I know I’m going out on a limb here (not to mention defying the general gay fanboy consensus), but I think I prefer the non-mustache version of Mattel‘s Masters of the Universe Classics Man-At-Arms to the Tom of Finland hot daddy version. There’s just something mysterious, yet youthful about baby-face Duncan. With a handsome, reckless sense of danger and wild abandon, he resembles the Duncan who must have existed before the rule-imposing fuddy duddy of the classic cartoon came along. As a figure in the vintage line, Man-At-Arms debuted long before the MOTU gimmicks really took hold, requiring every figure to have a wacky action feature, with matching name. Man-At-Arms is just a man…at arms. As He-Man‘s best friend and mentor, he was always more about personality than power.
Mattel continues its winning streak with this line. Duncan’s design evokes the classic figure beautifully, while the new articulation and sculpt make him infinitely more interesting and poseable. His detailed armor is similar to the vintage “bra” design, though instead of snapping in the back, a removable backpack joins the arm straps of the armor together. And, in probably the greatest innovation to the character’s design ever, the backpack serves as a weapons rack. Yes, Man-At-Arms finally has some arms to be a man of! The cool factor on this particular figure is through the roof. He’s just a sexy guy. Older, wiser, ready to teach a certain headstrong prince a lesson or two about discipline, this new Man-At-Arms confidently carries on his legacy in the homoerotic He-Man mythos. My only complaint, really, is that like some previous figures, the paint job on the face is a little sloppy. My Duncan’s mustache could have used another coat, or perhaps a more precise application of paint. I don’t want to have to retouch a $20 figure. But I will. Because he deserves it. He’s that cool.
On the FBOTU Scale of Fabulousness, I give Man-At-Arms 4 out of 5 tough, but loving emoticons: