Check out this Sun-Man Mattel Creations Exclusive and MOTU Origins retail release review and figure comparison!! If you thought they were the same minus a few bonus accessories and fancy packaging, well think again!
The Rulers of the Sun line was born out of the idea that no matter what your skin-color, you can still be a superhero. Olmec Toys launched their flagship character Sun-Man in 1985 by founder Yla Eason. Now with a with a partnership with Mattel, the Rulers of the Sun make their triumphant return as part of the Master of the Universe Origins line! Below you can see Sun-Man and the rest of the Rulers of the Sun Pig Head, Digitino, Space Sumo and a second versions of Sun-Man with a more stylized head sculpt. In today’s article we review the first of the Rulers of the Sun to be released, none other than Sun-Man himself!
Sun-Man has been released in both a standard single carded retail release and an exclusive spruced up Mattel Creations exclusive! You will see what we mean by “spruced up” when we get to comparing the two figures. The standard retail lease comes on a standard MOTU Origins card back with his sun shield, red staff and signature yellow wings! The Mattel Creations version however comes with an alternate head, two closed hands, red staff, shield and yellow sun flame! We will dive into more detail on each below!
Let’s take a closer look at each and then we will compare the two! If you thought they were the same minus a few bonus accessories and fancy packaging, well think again!
Mattel Creations Sun-Man Exclusive
Last year we had our first look at Sun-Man at Power Con 2021. It was very exciting to this new character. as many of us may have not been aware of the vintage Sun-Man and the special story that was behind him. As Power-Con came to a close, Mattel Creations put Sun-Man up for preorder back in late September 2021.
Well, he is finally in our hands! And just about the same time as we received the retail release, so I figured what the hay, I will review both and let you see the vast difference between the two! Honestly I thought that the two were identical besides the fancy box and the accessories, but boy was I wrong! The Mattel Creations exclusive is gorgeous and even includes a shimmery metal-like finish to his armor, bracers and boots! Let’s dive right into for a closer look!
The Packaging for Sun-Man is very similar to that of many other Mattel Creations and Power Con Exclusives. Sun-Man comes in a brown shipper box with some beautiful, sketched artwork of Sun-Man both on the front and back.
The package includes Sun-Man in his vintage style carb back in a collector friendly plastic case that can be slipped off to reveal the tri-fold card-back / comic artwork, similar to the Princess of Power She-Ra Power Con 2020 Exclusive. He also includes a certificate of authenticity, which reads ” This certificate certifies that your Masters of the Universe Origins Rulers of the Sun Sun-Man Action Figure was created by the collaborative efforts of the designers and creatives at Mattel and the Creator of Sun-Man Yla Eason.” I think that is pretty darn cool that they included that certificate, given the amazing back story to how Sun-Man was created!
The front of the tri-fold cardback includes a Rulers of the Sun Vintage style card-back, playing homage to the original Sun-Man packaging from the 1980’s! But then you unfold it and you find amazing artwork by the great Axel Gimenez! One Panel shows Sun-Man in all his glory, welding his red staff surrounded by powerful sun rays in a beautiful nature setting. The second panel features a fierce looking image of Pig-Head surrounded by a hazy reddish sky background. The other side of the card back reveals an amazing 3 panel mini-comic, (spoiler alert!!) where we learn that Prince Sunni is to fulfil his destiny as Sun-Man to protect the world from Pig Head who himself used to be a vile prince named Zegor, only to be transformed into that awful Pig-Head as punishment! Then the battle for the chalice that controls the power of the sun begins! If you want to read the whole story, we have included photos of all three panels below,.
In perfect MOTU origins style, he closely reassembles his vintage counterpart as you can see from the images below. You can read all about the origins of Sun-Man on the official Sun-Man website: Home | Official Sun-Man Website (officialsunman.com)
The Mattel Creations Sun-Man comes with his sun shield, red staff, signature yellow wings, alternate head sculpt, two alternate hands and a yellow sun flame!! I just love how he looks holding that sun flame on his staff and looking up to it in wonder and excitement! He is wearing red chest armor with a yellow sunburst insignia and red wrist bracers with yellow diamonds. Sun-Man is also wearing green shorts with a black and green belt and red boots with yellow stars. You will notice that his armor, bracers and boots are of a shimmery red metallic like finish (spoiler, the standard retail release is just a plain red color… no shimmer… boohoo). His signature yellow wings can be removed by simply lifting off the head and pulling the wings off from the front.
The Mattel Creations exclusive Sun-Man comes packaged with two alternate head sculpts. The first resembles the original vintage head with a bit of a non-expressive look on his face. The second head sculpt however has a grinning face with his teeth showing and is my favorite of the two.
Chest and Back
As mentioned above, this version of Sun-Man features a shimmery metallic like finish on his chest armor. His armor is a shimmery red color, with golden yellow trim and his signature yellow sunbust insignia on his chest. The back is simply red. The armor just lifts over his head, so there are no straps or clips which gives for a very clean look.
Arms / Waist / Legs
His arm bracers match his chest armor, again in that shimmery red color and feature a golden yellow diamond in the middle of them. This is the standard MOTU origins human buck, so standard arm sculpt as He-Man and the rest of the human characters. His waist features the standards Rulers of the Sun shorts and belt design. He’s wearing green shorts with some horizontal lines for texture, and a black belt with matching green diamond. His boots match his bracers design as well with the same red shimmery color and golden yellow diamonds.
Weapons and Accessories
As photographed and mentioned above, the Mattel Creations version of Sun-Man comes packed with his sun shield, red staff, signature yellow wings, alternate head sculpt, two alternate hands and a yellow sun flame!! I’m really digging how Sun-Man looks holding his sheild and staff with the yellow sun flame! It’s looks great on display!
Sun-Man’s shield features the yellow sunburst in the middle and red and green rings trimmed around the edges. It took resembles the vintage shield. This version of Sun-Man’s shield features a bit of a shimmer which is not present on the standard release as you will see below.
Sun-Man comes packed with his signature red staff with a large diamond shaped tip and long handle.
The Mattel Creations version comes packed with 2 alternate closed punching hands
This has got to be the coolest accessory that comes packaged with the Mattel Creations exclusive version! As you can see from the photo at the beginning of this article, Sun-Man looks amazing with this attached to his staff! The visual effect that this yellow sun flame gives is worth the difference in this exclusive alone!
Comparison to Standard Retail Release
Sun-Man is a very cool character whether you have the Mattel Creations exclusive version or the standard retail release. Both look great on their card backs! The standard retail release comes on the Red Rock Burst and Blue-sky packaging we all know and love but includes a Rulers of the Sun Sticker on the front. The Mattel Creations version retains the vintage Olmec toys card back style as mentioned above. Right away you will see the presentation of the Mattel Creations version stands out because you can see some of the packed-out accessories. Both however display the shield out-front which looks great!
Retail release card back art
The card back features art by the great Axel Gimenez and FETCH Francisco. Sun-Man battles alongside He-man against a scowling Pig Head and menacing Skeletor with Castle Grayskull in the background. These new Rulers of the Sun characters fit seamlessly into the world of MOTU as that was their original intent when Yla Eason created the Rulers of the Sun toys in the 80’s so her son cane play along with his friends and their MOTU toys! How cool is that?!
Retail Release – Head/Arms / Waist / Legs
The standard release looks very similar and is identical in body, and outfit style. It comes packed with the standard vintage style expressionless face. Where the two figures differ, is that the standard release’s armor, wrist bracers and boots are a regular red plastic color, and do not have that shimmery finish the Mattel Creations version has.
Retail Release – accessories
The MOTU origins retail release Sun-Man comes packed with his red staff, yellow wings and shield accessory.
Comparing the figures
If you thought the Mattel Creations exclusive and the retail release were the same minus a few bonus accessories and fancy packaging, well think again! When I first set out to write this review, I have to be honest, I was going to just review the standard retail release and tangentially cover the Mattel Creations version as I didn’t want to take him out of his package. I even removed the card back and left the MC Sun-Man on his plastic enclosure. But the more I keep looking at the Mattel Creations version, the more I could not help but free him from his plastic prison cause he looked that much more amazing than the standard release.
I’ve got to say I was surprisingly please by the difference in these two figures! First off, the Mattel Creations version displays beautifully on the card back as that shimmery armor really stands out. Then once you get them out of the package, having that extra yellow flamey accessory is freakin’ rad! And as much as I was going to resist opening the Mattel Creations exclusive, I just had to open him! Don’t get me wrong, the retail release is a really nice figure in it’s own right, but once you see that Mattel Creations version, with that shimmery red armor, bracers and boots and that freakin’ rad yellow sun flame… you are on two different worlds! Plus I really preferred the look of the alternate head sculpt with the grinning facial expression.
Besides the previously mentioned additional accessories you get with the Mattel Creations version of Sun-Man, let’s take a look at the accessories the two releases share in common. The Mattel Creation’s staff is a slightly deeper red color than the retail release’s brighter red color. The Mattel Creation’s shield has a shimmery yellow sunburst in the center, where the retail release is a regular yellow painted color with no shimmer. The yellow wings on both are identical.
Toy Sorceress: The Mattel Creations version of Sun-Man really feels like a premium version of the figure and is worth the added price point at MSRP. Now after-market prices are different, would I pay upward of over $100 for the Mattel Creations version now, probably not. But if you were lucky enough to score one from Mattel Creations or someone was nice enough to sell you their extra at retail price (Thanks Michael!!😉), then for $30, the Mattel Creations version is totally worth the added cost! At $14.99, the standard retail release of Sun-Man is a great action figure and a fantastic value for what you get as well. Sun-Man in both retail release and the Mattel Creations exclusive is a wonderful tribute to this very special character that has an amazing and heartwarming back story!
Be sure to check out our other Wave 8 Reviews, links below:
Sun-Man is currently available from Amazon at the link below for $14.99!
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