastic that ended up making them look like they ate one too many Eternia Burgers. This armor has the benefit of not impeding he articulation and also leaving Dactus looking sleek and threatening. Why they don't do this more often should be a mystery, but I'm pretty sure I know the answer: It's Mattel.
Dactus also comes packaged with a pretty wicked looking sword. It's solid enough that it didn't become warped in the package, and stylistically matches Dactus very well. He just plain looks good holding it, especially since Mattel actually took the time to paint it. The standard MOTUC articulation lets him hold it in a number of poses, although the limitations of the scheme are becoming more apparent with each year.
Between the armor, the unique "goat" style leggings, wings, and armor, Dactus is a cut well above the average figure. While I've passed on far more MOTUC figures than I've bought, giving me a very anemic but awesome collection, Lord Dactus was one I had my eye on from the beginning. More importantly, he's another figure I have no regrets buying. If only the entire line could have featured the attention to detail and uniqueness, it could have been a truly legendary line. Instead, it limps into its last year with only the hardest of the hardcore still hanging on. That is, absolutely, a shame.


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