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First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics She-Ra

The gender gap that exists between the various Masters of the Universe is starting to close just a little bit. We have had the Most Powerful Man in the Universe in He-Man since the onset of the MOTUC line back in December of 2008 so finally, after a full 18 month wait, we can add the Most Powerful WOMAN in the Universe to our ranks and make old Hordak actually have to get off of his batty butt to to keep Etheria under his regime. Let’s take a look at He-Man’s little sister (only by a couple of minutes) to see how She-Ra’s figure stacks up.

She-Ra's Biography

I am not afraid to admit it, I am a big PoP fan. This has been a recent phenomenon as I did not watch much of the cartoon as a kid (though I did love to catch the Horde in action from time to time) but I got into the whole PoP mythos a couple of years ago when my wife, a life-long She-Ra fan, wanted to get the Princess of Power DVD sets to match the Masters that I had recently procured. Living with those sets for two years now, I dare say that the show was actually BETTER than the original He-Man cartoon. I can admit it and by the same turn you are free to disagree with me, but the same crew that did the MOTU show went right to work on PoP after the former wrapped and they had really hit their stride.

*Thanks to Christophe for the Crystal Castle Background!
I am She-Ra!

The five episodes that make up the introductory “Sword of She-Ra” storyline are probably the strongest saga out of both shows. Seriously. Watch them if you never have or simply don’t believe me, they really are great. The storyline is so engaging because the Great Rebellion was the underdog on a planet held under the boot of intergalactic oppressors. That is classic root for the little guy story telling. However, one of the things that continued to make the show so strong was the fact that, yes, She-Ra is He-Man’s sister and he and his pals show up fairly regularly on Etheria to share exploits, but never once is She-Ra or any of the other female characters on PoP treated as “kid sister” that would need help from the big bad Eternian Masters in order to help set Etheria to rights.

I think that something rare and fantastic and so I cannot really speak about the vintage PoP toys save for She-Ra herself, which I can admit to owning, the cartoon was certainly made for support and entertainment of both genders, 1980s childhood “boys and girls” politics not withstanding (which continues to be a shame). So I have to admit, I started and restarted this Look a couple time before I realized that I needed to look at this figure on it’s own merits with due respect that has been given her in the past. With She-Ra joining the ranks of MOTUC, I don’t look at her and the rest of the PoP characters as an “add-on” to the original Masters mythos, but rather as an equal part that will make an overall story even richer, a thread that looks to be shared by Mattel judging by She-Ra’s bio on the card back.

A Stylish Attack
Masked but not Anonymous
Ado-Ra

For the figure itself, I really wanted to point out some strengths and a few spots where there is room for improvement on the figure so that you will be informed about what to expect when you start to form your own opinions of the figure (if you have not done so already).

She-Ra's Back
Hair
Flower Motif

Let’s start with the top and talk heads – as you know, she comes with two so that you can create three different looks: the classic toy tiara, the classic toy mask and the Filma- er, I mean “modern” head. I think this is great thing that Mattel did for the fans, she is already loaded down with three weapons but they still budgeted so that fans of the old toy or the cartoon will be able to display her how just how they want. For the “toy” head, as you know you can display her with her mask on or with it upside down for the tiara look (how the original toy was packaged). The mask/tiara stays in place via a gigantic hole in her forehead. I know. This has been a hot button issue since the figure was revealed and while I get the whole “she is not meant to be displayed without her mask/tiara on” I REALLY hope that Mattel finds a way to do this in a better way with other figures that might warrant it. The face sculpt (on both heads) is very reminiscent of her classic control art look, which is good because I am not quite sure how they would have captured the original toy look as her face was very soft and pretty non-descript.

She-Ra needs that old mask look like she needs a hole in the head...

The hair on both heads is very nicely sculpted and is long and flowing without having that dreaded “wind-swept” feel to it. I know some are saying that her hair is made of rigid plastic, but that is not the case – the hair is made with a pretty flexible plastic but it is REALLY thick in some places so it becomes hard to move, but I am sure most people would expect that due to the shear length of the hair.

She took sword lessons from old Uncle Keldor

I am happy to report that both heads of this figure come on and off the pegs fairly easily (a little pressure is needed when attaching the “modern” head) and neither of mine have the “bobble” to them that some of the previous women suffer from. I will say this though, I put the old toy head and mask on this figure for the purposes of photographing them, but they are likely to never go back on. I STRONGLY prefer the cartoon-esque head and I think it looks great – this is how She-Ra is supposed to look to me.

The Battle For Etheria

For her costume, again – I am glad they when with the control art look over the old toy costume, that is just a matter of strong personal preference, but I hope that they continue this with all of the PoP characters going forward. I just don’t think the old toy costumes lend themselves as well to the MOTUC aesthetic and if Mattel and Horsemen tried to do a hybrid thing, no matter what they would do, there would be fan outrage about something. This is the way to go. The cape is removable and fits around the neck via a choker and the cape itself is very flexible as it is very thin. Like I said, I dig the costume and it is sculpted in a way that is flattering but still makes She-Ra look like she can kick your butt, she is not a skinny waif girl. The flower design in the front is just right and the gold/copper paint is clean. Her costume is cast in a somewhat flexible plastic but like the hair, it is thick. So, while she can ride a horse (come on Swiftwind!), she is not going to be able to sit normally in a convincing fashion. When she is rereleased (you know she will) I hope this will be amended to be more pliable.

The Fearsome Females of MOTUC
The Most Powerful Twins in the Universe
The Most Powerful Twins in the Universe!

Finally, there are a lots of accessories and lots to like about the accessories. First, we get a recast of the Sword of Protection included with the Adora figure, but this time in two-tone gold, like the original figure. It looks good and I am glad they included this version so that fans can pick which one they want, but from now on, my Adora will have the blaster and She-Ra will have the silver sword. Just personal preference.

The Sword of Protection

Also included is the very cool shield complete with gem. It does a nice job of capturing the feel of the old toy and cartoon, I just hope that we get to see a silver version someday, maybe in a weapons pak. I also see a lot of PoP characters coming with this shield as many of the old figures shared the accessory. Finally, there is her battle axe that those sneaky Four Horsemen crossbred with a comb to again recall an original accessory. While you won’t be able to “comb” this figure’s hair, I love that they did this, it really is a clever idea.

Cape
Mask/Tiara/Thingee

So, we finally have our She-Ra and with the exception of a few improvement opportunities in future figures, I could not be happier to have her in my collection. I really have grown to love her Filmatio- er, ahem, “modern” head and the choice to sculpt the hair was absoluley the right choice. Since I never got the SDCC exclusive 200x version of She-Ra and I always treated the original vintage figure and “He-Man’s Sister” I am really considering this to be my first real She-Ra figure. Now, she needs the rest of the Great Rebellion (start with Frosta!) and some more Horde members to fight (Catra! Catra! Catra!) so Matty, let’s get crackin’. My one continued critique of the MOTUC line is scarcity of the females and we already know there is not another on coming this year, so I REALLY hope that 2011 gives us opportunity to enhance the Etherian corner of our displays.

A suitable Substitute for Spirit until we get Swiftwind
The Defender of the Crystal Castle

*Thanks for reading this and, as always, thanks to Toy Guru for making this review possible!

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By the Power, and for the Honor of Grayskull!

7 thoughts on “First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics She-Ra

  1. I plan on buying this one when I grab DCUC wave 5, but I have a question. What exact time do they go on sale?

  2. Great work on the horse photo. And yet the skeptics will continue to wonder..

  3. Nice! She-ra looks great with that LOTR horse. Hopefully we do get swifty as one of the large sized figures next year. I have to agree with you on the show. My kids and I have been moving through the He-Man and She-Ra sets and they clearly prefer the She-Ra stuff, though some of the best She-Ra eps are when Skeletor or Adam drop by.

  4. I love that picture of She-ra riding a horse. It gives me hope that she’ll still be able to ride Swiftwind, even if he’ll have to be a little narrow in the middle.

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