Hey, Reader, DrunkWooky here back with another action figure review! Today I’m reviewing the Mondo 1/6 Scale He-Man action figure. To begin with, this review could have easily been a video on our YouTube channel, and was on its way to being so. Lo and behold, there is a lot going on with this figure. Halfway through filming I realized most people interested in this figure wouldn’t want to sit through a thirty minute video. So here we are, back to the written word. You can skip ahead based on the nifty and helpful headings I provide below.
“Cut to the chase, DrunkWooky, is this figure good or not? Should I buy it?” This figure isn’t perfect and there are some complaints. For a Masters of the Universe Collector, though? All of those flaws can be overlooked and this figure becomes a must-have.
OTC’s Trademark Dare-to-Compare Shopping
The Mondo 1/6 Scale He-Man action figure can be purchased at the following fine retailers:
- Big Bad Toy Store
- Toy Origin
- Try your luck on Ebay
Mondo is sold out as of this writing Sideshow is sold out as of this writing
Even at it’s priciest offering, this beast of a figure undercuts most of the current offerings on the premium 1/6 scale market. For $160.00 to $200, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Mondo is relatively new to the 1/6 scale arena. Most have encountered Mondo at their local record shop. While perusing the vinyl selections, a Mondo art cover will usually make you pause. They’ve been specializing in special edition vinyl releases for years now. Some of their covers really are something to behold.
Before that, Mondo was primarily known for its high quality movie posters and other art prints.
So, where pop culture, design, and art collide, Mondo is at the height of their game.
The packaging on their 1/6 scale He-Man figure doesn’t disappoint.
First, you have a matte finished outer sleeve. The front shows an instantly recognizable, bright and vibrant Castle Greyskull wall. Flip the slip cover around and your suspicions are confirmed. You’re treated to the front gate of Castle Greyskull in popping vivid color.
Inside, you have a nice juxtaposition of bold, stylized lines set on a simple matte black backdrop. He-Man in a bright color portrait on the front, a monochrome gold version of the same portrait is on the reverse.
I always appreciate a nice, solid magnetic closure on front flap of these big boxes and Mondo delivers here. I was sad to see Sideshow’s go the way of the Dodo back in the day and I’m glad it still has a place in the hobby. On the interior flap, there’s a short synopsis of He-Man’s backstory just in case you got this far in life, spent $160.00, and still don’t know who He-Man is.
Then, just about the time you are completely floored by the packaging design, you glance at the bottom side of the box and get the credits. Illustrations by Florian Bertmer. Packaging Design by Brent Ashe.
Seriously, we aren’t even in the box yet and you’re already having fun just opening it.
Most of the time when you read 1/6 scale figure review, the sculpting section comes down to head sculpt, hands, and hard accessories like boots or armor. He-Man, on the other hand, is wearing nary a scrap of clothing but his loin cloth, vest, gauntlets and boots. What you end up with is a figure that is sculpted from head to toe, literally. He-Man is a muscular guy and all that muscle has been packed onto the figure.
The figure comes with two head sculpts—a “regular” portrait and a “vintage” portrait. I prefer the regular portrait, but it comes down to a matter of preference here. Putting my own preference aside, both sculpts are well executed. You’ll see me use this word a lot in this review, but the sculpt on each is very stylized. While the likes of Hot Toys, Asmus, Blitzway, and Star Ace are striving for ultra-realism, it seems Mondo is going for intentionally stylized figures. We saw this with the Batman Animated Series 1/6 Figure and it’s popping up here again. On the vintage head sculpt, you end up with a more squat, boxy head, but it still makes sense in relation to the rest of the figure. With the regular, you’re headed left of the cartoonish center of the vintage sculpt, but still staying in that playful “toy” realm. The sculpted hair on each looks like a cartoon, but still provides the abstract impression of individual locks.
Sculpting on the body follows in the same vein. I’m no anatomy expert, but it looks like all of the musculature is in its proper place, sized suitably relative to each other, if just in massive He-Man proportions. I mean the guy has a concave lower back for christ’s sake.
What’s really impressive is how detailed the most functional aspects of the sculpt on the body actually are. Mondo could have gotten away with a straight-forward flat knee cap, but chose to show all the intricacy of that complex bone joint. The sculpting on He-Man’s ribs and obliques goes all the way to the bottom of the chest portion of the torso where it meets the abdominals. That seam is mostly hidden behind He-Man’s vest except in the most extreme twisting poses, but Mondo wanted to make sure it looked right if revealed. This attention to detail makes its way all the way down to the veins in the back of the hands
Finally, yes he has sculpted nipples.
Nothing about the sculpting on this figure should be judged based on realism, accuracy, or any metric like that. The figure is sculpted as a high-end toy in style and function and I think they nailed the execution.
When it comes to the Burbie mini figure, he looks like Burbie. Mission accomplished.
Every inch of this He-Man is painted in various skin tones and shaded down to the nook and cranny. The darker shadows applied to the seams and crevices of He-Man’s musculature are incredibly detailed. To my eye, it doesn’t look like this was a slap-dash job, but a meticulous process involving multiple layers and shades. Mondo didn’t just apply a wash and call it good. The shading is intentional and thought through.
When it comes to the head, the eyes on the regular sculpt are a nice vibrant blue, well-centered and clearly applied. No blur or smudging here. The vintage head sculpt sports simple black pupils, but the eyebrows offset that simplicity and provide some character.
Varying shades of earth tones are applied to the accessories along with appropriate weathering. I could go into each accessory for a paragraph or two, but just check out the pictures and all the shading, weathering and small details on each accessory. What really impressed me was the shading on the skull at the end of He-Man’s Power Sword. One nit-pick I have is that the shading treatment seems to be missing from the sword sheath at the end (silver portion).
Having granted all the heaps of praise for the sculpting of He-Man’s muscles, I feel I now need to top that with a grain of salt. All those bulging muscles do prevent some poses you are used to in other 1/6 scale figures. A double-handed, cross-body axe pose will be a tall order. All that heavy duty muscle does add weight as well. So, balance becomes a consideration in every pose you attempt.
The head is on a ball joint, connected to a post with another ball joint on the other end. There’s no independent articulation at the base of the neck, but that would be rather hard to pull off with the bare chest of this figure.
At the shoulder you have a ball joint with swivel. There’s a bisected swivel bicep. Double swivel and ball on the elbow. Each hand is on a ball and swivel and comes with its own post that tends to come along with the hand when interchanging rather than getting stuck in the wrist. This is appreciated, except when they pop out a little easily in more extreme wrist poses.
The hips are a double ball joint providing adequate range of motion, but that range is limited by the loin cloth. There’s no slit in the loin cloth allowing for extremely deep bends.
The knee is on a double ball and swivel making unnatural orthopedic maneuvers possible. Finally, the ankle is a simple ball and swivel like an enlarged Marvel Legends figure.
All in all, you aren’t getting Hot Toys levels of hyper articulation here. But as I promised I’d keep saying, you let that go because of the stylized effect of the figure as a whole.
Box Contents. Accessories.
He-Man was released with two editions: regular and Mondo Exclusive. The Mondo Exclusive edition went for about $5.00 more and you got a green Skeletor head sculpt for your trouble and extra Lincoln spent. You could use that head sculpt on the future Skeletor figure to be released later this year.
Apart from that, each edition comes with a bevy of accessories:
- Power Sword
- Battle Axe
- Short Sword
- Hand Blaster
- Rifle Blaster
- Burbie Mini Figure w/ Stand
- 6 Different Interchangeable Hands
- Figure Stand
No complaints with the Power Sword. Everything stated earlier about sculpt and paint holds true here.
I love the detailed nicks and blunt areas on the blade of the Short Sword.
The Power Sword and Short Sword both fit into the sheath. For science and thoroughness I attempted to put the handle of the Battle Axe in. No dice. You can place the edge of one of the blades in the sheath, but that’s just silly.
Here’s where we start to see some issues. There are two clips that attach the sheath diagonally to the back straps of He-Man’s vest. Unfortunately, these are simple pegs that pop off when fiddled with too much. They aren’t glued into their sockets which is probably good. If they were, I imagine something would break when trying to force the sheath into position on He-Man’s back. Once the clips have popped off, in order to get them back in and back on He-Man’s back, more fiddling is in order. I’ve run into things like this on other figures before. The clips and straps that keep Hot Toys’ Boba Fett Jetpack on his back are a meticulous pain in the neck to get on and good luck if they fall off while posing. Nobody wants to stop mid-action-pose and fiddle with the accessory they thought was attached. But I give Boba Fett a pass because I’m a huge Star Wars fan and the figure is otherwise awesome. Why do I bring that up? Because the fiddly little hiccup with the sheath and shield (we’ll get to that) can be overlooked because of how awesome this figure otherwise is. A Masters of the Universe fan will forgive that flaw to have the awesomeness of the rest of the figure.
And then there’s the shield.
The shield has all the great sculpting and paint of the rest of the figure. It also has these beautifully non-uniform rivets that adhere a faux leather backing to the shield. To top it off the shield is built with a faux leather strap and plastic handle which is a separate piece. Why the plastic handle is a separate piece, I haven’t the foggiest. I think He-Man could be manipulated into holding this shield without making the plastic handle detachable. Which is a shame because the plastic handle pops out easier than the clips on the sheath. This adds a second point of fiddling when trying to get your He-Man into a battle pose.
No moving parts here, just well painted plastic. Each of these fits well in He-Man’s trigger hand. It looks like my rifle blaster came with a slight bend to the barrel, though.
I didn’t grab a picture of this, but the seemingly plain black figure stand does have a nicely detailed Mondo logo on the underside. A fancy little touch.
Burbie doesn’t do much accept look like Burbie.
Loin Cloth, Gauntlets and Boots
The same praise the rest of the figure received for paint and sculpt applies to the hard plastic of the belt, gauntlets, and boots. The loin cloth is complete with some nice details that make it interesting to look at. Scalloped edges, brown stitching, and flaps folded over the top improve on an otherwise monotone piece of faux leather. The faux fur at the top of the boots was a must-have detail and it’s pulled off well. The fur looks slightly disheveled right out of the box which is what you want from a road-worn warrior.
This figure is a lot of fun and comes with tons of accessories, a stylish presentation, and great sculpting and paint application. Any purchaser of the Mondo He-Man 1/6 scale figure will be pleased with what it can achieve given its limitations. The figure isn’t perfect, but it’s a bargain at below 160 bucks.
If the Reader is a MOTU fan, I think they would be willing to overlook any flaws this figure has in their entirety. This is the most awesome and definitive He-Man figure produced yet and would likely be a centerpiece to any He-Man collector’s display. Pair this figure with the upcoming Skeletor release and this promises to become a classic, if imperfect, collectible in the He-Man archives.