Like Snake Armor He-Man himself, this updated version of the Snake Men leader, King Hiss became a physical representation of the lurking evil in Eternia throughout the sinister second season of the 200x animated series.
I’m uninitiated enough with Masters of the Universe that I was relatively unfamiliar with King Hiss as a character until I had seen him on the 200x animated series around ten years ago. Because of this, that was how I identified with the character, as the ancient king of snake people, almost Egyptian in nature, with broad shoulders, a long, angular face, and vicious clawed feet. I didn’t have any real attachment to the vintage version, so I skipped right over it, even as it was pretty readily accessible on the MattyCollector store.
But when I saw the two pack, I knew I wanted it. This was the King Hiss that I was familiar with, and even if this particular version of the figure couldn’t morph into a body of snakes, this was still the one I wanted.
Once I got him in hand, I was not disappointed. Mattel uses a soft armor over his torso to bulk him up and give him the unique texture of his snakified skin, with a fantastic combination of greens for the uniform and pale, scaley flesh for his exposed skin. This looks like a horrid mutation of a man, a thin peel of skin just barely covering the slithering serpents underneath, which is an almost flawless representation of how he was portrayed in the MYP animated series. The uniform is spot on, right down to his sculpted bare feet with elongated claw toenails. The gold metallic headress and bracers are a very nice contrast to the green base color and red cloth around his waist, and I find myself really enjoying the way the colors all play off of each other.
The sculpting takes the animated look and transfers it to plastic exceptionally well, all the while maintaining that squat, familiar Masters of the Universe aesthetic. It’s pretty amazing.
King Hiss comes with the shield and snake staff (but no alternate snake body) and looks just as threatening and imposing as he did in the animated series. A great foil for He-Man, and part of a great representation of the 200x series in a single two pack. As we stand on the precipice of the first full blown 200x mini subscription, it seems appropriate that this two-pack kicks off the spring buying season.