This month was another jam packed month for MOTUC fans, not only did we get the much anticipated Griffin, but also Horde Prime and today’s review Snake Man-At-Arms. Aside from a few QC/Heat issues I am pretty happy with the MOTUC offering this month. Lets take a look at Snake Man-At-Arms.
According to the bio: Duncan heroically served King Randor throughout their battles with Skeletor and the Snake Men as Eternia’s chief war strategist and weapons maker. Exposed to the Serpent’s Ring, Duncan was magically transformed by King Hssss into a snake man permanently. Under this evil spell, he used his genius to create great and horrific machines of war for the Snake Men as they battled for control of Eternia. Eventually, Duncan was forced to battle against Clamp Champ, who had since replaced him as Royal Man-At-Arms. In their epic final duel during the Second Ultimate Battleground, Duncan was mortally wounded, but not before momentarily recovering his humanity thanks to a spell cast by his daughter Teela, the new Sorceress of Grayskull.
SMAA fills out another quarterly variant figure, and he does it pretty well with a few small problems. The decision on Mattel’s part to use Roboto arms and legs, along with the longer loincloth and MYP MOTU color scheme really help make a figure with only 2 new parts (his head and Serpent’s Ring) seem like a worthy purchase. However on the negative side with all these re used parts I feel like Mattel could have thrown us a bone and included either, the Arm Cannon weapon seen at some conventions, or a unhelmeted pony tailed Duncan head to pad out this figure a little bit. The fact that the colors are all different shades than the regular MAA figure means displaying him with human heads is out of the question as well, unless you are not as anal as I am about stuff like that. I do like all of the metallic highlights the added to his armor, weapon, and helmet though. This figure also comes with the Second issue of the 3 part mini comic story, and its pretty good but not really as good as the first issue was. Not getting into spoilers but it seems like Mattel was intent on shoving some of the 30th anniversary characters into the story, and not Draego Man like you would hope. As a Variant this figure feels a little lacking, especially after the terrific Thunder punch He-Man figure we got a few months ago. Sure you could argue that Battle Armor Skeletor and He-Man were not exactly jam packed with stuff either, but those guys have nostalgia on their side where SMAA only has a brief snippet of the final episodes of the MYP Masters cartoon to endear him to us.
Paint on my SMAA is pretty good, some of the smaller details are a tiny bit sloppy and a few of the metallic highlights slop over the line a little bit, but all in all a good looking figure. The Serpent’s ring is mostly molded gold, but it does have green painted eyes, which in mine streak about 2 or 3 inches down from the eyes making me wish they were not painted at all. As if it wasn’t enough that the paint on the figure wasn’t done by someone in
the process of getting a DUI (which in this case could stand for designing under the influence, there’s another QC issue front, I’m not sure if it was the 100+ degree heat the days they were delivered or if its just a QC issue, but both Horde Prime and Snake Man-At-Arms heads will not stay on the ball at all and pop right off if you touch them, kind of a bummer really. I am inclined to blame it on the heat, and its not too bad in the case of SMAA because his head sits low, but Horde prime with that collar/hood thing means that if you look at him the wrong way his head falls off so I really hope it’s just the heat and not this whole batch of figures being messed up, readers let me know if you have the same problem with your figures this month in the comments section. I’m not about to do something crazy and get a lawyer to file some class action lawsuit or anything, but
it would be nice to know how big the problem is. Also in the QC front the back of my mini comic had most of the back cover tore up like someone had stuck tape to it and ripped it off, I thought maybe it got caught on the tape taking it out of the plastic bag it comes in, but that was not the case. My guess is that you are not going to see this
figure with it’s own display at the San Diego Comic Con any time soon.
Snake Man-At-Arms comes with 2 accessories, the standard MAA mace now with metallic highlights on the circles, and the Serpent’s Ring which is what turned him into a Snake Man to begin with. Like I said a few more accessories or another head would have went a long way towards making this guy feel more like a good deal in my mind.
Articulation on SMAA is just what you would expect from a MOTUC figure, a ball jointed head, hinges at the elbows and knees, swivel/hinge shoulders and hips, swivels at the boots, wrists, waist, biceps, and thighs, the ab crunch, and hinged rocker ankles. MOTUC isn’t really a line filled with surprises on the articulation front.
Overall I’m happy with Snake Man-At-Arms, and I’m glad they used a few different pieces from the normal MAA figure, but the lack of accessories really does hold him back a little bit, and I’m not sure (even being a huge MAA fan) if I would have bought him had I not purchased a subscription. There isn’t anything really wrong with this figure he is just rather uninspired.