The original MerMan was pretty cool looking. He looked liked a frightened alien from War of the Worlds. Far from a demonic sea creature, his sculpt was better suited for Stinkor, the mighty warrior of stank, but he was still a figure memorable enough to become a favorite over the years from the most diehard fans.
Off the bat, he's given an advantage. He comes from the sea! Everyone loves underwater characters. It's a given. Now while this figure never represented everything MerMan can be in my opinion, it's his 2002 facelift that truly makes me wanna do a cannonball into the MOTU pool...
Now that's a real splash! Also, yes, I'm done with the pool puns.
The 2002 MerMan pays more tribute to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, a character that no doubt inspired his creation. Where as the original figure was a little more cartoony and silly, much like the entire line itself, this seemed to to take the character more seriously. A more frightening looking face sculpt and a more "monster" type body, scales and all. Indeed, he looks more like something coming from a b-movie. I can already picture Tom Savini's mask and effects!
Also included were some nifty weapons. In his first release, MerMan simply came armed with a sword. Not a bad weapon by any means, considering there's some weird fascination with being an amazing swordsman on Eternia. I guess "sword defense" classes are taught at an early age in Eternia, but be that as may, those lessons seemed to have made it all the way to depths of the sea in Merman's family too. Now sadly, before taking the photo of this figure, I actually had the sword he came with, but it seems either I lost it or my rabbits ate it. Who knows? But, that wasn't the only weapon is his arsenal. No sir. His other weapon is his trusty trident to spear right through the hearts of his enemies. Swords are cool but a trident? Now we're talking...I don't know what it is about giving creatures from below tridents, but I always thought they were cool weapons. Even though I lost his sword, he looks more intimidating with that sweet trident. Take that, Aquaman...
Awesome sculpt, gnarly weapons, wicked feed that look like they haven't been touched a pumice stone in centuries, MerMan has it all. One of the bests offerings in the series, I personally think this is a prime example of the potential the 200X line had to offer. If I was to point to any figure and say "this is why I love this line", MerMan would certainly be one of the first, if not the first.