I’m thoroughly impressed with the latest Man of Steel Movie Masters. General Zod gets a second, all-new figure, along side his henchwoman Faora, and both villainous Kryptonians are great looking toys. There’s a remarkable amount of detail on both figures, which the all-original sculpts by the Four Horsemen capture perfectly in plastic– every edge and angle and accent of the plated body armor is here and both villains are a sight to behold in their impressive detail, which only looks better when they are teamed up side by side.
Both portraits are pretty good, with the new Zod looking much more like Michael Shannon than the previous version. I love that Mattel didn’t cheap out and use the same head as last time– this is an all new piece which shows off Zod’s new goatee and the scars on his face– it’s night and day how much better this new sculpt really is. That he also includes a removable helmet– which fits perfectly on his body– just adds to how great this figure is.
Faora is good, with a strong but not quite perfect likeness to Antje Traue. As we’ve seen from Mattel in the past, though, the way her head sits on her neck makes her look off from certain angles. Her head is, essentially, too far back on the neck, making Faora look like she perpetually has her chin squished down into her throat. With some clever posing, it’s barely noticeable, and when the rest of the figure looks so good, I can give the weird design choice a pass.
Both figures are incredibly well articulated, with the various overlays and segments of the armor masking many of their moving parts. I was nervous that Zod may have some slight pre-pose in his sculpt, based on the action stance press shots, but those positions are in no way sculpted– that’s all thanks to the cleverly hidden articulation. In fact, the articulation on these two is almost entirely unhindered by the details of the armor– the design work is a huge step forward, even from the Wave One Jor-El figure.
The figures’ paint matches the sculpts in quality, as well. On a pair of characters that are, essentially, black and grey, there’s a nice depth to the tarnished metal washes on their battle armor, and slight variances that fit together nicely while making each figure feel unique– Faora gets a lighter tone in her armor and bodysuit, while Zod’s is much darker. Both figures include capes, which sport a wonderful wash to give them a dirty, weathered look that adds greatly to the overall effect of these warriors.
Mattel’s Movie Masters brand has been producing some really great movie style figures for mass retail for the past few years now, but the level of detail and attention to high quality seen on the Man of Steel collection feels like a dramatic step up for the toymakers. I liked the first wave of figures quite a bit, and the new Zod and Faora are even better than those previous releases… It makes me wish we were getting more than one other figure, because this is a toy line I’d stick with for a long time!