Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: Man-At-Arms
Next up in my Masters of the Universe retrospective is Man-At-Arms. He was released on July 15, 2009 and was available for about 45-50 minutes before he sold out. The “Master of Weapons” was highly anticipated not only because he’s one of the main and important characters in Masters of the Universe, but also because the fans were really anxious to see how the Four Horsemen would combine the vintage toy and update him. The fans were in for quite a treat!
Man-At-Arms came in the same packaging as the rest of the figures with an updated bio. In the bio, it’s mentioned how he was trained by Dekker, created the electronic power sword, and adopted Teela. Once again the bio combined many different eras of Masters of the Universe lore, which I think is pretty cool.
Man-At-Arms was like a love letter to the fans. The Horsemen took all the different versions of the character (vintage, the Filmation cartoon, and the 200X MYP cartoon/figure) and blended him into something that fans would be able to customize to their liking.
The figure has the same body as He-Man and features the same articulation points and range. For accessories, he comes with a dagger, his classic mace and a pistol – which can all fit on the newly designed back armour. I wish the mace had some colourful accents to make it pop a little bit more (like some silver on the circles). As well, the mace is made of a more flimsy plastic and some people were reporting warping.
Speaking of the armour, the main body armour is removable, as are all the additional pieces on his arms and legs. The details on the body armour has great details with colourful accents. I dig the furry look where his arms come out. The man is ready for battle and is well protected, but he’s gotta have comfort, too, right? The big shoulder armour piece is a nod to the 200X cartoon series and I’m happy they incorporated it into this version of the figure. His helmet has some electronics sculpted and painted on it to make it streamline with the overall look.
The pieces that are on his forearms do hinder the articulation sometimes depending on what pose you’re trying to get him in. If they slide down as you try and pose the elbow joint, they become loose and don’t stay in the spot you want them to. It’s a small gripe but I’m thankful we have all the extra armour goodness than not. As years have gone by, my Man-At-Arms figures have really poor/loose knee joints and make him hard to pose.
One thing that I was really thankful for was the addition of a second head. In the package, Man-At-Arms is packed out as the vintage figure was – with the head that didn’t feature a mustache. As a kid, I never understood why the cartoon that I loved (that was responsible for selling the toys) featured a Man-At-Arms with a mustache and my figure didn’t have one! Oh, if I only knew how toy line development worked back then. Well, the Horsemen rectified this and gave fans the options to display their figure with an original style head or a more Filmation style head (a modern update and not a mirror reflection of the cartoon face).
For those that wanted to army build back in the day, you could buy more than one figure and display one as Man-At-Arms, and take some of the armour off one figure and display him as a member of the Royal Guard or an understudy of Man-At-Arms. I just display them on my shelf as two versions of the figure, but I took a few pics of the above option.
One of the other special weapons that we got with Man-At-Arms is the Electronic Power Sword for Prince Adam/He-Man to use that made its appearance in the 200X MYP Cartoon. I don’t know if this was foreshadowing more 200X figures, accessories, or overall integration into the line, but looking back now, that seemed to be the case. I thought it was a neat accessory to throw in even though at the time, I had no real attachment to that rebooted series.
Later on down the line, we got a weapon in one of the weapons packs (read: not included originally with this figure) that fans were clamoring for: the gun that was also featured in the 200X MYP cartoon. I always found that both my Man-At-Arms figures couldn’t hold this well but I really like that the effort was made to give the fans something special in the weapons packs (more on those later on in a different retrospective article).
Man-At-Arms was one of my favourite figures as a kid and remains one of my favourites in the MOTUC line (and all the other versions of him that came along I’ll be posting about later), with each giving fans updates and more pieces so they could create their own ultimate version of the character if they wanted). Duncan is the man and the Horsemen knocked him out of the park.