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Masters of the Universe Classics Orko (and Prince Adam)
SDCC Exclusive Version

Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel


Mattel just can't catch a break - or maybe they just can't manage to do anything right. Six to one, half dozen to the other if you're a customer, since they get the gold and you get the shaft either way.

This year at SDCC, they thought they'd try a pre-sale on their exclusives. It should work simply enough - get on Matty Collector, pay for your exclusives, pick them up at the show. This was only for attendees, but the process works great for Sideshow, so why not Mattel?

Probably because they aren't Sideshow and decided to make the process far more difficult than it needed to be. I stood in line for almost 90 minutes to pick up exclusives I'd already paid for - what's wrong with this picture? The problem was bureaucracy - they checked multiple forms of ID, filled out forms, cross checked and double checked, and surprised me by not asking for DNA or a retina scan. I know you want to be sure the right people get the right products, but was it necessary to hire the Deparment of Homeland Security?

There was also a bit of controversy, although that's no surprise. They had published that their fulfillment room (located at the Marriot, away from the main floor) would be open til 4:30 each day to get your exclusives. Although you had paid for them, if you didn't show up and get them at the show, you'd be out of luck and they'd go back into the pile for sale to the general public yesterday. By Friday, the line was getting so long in the afternoon (see above for the reason) that the tried to cap it off at 3pm so they could be done by 4:30. After it was pointed out to them that lots of people only had one day passes and that they'd told them they'd be open til 4:30, and that closing early so they could go home on time would not be a smart move, they changed their mind, barely averting yet another marketing snafu.
Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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Prince Adam Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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Prince Adam Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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Orko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel
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I did manage to get my exclusives though (and read a full volume of the Walking Dead while waiting in line), so all was not atrocious. I'm going to check out their SDCC Orko tonight, which includes Prince Adam, and has the special color change feature available only at the show. Yesterday, Orko went on sale at Matty Collector as well, but that version does not change colors with temperature.


Packaging - ***

While this is still the same cool design as the rest of the line, I have to say that the oversized nature bugs the eco-friendly person hiding inside the otherwise inconsiderate jerk I am. This is one mighty big card and tray for such a small little figure. This is due largely to pretending Adam is the 'accessory', which means they put him longways across the bottom, hidden by the lower logo. Cute idea, but still pretty wasteful.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Orko was always a dorky little dude, who was supposed to be a guardian and mentor of sorts for Prince Adam/He-man. This sculpted version looks very much like the original, capturing the nostalgic feel of the original series and the cartoon, but with an updated quality and articulation.

There's not a ton of detail here, but that's no surprise. In fact, doing less detailed cartoon characters in 3-D can be every bit as complicated as doing lifelike people portraits - the conversion from 2-D to 3-D can cause all kinds of problems. Yet, the Four Horsemen have translated the personality of the character seamlessly.

The right hand is sculpted to hold the staff, and does it well. The left hand is done in a gesturing pose, which will work well with a ton of stances.

Orko is small, but scaled properly with the rest of the figures. The included display stand allows him to 'float' at about the right height to converse with Adam at eye level.

Prince Adam uses the same basic body as the other figures in the line (most notably He-man of course), but has a new head sculpt and vest. The head he comes wearing is done with a softer smirk, more befitting the character. They've also included the second head sculpt, with a grimace, that looks pretty much identical to the original He-man head from the first release. There are some minor differences, but I think these are more likely due to manufacturing variances than intentional sculpt changes.

Paint - ***
The paint work is clean and neat across the board, both on Adam and on Orko.

Orko does have a bit of the googly eyes going on, but it seems to fit his character. I was going to make a crack about Adam's pink tights and purple swords, but it just seems too easy, and the poor guy already probably got enough of that at Eternia High School.

It's worth discussing the color change feature in this category, and it's not a feature that's really wowing me. When the figure is cold, he's supposed to look 'normal' (standard color for the robe, hands, ears and hat), but when you heat him up, the color disappears, leaving a clear Orko (except for the head, symbol and eyes) behind. I've included a photo with him turned by an application of hot water.

The feature is very sensitive, changing quite easily with slight differences in temperature. You'll notice that in most of the photos, the color is translucent, but that's because it's August, and we're having a particularly hot August. I think that if I were shooting this figure in January and the room was 70 instead of 76, he'd be much darker. The color changes quickly too - you can see in the 'clear' photo that the edges are already starting to turn back, and he had just been out of the hot water for a minute, maybe less. It is possible to get him completely clear or very darkly colored, but keeping him that way requires some pretty extreme temps. Most of the time, he's going to look something in between, more of a slightly translucent color, and I don't think I like that as much as the solid colored version sold this past Monday at the website.

Articulation - ***1/2
Prince Adam has all the same articulation as the other regular sized figures in the line - ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, cut wrists, cut waist, ab crunch, pin knees, pin ankles, cut calves, and ball hips with cut thighs. The vest doesn't restrict the movement too much (although the ab crunch is fairly useless with it on), and the joints are all tight and sturdy.

Orko is more articulate than I had expected, as well. There's a cut neck, ball shoulders, pin elbows and cut wrists, which means that the arms are quite posable. The stand also attaches to the body with a ball, making it possible for him to tilt and turn on the stand in just about any direction.

Accessories - ****
Technically, Adam is an accessory here, which boosts this score quite a bit. I've already discussed his key features in the other sections however, so let's just leave it at that for this category.

However, he even has his own accessories! There's the two purple swords, but I think I got screwed with mine. They are identical, but I believe what you should get is one full sword (which both of mine are) and one half sword, similar to what we got with the first He-man

He also has a second head sculpt, *almost* identical to the original He-man portrait. Any differences I could find were most likely due to the manufacturing process, not the original sculpt.

One key difference is that this extra head is painted up with the matte skin tone, rather than the original shiny plastic. For those that have the original He-man AND prefer the matte finish, this head can be swapped over pretty easily.

Orko comes with three more accessories as well. He has his staff/wand, which he holds tightly in his left hand. He also has a clear display stand, similar to what we've seen with the Ghostbusters Slimers. The top is a ball joint, so he can tilt and lean in various ways, all while suspended above the ground.

Finally, he has the spell book. On the back of this version, there's the SDCC logo. I don't think the non-color change version sold Monday will have this, as the logo itself is also color change. It's supposed be hidden (all brown) when not heated up, but mine was showing all the time and needed cold water to disappear. Hey, it's hotter than Texas asphalt around here right now.

The book is also hollow, with a very unique shape to the hole. I'm not sure if something is supposed to go in there, or it was just a cost measure. 

Fun Factor - ****
I hate repeating myself, but this is the funnest (yes, I know that's not a word) action figure line on the market right now. And no kids will ever get to play with it. What would Woody say?

Value - **1/2
This is an exclusive, and as such cost $5 more than the usual $20 release. That's not a surprise - exclusives always demand a slight premium. It's also slightly less painful because you're getting TWO complete figures, not just one, and Orko sports the color change feature.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing - these are sturdy, well built toys. They just happen to be sold to collectors with a nostalgia for days gone by.

Overall - ***1/2
Another great figure in the series, but probably one that is going to further annoy and frustrate fans. It was tough to get a SDCC exclusive version, and perhaps even harder to get the regular one.

This is one of those rare occasions where the regular release really is better (at least for me) than the exclusive. I'm glad I was fortunate enough on Monday to get my order in, because I suspect that I'll end up preferring the normal paint job to the ultra-sensitive color change version.

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

Where to Buy -
This was an SDCC exclusive, but the normal non-color changing version was available through Matty Collector on 8/04. That's also past, alas, which means that ebay. might be your final hope.

Related Links -
Other MOTUC reviews include:

- just before the show, Matty sold out of Count Marzo.

- before that was She-Ra, Princess of Power, and the large scale Tytus.

- I've also looked at the cool custom swords and shields you can get from SpyMonkey Creations.

- prior to that, I looked at the other May release, Optikk.

- seems like it was just yesterday that I covered Evil-Lyn.

prior to that it was Moss Man.

- check out the cool MOTUC Display stands.

- just before that I covered Battle Cat and Trap Jaw, and prior to that was Adora.

- I really liked Scare glow, although he's not exactly what you'd call a key character.

- She-Ra isn't the first girl in the series - Teela has that honor.

- before that there was Webstor, one of my favorite, and Tri-klops, another one of my favs.

- prior to that was Man-at-armsHordak, ZodacFaker, Mer-man and Stratos, starting out with He-man, Skeletor and Beastman together in one review.

Discussion:
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Prince Adam Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by MattelOrko Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC SDCC Exclusive action figure by Mattel


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

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