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Dragon Blaster Skeletor

Masters of the Universe Classics
by yo go re

Why was it that the 1980s MotU toyline could survive by putting out silly variations of its main characters, while the MO2K line folded and died? Well, it might be because in the 2000s Mattel made things like this, while in the original line the variations were more creative and fun.

As the ruler of Eternia following Randor's banishment, Skeletor created a new magical armor infused with an Eternian Dragon, giving him the power to paralyze his enemies at first glance. His rule was cut short, however, when Skeletor's former master Hordak returned from Despondos with the help of Evil-Lyn. Hordak not only overthrew Skeletor, but drove the Snake Men into hibernation. Forced into a war on multiple fronts, Skeletor continued to lead his Evil Warriors into battle, often having to fight side-by-side with his former enemies - the now renegade Masters of the Universe. Perched on his master's armor, the Evil Dragon "pet" of Skeletor stops his enemies cold with his paralyzing jet spray of venom.

Either there's a word missing, or whoever wrote that doesn't know what "infused" means. If the armor were really "infused with an Eternian dragon," that would mean it had pieces of dragon inside it, not that it had a dragon hanging off the back of it. It might be fused with an Eternian dragon, but it's not infused with an Eternian dragon, got it?

This is my second Skeletor, but this one doesn't have the resculpted head that one had, so it's new to me! His skull is yellow with green shadows, and he has red embers of eyes set in the middle of his dark sockets. He's still wearing his purple hood, though it still looks weird when he's just got that and no other clothes to connect it to. It just floats there.

The head isn't the only part of Skeletor that could be considered "new." His forearms are based more on the card art than the old toy, and come from Whiplash. His boots are also different, with a sculpt that almost looks like feathers. They're not from Stratos, but I have no idea if they've been used before or not. You'd have to ask someone who was fool enough to overpay Mattel every month for these figures. [Kobra Khan --ed.] The new additions make him look more monstrous, which makes sense if this figure represents the future, like the bio seems to suggest.

Rather than stiff ABS, like the original toy, this time the armor is made from flexible PVC. It's a purple breastplate with a red, riveted band around the outsides. A real metal chain runs through a channel on the chest, and both ends terminate with a large circular link; one end has a green plastic cuff that fits around the figure's wrist (reused from Scareglow), and the other attaches to the collar of his pet dragon. There's also a large, green padlock up there. Sadly, in the '80s, the padlock is actually what connected the chain to the collar, which allowed the chain to be removable; heck, I still have that chain and padlock, because I loved giving them to other figures. But this time it's permanently attached, so no such fun to be had!

It's particularly annoying this time, since while the chain can't be removed from the figure, the dragon can! In the '80s, the dragon (part of a water-squirting play feature) was permanently molded as part of the armor, this time he's a separate piece that simply plugs on. So, while the little dragon could run around by himself in a way that the old one couldn't, he can't. What a shame. The dragon's actually a nicely designed piece, with rounded scales on his sides, a ridge of purple spines down his back, and short black claws. He has long, horrible fangs, and his eyes are black with yellow slits. He has a balljointed head, but the range of motion isn't good enough to allow him to look over Skeletor's shoulder, so what's the point? His nose is always pointed at the sky.

Skeletor also comes with the Power Sword - the full thing, not just a half. If Randor has been banished and the Masters defeated, it makes sense that he might have both halves under his control. The blade is metallic purple, while the hilt is a flatter, darker color.

Dragon Blaster Skeletor doesn't integrate with MO2K as well as some figures do, but you can make allowances: maybe infusing his armor with essence of dragon has a similar effect to the "ambrosia" from the 2002 cartoon, which caused the eater to grow larger and more powerful; we already told you Skeletor is looking more inhuman than usual, so why couldn't an extra foot and a half of height come along with that, too? But I didn't buy this because I wanted to put it with the good He-Man figures, I bought it because I like Dragon Blaster Skeletor; being able to make excuses for him is just a nice bonus.

-- 10/01/12


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