Recapping Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Masterverse Fall 2023 release announcement

Last Monday, Mattel dropped their huge Fall 2023 Catalogue, including a ton of Masters of the Universe goodies. We previously covered the Origins releases, so now it’s time to take a look at the Masterverse offerings that are set to go on sale later this year.

Boasting slightly more realistic proportions and an impressive level of detail and articulation, the Masterverse range instantly captured the imaginations of a lot of older MOTU fans following its release alongside the Revelation Netflix animated series, and despite a few duffers along the way, the quality level has been consistently high ever since.  Plus, with the range branching out into the world of She-Ra, New Eternia and even the 1987 movie in recent months, the possibilities for new releases are pretty much endless.

So, let’s see what was announced:

New Eternia Deluxe Clawful

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A really strong opening in the form of a beautifully detailed Clawful. This is a deluxe figure, which means the price point is going to be significantly higher than your regular figure (usually around $34.99 instead of $22.99), but it definitely looks the business and the articulated right hand claw is *chef’s kiss*.  I’m not entirely sure about the inclusion of the clunky armour which, let’s be honest, nobody is going to use, but that’s pretty much par for the course for Deluxe figures at this point. Definitely a must-buy if you’re a Masterverse collector

New Adventures of He-Man Deluxe Slush Head

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Bit of a niche release here in the form of Slush Head, one of Flogg’s goons from the much-maligned (and rightfully so) New Adventures of He-Man series from the early ’90s. A bit of a forgettable one back in the day, but I genuinely love what the Masterverse team have done with him here, giving him all manner of cool tentacles and different, almost Modulok-like configurations. Probably not a figure that anyone’s going to have any real sense of nostalgia for, but still a pretty damn cool looking one.

New Adventures of He-Man Skeletor

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Speaking of the New Adventures of He-Man, we’re also getting the distinctive looking Skeletor from that particular franchise black hole. Again, the fact that it’s a Masterverse release means the sculpting and overall aesthetic is on point, and I love the inclusion of the cloth cape (a standard addition for Masterverse figs), but the original design is so goofy that it’s difficult to get too excited about – unless you’re a Skeletor completist, I suppose?

New Eternia Deluxe Ram Man

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An absolute belter of a figure here, and quite possible my favourite one of this latest batch. While the original ’80s Ram Man was a bit of a unwieldy chunk of plastic, this one looks absolutely fantastic with some lovely detailing on the armor, some fairly pointless additional armor (see my comments above on Clawful) and some optional heads – including a fairly intimidating Juggernaut-esque one – if you want to change the look a little. No 200X crewcut head unfortunately, but still a really high quality release.

New Eternia Webstor

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Another favourite of mine from the 1980s, Webstor is recreated here in all his glory. The head sculpt, complete with what looks like clear plastic eyes, looks fantastic, and the removeable ‘legs’ really round out the package. The grappling hook looks a little on the naff side, but the functionality and display options it provides are definitely worth getting excited about.  The “evil master of escape” never looked so good.  Well, unless you’re counting the Four Horseman “Staction” from the 200X show, that is.

Prince Adam

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Your individual mileage on this one will vary, but in terms of a picture perfect recreation of Prince Adam from the Revelation Netflix show, you’re not going to get much better than this.  Interchangeable heads offer some options in terms of expression, and I particularly enjoy the inclusion of the sparkling, mid-transformation version of the power sword.  Possibly not the most exciting of these new batch of releases, but still a solid offering.

Horde Skeletor

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Yes it’s another Skeletor, and a bit of a repaint job if we’re being totally honest, but I do like the general aesthetic for this one quite a bit.  Perhaps not enough to buy it, although the semi-translucent Havok Staff is a definite selling point.  Definitely a cool idea, but… yeah. Repaints, man.

Clamp Champ

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Another really cool looking figure, Clamp Champ looks suitably jacked up and the colour scheme is definitely on point. Truth be told I’ve never been a huge fan of the oversized, scarab beetle-esque “clamp” in any incarnation of the figure, but the overall aesthetic here is fantastic, and I can see a lot of people getting excited about this one.

New Eternia Faker

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If we’re talking repaints, we’ve got to 0respect the O.G., and after a fairly disappointing Masterverse release which was basically just He-Man with some fairly poorly painted Terminator-esque “battle damage”, we finally get the fan-favourite blue and orange (or pink, in this case) version from 1983.  Another figure where your individual mileage will vary, but everything here looks pretty damn cool from what I can see.  They even have the trademark ‘control panel’ on the figure’s chest beneath the armor, which is a nice touch.

New Eternia Buzz-Off

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Not a character I have a huge affection for, but this is a heck of a sculpt.  The feet, claws and head are all fantastic, and while I was initially a little skeptical about the inclusion of the armoured helmet, it does look a heck of a lot better than the one that came packaged with the 1980s original.  The wing poseability looks to be great if the pictures are to be believed, and this is honestly a great-looking figure from top to bottom.  Well worth a place on any self-respecting collector’s shelf.

Classic Mer-Man

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Finally!  The first Masterverse Mer-Man release was based on the Revelation Netflix series version, complete with missing eye and chest/arm scars, but for a lot of people – myself included – it just wasn’t Mer-Man, y’know?  Well, this latest release rectifies that oversight in style, delivering a fantastic looking figure. Sure, it’s just a repaint of the original without the aforementioned scars, but it’s the accessories that really sell things here with some lovely jagged armor in the style of the 2008 Classics version, and – most importantly – the trademark “corn on the cob” sword!  A must-buy, in my opinion.

Princess of Power Horder Grizzlor

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I’m a bigtime Horde guy, despite never really watching more than a handful of episodes of the original She-Ra cartoon series. Those guys just looked so damn cool when they were released back in 1985, and this version stays true to its Filmation roots with the lighter skin tone on the arms, legs and face.  I love the ‘fluffy’ upper body covering and the harness to keep it in place, and the Horde insignia on the boots, chest and armband really pops.  I also love the inclusion of the classic Horde crossbow in all its multicoloured glory.  Another essential purchase, for this Horde fan at least.

Deluxe Whiplash

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Rounding things out we have another Deluxe offering in the form of Whiplash, the “Evil Tail-Thrashing Warrior”. The sculpt here is fantastic, and the accessories, while mostly unnecessary, are certainly extensive.  Alongside his trademark orange spear we also have some hulking purple armor, a torch (complete with molded plastic “flame”) and an axe with some interchangeable hands.  Like I said, a lot of superfluous additions distractions from what is, at its core, a really nice looking figure. It appears from these photos that the tail is hard plastic rather than soft rubber, which is mildly disappointing, but certainly not enough to put most collectors off buying it, I wouldn’t imagine.

The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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  1. Mattel reveals MASSIVE Fall 2023 Masters of the Universe Origins Release Catalogue – BIG COMIC PAGE
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