Masters of the Universe Classics
$20 + shipping from mattycollector.com
I’ve never understood the aversion that the big toy companies have to female figures in boy’s toy lines. Going back to Toy Biz’s Marvel toy line where The Invisible Woman was next to impossible to find all the way up to G.I. Joe’s Pursuit of Cobra the trend has continued sporadically. I can still remember searching and searching for the god awful Batman Returns Catwoman figure! Thankfully things are not nearly as bad as they used to be and we are getting not just female characters but multiple versions of the main ones!
Battleground Teela originates in a DC Masters of the Universe comic that pre-dates the original cartoon. Teela looked a lot like a female He-Man, much more barbaric and bad-ass than she ever came off as in the cartoon where she was more often the butt of a joke than a formidable fighter. The only reason this figure exists is because of a massive amount of support from fans that Mattel listened to.
But you and I both know that we fans don’t always know what’s best for us. Should Mattel have turned a blind eye to the rabid request for this figure? Did Toyguru himself make a bad choice in pushing her out, or is Teela the coolest female action figure in years? Come on inside and check out the pictures to find out!
Teela’s bundled into the typical, beautiful Masters of the Universe Classics packaging. Her goods are on display (oh ARE they!) and I’m sure she’d look nice hanging from a wall, all pristine and unopened, but I was so excited to set her free I think I used a pizza cutter to get in there.
As usual there’s a neat and confusing bio printed on the back that I cut loose and promptly dumped into a drawer. I blame G.I. Joe for my compulsive need to keep these bits of cardboard even though all the info is available online for free. The bio talks about the Sorceress dying (what.) and Teela training to take over for her Clone Mom.
I both love and hate these bios at the same time. I love them because any new fiction based on MOTU is something I want to experience. I hate them because they come in such small, splintered pieces that it’s next to impossible to follow the narrative (if there even IS one to follow). I’m pretty excited that we’re getting actual mini-comics next year and I hope having the story all spelled out (even if it is spaced out over 3 issues spread across a year) will give the writers the breathing room they need to pull it all together.
Sculpt, Paint, how does it look?:
Teela is a good looking, metal bikini and furry panty sporting lady. While she shares a couple of her parts with the previous Teela (I know the bracers for sure but I think there are some others) she is mostly her own, brand new, figure. The face sculpt is hard for me judge, while it looks a lot like the older Teela face (besides the hair) I get the feeling that it’s different. I’ve heard some talk of the paint being the difference but I’m hard pressed to say definitively yes or no. Either way, it’s a great face sculpt and it’s decidedly Teela.
Her outfit is a nice, new and feminine version of He-Man’s furry pants with a nice, realistic metal bra covering up her fully sculpted, nipple-less boobs. Yes, I looked. Don’t judge me. The whole get-up lets you decide whether you want her to be Teela cosplaying as He-man or just a brand new character who runs in more savage circles than the other MOTU ladies we’ve seen so far.
Everything about the looks of Teela is top notch from the top of her head all the way to the bottoms of her boots. The beauty of the sculpt does come at the cost of a couple of articulation points, but we’ll get into that shortly. I didn’t have any paint issues or QC problems with my Battleground Teela, Mattel really seems to be stepping things up on their end this year. It’s really amazing to compare this figure to other, similar figures like the Marvel Legends Shanna the She-Devil. It really is like night and day.
As I mentioned before, Teela is missing a couple of the usual Masters of the Universe Classics joints in favor of a smoother, better looking sculpt. Given the choice, I would always choose more articulation over a “more complete” sculpt but I think what we’ve been given is still plenty of movement to get the job done. Mattel has eliminated the “Ab Crunch” and the “Upper Thigh Swivels” from Teela(and their female figures in general). They would have both fallen on bare skin so I guess that’s why they were knocked on the head.
While I can see how the Ab Crunch could have been a problem in conjunction with the metal bra, I don’t see why we had to lose the thigh swivels when we’ve already had them on bare-legged He-Man and company. What’s done is done though and the articulation that’s still there is plentiful and you won’t miss the eliminated joints in the vast majority of situations.
All the joints are just tight enough to hold poses without feeling like they’re going to snap and the ankles on this Teela in particular are just amazing. I’m impressed that we’ve gone from some of the worst ankles ever (almost all of my early MOTUC figures were notorious shelf divers) to the ones on the recent releases which are practically works of art.
Teela comes with 2 accessories, both brand new to her and both awesome.
The sword is an interesting design that I’m really happy with. It’s a good thing, too, since we’ll be getting it again with the SDCC Queen Marlena. She’s able to hold it smoothly in either hand and it looks both elegant and mean at the same time. I’m really glad that the designers are giving us new weapons with the vast majority of our MOTUC figures, while the re-used parts on the figures are hard to notice in most cases the heavy repeating of swords, guns and crossbows would get old fast.
The pistol is a bright silver, high tech looking little fella that I absolutely love. Teela looks great pointing at anything. So awesome that I’m pretty sure I saw Zodac shed a tear under his goggles. The combination of the sword and the gun gives her that sweet blend of technology and gritty fantasy that has always been a hallmark of the MOTU brand.
Teela doesn’t have any way to store her weapons on her and that’s a little disappointing. I don’t know where the designers could’ve hidden a holster or sheath on her sparse outfit, though, so I’m not really complaining. I don’t really picture this version of Teela as the kind of woman who puts her weapons away so that may have been the thinking behind it.
Value or How Many Lunches is She Worth Skipping?:
The value issue is, as always, a tough one for me to try and talk about when it comes to MOTUC figures. You’re talking $20 + $9 shipping (minimum) for one 7” figure. Teela came out as a Quarterly Bonus Figure so she was shipped with The Faceless One and saved me around $6 shipping compared to 1 at a time. Still, is this figure worth $25?
In this case, as it is with all MOTUC figures, you’re getting an insanely well sculpted, highly articulated figure with great weapons for your money. While she doesn’t come with quite as much stuff or as many options for play as some of the other figures like Trapjaw or the upcoming Queen Marlena, Teela is still well worth the price.
So, is this a Crappy Toy?:
This new Teela is awesome just because it’s proof that Mattel isn’t a faceless, soulless monster like a lot of people like to think, but is it a good figure? I’m happy to say that she looks just as awesome in person as she does on TEH INTERWEBS. While I am personally a lot bigger fan of Teela’s outfit from the cartoon and vintage toys I’ve got to admit that having a furry underpantsed barbarian lady on my toy shelf makes me smile.
In my collection she’s going to be treated like a different female character who fights for right alongside Teela and the other forces of good. I’m not going to make up a new name for her or write a back story, I’m not a nerd after all, she’s just going to look awesome alongside all my other Masters of the Universe Action Figures. Sigh.
We’ve been short on new female characters for quite a while now and Battleground Teela follows Catra to give us 2 unique looking ladies to add to the shelf. While this Teela isn’t one of the figures I would’ve picked to come out this early in the line (I feel like I’m saying this a lot…) I’m glad I’ve got her. I feel like this figure is a good buy for not just MOTUC fans but for anyone who likes ass-kicking ladies in general!