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MOTUC Review – Queen Marlena

The MOTU madness continues here at fwoosh with the SDCC MOTUC figure Queen Marlena/Captain Glenn!

Bios


Queen MarlenaHeroic Queen of Eternia

Real Name: Marlena Glenn

An explorer from planet Earth, Marlena traveled with two companions in an experimental warp ship through a dimensional rift. Crash landing on Eternia, Marlena was the ship’s only survivor, rescued from certain death by a young Captain Randor. Falling in love with him, Marlena chose to remain on Eternia as Randor’s wife and eventually serve as Queen after the end of the Great Unrest. Although her children do not suspect it, she is well aware of both Adam and Adora’s dual identities and is proud of her warrior twins. Often assigned diplomatic duties, Marlena has been trained by Duncan and Clamp Champ and has lead Randor’s armies in battle in times of need. Queen Marlena helps rule the free people of Eternia with her wisdom and strength.

Pretty good stuff here.  I think the bit I appreciate most is that they confirm Marlena knows about the dual identities of her children.  It was hinted at in the cartoon and some comics, but I like seeing it confirmed for this canon.  The line about her leading Randor’s armies in battle is pretty cool, too.  It makes me wonder if they will put out a more Eternian battle armor Marlena at some point.  The 2002 Marlena always looked really young to me, so I would love it if they merged the 2002 armor and the filmation style Marlena if they made a battle armor Queen.  I guess she could just go into battle wearing her Captain Glenn uniform, but I think they could come up with something cool as a Marlena refresh at some point.  Captain Randor would also make a great figure.  We also have the Captain Glenn bio for the Mattycollector.com version of this figure.

Captain GlennHeroic Galactic Adventurer

Real Name: Marlena Glenn

Before she was Queen of Eternia, Marlena Glenn was a heroic explorer and space captain from planet Earth. Along with her courageous crew, she traveled the stars in search of new sources of fuel for her homeworld. A crack shot with almost any laser rifle, she prefers a Higuchi 1114 model for its speed and accuracy. On many adventures she learned to rely not only on her strength and courage but her intellect as well. After completing her assignment with Project Photog, Marlena volunteered to pilot an experimental warp ship through a black hole. Arriving in the center of her dimension, she became the first Earthling to make contact with magical planet of Eternia. Late in life, she used the power of the Cosmic Key to return to her homeworld, discovering a great secret that linked the two planets she called home.

I’m curious to see what this great secret Marlena discovered, but I have to say the Project Photog mention is what I really geeked out about in this bio.  Fearless Photog!  I’m looking forward to finding out more about Fearless Photog and his relationship to Marlena when his figure is released next year.

Accessories

Marlena comes with two head sculpts, two swappable tunic pieces to create her Queenly robes and space faring uniform, a 50’s retro space helmet pack, a blaster pistol with holster, a heavy blaster rifle, a sword, a scepter, and probably the coolest accessory since Orko’s Prince Adam pack in, Cringer!

Cringer has minimal articulation (neck and tail only), but he’s got a great expressively cartoonish face with a perfect Cringer cringe.  He’s not a great figure, but he makes for fun background detail in scenes and looks fabulous on the shelf with Adam and Orko.  While I would like a fully articulated cringer at some point, this one completes the main group of Filmation characters for my purposes.

Marlena’s tunics swap fairly easily and are made of a pretty soft plastic.  The pistol and holster are re-uses from Adora and work great here.  The blaster rifle has a ton of great little details and looks like it came right out of the vintage line.   I dig the steel grey paint job on both of the guns, though I’d take any repaints of these weapons Mattel wants to produce.

The sword is a repaint of Battle Ground Teela’s and the scepter is a brand new sculpt.  I do like that they included a couple of repaints of previously released pieces along with the new weapons.  It feels like I got some extra value on this figure even though it’s probably really cheap for Mattel to include them.  The scepter’s sculpt matches with Randor’s cross iconography nicely.

Marlena’s Queen gear and head sculpt makes for a perfect Filmation style Marlena and I’m really pleased with that.  Her hair do always struck me as odd in the show and that’s replicated here.   That’s exactly what I wanted from a Marlena figure and it’s great, but the Captain Glenn retro 50’s style space gear is surprising, unexpected and so well done that it delights me much more than the perfectly serviceable Queen look.

First off, the Captain Glenn tunic looks very much like Adora’s outfit, but it has been improved in a few ways.  First off, gone is Adora’s ‘diaper’ look.  The new Tunic has a much more curvy feminine look to it.  It’s also way more flexible.  The space gear is a one piece backpack and lower bubble piece with a removeable clear bubble top piece.  The styling on the pack is clean and retro 50’s, but some of tech greeblies give it that MOTU tech from the 80’s feel that I dig.

Articulation

Marlena has the standard female articulation from this line.  It’s similar to Adora’s, though the legs now have a better range of motion due to the change in the outfit.  I do wish they had given her the Adora/Teela style rocker ankles.  I love those ankles.  The neck range of motion is not great (she can look down, but not up)  but I didn’t notice a bobble head affect seen on previous MOTUC females, nor did I have any trouble swapping heads.

Of course her articulation is pretty limited in her Queen gear.  The dress restricts waist and leg movement, so she’s pretty much just standing around as Queen Marlena.  That makes her a little less fun to play with and pose, but for me, the space gear version more than makes up for that and I’m not sure how they could have done better for this line.  Something I’d like to see (and I might be alone on this and that’s okay) is another dress piece that is sculpted so she can sit on a throne.

Paint

The paint on this figure is pretty great, with some nice depth shading on both outfits, but the eye paint leaves a little to be desired.  Looking at my figure, it appears to me that they actually painted more white to her eyes than was sculpted.  They also skipped her eye lashes and gave her some sharp eyebrows.  It gives her face a slightly harsh look.

That said, it photographs much worse than it looks in person.  When I first saw the Marlena figure at the Mattel booth at SDCC on preview night, I was struck at how much better it looked than it had in pictures.  So while it’s not the best eye paint job Mattel has done for this line, it’s not quite the figure killing blunder I had feared initially and that was quite a relief.  I am interested to see what customizers like MOTUC repainter extraordinaire Baena do with this sculpt.  It appears to me that the face is plain plastic without a wash or shading, but it has a really nice quality to it with no shine.

I also think Cringer could have used a little more attention in the paint dept with a bit of lighter green dry brush to bring out the fur sculpt.

Overall

I love this figure.  Marlena is a cool character, important to the He-Man mythos, and a much needed figure.  That’s one of the great things about a collector line – figures that may have been considered too ‘dull’ for shelf space by toy execs can fill out our collections now.   The space gear adds a ton of fun and an unexpected cool factor to this figure.  I love that they gave me exactly what I expected in a Marlena and something new I never knew I wanted.  It’s fun that we can still get surprised with this line.  The eye paint is the one downside here and fortunately it’s not as bad in person as it looks in photographs.

This has to be a first for me as I usually post stuff after it’s too late to buy, but as of this posting, Marlena is still available at Mattycollector.com.

 

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