Masters of the Universe Classics: General Sundar by Mattel

I think in my mind I’ve already detached myself from MOTUC, because I keep forgetting that I have new figures to look at. Not to mention a Castle Greyskull and Battle Ram and a sizable robotic horse to open. No, I haven’t lost my love for this line, but I think I’m just beginning to make peace with the fact that it’s almost done. So, maybe it’s not an issue of forgetting them, but wanting to take my time and savor the final releases because soon there will be no more. That having been said, I was really looking forward to today’s release, which arrived on my doorstep several weeks back and today’s the day I felt like finally opening him up.

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There’s nothing to be said here about the packaging that hasn’t already been said these past many years. Fans of the Filmation She-Ra series will note that the spelling of this guy’s name has changed from Sunder to Sundar because, copyright lapse? Probably. Anyway, the bios on the back of the cards are gone, but I remember a good deal about the two episodes that Sundar appeared in and how unlikely Sundar’s character arc was. Yup, he’s a Horde General with honor, which makes little sense, who all the sudden decides that Hordak and his taxes are unreasonable… shortly after he’s thrown a poor old farmer and his wife into prison for not paying their taxes after they were arbitrarily doubled that morning. Yeah, I see what they were going for here, and I appreciate that kind of depth in a kid’s show that was basically a toy commercial, but it’s still pretty weak.

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This figure, on the other hand, is amazing. There’s something about the Horde Trooper aesthetic that I just adore and that’s on full display here. Sundar wears a modified version of the Horde Trooper armor, which features the same pale gray plates with exposed black ribbing at the joints. His chest plate is missing the sculpted Horde emblem, but he makes up for it with a dashing red cape that “secures” to the front of his shoulders with two bronze clasps, which also match his belt buckle. There’s some wonderful detail sculpted into the armor itself, particularly on the legs and forearms. One o fmy many weaknesses is sci-fi/fantasy armor and this is just a great example of that.

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The head sculpt features a helmet sculpted onto the underlying head to give it some depth and credibility. It’s a relatively simple helmet design with the nose and mouth exposed and large holes for the eyes. The top is adorned with a Grecco-Roman style brush crest. It’s worth pointing out here that my figure has a few nagging little QC issues, like a chip of gray paint near his right eyebrow and some glue residue on the helmet in front of the crest. There’s also some rubbing on the front of his chest plate, but that last bit I’ll just write off as some battle scuffing. I hate to say it, but it really does feel like some of these final figures aren’t getting as much QC as the bulk of MOTUC releases. There’s nothing here that ruins the figure for me, but keep in mind, this guy was around $38 shipped, so even the little flubs can be annoying.

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The articulation here is a bit of a departure from what I’m used to seeing in the MOTUC line, but then this guy does look like he’s comprised of mostly new tooling. The big change here is the use of rotating hinges in the elbows and knees, as opposed to just regular hinges. In fact, this guy is all about the rotating hinges, as he also has them in the shoulders and hips as well. There are swivels in the biceps, wrists, and at the hips and chest. You get the usual ab crunch hinge hidden under the chest plate and the neck is ball jointed. The ankles have hinges and possibly lateral rockers, but I really can’t get much movement out of them.

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Sundar comes with his pair of stun pistols, each housed snugly in his twin holsters. These are cool little designs and he looks great dual wielding them. Oddly, the trigger finger on his right hand doesn’t seem like it was designed with the gun in mind, so he tends to hold it on a bit of an angle.

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You also get this Horde axe. I don’t recall him having this in the series, but it’s been forever since I’ve seen his episodes. Whatever the case, it looks wonderful when matched with one of the Horde Troopers’ shields. It’s pretty cool that Mattel threw in the axe when you consider that Sundar also comes with a trio of extra heads…

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Yup, these bonus noggins are actually for the Horde Troopers so you can spice up your ranks with a little variety. As I understand it the one in the middle is a Naval Trooper and the one on the left is the design helmet from the Horde’s earlier days. I have no clue as to the purple monster face helmet, but it’s a damn fine sculpt.

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Will I get much use out of these? Probably not. I only have two Horde Troopers and I plan on keeping them with their stock heads. There was a rumor that Mattel was going to be re-releasing the Horde Trooper sometime in November, but with things at Matty Collector winding down in just two short months, I’m not finding that likely. If I can get another Trooper, I’ll definitely display him with the Navy Head.

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Sundar is definitely one of my favorite MOTUC figures this year, and that’s saying a lot because there have been quite a few excellent releases. It also shows once again that I don’t need any special affinity for a character to love the figures in this line. The front of the card may say Former Horde General, but I’ll likely keep Sundar displayed with my Horde army because he looks so amazing standing beside Hordak and flanked by a pair of Troopers. The extra heads were also a fantastic bonus and continues to show that Matty is trying to get as much extras into the hands of the collectors before the curtain drops on this wonderful line.

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Despara by Mattel

In case you haven’t heard, there’s been big doings over at Matty’s Castle. Matty Collector is officially closing down at the end of this year and the Adult Collector lines are being handed over to Super7. Right now it seems like Masters Classics will certainly continue under the new stewardship in some form, while the future of lines like ThunderCats, which haven’t even started shipping yet, are a bit more questionable. Either way, as we ponder the future of these lines, it seems only appropriate to be looking at one of my most anticipated figures from the Collectors’ Choice Sub. Let’s check out Despara!

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Will Super7 carry over this style of packaging? I hope so! These packages have become so iconic to me over the last handful of years. No more bios on the back, but we do get Despara’s tag line on the front, “Powerful Force Captain of the Evil Horde” and a Horde sticker on the bubble. An explosion on the side panel declares this figure is part of the Collectors’ Choice Subscription. I think there are still two more figures coming in this Sub and I still have one other waiting on deck to review. As I understand it, Despara is the name used by Adora in the DC Comic, when she was a Force Captain for The Horde. I’ve never read it, but I do remember her being affiliated with The Horde in the beginning of the She-Ra Filmation cartoon, although I seem to recall that she was just called Force Captain Adora and that she wore her regular clothes. I think I like the DC version better, because…

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Well, damn… just check her out! I don’t know about you, but being told that Force Captain Adora is coming to lay down some Horde law wouldn’t instill fear in me. Nor would I be trembling when some wholesome looking blonde shows up in a tunic and skirt. Now, you tell me Despara is coming to set fire to the village and this bitch turns up? I’m gonna get out my Bank of Etheria checkbook to pay my taxes right quick. This design is just so bad ass. Yeah, it’s basically just She-Hordak, but oh man, do I love it! You get that same sinister black and gray deco on her outfit and a little bit of red. Why no Horde emblem? I’m sure there must be a reason, no?

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The stepped shoulder armor is part of the cape, which just lays on her shoulders. If you pop the head you can lose the cape to give her a little more agility for battle. The cape also features a pair of loops for her twin swords, which I’ll get to in a bit. The paint on this figure isn’t quite as tight as what I’m used to seeing on most of my MOTUC figures. It’s by no means terrible, but some of the lines could be a little sharper. Also, it’s just my personal preference, but I wish the outside of the cape was black. But who am I to nitpick the Horde Queen’s color choices?

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The masked head is patterned after Hordak’s and it is every bit as ugly as it should be. Actually, it’s a wee bit uglier. The teeth look kind of sloppy in both sculpt and paint. Same goes for the cowl that frames the face. The truth is, we’ve seen better in this line. Just compare this portrait to any of the Hordaks and I think it comes up a little short. Again, not terrible, but I think Matty could have done better.

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As we saw in the packaged shot, Despara comes with an unmasked head. It’s basically Adora with a buzz cut and some war paint under her eyes. The portrait looks a little too friendly, but I guess that’s why she has the mask. The paint here is fairly solid. I like the gloss they used on her lips and the bright white for her teeth. There is some unfortunate and annoying mold flashing around the edges of her chin and her ears. I love that we got this extra portrait, but will I be displaying it on the figure a lot? Probably not.

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Articulation features the standard for MOTUC female bucks. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have hinges in the knees, swivels at the boots, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, no ab-crunch, and a ball joint in the neck.

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In addition to the extra head, Despara comes with her own Horde staff, which features an array of silver painted blades and a red tip. I like this thing. It’s a pretty cool mix of ceremonial piece and weapon.

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Despara also comes with her twin swords and here’s where we run into some problems. The swords themselves are fine. They have silver painted blades and the hilts are black and red to accessorize with her outfit. They look great! No, the problem here is that her hands are clearly not made to hold them very well. The grip is just a little too big and the swords wind up falling out of her mitts. I can squeeze the grips to close them and that works for about a minute or so before they go back to normal and drop her swords. Now is a good time to go digging through the trash and find those clear plastic rubber bands they used to hold them in her hands while she was in the package!

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If it sounds like I nitpicked Despara more than I do most Masters Classics figures, you have to understand that I was really looking forward to this one. And what I got is in no way a bad figure. There are, however, a few things about her that didn’t live up to my expectations and I feel some of that has to do with her coming at the end of Matty’s run. I could be totally off base on this conclusion, but the little nitpicks about this figure point to her being rushed. Just stand her next to the original Hordak and the difference in care and craftsmanship feel like night and day. I think the paint could have been a little tighter, the head sculpt a little better, and those sword-dropping hands really are a nuisance. Disappointed is way too strong a word for how I feel. I dig this figure a lot, but I can’t help but believe that had she been released a year or so ago, she would have turned out a little better for it.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Vultak by Mattel

It’s been almost a couple of months since I last looked at anything from Masters of the Universe Classics. But, last week I got a new package from Matty on my doorstep, so today I’m opening up Vultak, who’s motto should be better late than never. Or rather it seems that should be the motto of the Collector’s Choice 2016 line, since we’re seeing a lot of delays. I’ll confess, I don’t remember a lot about this guy, but with a ton of MOTUC figures now on my shelf, I don’t think there are any surprises left in this line…

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…unless Vultak turns out to be an “Evil Flying Zookeeper.” Well played, Matty. I stand corrected. Well, at least there’s nothing new to say about the packaging. It’s the same awesome presentation we’ve been seeing all along, except for the lack of bio on the back of the card. Besides having a ridiculous title, Vultak is a member of The Evil Horde, and unfortunately made an appearance in the She-Ra Filmation cartoon, which meant that I was contractually bound to watch it for this Feature. The episode is called “Zoo Story” and it was about 24 minutes of pure agony. Despite having the word “story” in the title, there was no story, just a shallow mystery surrounding animals disappearing from the ironically named “Freedom Forest.” Who took them? Vultak, of course! Hordak’s Evil Zookeeper! What a cheat! How were we kids supposed to figure that out when we never saw this asshole before?

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Anyway, the episode may be terrible, but Vultak is a pretty cool figure. He sports a standard buck, cast in gray, complete with standard belt and fuzzy diaper. The bulk of his costume comes from his black vest with red Horde emblem sculpted on the front and his abs are painted black to give the illusion that it’s part of the vest. He also has webbed reptilian feet, which I thought we’d seen before, but the ankle articulation makes me think they may be new.

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Speaking of seeing things before, he’s also wearing the wings from Mattel’s DC Universe Classics Hawkman figure. Not a bad choice for recycling and they look really good on Vultak. The coloring on this figure is pretty basic, but makes for a very pleasing deco. The red Horde emblem combined with the blue paint for the wrist cuffs, boot fringe, and belt, really contrasts beautifully with the gray and black. The wings have a slight purple about them.

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Besides the wings, the head sculpt is the real draw here. It’s not only a good likeness to the Filmation character, but it packs a lot of personality all on its own. Keep in mind, Hordak didn’t have this guy run the Zoo for wildlife preservation. He didn’t even do it so he could sell tickets and make a profit. He did it just because he’s a dick and wanted to keep a lot of animals locked up in cages. They literally point that out in the episode. Look into the face of this figure and you are looking at the type of degenerate that would run that kind of place. He looks like a real sicky who is way too proud of himself. Seriously, I love that he’s smiling.

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You get all the usual MOTUC articulation, which includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, swivels in the wrists, ball joints in the hips, hinges in the knees, a waist swivel, a ball jointed neck, and an ab crunch hinge. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers that I believe are the ones introduced to the Club 2.0 2016 Filmation line. I’m not a big fan of the way they look, but the rockers are nice. Finally, the wings are hinged where they connect to the back and and hinged again to allow them to extend.

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Vultak comes with two accessories. You get the ubiquitous Horde crossbow, but it’s a new sculpt with a feathered wing motif. Matty should consider releasing some kind of specialized weapons rack to display all the individual Horde Crossbows. They’ve had some really cool and varied designs over the years.

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You also get a pretty cool leash with a collar that opens and then pegs closed. I don’t have any animals to put it on, but it also works for capturing Rebellion scum. Especially when they’re do-gooders trying to free the animals in your zoo.

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Will I ever grow tired of collecting these figures? Probably not. Vultak is as solid a figure as they come and he makes me happy that I subbed the Collector’s Choice line. While double dipping on animated versions of characters I have already was too much to ask, I’m glad we’re still getting new releases this way. Especially when they’re Evil Horde members like Vultak. I’ll take all the Horde figures I can get! Plus, getting my MOTUC shipments every other month keeps my Matty fix going a little longer until the Thundercats start shipping.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Perfuma by Mattel

Remember when the first Princess of Power figures were released as part of the Club Eternia Sub and a lot of collectors lost their minds? Well that was a long time ago. Since then every couple of months has brought us another of these now established ladies and that’s fine by me because I think they’ve been some of the brighter spots of the whole shebang. Let’s see if today’s figure continues that trend with Perfuma, “Brave Warrior Working the Fragrance Desk at Macy’s!”

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Nah, her real tagline is “Scent-Sational Flower Maiden” and ugh, I liked mine better. Even in a line that has no problems letting the bad puns fly, this one just goes too far. Her real name is Tara and her magical power is apparently being able to make people fall asleep by smelling her. In Filmation lore she has the power to force Horde Troopers to form a conga line and remain totally oblivious to personal danger. There’s nothing else to say about the packaging. We’ve seen it before and it has a “Princess of Power” sticker on the bubble. It’ll likely be the last time we see that sticker on a new release, but I’ve got some back tracking to do on some figures, so we’ll see it again here. Anyway, let’s open her up and…

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Woah… So, Perfuma is actually perfumed and I honestly did not expect that. I’m not sure why I didn’t, since making figures stink has been a MOTU gimmick before with Stinkor and Moss Man. I guess I just didn’t get the memo this time. The smell actually isn’t that strong, and it’s kind of nice, but I don’t get to talk about a figure’s smell too often so I thought I’d lead with it. I may lock her in a Ziploc container with Stinkor and Moss Man and let them fight it out to see who wins in the battle of the stinks. As one might expect, Perfuma features a very flowery themed outfit. She has a rose-colored dress with a couple of sculpted roses on her belt, green leggings and rose-colored boots. Even the dress itself kind of looks like an overturned rose. The whole ensemble is capped off with a pair of green arm bracers and some ivy-like trim around her dress. She’s actually one of the more distinctive looking ladies in The Great Rebellion. Let’s face it, if you’re a dude collecting this line, you’ve got to be pretty comfortable in your masculinity to have this figure on your shelf. Then again, if you’ve got Peek-A-Blue on display, you’ve already crossed that bridge.

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The head sculpt is pretty distinctive too. Perfuma escapes that certain “sameness” that I tend to see in a lot of the ladies’ portraits. This one looks different and maybe just a tad more Filmation than the rest. Or maybe that’s just me. It’s not one of my favorites, and I think that has a lot to do with the eyes. The paint is rather heavy handed. It also looks like she’s been to the Etherian Collagen Clinic for some injections in her lips. Perfuma has a wild mane of yellow hair, which is sculpted in a very pliable plastic that helps her head turn more freely. It does, however, look a little dirty, like she’s been rolling around in the flower beds. There’s also some unfortunate mold flashing on the back of her hair.

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In keeping the whole flower obsession thing going, Perfuma also has a giant flower that she can wear as a hat. It just clips right onto the top her head and stays on really well. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t just make this part of the sculpt, as I can’t imagine wanting to display her without it.  Articulation is totally predictable for the PoP ladies, but let’s run through it anyway, one last time. 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, hinged at the knees, have swivels at the hips, and the ankles are hinged. She can swivel at the waist and has a ball jointed head.

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In addition to her flower hat, Perfuma comes with a flower gun and a shield. The gun is so ridiculous it’s almost awesome. Unfortunately, she can’t really do anything with it because it weighs a ton and her joints can’t support the weight. There’s one sweet spot where I can get her to hold it up for a few moments, providing nobody breathes on or looks directly at the figure. As for the shield, you guessed it! It’s just a repaint of the same shield we’ve been getting all along. This time it’s green with a green crystal.

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Perfuma is a pretty cool figure, although I’ll confess she’s not among my favorites of the Princess of Power offerings. In fact, I’d rank her low to middle on that spectrum. Of course that comment shouldn’t weigh too heavily on her flowery head because with the exception of Double-Mischief *spits on the floor*, I love every PoP figure on my shelf (Yes, even The Star Sisters) so Perfuma’s got nothing to be ashamed of. And so, if I’m not mistaken, Perfuma should wrap up the PoP figures for the Masters Classics line, and not a moment too soon, since we’re closing in on the line’s final figures and what will sort of be an end of an era. But I’ll have more to say on that next month when I look at the last offerings. In the meantime, I still have a couple of figures to look at from October’s offerings, and I’ll try to get to them next week.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Peekablue by Mattel

There’s a shitload of figures coming to me from Matty for the month of August (I think it amounts to three figures and a pack of heads), so I guess it’s well past time I finish opening up and looking at July’s figures. Today we’re checking out another one of the Princess of Power ladies. She’s Peekablue, and she may be half peacock, but she’s all woman. Wait, what?

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The packaging tells us that Peekablue is our “Watchful Feathered Friend” and sports the PoP sticker on the package. If I flip the package over and look at the other figures on the back, I can see that I’ve got a clean sweep. All of those are on my shelf. Yes, sadly that includes that terrible Double Mischief figure.

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It seems appropriate to be looking at a figure like this now at a time when a major retailer like Target is sanitizing their toy department and making it “gender neutral” by removing gender specific aisle markers and replacing blue and pink aisle paper with neutral brown. Hey, why not go all the way, Target? Put the Barbies in with the Transformers. Why are you still segregating them by aisles? I’m kidding… a little bit. It just seems like an empty gesture to appease some loud mouths concerned over something that I didn’t even know was an issue. I’m a 43yo male about to review Peekablue. Granted, she’s not sold in stores, but if she was, I wouldn’t care what color the aisle was I bought her from.

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So, Peekablue is a green haired chick with a full spread of peacock feathers on her ass. I got nothing. That’s it, folks. Thanks for reading. …OK, so seriously, as batshit crazy as this sounds, it’s just another day in Etheria or Eternia where hot chicks with animal parts can walk down the street and nobody thinks twice about it. I think what’s most creepy about this arrangement is that the bio points out that all of those patterns on her peacock tail are actual functioning eyes. Forget classifying this as a girl’s toy, the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s actual body horror. What’s that? Yeah, I suppose I should actually talk about the figure…

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Peekablue features a colorful outfit, with a blue top, boots, and arm bracers, a red belt, and yellow skirt. She’s got some peacock motifs sculpted into her top and boots, although at a quick glance they could look just as much like shells, I suppose. The skirt is a nice piece of sculpting and her belt features an eye sculpted in the middle. I wonder if that one is real too!

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The peacock tail plugs into the back and is hinged in two places so it can close up a bit. The sculpting and paintwork on this thing is especially nice. All the little feathers are sculpted in and there’s a shimmery blue and green deco with each of the eyes painted red and yellow. Surprisingly, the figure can still stand pretty well despite the huge peacock backpack.

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The portrait here is solid. It escapes the angular cheeked, flat faced sameness that sometimes characterizes the MOTUC women. She’s pretty, the paint is very clean and her cascade of green hair is wonderfully sculpted.

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Other than the hinges in the peacock tail, articulation is right in line with the rest of the PoP ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, hinges in the ankles and knees, and swivels up at the top of the thighs. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, swivels in the thighs and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. She can swivel at the waist and the head is ball jointed at the neck.

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Peekablue comes with two accessories. You get the usual PoP shield, this time in blue with a yellow crystal. She also comes with what looks like a folding fan, but I imagine is supposed to be some kind of bladed weapon.

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I make it no secret that I love the PoP related figures and Peakablue is no exception. With a nice sculpt and a strikingly colorful paint job. She’s just so delightfully ridiculous and makes a great addition to the crazy members of The Great Rebellion. Not being a collector of the vintage line, I have no idea how many PoP characters are left for Matty to re-create as Classics, but I’m going to be a sad puppy when they’re finally done.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Star Sisters by Mattel

If you follow my Twitter feed then you may have seen that I was puttering about in one of my toy closets last Monday on a mission of discovery and organization. I also set out to photograph a bunch of boxed stuff that was sitting around forever, and finally open it all so I can make room for more boxed stuff that will sit around forever. One of those things I finally opened was the MOTUC Star Sister 3-pack. This thing has been hanging around for over a year, so let’s go ahead and check these gals out.

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The Sisters come in this trapezoidal box with the familiar green stone Greyskull deco. It shows the figures off quite well through a huge window and I particularly like the illustrated backdrop with the alien sky and moon and the way the bird is flying overhead. The presentation in this line has always been great, but there’s something about this set that steps it up a notch. Now is as good a time as any to point out that when this set was first revealed a lot of Masters fans lost their shit to the point where the Sisters have become notoriously maligned. I don’t remember what all the hubbub was about, because I wasn’t a subscriber back then, but maybe it was because they weren’t happy about these gals being a $60 mandatory purchase. I guess I can see their point.

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On the back you get the usual bio blurb only in this case it’s just one bio for all three characters. I didn’t know anything about these gals, but their backstory is kind of interesting. I did subject myself to viewing an episode of the Filmation cartoon that they appeared in, “Bow’s Magical Gift,” but in the interest of getting through all three figures in one shot, I’m not going to share my suffering. As for the figures on the back of the box… I’m only missing Leech. Not bad. Leech is pricey so unless Matty reissues him, which seems unlikely at this point, I’m going to be shit out of luck. Anywho, let’s get started with the figures and we’ll just go from left to right based on how they are packaged.

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First off we have Jewelstar, who sports some pretty cool looking crystal armor and a crystal headdress. I really dig the coloring on this figure. The body is cast in a shimmery pink with translucent pink plastic used for the crystal parts. The short cape also has a great iridescent sheen to it. Other than the cape and the crystal parts, there’s not much else to be said about her outfit. The only detail worth mentioning is the star on her chest. She definitely suffers from the whole “granny panty” look, but I think it sort of works well with the spartan nature of her design. I also like the angular design of her chest.

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The head sculpt is decent enough with sharp paint on the eyes and lips. I like her narrow pointy nose as it sets her apart from the general “sameness” that I see in a lot of the female PoP figure’s portraits. The translucent crystal headpiece looks great. Jewelstar is my least favorite figure in this set, but I don’t dislike her. She’s alright.

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Second is Starla and her pet Glorybird. Starla is the leader of this trio and easily my favorite figure of the pack. Maybe it’s because her outfit reminds me of ketchup and mustard and she looks like she could be the mascot for an Etherian McDonald’s franchise. Seriously, though, the coloring on this figure is really nice and there’s a good deal of detail to the costume. Nothing about her screams gimmick, which is kind of refreshing in the world of Etheria where most characters are one-trick ponies and base their whole identity around some stupid gimmick.

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The head sculpt is nice, even if the eye and lip paint make her look a tad whoreish. Sorry, Starla, I calls it like I sees it. Her hair and star tiara look good, but her neck joint is really loose giving her something of a bobble head feel. It’s ironic since she’s one of the few PoP figures where the sculpted hair doesn’t totally muck up the neck articulation.

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Glorybird is at heart the same bird we’ve seen quite a few times now, and I’m kind of burned out on this one. He (or she?) is cast in a shimmery pink plastic and the wings on mine are really warped. The big change on this version of the bird is the neck piece with a huge mohawk that makes Glorybird look like some kind of 80’s punk rock fan. If Jem from Jem and the Holograms were to be reincarnated as a bird, this is what she would look like. The perch appears to be a new sculpt, which I was downright surprised to see, otherwise, I don’t have a lot of love for this accessory.

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And that brings us to Tallstar who can “stretch to unbelievable heights,” a magnificent feat that in reality seems more like a slightly amusing party trick. It’s achieved by adding small extra segments to her legs, arms, and neck. The result is…

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…well, less than spectacular. Now, don’t get me wrong I really dig this figure with the extra pieces. It makes her look a little alien and distinctive. It doesn’t, however, adequately simulate the “Mr. Fantastic” style stretching she was capable of in the Filmation cartoon. That having been said, Tallstar is still a close second behind Starla as my favorite in this box. Her outfit is simple, but colorful.

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I also really dig the portrait. I may have a previously unknown fetish for chicks with hot-pink hair. Yes, chicks, just not birds. The sculpt is really good, particularly the way it blows off to the side. The face is more in keeping with what I’m used to seeing from the PoP portraits and the paint is nice and clean.

The articulation on Starla and Jewelstar is identical. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and hinged at the knees and ankles. They can swivel at the waist and have ball joints in the neck. I really miss having at least one swivel in the legs. Tallstar adds some articulation because of her extension pieces. They basically add two swivels to each bicep, two swivels below the knees, and an extra two swivels in the neck. Unfortunately some of these pieces don’t connect very securely. It’s pretty common for me to pull her arm out when posing her.

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For accessories, each one of the Sisters comes with her own Star Staff. Yeah, they’re all the same sculpt, but each one is cast in a different shade of shimmery clear plastic. Jewelstar’s is purple, Tallstar’s is orange, and Starla’s is yellow. Apart from the cop-out of reusing the same mold three times in one set, I think they look pretty good and definitely suit the figures. Put all three together with staffs in hand and I think they make for a colorful bunch of ladies. Can this really be the most maligned release in the Masters Classics collection? Does anyone even remember The Mighty Spector? Hell, any one of these ladies is better than Double-Mischief.

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Nope, frankly, I don’t get all the hatred for this set. Granted, I wasn’t compelled to buy it with a subscription and pay $60 plus some ridiculously made up shipping charge from Matty. Nah, I actually got mine off of Amazon last year for about $30. At ten dollars a piece, I’ll buy MOTUC figures all day long, even mediocre ones. Each one of these ladies has her own charms and while I was in no rush to open them now that I have I find them to be worthy additions to my Princess of Power shelf. In fact, Glorybird is the only piece in this set that I don’t really care for. He’s easily my least favorite release of this damn bird sculpt, and he will likely be doomed to eternity at the bottom of the dreaded Tote of Forgotten Accessories where he can make friends with Tri-Klops’ Doom Seeker and Glow Ring. The rest of these gals can party with the gals of The Great Rebellion anytime.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Angella by Mattel

April is almost over and I’m getting in just before the end to feature this month’s Club Eternia subscription figure, Angella. Sadly, the other big item released for April was the 3-pack of Hover Robots, which were available only through Early Access the day before the regular sale. I say “sadly” because I really wanted these and I was tied up in a meeting at work and as much as I tried, I couldn’t even get five minutes on my phone to place the order. Naturally they sold out fast and are now selling for around $100 through scalpers secondary sources. I seriously don’t get why Mattel can’t include stuff like this in with the subscriptions. THE SUBSCRIBERS ARE THE ONES YOU SHOULD BE REWARDING! But then my Early Access would have netted me a set if only I wasn’t busy working so I could make disposable income to spend on toys. Wait… so what figure were we talking about again? Oh yeah… Angella. angla1 Angella is another one of them “Princess of Power” figures and it says so with a sticker right on the bubble. Mattel has been stacking the decks with the PoP releases lately and I have absolutely no problem with that. If there’s one thing about MOTUC that even the detractors have to admit its that this line delivers on female characters better than almost any other major action figure line out there. While poor Black Widow has to struggle to get any representation on the pegs, Matty leans back and says, “here have another chick from Etheria!” and then lights his cigar with a fifty dollar bill taken directly out of my wallet”. I know next to nothing about Angella (other than Glimmer is her daughter), but her tagline calls her the “Angelic Winged Guide.” The back of the package goes one step further and says she’s “The Queen Regent of Brightmoon.” The bio isn’t doing much for me here, so I guess I’ve got to go see her in an episode. BRB! angla2 Hoo boy! So I went with a painful little ditty called “Micah of Brightmoon” based on the good council that Angella was in it. It starts off with a guy in a spaceship escaping Red Squadron by jumping to light speed. Um? Did I pass out and wake up in a Star Wars Black review? It goes downhill from there with Glimmer imaginary dancing with her missing father right off the end of a cliff. She-Ra has to save her, which is about the only thing She-Ra does in this whole episode! Next we flip to a mother and daughter reunion (sans Paul Simon) between Queen Angella and Glimmer with a whole lot of reminiscing about King Micah who went off to fight The Horde and got captured. Nobody seems to be straining too hard to find him, but that’s OK because it turns out he’s the dude in the spaceship from the beginning (SPOILERS!!!) and conveniently flies overhead in full sight of She-Ra and with Hordak tracking him. At this point we get the best lines in the episode, “Does he have to use his tongue to push the buttons?” “Tung Lasher, how many times must I tell you no tongues on the equipment!” LOL! Micah gets captured by Harpies, who have the most grating voices ever (and for a Filmation production, that’s really saying something!) and inexplicably She-Ra lets Angella fly off to rescue him alone while she chills at the palace with Glimmer. Eventually Glimmer convinces She-Ra to go along too, they free the King and Queen, She-Ra gives her sword to Angella so she can fight the Harpies for her and only gets off her duff to do some dirty fighting by throwing a cloak over her when her back is turned. All is well and Micah says he’s going back to fight the Horde, probably because he has another wife somewhere on Horde World. That last nugget is my own assertion. Phew… enough Filmation Torture, let’s look at the figure. angla5 angla4 Here she is and she looks pretty great. Angella comes donning a pink and purple outfit with sculpted shoulders and a collar. I have to be honest and say that some of these PoP outfits are really starting to blur together for me. There’s only so many variations you can do on a top, skirt, tights, bracers, and boots. But that’s OK, because Angella is all about her magnificent set of wings. If you never collected Mattel’s other big line, DC Universe Classics, then you may miss that these are actually parts recycled from DCUC Hawkgirl. Is this the first instance of Mattel raiding the DCUC cupboard for MOTUC? Probably not, but it’s the only one I can think of off hand. Gripe if you must, but it’s a great repurposing of those wings and they look fantastic on the figure. Just like on Hawkgirl, they are attached to her back with a hinge and while it looks pretty mechanical, rather than organic it does allow the wings to be angled all the way back or face all th way front. Each wing is also hinged at the top so they can be spread out. The wings feature the same great, detailed feather sculpt and have a new coat of paint giving them a pearlescent white-blue look. angla10 Angella’s portrait is quite good, although with the high cheekbones it does suffer a bit from that “sameness” that I call out when I’m looking at a lot of these PoP figures. It’s not really a critiicm but more of an observation. The paintwork is clean and her bobbed hairstyle gives her a lot more head articulation than many of the PoP ladies tend to have. angla13 Apart from the wing articulation, everything else here falls right into line with most of the Princess of Power gals. 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 ankles, and have swivels at the top of the thighs She can swivel at the waist and is ball jointed at the neck. angla9 angla8 angla14 angla15 The Queen of Brightmoon comes with two accessories. You get a short sword, which looks to me like a new design. It’s fairly simple and painted all in silver, but I tend to like generic looking swords so I’m happy to have it. Angella also comes with a translucent halo that pegs into the top of her wings hinge and hovers behind her head. It’s a nice homage to the vintage figure and pretty well executed too. I didn’t think I would bother with this piece, but I actually think I may wind up displaying her with it on. angla11 angla12 angla6 angla16 Angella is a solid figure and another great addition to my rapidly growing Princess of Power shelf. I’m not sure how popular she was or even if she sold out, but the nice thing about having a subscription is not having to worry about such things. Next month, we’ll be flipping back to the Eternian side of things with a figure that I’m really looking forward to: Blast Attak! The evil fighting robot of the Snake Men! YES!!!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Bow and Arrow by Mattel, Part 1

Yeah, I started this week with MOTUC love and I’m ending it that way too. It’s necessary as these are the last two figures I have backlogged from last year and I gotta get them open and out on the display shelves. Bow was released way back in the annals of Club Eternia, I want to say 2011 but I could be wrong. I didn’t get him when he was first offered and I’ve been watching him on the secondary market ever since, but at around $40-45, I was never willing to pull the trigger. When his trusty steed Arrow was announced as part of 2014 Club Eternia, I was hoping that they would bring Bow back and they sure did. I’m going to take a look at Bow today and Arrow tomorrow.

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There’s the packaging and all I have to say is, “Special Friend Who Helps She-Ra???” What the hell is that? It’s weird and wrong on so many levels. And if he’s secretly in love with Adora, then why does his heart frantically beat when She-Ra’s in danger? So many questions, so many answers I really don’t care to know. You’ll also note my figure’s package states, “The Original!” which is Matty’s bizarre way of distinguishing this reissue from the original release. Yeah, I still don’t get that. Anyway, I have little memory of Bow from the She-Ra cartoon, although I do remember him as being an Errol Flynn type. I didn’t pick him up when he was first offered because I honestly didn’t think Matty would release enough Princess of Power figures to make collecting them worthwhile. Looks like I was wrong about that because now I have an entire shelf of them. With Arrow coming my way, it seemed only natural I should pick up Bow.

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Bow is a rather dashing looking archer with a predilection for gold flare. His costume consists of a set of shoulders and chest armor with a short red cape. It’s all fashioned in one piece and the whole ensemble can be easily removed simply by popping off Bow’s head. The gold and bronze paint looks really nice and there’s even some beautiful scrollwork sculpted into the tops of the shoulders. I’m not entirely sure why, but Bow’s costume reminds me of El Dorado’s from DC’s Super Friends. Maybe it’s just all the gold, but I think Bow’s outfit is a lot more ostentatious and not as Aztec-y.

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His quiver is also permanently attached to this piece and is rather ornate and includes a horse motif (only the first example of Bow’s unsettlingly rampant horse fetish) and a number of arrows sculpted into it. The quiver also has a flexible plastic cord that fits around Bow’s neck and under his chin. The costume is rounded out by a pair of blue pants, gold bracers, and gold boots. There’s certainly nothing understated about Bow’s fashion choices and one might say that he looks FABULOUS!

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You do get one display option with Bow’s costume and that’s whether to go with the simple red circle in the middle of his chest or swap it out with the heart (which is accurate for both the vintage figure and the Filmation look). Wait? So why is the circle even an option and why is it the one packaged on the figure? I haven’t got a clue. Either way, it’s a fairly subtle difference and swapping them out is as simple as removing one plug and putting in another. Seeing as how the heart is both vintage and Filmation accurate, that’s likely the one I’ll go with.

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The chest piece is not the only way this figure gives you the best of both worlds, you also get a choice between a vintage style or Filmation style head. The vintage style noggin is the one that the figure is packaged with and it’s certainly a nice sculpt. He’s clean shaven and he has a rather elaborate gold head piece. There are a few blemishes on this head. I’m not sure if it’s part of the molding process or something caught under the paint when they slathered it on.

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The Filmation head is quite similar but features a mustache, heavier eyebrows, and the headpiece is gone. I haven’t decided yet which one will be the default look for my display. The mustache gives him a little more character, but I like the way the headpiece goes with the rest of his costume. In the end, I’ll probably lean toward this one because the sculpt is cleaner and the skin has a less waxy finish to it.

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Articulation is exactly what we’ve all come to expect from the standard MOTUC male buck. Or is it??? The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles, and have swivels near the hips. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso and a ball joint in the neck. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, and… what’s this? Hinges and swivels in the wrists? Ok, that’s something you don’t see in a lot of the MOTUC figures! It helps a little bit with posing, but it’s still tough to get some truly convincing poses of him knocking an arrow.

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Moving on to accessories… well, they don’t call him Bow for nothing… surprise! He comes with a bow! Bow’s bow is a great looking piece. It’s pretty sizeable and cast in gold to match the rest of his blinged out costume. It has a sculpted grip and the top ends in a horsehead to match the one on his quiver. Once again, Bow really loves the horsies! The bow also has loops on the top and bottom in case you want to string it and it comes with a loose arrow.

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Lastly, Bow comes with a harp. Naturally, it’s gold it has a red jewel in it and carries on Bow’s horse obsession with a horsehead sculpted into the top. I think that’s the top. Truth is, I have no idea if that’s how you hold a harp, or if this is truly a harp. It could be a lyre. I’m pretty sure it’s not a lute. Anyway, the harp is a nicely sculpted piece and I think it’s a rather cool and unique accessory that gives the character some added personality and it’s an important tool in Bow’s attempt to get out of Adora’s Friend Zone. Although frankly, Bow, Etheria seems to be lousy with hot chicks and not a lot of dudes, so you might be narrowing your options a little too much there. Play the field, bro. That’s all I’m saying.

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Bow has been one of those few MOTUC figures that has been conspicuously absent from my collection for a while now. I’ve had him on my Amazon Wish List and as a Saved Search on Ebay, but I’ve never seen him at a price I was willing to pay. You can imagine how happy I was to see him go on the block again at Matty Collector and in the same month that Arrow was shipping. It was one of those times that Matty Collector did the right thing for collectors, and I didn’t even have to pay a premium for him. He’s a really great figure and considering how few dudes there are in the Great Rebellion, I consider him a pretty important figure in my collection. Not to mention that having Arrow and not Bow would have been unacceptable. And so tomorrow I’ll be back to check out Bow’s mighty winged steed and finally get this pair together.

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: Mermista by Mattel

Yup, it’s Masters time again. Second time this week! Oh, don’t give me that… you’ve all been warned. My pile of unopened Matty figures has now grown to two beasts and four figures and the next Sale Day is just two weeks away so I’ve really got to try to get through all this. Today I’m checking out another Princess of Power figure, although she’s actually from the Club Eternia Sub and not the Club Etheria Sub. It’s confusing, I know. My plan was to pick a random figure from my pile for today, but then I picked Gwildor and swapped him out for Mermista, because I really wanted to open Mermista and I’m good at lying to myself. Hey, did you hear the packaging is now totally redesigned?

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Nah. It’s really not. Now, I’m lying to you! It’s the same old Greyskull deco, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that because it looks great. Mermista features a “Princess of Power” sticker on the bubble and I’m rather impressed that they got all of her into a regular sized package. I’ll bet she’s packed in there like tuna. Heh… tuna… she’s half fish. Moving on… Her tagline reads, “Mermaid Friend of She-Ra” which sounds kind of racist to me. Is that how She-Ra introduces her to people? This is Mermista, she’s my mermaid friend. Hmm… Mermista’s biography reads kind of like a magical fairy story until it gets to the point about her taking Mer-Man’s trident away from him and sawing off his head with it. I’m not even kidding… HOLY SHIT!

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Mermista is packaged with her fish tail on, so let’s start with her aquatic form. The tail is an absolutely beautiful piece with an intricately sculpted scale pattern, a really pretty shade of teal and a generous splash of glitter. I was afraid the glitter was going to come off, and while I did notice a few specks on my hands when I first opened her, it seems to have stopped so I’m hoping it was just some stragglers that didn’t get a full dose of glue. The tail is articulated with a hinge at what would be her hips and rotating hinges at what would be her knees and ankles. It’s actually sculpted to resemble a woman’s legs in a mermaid sleeve, but just a little too skinny to look like a mermaid costume. Overall, it’s a very impressive piece. You also get a little plastic stand that snaps into the base of the tail so you can stand Mermista in her mermaid form. It’s a cheap little piece of plastic, but I still found that to be a pretty cool bonus.

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But Mermista’s got legs and she knows how to use them! That’s a little ZZ Top for you younger folk! To swap the tail you just pull her apart, the break is at the waist, in a fashion similar to King Hsss and then pop on the set of legs. In humanoid form, Mermista sports a pair of green boots and arm bracers, and a rather short blue skirt with an ornately sculpted silver belt. She has a green top with a pair of stereotypical clamshells for her booberz and the magical necklace spoken about in her bio is sculpted right onto her neck. All in all, her humanoid costume is rather simple and understated but I like it a lot.

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The portrait here is possibly one of my favorites in the Princess of Power line. It doesn’t really fall into the sameness that I’m always griping about between all the ladies’ faces. There’s just something about the facial structure that stands on its own and makes her especially attractive. The paint on her eys and lips is nice and clean and she has a great sculpted head of hair that sweeps down past her shoulders in curls.

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Despite her swappable nether regions, in humanoid mode Mermista features all the articulation we’ve come to expect from the ladies of The Great Rebellion. 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, have hinges in the knees and anles, and swivels in the hips. There’s a little bit of a rocker to the ankles, but no swivel in the lower legs. She can swivel at the waist and has a ball jointed neck. Thanks to her extra short skirt, Mermista has great range of motion in her hips, much better than most of the other laides, which is kind of ironic because she has a tail most of the time.

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If there’s any area where Mermista flounders it’s in the accessories department. She comes with a horn and a shield. The horn is cool enough, but it’s tough to get her to pose in a position so she looks like she’s blowing it (giggity). The green jeweled shield on the other hand is the same old PoP shield we’ve seen all along only curved at the bottom. Is that intentional or was it just damaged in the package? I’m really not sure, but it looks neat and at least it’s a little different from all the others. I would have liked to see something more substantial in the accessories, but considering we got the tail and the legs, I can see where the money went so I’m willing to forgive. Besides, she can always keep Mer-Man’s trident after she decapitates him.

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Mermista was one of my more anticipated figures in the 2014 lineup and I’m very pleased to say that she lived up to all my expectations. It’s really cool that Mattel was able to give us both human and mermaid versions of the figure in one package and she’s certainly one of the most striking ladies of the Rebellion so far. This kind of figure is exactly the reason I’m enjoying the Princess of Power figures so much. Next week’s regular scheduled programming will be interrupted by insufferable End of Year Lists, but when I return the following Monday I’ll come back to MOTUC and check out Gwildor… Moooooo!