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Masters of the Universe Classics: Club Grayskull Evil-Lyn

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We are now just a few weeks from Matty Collector being permanently shuttered, both from an actual online presence and as an overall concept. Mattel is abandoning the direct-to-consumer model for their collector items, and Super7 is taking over. However, there are still a few items to be released, the most recent of which is the figure of Evil-Lyn, based on her Filmation cartoon appearances. I always like when a line is able to go out with a bang, but it looks like Club Grayskull might have just tripped over its own feet.

Yeah, I know, Filmation Clawful is still to come next month as the very last figure in the line, but the Grayskull figures have suddenly run aground after a fantastic 2016. These cartoon looks are so iconic to so many MOTU fans and collectors, so this line has been very important, even here at the end of all things Matty. So while the quantity of figures has not been there, the quality has been, at least up until now. Evil Lyn has been one of the most anticipated figures in this subscription, so it pains me to say that she is, by and large, pretty much a wreck. Yeah, I know, I usually never go so strongly with something like this, but after really looking forward to this figure, I am really, really disappointed.

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I suppose you cannot win them all, and I have found every CG entry from He-Man and Evil Seed to be a wonderfully made figure that captures the iconic Filmation look. However, Evil Lyn is one of the most disappointing Classics figures yet, at least from a quality standpoint. Like all the others, the groundwork was laid very well by the Four Horsemen, and again like the others, her prototype looked great. However, you cannot judge a product until it is final, so if you jumped the gun on this figure, you might be in for a pretty unpleasant surprise. Not everything is a disaster, but the breakdowns happened in all the bad places, so even if, like, 75 percent of the figure is fine, the 25 percent where it is not pretty much sours the whole experience for me.

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So, to be fair, most of this figure is okay. Aesthetically, it captures Evil Lyn’s look from the cartoon very well, and it has most of the upgraded articulation points common to this line included. While most of the costume elements from the action figure were carried over into the cartoon design, Evil Lyn’s color palette was completely different, and this is reflected here. “My” version of Evil Lyn has always been the original toy look (and it remains as such), but the muted purples (as opposed to some blue accents in the prototype) in the outfit and the different complexions are rendered well here. Her leotard thing has been engineered so the hip overlay looks good and not just hanging there like some previous figures, and her new boots accommodate the forward facing ankle peg perfectly – ankle rockers for all!

She does have a spell-casting hand that can also be used to hold the included Coridite Crystals perfectly, so that is a real plus for me. Lyn is also decked out in her requisite (to the show) cape, but this is one of the things I am a bit lukewarm over. Having the cape is cool, but unlike the 200X version, the cape is NOT removable on this figure, so you don’t have the option in terms of display. That is pretty unfortunate, in my opinion, and it is a bit compounded by the fact that the cape is actually pretty awkward in terms of shape. It is splayed out and in permanent “wind swept” mode, so it makes her footprint on the shelf pretty big. Yeah, I  know, this might be nitpicking a bit because I prefer things like this to be more neutral, but it just furthers my point that it should have been removable.

Next up are her accessories, and, being completely honest, they are total mixed bag. The aforementioned Coridite Crystal (from the episode, “Evil-Lyn’s Plot”) is just great on every level. It looks exactly like it does on screen, and I LOVE the fact that it is cast in translucent pink plastic to give it a more “gem” quality. I already mentioned that Lyn can hold it perfectly, so that is another plus, and I am ALWAYS welcoming of getting more Filmation artifacts. Her other accessory is her standard magic wand, and I hate to say this, but it is pretty much a disaster. It is shorter than the ’80s wand and 200X staff, but really, that is about all it has going for it. First, the crystal ball portion is the wrong color. I can only remember the ball being white or at least a lighter color in the show, I have no recollection of it ever being black. That is not to say it never happened, but if it did, it is still an odd choice to go with it over the more prominent version. I can live with the color, though, that is not really a huge deal to me. What IS a huge deal is that this accessory has TERRIBLE paint applications, and is probably most poorly painted anything in the entire run on MOTUC, at least for me. The paint is sloppy, it has splatter and gunky lines, and you can’t not see them. I don’t know if this is unique to mine, but even if it was a one-off, it is really bad.

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Evil Lyn also comes with two different heads, and, like the accessories, they are totally hit and miss. The hit is definitely the un-crowned/no helmet/whatever-you-call-it head, and while Lyn did not go without her headpiece often, this version captures the look great. Her shock-white buzz cut looks great, and the rest of the sculpt is right there, too. Additionally, and here is where it is important, the paint looks good. Her eyes are clean, the hairline does not have any slop to it, and even the rosy blush on the cheeks is rendered well. I would usually never consider displaying my figure with this head because it is so specific, but since it looks so nice, and the other has some … issues, this is the one I am going with.

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The standard head is not good. I mean, the sculpt is good of course, and the larger crown piece is there. Her face is also perfectly realized so the sculpted portion looks exactly like the cartoon, so this was going to be an easy hit so long as the paint applications did not completely fail. Unfortunately, they did. I know Matty had some challenges with past figures like Angella, Despara, and others, but this is the first time I really got nailed with bad paint on a MOTUC figure. Her eyes are completely off and mismatched to the point that using the “lazy eye” comparison seems loose at best, and the paint lines, especially around the edge of the helmet, are sloppy throughout. I can honestly say I would never consider displaying this head unless I was able to get someone with more skill than me to repaint it, because I think I could have probably painted this one. I know I am being harsh here, but yeesh – this is just not good and it, along with the bad paint on the wand, makes an potentially great figure, absolutely not so.

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Sorry, I am just not able to be okay with this figure. I am generally pretty easy to please, especially with a property that I love so much, but this Evil-Lyn figure is just not good. Yes, I am really harping on a couple of places here, but there is no room for paint this bad on a collector-grade figure, and the head is especially egregious because it kills the entire look of the figure. I am not ranting here, really, in the grand scheme of even just this line, this is a pretty isolated incident for me, but even still, this figure is not up to par. Yes, I have hundreds of amazing MOTUC figures, but this is most recent one, and it is leagues behind the others, so the change in experience it pretty stark. I will go ahead and display this figure without the wand, and with the un-helmeted head, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that Clawful will return to the normal quality. Evil-Lyn had some great figures in the MOTUC line, so it is sad to see her appearances end in a fizzle. Bummer, dudes.

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