View Poll Results: How do you rate the vintage Man-At-Arms figure? (with 10 being the best)

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  • 1 point

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  • 2 points

    3 4.41%
  • 3 points

    1 1.47%
  • 4 points

    0 0%
  • 5 points

    5 7.35%
  • 6 points

    6 8.82%
  • 7 points

    10 14.71%
  • 8 points

    8 11.76%
  • 9 points

    12 17.65%
  • 10 points

    23 33.82%
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Thread: Man-At-Arms vintage figure review thread

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  1. #1
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Man-At-Arms vintage figure review thread

    After looking at a late figure on last week's figure review thread (Sssqueeze), it's back to the very first the releases this week, with one of the core characters. It's the master of weapons himself, it's MAN-AT-ARMS.

    With He-Man and Skeletor, Man-At-Arms was one of the four figures of the original first wave, with Beast Man being the fourth (Zodac, Teela, Mer-Man and Stratos were released as additions a couple of months later).

    Man-At-Arms has a distinctive green and orange colour scheme, which matches that of the Wind Raider, one of his creations.

    I remember when I very first started getting into the MOTU line, at about 5 years old, and I saw him advertised on the back of one of my other figure boxes, that I couldn't understand his name, and asked my Mum why he didn't have lots of arms! She had to explain that arms was another term for weapons.

    In the vintage line, only variants of He-Man and Skeletor were released (unlike the 200x line, who released variants of just about everyone!); and I feel that vintage Man-At-Arms is one of the characters could really have justified a new version. The original was very basic when compared to other slightly later figures, and with his weaponry and inventing streaks, he could have had some really good updates.

    The figure came with removable torso armor, arm armor, leg armor, and mace. Although not at all rare, with all of those pieces, naturally finding one complete on the average second hand market can be a minor hunt.

    I always wondered why Man-AA only had armor on his left side; I guess this was his vulnerable side. I liked in the Filmation version how they made the armor symmetrical (although this was really so Filmation could save costs by flipping cells over).

    I bought Man-At-Arms a little way into my collecting the line as a child. Quite often, I would be tempted away from the basic early releases by the more varied featured newer figures, but for some reason, I felt the urge to save my pennies up for trusty old MAA.
    Since collecting the line seriously as a (so called) "adult", one of the Man-At-Arms figures that I have purchased in various bundles turned out to be a later hard-head release, and his colours are also might brighter, with more of a lime green body, and much more yellowy armor.

    In the early mini-comics, Man-At-Arms was portrayed as a trusty warrior, experienced in combat and weapons. As things progressed, and Filmation put their spin on the scenario, Man-At-Arms was made into an older, wise soldier. He was given a moustache to make him look more mature, leaving many young figure collectors wondering why their Man-At-Arms figure didn't have one (and more than a few being drawn on in felt-tip pen! ). As the war-ish aspects of the original concept of the MOTU world were toned down slightly, he became more of a scientist and general inventor, constructing machines and vehicles. He was given the 'real' name of Duncan, and was one of the most regularly seen characters, acting as Prince Adam/He-Man's best friend and mentor. Of course, he was also Teela’s loving adopted father, and with King Randor being busy with Royal duties, not to mention that MAA knew of Adam’s duel identity as He-Man, he was in a way a step-father to both of them.

    One thing I really liked in the Filmation series was the occasions when we saw Man-At-Arms as a younger warrior, notably in the classic "Teela's Quest", and "The Remedy"). I always felts elements like these really added to the rich history that gave MOTU so much depth. Although He-Man was obviously the central character, I always felt that there was room for more history to other characters.

    With Filmation's often limited budget animation, Man-At-Arms did just about everything in his heavy armor and helmet. The dude even swam in it! Only a couple of times (such as "Eternal Darkness" and "The Return of Granamyr") was he seen without.

    With him being made more mature, and thanks to the voice work, he could occasionally come across slightly as an old bumbler; I love how Matt on x-entertainment's often used to lay into Man-At-Arms, in his more mature, watered down version, was pretty useless! (Check out HERE, or even here or here for some classic articles featuring examples).

    Man-At-Arms was played by Jon Cypher in the 1987 movie. His was one of the more direct big screen adaptations from the original character; his mannerisms were very much the same, and his costume was pretty much identical other than being all in grey (one of the things that some fans didn’t like, the lack of colourful costumes, but that's been done in other threads).

    Man-AA was one of the first figures released for the 200x revamp line. I have to confess, it wasn't really one of my favourites. When I first saw it I immediately felt that, like 200x Skeletor, the head was too small, and I didn't really like his exaggerated, manga-type armor, complete with huge armor dome on his left shoulder - what was that all about?
    He was also a regular in the Mike Young Productions cartoon. He was given a pretty good overhaul and portrayal, and even often took his helmet off (I wasn't sure about his like ponytail, but I can forgive it). And as well as an inventor, he was given some of his original weapon prowess back to boot.

    Anyway, in terms of the vintage figure... it's very basic, but a staple of the line. I think I'll give him an average but reasonable 7 out of 10.

    That is my summery of the Master of Weapons.
    I'd like to hear your thoughts, comments, memories, criticisms, and anything else MAA related. And whether you post or not, don't forget to rate the figure in the poll.
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  2. #2
    KNOCK-OFF MESSIAH galaxy warrior's Avatar
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    MAA sux monkey nuts. always low on my totem. but i was really excited when i found a MAA at toys r us. in 1990 i went looking for python patrol trooper. to replace my recently stolen one had no luck but MAA changed that. it was very uplifting back ten to see a motu fig especially after they had been gone for what seemed like forvever. but even with this touching story he still doesnt hold up. its the colors, its the look. im sorry to dislike him so. but in the toon he was great. it was teh stash man its all about the stash

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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior
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    I like him, but not that much. A 6/10 is reasonable

  4. #4
    Unedited Director's Cut Captain Wow's Avatar
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    I never understood what was up with the green body. In Eternal Darkness, wasn't he shown without it, when he was woken up? I always liked his character, even if some thought he was "useless". I mean, it's true that any weapon or vehicle he invented that wasn't part of the toyline was only ever seen in that particular episode, but it still usually wound up saving the day.

    As a toy, I thought he was a cool design. I never actually owned the figure, but my brother did. And yes, we drew in the moustache.
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  5. #5
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Arkangel's Avatar
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    mat

    why doesnt the figure have a mustache like the cartoon character?

  6. #6
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Wow View Post
    I never understood what was up with the green body. In Eternal Darkness, wasn't he shown without it, when he was woken up? I always liked his character, even if some thought he was "useless". I mean, it's true that any weapon or vehicle he invented that wasn't part of the toyline was only ever seen in that particular episode, but it still usually wound up saving the day.

    As a toy, I thought he was a cool design. I never actually owned the figure, but my brother did. And yes, we drew in the moustache.
    "Eternal Darkness" and "Return of Granamyr" were two times he was shown without the green body, suggesting it was indeed some kind of body suit. I always assumed it was part of the guard uniform, as the Royal guard wore the same. I actually quite like the colour scheme, it's very vibrant.

    I like the character, but as I say, it really needed a variant version, to give the figure something more to do than the standard twist waist feature IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkangel View Post
    why doesnt the figure have a mustache like the cartoon character?
    Because the figure came first, at the very start of the toy-line. Filmation added the moustache to make him look older and more distinguished. It filtered through into a lot of other media, such as Marvel comics, etc. I remember one late UK Marvel comic, in the late days that stated "Man-At-Arms has shaved of his moustache, again".
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  7. #7
    Evil Wulf-Man jasonwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galaxy warrior View Post
    MAA sux monkey nuts. always low on my totem. but i was really excited when i found a MAA at toys r us. in 1990 i went looking for python patrol trooper. to replace my recently stolen one had no luck but MAA changed that. it was very uplifting back ten to see a motu fig especially after they had been gone for what seemed like forvever. but even with this touching story he still doesnt hold up. its the colors, its the look. im sorry to dislike him so. but in the toon he was great. it was teh stash man its all about the stash
    I originally got one just because he was a main character in the show and it would have been hard to re-enact or play with the rest without him but I was always mad he didn't have the mustache! It didn't even resemble the tv character at all. The only thing I enjoyed was smushing his head down into his chest armor and giving him a "god I love being a turtle" moment.

  8. #8
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    New version of Man-At-Arms?

    I've been thinking, if MOTU returned for a new cartoon series, or even a live action film or series, how should Man-At-Arms be based. The Filmation version was a staple of the series, but lets face it, he was a bit grouchy and a bit of an old bumbler at times!
    I like the fact that he was made older than Adam / He-Man, kind of like is mentor. But then again, I kind like how it was loosley interpreted in the early mini-comics, with them more of the same age and best friends who went through adventures together.

    I'd kind of like to see a blend of the two versions, with MAA being made a bit older and a mentor, but made a might lighter and not so... well... bumbling.

    The Mike Young Productions version was quite good, making him as such - more senior and serious, but still able and competent. But - as with many 200x things - it lacked the 'heart' of the older versions, IMO.
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  9. #9
    Eternian Jedi Knight He-Fan's Avatar
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    Chris here...

    Man-at-Arms was always one of my most sought-after figures as a kid, largely because of his strong presence in the cartoon (and many other MOTU canons) - however, in addition to that I love the concept of the character, his personality, and his look very much, and so gave him a 9 out of 10 in this poll!

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  10. #10
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Fan View Post
    Man-at-Arms was always one of my most sought-after figures as a kid, largely because of his strong presence in the cartoon (and many other MOTU canons) - however, in addition to that I love the concept of the character, his personality, and his look very much, and so gave him a 9 out of 10 in this poll!
    I was very much this same. While in many cases I was lured away by some of the gimmickier newer releases, in Man-At-Arms' case he was such a core presence in both the Filmation series and the franchise as a whole that I just had to have one for my collection.
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior Bowhead Whale's Avatar
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    He's interesting, but I think though he would have been better with a removable helmet.
    Last edited by Bowhead Whale; December 21, 2007 at 02:28pm. Reason: I corrected a mistake.

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior
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    Man-At-Arms was the very first MOTU action figure I bought. I thought he looked kind of odd without the mustache, but the mace and removable armor was a big plus. I think MAA made the transition from the toystore shelves to TV very easily. Even in some of the mini-comics, I had the impression that MAA was something of a mentor figure to He-Man. He wasn't what I would call a "flashy" side-kick, like Fisto (with his deep, reverberating voice and giant gauntleted fist) or Roboto (with his interchangeable weapons and visible turning innards), but a classic, stable character that a lot of fans identified with. No insult intended to Fisto or Roboto (I like them both), but I think MAA is a character more based on the "real world". No major super powers, but an intelligent, likeable guy who makes the most of what he was born with. I gave him a 10 with no reservations.
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  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior Captain Atkin's Avatar
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    You know, I am glad Man-at-Arms, Zodac, Stratos and the others didn't have removable helmets in the classic line. If they had, we would all be complaining today about how we lost them!

  14. #14
    I am Tri-Klops! Vahn's Avatar
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    10

    I know I tend to score figures pretty high, but it's because I always start with 10 and try to think of reasons to take away points. With many of the Masters, there's no reason to deduct. Also when I review these I try to avoid comparisons to representations in other media, so DUNCAN's uselessness in the Filmation show didn't sway me.

    On to the review! As one of the original toys, MAN-AT-ARMS was absolutely essential in establishing the feel of the line. Think about it, he was the first character that showed the combination of technology with sword and sorcery. And his asymmetric removable armor he was one of the most fun toys to swap accessories with. And with the WIND RAIDER matching his look, it was like Mattel was making proprietary vehicles (which I wish they would've done for other characters). I was a little weirded out that his green leotard went over his hands and even covered his apparent wrist bracers, and his face was uglier than butt, but he was supremely fun to play with.
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  15. #15
    wants Dragstor!!! Sir Reilly's Avatar
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    10/10.
    Way above usual '81-actionfigure standards and packed with enough accessoires for a second figure.

  16. #16
    Gaul Warrior danbrenus's Avatar
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    Well,let's make this clear,Man-At-Arms is my favourite heroic warrior,his vintage figure was way above the standard of those years, his armor is a masterwork and it isn't simmetrical because is set on a real hoplite/gladiator style of war-dressing and fighting pose, with the graves only on the leg that stand forward (and thus more exposed to the enemy blows) and the arm plates only on the arm that doesn't hold a weapon.
    The combination of helmet and tall-to-nose neck protection from the breastplate realy existed in medieval armor of the 15th century,all this noction plus the state of the art molding (I've never seen a MAA broken accesory)make MAA armor a one of a kind in the best action-figure toyline ever,maybe the master of weapon could've used some more weapons but this can be fixed with Castle Greyskull weaponry.
    Plus, his young, mustache-less,battle-hardened face is really well cast.
    No doubt, old MAA deserve a 10/10.

  17. #17
    Eternian Henchman motu77's Avatar
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    This one's an easy 10. I loved how you could take the armor off and in the case of the leg armor add a second piece to the figure. I just wish they made a second arm piece that you could put on his other arm.
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  18. #18
    MOTUC fan! Evil_Horde's Avatar
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    I like the design of MAA but I do not like then without a mustache! Voted 7!

  19. #19
    Heroic Italian Warrior PaoloKr's Avatar
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    Easy!
    10.
    Absolutely one of the best.
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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    I was never a big MAA fan, but reading the early minicomics has changed that. Now he's one of my favs. I've even learned to love the strange color combo of his costume.
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  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior
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    An easy nine- all that armor, he's the only MOTU figure I wanted in 1981, aside from the never-to-be-found He-Man...
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  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior MOLKROM's Avatar
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    10 points . I wanna play expert today .

    Compared to original Heman he has a much better colour scheme . Better armour . The detail on his "breastplate" alone is amazing , and extra bit of armour pieces for his arm and leg . I dont like his head much very much . His mace design is pretty average . Why call him Man at Arms Master of Weapons but only give him a mace , a couple laser guns would be nice ? Its obvious Man At Arms is the Armour Specialist and proverbial Knight. An opposite to HeMan the light armour Weapon Specialist or proverbial Barbarian. He is as heavy Armoured as Ram Man.

    His body is a pure HeMan clone but thats cool you can swop weapons and armour around multiple toys .
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