Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:53 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Universe Classics: Battleground Teela
|Hi there fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Winding down the reviews of MOTUC figures available during the Mad Matty March sale (which is itself winding down) we come to what is supposed to be a variant of a popular character. While it is a nice figure, in many eyes it is not a proper variant. What do I mean? Well last time I showed you Teela specifically so I could show the major difference with; Battleground Teela!
"Hey, that doesn't look like Teela!" You say? My point exactly. This figure is based on a look Teela had in a very early, Pre-Filmation, comic book mini-series published by DC. Now in early concept art Teela was going to be a blonde and many old early mini-comics, and this DC comic, gave her blonde hair. They also frequently showed her with her hair down. The big "WHAT THE???" factor though was the outfit DC designed for her in this story.
Yes, the captain of the Royal Guard ran around in little more than a bikini top! Why they would do this I have no idea. Perhaps they had just seen Return of the Jedi and had slave Leia on the brain. At any rate, for somewhat obvious reasons, many fans wanted this made into a figure and here she is.
Battleground Teela comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package with the back showing off other figures in the line and giving us a..... :sigh: .... a bio. Remember in an earlier review I said there was a BIG issue I would discuss later and it wouldn't be pretty? Brace yourself, here it is.
There is so much I want to say about this, though it can best be summed up in three simple words:
WORST BIO EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay it's rant time. I know this may come off somewhat unprofessional, and if I truly hope to get Mattel to one day recognize me as a reviewer and send me advance figures I need to stay on their good side, however as a reviewer it is my duty to say what is and isn't good. I have an obligation to tell the truth and not sugarcoat it. I must be true to the truth! And to be completely honest and truthful I must stand up and say, "This bio is a steaming pile of ****!"
Oh bio, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Well I suppose a good place to start is the plain simple fact that they expect us to accept this figure as the Teela we know and love! She looks completely different! If you look REALLY close you can see a slight resemblance in the face, ignoring the hair, but otherwise no this is someone else. And that leads to the major inconsistency in the storyline, or rather how the previous storylines are being meshed together. The early mini-comic savage barbarian He-Man is now Oo-Larr and his adventures took place before Adam was born. But the blonde Teela from those same early mini-comics is our Teela in the future? Why Why Why wasn't this figure made someone else?!?
There is no explanation given for the radically different hair. If it was the same color just down I could accept it. But why would Teela suddenly decide to go blonde? And no, "sometimes people just want a change" is not an acceptable answer! Especially when you don't even say that much, but rather nothing at all, in context.
What's with the outfit. Mattel has stated this is not her new Sorceress outfit but what she wore during her training..... at the POLAR ICE CAPS!?! Seriously?
Magical clone -already ranted on that crap, which leads to the #1 reason this bio is completely, unacceptably awful; someone had the unmitigated gall to kill off the Sorceress!
No no no NO NONO! You do not kill off one of the most beloved characters in the franchise! Deaths of characters is something that can toughen up a series, BUT every series has, or at least should have, a do not kill list. Characters you do not kill off, at least not permanently. Sorceress is right up there on the list!
And the method is completely implausible. This comes from a 200X episode where Hiss does poison her, but in the end of the episode we see her get cured by Grayskull's power! You're trying to tell me the ultimate power in the universe can't deal with a little snake venom? Magical humanoid snake venom or not, we're talking about the ultimate power in the universe! And that does lead to the other factor. It was revealed that a PROPOSED story idea for the 200X cartoon's third season would have had them kill off Sorceress and have Teela take over. But a few things:
1. As I heard it the idea is she would be killed by Ninjor.
2. The key word there is PROPOSED story idea. Almost no fan believed they would be allowed to do it. And most importantly
3. EVERYONE HATED THE IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!! The fans were appalled that such a story arch was even considered!
Some of the responses that have come out to the fan outrage have been as bad as the story itself:
The fans knew Teela was destined to take over for Sorceress one day
That didn't imply Sorceress was going to die! We assumed it would be way down the line when she got old and she would just retire! More to the point we never expected to actually see it happen. Most people assumed they would find a way to get Teela out of the raw deal and let her be with Adam.
Fans were told this was planned for the third season in 200X
First of all why are you so insistent on using 200X story elements but refrain from 200X influence on the figures themselves? Second, as stated above, it was a PLANNED idea. You're not committed to using it and given the fan backlash you should have known better.
which leads to this one from Toyguru himself, while not directly talking about this particular element it covers it:
We knew some of these choices would be controversial but fans would come to accept them in time.
He goes on to compare it to negative backlash when the idea of Keldor being Skeletor was confirmed but in time fans came to accept it. Well I was there and to use Toyguru's own term against him here, that was a "very vocal group of about 200 fans," Killing off the Sorceress: Universally hated! And saying, "we knew fans wouldn't like it but we did it anyway figuring they'd come to accept it in time"?
Translation: "We'll so whatever story we want whether you like it or not so just accept it cause that's how it is!" Pretty much the same thing Joe Q said after that awful Spider-Man One More Day fiasco and look how that turned out!
Mattel has said that there is no real official canon and fans are free to ignore any story idea they don't like. Well that's not really true is it? Any new media we get like a cartoon, movie or comics are going to turn to this for the story aren't they? Yes they are because that's just what the new mini-comics coming this year are doing. I dread what a new cartoon or movie will be like if this is the storyline Mattel uses. Meanwhile, you say I can ignore this bio? Oh I'll do far more than that!
Okay, deep breath, end the rant. This is the longest I've ever gone on about a single bio, but no bio has ever pissed me off so much! I certainly hope we'll never have to go through something like this again. (but since I'm probably going to end up reviewing the new mini-comics..... we'll burn that bridge when we come to it)
Anyway this is supposed to be a figure review, so what about that figure? Well as horrible as the bio is, the figure itself is actually very good.
Ahem... yes. The actual figure is very beautiful. While I did and still do say she looks nothing like Teela, she is a very sexy figure, and yes actually does reuse several parts from the first/real Teela. She has the same arms entirely and the same boots. The head is obviously new and like most long haired figures in the line the hair does slightly hinder neck movement.
She is sporting a new waist piece which has the furry underpants cover, a look usually reserved for males on Eternia but consistent with the DC comic. It is a softer plastic cover so it does not interfere with articulation. On that note, she looks like she has the same legs at first glance but, looking at what's underneath (yeah I know...) you can see that it is actually a new sculpt that does not have such a wide open joint area.
Now the other big thing is her new torso. It is a complete torso unlike the first female buck, and has the full body sculpted with nice abs and her bellybutton is there. This not only looks great on her, but brings us one step closer to a Veena figure. Her bikini top is a separate piece, but no it is not designed to come off. There is no ab crunch, but that would ruin the nice sculpt anyway. She does feature waist swivel, however because of the way she's made, like I pointed out with Leech, it looks rather awkward when turned to the side.
For weapons she comes with a new sword that has a rather simplistic, but still pretty cool design. She also includes a blaster gun modeled after the one she is seen using in the comic. The recreation is very well done and in combination with the sword really brings out the whole mixture of ancient fantasy and futuristic science fiction that MOTU is all about.
So in summery, there is not one redeeming factor about the character bio, but the action figure itself is a very nice one. You can do what you want to make her fit in. Maybe she's Vikor's wife. Maybe she's the real Sharella, maybe she's Tee-La friend to Oo-Larr. I suppose you could even make her actually Teela as long as you ignore the bio and come up with your own story.
The figure, while I will never accept her as being Teela, is a very nice one and brings in some great new sculpts for future use on other female figures. (and of course is great for customizers)
Battleground Teela is available now on Mattycollector.com as part of the Mad Matty March sale so is marked down 10%. I've got one more MMM review to go and I promise it'll be a more positive, less ranting one. Until then, Good Journey!