Fang Man - Masters of the Universe Classics

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."
Ah, Fang Man.  Mattel's March Masters of the Universe Classics figure, one of the first of their Filmation designs (but not part of the Filmation subscription), a one-shot character from the cartoon, and a guy who caused a lot of controversy because he wasn't available to non-subscribers.  Poor Fang Man never got a Day of Sale, so either you got him with your subscription, or you're gonna pay the secondary market price.  Or, if you're like me, you have a friend who bought an extra subscription.

Fang Man had a single appearance in the old He-Man cartoon.  Some of the Filmation-only characters were clearly never going to become toys, like Lizard Man or Shokoti (ironically, guess who's getting a figure later this year?).  Others honestly seem like they were, like Icer, who looks like he was kitbashed from MOTU parts.  Fang Man clearly fell into the latter category - he was just one of Skeletor's henchmen, received no fanfare, but fit in with the others and participated in that episode's plot.  Since we never saw him again after the time travel episode, many fans theorized that he was trapped in the past, and Mattel apparently said "Yeah, sure," and included it in his bio.  Poor Fang-Man.  He may look goofy, but he has a cool power - apparently, Fang Man can control dragons!  Good for him?

Packaging - ****
If you're familiar with MOTUC, then Fang Man's packaging should hold no surprises for you.  But if you've missed out on it somehow, let me fill you in.  Masters of the Universe Classics figures are basically packed like nesting dolls.  You have a typical USPS mailer, and then a white box with the figure's name, and THEN the blister pack designed to fool you into thinking that you might see this thing on a store shelf someday.  The package looks great and protects the figure, and for once the label up top doesn't obscure the figure inside.








Sculpting - ****
MOTUC is defined by its chronic parts reuse.  Mattel does a pretty good job keeping new tooling to a minimum while still making every figure seem like something unique, and Fang Man is no exception.  he's actually got a lot of new parts, though!  He uses Whiplash's scaly torso, Fisto's biceps (with a new one sculpted to match the other), Demo-Man's hands, and pretty basic legs and boots.  His loincloth and shirt are totally unique, and he has a very interesting head and neck - he has a separate neck piece that really changes his whole shape.  Fang Man's shirt also adds some ridges on his spine and hunches him forward a little, in keeping with the neck - you almost couldn't believe that he has a basic He-Man body with all these changes!

Since this is a line based on a silly '80s cartoon, it probably sounds strange to say that Fang Man is one of the most cartoonish figures out there.  But hey, he is!  The Four Horsemen have done a fantastic job translating Fang Man's appearance into plastic, and he pretty much looks like he fell out of the TV!  But since MOTUC is slightly more detailed than the original cartoon, they've made a few concessions.  Fang Man's hide is wrinkly and textured, and his clothing has some surprisingly good detailing, especially where those spikes on his back push through.  He's just realistic enough to fit with other figures in the line, but still cartoony enough to look just like the cartoon character!  Fang Man's got an angry face, though he also looks a little dim.  I love how he even has his cartoon counterpart's chipmunk cheeks, which is kind of funny!  Because of his neck and the shape of his shirt, he's clearly meant to be hunched over a little, but he looks great in that pose.

Paint - ***
This rating might be a little controversial, since some people have complaints about fang Man's paint job.  But the thing is, the details that they dislike are all things that he had in the cartoon, so I can't fault them for accuracy!  Though in light of the complaints, I'll let it cost him a star.  I don't mind it, but enough people do.  Fang Man is a BLUE figure in the same way that Demo-Man was GREEN.  He's got a different shade of blue for his spikes, but overall you're gonna be looking at his baby blue skin most of the time.  His clothes are maroon and dull yellow, with bright orange for the collar and wristbands.  His tongue is nice and glossy, so it looks wet, and his eyes are yellow.  the eyes really add to the cartoon aspect of the figure... but again, that's just how he appeared.  I really like the little details on Fang Man, like the rust on his belt buckle or the paint wash on his head that brings out the details.

Articulation - ****
Fang Man has typical MOTUC articulation, with some extra added because of his different construction - He’s got swivel/ball-jointed shoulders, pegged elbows, swivel wrists, an ab crunch, waist rotation, ball-jointed hips, pegged knees, swivel shins, “rocker” ankles and feet, a ball-jointed head, an extra ball joint for his neck (though it's more like a swivel), and a swivel tongue.  That tongue's all kinds of awesome!  You can move it past his fangs to either side of his mouth, or let it hang in front - all of those poses are accurate to the cartoon, but more importantly they can change Fang Man from a hissing snake monster to a lobotomy patient!  Poor, poor Fang Man.

The ab crunch is a little limited, as he really needs to hunch over to look right because of his neck, and because his shirt rides up his bellybutton if you don't.  The base neck joint is also a little limited, but the second socket more than makes up for it.  Fang Man's articulation is great for this line, and the movable tongue is just an awesome bonus!

Accessories - ****
One of the tough things about Masters of the Universe Classics is how the accessories can really be a gamble.  one figure might only come with a repainted club, while another will have two heads and three weapons!  Fang Man lucked out pretty well - as well as his shirt (armor counts as an accessory, right?), he has three unique accessories!

Fang Man has a sword, which looks surprisingly serious for somebody as goofy as him.  It's actually the "Sword of the Ancients," an artifact from another cartoon episode, though it's got Fang Man's belt buckle insignia on the hilt, which is hilarious.  It's a great sword, and I could see a lot of figures wielding it!  The next thing he has is this odd little slingshot device that he never used in the cartoon, but was on his original model sheet - it's supposed to be some sort of force field generator, but it just looks vaguely obscene.  It's still nice that he has it, though.

Outfit - ****
Concerning Fang Man's shirt, it has lumps sculpted in to represent the ridges on his spine, which are not sculpted on his actual torso.  So, Fang Man's wearing falsies?  It's fully removable, but kind of annoying to get back on, and you probably won't want to remove it because he looks goofy without it.

Design/Quality - ****
Fang Man is a great example of how you can take something as seemingly-limited as the MOTUC body type, and create a whole new creature out of it.  He's also a great representation of his appearance in the cartoon, which is more than most people would expect.

Fun Factor - ****
He has a movable tongue.  That says everything.

But seriously, Fang Man is a lot of fun - if he were readily available in stores, he'd make a great toy for a kid.  It's pretty sad that he isn't, in fact.

Value - **
Every time I look at the price of a Masters of the Universe Classics figure, I am reminded of a movie quote:

"Forget it, Jake.  It's Chinatown."

Fang Man was about $25 for subscribers, not counting shipping or tax.  That's a little less than the $27 non-subscribers have to pay for day-of-sale figures (which inflates to $40 after shipping and tax), but...hehehehh... guess who never got a day of sale? Fang Man WAS a "mere" $50 on Big Bad Toy Store, but he's out of stock.  So you're relaly gonna have to trawl eBay, and pay $60-$70 for him.

Forget it, Michael.  It's Mattel.

Things to Watch Out For -
I've heard that some Fang Men have a brittle neck joint (the one by his head), but mine seems fine.  Also, when you move his tongue past his teeth, take care not to scrape the paint off those fangs.

Overall - ****
Price issues aside (ARRGH), this is really an awesome figure!  I got my Fang Man on the same day as my Snake Face, and both are two of the best Masters of the Universe Classics figures I've seen, up there with greats like Draego-Man and Mer-Man!  If not for the insanely prohibitive price, I'd recommend this guy in a heartbeat!  And of course, since I got him at barely above subscriber cost, I can brag.

Hey, wait a second.  Can Fang Man control and ride ALL dragons?  So... what about Draego-Man?

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Design/Quality - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **
Overall - ****

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This product was purchased by the reviewer. Photos and text by John Morey.

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