Razzle-dazzle, dizzle-doo, here is a Madame Razz First Look for you!
Could this rumpy magical Twigget be the single most polarizing character in all of the Masters of the Universe mythos? There is certainly a strong argument for it, but no matter your feelings on our dear Madame, there is no denying her importance in the Princess of Power cartoon. She was a central player throughout the entire run of that show, and since that is still the most well-known incarnation of She-Ra ever, her place amongst the pantheon of MOTU heavy-hitters was etched in stone from the first episode. Granted, she is really unlike just about anything else the property has to offer, but by Christmas time, Razz and Gwildor will be having a toast to one and other and will say while laughing, “We are in the freakin’ line!”
I can admit that I appreciate Madame Razz’s place in the MOTU universe, and I would most certainly deem the Classics line incomplete without her. At the same time, I have to say that she has never been one of my favorite characters. Please don’t take offense to that; her look and characterization just never “did it” for me on the show, but I am willing to admit that it might have to do with not really being exposed to her until I was older. Her importance is unquestionable as a magic user and one that knows the true identity of She-Ra, but for the sake of full disclosure, I have always been more partial to the other Twiggets more than their de facto leader. That’s right, Regina’s (yeah, that is her “real” name) bio confirms what we always suspected — that she is, in fact, a Twigget, and the Whispering Wood is her domain.
That aside, her popularity amongst the PoP fans ranks up there with the most stalwart vintage figures, and with the exception of Bow, Glimmer, Kowl, and She-Ra herself, Razz had more appearances on the Filmation show than the other girls that had dolls in the 1980s. So to even think she would not be making her way into Classics once the Filmation rights were sewn up would have been crazy. Really, it would have been like not getting Orko if he wasn’t guaranteed a slot just by having a vintage figure. However, knowing her polarizing nature, Mattel made a slick compromise where lovers and haters would mutually benefit: instead of putting her in the standard Club Eternia, she is being released in August in the Club Etheria line. This means PoP fans getting that subscription will have her with ease, and those with other ideas as to what “constitutes” MOTU can skip her if they like.
I know that Mattel, and Toy Guru in particular, has gotten some flack over the amount of time it has taken to finally get Razz into the line, but we can all be happy that she is now here, and, really, they pulled out all the stops with her. Crediting a figure with “getting its due” in Classics is tantamount to it having a brand new base with no reuse from a previous figure. Well, there was no way in the Seven Hells that Madame could borrow ANYTHING from any other figure, so she is arriving in the Club Etheria as the big ticket item. There was no other way Mattel and Horsemen could do her justice, but it is still nice to see that all considerations were made.
To that end, the Four Horsemen really knocked Madame Razz out of the park, especially from an aesthetic standpoint. I know that the 4H get lots of credit for their bread and butter monster sculpts, but seeing how Razz is on the exact opposite end of the spectrum, she is every bit as good of a character interpretation as your Trap Jaws and Two Bads. Again, there was no way that this was going to happen without an all-new sculpt, and the Jersey Boys did not hold back. In terms of the sculpt, I really do not have any nitpicks as I think the figure accomplishes everything it should. Now, choices like expression will always be open to interpretation, but from a 2D to 3D translation, she is very successful. Now, I am hearing some online chatter about her “cape” and how it is off-model, but I have to disagree, if you look at what was likely used as the source art for her, I think they got it just right. I do wish that the little flower thingee in her hat was a separate piece that could turn easily and spin (like, if you blew on it), but that is pretty minor.
The paint on the figure is also mostly solid, and I don’t have any areas of slop or overspray on this sample. There is a chance her pupils should be a little bit bigger, but I could be wrong about that, and the difference might be very little due to the simplicity of her eyes. If the figure has one snafu, though, it is with the paint and it comes in the form of her black boots not being painted all the way up to the bottom of her knees, like in her original character design. I would probably chalk this up to an oversight, but it is off-model for every reference I have seen at a quick glance online. This leads me to believe that it was a step in the factory production that just wasn’t caught, and these things happen from time to time. The good news is that if it bothers you enough to want to change it, it is an easy black paint fix for even the most unskilled customizer. To me the difference is not really noticeable, but your take on the look will vary, to be sure.
Now, I have spent most of this feature talking about Madame Razz in a singular sense, but that is certainly not how she will be coming to your door step in a few short days. Nope, her sidekick/servant/steed/accessory/magical abomination Broom is also included in the release, so you are really getting two characters with one release! In the interest of full disclosure, I have always really liked Broom just on his own merits, so I have been anticipating him even more than Razz. The only regularly occurring character on the PoP show voiced by He-Man himself, John Erwin, for being an anthropomorphic house cleaning item, Broom always had it together much more than Madame Razz.
He is obviously small and skinny, but the Horsemen nailed him right down to his expression. There is really not a whole lot to articulate on a living broom stick, but he was afforded the essential shoulder articulation that makes functional as well. See, Madame, well, rode Broom around on the show. It makes sense, she is a witch after all, so Broom has the articulation that enables her to hold on to his arms as they navigate the Whispering Woods. His bristles are upturned on the ends so you can place Razz’s feet on them just like the show and her articulation allows for a reasonably accurate pose to make it convincing. It is not perfect, but I have tried to post some pictures to show off as close as I could get it.
We got this in right under the wire! Madame and Broom go on sale on Matty Collector on the 15th of August, and, for a lot of fans, this is exactly thirty years in the making. While Broom might be my preferred character in this set, Madame is an extremely important character in the Great Rebellion and she is finally getting her due. To me, this is a great thing for all Classics collectors because we can continue to hope that our own personal favorites will be handled just as well. Razzle-dazzle, dizzle-dend, now this feature comes to a bend! Err, end!
*Thanks to Toy Guru for rushing Razz over to us for this preview, even in the hangover of SDCC. Believe it or not, we have even more line-up for you soon, so check back often!