Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: Count Marzo
I’m going to start off by saying that I remember when this figure came out, it was a big issue of contention in the MOTU community. For some, he was a welcome character. For others, although he was featured both in the Filmation and the 200X cartoon and recognized, his design was too close to his 200X animated counterpart and people didn’t think he fit in with the rest of the figures in the Masters of the Universe Classics line.
Why all the controversy? Well, the 200X cartoon had a real anime look to it. I think they called it “hyper-anime” or something like that. With Count Marzo being based more off his 200X appearance (and with this being his first figure ever), many thought the look was way too close to the source material and really didn’t fit in aesthetically with the rest of the line.
The whole point of Masters of the Universe Classics was to take the vintage line and give it an updated look while paying homage to the classic figures. If they didn’t have a figure previously, it was stated that any new characters would be designed with an idea of what the character WOULD have looked like if it had a vintage figure, then updated. Marzo just didn’t seem to reflect this approach.
I’m not a fan of anime, so although the stories in the 200X cartoon were great, I was never 100% sold on the new look and never purchased the figures (money was a factor back in the day for that as well). Suffice to say, although the figure does kind of stand out like a sore thumb with the anime details/look, I still kinda dug the figure.
Count Marzo was available on MattyCollector in July of 2010. He lasted just under an hour before he sold out.
Although the look of the figure was a tad different, he still came in the regular packaging, with a bio. In the bio it’s interesting to see that his lore revolves around the battle between him and King Miro (who we’ve NEVER gotten a figure of). I’m surprised that they didn’t try and tie him in to battling or aligning with more current Masters and because of that, the bio makes him seem even more a bit out of place.
Count Marzo also had the same male buck the other figures used and same points of articulation. Posing him for my photos for this piece, I’m happy to say that all the articulation joints still hold up well and nothing is too loose to inhibit certain poses or the figure from standing.
Marzo has really cool armour that hangs from his shoulders as well as a massive cape. I love the way the cape drapes over him and how it rises up like it’s flowing. If you don’t like something that massive, you can take off the cape separately from the armour. You can take it all the pieces off of him if you’d like and I have some pictures later of that when you scroll down.
This brings me to the head sculpt: the face, the hair, and the expression all scream 200X and not “Classics.” Don’t get me wrong, the face is sculpted well and I love the wrinkles in the forehead and angry look as it means Count Marzo is getting down to business, but the figure looks like he jumped out of the 200X toy-line.
I love the detailing an new pieces created for the figure. The belt and leg armour flaps are an excellent touch. They even put a holder for his sword to the right of him. I can’t remember if in the cartoon he was seen with his sword hanging there. Maybe it’s time to re-watch the 200X series.
Count Marzo comes with two accessories: his sword and his magic amulet. The sword is pretty cool and has great detailing on the base. The one thing I don’t understand is the red piece at the top of the sword. Is it supposed to be a magical effect? I’m not too sure.
The amulet is cool, too. It’s shiny and looks a bit more like glass than plastic. It’s very light as well.
Here are a few pics of Count Marzo with his sword in place. I think he looks bad-ass with it there; almost like he’s about to grab it and slice off someone’s head.
Here are the pictures of Marzo without his armour and cape. He almost looks a martial arts warrior like this and not a wizard. As you can see in the second picture, there’s a place where you can place his amulet. If he’s wearing his cape, you wouldn’t be able to see it. With his hand in a permanent grip (see below), I have no idea why you’d store the amulet here instead of his hand.
Here’s another thing that pissed off some collectors: his static hand pose. There’s no reason not to pose him without his amulet as the gripping pose just looks weird without something in it. It does fit the amulet snugly, though. Too bad they didn’t give him a mini beverage as it’d be fun to pose Marzo grasping a bottle of Mead.
Here are a couple of pics of Marzo ready to cast a spell and engage in battle.
Below: Marzo ready to kick some Miro ass! (I gotta learn more photo tricks as I’d love to have some kind of magic or lightning effect from his amulet).
While I wasn’t as opposed to having this figure as some, when I look at my shelf, Count Marzo still sticks out. As I’ve written this piece and reflected, it’s definitely the head and the hair that does it. While I appreciate The Four Horsemen’s sculpt and Neitlich’s (former manager for the line) passion for bringing all aspects of MOTU lore into play, I just don’t know how they could have done Miro another way. Perhaps a more Filmation cartoon inspired look would have been the way? Then again, if they did that they’d have people bitching that he wasn’t 200X bad-ass enough. You can’t win, can you?
Anyway, I dug Marzo, and still do, but I am with the people that say the hyper anime look is too much of departure for the Classics line. You think we’re done with this style? Nope. Shit hit the fan with collectors and this figure, but there’s another and he’s going to be looked at pretty soon.