Last week's vintage figure review thread Man-At-Arms was the quietest one to date; maybe Matt at x-entertainment is right that Man-At-Arms is a bit too lame for anyone to really care about.
Well, maybe this week's thread will see a return to usual form. Last week it was MAA, the original side-kick of He-Man; so this week it's turn to look at Skeletor's original henchman, the ferocious, the savage... BEAST MAN.
I'm slightly ashamed to say, I never originally had a Beast Man figure. I started to save up for him many times, but never got around to buying him.
I remember in the late 1980s, when the line had just about finished and very few stores still stocked MOTU, with a few end-of-line remnants at most, going with my Mum into a department store in a High Street we didn't often visit, and seeing both Beast Man and Evil-Lyn as old stock being sold off at dirt cheap prices. I tried and begged my Mum to buy me one, but she wasn't having any of it. As it wasn't a shop we frequented, I never saw them again.
Of course, I have collected multiple examples of every figure; Beast Man is one of the most common second-hand finds, so I have got many examples of him. Although not a variant as such, the face markings can be found to vary in detail and accuracy on some figures. I have also found the green belt to vary very slightly in depth. I have still yet to acquire a hard head version though.
The thing I really like about the figure is the bright, bold colours. Face-wise it looked a bit like Beasty was in mid-song, but it wasn't bad at all. I liked his feral chest dress / armor; his arm armor was okay but was a little clunky and bulky, and hard to pose well. It's interesting to note that, with his chest armor, left and right arm armor, and whip, the figure had four accessories, as did the other three original figures.
The Weapons Pak came with yellow versions of Beast Man's chest and arm armor; and as a result, a number of second hand BM figures can be found incorrectly wearing these yellow versions.
And, of course, the whole body and head of Beast Man was later recycled for Moss Man.
In the mini-comics and other material, Beast Man was nearly always present as Skeletor's right-hand man.
This continued as he was one of Skeletor's most regular warriors in the Filmation cartoon series. He was presented as one of Skelly's dumbest henchmen (and they were all pretty dopey); in early appearances he occasionally showed plans to one day overthrow Skeletor, but these faded as the series progressed.
Although a regular throughout the show's run, in a number of second season episodes Beast Man was replaced as Skeletor's right-hand man by some newer characters (Clawful, Whiplash, Two Bad, etc.), very much due to whichever new figure was being pushed at the time.
Other than Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, Beast Man was the only existing Evil Warrior to appear in the 1987 movie - the other three of his squad (Blade, Saurod and Karg) all being new creations. Although clearly feral and savage, the movie version Beast Man only had a distant resemblance to his original appearance.
Beastie was given a good revamp for the 200x update. As many have commented, the figure felt like a huge chunk of plastic. As I have mentioned on other threads, it is rumored that originally the Four Horsemen had planned to give the figure a 'roaring' sound effect, but this was dropped, presumably due to production budgets. Either way, the final figure was very good, and I liked his arm swinging feature - the only thing I would say that they swung the wrong way, as it is awkward when you are holding the figure, and they would have looked better swinging upwards. The colours were good, but as with many 200x figures, were dulled down, and the originals bold red armor was replaced with a dark brown. Of the (rather pointless IMO) colour variants, I would have liked to have seen a Beast Man variant with the colour scheme of the vintage figure. Oh, and on this revamp, as well as the chest dress simply fitting over the figure's head, the arm armor was this time molded on.
In the Mike Young Productions cartoon, Beast Man was often present, and given so-so treatment. He also flew around on flying beasts that he controlled. I prefer the Filmation version of the character though.
Beast Man is a great character, and one of the core characters of the original premise. In terms of the vintage figure, while it was typical of the very early releases, it was very basic in that used many standard parts (the body is the same as Stratos) and with the standard twist-waist feature. But as with the early figures, it excelled in character. I give the vintage figure a reasonable 8 out of 10.
So there is my weekly ramble.
I'd really like to hear your thoughts, comments, criticisms, memories, ideas for improvement, and anything else Beast Man-related. And whether you post or not, don't forget to rate the vintage figure in the poll!