The long await and frequently asked for Mantenna has finally joined the MOTU Origins line and we were finally able to get ahold of him! Part of the Wave 9 line up, Mantenna joins Pig Head, 200X He-Man and 200X Skeletor in this amazing new wave! Be sure to be on the look out for our upcoming figure reviews of the rest of the wave! For now, let’s kick off Wave 9 with an in-depth look at Mantenna!
According to Wiki Grayskull:
Mantenna is a fictional character in the animated television series She-Ra: Princess of Power. He is a member of the Evil Horde, villains of the Masters of the Universe franchise. He is an insectoid creature with four legs and pop-out antenna eyes.
In the minicomics, Mantenna is the least featured of the four original Horde warriors. He did, however, have his own showcase mini-comic, ‘Mantenna and the Menace of the Evil Horde!‘.
When the Horde appear in the She-Ra: Princess of Power series, Mantenna retains his “spy sight” from the minicomics, and can fire energy beams of different varieties from his eyes, such as stun beams, gravity distortion beams, and freeze rays. Mantenna is a nervous stuttering imbecile mainly used for comic relief, with a running gag that Hordak frequently sends him down a trap door in front of his throne for any number of reasons. Although, once or twice, Mantenna actually turns the tables on Hordak and sends him plummeting down his own trap.Mantenna | Wiki Grayskull | Fandom
Mantenna was first released by Mattel in 1985 as part of the Evil Horde line up. He was part of the action feature heavy theme of the mid 1980’s MOTU figures that were becoming very gimmicky. Mantenna had pop out eyes that was achieved by pushing on the lever on his back. The vintage Mantenna had 4 legs, but was made up of a set of 2 legs molded together on each side, which differed from the later releases in MOTU Classics and now that we just received in Origins. He was bright red with bright blue legs and arms, and differed from his look on the She-Ra Princess of Power Cartoon as seen above.
When the Horde appear in the She-Ra: Princess of Power series, Mantenna retains his “spy sight” from the minicomics, and can fire energy beams of different varieties from his eyes, such as stun beams, gravity distortion beams, and freeze rays. Mantenna is a nervous stuttering imbecile and is mainly used for comic relief, with a running gag that Hordak frequently sends him down a trap door in front of his throne for any number of reasons.
Mantenna Evil Spy with the Pop-Out Eyes was one of the most anticipated characters from Wave 9! With completely all new tooling, Mattel really went all out on this figure! As a matter of fact, Mantenna’s part are unique to only him, so Mattle cannot re-use any of these, signaling that the Origins line is alive and running strong! This version of Mantenna is an amazing tribute to the vintage figure but with a massive upgrade! Mantenna finally gets 4 legs in the 5.5″ scale buck! The details on his arms, legs and torso are just amazing! Mantenna’s 4 legs are so much fun and the fact that Mattel went to the lengths to engineer this new feature on a one off standard release character is amazing!! He is super fun to pose and he even balances on only 2 legs! Let’s dive into the details of Mantenna down below.
Mantenna comes packaged on the standard Masters of the Universe Origins Single figure release card back with a few new upgrades! Rather than the ‘New for 22″ logo we are all used to, you can see the new ” 40TH” embossed silver logo of He-Man holding up his sword on the upper right-hand corner of the card back. As a matter of fact, all of the new releases from Wave 9 and the deluxe figures come with this new logo! Mantenna also features an “The Evil Horde” logo sticker on his plastic blister bubble as well.
Mantenna’s card art teases a ton of new figures for the Origins line and is so cool to see the battle that rages on between the Evil Horde and the Snake Men! the We broke the news that the Snake Men are coming to the MOTU Origins line in 2023 via CANAL DOS ROSMINEIROS and it is great to see Tung Lashor, Rattlor, and King Hiss teased on the Mantenna card art. There is a lot going on in this scene as Mantenna is wreaking havoc on the two serpents with his eyebeams as Grizzlor and Hordak look on. Meanwhile, King Hiss, in his serpentine snake form and he looks very displeased! Be on the look out for a future article where we explore these card art teases in depth!
Mantenna’s action feature is just like the vintage figure in that he has super cool pop-out eyes, but with a twist. By pressing down on the lever on the back of Mantenna’s head, it makes his eyes pop out!
Mattel upgraded his action feature by placing the action lever on the back of his head, rather than his back, so they were able to maintain the articulation in Mantenna’s head. As a matter of fact, you can still swap heads just like any other Origins figure!
The rest of Mantenna’s articulation still works the same as all the other Origins figures, and you can still swap out all the same parts; head, arms, torso and lower leg assembly.
As you can see from the images below, the eye extension is rather significant as his “pop-out” feature works really well! The lever on the back of Mantenn’a head is rather large and does detract somewhat but I guess we are used to Mantenna having a large lever in his back on the vintage figure, so this one is not that far off.
Mantenna’s head sculpt is highly detailed. He has 2 radar shaped ears and a large black orifice for a mouth. Mantenna also has 2 large white fangs on his mouth as well. The paint details on his face were done very well and very cleanly. He’s eyes are just like the vintage figure with white eyeballs, black pupils and red vain marks. My Mantenna had a little bit of a paint defect on one his black pupils. The steams and surrounds for his eyes are in a dark blue color. Mattel did a great job at recreating the look of the vintage Mantenna’s head in that new Origins style.
Chest & Back
Mantenna features the same design on his chest as the vintage figure. As you can see in the photos, he has a large Horde Bat sculpted on the lower portion of his chest in red with some additional linear accents in an orange color above, just like the vintage figure.
His back also has a similar design to the vintage Mantenna with some gill like patterns to his back that are very well sculpted and highly detailed. His torso is a dark blue color around the sides. The red and orange paint are well down on both his chest and back, I just had a small mark on the front of my Horde logo, but overall very clean.
Arms / Waist / Legs
Both his left and right arms are symmetrical in that Mantenna’s arms are molded in a dark blue color with fin details and black arm bracers. This matches the design of the vintage figure except this new shade of blue is much darker. This again is a brand-new arm sculpt and unique to Mantenna, which I don’t think will be reused in another character.
Mantenna is wearing a simple yellow painted belt with round rivets molded onto it and he has his own unique design for his shorts. Again, in the same design and style as the vintage Mantenna action figure.
The Origins Mantenna is incredibly unique in the Origins line in that he has 4 legs! It’s amazing that Mattel went to these lengths to do this as it was highly debated whether Mantenna would come with the 2 sets of legs molded together like the vintage figure or 4 seperate legs like the MOTU Classics figure. Well guess what folks, Mattel went all out on Mantenna and he is a standard release! Both his left and right sets of legs are symmetrical and aremolded in a dark blue color with fin details and little warts on his legs. This matches the design of the vintage figure except this new shade of blue is much darker and with the new 4 individual legs design. This again is brand-new legs sculpt and unique tooling only to Mantenna, showing the strength of the Origins line! He is wearing black and blue boots with red Horde logos on the front, similar to the vintage figure design, and of course are articulated at the boot and ankle joints.
You can see here the incredible new engineering that was involved in creating Mantenna’s four individual legs. They are fully articulated and bend at the knees, have a boot cut and ball joint at the waist.
This is a close up of the details on Mantenna’s legs sculpt as you can see the fins and warts on his thighs. There is also a close up of the incredible way his 4 legs work from down below.
Mantenna comes packaged the same standard Horde Crossbow with the animal head molded on the front that Hordak, Grizzlor and the Horde Troopers from the Power-Con Exclusive set come with. The crossbow is molded in a gray plastic color, just like the vintage action figure. He holds the crossbow by clipping the wrist guard on his wrist, just the vintage figure one used to clip on.
The mini-comic that comes packed with all the Wave 9 figures is “The Horrors of Pig Head”. The cover features Pig Head trying to obtain the Sun Stone and 200X Skeletor by his side, with Sun-Man and 200X He-Man ready for battle. We will cover a summary of the mini-comic below, so if you don’t want to know what happens and what to read it for yourself, skip this section and keep going.
In this issue, 200X He-Man battles an evil green monster, when suddenly darkness falls onto Eternia. He-Man confers with the Sorceress at Castle Grayskull to see what is going on, and she says that the sun has disappeared from the Solar System all together. She calls on Sun-Man to help answer what has happened to the sun. Sun-Man tells He-Man and the Sorceress that his greatest enemy is behind the disappearance of the sun.
Back at the Cavern of the Defiled ones. Skeletor and Pig Head both exiled from society plot their next evil scheme to take over Castle Grayskull. Pig Head says he knows how Skeletor can gain control over Castle Grayskull but first Skeletor must do him a favor, the sun must die!
Back at Castle Grayskull, Sun-Man explains that Pig Head was banished and now he wants to harvest Eternia’s sun. Sun-Man tracked down Skeletor’s spy and pulls out Mantenna from a bag! They force Mantenna to tell them where Skeletor and Pig Head are hiding!
Sun-Man and He-Man head to the Temple of the Sun in (spoiler alert,…. can this be a tease??) the Talon fighter. Pig Head get’s a hold of the powerful Sun Stone, an ancient Eternian artifact that generates incredible power by absorbing the energy of the sun. Amplified by Skeletor’s magic, the Sun Stone has absorbed nearly all of the sun’s energy, of which they can use to take down Castle Grayskull. But at that moment, He-Man and Sun Man appear at the Temple of the sun. Skeletor declares that with the combined power of himself, Pig-Head and the Sun Stone that He-Man and Sun-Man are no match for them. But Pig-Head, greedy as he is, tries to take off with the Sun Stone for himself and escapes to Castle Grayskull with the Sun Stone in his grasp.
Suddenly Sun-Man appears and with all the Power of the Sun reins down his might on Pig Head, knocking the Sun Stone out of his grip and knocking out Pig-Head in the process! Finally, Eternia is safe and the warmth and light of the sun return as the evil warriors were conquered.
Vintage Figure Comparison
The new Origins Mantenna figure is an amazing tribute to the vintage 1985 version, but with superior articulation and a fabulous upgrade to his legs. As covered above, the new Origins Mantenna comes with 4 individual articulated legs, where the vintage version had 2 sets of legs molded together to look like 4 legs. The details in the face, chest, arms and legs are the same in the new Origins Mantenna but in the Origins buck. One big difference and where I question Mattel’s color choice is that the vintage Mantenna was a bright red and bright blue color, which I think looked great. But when it came to choosing the colors for the new Origins Mantenna, Mattel decided to go with a much darker blue color, which is odd because the Origins figures have been vastly brighter and more colorful than the vintage. But in this case, they went the other way. Don’t get me wrong, the new Mantenna looks great, but would I have preferred him in the much brighter blue color, yes!
Also another difference we discussed above was that the vintage Mantenna had the lever for his action feature on his part, therefore removing the possibility for an articulated head. But on the Origins Mantenna, by placing the action lever on the back of his head, rather than his back like on the vintage, Mattel was able to maintain the articulation in Mantenna’s head!
If any of you follow our Toy Habits Instagram page and The Toy Sorceress Instagram page, you will see the Toy Sorceress loves Toy Photography, so here are some photographs for your enjoyment and inspiration! This was especially fun to photograph as I got my hands on the entire Wave 9 at once, so you will see the Origins Melle battle below! And I was also inspired to bring out my Power-Con exclusive Horde Set to use as a great Evil Horde backdrop for some super fun photos.
I’m getting a Charlie’s Angeles vibe with these poses… anyone else? LOL
I have got to say that I was so excited when Mattel unveiled this figure back in March! I could not wait to get my hands on this new Origins Mantenna. With the upgrade and improved action feature, amazing articulation and the 4 individual legs it makes this on this Origins Mantenna, light years better than the vintage. But the vintage figure will always have a special place in our hearts! The incredible engineering and added details on this figure earn him a perfect 7.0 out of 7.0! Way to go Mattel!!
Where to buy Wave 9:
Be sure to check out our MOTU Origins Shop Page: