Tools of the Imagination — Mo-Larr vs Skeletor

Mo-Larr vs Skeletor
by Mattel, released 2010, inspired by the Robot Chicken sketch of the same name

A Parody Becomes Canon…sort of

Convention exclusives such as this Comic-Con toy don’t usually get reviewed because, well, I don’t really consider them toys.  I am of the opinion that toys are meant to be played with and enjoyed and when toys are packaged specifically to be collectors’ items and are essentially meant not to be played with, and certainly aren’t meant to be played with by their target demographic (IE children), then I consider them something else entirely.  Still, I thought this set was worth discussing so here we go.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are one of the reigning champions of the 1980s toys.  A classic example of a television show being created to sell toys, Mattel stumbled into a masterpiece by hiring soon-to-be Hollywood power players in the form of writers and directors.  Coupled with memorable, if sometimes dorky, PSAs (much like GI Joe), He-Man would become an entertainment powerhouse whose legend would endure to this day.

And then came Robot Chicken.

The irreverent Robot Chicken, started in 2005, is a sketch comedy series done using claymation and often starring classic 1980s toys (and often even using their own figures) dealing with typically very mundane issues.  Characters from He-Man have been frequent subjects of these sketches, including one widely regarded sketch about Skeletor, He-Man’s nefarious skeletal nemesis, needing to visit a dentist.  You can probably see where this is going.
Appearance – 5 out of 5
The toys are beautifully made, plain and simple.  Skeletor not only looks like he did from the original toyline, but much as he does in the inspirational comedy sketch.  The same is true with Mo-Larr, looking flawlessly like he does in the sketch and appearing in-line with how the original figures in the toyline looked.  The weapons and equipment provided are not just perfect replicas of the accessories from the original toyline, but are improved with sturdier plastic and better paints.

Construction – 5 out of 5
Much like their appearance, these toys benefit from stronger plastics and better construction.  They are hefty and sturdy not just in their frame, but also in their clothing/armor which is mobile and flexible and yet still very rugged.

Movement – 4 out of 5
The figures have numerous joints that are very sturdy and solid.  A limb moved into a position, however outlandish, stays there.  There are some slight issues with the hips and shoulders not immediately wanting to move certain ways, but these are in keeping with human anatomy.

Extras – 4 out of 5
While the chair in the diagram doesn’t come as a toy (it’s just part of the diorama), the figures have plenty to do.  Mo-Larr comes with an assortment of vague dental-looking equipment, including mirror, pick, rinsing nozzle, and even giant floss.  Skeletor, on the other hand, comes with two versions of the Sword of Destruction; one that is complete and one that is designed to combine with He-Man’s Sword of Power.  Skeletor’s Ram’s Head Staff round out the collection.

Packaging – 3 out of 5
The package doubles as a makeshift (if unambitious) diorama of the Eternian Dentist Office where Mo-Larr works.  The packaging is very evocative of the original He-Man figures and playsets, but there’s little mention of Robot Chicken anywhere on the packaging.  A few other figures are shown on the back, but it isn’t clear if or when they might be available, nor is there any real explanation as to who the characters of Skeletor and Mo-Larr are in case the recipient of the toy isn’t a He-Man fan.  Which, admittedly, isn’t likely.

Overall – 4 out of 5
This is a great little set.  Mo-Larr’s a funny character and it’s nice to see toys that are geared more at fun than being too serious.  Mo-Larr is sturdy enough to be played with as a conventional He-Man character and a Skeletor figure this mobile and this well-made is a welcome addition to any collection.

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Author: Robert V Aldrich

Author. Speaker. Cancer Researcher. Martial Artist. Illustrator. Cat dad. Nerd.

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