Masters of the Universe Classics: Spinnerella by Mattel

Once again I find myself receiving the current month’s Matty figures before I’ve gotten around to looking at all that last month had to offer. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. After today’s feature I’ll only be one figure and one beast behind and then I can look at the first figure of 2015. Hopefully I can do all of that before the February figures ship. Anyway, today I’m here to check out what I believe was the last figure in the Club Etheria Mini-Subscription, but I’m so confused as to which figures go with which subs, I could be totally wrong about that. Let’s just say that Spinnerella is one of She-Ra’s BFFs and that puts her firmly in the Princess of Power camp. Holy crap, Spinnerella? Really? I’m a 42 year old man and I’ve chosen to go down this path, huh? I suppose once I’ve delved into the depths of Sweet Bee and Flutterina there was no turning back. Alright, let’s do it…

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Spinnerella’s real name is Cynthia. I’m going to call her that because every time I type Spinnerella it comes out Spinerella, which is probably the name of Brent Spiner’s sister and not germane to this feature. Cindy’s tag line is “Dizzying Defender” and man I gotta think at this point the creators of the She-Ra line were really phoning stuff in. Cynthia is basically Etheria’s hot chick equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil. She literally travels by spinning like a whirlwind and the members of The Rebellion give her mail to deliver to their distant friends. Not making it up… it’s in the bio. I got nothing, so let’s move on to the figures on the back of the package. Hey… clean sweep! All are present and accounted for, although it’s worth noting that I still have not opened my Star Sisters 3-pack. One of these days, I’ll get to those gals.

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Cynthia’s outfit is designed in line with her gimmick by having a skirt made of lots of strands that are supposed to fly up around her when she spins and hitting the likes of Grizzlor in the eye when he tries to attack her. Doesn’t have to be Grizzlor it could be anyone. Spinning and whipping people with her skirt strands is literally her method of attack and defense. All kidding aside, her outfit exhibits some really nice work, including beautiful scrollwork carved into her arm bracers and belt as well as the sculpted ornamentation on her booberz. The blue, lavender, and purple deco is fairly reminiscent with what we saw with Glimmer. The colors all look great and with the exception of a little stray silver paint on her right arm streamers, the paintwork is clean and sharp.

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It seems like T4H are getting a little more diverse with their female portraits lately. I used to complain about most of the Princess of Power figures having a certain sameness about their face structures. The last couple have been pleasant changes and Spinnerella follows that trend. There’s something about this portrait that I like a lot. The paint is clean and she’s certainly pretty. She does have an absolutely huge purple mound of hair going on, though. It seems as if spinning around really fast would cause that mop to fan out just like her dress. I guess she has it pinned down pretty well. Or maybe not, as you can remove the top two layers if you think it’s too much and even stylize it with the top layer off and the pony tail reattached. I think I actually prefer her without the extra lump of hair on top.

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Spinny’s articulation is right in line with what I’ve come to expect from the PoP figures. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles, and feature swivels at the hips and lateral rockers in the ankles. She’s ball jointed at the neck and can swivel at the waist. Her rather large hair does inhibit some of her shoulder articulation and restricts her neck movement, but otherwise it’s all good.

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Cynthia comes with two accessories: Her spear and shield. The shield is a pinkish-lavender repaint of the same old PoP shield, this time with a matching pink crystal in the center. It’s worth noting that the streamers on her arm bracers prevent the shield from clipping on in the natural fashion, so she has to wear it clipped on to the top of her forearm, rather than the side. The spear isn’t much to write home about either. It has a blue shaft and a metallic pink tip.

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Long ago, Mattel promised no actual gimmicks in these Classics figures and yet they have managed to translate most of the vintage figures’ gimmicks in one way or another. That’s not really the case with Spinnerella here. There’s no spinning to be had and even if there were, the design of the dress wouldn’t allow all those strands to fly up and whip around. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been much for such gimmicks and aesthetically, she’s a great modern update to the vintage figure. Indeed, I like her a lot and get a really cool Grecco-Roman Goddess vibe off of her, which may or may not be justified. She’ll make a fine addition to my PoP shelf and I suspect she’ll be hanging around with Glimmer because they both seem to like purple an awful lot!

Masters of the Universe Classics: New Adventures She-Ra by Mattel

I’ve got a ton of these He-Mans figures to look at over the next month, so you’ll be seeing a little more MOTUC around here in the weeks ahead. November was a big month just for sub figures alone, but then I picked up some more on Early Access and a bunch more as part of the Cyber Monday sale. I’ve already looked at November’s Club Eternia figure, Tung Lasher, so today we’ll check out the Club Etheria figure, New Adventures She-Ra. While I hold only a passing familiarity with the New Adventures version of He-Man, I’ve enjoyed collecting some of the Classics versions of the Space Mutants. In fact, I’ve got a bunch of the ones I’m missing coming in next week. I still don’t have the Classics NA version of He-Man, but thanks to the Club Etheria Sub, I sure do have his sister, She-Ra.

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There’s the packaging and I don’t have anything new to say about it, other than it has a “Galactic Protectors” sticker on the bubble. So instead of rambling on about packaging we’ve seen so many times before, let me take this time to point out that the revelation of NA She-Ra seemed to piss off a lot of collectors. As far as I know she’s a totally original figure as I don’t recall She-Ra ever appearing in the New Adventures series, but if you’re a more hardcore Masters fan and care to brand me an ignorant bastard, then by all means, have at me! I guess the point of contention here was that the Club Etheria Sub has a limited number of slots and they didn’t want one of those taken up by a figure no one seemed to be asking for. That really shouldn’t be an issue since Club Eternia is getting its share of Princess of Power figures as well and besides which, I think it was a cool idea to give us a NA re-imagining of She-Ra. It’s also worth pointing out that I’m a really casual fan of the Masters fiction and for me this line is all about the figures themselves, so when Matty embarks on flights of fancy like this one, it just doesn’t bother me. Let’s get her open and check her out.

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So, yeah, if you’re one of the haters and looking to hear a sympathetic voice, you won’t find it here, because I freaking love this figure. She-Ra comes sporting New Adventures styled SPAAAAACE armor and it looks totally bitchin on her. The sculpted ornamentation looks fantastic and while I’m not a big fan of asymmetrical designs, even the giant lopsided silver flower on her chest sort of works for me. The ensemble is rounded out by a sporty blue and white cape, along with some silver boots and arm bracers and a pair of blue pants. Oh yeah, you also get a brown gun belt with a functional holster and y’all know how much I love those functional holsters! While I enjoy the white, blue, and silver coloring on this figure, I will say that the silver paintwork could have been a little sharper. There’s some slop here and there. It’s not terrible, but it is notable and as these figures continue to creep up in price, I will continue to keep calling out little flubs that I would have happily given a pass on less expensive retail figures.

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The portrait consists of a permanently sculpted helmet that’s giving me a very strong Thor vibe if Thor were a woman. Oh wait… Thor is a woman now! Yeah, an alternate helmet-less head would have been cool, but you can always do some head popping and swapping with another She-Ra if you really want to. At least I’m assuming you can. I haven’t tried it myself yet. I will say I appreciate that the green visor is removable, although I will most likely display the figure with the visor on because it contributes nicely to the spacey aesthetic.

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She-Ra features all the usual articulation we’ve come to expect from the female characters in the line. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have hinged knees and ankles. She can rotate at the waist and the neck is ball jointed.

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She-Ra comes with an energy sword and shield and both are pretty cool. The sword is your typical light saber style with a silver hilt and a green translucent blade. The shield is an eagle motif also cast in green translucent plastic. There’s a sculpted loop on the back of She-Ra’s cape that allows you to store the sword back there, although I would presume the blade is switched off when not in use so it doesn’t make much sense. Ah, I’m over thinking it and having someplace to store the sword is a nice feature for when she wants to switch to target practice…

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…because she also comes with a nice little pistol for blowing away Space Mutant fools. At first I thought it was just going to be a repack of the pistol that came with Battleground Teela, but it is indeed different. I get a warm and fuzzy Buck Rogers-slash-John Carter vibe off the gun and pistol and I love it!

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If you’re one of those collectors upset over this figure’s release, I can’t offer you much in the way of sympathy. The truth is I think the Masters Classics line has shone brightly when going off the rails and giving us original designs like this one or even the recent Light Hope. And while Club Etheria does indeed have a limited number of slots, don’t forget that Princess of Power figures will be releasing in the Eternia Sub as well, as evidenced by this month’s Mermista release. I think NA She-Ra is a great looking figure and lots of fun. She also finally gives me a hero to team up with Icarius and Hydron to fight my Space Mutants because I don’t have the Classics New Adventures He-Man. I guess I need to remedy that soon.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Sweet Bee by Mattel

Once again, I find Matty Sale Day rapidly approaching while trying to play catch up with last month’s figures. In addition to the previously featured Light Hope an Eldor, October also gave us Sweet Bee, not to be confused with Sweet Dee from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Not that anyone is likely to make that mistake as Sweet Bee is exactly what her name suggests she is… a bee lady, albeit not quite to the extent that Buzz Off is a bee man.

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There’s the packaging. Nothing new to see here. Sweet Bee includes the “Princess of Power” sticker on the front and she looks great inside the bubble. And check out that groan-inducing tag line… “Honey of a Guide!” Ugh. Her wings come detached and sealed on the back of the card just like Flutterina’s. Let’s get her open!

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Sweet Bee strikes me as a big departure from the last Etherian lady I looked at, Entrapta. Her outfit features a much simpler sculpt and a more focused color pallet. She’s basically just sporting a yellow dress with a black belt and black trim on the skirt. There’s a sculpted pink crest on her chest that’s vaguely insect-like in an abstract sort of way. She has orange-brown wrist bracers and tights and yellow boots with sculpted strapping tied around them. I think the colors on the outfit work pretty well, even if they aren’t all that exciting. I do wish the straps on the boots were painted black as it would have added a little more excitement as well as help to enhance the black and yellow bee motif.

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Yes, the head sculpt features a portrait that is still very evocative of the rest of the ladies in this line. It’s a very similar facial structure that we’ve been seeing since Teela and Adora. I know I say this every time, but I think it’s worth repeating. The dudes in this line have far more unique facial features than the ladies. That having been said, there’s something a little off about this one. The lips and eyes seem too big and the eyebrows are mighty beefy looking. There’s also some mold flashing on her jawline, which annoys me. Her orange hair looks like its fashioned out of modeling clay and the pink paint around her headband is slopped all over the hair. Granted, you have to get in pretty close to really notice a lot of this stuff, but it still feels like the QC on Sweet Bee’s noggin has taken a dive.

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Speaking of her hair, Sweet Bee’s orange hair is sculpted with two parts in the back to allow for the wings to plug in. It’s the same sort of thing we saw with Flutterina and it has the same limiting effect on the neck articulation. The wings cast in semi-translucent pink plastic and attach via rotating hinges that peg into the sockets on her back. They look great, but the hair really renders the articulation on the connection pointless. Nonetheless, as much as it sounds like I’m griping about the way the wings work, I can’t see any other way they could have done it.

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Sweet Bee comes with three accessories: A gun, a shield, and an alternate helmeted head. The shield is the same PoP shield we’ve seen over and over again. It’s sculpted in yellow plastic with a yellow crystal. I do like that Mattel sprung for the gold paint apps for the ornamentation, although I’d rather they spent that money on black paint for the boot straps. Yeah, I’m still dwelling on that! Still, you don’t always get the extra paint hit on these shields so I guess that’s something.

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I’m not a big fan of the bee gun. Yeah, it’s a bee-themed gun, I’m OK with that, but the way the stinger droops on the end makes me wonder if it can shoot straight. It just comes off as pretty dopey looking. Yes, I realize that I’m complaining that the bee lady’s weapon is too goofy. I’m not suggesting we give her an AK-47 painted with black and yellow striping. I’m just saying I think there could have been a happier compromise.

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And then there’s the helmet head, which is also an odd piece. It’s basically just a bucket with antenna and a huge blue face shield. It’s overly simple and it reminds me of the Morolians from SEGA’s Space Channel 5. Also, where does all the hair go when she’s wearing it? Does she get it all tucked up in there? On the plus side, displaying her with the helmeted head opens up more articulation for the wings.

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I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been more excited by the Princess of Power ladies lately than the main Masters line, but it didn’t work out that way this month. That’s not all Sweet Bee’s fault, she just head some really tough competition going up against two excellent figures like Eldor and Light Hope. And I’m not saying I hate this figure. Even with the questionable head sculpt and unappealing gun, I still dig her. She’s colorful and fun and she looks great standing with the other ladies of the Rebellion or just chilling with her fellow winged warrior, Flutterina. So long as I can keep Buzz Off from trying to pollinate with her, she’ll be a solid addition to my Princess of Power shelf.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Light Hope by Mattel

While October may be almost over, I’m only now getting to the first of three figures that arrived this month from my Matty Subscriptions. They all look like excellent figures, but the one I was most excited about getting in hand was the Club Etheria Exclusive figure, Light Hope. This is an interesting release since as far as I know the design of the figure is completely original. Light Hope only appeared as a shimmering rainbow light thingy in the Princess of Power cartoon, and I’m not aware of the character ever taking on corporal form in any comics. As a result, Matty tasked The Four Horsemen to give him this humanoid form and that is just plain neat. I fell in love with this figure the moment I saw the initial pictures of it, and now that I have him in hand, I’m actually even happier with the way he came out.

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Yup, there’s the packaging we all know and love. It features the Princess of Power sticker on the bubble and Light Hope’s tag line on the insert is, “Magical Protector of The Crystal Castle.” I’m not all up on my She-Ra cartoon lore, but if I recall correctly Light Hope basically did on Etheria what The Sorceress did on Eternia. Anyway, I got nothing new to say, so let’s just check out the back and see how I’m doing with my collection…

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Clean sweep! It doesn’t happen often, but I actually have all the figures pictured on the back. Nice! You also get the bio of Light Hope, most of which is over my head because of my lacking familiarity with Masters of the Universe continuity. As you might guess, I have no real attachment to the character of Light Hope, so this is one of those figures that has me excited based entirely on how completely amazing it looks.

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And hot damn, he does indeed look amazing! In fact, I’d dare say he’s a breathtaking figure! Light Hope’s body is cast entirely in a faintly rose colored translucent plastic. It feels like good quality stuff and it retains all the articulation of a regular MOTUC buck. His armor consists of sculpted boots, a belt and skirt, forearm bracers, and chest and shoulder pieces. All the armor is painted in slightly tarnished bronze finish. I like it because it looks somewhat antiqued and I think it brings out the intricate sculpt in the armor a lot better than if Matty had gone with a bright and metallic gold. The armor is decorated with sculpted scrollwork on the thigh pieces and chest and there’s a crystal in the center of his chest that’s cast in the same plastic as the figure’s body.

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The duality of translucent plastic and bronze armor is jazzed up a bit with some glossy red paint hits for the stones inlaid on the thigh armor, the arm bracers, the headdress, and the back of his neck, as well as the jewel in the center of his belt. He also has a sculpted white sash hanging down between his legs and a great looking cape that cleverly dips in the middle to allow for some light piping to come through the translucent bit in the center of his chest and back.

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The head sculpt is also cast in the same translucent rose tinted plastic with the headdress painted to match the armor and permanently attached to his spectral noggin. The portrait consists of a noble, bearded visage and while the details are a little soft when you get in close you can make out some nice sculpt work in there as well as the two white painted eyes. The detailed sculpt of the headdress is particularly noteworthy and it really nails the latticework motif that I tend to identify with the Princess of Power designs. Everything about this guy’s armor ensemble looks like it could have stepped out of the pages of Antiquity and I love it!

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Light Hope comes with a gorgeous staff that comes close to matching the figure’s deco. The translucent plastic used for the staff and the crystals is milky white, rather than rosy pink, but the elaborate top of the staff is painted with the very same bronze finish as the figure’s armor.

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Light Hope is an absolutely stunning figure and a wonderful surprise. I was admittedly sold on the Club Etheria subscription right off the bat, but if that wasn’t the case, I’m sure that having Light Hope as the exclusive incentive figure would have won me over. In fact, he even more than makes up for having to buy that dreadful Double-Mischief figure. I think it’s awesome that T4H were given the opportunity to lend their design talents to create what is a completely fresh and new take on a character that couldn’t have otherwise been realized in action figure form. Even if you aren’t an MOTUC collector, Light Hope is worthy of a look based solely on his aesthetics alone. He’s a fantastic concept that’s executed perfectly and I’d dare say he’ll likely stand out as one of the absolute finest figures on my admittedly overflowing MOTUC shelves.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Entrapta by Mattel

Once again, I find myself hurrying to get last month’s Matty figures reviewed before the new ones arrive. I just got the ship notice for October’s figures so it’s long past time I wrapped up September’s offerings. I already looked at Club Eternia’s Rio Blast and today I’m going to check out Club Etheria’ Entrapta! My knowledge about the ladies of The Great Rebellion can be hit or miss, but in this case I knew absolutely nothing about Entrapta. I didn’t even know she was a character, so apart from what little I’ve read about the figure, I’m going into this one totally in the dark.

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Hey, hey! It’s the MOTUC packaging! Wow, Entrapta is a member of The Horde? I honestly thought she was a good gal. Interesting. Most of the villains in the Masters Universe tend to advertise the fact by either being grotesque monsters or dressing like they’re evil. Sure, Scorpia is hawt, but she’s still got claws and a stinger tail. Scorpions are evil, everybody knows that! But based solely on Entrapta’s looks, I would have definitely pinned her for a goody. Anyway, her tag line on the package, “Tricky Golden Beauty” sounds like a service you might covertly order at one of those less reputable massage parlors. It also doesn’t suggest she’s a villain, nor does it really advertise her gimmick, which is the ability to grab people with her hair. The bio says she has the longest hair in the land, but she might want to get out a yardstick and double check that with Double Mischief, because that figure had some damn long hair.

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Here she is out of the package and… Oh… OK. I see it now. She’s got a very understated Horde skull dead center on her bosom. Apart from that, the purple and pink color of her outfit, mixed with all that gold, and I’d be sure this chick would be kicking up her high heeled boots at a tea party and hob-nobbing with the chicks from The Rebellion. In case you can’t tell, I’m really fixating on Entrapta’s allegiance. I’m over it now, though. I’ll try not to bring it up again.

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So straightaway I absolutely love this figure. The pink paint is really vibrant and it goes well with the purple. It’s also cool that they used matte paint for the skirt, but a snazzy metallic purple for her top. And the gold… oh, the gold! Hasbro used a nice and vibrant shade of metallic gold paint for her boots, gloves, tiara and her collar and it really makes this figure pop like crazy on the shelf. I also love those boots. They look like something out of a 70’s sci-fi exploitation flick. Hey, Barbarella, come get your boots… Entrapta has them! Seriously, though, this is one bitchin deco!

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The portrait here is attractive and now that I look at it, I suppose she does have a tiny hint of an “I’m angry and evil” expression on her mug. I’m pretty sure I mentioned last time about how the female faces in this line are starting to blur together for me. I think it’s something about the structure of the cheeks and a bit of flatness to the face. It doesn’t look bad at all, but there’s just a sense of sameness in the females that has been more or less there since the early days of Teela and Adora. There’s a tiny bit of mold flashing around the jawline of my figure, but the paint on the face is sharp and clean. The lips and teeth look particularly good and I like the slightly cocked eyebrow.

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Of course, I’ve already mentioned that Entrapta’s pride and joy is her “ultra long” pink hair. Obviously bubble gum is her kryptonite. Just stick a wad in her hair and it’ll take her forever to find it, let alone get it out. I was a bit apprehensive about the whole hair thing considering how terrible Double Mischief’s hair turned out, but Entrapta’s coif is much better executed. The saving grace here is that it isn’t one giant elephant trunk of hair hanging down the back, but rather two rather unwieldy pigtails that have gotten totally out of control. Each cluster of hair is hinged at the head with a rotating hinge joint and surprisingly enough, you can actually pose the hair up and out and it’ll stay there… at least for a little while. She even has some swivels toward the ends of the hair too! My figure does have a bit of a bobble head, but I guess that’s to be expected when you’re sporting your own weight in hair on the back of your head.

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Entrapta comes with two accessories. First off, you get her staff, which continues her whole bling thing. Yes, it is indeed painted in gold and it has a vague Ankh-like configuration which I dig a lot. It’s pretty utilitarian, but who says every magic staff has to have gargoyles and shit carved all over it, eh? Secondly, you get her shield, which is the same old shield we’ve seen the PoP figures come with since the beginning. This one is painted purple and has a purple crystal in it. Yeah, a little variety would be nice, but I honestly like this shield design so I’m cool with it. It also matches her deco nicely, and if there’s one thing the chicks of Etheria know how to do, it’s accessorize! Can’t you just picture Entrapta getting ready to go out and terrorize a village and ask Catra, “Does this shield go with these boots?”

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Do I really need to keep running down the articulation on these figures? I do? Alrighty then. Entrapta’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels way up in the hips. She can swivel at the waist and has a ball joint in the neck. All in all pretty standard stuff, plus the two hinges and two swivels in the hair.

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Before wrapping up, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the little running QC problem that a lot of the Entrapta figures seem to be suffering… the dreaded crushed left hand! It is indeed smushed on my figure as well and I could see it the moment I took the package out of the mailer. In the end, it’s a slight cosmetic blemish, as the hand is soft enough that it can still hold accessories. In fact, if you put her staff in her smushed hand, it looks fine. Sure, any QC problems on a $30 collector figure are unacceptable, but in this case it isn’t enough to ruin the figure for me. I just write it off to an injury caused by a horrible hair combing accident.

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For me, the Princess of Power figures have been outshining the regular Masters figures lately and Entrapta here is another example of why. She’s easily one of the most visually interesting and appealing Etherian ladies to land in my collection. The coloring is great and while the hair could have been a disaster, like it was with Double Mischief, they managed to do it quite well here. The fact that she’s a Horde member was quite a surprise for me, but she does indeed look great when displayed with Hordak and her fellow evil doers. This month’s Club Etheria figure should be Sweet Bee and I’m pretty damn excited to be getting her next!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Flutterina by Mattel

A few days ago I got the shipping notice for my subscription figures from Matty and that made me realize that I still haven’t featured one of the August figures yet. That’s nothing against Flutterina, I’m actually quite excited to get most of the “Princess of Power” figures, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me and she just got lost in the shuffle. To remedy the situation, I’m bumping my usual weekly Marvel feature to squeeze Flutterina in before my September figures show up.

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And there she is in the package and there’s really nothing new to say here. It’s the same old Greyskull inspired deco still looking as awesome as ever. Flutterina features the “Princess of Power” sticker on the bubble and for the life of me, I can’t remember whether she was part of Club Eternia and Etheria, but I think she came from Eternia since Madame Razz was the Etheria offering last month.

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The back of the package has her little bio, which is pretty interesting stuff. I always presumed she was born with those wings. And apparently she wound up shacking up with the “new” Man-At-Arms in Eternia. Is that the dude that replaced Duncan after he was turned into a Snake Man? Gosh, this MOTUC canon can be confusing! Anyway, you also get a shot of some other figures from the PoP side. Odd that they show original She-Ra and not the Bubble Power She-Ra that came after. Either way, the only figure I’m missing from that lot is Bow and since I’ll be getting his horse as part of one of my subs, I probably should get around to picking up that figure before he gets any pricier on the secondary market.

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Flutterina follows the usual She-Ra formula with a one-piece dress and skirt made of soft, pliable plastic and layered onto the figure. In this case her outfit is orange-brown in color and features a cool scaled pattern on the skirt and some additional decorative fixtures on her chest. She has a metallic gold choker, belt, and a matching set of arm bracers, and some nice sculpted decorations on the fronts of her boots. I think my only gripe here is that her costume should be more colorful. I seem to recall the top and skirt being different colors on the vintage figure and I think that would have helped make this Flutterina a bit more visually appealing, but overall I still like her costume well enough.

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The portrait is very much in line with what we’ve been seeing out of the PoP figures. It’s a decent sculpt and fairly attractive, but the features on the PoP ladies’ faces do all seem to have a bit of a sameness to them. I do like Flutterina’s hair a lot. It’s a striking shade of purple and it flows down behind her shoulders beautifully. Too bad it’s at odd with the wings. And speaking of wings…

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Flutterina’s wings attach to her back via hinged pegs and it’s a bit of a pain to get them on properly. I do recommend some care when removing them from the package as it looks very possible for the paint to rub when sliding them from the sleeve. The pegs are meant to pass through the parts in her hair, but I found it easiest to just pop the head off, get the wings on, and pop the head back on. The wings are made out of a slightly flexible plastic with each of the colorful decorations raised a bit, giving the patterns a 3D look. All in all the wings are a little too thick for me and the paintwork is uneven in some places and the paint lines are not as clean as I would like to see on a $30 figure. I really think these could have been done better with cloth on a frame. As it is, the wings interfere with the head articulation, rendering it practically useless unless you do a lot of futzing with the wings to get them between the strands of hair. Otherwise, if I do try to turn her head, I usually just wind up knocking out one of the wings. That’s a lot of bitching, I know, but let me qualify it by saying that when all is said and done, I think Flutterina and her majestic wings look fantastic on the shelf.

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The articulation here conforms to the line’s standards, but just in case this is your first time, I’ll run it down right quick. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, hinges at the elbows, and swivels at the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees, and have hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist and a ball joint in the neck, and I’ve already mentioned that the wings attach with hinged ball pegs that also allow some swivel.

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Flutterina comes with two accessories and we’ve seen both of them before. First, you get a repaint of the She-Ra shield that we’ve seen at least a couple of times already. It’s painted a sort of orange-brown to match her outfit and has a purple crystal embedded in it. Secondly, you get her sword, which is the same one that came with Battleground Teela. I’m not complaining, mind you, as this is one of my favorite swords in the line. It’s just a nice, no-nonsense, functional looking weapon, only in this case with a hot pink hilt.

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Even after a considerate amount of griping, I gotta say I love this figure. There’s definitely stuff here that could have been done better, but that doesn’t change the fact that she looks mighty nice standing on the shelf with the rest of my Great Rebellion ladies. Flutterina is also a reassuring comeback from the travesty that was Double-Mischief, a figure that holds the dubious honor of being my least favorite release in this entire line. Next up for Princess of Power is Entrapta, and she’s headed to me as we speak, along with Rio-Blast.

 

Masters of the Universe Classics: Madame Razz by Mattel

It’s Club Etheria time and today I’m looking at a figure that a lot of collectors were really happy to get into their hands. Me? Eh, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly happy to add her to my shelf, afterall she is a pretty iconic character in the She-Ra series, but I can’t say as I’ve been pining for her release. For those of you who don’t know Madame Razz, she’s basically the Orko of Etheria. That is if Orko was a crazy homeless bag lady. Like Orko, Razz was an absent minded spellcaster who was inexplicably trusted with the secret of our heroine’s secret identity. In other words, she was one of the many comic relief characters for the much lighter toned She-Ra series. She’s also one of those characters I never really expected to ever make it to figure form… and here she is! Oh, Deary-My!!!

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Razz comes in the usually awesome Greyskull inspired green stone package with the “Princess of Power” sticker on the bubble. There’s also an expositional explosion on the bubble insert proclaiming that her trusty friend Broom is included. Despite being a slightly smaller figure than most of the line, Razz and Broom still fill up the bubble quite nicely. The back of the card includes a bio, which didn’t really tell me anything new about the character, other than her first name is Regina. The cardback did, however, serve to remind me that I’m still missing a few Princess of Power figures.

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And there she is out of the package looking just as sexy as She-Ra and her girlfriends. WAIT… WHAT AM I SAYING???  No, Madame Razz bears the unfortunate burden of being one of the few females on Etheria that isn’t smoking hot. Hell, Scorpia’s got two lobster claws and a scorpion tail and I’d still do her. But not poor Razz. She looks like a cross between Orko and what you picture in your mind when you hear me say “crazy old Aunt Matilda.” DON’T LIE TO ME… I KNOW WHAT YOU SAW!!! She’s also pretty chunky for all those people complaining that She-Ra only fosters women with unrealistic body types. So what’s so damn cool about this figure?

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In a line of figures that more or less conforms to regular human (albeit human steroid junkie) proportions, Razz is totally unique. Sure, there are chicks flying around with butterfly wings and scorpion tails, but they still more or less look like regular people. Not Madame Razz… she’s a total cartoon character and she’s not ashamed of it. Considering all that I think Matty did an exceptional job with what is a very unconventional figure and one which obviously required all new tooling. The result is a figure that captures all the nuances and weird proportions of the original character artwork remarkably well. From the haphazard patches on her clothes to the ridiculous upturned boots, Razz looks like she just walked out of the cartoon.

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The head sculpt is also excellent. Frankly, I didn’t think that this portrait would translate all that well to a three-dimensional sculpt, but I’ll be damned if Matty didn’t make it happen. I like the way the hair flows down from inside the hat and it even sprouts out the back of the top of the hat. Even the droopy tip with the flower is spot on perfect.

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As Madame Razz is an off-the-wall design, her articulation varies a bit from what we’re used to getting in the MOTUC line. But that’s not to say she isn’t well articulated. The arms have ball joints in the shoulders and elbows and there are swivels in the wrists. She has both rotating and lateral hinges in the hips, and both her knees and ankles are ball jointed. She can swivel at the waist and she has a generous ball joint in the neck. Despite the wonky proportions and tiny feet, Razz still stands fairly well. Sure, sometimes you have to work at it, but I honestly didn’t think it would be this easy to keep her upright without a figure stand.

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As already mentioned, Razz comes with one accessory and that’s Broom. Rather than be content with delivering just a static PCV piece, Broom actually features ball joints in his shoulders. Ok, two points of articulation may not be all that much to celebrate over, but frankly I’m pleased that he wound up with any poseability at all. Broom can be a little tougher to stand than Razz, but he does have peg holes if you want to support him with a stand.

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Whenever I watched She-Ra, I generally hated every moment that Madame Razz was on screen and so it may seem rather odd that I’m happy to own her figure. Then again I was never all that fond of either the He-Man or She-Ra cartoons, so that was never what was fueling this collection for me anyhow. And yet all I can say is that my Princess of Power collection would hardly seem complete without her. I think she’s a fun figure and she certainly adds a bucketload of diversity to the ladies of The Great Rebellion! And if you buy a thousand of her, you can recreate that scene in Fantasia with Broom!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Double Mischief by Mattel

Another Matty Sale Day has come and gone and you know what that means? Subscription figures are landing at my door! Yes, this month it’s figures (plural) because in addition to the Club Eternia release, the Club Etheria Mini Sub kicked off this month and that’s the one that I’m going to look at first. This is the second of these Mini Subs that I subscribed to, the first being the Club Filmation. I can honestly say that I didn’t think there was a bad figure in that entire series. Will that be the case with Club Etheria? Well, let’s take a look at Double Mischief and find out.

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While she may hail from a new Club Subscription, Double Mischief features the same great packaging we’ve been seeing all along. The only difference worth noting is a snazzy 30th Anniversary She-Ra logo printed on the back of the cardboard mailer box. You’ll have to take my word for it, though, as I tossed it before I was able to shoot any pictures. The front of the bubble has the Princess of Power sticker on the front. The back of the card has the usual bio and pictures of other figures in the line. Looks like I’m only missing Bow and Snout Spout. The bio proclaims that Double Mischief’s real name is Rebekkah Kettle. Wait… what? Ok, well for the rest of the feature I’m calling her Becky, because I don’t want to keep typing Double Mischief.

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Holy shit, this figure is crazy! I realize that’s usually a compliment for MOTUC figures, but in this case I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. Becky’s gimmick is that she’s basically a female Man-E-Faces and while I happen to dig the Man-E figure a lot, in this case I’m getting more of a weird and off-putting vibe. I guess I’ll start with her portrait, because that’s where it’s all going on. She has the same bucket-head kind of helmet with a rotating set of faces. In this case, Becky only has two faces, one good and one bad. The idea is that she’s a member of the Great Rebellion posing as a Horde member. She’s a double agent, get it? So why does it work for me with Man-E-Faces and not with this chick?

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It’s tough to put my finger on exactly why. I think a big part of it is that Man-E was more of a freakish monster and Rebecca is just a regular lady with a monument sized bucket on her head. And girlfriend, that hair ain’t helping any neither. <insert double-snap here> The hair is not only a ridiculous fountain of plastic spurting out of her top, but the paint on it is terrible making it look dirty and just plain nasty. It looks less like hair and more like what you get when you push play-doh through one of those toy pasta maker machines.

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You switch faces simply but turning the knob on the top of her helmet and the main difference between the two is in the eyebrows. One face has a set of eeeevil eyebrows. And god help you if you stop halfway through changing the faces because you’ll be confronted with a featureless lump of flesh that will haunt your dreams forever.

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It’s a shame because I think the rest of the figure looks mostly good. I like the green dress and the high collar and those silver Go-Go boots look like they’re right out of a classic Star Trek episode. I had high hopes for the translucent green cape, but in person it looks kind of dingy and not so great. From the neck down, Becky has the same articulation as most of the other females in the line. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, hinged at the elbows and have swivels in the biceps and wrists. Her legs have universal movement at the hips, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels at the upper thighs. She also has lateral rockers in the ankles. Naturally, there’s no neck articulation because this chick doesn’t really have a neck. If you want her to look in either direction you can work the knob on the top of her head. She’s not someone you want with you in battle because she’s got zero peripheral vision.

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Becky comes with only one accessory and that’s her Horde crossbow. It’s designed so that it can convert to a less evil looking crossbow for when she’s with her Rebellion chums. You convert it simply by twisting the front. It’s because of the crossbow that I’ll probably keep her displayed with my Horde figures.

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Unfortunately Club Etheria isn’t off to a great start as far as I’m concerned. I find it odd that Matty put Double Mischief out there as their first offering and one that would land on people’s doorsteps smack dab in the middle of Subbing Season for 2015. I thought she was a dubious offering from the beginning and there are much stronger figures and characters that they could have used as their inaugural release. There are precious few figures in the Masters Classics collection that I don’t enjoy on some level, but I think Becky here is going to be counted as one of those few. Fortunately the rest of this Club’s offering should be a lot better.