Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: King Hssss
March, 2011 brought a heavy hitter into the Masters of the Universe Classics line. We had Skeletor and Hordak who were the respected (or not) leaders of their own evil faction, but we had yet to see the appearance of another main evil leader. King Hsss, the evil leader of the Snakemen who Hordak and Skeletor both despised, arrived to claim our toy shelves this month.
While my favourite evil faction was The Evil Horde (after the arrived, that is), I did enjoy the Snake Men. Just the awesome design of the vintage figure where his upper torso could open to reveal a body made out of snakes was enough to have most boys my age desperate to have the character.
Leading up to the reveal of King Hssss in the MOTUC line, many people were curious as to how Matty and the Four Horsemen would make that feature of the vintage figure work with the new Classics line. I think they made the right decision but I’ll get to that in a bit.
I think by this point as I write these Rewind features, I’ve said enough about the front of the packaging being the same old/same old that we were used to up to this point. From here on, I’ll be showing the pictures of the packaging, as usual, but I’ll just immediately go into what’s in the bio.
That being said, the updated bio for King Hssss reveals the leader’s involvement with The Unnamed One, the initial collaboration with Hordak, the fight against King Grayskull, his entrapment and release through Skeletor’s minions. It blends many years of history well and ultimately shows many characters in this lore that are out for themselves.
From what I remember, this figure was a whole new sculpt. I really like all the different layers and textures all throughout the figure all the way up to the hood (even the back of it). I really also dug the Snakeman logo on the shall that went all around the neck.
The face sculpt is downright creepy. I never realized how much it was until taking pictures for this feature and I’ve had the damn figure since it was released. The eyes seem off just a bit, but it’s the smile that makes the figure creepy. The snake-like pupil for the eyes with the smile that’s almost like a “hey, trust me” smirk really gets across how this character is trying to gain your trust in this form. It also reminds me of the hypnotic powers of Thulsa Doom from Conan the Barbarian.
Instead of removing this outer layer or armour piece like the original, the MOTUC King Hssss came with a second torso that you just pop on. There are also two other snakes protruding from the torso. These have no movement available but they look pretty cool and are a throwback to the vintage figure.
The snake torso is solid piece for the most part with the two “hands”that have snake faces at the end being a more pliable plastic with some wires in it so you can move them. The range isn’t very large and it’s probably so there wouldn’t be any issues with softer plastic tearing.
The head sculpt for this piece is menacing, but I really wish the fangs had more of a point to them. As well, what disappointed me a bit with the figure is the lack of articulation in the jaw. It almost looks like there is the option to give it a range of movement but there isn’t any. The teeth on my figure also have some paint issues and it almost looks like he has some stains on his teeth.
King Hssss came with two accessories (unless you want to count the extra torso as an “accessory”). The first one was the iconic Snake Men staff . It’s basic and modeled well after the vintage accessory. There is some nice detailing and paint on the snake twisting on the staff and the sculpt of the head.
King Hssss can hold the staff well and looks pretty imposing with it. I will say six years after first receiving the figure, mine figure is a bit loose with the joints. I could still pose him well but even with not posing him too often on my shelf, the limbs should be sturdier.
The other accessory King Hssss comes with is a shield with a snake emblem on it, just like the vintage figure. The updated look still reflects what came before it and I appreciate the added work added to the edge of the shield. While I do pose Hssss with the staff in one hand and the shield on the other on my shelf, I just can’t fathom King Hssss using a shield.
Surprisingly, way down the road in the line, we got an update to the torso and it came with the Serpentine King Hssss figure in 2016. I wrote about it during the first few months of my site going live. Seeing how I already wrote about that figure, I’ve included an updated comparison picture because I think my photography skills have improved. It’s so interesting to see how far you can come with action figures, ideas, and sculpting in just a few years.
I think the Four Horsemen and Matty nailed King Hssss for the most part. There was no question in my mind about buying an extra figure so I could display him with both torsos on my shelf. Both were just so damn good that it really wasn’t an option to only have one.