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Masters of the Universe Classics Zodac

Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

Usually, I like to keep the reviews pretty well balanced between higher end collectibles, and cheaper action figures and toys. Most of the time, when you glance at the ten previous review icons on the main page, you'll see a pretty even 50/50 mix.

But that's not been the case for the last month or so. Why? Because there's nothing on the low end out there right now that interests me in the least. I covered most of the Terminator and Trek scales. We haven't seen anything for G.I. Joe, Up, or any other summer movie yet. Companies like Mezco and NECA have been extremely quiet. It looks like my case of DCUC series 8 is FINALLY showing up soon, so I'll be covering those next week, and I'm on the hunt for some of the new NECA Terminator 2 figures...but other than that, things are awfully slow on the lower end right now.

Then there's the line that just keeps on giving - Masters of the Universe Classics. I can depend on a great figure every month from Mattel, like clockwork, and I'm not about to complain. It's not necessarily easy to order them, but it's not impossible either. And with the new subscription service, completists will be able to fulfill their want lists with little hassle. I hope.

The May release is Zodac, a guy who is the Switzerland of MOTU. Mattel's early action figure was supposedly evil, but over time it became apparent that he was more of a neutral force, acting as a 'cosmic enforcer'. The cartoon portrayed him as more good, and the newer 2002 show altered him quite a bit, but it's the old school neutral cosmic dude that the Four Horsemen have given us here.
Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

He was available through Matty Collector, just like every figure, but is long sold out. Next up (on June 15th, mark your calendar!) is Hordak, who is likely to be VERY popular, and don't forget that He-ro is the SDCC exclusive this year.

Packaging - ***1/2
I've raved about the cool, retro packaging in the last six reviews of this line, and nothing here has changed. There's the specific character bio on the back, along with some basic personalization on the front insert. The graphics are great, and these will look good on the wall if you're a MOCer. They aren't collector friendly, unfortunately, so you can't open them up without destroying them, but that's the only real improvement that could be made.

Sculpt -
***1/2
Re-use is a key concept across this line, but with some characters it's less apparent (like the upcoming Hordak), while others (like our dear Zodac here) are almost a complete retread.

The head is brand new, and looks just like the old cartoon version. The sculpt isn't soft though, with sharp definition around the few small details that are here.

The other new area is his armor over his chest and back. This piece is removable, and some folks will place it as an accessory, but since it's key to his appearance, I'm counting it as part of the basic figure instead. Again, they've sharply sculpted the very design from the old show, getting it to fit over the standard body perfectly.

The torso it fits over was first used with Beastman, and is sculpted with lots of hair. However, the arms are not hairy, but have the sharp edged gauntlets that you've seen before on Mer-man and Skeletor.  He also has the clawed lizard feet and boots that Mer-man and Skeletor sported before him.

Finally, there's the standard legs, covered by the standard loincloth. Yep, a lot of reuse here, but they mixed and matched pretty well, getting the best final result. In the end, it's really all about how well they manage to match the old cartoon, and they've done that admirably.

There's a bit more flashing on some of the mold lines than I think should be present, considering the price point, but that's my only grip with an otherwise solid sculpt.

These are all 7" scale figures, and Zodac fits right in with the rest. With all those re-used body parts, that shouldn't be a surprise.

Paint - ***
While I love his look, I do have a couple minor issues with the paint.

First, there's some slop, particularly on the belt over the fur loincloth. It's not major, but a $20 figure better be pretty clean.

My other issue is one of aesthetic choice. They went with flesh colored hands and gauntlets, but I think going with the white gloves that match the white emblem on his chest would have looked much, much better. The gauntlets are just too smooth to match up colorwise with the muscled arms and textured hands.

They did add a nice wash to the limbs, giving the musculature some shadowing, but the rest of the paint work is fairly standard.

Articulation - ***1/2
As I mentioned, the line is heavy into re-use, so you've seen all these body parts...and all this articulation...before.

The ball jointed neck is a bit restricted by the helmet, but it still allows a little tilt. The peg and post ball shoulders work great, and there's the post joint on the bicep side as well to allow for a terrific range of movement.

Single pin elbows, knees and wrists are present, and cut joints at the waist and top of the boot allow for some nice variations in the plane of the body. Finally, the hips are pin and post style joints as well, much like the shoulders, allowing the figure to handle wide or narrow stances. He's also able to take a very natural, flowing stance, mimicking a real human better than most figures in this scale.

Accessories - **1/2
Zodak loses in this category when it comes to quantity, but he wins when it comes to originality.

He only gets one accessory, but it's not a re-use of another character's. No, he gets his very own laser gun!  And you know I love laser guns. He can fit it in either hand, and it has one additional paint op - there's a silver edge to the very end of the barrel.

There's no place to store the gun on his body, but I can live with it.

Value - **
Even if you ignore the almost $9 shipping and handling charge (chalk it up to not having to search for the figure), these guys are still $20 each. Considering the amount of re-use, the margin that Mattel is making off these as a percent is extremely high.

Fun Factor - ****
There's no doubt in my mind - these are the best action figures for kids on the market right now. Sadly, most kids have no idea who they are, and are unlikely to ever play with them. But the terrific sculpts, and sturdy well designed articulation make them some amazing toys. Now if Mattel could just produce mass market action figures with this level of build quality.

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
I almost went another half star on this guy, but in the end he really does fall into the middle of the growing pack of MOTUC figures so far. He's not quite as good as Mer-man or Skeletor, but he's definitely above Faker or Beastman on my list. I have high hopes for Hordak...the first four star MOTUC?

Sorry about the group photo - somehow I managed to forget about poor Stratos. I promise to include them all in a shot with Hordak next month.

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

Where to Buy -
MattyCollector is the place. He's sold out now of course, but you can get ready for the next figure on June 15th (Hordak), and you can get their new subscription service to have the last four months shipped to you automatically.  Or, if you prefer the hunt, there's always ebay.

Related Links -
I've kept up with the series so far, reviewing Faker, Mer-man and Stratos, and started with He-man, Skeletor and Beastman together in one review.

Discussion:
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Zodac action figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel



This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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