“Did you find me yet? Here I am!”
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Princess of Power, and (thankfully) Mattel is celebrating by making this year the most POP-heavy to date in terms of Classics figures. Glimmer started things off this month and Flutterina will follow in August for Club Eternia. Additionally, this year will see the addition of an all-new add-on subscription — Club Etheria! Announced at New York Toy Fair, this six-month sub will feature characters from the Great Rebellion of all incarnations. Double Trouble and Entrapta will be for the vintage, Madame Razz and Broom are holding it down for Filmation, and the sub-exclusive Light Hope brings an all-new take on the line. Plus, we know we are getting three more characters before the end of the year, one of which was teased as being Sweet Bee. That is a damned fine celebration if you ask me, and as an ardent pro-POP guy, I could not be happier. Ah, but you will need to be on the, ahem, LOOK out for another offering as well. Yep, a two-pack feature Kowl and Loo-Kee is the online chase offering for this year, and if you think about it, there is not a more perfect set to fit this execution.
Since the beginning of the Classics line, people have been wondering how we would get the “little guys.” You know, characters like Orko, Imp, the Twiggets, and, well, Kowl and Loo-Kee. Mattel has managed to get pretty creative, packing them with other figures and even in a weapons pak. However, this is the first time that any of them have been offered on a standard card as a (somewhat) regular release. The Matty chase figure concept started appropriately enough with the Spirit of Hordak figure last year. Somehow they were able to get that figure secretly released without any online preempting. That still strikes me a pretty impressive. Hordak was made available at several unannounced points throughout the year, and even though you had to have a touch of luck on your side, I think most everyone who wanted him was able to acquire him.
Kowl and Loo-Kee will follow suit this year, and as I said before, Loo-Kee is the most spot-on perfect figure for this slot. I mean, if you are familiar with the Princess of Power show at all, you know that Loo-Kee’s thing was to hide somewhere in the frame of a shot, and it was the viewer’s job to spot him. He would always reveal himself at the end of each episode prior to delivering the ending “moral” of story, but to this day, I still actually yell out, “There’s Loo-Kee!” when I find him. It is a fun concept that will now take place in the real world as you are going to have to watch Matty Collector to “find” him when he goes on sale. I know that this kind of thing can add stress to some fans, especially for a unique character that had a vintage figure, but I think everyone will be able to get him along with Kowl if they want to by year’s end.
The story of the release and how it fits Loo-Kee’s character is really the big piece of this offering because, well, these characters don’t really lend themselves to intricate figures that need a lot of previewing. That is not a fault of the design or execution, it is just these guys are little PVC figurines. Furthermore, Loo-Kee is really the only new offering in the set as Kowl is a repaint in his Filmation colors of the toy version of the figure that was released in the 2013 End of Wars Weapons Pak. That is not to say that getting Loo-Kee and this version of Kowl is not absolute critical, because it is, it is just that this will probably be shorter than usual.
Loo-Kee is about 3 inches tall and is an all-new sculpt. Now, he only really interacted with other characters on the show a couple of times, but from what I can tell, he is scaled perfectly to the rest of the line. Overall, I think he is fine for what he is — the sculpt is right-on, of course, and all of the paint applications on this sample are good. I particularly like how the head sculpt is large and it makes up for a good half of the figure. Loo-Kee’s Conceal species is know for this (and hiding, of course), so I am glad that he was not altered in that regard. The look for him is very much based on his Filmation style, which really makes sense in this case. Sure, he did have a vintage POP figure, but that figure was actually translated into the doll line from the original Filmation source.
Now, like Kowl, he does feature some pretty limited articulation. He has swivels at the neck, shoulders, and tail. The first three are pretty crucial, but I appreciate that tail twist because Loo-Kee was often seen to be hiding by dangling from his tail. In Kowl’s case, more articulation would have completely killed the sculpt and would have probably been very limited in terms of the range of movement that any additional points could provide, but I think Loo-Kee could have stood a couple more points, especially in the legs. I think of Palisades’ Muppets Statler and Waldorf figures when considering what kind of articulation would have been good for Loo-Kee’s hips. He is small, so I am not even asking for knee joints, but some hip movement and maybe a foot swivel would have been nice. As a vanilla poser, this doesn’t impact me much, but is always good to have options.
Kowl is a simple repaint of the EOW Weapons Pak we got last year, but this time he is in his (arguably) more famous Filmation colors. As a scheme, I think the brown/orange base color is more effective, especially for an owl-like character. His ears are still multicolored and they match his feathers well, so I think that is a wash from figure to figure. But the Filmation design is a bit more simplistic than the vintage toy, so you lose some things like the highlights around the eyes and the reflection point in the pupils. It is a trade-off because the sculpt is certainly Filmation and not the vintage toy, but each version offers things that are more effective than the other.
There is no doubt that I will be using this version of Kowl as the default figure for the character on my shelf; I can already hear him insulting Bow like an English queen. However, this is a case where everyone wins. I mean, how many characters can boast that they have gotten multiple media representations in this line? Not many to be sure, but it is really great when it happens. Toy fans got their Kowl last fall and now the Filmation guys get ours — win/win. In fact, it is win/win/win for me because I will use toy Kowl for a different character on my shelf. I am thinking the Classics version of Kowla will work just fine.
The articulation scheme did not change one bit on this figure from the previous one, so if you have the first version, you know what you are getting. Kowl sports neck and shoulder twists, but the former doesn’t really offer up much use due to his massive ears. Frankly, I am not too fussed about his limited articulation. He can sit on Bow’s shoulder or on the included flight stand just fine; I don’t really need him to do anything else. Furthermore, I think any other articulation would have meant sacrificing the sculpt, so it was likely not worth it anyway.
Speaking of the flight stand, the one included makes it possible to elevate either Kowl figure via the foot peg hole on the figures. Kowl is usually flying, so this is important and I am glad they included it. I do want to note that the base for this stand is larger than those previously offered in this line (with Orko, for one), so the stability is improved. I think it could have been made even better with a heavier base, but this one functions well for its intended purpose.
Loo-Kee ticks off another vintage character and this set also offers up the more well-known and demanded version of Kowl. So really, even though the latter is just a repaint, I think that still makes this set a win. It is going to be priced at $20, which is certainly the high end for two PVCs and a stand, but that is what it is. I know it will be a challenge for some to “find” Loo-Kee since this set is a “chase,” but I think everyone that wants one will be able to get this set. Loo-Kee and Kowl are fun characters and essential to the Great Rebellion, so on She-Ra’s 30th anniversary, this set is welcome. Now, I think they will go up for sale for the first time in April for early access club members, but I imagine the inventory will be very low for that offering, so keep trying as the year goes on. As it stands, it will be fun to hide Loo-Kee throughout your display once you are able to get him.
So, on that note, I will leave you with a quick game of “Did you find me yet?”
*Thanks so much to Toy Guru for chasing this one down for us for a preview. We will back next week with more MOTU and some DC items as well. Stay tuned!