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Masters of the Universe Classics: The [Green] Goddess

 
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Lord Skeletor
Totally Bitchin'


Joined: 18 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: The [Green] Goddess Reply with quote

Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,

I'll come out and tell you right now, this is not going to be a positive review. I actually was going to do this review weeks ago when I did He-Ro and Wun-Dar, since she's sort of related to both, but then the danger to the line came and I figured that was not the right time to be talking about a figure in a negative light. Well the line is safe for another year, I'm gonna have to do this sooner or later, so since the pictures have been taken already might as well get it over with. Here's the Green Goddess.



Green Goddess comes from the Pre-Filmation era. Yeah, that alone should give you the first clue why I'm not fond of this figure. If you've been paying even the slightest bit of attention to my previous reviews you know that I HATE the Pre-Filmation era. Goddess was the early draft version of The Sorceress, so considering how much I love her it may seem strange that I don't care for Goddess at first, but remember the story was WAY different than the MOTU I know and love.

Goddess, who was sometimes green and sometimes Caucasian, and sometimes called Goddess and sometimes called Sorceress, was seen in the early mini-comics where He-Man was a wandering barbarian who saved her from a creature, that she logically should have been able to handle herself, and she gave him his armor and weapons. The vintage Teela figure was originally meant to be two figures in one. With the Cobra armor she was Goddess without it she was Teela.

I know some people like the Pre-Filmation era, but I don't. It's one thing to be such a fan that you like all incarnations of MOTU including Pre-Filmation, but there are actual people who claim to be fans but ONLY like the Pre-Filmation era. I may get flak for this but I'm going to come out and say it; those people are not real MOTU fans. They are Conan fans who like things that are take-offs. It was only after Filmation that MOTU became a true unique property of it's own. There's a reason scripts go through multiple drafts before the movie is made. Do you think Star Wars would have been the huge success it was if they had gone with the Jedi-Bendu scripts?



On that note, the Star Wars line released figures based on early concept art, but those figures were marketed as concept figures and not made part of actual canon. MOTUC chose to do the opposite. The Goddess (the package does not have the word green in her name) comes on the standard MOTUC blister card pack. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and has a bio fitting the character into the new continuity.

There is nothing in this bio for me to like. Not only is it pure Pre-Filmation, it embodies pretty much every plot point I dislike and have pointed out in the past as stupid. Why spit the sword in half if only Grayskull's descendants can fully use it? And then why hide the halves outside instead of keeping the sword in the castle, which evil can't get into without it? I can't help but find it odd how it says "the creature known as the Goddess" like they don't even consider her to be an actual person.

My biggest gripe though is the "real name" You'll notice my card is scratched over the name. That's because I peeled off the sticker with her name on it as I absolutely refuse to accept it. Whoever wrote and made the bio cards put her real name as K'yrulla. Mattel came back and stuck a sticker over this because they wanted to use a different name; Sharella. Why does this piss me off? BECAUSE SHARELLA IS SUPPOSED TO BE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CHARACTER!!!!



Sharella was going to be a character in the canceled spin-off prequel series "The Powers of Grayskull". She was to be a tribal chieftess who trained He-Ro in the ways of combat and would serve as his love interest for the series. This character I was interested in. However while He-Ro got his story rewritten, Sharella got hers completely thrown out and her name given to a character I have no interest in whatsoever! Why? I've tried asking and never gotten a straight answer. All Toyguru and Mattel say is "keep reading the bios to learn more about her" which totally does not answer anything as I'm asking from a business sense not an in story sense. In the latest reply Toyguru stated once they decided to make a Goddess figure they immediately chose to name her Sharella to tie her into the Preternia story, but doesn't explain why. Why throw away one character to give her name to another? Doesn't that go against the whole "justify making as many figures as possible" model they use to explain other things? (like oh so many crappy plot points)



I hate it and will NEVER accept it as canon. Sharella is supposed to be He-Ro's love interest. She is supposed to be his closest companion. She is supposed to be by his side fighting against King Hiss and the Snake Men. Green Goddess, with her skin tone and cobra themed armor, looks like she should be fighting alongside Hiss against He-Ro. Is this supposed to be like in "Transformers Animated" where Black Arachnia turned out to be Elita 1? No, it's just throwing out one idea for another one that was thrown away previously! For the longest time my stance was, "when it comes to the Green Goddess I'm an atheist" I refused to accept her anywhere in my canon. Finally I caved in and in my version of the story she is evil and in league with the Snake Men. That is the only way I could bring myself to let her into the mythos.



Okay, so what about the figure? I've bashed story lines but praised the actual figure before. Well no not this time. As anyone can clearly see, Goddess is a straight up repaint of Teela. There is no new, or even different parts on her at all. Zodak, who came out a month before her originally, at least mixed up his parts a bit to help differentiate him, and even Faker had the repainted Skeletor armor. Goddess is 100% Teela buck painted different. Even the armor is the same, just with the snake's eyes painted blue. On that note, she has a VERY loose head. I've heard of people having this with other figures that I didn't, but everyone I've heard of has a Goddess that's basically a bobble head and so do I.

The real difference between her and Teela is that Goddess' body is made out of a translucent green plastic, so in the right light she has a sort of spiritual shine to her. I will admit this is kind of cool, but it leads to some problems. First, it lets you see the connection pegs inside the figure's buck, which I feel detracts from the look. The other issue is, she is fragile! Many, many, many collectors have reported having their Goddess figure crack and/or fall apart due to brittle plastic.

Now according to Mattel this is not due to being made of translucent plastic but rather the specific batch of plastic used at the time she was made. I don't know or understand the full explanation, but basically they used an inferior kind of material in this figure and apparently also used it for figures in other lines that weren't translucent but still ended up brittle. They say they acknowledge the mistake and won't use that material anymore, but it doesn't change the fact that all Goddess figures made will have this issue. To the best of my knowledge there never was a second production of the figure using better material.

My figure is okay so far. The only thing that's ever happened is one time when I picked her up to dust the shelf her leg came out of the boot. It wasn't broken, the peg just popped out. I put it back on and it's stayed since, but I don't ever do anything with the figure. Taking the photo's for this review is the most I've done with the figure since I got her over two and a half years ago. (I did the picture of He-Ro strangling her back then, that's why it looks different) Most of the time she just stands there on the (back of the) shelf.



Well what about accessories? Does she include good ones? Well she has the exact same shield as Teela but does come with a new staff/spear weapon. According to Toyguru this was actually tooled with Teela's weapons but specifically held off for Goddess. Yeah confusing, basically it means the money to make this weapon was taken out of Teela's budget and Goddess had zero new tooling money spent on her. The staff is a nice weapon design and it actually looks better to swap staffs between the two figures. The snake staff seems to fit Goddess more. (Especially in my canon where as I mentioned she's connected to the Snake Men)



Goddess also includes a set of He-Man's armor, shield and battle axe. This is a nod to the mini-comic where she gives the items to He-Man, but really come off as pointless. They are the exact same ones already released with He-Man and anyone wanting to display Goddess with the stuff on their shelf will most likely want to create the whole scene with an armorless He-Man anyway so they really serve no purpose.

A character from an early draft version I don't like, a bobble headed figure with pointless accessories, and a brittle figure liable to fall apart on you at any moment. There is no way I can in good conscience recommend this figure to collectors. (or in bad conscience -evil has standards) I only own it because I am a competionist for MOTU. Even if you're a fan of the Pre-Filmation era, the quality issues with this figure make it one that's not worth the investment.



One good thing to come from this figure is the problems made Mattel take a closer look at quality control and, while some issues still come up from time to time, we don't have to worry about one this bad again. If you actually want this figure despite what I've said, then you'll need to check the secondary market. Mattel is all out, and I do mean all out they have stated they don't even have any for quality control stock left anymore. Good Luck and until next time when I'll look at a good figure, Good Journey.



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MacGyver
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope I won't look like too dumb asking this, but as I only have cursory knowledge of He-Man, I was curious about something. Just for clarification, when you say "Pre-Filmation era", I assume you're referring to the the original toyline? Am I correct in thinking that Mattel had the toys out first and then Filmation made a cartoon series based on it? Or were there other source materials before the original 1980s "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" cartoon as well?



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Lord Skeletor
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're kind of on the right track. Pre-Filmation does not refer to the original toyline as a whole, but rather the story/continuity that existed before the cartoon was made. The Masters of the Universe Toyline began in 1982. The Filmation cartoon series based on the figures began in 1983.

The toyline launched with 8 figures; He-Man, Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Beast Man, Teela, Mer Man, Stratos, and Zodac. As I mentioned in the review, the Teela figure was meant to be two characters in one as with the cobra armor she was Goddess, without it Teela. But that was all the characters they had.

Mattel published a short series of 4 min-comics to try to make a story for the characters but it was still in development (and it shows). There was no established kingdom. Most of Eternia was like a post apocalyptic world. Instead of the balance between magic and technology it was a barbarian world where what little technology existed was remnants of an ancient civilization and most people didn't understand it.

He-Man was a wandering barbarian. There was no Prince Adam, and the Power Sword was split in two instead of being the source of He-Man's power it was simply the key to unlocking Castle Grayskull. Skeletor was demon from another dimension where all members of his race looked like him. His motives were never really made clear one minute he simply wanted to open a portal to his dimension so his people could come through the next he was trying to marry Teela which would somehow bind him as King of Eternia despite the fact Teela had no connection to any royal bloodline...

Bottom line it was a first draft script that needed editing and revision. When Mattel decided to expand the line they turned to Filmation to create a cartoon series that would not only help establish a firm storyline, but could be used to promote new characters before they hit store shelves. Watch the cartoon and you'll see many episodes where He-Man will mention his "new friend" or Skeletor will call on his "new henchman" This is why stuck up critics called the show nothing more than a 30 minute toy commercial. It was much more than that, but it can't be denied it was used to help promote the toys.

Mattel did put out a few more mini-comics while the cartoon was in development. These still count as Pre-Filmation but some elements began creeping in. Technology was more common, there was a clear kingdom of Eternia. Nevertheless it still wasn't quite what we know today.

Shortly before the cartoon came on DC did a mini-series that was in between. Now there was a Prince Adam- but he was a womanizing ale drinking rogue. His mother was an astronaut from Earth (and thus had told him about Superman so He-Man knew who he was when he showed up in a crossover) But there was still the two hidden halves of the sword deal. Adam had to go to a secret cave and get the Goddess (still not the Sorceress) to transform him. Strangely though one panel shows Adam lifting weights and tying a barbell in a knot implying he already had He-Man's strength without transforming.

It was Filmation that firmly established the idea of Prince Adam using the Power Sword to change to He-Man. Filamation gave us the Falcon themed and kind-hearted Sorceress in place of the Cobra armored and aloof Goddess. Filmation created Orko for comedy relief. Basically MOTU owes it's success to Filmation. They established the story and became the default continuity for He-Man and company. There were other comics and books that had different stories, but the main plot, theme and character personalities were in tune with what the cartoon had established.

So in summery, the Pre-Filmation era was the early draft storyline before the cartoon came along and created the storyline that makes He-Man and the Masters of the Universe the awesome property it is. At best it's interesting to go back and look at it from a development point of view, but as an actual continuity for the story it is severely lacking.



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MacGyver
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Thank you for the thorough analysis, sir. Smile Cool



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"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver

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