Sunday, May 2, 2010

MotUC: Adora: Action Figure Review

Well since Evil-Lyn’s review turned out to be so popular with the blog’s readers I’ve decided to continue the reviews of MotUC. Since there are so few ladies in the line so far it will be easier to knock them out so for now we’ll continue with them. In the history of MotU and all of its various incarnations Adora has pretty much always gotten the shaft. Technically she never received a figure in the vintage Princes of Power line, which is a shame since she was the *star* of the series. Sure She-Ra got a figure but both He-Man and Adam got figures in the Masters line so I don’t understand why it was acceptable to just remove She-Ra’s cape and headdress and that was Adora. When the 200X line was in full effect She-Ra was a convention exclusive, unfortunately the TV series that went with the line was cancelled after the second season. To add insult to injury it’s now common knowledge that introducing She-Ra and Adora into 200X was always the endgame. So now we’re up to 2 lines that should have had an Adora figure yet were cancelled before we received an official one. I think that Mattel knew how much of a sore spot this was with the fans so they surprised us by having an official Adora figure be the first Princess of Power figure in the line. After 20+ years she finally has a figure!

Now it’s common knowledge that FILMation based character designs are off limits, at least for now so imagine everyone’s surprise when the prototype images were released and Adora was sporting her signature FILMation look, which just so happened to be identical to the PoP style guide from back in the ‘80s.

Just like Evil-Lyn we’ll begin with the bio:

Real Name: Adora of the House of Randor (Leader in the Great Rebellion)
When Adora and her twin brother, Adam, were born, the Sorceress recognized they were the twins prophesized to wield the Power of Grayskull. She magically cloned the Sword of He, enhancing it with the Stone of Protection so that each twin could have a key to unlock the Power. But Hordak also learned of the twins and arranged for his Eternian pupil, Skeletor, to abduct the infants. Man-At-Arms prevented Adam from being taken, but Adora was stolen away to the planet of Etheria, deep in the Dimension of Despondos. There, she was raised by Hordak, until the day her brother returned, handing her the Sword of Protection, which she held aloft to become She-Ra — The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe!
This particular bio is one that they really couldn’t do much with to begin with. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had already been well established by the time Mattel decided to expand the line so by default there is no way to have Adora or She-Ra without her being a retcon (a piece of retroactive continuity meaning they just inserted her in there like she had existed all along, like Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch or Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) so all they could really do with her bio is flesh it out to make it a little bit more believable. In this case it works because there are certain things that are a given anyway: Hordak always has to be the one to raise her, The Sorceress and Man-at-Arms must always try to save her before it’s too late and Adam must never know his sister existed until he gives her the sword. We get a few answers too, we know how there are two complete power swords out there and it officially becomes canon that Etheria is in the dimension of Despondos.
The package is a little different; since Adora is a new faction within the line the front of the package has a PRINCESS OF POWER sticker on the bubble similar to the logo on the original packages back in the day. The back of the package is what’s kind of off. I like that they used the style guide picture, but I’m not particularly fond of that picture in general, but if that’s all they could use then that’s all they could use. The back, like the other figures shows previous figures – this is where it gets a little odd. The figures they show are supposed to be connected to the character, so everyone on here should have had some previous (or implied) interaction with Adora. The three good guys pictured are good, King Randor, Adora herself and Man-at-Arms; so father, daughter, man who tried to save her as a baby and knows her secret. But I would much rather have had He-Man be pictured instead of MAA, maybe when they eventually release a Queen Marlena figure they’ll have the entire royal family on there. I’m lost with the villains on the package though. Webstor never interacted with Adora, and the same can be said for Tri-Klops. Scareglow you can almost get away with, it would be easy to write in that he knew about the prophecy but they leave him untouched.  What verges on inexcusable is the fact that both Skeletor and Hordak are mentioned in Adora’s bio, and they’ve both had figures produced by this point yet they’re not pictured on the package.

Just like Evil-Lyn the articulation is the same because once again it’s the same buck, only this time unlike Teela/Goddess, Green Goddess and Evil-Lyn we actually get a different set of clothing with Adora In case you forgot the articulation is: ball neck, swivel wrists, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel calves, hinged ankles, and rocker ankles. Like Evil-Lyn Adora’s outfit is made of a softer plastic which allows for the waist and hip/thigh articulation to work much better than on Teela/Goddess and Green Goddess.

Like all of the female figures so far Adora’s leg has that weird looking muscle on her right leg that well, it’s just odd looking. One good thing is we actually get quite a bit of new sculpting to the basic buck. Obviously the outfit is different, now it looks a lot better in person than it ever does in pictures, but she’s not wearing her normal bottom. Instead Mattel and the Four Horsemen opted to keep the hip joints hidden and in order to do that they had to turn her bottom into more of a ‘skirt.’ Though the problem is they kept full articulation so it’s not a standard skirt it’s more of a wide ‘u’ shape which actually comes off looking more like a diaper. We do get new boots and boot cuffs that are different entirely from all of the other boots we’ve seen through the line to date and new wrist gauntlets. Of course Adora’s head is a brand new sculpt too, and she’s sporting her trademarked hairstyle, funky bangs and all. There are a few problems I have with the hair that detract from how beautiful the work actually is. The hair style comes off looking like she’s got a rather large head, seriously, turn the figure sideways and look at it, its huge man. That creates a problem on its own, it weighs the head so much that she is forever looking down, and with the way the hair is sculpted in the front of her face that also limits how much you can use the neck articulation. I do wish they also threw in a different hand that was open, it would have given a great option for a ‘spell casting’ hand like the vintage Evil-Lyn and Teela figures had, and it just looks funky when you pose your Adora in the stance she assumes when she’s mid transformation and she’s got the sword up in the air and the other hand out on the side with the slightly closed fist. Mer-Man, Beast-Man and Stratos all got open hands; they could have thrown Adora a bone with an alternate hand, especially since it wasn’t included in Teela and Evil-Lyn when their vintage figures had that open hand.

Adora comes with the Sword of Protection, obviously. Now we do get a little something extra here, we get a removable belt with a holster; she also comes with a pistol/laser gun. This is obviously a nod to the ‘off limits’ FILMation gun Adora used when she was Force Captain of the Horde back in The Secret of the Sword movie. There really isn’t that much else that they could include with Adora so I guess I’m okay with the lack of extras, or substantial accessories.

Like every figure with Classics there are quality control issues and oh boy did I have my share of mine. I’ve gotten a few paint application errors in the past but Adora was by far the worst, there was different shades of red slapped on her boot, on her back side and other areas, the red ‘shading’ that they put on her thighs was so off color that it actually looked like she had a rash – kind of funny considering it was right below her ‘diaper.’  The Sword of Protection was bent, and I mean really bent, on top of that the heel of one of her boots was practically severed from the rest of the foot. It was holding n but barely, you could see through the gap. On top of that one of Adora’s legs were actually longer than the other one, it made it so she couldn’t stand up on her own unless I posed her in a way to make her slightly bowlegged. Thankfully replaced her for me.

Over time Adora has grown on me, and now I actually like her a lot. Over time the diaper just becomes something you’re used to and it doesn’t stand out as much. It will be interesting to see how they handle the sculpt of characters like Marlena, Sorceress, Frosta, and Catra specifically since she actually had a skirt in the style guide. As much as I don’t want to see the return of the diaper, I don’t want it to look out of place either. I hope down the line that they release a toy accurate version of She-Ra/Adora (since we know that they’re going to make a Style Guide accurate version of She-Ra), I would love to see how they handle the skirt being off to ne side and intentionally not even.

So now we come to the rating, this one is hard for me because I wanted to love this figure so much it’s not even funny and it seems like it just wasn’t in the cards for me. The replacement is a lot better than the original figure I received so that took care of the QC issues, but the diaper and the head leaning down take away from the figure.

Original Figure Rating: D
Replacement Figure Rating: B

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