Masters of the Universe: She-Ra Sixth-Scale Figure by Mondo

Mondo has been turning out some Sixth-Scale figures based on the Masters of the Universe license, and while the reaction to some of these has been hit and miss among fans, I’ve been enjoying them from afar. But, then they announced She-Ra, and she looked absolutely gorgeous, and I figured, What the hell? Let’s see what these are all about… because I need another expensive line to collect like I need a hole in my head. The made-to-order formula, that has become so popular among smaller collector toy companies, was the rule of the day here, and so I dropped a pre-order. For some reason I didn’t think she was going to be shipping so soon, but here she is, so let’s take a look!

The packaging is extremely well done, both in terms of presentation and quality. When I drop more than $200 on an action figure I like to get it in a premium package, and that is absolutely the case here. You get what appears to be a fully enclosed box, but there’s actually a magnetic flap that opens to reveal a window front panel. The front and back panels have some very nice artwork and the inside of the flap has a picture of the figure itself. Inside, She-Ra comes on a clear plastic tray, with several layers to house all of her accessories and extras. There are a lot of different display options with this figure, so let’s just start with how she comes straight out of the box.

And here she is out of the box and looking drop dead gorgeous! In a lot of ways, Mondo She-Ra looks like an upscaled premium 7-inch action figure, and I don’t mean that as any kind of slight. It’s just that most of my Sixth-Scale figures feature tailored costumes or seamless joints, or something to set them apart from their smaller cousins and justify the high price tag. Here we get a mostly plastic costume (we’ll get to the cloth cape in a bit!), and articulation that is pretty similar to what we’ve seen in some of the more articulated, higher end six or seven inch figures. As a result, She-Ra feels more like a figure that I can play around with, rather than something I’m just going to tweak the pose on every now and then.

Her white dress is cast in soft plastic and has a decent layered effect to make it look like the figure is actually wearing it. I did find the asymmetrical nature of her top rather interesting. Her right breast covering is smooth while the left is scalloped. I’m not sure where Mondo took that particular design cue from, but I think I would have preferred they had gone with one or the other. And I’m not just bringing it up as an excuse to talk about She-Ra’s boobs… honest! Of course, the creamy white dress is complimented by the gold accents, which make for an absolutely exquisite deco. The gold paint that Mondo used here is quite striking, with something of a satin finish. In addition to the gold piping on the dress, you get the large floral motif on the front of her torso, and the golden shoulders, grieves and boots. There are sculpted brown straps “holding” the grieves in place and and some copper paint applications to give the gold armor a little more of a dynamic look. I have absolutely no complaints about the the quality of the paint and coloring on this figure. It’s all top notch stuff!

The belt is removable and can be replaced with a second belt design. It’s pretty cool, but I like the one that came on the figure much, much better, so this piece is going back into the box! They are both made of soft pliable plastic and tab together in the back. I found that this one was tough to get secured properly, whereas the first seems to fit and stay put just fine. Yet another reason to cast this one aside.

The portrait is just about flawless, and clearly favors a toyetic/animated look over any kind of realism, which means we get some very clean but also very basic paint, including red lips, blue eyes, and a hint of purple eyeshadow. An argument can be made that this simple style works better on a smaller figure. I think it’s fine, but it does contribute to the feeling of this being an upscaled figure. Her blonde hair is sculpted to fall about her shoulders and splits so that the bulk of it falls behind her and you still get some curls over the fronts of her shoulders. The stock tiara and headdress also has a simple, animated style to it, with a red jewel in the middle. I get a strong Filmation style vibe out of this one and I do dig it a lot. And you get a total of three headdress options here.

Each of the tiaras peg into holes where her temples are, as well as slotting in above her forehead. It’s very easy to swap them out, but it also means that you can’t display her without them because there are two gaping holes in the sides of her head. This second version is a bit more angular, and sports more detail, and also has a bit of that copper paint that can be seen on her boots. I’m really torn over which of the two I like best. Right now I’m leaning toward this one, as I think it suits Mondo’s take on the character perfectly, but the Filmation style ain’t bad either!

There is a third option, which is clearly inspired by the vintage toy, also includes a hair piece, creating some bangs that hang below the head band. This is an interesting look, and the bangs really transforms the portrait a lot. But despite being closest to the original design, it’s a bit far from the She-Ra that I’m most familiar with. As with the original toy’s headpiece, this mimics the tiara doubling as a mask with eyeholes if you turn it upside down, but that option really doesn’t work with this figure. I doubt I’ll display this one very much, but I’m sure there are some She-Ra purists out there who will favor this look.

She-Ra comes with a red cloth cape with some gold trim, and some very strong wires running through the edges to allow it to be posed in a variety of ways. It attaches to the figure with wire clips, which I think are meant to go on the gaps in the shoulder armor and the shoulder straps, but I couldn’t make this work, so I attached them on the shoulder straps themselves and that seems to do the trick. The clips make for a secure connection and the bright red cloth really pops next to the white and gold deco of the figure. All in all the cape completes She-Ra’s ensemble perfectly, and I’m hoping the red dye in the cape doesn’t transfer to the back of her white costume. At this point, I have to say that if I were basing my take on this figure strictly on aesthetics alone, all I would be doing is gushing, because this is such a gorgeous piece! Between sculpt, paint, and display options, there’s really not much to complain about. But, unfortunately, things are about to take a downturn…

The articulation here looks fine on paper, but it’s problematic in execution. The hips are ball jointed and seem to have a generous range, but the plastic skirt puts the kibosh on that. The knees are double hinged, but when I tried to flex them to their limit, I started getting stress marks on my figure’s lower right knee joint. I wasn’t even coming close to the extreme range, so I’m thinking maybe it was because the joint wasn’t aligned properly. I’m not sure if this is a flaw in my particular figure, or the design in general. The ankles are hinged ball joints, but don’t allow for any significant lateral movement, which means they can’t stay flat at wide stances, and that’s unacceptable for a figure at this scale and price point. The neck has a generous ball joint and there’s a ball joint in the waist, which will pop out if exercised too greatly. Not ideal, but I guess it’s better than breaking it. It took some force to get the two halves of She-Ra together again, but I was able to do it. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and hinged pegs for the wrists, which allow you to swap out hands, of which there are three sets: Fists, relaxed hands, and accessory holding hands. Unfortunately, a lot of the joints are very weak, particularly the elbows, knees, and ankles, and that leads to problems with posing. A lot of the posed pictures I took were snapped just seconds before She-Ra took a tumble because her ankle joints gave out. What a shame! Let’s move on to accessories…

Naturally, She-Ra comes with her Power Sword, and not just one but two! She comes with a traditional silver version, as well as a gold version with a golden scabbard. The silver version looks great and very faithful to the Filmation style. It features some gray paint apps on the grips and the center of the blade, a pale blue stone centered between the guards, and overall an even satin finish. I also appreciate that the sword is cast in some pretty stiff plastic, so there’s no worries about warping or bending. Her gripping hand holds on quite well and it looks as iconic as ever in her grasp.

She also comes with her golden shield, which is a remarkably well-made and substantial piece, but unfortunately a little too substantial. The shield is so thick and heavy that She-Ra’s elbow joint really isn’t up to the task to keep it raised and at the ready. The shield is attached to She-Ra’s arm by passing the forearm through the two plastic straps, but her left gripping hand is designed to hold the sword and not grip the wide strap. Mondo’s official photos show them using the fist, but that slips through the strap way too easily. As a result, I tend to find the relaxed hand is best, but that’s not really ideal either. This thing is constantly causing her elbow to droop and the shield just slides off onto the floor. I may eventually use some poster putty to get it to stay put, which is really something I shouldn’t have to do on a $250 figure. I really wish Mondo had equipped her with a wider grip left hand designed to work with the shield better. With all that having been said, the floral motif looks great and matches the decorations on her armor perfectly.

The gold sword has a beautifully sculpted scabbard, complete with sculpted brown wraps and a unicorn head at the tip. As far as I know this is an original Mondo design, and while I love the style, it’s really thick and comes across as being outlandishly large for She-Ra to carry. The scabbard is designed to clip onto her back strap and be worn under the cape and utilize a special hair piece with a hole in the hair sculpt for the hilt to pass through. Unfortunately, my figure came with two of the same hair pieces, rather than the normal one and the one that works with the sword. I contacted Mondo about the issue and they said they would send me out a replacement, but I have no yet received confirmation that it has shipped and it’s been over a week now, so I’m reasonably miffed about that. I was going to hold off on the review until it arrived, but then I thought better to just showcase the figure as it came, flaws and all and do an update when (or if) the replacement part arrives. So, for now, I can’t show her wearing the sword.

Out of the scabbard, the gold Power Sword looks nice. It’s not a drastically different design than her regular one, and I do like how it matches her armor and shield so perfectly. The way the blade narrows ever so slightly in the middle and then swells near the point gives it a distinctive look while not straying too far from the original design. Overall, it’s a very cool bonus item that adds value to the package and serves to make this version of She-Ra all the more unique. And while on the subject of swords, I really wish Mondo had included a right hand that was designed to hold the sword straight up above her head, so she could better do her iconic pose.

The final accessory is the Battle Axe Hairbrush, which is a direct homage to Mattel’s MOTU Classics release. I thought this was an absolutely brilliant way to incorporate the hairbrush that came with the original doll into an action figure accessory, and I’m glad to see that the idea is being kept alive. This is a slick design, with some stylish organic curves and a substantial axe blade. The hairbrush portion is now a spiked backstrap, which looks like it could do some vicious damage to any one of Hordak’s minions.

The final accessory, if you want to call it that, is the Kowl figure, which is absolutely fantastic! He’s big and colorful, and even has articulation at the shoulders. Sure, it’s just rotation, but that was a lot more than I was expecting. He stands really well on his own, and I can’t say enough things about how great this sculpt looks. It really captures all the charm of the character as he appeared in the Filmation cartoon, rather than the vintage action figure. There are a number of accessories in this box that I probably will never get any use out of, but Kowl will certainly get put beside She-Ra as a companion display piece.

Finally, She-Ra comes with a black figure stand, which looks like it’s positively guaranteed to ruin the figure. The post uses a wire loop to grab the figure around the waist and hold her up. So, yeah… tight black wire rubbing on the white plastic dress is a recipe for disaster. It’s not a huge loss, since the stand is pretty ugly. The base has a weird design that doesn’t make much sense unless you flip it over and see that it’s a rather ornate Mondo logo. Why the hell put all the detail on the bottom of the base where you’ll never see it? For the price of the figure I think we should have received a stand that looked a lot better, not to mention was designed to do no harm to the figure itself. But, since the ankle joints aren’t going to support She-Ra, I’ve substituted a generic Hot Toys style stand, which uses a crotch-cradle. I use these for my Phicen/TB League figures, and it works pretty well here.

I was going to do a comparison shot of Mondo She-Ra with Mattel’s 2016 SDCC Sixth-Scale She-Ra, but then I realized I hadn’t reviewed that figure yet, so maybe I’ll use this as an excuse to go back to it and then do comparison shots in that review. All in all, I can’t say I regret buying Mondo She-Ra. To be clear, she is an absolutely gorgeous figure and is going to look fantastic on display with my other MotU toys and collectibles. On the other hand, there’s a lot about this figure that disappoints me. From the questionable jointing to the missing hair piece, and a terrible figure stand, it feels like Mondo stumbled on the easy stuff. If the figure were under $200, I could be a lot more forgiving, but at $250 this kind of stuff is just not OK. And so She-Ra is both my first Mondo Sixth-Scale purchase and my last. In the meantime, if Mondo does wind up sending me the missing hair piece, I’ll do an addendum to this review and some more pictures.

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