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Review: Masters of the Universe 30th Anniversary DVD Box Set

RoboCop and T-800 agree, MOTU 30th Anniversary Commemorative DVD Box Set is awesome.

RoboCop and T-800 agree, MOTU 30th Anniversary Commemorative DVD Box Set is awesome.

By the power of Grayskull a monumental box set of awesomeness is delivered unto us. Recently I was cleaning out my attic and came across some old MOTU toys including what I thought were long lost playsets of Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain. Somehow Amazon found out and recommended the Masters of the Universe 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection. Retailing at $50 I thought it was a little steep but I decided that because I hadn’t seen it in so long and that there appeared to be an abundance of content on it, that it might be a cool nostalgia trip. So far it has been like discovering awesome for the first time again.

Due to the amount of content I won’t be reviewing that here due to the time it will take to go through it. However I have watched almost three DVD’s so far to get a feel for the quality, which I’m pleased to report is great. It played and looked good on both a medium sized LCD TV and a 46″ LCD HDTV. Rather, this review will concentrate on the release itself, particularly the packaging and it’s contents. Primarily when you see these type of sets, particularly first run commemorative sets you get an abundance of packaging, some type of limited edition collectible, and the feeling that you just spent a lot of money on something that will be re-released later at a reduced price with more efficient packaging. I think this MOTU box set lays somewhere in between. The contents are as follows:

  • 22 DVD’s
  • The Complete Original Series (138 episodes)
  • 20 Fan-Favorite episodes from The New Adventures of He-Man (1990-1991)
  • All 39 episodes of the 2002 series + PDF comic of unreleased 40th episode + 12 audio commentaries
  • At least 7 documentaries
  • Episode Guide Booklet
  • 11 Track Audio CD
  • Exclusive Power Sword in Eternian Gold (not life size, but figure size)
  • They can’t give you a life-size sword

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Yeah it’s a lot. The packaging is pretty nice. The outer shell is an acetate sleeve that protects and shows off the inner box. The box features an embossed Castle Grayskull that protrudes from the package, which features wraparound art reminiscent of Cary Nord’s work on Conan the Barbarian. The inside of the box features another art piece that looks more like the recent run of comics. Although I guess that was like ten years ago at this point.

 

IMG_4038

Upon opening the box you are greeted first by the soundtrack and the Power Sword in Eternian Gold. The bed of the box is lined with a material akin to Panthors’ hide or maybe Moss Man’s (from the toy line) and is a single cavity where each DVD is stacked in an individual sleeve that clearly marks the series, season, and episodes. So the final order is Soundtrack, episode guide, and DVD’s. The episode guide is the size of a DVD disc so those hoping for a coffee table book will have to look elsewhere.

Overall the package is extremely compact at 8″ x 6″ x 4″ so it fits nicely on a shelf in your DVD collection as it IMG_4039remains in profile with the rest of your DVD’s. It is only slightly taller than the standard DVD box.

I was impressed with a couple things. I like the full episode guide for easy reference if I need to recall an episode. They took care enough to even include notes for each song on the CD packaging as well. I like extra content and there is an abundance of it in this set.

Now for the drawbacks. It is slightly difficult to access the DVD’s. The single cavity and individual packaging is not efficient. The bottom disc did get stuck on me once so far and I had to pry it out. The Power Sword in Eternian Gold is nice but not really necessary. It’s the collectible part that is to me hit or miss and mostly miss when it comes to box sets. The warning labels are probably the funniest part and reminds me of the SNL skit. “Happy Fun Ball.” Suffice to say kids, do not taunt Power Sword in Eternian Gold.

Stuck at the bottom.

Stuck at the bottom.

Something that might be vacant in future releases is the soundtrack when the scaled back set is released. Although it is short, 3 minutes into listening to the disc I was bench pressing 425 pounds. Not really, but in my mind I was.

The most glaring omission and deal breaker for some may be the fact that this box set is not complete. It’s not the omnibus. The series known as The New Adventures of He-Man, which debuted in 1990 only compiles 20 selected episodes. I can’t comment on this series because until I bought this set I didn’t know it existed. I was interested in the original series and the 2002 series. The latter I never finished watching but am looking forward to it. Until I watch New Adventures I can’t judge if this is a loss. I imagine that if I like it I’ll be pissed. As it stands for me now, I’m content with the value of two complete series plus extras for $50.

Bottom line: nice packaging, compact size, loads of content, and enticing price = solid buy. However I won’t blame people for waiting on a cheaper version. Hopefully this review can help you make that choice. Remember, you have the power.

1 Comment

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  1. EEon says
    2013/08/01, 20:22

    Cobra Commander, Megatron, and Skeletor walk into a bar…

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