Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Rant Review: Masters of the Universe Classics Collector's Choice Karg figure

Karg has been a long time coming! I've spoken about my feelings on the MOTU movie before; suffice to say, regardless of the movie's quality, I'm interested in figures of the various villains it introduced. Karg got the shaft back in the vintage days, for whatever reason, so he was considered off-limits for inclusion in the MOTUC line. As has happened before, however, a loophole was found: Karg's appearances in the UK MOTU comics made him fair game, as long as that design was used. Hooray for loopholes! Not only does Karg complete the MOTU movie "new villains" trifecta, he also appears to be their field commander, making him pretty essential to anyone who already has Blade and Saurod. The bio gives him the additional role of Skeletor's chief interrogator, which suits the character nicely.
The sculpt is phenomenal, even by the standards the Four Horsemen have set with this line. There's some nice texture work on several different areas of the figure, giving them the look of different materials. Various instruments of torture are sculpted on the belt, and the chest armor is situated in such a way that it mostly avoids the "fat armor syndrome" that plagued many of the Mattel figures. Despite using the comic design, Karg's face is a near-perfect rendition of the character's look in the movie; only the color is different. The 4H's work here is excellent, with Karg's sunken eyes, crinkly skin, and jagged teeth giving him a leering visage that would be right at home on the cover of a vintage heavy metal album.

Do you like blue? I hope you do, because Karg is one blue figure. Very, very blue. Fortunately, blue is my favorite color, so I'm happy to see Karg climb upon the blue train! The metallic shade used for most of the figure looks fantastic, and he really stands out on the shelf. Paint apps are pretty nice for the most part, with minimal slop and bleed, aside from the silver on and around his belt. Most of the individual tools are nicely done, but there are other areas where the paint is applied too thinly, and the blue is showing through. There are also more areas here where blue creeps up onto some of the tools, as the silver was not applied as far down as it needed to be. I'll definitely have to touch up the whole belt area, but given the choice, I'd much rather have sloppy paint apps on something like a belt than on the face. Oh boy, that face. They really nailed it! The sickly shade of yellowish-green chosen is wonderful, and there's a nice light wash to bring out the sculpted detail. The eyes and the Austin Powers teeth are done perfectly. My only gripes here are the lack of paint wash on the ears and hair. There's some wash on the hair right around the face, but the bulk of it goes without. Thankfully, this is something that'll be very easy for me to correct myself. One oddity with the paint is the red areas on either side of the amulet on his chest armor. They're bright red on the left side, but more of a copper color on the right. I'm not sure if this was a mistake, or if it was intentional ans I just hadn't noticed it in any of the photos. It's certainly possible I just failed to notice before, as they're quite small, and easy to miss.

The articulation is mostly standard for the line, with ball joints at the head, shoulders, and hips, swivels at the biceps, upper thighs, calves, left wrist, and waist, hinges at the elbows, knees, ankles, and torso, and a nice swivel/hinge right wrist. Well, in theory, anyway, as the right wrist is completely stuck on my figure. Hopefully I can free it up with some heat without tearing the peg. The head also suffers enormously due to the figure's design, as the furry cape, large frilly ruff, and Tina Turner hair renders it almost completely immobile. The hair is actually made from a pretty soft plastic, but it's so massive that it still just doesn't have the flexibility it needs. It's an unfortunate consequence of the character's design, and I'm not sure what else Super 7 could have done to alleviate this issue.

Karg comes with three accessories, or perhaps two, depending on how you count them. His pistol is based on the design of one seen in the movie, and his nasty dagger/icepick thingy is called the Dagger of Agony. I must say it does look pretty agonizing, and I think we can rest assured that anyone who pays a visit to his torture chambers gets well-acquainted with it. The third accessory is his hook, which plugs into his left arm stump. Since the hook is essential to his look, I can see why some might not count it as an accessory, but since it removes, I'm counting it. Unfortunately, the prototype and cardback art shows Karg wielding a barbed hook that looks infinitely cooler, and it's a damn shame it wasn't included as well. I would hazard a guess that its barbed design violated safety codes if we were still back in the Mattel era, but Super 7 doesn't seem to be beholden to those limitations, so I'm not sure why the hook was changed. Attachments from earlier figures such as Trap Jaw won't fit into Karg's arm stump either, which is another disappointment. These aren't things that seriously hurt the figure, but they are annoying missed opportunities.

Karg is a pretty great figure overall, and his movie buds will definitely be glad to have him join them at last! Super 7 has had some issues translating the 4H's sculpts into the production figures, particularly with females, but that wasn't an issue in this case. Karg was a friggin' awesome looking figure at the prototype stage, and he's a friggin' awesome looking figure now. I'm very pleased that Super 7 found a way to get us Karg, and I'm hoping a similar loophole can be used to get us a movie Skeletor. (Seriously, the Skeletor seen in the final issue of the Star comic series is basically the movie version with a different color scheme. It could totally work!) That's it for today, but be sure to swing back by in two weeks for the next review!