I,myself, never knew about the contest...even I think I was a bit young for that back then, anyway. I only found out about it in the internet age. I remember seeing an old scan of the ad for the contest and the voting for the finalists, and thinking "This crap? These were the winners?!" Yeah, pretty bitter of me. The other choices (in case you don't know) were a humanoid net with a pigtailed wig (no lie!), an eyeball with arms 'n' legs and a spear (yeah, disaster written all over than one...eye juice everywhere!), a guy covered int tiny suction cups, and a fella with a brain-turban. Eh...I feel bad now complaining about the ideas of a bunch of eight-year-olds, buuuut...I think Photog had little competition. I didn't even think Photog was that great either, honestly, but over the years I too came to wish we'd one day see this guy get his due.
The Classics line, unlike the old 80s toys, does not use action features. The toys are geared toward adult collectin' types, so emphasis is on look and feel. Just like the old days, in a sort of homage, Mattel reuses a lot of body parts between figures. MOTU was a mix of sci-fi, sword 'n' sorcery, and superheroics. Barbarians fought alongside robots, cyborgs used clubs and such, dinosaurs had bionic parts, castles had mounted laser cannons...crazy stuff for the time, I guess. Photog isn't very "sword 'n' sorcery"...mostly sci-fi or superheroy. He's a guy with a big camera on his head and a view screen on his chest...a cyborg, basically. The toy is the spitting image of the old artwork often seen. Colors and everything! They even threw in an extra weapon: a camera gun. I think it's a gun...maybe it's just a camera...eh.
His chest seems to be modified from the basic humanoid chest used on almost all the Classics figures. There is a lenticular motion decal smack dab on the raised part of his chest. See, Photog's power is to sap energy from his foes...then the defeated enemy's picture shows up on the view screen. Kinda like a war trophy. So, in other words...all Amish hate this guy. Yeah, the whole "cameras steal your soul" thing is Fearless Photog's schtick. His belt (molded onto the codpiece) is made to look like film reels...just like on the concept art.
His head is based off of some kinda generic fantasy camera. The bio on the back of the packaging gives us the first ever back story behind the character. Seems Fearless Photog was originally an inventor invited to a contest (essentially) to become an apprentice to the great Gwildor. He (Jey) was slated to show off his invention, the Photog Emulator, but a miscalculation led to the inventor being fused with his creation...hence Photog's odd appearance. So, even though he screwed up...the freak got a spot on the Masters of the Universe roster. WHAT?! Rewarding failure? Jey was lucky he survived and didn't hurt anyone...jeez, who writes these back stories? Anyway, my jokey quips aside...I liked the nod to the original 80s contest worked into the character bio! The toy's head is what it is...a big camera thing. Has basic ball joint neck movement. You can slide the lens in and out via a little lever on the top back of his noggin. Doesn't go out that far, sadly. I've heard there was a running quality control problem with the extended lens part...seems a few are coming in cracked. Mine was peachy! Oh, better shut up...don't wanna jinx it!
Accessories? Just like in the old art, we get the lens shield. It's pretty basic. Just clips onto Photog's wrist. Done. I like to image it can flash and blind opponents into a daze...maybe even hypnotize 'em a bit. The boys in the design team often throw in extra stuff...such as the camera gun. I'm no film school expert, but looks like a vintage movie camera. Could this be a hand-held Photog Emulator? Just a camera? A gun of some kind? Whatever your heart desires, kids.
Back at whatever convention or toy show this figure was first debuted...we saw an extra human head. I assume this was Jey's original human head before his accident. Hmmm...we did not get this extra head. Dang! Woulda been cool!
My only real gripe about the figure is the ankle articulation. Ooh, crap! I didn't talk about articulation, did I? Okay, quick: ball joint neck, two-point shoulder rotation, bicep rotation, wrist rotation, mid-chest bend, waist rotation, two-point hip rotation (codpiece hinders it a bit), bending knees, and two-point ankle rotation. The ankles on Photog (mine, anyway)are stiff! I noticed some figures in the MOTUC line have reallt loose joints while others are stiff. This guy has the stiffest ankles yet! So hard to move and pose, you fear breaking them. Eh, nobody's perfect?
Well, was it worth the wait? Eh...not really...not like the character is the greatest MOTU character ever. It's just that it was a promise that hadn't been kept, up until now. So, am I saying the figure/character is crap? No, not by a long shot. He fits into the MOTU canon nicely. He's gimmicky, and looks iconic. I just happen to prefer the more freaky monster guys and such! Anyway, nice to FINALLY see this baby put to bed. No more fan yearning, I suppose.
Edited by countzackula, 03 March 2012 - 05:04 PM.