Saturday, May 1, 2010

MotUC: Evil-Lyn: Action Figure Review

For the first of our double, and possibly (if time allows) triple reviews today I’m going to step away from comics for a minute or two to talk to you about Action Figures. Most people call them dolls, or toys but any self respecting geek worth his salt will be quick to correct you – they are action figures. I’m not going to lie I’ve always liked them, they remind me of my childhood where many a day was spent setting up huge battle grounds on the coffee table with either my father or brother on the other side of the ‘battle.’ We would take turns with this missile launcher I had from a G.I.Joe playset (the name escapes me at the moment) trying to knock the other guys down and obviously who ever had the last guy standing won. It didn’t always have to be that complicated either; I remember a huge He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figure poster I had up on my wall and me and my dad would sit on the other side of the room with one of those plastic dart guns that shot the sticky darts and shoot at the characters on the poster. They were fond memories of an all too short age of childhood innocence.

Anyway over the years I’ve dabbled in toy lines here and there, some times G.I.Joe, Masters of the Universe (even Princess of Power – thankfully my dad was just as O.C.D. about it being a ‘continuation of the series. So at the tender age of 5 I learnt the art of the TV franchise Spin-Off, no wonder I’ve got this blog right?) Thundercats, X-Men; I never got too much into the DC line of toys or transformers. I grew up and moved on to more ‘mature’ things and occasionally I would pick up something from Moore Action Collectables like the Witchblade line or Fathom and I was ecstatic when they launched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer line of action figures. However the was always one franchise I always went back to: He-Man and almost in every incarnation: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, Masters of the Universe (the Movie), The New Adventures of He-Man and finally the most recent: Masters of the Universe, or as it is more commonly referred to: 200X. Thankfully Mattel and the Four Horsemen are feeding my fix with: Masters of the Universe: Classics, which is actually combining all five of those lines (as well as a few new things and characters from other source material.) So basically this line is a MotU fan boy’s dreams come true. So without further ado, on to the review!


For the first figure review for the line and the first figure review I’ve ever done I’m going to pick someone who has always been a favorite of mine – Evil-Lyn!  She’s had many incarnations over the years: the yellow skinned vintage figure, her FILMation appearances, her look in the Masters live action movie, and a more updated pale skinned gothic look of 200X. Like previous Classics figures they went with her vintage toy look with a few updates and tweaks along the way; however Mattel did say that they would release a more 200X inspired look down the line.

For now we’ll begin with the bio:
Real Name: Evelyn Morgan Powers
Raised alone by her father in the ruins of Zalesia, Evelyn left her home in a fit of teenage rebellion. Taking the name Evil-Lyn, she traveled Eternia, learning from many of its great masters the ways of magic and the dark arts. While searching for new ways to increase her power, she met and fell in love with an ambitious alchemist named Keldor and agreed to join his cause. After Keldor was transformed into Skeletor, he lost all emotional attachments to Evelyn and she began to scheme against him. In a series of miscalculations, she helped release both King Hssss and Hordak from their interdimensional prisons. Evil-Lyn uses her crystal ball to foresee the evil future!

The bios are a point of contention for me, and quite a few fans actually. This is actually one of the better bios that have been released so far there are only two parts that I have a problem with and they’re sort of big things so it’s not just me being picky. Adam and Adora’s bio both have them listed as _____ of the house of Randor, Randor and Keldor’s bios have them listed as _____ of the house of Miro; however Evil-Lyn is given a full real name (granted it was in the FILMation bible, but it’s still weird) of Evelyn Morgan Powers. The problem with this for me is, well the whole thing. It’s just a dumb name; it would have better just to have her name be Lyn or even Ev/Eve. On top of that her father The Faceless One was the ruler of Zalesia so it should have been _____ of the house of _______. We know that they’re going to be releasing a Faceless One figure so they’ll already have to give him a name. The other problem I have is that this bio basically takes away all of Evil-Lyn’s power and reduces her to a rebellious teenager that ran away and joined the ‘bad crowd’ the second her father didn’t give her what she wanted. Evil-Lyn is too much of a bad-ass to be a rebellious teenager with daddy issues. Another thing that bothers me, but it’s just a personal thing, is that they don’t explain how she turned yellow! If we’re going to get a pale skinned version of her when they release the 200X version they need to explain the change in her skin color.

The articulation is the same as all of the female Classics figures which makes sense considering that they all use the same buck, only the outfits are different (well not really but I’ll get into that in a bit.) This review isn’t even half way done and it’s getting rather long so I won’t touch too much on the articulation here, I’ll just list it: 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.

Given that Evil-Lyn is essentially a repaint of the Teela figure (the only thing new is her head) they really went overboard with the accessories here. She comes with a translucent wand that is interchangeable, a staff, wand/short stick, her 200X knife, Screeech, Screeech’s armor, Screeech’s perch. The accessories really make this figure here, Screeech and all s/he comes with are amazing, I love the translucent crystal ball and the ability to switch out the wand that her vintage figure came with and the longer staff that she sported in 200X. The 200X knife is good but in this metallic blue color it makes it look almost childlike and not as ‘dangerous’ as it should.

The sculpt, a bit overused now; but is still decent. Teela came with two heads so she could be displayed as Teela and The Goddess, then we have Green Goddess, Adora and Evil-Lyn all share the exact same body sculpt, which would be fine but there’s something about the leg muscles that look really warped on all of the figures, specifically the right leg, so the left as you look at it. Just above the knee it looks like there’s an extra muscle, or just that the mold was warped or something. To make matters worse Teela/Goddess, Green Goddess and Evil-Lyn all have the exact same dress/skirt/armor sculpt. So out of the four figures three of them are pretty much exactly the same. This won’t be a problem once we get She-Ra and some of the other PoP ladies down the line, but right now it’s just a little too much. The outfit on Evil-Lyn is possibly the best out of the three since it is made of the softer plastic which allows better movement with her articulation.

As always with MotUC there are paint issues. The most common one is that her irises aren’t fully painted. Mine had a special little flaw, lucky me, her back looks like it has been melted and the plastic is warped and severely discolored with huge burnt spots that have turned the yellow orange and brown.

I’ve never been a fan of the yellow skinned Lyn and this isn’t really an exception. I know in my collection as soon as the pale skinned 200X version comes out the yellow Lyn is going on a different shelf. I will say one thing though there’s something about this figure that is absolutely stunning, to me she looked horrid in the early pictures that we’ve seen but she is stunning and eye catching and next to Teela your eyes will always go to Evil-Lyn first.

Would I recommend this figure to someone wanting to get into collecting, or into MotU in general, yes and no? She is beautiful but I just can’t get over the yellow skin and that this is essentially the third time we’ve gotten this figure within 8 months, add to that the fact that these figures pretty much are only available for a maximum of ten minutes on and the miscalculations in the bio Evil-Lyn’s got a lot going against her. But I keep being drawn back to the fact that the issues with my figure aside she is the most well constructed out of all of the female figures in this line released to date, and as much as I hate the yellow skin my eye always goes directly to her whenever I look at my display.

Rating: B-

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