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Masters of the Universe:
Evil Enemies 2

masters of the universe action figures

Eternia (the setting for Masters of the Universe) is a land of promise, lush scenery, heroic figures and a little bit of evil. Where does evil hide in Eternia? It hides where Skeletor goes, and it hides under cool names with snappy tricks to entice the innocent and defeat those who oppose it. The bad guys have the cool names and tricks down, but they seem to be lacking a bit in the winning department. To join with Skeletor you have to have at least two of three things - a cool-sounding name, an interesting gimmick, and a spiffy outfit. Shoes are optional.

The name has to be cool, because otherwise you will never recruit followers, and you'll be labeled a good guy. Good guy names - Teela, Orko, He-Man or Man-At-Arms - all sound just like the bad name your hippy mom would give you, or are just way too descriptive. What is He-Man? He's a he-man, and Man At Arms is a Man at Arms. Skeletor is just plain bad, and Tri-Klops or Trapjaw sound mean. Orko sounds like something you scrape off a dirty oven.

As for gimmicks, they are stock and trade for just about anyone who's anyone on Eternia. Even the good guys have some gimmicks. Stratos can flap around, He-Man has a neat sword, Orko has some sort of 'magical discharge', and Man-At Arms can eat soup out of his hat. The bad guys really go all out, though. Beast Man is a beast, Mer Man can swim (which is just about as useful as being Aquaman with a telepathic speech impediment), but Tri-Klops and Trapjaw one up even those guys. Tri-Klops has a spinning head piece with three eyes, while Trapjaw is like an attachment laden appliance that slices, dices, pinches and then bites you with his metal jaw. What's not to like?

masters of the universe action figures

The first release of evil figures in the Masters of the Universe re-launch had Adjectiveless Skeletor, Mer Man, Beast Man, Panthor (Skeletor's mount) and Battle Sound Skeletor. At the time they were matched by Adjectiveless He-Man, Man At Arms, Stratos, Battle Cat and Battle Sound He-Man. Since then the good guys have gained a slight numerical advantage since two assortments of heroes have been released - Heroic asst 2 with Jungle Attack He-Man, Ram Man and Mekaneck, and then Heroic asst 3 with Teela, Orko and Smash Blade He-Man (Spotlight on asst 3 coming soon). There was also a wave of Samurai figures with versions of Skeletor, He-Man, Battle Cat and Man At Arms. To even the odds the bad guys are back with Evil asst 2 with Spin Blade Skeletor, Tri-Klops and Trapjaw. The next assortment of figures is due around February 2003.

All the figures in the line that have been released have identification technology that works with the Castle Greyskull playset. The figures are designed around a 6" scale, and that translate to roughly one inch to one foot. The figures for the new line have been designed and sculpted by the Four Horsemen Design Studio. In addition to designing them all, they also buy some here and there. The Billion Chinese Manufacturing Team produced all the figures.

Click on a picture below to see more pictures of that action figure.

spin blade skeletor If you've collected toys for any length of time, you will be familiar with the maxim that one version of a popular character is never enough. If you're new to toys, welcome and realize that there is a maxim which states that one version of a popular character is never enough. If you happen to be a popular character it would be best to decide which version of you is talking to us. If you are not popular, nor a character and are having conversations with yourself you might want to seek out professional help.

At first glance you may be thinking this is the Billy Bob Thornton version of Skeletor. Some might call it a bat blade, but we call it a spin blade. Just think of him of a version of regular Skeletor. And be glad that Skeletor is regular!

Since Skeletor is the main man when it comes to villainy, he needs to have several versions of himself to suit whatever need may arise. It's also important to play the deterrent game with the hero, as in he gets a new version, now you make a new version to match that one, just to make sure one side doesn't get too far ahead. Jungle He-Man seems to stand unopposed, but if you spray some green paint on Spin Blade Skeletor and put on a bag attachment he can be Sling Blade Skeletor and beat down the lord of the jungle.

Big Picture
of Skeletor
For those of us who are not inspired to get the green paint, we have Spin Blade Skeletor. The clever name is derived from an old Eternian dialect that roughly translates to 'one who looks like a skeleton head with a massive, buff body and a spinning blade on his arm'. Roughly. Spin Blade Skeletor is the antithesis of Smash Blade He-Man, and he longs for a chance to go head to head with his nemesis.

If you take a regular Skeletor figure, repaint parts of him and give him a spinning blade attachment for the arm, you'd have a Spin Blade Skeletor. The figures are physically identical, and Spin Blade gets a darker color to his armor and a bit more detailed paint applications. The primary colors for Spin Blade are black and a reddish gold, and his armor and accessories are this color and are clearly different than the regular issue Skeletor. Spin Blade's armor actually looks better because some of the sculpted highlights are now painted (on the belt and especially the bat outline on the collar piece). The armor can be removed to avoid unsightly tan lines.

He carries the same sword as regular Skeletor, and it splits apart into two halves and the blue half is the same for both but the gold half is darker for Spin Blade. There is also the Spin Blade (some call it a bat blade, but I call it a spin blade .. uh, huh) that attaches to the arm via a plastic clip and it spins (hence the clever name). The articulation is identical to regular Skeletor with ball-jointed shoulders and thighs, a twisting waist, neck and wrists. He has a sheath for the sword on his back, and a button to activate his action feature. When the button is pressed his right arm will raise up, like when you rub a dog's belly and their leg twitches.

tri-klopsAt first glance you might think the name Tri-Clops refers to some sort of filter in a pool. (Jacuzzi actually.) Maybe it is the elaborate system of lenses on a spaceship. (Space observatory actually.) Maybe that would be the name of one of the Masters of the Universe. He's a wannabe master actually. And you need to use the K.

Tri-Klops is one of the henchmen (or politically correct henchperson) of Skeletor, the baddest of the bad on Eternia. The little family secret of Tri-Klops is that he's the middle of three brothers who all tried out for Skeletor's band of badguys, but the only one who made the cut. His younger brother was Tri-Hops, who was an expert on brewing beer. There were two things that stopped young Tri-Hops from making it as a bad guy - first, he tended to sleep a lot after all night binge drinking of his micro-brew Eternia Gold Light, and second from an unfortunate and unpleasant legal battle with the Schlitz brewery. The reason he turned to the bottle was the eldest of the three Tri-Clogs. As the name indicates, he liked to dance. You may notice there are no dancing bad guys. Anywhere.

Big Picture
of Tri-Klops
Tri-Klops is Skeletor's resident genius, and could be thought of as Man At Arms nemesis in invention. Tri-Klops can take some baling wire, duct tape and build a homeless shelter then destroy someone's house just to make them homeless. He also fixed up Trapjaw and keeps trying to sell him an extended warranty on those cybernetic enhancements.

Tri-Klops has a few things going for him. He's armed. He has two arms plus a cool green sword that handily fits into a sheath on his back. Under that sheath is a button that activates sword-slashing action for the left arm. He also has a visor that swivels around to line up his three eyes with the front of his face. The eyes are clear and colored red, green and blue. The head is built to allow light to go in the top of his head and shine through the eye lined up with the front of his face. He has a Doomseeker probe included that comes on a stand. The Doomseeker comes off the stand so it can get into tight spots and spy on people for Tri-Klops, and it is made out of a softer rubbery plastic. During the company picnic they use it like a Nerf football.

Tri-Klops has the standard articulation for the new Masters of the Universe figures. He has ball-jointed shoulders and thighs, a twisting waist, neck and wrists. He also wears a skirt, like most of the characters from Eternia (male and female alike) and unlike the first three villains released he has on shoes. He also wears kneepads, so you can guess who will get the next promotion!

trapjawGuys with metal teeth are cool; look at Dr. Teeth of the Muppets and Jaws from James Bond for evidence. The only thing cooler than metal teeth would be a huge mechanical arm with attachments that could be swapped out depending on the application. If you throw in some big Frankenstein boots you'd get Trapjaw, and you'd have one cool bad guy.

Trapjaw used to be called Kronis, but he cut himself shaving. The nick on his chin ended up being nothing compared to getting his jaw busted and his left arm mutilated enough that he needed some immediate surgery. Luckily for him, Tri-Klops had finished his residency at Eternia Vocational School (he majored in shop) and he was able to make him faster, stronger, and better. He installed a mechanical jaw and a cybernetic arm to make Kronis whole again, or pretty close. He also put a small round antenna on his head that gets pretty good FM reception. An interesting thing about Trapjaw is that it looks like his skin is blue but his face is green. His body still bears scars from the work done on it to save him.

Big Picture
of Trapjaw
Trapjaw is loaded with action features from his jaw to his arm. His lower jaw is hinged and can be pulled down, but it spring returns back up. He can do a great impression of Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color with his jaw, but that's only the least of his actions. The left arm has a spring return elbow (it returns to a 'bent' position) and the wrist of his cybernetic arm can accommodate three different attachments. He has a gun attachment for shooting, a hook attachment for ummm... hooking (and picking his nose when no one is looking), and a pincher. The pincher can open and close and is filled with delicious crab meat. All three attachments can be swapped out, and the best part is that the figure is designed to keep all the attachments with the figure. The gun has a peg that plugs in to the back of Trapjaw's vest and the pincher and hook both have smaller hooks that slip on either side of his belt.

Having cool accessories is enough for some figures, but Trapjaw has articulation too! In addition to the jaw and left elbow joints, there are ball-jointed shoulders and thighs, twisting wrists, waist and neck. His belt has a skull and crossbones on it and can be swung around to put the skull on the back after Taco Bell Friday. The rest of the week he wears it swung forward.

Pictures of Spin Blade Skeletor

Pictures of Tri-Klops

Pictures of Trapjaw

Where to buy Masters of the Universe: The regular Masters of the Universe action figures retail in the $9.99 USD price range. All are available at major retailers such as Toys'R'Us (and through their Amazon.com presence), Target, Wal-Mart, and KB Toys, at specialty stores such as Tower Records and comic book stores, as well as various online toy retailers.

Several such online stores are RTM sponsors AisleSniper.com, Big Bad Toy Store, NHAtoys.com and The Outer Reaches. (Be sure to check the other RTM sponsors, listed on the Shop Center.)

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