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Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel, 2024
Day #2,688: March 5, 2024
Mattel Turtles of Grayskull Masters of the Universe x Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Skeletor Action Figure Skeletor
Evil Lord of Destruction - '80s Adventures!

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Basic Figure
Item No.:
Asst. HYD16 No. HTG94
Manufacturer: Mattel
Includes: Purple sword, Staff, Demos and Tyrella masks, Wizard's Vizard mini-comic
Action Feature: Replace Skeletor's head with included Masks of Power
Retail: $19.99
Availability: January 2024
Other: Das Reboot

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I hit a wall writing about Transformers so you're going to get a month of Masters of the Universe Origins, Cartoon Collection, and Turtles of Grayskull reviews! I need excitement, and these are a lot of fun.

Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action FigureA few figures - and the reveal of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection - and I'm in. I got this Skeletor in January and it's the kind of toy that gets you playing with your other toys. If you have a Castle Grayskull, this is the kind of figure you're going to drag over there and have him try to take it over.

Mattel and Super7 have already put out multiple Skeletor figures based on the Filmation cartoon, but this one may be the one with the widest retail distribution and probably among the lowest prices. Actually Super7 did a very similar Skeletor a few years ago with less articulation, but was glossy as opposed to this decidedly not-shiny finish. To go with the 1980s toys, I'd say get the Super7 figure - but if you're all-in for Origins, this is a pretty good figure. He's a bit taller than the standard 5 1/2 beefy inches we usually get, but he still seems to fit in the new vehicles just fine. What really sets this figure apart are the Demos and Tyrella mask accessories, which can be put on his neck peg.

I assume long-term collectors are rolling their eyes, but people who cycle in and out - like me - are going to find a lot to like with the Cartoon Collection and Turtles of Grayskull figures. You'll have already missed some awesome exclusives, but look on the bright side - you're pre-cured of any completism bug, and can just buy what you want.

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The figure has a newish-to-Origins body thanks to a slightly taller build used for the Filmation editions. That torso is new, and so are the armor elements. What's fascinating from a production perspective is how Mattel chose to manufacture this figure by molding him almost completely in color. While previous figures had a lot of paint, the only paint on this figure are the black shadows on his face. This means kids can't really scrape any paint or nick up the feet. It's going to look good even if you play with it in the sandbox.

Articulation is more or less identical to every figure in this line with (by my generous count) 27 points of articulation. Taking a cue from fan demands (and undoubtedly Glyos) this whole line can be popped apart at the neck, shoulders, and waist for customizing reasons. He stands well, he can hold his gear, and he sits in a good place between "kid toy" and collector figure." The sculpt is great, basically providing a character that looks a lot like he did in the cartoon. Is he perfect? Well, no.

Kids won't realize it since they weren't around to play with the original toys, but that extra articulation has a price. Some of these figures can be a bit difficult to pose so they can easily stand, or shove in a vehicle. You're going to spend a bit getting the hips and arms just right to fit in the Land Shark or on a throne, giving you a line that feels a lot like the old toys but falls a tad short in terms of actual functionality.

Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure

Collectors will no doubt lament the light decoration. By molding the skull in yellow, it looses some definition. Paint really helps make the details in the teeth stand out, and I assume some fans will want to customize it with yellow paint or perhaps some sort of black ink wash. I would have also liked some black paint in the hood to make his head look like it's floating in there, but it was probably worth Mattel's while to not do that.

Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure

The lack of deco doesn't mean Mattel pocketed all of those pennies, because Skeletor comes with a whopping four accessories, also all molded in color. You get Skeletor's Havoc Staff, with its more compact ram skull, as well as a purple version of He-Man's cartoon sword and gold Masks of Power from the episode of the same name. Other figures in this assortment usually cap out at one or two accessories.

Each mask looks great, molded in a muted gold color with a neck hole under each so you can put them on a figure's neck peg if you like. This will probably inspire fans to make custom victims for the masks, if they weren't already doing that. Skeletor's staff is more or less what you'd expect, but they didn't bother to paint black shadows in the eyes. I think it would have been a good idea. Skeletor's sword is just a recolor of He-Man's sword, and not the bone hilt we would sometimes see on the show. Mattel and Super7 made the bone sword previously, but it's worth noting the cartoon edition from 2019 came with a similar staff and a similar sword.

Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure

While Skeletor lacks the extra hands and alternate faces of the similar-but-metallic Sketor x VeeFriends set, which pre-sold out, it's also half the price and is still essentially the same thing. Mattel can probably rerun this figure with alternate hands, alternate faces, and alternate episode-specific accessories and it would continue to sell well, but it remains to be seen just how long this line will go. As of my writing this, I've been seeing a lot of great new figures as well as a lot of clearance toys, leading me to wonder if this line will have a strong future or if this is just a very impressive stroll to the exit.

For people who don't have too many Skeletor toys, I'd say run out and get this one. It's by no means amazing, it's not as fancy as the deluxe Super7 or aforementioned Mattel Creations model, but its exclusive accessories and distinctive look may be enough to get you to consider this slightly-too-big Skeletor as a place to kick off buying Masters of the Universe again. Some more black paint and space between the teeth would help a bunch, and the colors are a little pale, but it still comes off as a cartoony Skeletor. And isn't that what the world really needs?

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure

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Day 370: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Demo-Man
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Day 380: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Webstor
Day 385: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Draego-Man
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Day 403: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Preternia Disguise He-Man
Day 410: Mattel Masters of the Universe 200X Ram Man
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Day 424: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Wun-Dar
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Day 432: Mattel Masters of the Universe 200X Mekaneck
Day 438: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Tri-Klops
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Day 543: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Frosta
Day 548: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Battleground Evil-Lyn
Day 563: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Sir Laser-Lot
Day 565: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Cy-Chop
Day 567: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskullman
Day 576: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Mekaneck
Day 583: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Rattlor
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Day 596: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Dekker
Day 602: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Megator
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Day 623: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics King Randor Eternos Palace
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Day 820: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull
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Day 826: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Geldor
Day 834: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Strobo
Day 849: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Standor
Day 858: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Strong-Or
Day 868: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Plundor
Day 870: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Hydron
Day 886: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Two Bad
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Day 900: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Unnamed One
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Day 921: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Sea Hawk
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Day 1,263: Super7 M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. Set A
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Day 1,843: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 3 Set E
Day 1,862: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 3 Set C
Day 1,870: Mega Construx Heroes Masters of the Universe He-Man Action Figure
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Day 1,922: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 3 Set B
Day 1,937: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 3 Set A
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Day 2,688: Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Cartoon Collection Skeletor Action Figure
Day 2,689: Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure
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