Masters of the Universe Classics - KING HSSSS
"Dreadful Disguised Leader of the Snake Men!"
For a great selection of action figures and collectibles, check out BigBadToyStore.com, ToyDorks.com, BriansToys.com, ToyWiz.com, SmallJoes.com, PastGenerationToys.com, Urban-Collector.com, MonkeyDepot.com, HobbyLinkJapan.com, and Sekaido.com.
To insure your action figure collection, get in touch with our sponsor Collectibles Insurance.
Beginning next Tuesday, He-Man fans can check-in to MattyCollector.com for their chance to score their very own leader of the Snake Men, King Hssss (thatís four ĎSís). If youíre a master of the Club Eternia subscription, King Hssss will slither his way to your doorstep on his very own along with Battle Armor Skeletor.
But the subject IS King Hssss (originally King Hiss), and heís a character that took a real departure for his 200X incarnation but The Four Horsemen have brought it back to the vintage style and with admirable results. In the past I wasnít a huge fan of the Snake Men as it came in just as I was growing out of He-Man (funny that I never truly grown out of it judging by my toy shelf) because it felt very gimmicky. And thatís why I am happy to say that this updated version of King Hsss is the least gimmicky of them all!
Letís first talk about packaging for a quick second. If youíve been following along, itís pretty standard now as you get your standard blister card and bubble faithfully capturing the spirit of the vintage line. For protection, the figure is contained in a white shipper box that also sports the character name on the outside. The figure and weapons are displayed well in the bubble and it features an impressive new Snake Men sticker. On the back is the usual bio along with an assortment of previously released figures that are more relevant to King Hsss.
And now for the sculpt, which is very very true to the vintage figure, but much improved. Thereís far more detail and definition in the armor heís wearing, making it a better figure visually. The expression is also more sinister but coy, a more natural look than the friendly vintage figure. The helmet is glued on and a minor nitpick would be that my helmet appears to have been glued on a bit crooked as itís not lined up with his nose. Itís a minor thing but Iím assuming that itís not the way heís intended to look.
Whatís great about this figure is that thereís no break-apart action to reveal the deformed snake body underneath. The snake body is a fully realized upper torso that you can swap out whenever you like. Itís well sculpted and a vast improvement over the vintage, but since itís a completely separate torso, they could have done a bit more with it as it seems to be less threatening than the comic art shown. - but itís still better than what I was expecting.
No paint issues that I can tell and lines and colors are as solid and clean as they ought to be. The entire figure actually has a very matted feel where the snake portion has a lot more shine to it. If that was intentional, kudos to Matty because it makes the snake that much more realistic.
King Hssss follows the rest of the MOTUC line-up with its articulation although the ab-joint is unavailable due to the added armor sculpt on the front. But where he lacks in that, he makes up for with his alternate snake mode with a movable jaw and bendie snake arms.
Much like the vintage figure, the accessories of the magic snake staff and shield of Ka are pretty much the same but definitely superior. The sculpting is great and even the painted diamonds down the back of the serpent is a really nice touch. Also an accessory I suppose is the alternate Snake torso which swaps out very easy. This is certainly a solution I prefer over the break-apart outer shell.
Wrapping this up, King Hssss isnít the figure I expected to like, but it has seriously grown on me and must admit, very fun to play with. It must be the bendie arms! This is the first Snake Men figure to be released so if you want to stay with it, you wonít want to miss it when he goes on sale March 15th. All MOTUC figures sell for $20 and coming along for the ride is Battle Armor Skeletor and reissues of Princess Adora, Count Marzo. And Evil Lyn.
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Review Sample Courtesy of Mattel