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Toy Fair 2016: Mattel Masters of the Universe

Toy-Fair-MOTUMattel gave collectors what they wanted for years at San Diego Comic Con 2015: the entire lineup for 2016. At the Mattycollector Toy Fair event in New York City, all figures from the Collector’s Choice (with the exception of the footless Crita), Classics 2.0, and Power Con exclusives were on glorious display.

To our surprise, Mattel had a few tricks up their sleeve with a brand new vehicle and evil army-building companion. Surprisingly, Snake Mountain was nowhere in sight. What was there was the army-building Horde Trooper, Serpentine King Hiss, and the rest of the fantastic 2016 figures. With no updates for awhile, the excitement was palpable in New York City.

Classics 2.0 was something not everyone signed up for. For many, the itch was scratched with the more toy-inspired figures of the previous release. In addition, the cartoonish 2.0 designs were very streamlined: details stripped, and the palette flat with fewer washes. I can say in person that these can easily stand toe-to-toe with the previous figures. Seeing how beautiful Evil-Lyn turned out, it truly makes the Point Dread Teela an even more tragic casualty. The accessories are quite a sight. Standouts among them were Chorodite crystal with Evil-Lyn, and cartoon Clawful having the vintage toy’s mace. Combined with He-Man selling out the following day in seven minutes, I now wish that I purchased extra subs.

Collector’s choice lives up to their name, giving us fan favorites, variant display options, figure fixes, a new vehicle, and the return of a fan favorite. New Adventures gets some additional muscle and ivory with the mutant-grasping Tuskador. Nightstalker is gorgeous, with design adding a ball joint to each slat of neck armor for full neck movement. Hopefully, Stridor isn’t far behind. The Horde Wraith and General Sunder are both bait for multiple purchases: there were at least 3 in the 200x series at any given time, and all of Sunder’s bonus Horde Trooper helmets will perfectly coincide with the Horde Troopers seeing a re-release of their own. One can easily anticipate fast sellouts for all three of these characters.

The big surprise was expected to be Snake Mountain playset being closer to completion, but there was nothing in sight. All was forgiven with the surprise Roton vehicle with Skelcon warrior driver. This impressive vehicle has sculpted panels, a fearsome face, and expertly sculpted features. It’s early, so hopefully a flight stand is coming. Again, it was a shrewd move to include an army-builder as a driver. The mini-comic Skelcon warriors have their own weapons and history, but I do believe Mattel scored a few extra purchases with this particular configuration.

There really has been a fire rekindled for the brand, and through the constant shifts in the Mattycollector team, Brandon Sopinski continues to be a guiding light for MOTUC: working with the sculptors, following fan feedback, and following his instincts. While it can feel like the sun is setting on this collection, 2016 shows us that more is in store for 2017. Will we see the likes of Granita, Dylamug, Hunga, or more New Adventures? The best may be yet to come in year 10!

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