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The PoPular Guide – I Don’t Play with Dolls!

Welcome to another year of subscription mania!! As an MOTU Collector, I am enthralled by our community right now. It’s a beautiful collector-community of friends and acquaintances, people I’ve come to know over the last 10 years while collecting MOTU toys. Its passion never ceases to impress me!

Many of you know me as a vocal proponent of She-Ra (aka Princess Adora, aka Force Captain Adora, aka Despara “if you’re nasty”). Many of you also know that my love of all things MOTU is a deep, genuine one. It is a Multi-faceted love. It is a love of men in furry shorts and the skull-faced demons who hate them. It is a love of strong women who conquer their pasts, rise to greatness, and the snorting demigods and mutant cat-ladies who would see them suffer.

There is a special place in my heart for She-Ra, her compatriots, her enemies, and her story.

When I was little, I discovered MOTU via the toys and mini-comics. I was obsessed. Then came the Filmation cartoon. I was young enough to fall for it ALL. Every day I would look forward to a new episode of adventures. I had all the toys, all the books and records, the coloring books, the stickers, the sleeping bag, the underwear… I think my mother was secretly a collector living vicariously through me!

Then, in 1984, the first images of She-Ra began to appear. I believe they showed up in the MOTU magazine, as well as Muppet Magazine. Mattel also put a free promotional mini-comic, “The Story of She-Ra,” into an issue of Barbie Magazine. I did not read Barbie Magazine, but my neighbor Laurie did. She showed me the comic. She knew I was THE MOTU fan in the neighborhood. I was more than a little intrigued!

To make a long story short (too late), The Secret of the Sword premiered in theaters, and my father took me to see it. I was blown away. I could not have been more excited. Not long after that, the She-Ra cartoon series premiered. It aired immediately after the He-Man cartoon every day, transforming that time of day into “The Power Hour.”

All was well… but it wasn’t… I was forbidden from owning She-Ra, or any of the other figures in the Princess of Power toy line. I begged. I pleaded. These were, to me, He-Man figures I was, for some reason, not allowed to have. I didn’t see rooted hair. I didn’t see removable outfits. I saw He-Man’s sister and a cast of characters I loved. My parents did not see it that way.

You see, some people believe that playing with toys meant for the opposite sex can influence the development of a child’s sexual identity.

I’m not kidding. It’s a ludicrous notion to be sure, yet it was a belief held by my mother.

I wore her down a bit: “..But CATRA is a member of the Horde!!!”

I received the Catra / Storm 2-pack for Christmas.

One summer, my grandmother overruled my mom, and bought me the Starburst She-Ra / Crystal Swift Wind 2-pack for my birthday. It was probably the Liberace of toy pack-outs back then.

And finally, my mother, much to my surprise, bought me Double Trouble one day while I was staring at the figure, imprisoned in her plastic tomb, in a Walgreens toy aisle.

“Do you want that one?”

“Yes.”

“Fine. Don’t tell your father.”

So here we are 30 years later. I own every single POP toy that was produced: loose, complete, and mint. I own almost everything MOC / MIB too. My mother has PROFUSELY apologized and loves seeing my collection.

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Three decades after She-Ra arrived, I find myself amidst a remarkable population of people who comprise the MOTU-collector community. I have met people who had a similar experience with She-Ra. I’ve met people who have evolved and find extreme joy in getting to know characters like Castaspella, Perfuma, Mermista, and Huntara. I’ve met people who have no great love for She-Ra, but who also make no secret of their respect for fans who do love the character. I have met people who cannot seem to get past the pink boxes of the girls’ aisles of the 1980s Toys R Us or KB Toys (and I have felt as though they are now missing out by allowing the past to color the present).

There’s a fine line between disliking a character or two, because you just don’t care for the character, and writing off an entire mythos, without exploring its content, because in the ’80s you didn’t like the She-Ra “dolls.”

I’d argue that if Huntara (a character created by Larry Ditillio, the man who created Shokoti) had appeared on the He-Man cartoon, those collectors who criticized her winning the fan vote at SDCC would have been sounding the call to campaign for her release. Maybe I’m wrong…

Fortunately for us all, she’s coming soon to a toy shelf near you.

Now, the next two years of the MOTUC line are supposed to focus on completing the vintage MOTU and vintage POP lines, as well as offer A-list cartoon and NA characters. That means we are in for a roster of pretty amazing characters:

A deadly Horde general, with incredible fighting skills, a knack for tactical planning, and a creepy sense of humor.

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Scorpia.

A stalwart and magical freedom fighter forced into a leadership position at too early an age by the Horde invasion and the imprisonment of both parents, this character can levitate, phase through solid objects, and manipulate light in order to blast an enemy.

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Glimmer.

A driad, who is a veritable component of the planet…  a humanoid embodiment of the flora… mess with the forest, and you’ll wind up strangled with a daisy chain… or tied up and hung by thorny vines… or covered in pollen and set before a hive of killer bees.

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Perfuma.

Oh… bees, yes…

An alien scout, piloting a ship on a course to find a planet fit for an entire race of beings without a home. This stunner has the brains and creativity to rally a team, confront both Hordak and Skeletor (and win, with the help of He-Man and She-Ra), and enthrall the most powerful man in the universe?

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That would be Sweet Bee.

A character only seen in the vintage line, a mini-comic, and a coloring book, but originally planned for the cartoon as Glimmer’s cousin and a shape-shifting spy. A hero? A devious villain? A schizophrenic? Playing both sides? More than a pretty face.. 0r two… 0r three…

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Double Trouble.

You see, these are REAL characters. These are characters worthy of the MOTUC mantle. They are worthy of your time, and you deserve to enjoy them.

If MOTUC ends without these ladies, I will be rather broken-hearted. A full collection includes these women. If you don’t find any joy in them, there is nothing wrong with that; however, these characters are a valid component of the line, and I love them. I’m a grown man, and I love the Princess of Power!! Do yourself a favor and revisit them and their stories. Go play with your toys!

*Thanks, bcrduke!

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