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Masters of the Universe Classics
Faker

Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel

If you ever needed any proof that the original Masters of the Universe was a toy line first, and a cartoon second, look no further than the character of Faker. What's every toy companies favorite way to make a bigger profit margin? Repaint an already existing character. And how do you repaint him? In as bright and gaudy of colors as possible, so parents will instantly know their child doesn't yet own that figure. And thus you have...Faker.

The original Faker was a blue and orange repaint of He-man. The back story was simple - He-man's arch-nemesis, Skeletor, creates a robot version of He-man, dresses him up in Skeletor's chest armor to show his evil affiliation, and pit him against the good guys. And to remove all confusion, call him something pretty obvious...hey, you Faker!

The new Masters of the Universe Classics line has just started shipping their version of Faker, although you could pick him up at the New York Comic-Con last month if you attended. He sold out in a record time of just 3 hours at Matty Collector (and I bet record numbers will show up on ebay this week), but the next release in the series is scheduled for April 15th. That will be the much anticipated Mer-man, and if I were you, I'd do what I could to be available when he goes on sale.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packages have a nice retro look, similar to the vehicles and playsets from the old series.  I like the cartoony approach, and there's not much waste. They've put background text on the back for each character, and you know I love that sort of personalization. Oh, they aren't collector friendly, but with cardback/bubble style packaging, they rarely are.
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel
Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel

Sculpting - ***1/2
The basic sculpt here is the same as the earlier He-man figure. Everything from his boots to his gauntlets is identical, and I don't have an issue with that. It's who the character is, and handling this as anything other than a straight repaint would have been wrong. Now, that doesn't mean I don't have issues with how much we're paying for a straight repaint, but I wouldn't want them to alter the basic figure.

The one difference from He-man that I will include in this category is the addition of the Skeletor armor. The piece that covers his shoulders and torso is a re-use from the earlier Skeletor figure, and again, that's pretty much how it should be. It was that way with the original, and it made just as little sense then as it does now. But the Classics line is looking to stay true to the original intent, so I don't have a problem with it.

Paint - ***1/2
Here's where all the difference comes in. As mentioned, he's done up in a blue, pink and orange paint scheme, with some silver and brown thrown in for good measure. One of Faker's strengths is that he has quite a few paint ops, with more color variation than most of the rest of the line so far.

Staying true to the original series, this version of Faker is still a robot. Yea, the cartoon got off on some mystical tangent, but the original action figure and his updated cousin are robots. To highlight this point, there is a funky control panel like thing painted on Faker's chest, under the armor. It looks an awful lot like he has an old reel to reel tape deck jammed in between his pecs, but hey, it was the 80's.

The work on this tampo is good, with it sitting straight and even on his chest. You can't see it without removing the armor (just pop the head off the ball joint and unhook the straps on the back of his armor to take it off), but it's a nice touch that makes me feel a little better about the high price tag. But just a little.

Articulation - ***1/2
Yep, it's the same body as He-man, so it should be no surprise that he gets the same score here. I really like the articulation on these figures, especially the He-man, since he has a couple more points than some of the others.

There's the ball jointed neck, which is a true ball and socket joint. There's actually a ball at the head and one at the torso, but it doesn't give a much movement as it might sound, since the sculpted neck restricts it a bit.

The ball jointed shoulders are the usual pin and post style, but they have a post on both sides of the ball, giving the arms a wider range of mobility.

There's also single pin elbows, ankles and wrists, with ball jointed hips and cut joints at the waist and top of the boot. Add in an ab-crunch torso, and get a very articulated figure that poses extremely well.

The joints are all very tight, and very sturdy. These are toys, through and through, and while the intended market is clearly collectors, these could easily take on any figure on the pegs at the local Toys R Us...and kick it's ass.

Accessories - *1/2
Okay, here's where we start to have some problems. Faker comes with his sword, plus the half sword, both repainted in his color scheme. And that's it. These are just re-used accessories from He-man, who had two more on top of these.

Now, I get the whole 'staying true to the concept' routine. But this figure costs almost $30. At that price point, you gotta give me something here...something extra for Faker, or even something extra that would work with one of the other figures.  If you want to charge the same price for this guy as all the rest, you need to get a little creative when it comes to the extras.

Fun Factor - ****
Yep, these are truly fun action figures. And they're great 'collectibles'. How often does that happen?

Value - *
Readers of my past reviews know I'm not thrilled with the $20 price tag on these guys. Factor in the $9 price for shipping, and you're talking about an awful expensive figure.

Add in the fact that your $20 is just getting you a new paint job, and the figure really takes a hit in this category.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing. This entire series is one of the sturdiest out there right now.

Overall - **1/2
I love this series. And that's coming from someone with no real interest or tie to the MOTU concept. As a toy collector, I can appreciate that Mattel has managed to reproduce the imaginative essence of the original series, and update it to the quality of today.

When I get hooked on a line, I tend to be a completist, so I'm happy to have Faker for the shelf. But as much as I love the series, I have to be honest about the real value you're getting here. This is a complete re-use of parts, with nothing but a new coat of paint. It will cost you almost $30 to get him to your door, assuming you were able to pick him up from Matty Collector before he sold out. That's a lot to pay for one of the new figures in the line - it's insane for a repaint.

With the current interest in this series, I'd suggest being around a computer on April 15th when the next figure goes on sale, or you might end up doing the ebay boogie.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - *1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - *
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
This was originally sold through Matty Collector, but now your best bet is to search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered all the previous releases so far. First, I hit up He-man, Skeletor and Beastman in one review, then did the Stratos.

Discussion:
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Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 3.13

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Faker Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) action figure by Mattel



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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