Realm Of The Underworld Action Figures!
When I was contacted by Mike Zolotorow last month about checking out an action figure line of his called Realm of the Underworld, I honestly wasn't expecting much when I paid his Zoloworld site a visit. I've been sent plenty o' messages about independent action figure lines over the years, and all too often they've left much to be desired. However, upon checking out his toys, I was hit with a huge wave of nostalgia as soon as I saw the ROTU action figure toy line. Were my eyes deceiving me, or was somebody actually producing new figures in the same style as the old Masters of the Universe classic toy line from back in the 80s?
Fortunately, Mike was nice enough to send me three ROTU action figures of my choosing for closer inspection, and they just arrived today. So without further delay, let's take a look at these Realm of the Underworld figures so you can decide if they're worth adding to your own collections:
See what I mean? How can you not love these already? Pictured above are my three selected figures: Acromancer (Underworld Edition), Preytus (the Wraith of Acheron), and Archterrus (the Artifact Stealer). Mike is a fan of Greek mythology and fantasy, and it's quite easy to see those influences with these action figures - especially since there's a Hercules one in the mix as well. Currently there are nine figures available with more on the way.
The packaging itself is pretty solid, and while I'd like something a bit more colorful like the old MOTU or G.I. Joe backing cards, it still gets the job done nicely. The promotional text is something straight outta my childhood too: "With Bone Bashing Accessories!" You also gotta appreciate how each figure comes with a large weapon in the blister pack; these aren't tiny little swords here, we're talking about huge axes and staffs that are just as tall as the figures themselves. Now let's remove these from the package (that's right collectors, cringe... CRINGE as I remove these toys from their precious packaging!) for closer inspection:
Acromancer was the first figure I got really excited about, because it appeared as though he was highly influenced by an old favorite toy of mine called "Skull Man" from the 1982 "Warrior Beasts" toy line by Remco . Warrior Beasts were basically less successful versions of Masters of the Universe toys, but just as awesome in my opinion. Skull Man was easily the best of them all; he had big muscles, a shiny red cape, and a skull for a head. What's not to love? Well, it's clear that Zolotorow was inspired by the Warrior Beasts as well, because Acromancer's face is the spitting image of Skull Man... and while he's clearly supposed to be this threatening evil guy, I love how he just looks happy and excited to be around. He might as well be holding up party favors instead of a giant battle axe or helmet. Acromancer is clearly the life of the party.
Next up, we have Preytus, the Wraith of Acheron. With similar chest armor to Acromancer, he's apparently a master of stealth who harvests souls in the underworld to serve their dark leader. That's all fine and dandy, but honestly, I just like how he appears to be a ninja who forgot to put on his pants. The chains are a nice addition, and you can even remove his cloth cowl to see his face if you like, which I'll get to in a little bit. He also glows in the dark, which is something that instantly makes an action figure 500% better in my book. Even his trusty "Staff of Pain" glows, which is nice if you're one of his victims. At least you'll see it coming in the dark before it caves in your entire face.
Lastly, here's Archterrus, the Artifact Stealer. Unlike the previous two figures, which have classic MOTU muscular builds, his skeletal body has a taller but thinner build. I'm a sucker for skeleton figures, especially when they glow-in-the-dark, and Archterrus is no exception. With rusty chains, a magical bone staff, and shredded cloak, he's everything I could've wanted in a skeleton action figure. I will say that due to the nature of the build, it's a bit harder to get him to stand up without falling over... but hey, I guess just like he is cursed to be drawn to rare artifacts, he's also cursed to fall on his face sometimes. Oh the tribulations of an underworld skeleton minion.
One of the best things about Realm of the Underworld figures is that their body parts are completely interchangeable. You can swap out arms and legs at will without ever having to worry about it destroying the action figures. Unlike the MOTU classics that had rubber bands which often broke, these figures are all pieced together with ball joints. They snap on nice 'n tight so you can pose them with no problem. Really solid construction.
Another nice thing is you can pick up this Battle Pack to piece together even more random aesthetic combinations for your figures. It comes with two weapons, including a Mjolnir-like hammer that would surely please Thor, a pick axe, a fur pelt, and a new set of arms & legs along with a mini comic.
As you can see, you can really change your figures into something completely different with the Battle Pack. While I like how the fur pelt can immediately turn your figure into somebody who looks like they could survive the harshest winter season in Game of Thrones, I do have to say that it sheds quite a bit. I was picking off little hairs from Preytus' black cloth costume for a while, so perhaps this is something they need to do a little more quality control with. However, the real star of the show here is the red cape. If you get the red cape and put it on Acromancer after swapping out the sets of arms & legs, you have yourself the closest thing to a reproduction of the Warrior Beasts' "Skull Man" that you'll ever find. It's absolutely fantastic and won't run you $80+ like the original Skull Man will.
All in all, I'm really impressed with the Realm of the Underworld figure line. The build quality is excellent, the joints are tight and highly poseable, and the fact that you can swap out body parts & accessories with any other figure makes all of them worth collecting. There's also a third wave of figures on the horizon, and I'm particularly excited about the upcoming hooded executioner figure named Grym. He's got a big axe, and I'm sure he's looking forward to playing with the other children. If you're a fan of Warrior Beasts, MOTU, or any other similar action figure line from the 80s, these are sure to make a welcome addition to your toy shelves.
If you're interested in collecting some Realm of the Underworld limited production action figures of your own, you can check 'em out at UnderworldFigures.com and be sure to tell 'em I sent ya. After all, it might help ward off some evil skeletons looking to snatch your most precious artifacts.
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