I always liked Mer-Man when I was a kid. I think he might have actually been the first Masters of the Universe figure I got. I wasn’t positive I was going to order him when I got on Mattycollector for Walter Peck and Optikk, but I ended up in the queue really fast and got caught up in Toy Buying Madness. So I went ahead and put our fishy friend in the ol’ virtual shopping cart.
Was it the right decision? Find out… NEXT!
First Glance: Every single one of these figures has looked better in person. Maybe I’m not paying as much attention when I’m just looking at a picture online, but they really look awesome once you’re seeing them in person. Mer-Man specifically just has so much more detail than I initially thought. More than any MOTU Classic so far, he truly resembles that original painting of the King of Eternia’s oceans.
Sculpt: Most of Squiddish Rex (that’s his real name) is the standard shared “bad guy” mold. He has unique (so far) webbed hands and of course a unique head. Oddly, the one that comes attached is the one he shares with Stinkor. I prefer the alternate because it doesn’t have hair. Mer-Man sports the standard MOTU Classics articulation and his right hand can hold both of his weapons just fine, so no worries there.
Design: The paint app on Mer-Man is what really sold me. He just looks like that painting. Aside from the sculpted-on fur, I don’t care for the paint job on the primary head, either. The bonus head is far superior, as it matches the deco on the rest of the figure. I like that he has gloves and that his shin guards are yellow. It makes him much more interesting. What really stands out is Mer-Man’s chest piece. The paint on it just looks great.
Accessories: Rex comes with a trident, a sword, a bonus head and his chest piece. I include the chest piece as an accessory because it is impressive on its own and can be removed if you want to go for that “Sexy Mer-Man” look. Or something.
To me the bonus head is the real head and the one that comes attached is probably going to end up as a Green Lantern head if it fits.
The sword is his classic barbed, coral-looking thing and as a nice surprise can be stored on the back of the chest piece. The trident is also very coral-ish and is asymmetrical, giving it a very naturalistic look. I like Mer-Man’s stuff.
Packaging: The standard MOTU Classic blister that you open and throw away. It looks nice, but as an opener; I really don’t care unless it is resealable. Like Optikk, Mer-Man doesn’t have any of the “mangled by packaging” problems that other figures have been experiencing lately.
Overall: I like this fishy bastard. I’m not going to say I couldn’t live without him, but he presses the ol’ nostalgia button in a way none of the others have. I didn’t remember Scareglow, I have owned quite a few Skeletors since the original, I didn’t follow New Adventures where Optikk originated and I never had a Moss-Man or a Hordak. Mer-Man is the first of the MOTU Classics that have really had any kind of fond childhood memory attached. For that, he gets a big win.
5 out of 5
Mer-Man is sold out again on MattyCollector.com, but you can still snag one from BigBadToyStore or get ripped off by the douchebags on eBay. I haven’t seen Matty do a third release of anything yet, but it might happen. Also, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a Mer-Man/Aquaman two-pack show up at Toys R Us sooner than later. If you’re collecting these guys for nostalgia, there’s no way you should skip ol’ fish-face.
Oh, and here's what I did with Optikk's extra head. It took about two seconds and required the use of the double ball joint from an old WWE figure's head. I call him Oculon: