• Excellent paint detailing and sculpt
• Includes a ton of great accessories
• A great figure of a key person in the Masters of the Universe mythos
• One of the most articulated action figures you will ever own
• Silly real name for the character (Hec-Tor Kur)
• Stiff, unarticulated cape
One of my favorite characters and action figures from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line when I was a child was Hordak, mentor to Skeletor and ruthless leader of the evil Horde. That is why I was delighted when Mattel announced that they would be releasing Hordak as one of their earliest Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) figures. It is the first figure that I bought in the line, and it inspired my drive to complete a MOTUC classics. This review is based on the very first issue of the figure from June 2009.
The Hordak that She-Ra and He-Man battled in the original Filmation cartoon series was blue-skinned and drew much of his power from advanced technology and the ability to shapeshift, which may or may not have been due to his magical skill. For the MOTUC Hordak, however, Mattel went back to the roots of the character as he appeared originally in the Masters of the Universe line. This means that his skin is gray, but unlike the original MOTU toys, he does not have his original twist-waist-to-punch action feature. He wears a black armor adorned with the red Horde bat symbol and is a great-looking figure overall. Some collectors have found it problematic that instead of a lower set of abs, Hordak is made with a piece that is solid like his armor would be and that the removable portion of the armor comes down only to the top of this chest portion. This does not bother me however, so it does not affect my opinion of the figure.
Hordak has all of the points of articulation that we now expect on our MOTUC toys. His waist can twist 360 degrees, as can his shoulders, which also have a lateral hinge. His forearms twist, his elbows are hinged, and his wrists can swivel. Hordak's head is mounted on a ball joint and quite posable, his legs are articulated at the hips like his shoulders, and he has ankle movement and twistable shins. This articulation is incredible, and were it not for his solid cape piece, the amount of poses he could get into would be almost endless.
MOTUC Hordak incorporates the sorcerer background that was true of the original character in the original 1980s toy line, and a brief bio on the back of his packaging relays this truth. It also lists his name as Hec-Tor Kur (yuck!). This sorcerer motif is reinforced through his accessories, which include a magical staff based on his appearance in the Mike Young Productions 200x cartoon. You will never see Hordak use this staff if you watch an old She-Ra DVD, but it is a great accessory and true to the original character. He also includes updated versions of his crossbow, bat shield, and armor, all of which have been sculpted in greater detail than the original figure. His Horde armband is also now removable, unlike the old figure.
The greatest sticking point for me regarding this figure is his cape. It is molded as one solid piece with his neck armor, which would be alright except that the plastic used for the cape is not flexible at all. It prevents him from falling backward on the shelf, but it gets in the way if you want to make a pose with his arms or legs sticking out behind him. It is a sharp looking cape and does not detract from the figure's appearance, but I wish it had been made more flexible. I do agree, however, that even the stiff plastic was a better choice for the cape than cloth, for cloth capes can rarely be made to look good on an action figure.
Cape issues notwithstanding, Hordak is an excellent figure and probably my favorite of the MOTUC figures so far. He is highly recommended if you can get him, but you will have to purchase him on the secondary market as he is presently sold out at MattyCollector.com. You will not be disappointed if you are a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe fan, and he will certainly be an integral part of your collection.
Hordak is an excellent figure and should be first on your list when trying to decide which MOTUC toys to buy. Odds are quite good that he will be released on MattyCollector for a third time, but there is no telling when that will be since he has already been released twice. It would be wise, then, to get him soon before the price for owning him gets too high and forces you to wait for a rerelease to make toy buying online affordable in this case.