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Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Mattel, 2023
Day #2,689: March 7, 2024
Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Battle Armor Skeletor
Strike to Damage!

Masters of the Universe Origins Deluxe Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. GVL75 No. GVL77
Manufacturer: Mattel
Includes: Alternate head, purple sword, Havoc Staff, shield, alternate hand, textless comic
Action Feature: Swap heads, hit chest to "dent" armor wheel
Retail: $21.99 (or $4.99 at Ross)
Availability: July 2022
Other: International packaging - comic has no text, found in US Ross in January 2024

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Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action FigureI'm super late to the party - this Battle Armor Skeletor Set is the first figure from the line I bought, mostly because I waited until it was at Ross for $4.99. I loved the idea of the line for quite some time, but I had a pretty healthy set of Masters of the Universe Classics... and shortly after Turtles of Grayskull went up for order, I stumbled on bone-head and some other cheap figures. As I work in the business, it seemed prudent to buy one just to go "oh, this is what this feels like." Hardcore fans who have the original and complete Eternian toy power have told you what they think about this, and as someone who has lots of toys but is new to this line? I'm impressed. I didn't have Masters as a kid other than some Meteorbs, so I got excited by the 2002 relaunch, Classics, and darned near everything - but you have to draw a line sometimes. I mean, how many toys have I written up?

I've played with original toys with this mechanism when I was a kid, and this is pretty close to what I remember - rotate the wheel in the chest, and when you hit it, it flicks down to show a scar. And another scar. It's a lot more fun than the replaceable plates from Classics Battle Armor Skeletor [FOTD #328], and, oddly, the same price. There are advantages to the economies of scale, figures like this not being sold exclusively online means you sell more. The articulation is pretty similar, too, and in some cases a bit nicer. The new figure is sized to match original Mattel figures, although there are enough subtle differences that I doubt anyone with an original will be too angry that a modernized update exists.

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A lot of toy companies seem to riff on "the originals but with knees" for so many brands over the years, and that's basically what this is. You can have him squatting like the original, or straighten the arms and legs and get a fraction of an inch of height on him. At about 5 1-2-inches he's not too tall, and not terribly big - and that's increasingly important after you get a few dozen (or hundred) figures.

The alternate head is an update of the original, with painted lines to make the teeth stand out a bit more. I don't know if it's necessary - the main head's lines were a little off-center, but for all I know Ross got the lesser ones. The bright yellow face and red eyes pop nicely, and it's funny to see a harder plastic, high-quality remake of an old, squishy cheap head from 40 years ago. The body also has a nice sword storage slot on the back, meaning he can hold all of his gear but not his alternate parts.

By default, he has an open left hand like the original toy. You can swap it out for one with gripping fingers, which you probably should. It's tricky but you can get it to hold the skull-head shield and clamp on, if the hand is rotated correctly. It isn't innovative, but given the entire point is to make a collector line that's priced for kids and dads (and moms?) to share together, I think they did everything correctly here. It's not like the heads are easy to pop off, although it's not hard to get the hand out.

Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure

When it comes to toys, I'm not hung up on rarity - ideally anyone who wants a toy can get it. I was happy to see 1980s packaging again, with figures priced more or less at what they should be, with the extra parts, adjusted for inflation. Joints and articulation don't come free, but when you can find something like this on sale? Oh definitely get one. It might even make you reconsider hanging on to Classics and downsizing. I don't need more of these - but I put in an order for some Turtles of Grayskull and Filmation figures at work after picking this one up on a lunch break. If that isn't proof that this figure made a great first impression, I don't know what is.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Origins Battle Armor Skeletor Action Figure

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