Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:12 am Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Queen Marlena/Capt. Glenn
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Well with SDCC wrapped up so too am I wrapping up my look at the past SDCC exclusives. 2008 saw King Grayskull, 2009 He-Ro, 2010 had both Mo-Larr and Orko who I covered earlier, and 2011 gave us Queen Marlena!
Also known as Captian Glenn
See as you may have noticed Mattel puts the SDCC exclusives on the website for anyone to buy after the show, but likes to reward people who actually make it to the con by having the one there slightly different. In this case, though the figure inside had all the same parts, how it was packed out and what bio was on the back differed. The version sold at the con was packed out and labeled as Queen Marlena while the version on the website was packed out as Captain Glenn. Either way the figure came on the larger style blister card that Orko did because, like how Orko had Prince Adam in his box, Marlena comes with a pack-in character and a ton of accessories. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a different bio depending on what version you got.
This bio is almost perfect! I am thrilled that they stuck with the astronaut from Earth angle unlike the 200X version. Some fans don't like having a connection to Earth, but I feel it makes Marlena a more interesting character. As I mentioned, in 200X she was declared by the show's creators to not be from Earth, but was not given an alternate origin so she was just an undeveloped background character for the most part. (She got like two moments to shine in the whole series and one was just a "pull yourself together" monologue) Also it makes Adam and Adora more special due to their mixed blood making them unique thus why it was them and not a previous descendant of Grayskull to receive the power. I also love the confirmation that Marlena knows her children's secrets but hasn't told them she knows. That's something that was hinted at in Filmation but not confirmed until now.
I do really wonder what the deal with the two other pilots is. I mean they weren't specifically named and died in the crash. Why bother mentioning them if they play no part in the story? I can't help but think this is going to come up sometime later. Like they're bodies being used to create some cybernetic villain or something like that. I suppose it may just be a reference to the unused idea where Marlena had crew mates who ended up becoming Evil-Lyn, Beast Man and Tri-Klops, but aside from the fact that's three not two, we've already seen that's not the direction being taken in the bios, aside from the characters' real names.
This one is pretty good overall and really only falters from some terminology. Clearly it should say she flew into a wormhole and not a black hole. A wormhole is a warp in the fabric of space that connects two far away points while a black hole is a collapsed star that crushes all matter pulled inside into a singularity. I also hate how it says "late in life" as it implies Marlena is yet another beloved character getting killed off in the continuity. Granted the implication is more of a death from old age, but that is still unnecessary and cruel to the fandom. They could have simply said "years later" or even "in her old age". And I really hope the "connection" between Earth and Eternia isn't the "Eternia was founded by people from Earth's future" angle that was going to be used in an early draft of the live action movie. I like Marlena being from Earth but I like Eternians being aliens.
As I mentioned in Fearless Photog's review the mention of Project Photog was a nod to the character before Mattel decided to actually make the figure and thus was cool at the time, but now Mattel says there is no connection and the name is pure coincidence. Well what was Project Photog then?
Regardless of which version you get package wise, the contents are the same. Marlena uses the first female buck, which thanks to the interchangeable outfits you can see fully. She has the same forearms and biceps as Adora and the boot tops and feet of She-Ra. (Fitting since she's her mother) For weapons she comes with the same sword as Battleground Teela slightly repainted. It has a green tip on the hilt to go with her outfit. The other accessories are more specific to which version you display her as.
In her Queen version Marlena features a royal staff of a thinner but similar design to Randor's or the 200X Adam's scepter. The same symbol was on 200X Adam's belt and gloves too so apparently it's an emblem for the royal family. Her dress has a slit up the back with tabs and slots to fit it together. Once on she stands fine, but there will be no leg movement. Many fans would have preferred having her able to sit so they could make a throne display of her and Randor. All things considered, I don't mind this as she looks just as I expected her to. She seems to have stepped right out of the Filmation cartoon.
Now that has led to one other complaint from some fans and that is that while her head sculpt is beautiful and spot on, her eyes are done in a more cartoon style than the rest of the line. She has only the white part with black pupils as a cartoon character and not as detailed as Teela or Adora. Really though, I feel this is something that is only noticeable when viewed up close and she looks beautiful in my opinion.
Her Captain Glenn outfit has more pieces. Her main tunic appears to be a modified version of Adora's. Not only does it have the tabs up the back to make it interchangeable (and lacks the sword holster) but the bottom is modified so it's more form fitting. She has a Glenn name badge on the front but that is simply painted on. She features the same gun and belt holster as Adora repainted.
Her head for this body has a different hairstyle with a ponytail. Her bubble helmet will not fit over her crowned head. For this helmet you need to slip the main part on her neck, then place the head on, and then put the plastic bubble on. The bubble can be a but tricky as you have to get it on just right. As another great nod to Filmation there is an emblem on both the front and back which is the exact emblem of the Rainbow Explorer she wore in the cartoon.
The one nitpick about this look is she has the space helmet, but her hands are lacking gloves so... yeah in reality she'd be in trouble if she went out like that in zero or toxic atmosphere. (thankfully Eternia is an M class planet) Also her space suit in the cartoon was white and she had a much different helmet. Now Mattel has placed a more cartoon accurate version of Captain Glenn as one of the choices in the fan voted slot for 2013.. However, much as I love the character of Marlena, I urge you NOT to vote for this. It would end up as little more than a repaint and be a waste of a figure slot when we already have a perfectly working Captain Glenn. I say if it's that big an issue for you repaint her yourself and let the rest of us have a new character.
Her large laser rifle here is not only cool looking but is a double tribute. The ***** name Higuchi 1114 is a tribute to Mattel designer Terry Higuchi. Also the sculpt is modeled after the laser rifles used by Skeletor's troopers, and He-Man, in the live action movie.
As if the fact that we got two figures in one isn't enough, Marlena also comes with another character we've never had before; Cringer! Now this Cringer does not have much articulation. Actually he can only turn his head and tail side to side. But it cannot be denied this is a spot on cartoon accurate Cringer. Up until now the best we could do to have a Cringer is take the armor off Battle Cat which isn't really Cringer as he still looked ferocious instead of cowardly. This Cringer is just as he should be, particularly in the head that has the slightly sad look and even the snaggle tooth.
He may technically be out of scale but that works for me. He is much smaller than Battle Cat, but Cringer was always seen growing when he transformed. Nevertheless, many fans feel he is too small next to the Classics figures. Personally though I like the idea of him being small. Much like how I prefer the 200X younger skinnier look for Adam, I think the idea of Battle Cat's alter ego being a puny runt. It helps explain his cowardice more if he is like a runt for his species and, like Adam, helps hide his alter ego better.
The Royal Family is finally complete! This is one of my favorite figures in the line ever! Like many fans I have longed to have a Queen Marlena figure since the 80's, and she came out just as beautiful as I had hoped. Throw in a proper Cringer who was also long awaited and you've got a perfect exclusive. But then they go further and make her two figures in one!
I do feel that Mattel really should have had the Queen version on the site and the Captian Glenn version at the con if only for MOC collectors. Far more fans would want a Queen Marlena then a Captian Glenn. It's the ones that make it to the con that are super hardcore and want the more obscure variants of characters. Of course if you're an open display collector than it doesn't matter much. Whichever version you want now, and I highly recommend her for any collector, you'll have to hit the secondary market, and I can tell you you will have an easier time finding the Captain Glenn version. Good luck, good hunting and, until next time, Good Journey!
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