When you are a child, the power of imagination helps you to accept a lot of things that grown-ups may consider inadequacies. May that be bad special effects in a movie or the cheap sugar-loaded setup of your favourite candy. It does not matter: if a kid puts a lot “belief” in something, all negative aspects are painted over.
Imagination and the willingness-to-believe is probably the reason why, as a kid, I never considered vintage Stinkor to be a mere one-to-one copy of Mer-Man. Why I never thought that Moss Man is “only” a version of Beast Man with a pine-scented green coating. Or why Strydor and Night Stalker are nearly the exact same horses. This is about vintage MotU’s reuse of complete figures.
Almost twins: Mer-Man/Stinkor
Both figures share exactly the same body, limbs, head. Just take a look at the picture below. The repaint of Stinkor and the fact that the harness (which was taken from Mekaneck) covers his face in part, you need a second to make Mer-Man out in Stinkor. I liked Mer-Man much better than Stinkor though. He was there first. 🙂
Many similarities: Beast Man/Moss Man
The colorful design of Beast Man with the articulate armor pieces and that whip made that figure special to me. Moss Man was released later in the vintage line. I did not mind him being the exact replica of Beast Man – without the armor pieces, weapons etc. Due to his greenish camouflage effect (he would hide from the evil warriors just to ambush them), Moss Man was fun to play with. What I did not like so much was that the fact that the pine scent would fade quickly and his fur would attract each piece of dirt within my room.
Nearly identical cats: Battle Car/ Panthor
Both fighting cats take their basis from Mattel’s Big Jim line. Battle Cat was first – Panthor followed. That velvet coating could hardly reveal that both cats are nearly the same. As both were quite expensive to buy in 1980s Germany (twice the price of a regular figure), I was not willing nor able to buy Panthor as well as a Battle Cat.
Birds of one breed: Zoar/Screeech
With Zoar and Screeech, the concept of reusing a Big Jim figure was repeated. I deem the Zoar and Screeech twin approach the most half-hearted one: except for the paint, both birds share exactly the same armor and stand. Back in the day, too little differentiation for me to buy both birds.
Gemini: Strydor/Night Stalker
I like the different color design of these two horses. They are the same when it comes to the sculpture. But stickers and colors are different. I think Night Stalker is designed much more daring and darker than Strydor. However, I was very disappointed by both as a kid as the horses looked much cooler in the magazines than they were once I hold them in my hands. In real life, it turned out one couldn’t move the legs and quality-wise the plastic was cheap (despite the fact that one of these horses was twice the price of a regular figure). Consequently, the non-moveable legs would break easily “in battle” and could hardly be glued.
Same same, but different: He-Man/ Adam /Faker
I only bought Adam as a kid so I could reenact the transformation scene as seen in the Filmation cartoon. Besides that, Adam was kind of a one-dimensional duplicate of the He-Man figure to me. Faker was much better. Although being a repainted blueish He-Man, he looks so much different thanks to his vibrant color design.
That’s it about vintage MotU’s reuse of complete figures. Did I forget a “twin”? Any insights that I might have forgotten? Please let me and other reads know by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.