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- Toy Line: Masters of the Universe Classic
- Action Figure: Zodak the Mystic Enforcer
- Distributor: Mattel
- Suggested Retail: $20.00
- Includes: Cosmic Staff
Toy Review: Masters of the Universe Classic: Zodak
The MattyCollector Experience
By Robert T. Trate
October 29, 2009
Zodac from the new Masters of the Universe Classic line by Mattel
© Bob Trate
Years ago Mattel was simply thought of as the company that made Matchbox cars. They dabbled in the action figure realm from time to time but outside of He-Man and The Masters of the Universe there hadn’t really been anything else. Today this is no longer the case. Mattel has become a force to be reckoned with. Their DC Universe line is just as good if not better than DC Direct, if anything it is more accessible. Their Batman Begins and Dark Knight lines appeal to a younger fan but again, their DC Universe satisfies the true collector. They have recently acquired the Ghost Busters (seen here) property and those figures have been nothing but perfect. It should come as a no brainier that Mattel would go back and re-release the one property that made them a contender in the action figure wars of the early eighties. The Masters of the Universe line has returned but you will not find them in any toy store.
It is a crazy gamble but one that appears to be working. Think about re-releasing a property into an already saturated market without any TV, movie or cartoon in the media backing it up. Those toys would just sit on the shelf collecting dust forcing the entire line to be cancelled. Mattel is reaching the fans through their MattyCollector site. It appears as if they have taken a page from the big high profile toy sites like Sideshow Collectibles and Gentle Giant and created a site for the fan that doesn’t have figures/ dolls for hundreds of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I love the work and artistry of both companies but I don’t have a hundred dollars let alone three hundred to buy an action figure with. MattyCollector is not dirt cheap but what they are releasing become instant collectibles.
I had first heard about MatttyCollector at the New York Comic Con in February. They were debuting the Ghost Busters line and I thought, well I’ll pick them up at Target when they hit the stores. I learned that MattyCollector is the only place you are going to be able to buy them. They’ll have a release date and when they run out you are out of luck. Thankfully I picked up my first Ghost Buster at the San Diego Comic Con (see column). While waiting in the insanely long line to get Egon I saw that The Masters of the Universe had returned and already were quickly disappearing. Sure there was He-Man, Skeletor and Beast Man but He-Ro had finally been made into a real figure (see column). These weren’t your classic Masters of the Universe figures, they were new sculpts, molds and likenesses that quickly made you forget those days of old.
Now before you get the idea to control right click over to MattyCollector and pick up your favorite classic MOTU figures many of the classic figures are “Currently Unavailable”. This is far better than some of the Comic Con exclusives that are “No Longer Available”. They sell out fairly quickly but it seems that Mattel is quick to know what the fans want and have changed several figures from “Currently Unavailable” to “Coming Soon”. If you missed out you had better sign up and check out that site.
I for one decided to “play the game” and pick up one of these MattyCollector exclusives. I perused the site and outside of the Ghost Busters didn’t really find a figure that I wanted to add to the toy shelf. The original Mer-Man was “Sold Out” as well Zodac and Stratos. With three out of four of my all time favorite Masters of the Universe figures gone I thought I would play the waiting game for Man-E-Faces. Then the email came through. Zodak (notice the spelling because I didn’t until later) was being re-released in a new sculpt and paint job. I immediately jumped at the chance to get Zodak.
What I really liked about this new sculpt were that his feet had been replaced with boots. I could never understand why this Cosmic Enforcer had the same feet as the bad guys. Zodac was always my childhood action figure avatar when it came to MOTU. He-Man and Skeletor had a lot more screen time on the show and the backyard battlefield but Zodac was more of an unknown. He would only appear in three episodes of the series ("Quest for He-Man", "The Search" and "Golden Disks of Knowledge") only one of which I ever saw. Thankfully I had read the DC Comics Masters of the Universe stories and Zodac was portrayed as more of good guy. So I just went with it and created my hero to thwart evil.
The Action Figure:
MattyCollector runs about $20.00 a figure. That price seems a bit steep when most figures of this size are anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99 at retail stores. This is an instant collectible (rightfully so because as of 10-26-09 Zodak is “Sold Out”) so the price seems appropriate. What really shocked me was the shipping cost, $8.00. In this era of online buying we all immediately see the shipping as part of the cost and rightfully so. So now Zodak is actually costing me $28.00. That is a bit tougher to digest and perhaps something MattyCollector can change.
Zodak did arrive in pristine condition and was packaged superbly. The figure was actually boxed a second time in a Masters of the Universe Classics adult Collector Box. This all white box makes storing Zodak or transporting him easy. What really came as a surprise was that Zodak (with a K) was not the Zodac from my childhood. It turns out that this is actually Kar-Tor the Mystic Enforcer and not Zodac Zur the Cosmic Enforcer. Nonetheless he is Zodac’s protégé. The irony is that once more I have a character that I know very little about.
The action figure itself is incredible. It retains much of that bulkiness from the early eighties line but now comes with several more points of articulation. Zodak’s tattoos are fine additions to the character however one wishes that they glowed in the dark. I know, this is a different Zodac figure but that trademark pistol should have been included. I also find it odd that this “Mystic Enforcer” dresses a tad more on the cosmic side whereas his teacher was a little more barbaric. An interesting choice by Mattel.
This was my first MOTU figure in over twenty years and certainly not my last. Man-E-Faces is not yet slated for production but I will keep a watchful eye out for him. In the mean time I am thrilled that Mer-Man Evil Overlord of the Ocean has gone from “Sold Out” to “Currently Unavailable”. Hopefully he will be re-released soon. MattyCollector actually, thankfully, made him with two different heads so he can now look like he did in those old original comics. The cat like Mer-Man never sat well with me but now I just have to sit and wait for him too. Check out the full line of produced MOTU Classic Figures by MattyCollector here.