Masters of the Universe Classics
Queen Marlena/Captain Glenn w/Cringer
$25 + shipping from MattyCollector.com
I hate San Diego Comic Con exclusives.
I really do.
They are the poop-frosting on top of the wonder-sundae that is Comic Con for me. You spend all 3 days of Comic Con being excited and squealing about the awesome reveals of toys that your wife is going to kill you for buying only to have all that joy squeezed out of you the following week.
I’ll admit that the majority of this frustration is caused by Hasbro and their dreadful handling of the post-SDCC sales at hasbrotoyshop.com but Mattel isn’t completely free of blame. Any time I have to log on to that godawful website despite committing to the subscription is a day that I am a grumpy toy collector.
So, with that all out of the way, I have to admit that the last 2 years have brought really exciting figures from SDCC. Orko with Adam last year was a set that is absolutely essential to a MOTU collection while Queen Marlena and Cringer is a pack of 2 figures that have never existed before. Both of these sets would likely never have existed, at least in this form, if not for the extra funding made possible by the high visibility of SDCC and it’s crazy media spectacle.
Queen Marlena and Cringer themselves are fairly unexciting on the surface, basically boiling down to a human royal and a young green tiger, but there’s a lot more going on with this set than it seems. As I mentioned before, this is the first time a figure has been made of Marlena or Cringer and both have been requested by fans going all the way back to the 80’s when MOTU’s popularity was at it’s height. So does this 2-pack live up to the excitement that it’s announcement created or is it really just another crazy cat lady?
Marlena and Cringer are packed out in the same style of box that Orko and Adam were crammed into. It’s basically just a normal MOTUC card that’s been inflated to accommodate all the extra parts included inside. The standard green brick deco is there and, as usual, it looks really nice.
Mattel tried something a little different this time around by packing the SDCC version of this set with the figure outfitted as Queen Marlena while the set sold on Mattycollector.com is displayed as Captain Glenn. While I know this got a few Mint on Card collectors’ britches in a twist, I personally think it’s the way to go if the company wants to offer something special to folks who make the trip out to SDCC. You don’t alienate the majority of your customers (the ones who don’t make it out to the con) by giving away an extra accessory or figure that will surely be rare and in high demand (see: DCUC Gleek) but the con version is still desirable.
In addition to the layout of the figure in the package, Mattel also went one step further and gave separate Bios for each version of the figure. The “Queen Marlena” Bio speaks of her life on Eternia and even tells us that she knows Adam and Adora are He-Man and She-Ra while the “Captain Glenn” bio hints at her involvement with the Fearless Photog! These are both really awesome things to just casually mention on a card back and I’m hopeful we’ll get more info in the upcoming mini-comics.
Sculpt, Paint, Looks:
It ain’t easy being green, unless you’re Marlena Glenn!
Marlena comes packaged with parts to make 2 complete looks that, despite them both being largely the same flat green color, look extremely different. The space suit look represents the way she would’ve looked when she first crashed onto Eternia while the royal gown is the more familiar Queenly garb that most MOTU fans have been waiting for.
The base body is a stripped down green body suit with a lot of articulation points that are usually covered up and a really low cut neckline. It’s pretty cool to see clearly how some of the parts work but it’s obvious that this isn’t something intended to be put on display. Depending on which “mode” you’d like to have your figure in you’ll pick one of 2 rubber parts that fit snugly over the torso and then clip into place on the back.
One thing I’m really impressed with is the near-seamless lines that run down the back of the figure once you have her suited up. It’s clear that the piece can come apart but it really does latch into place securely with just a little work getting the tabs into place.
The Queen look is exactly what I expected and wanted from a Marlena to pose next to Randor on my MOTUC shelf. Her long, simple green gown is highlighted by a gold belt and a pair of bracers that work well as accessories that a Queen with Marlena’s background would choose for herself. She looks regal and dignified and I love the smoothness of the dress itself. The low cut neckline is carried over from the base body and adds a level of sex appeal that’s appropriate for the MOTU world.
Marlena’s Captain Glenn look is a fantastic pulp space hero look that I’m really excited to have as an option. She comes with this great fishbowl helmet and a breathing system that fits over her neck and is covered in little electronic details that really sell it. The rubber tunic looks fantastic and doesn’t suffer from the problems that “Laundry Day Adora” did, the green leggings go a long way to remedy that problem as well. I love the name tag pinned to the right side of her chest as well as the extra padding on the shoulders. It really is amazing how small details can take a very simple piece over the top.
Marlena has a very harsh looking face, probably harsher than a loving Queen should, but I think this look works really well for the space explorer outfit. She looks a bit un-trusting but also has this slight smile on her lips. It’s far from a horrible Queen Marlena look, though, and overall I’m very happy with her.
Cringer is a character that I have a ton of love for thanks to my time watching the Filmation Cartoon within the last few years and I’m tickled pink that we got him as a pack in with Marlena! He’s sculpted in a very cartoony style that fits right in with Prince Adam and Orko from last year’s SDCC set. While he is quite small compared to Battle Cat he really doesn’t look wrong with any of the MOTUC humans.
Both figures were painted solidly, I only had issues with my Cringer and they were far from deal breakers. He had a couple of small sections of white gunk that’ve got to be either extra wash that didn’t get spread around or just scratches where he bumped into something. They’re largely invisible unless you are looking for them. Marlena’s paint was impeccable all over.
The Queen has the usual array of MOTUC female joints including the missing ab-crunch. She’s able to get into all kinds of poses in her Captain Glenn outfit which doesn’t block any of her joints. The rubber tunic piece doesn’t block the range of her hip joints at all and yet still hides them from sight.
On a slightly sad note Marlena’s dress essentially eliminates her legs, hips and waist as movable parts. I think everyone who’s seen any pictures of the figure in full-on Queen Mode guessed that this would be the case so it’s not exactly a surprise. I would have loved for there to be some way for Marlena to retain some of the posability of her lower body but I have no idea how that would have been possible while retaining the interchangeable outfits.
Cringer has 2 joints on him, a cut neck and a cut tail. They are largely useless because the figure’s sculpt wasn’t designed to include them from what I can tell. I’m a bit disappointed that the first Cringer figure ever made is essentially a solid lump of plastic but since he is more of an accessory than a stand alone figure I’m willing to accept the lack of joints. This doesn’t mean that I am giving up hope for a better, fully articulated Cringer down the line!
Queen Marlena and Cringer come with a pretty nice selection of gear even beyond the parts needed to swap from Queen to Captain. Included are:
2 Heads (1 Queen, 1 Captain)
2 rubber clothing parts (1 dress, 1 tunic)
1 pistol with holster belt (repaint from Adora)
1 blaster rifle (new sculpt)
1 sword (re-use from Battleground Teela)
1 space helmet with removable glass
1 gold scepter (new sculpt)
The gear really looks nice and even the re-painted Adora pistol feels new thanks to a nice black and silver paint job. I’m excited we got another of Battleground Teela’s sword without having to resort to a weapon’s pack or a second Teela, now I can have her swinging 2 swords when she wants to get up close and personal.
The gold scepter matches Randor’s nicely, it’s a nice feminine version of his gold cross topped stave and they look good standing side by side with them. I don’t remember Marlena carrying around anything on a regular basis in the cartoon but it feels right for her to have something to hold on to.
For an extra $5 over the regular price of a MOTUC figure there is a lot of extra fun in this SDCC exclusive set. Cringer himself is a much fancier extra than we’ve ever gotten in a single pack figure plus you get 4 items and the 2 different outfits.
Marlena is one of the few MOTUC sets that really is a great buy even when you factor in the shipping costs. I don’t know if this is a result of an increased budget from Comic Con or if reuse of parts makes this possible but I’m certainly not complaining!
Unfortunately, now that this item is sold out on mattycollector.com, you’re probably not going to be able to snag Marlena and Cringer for anything close to the original price. While I definitely think this pair is worth paying more for, if you’re patient and let some of the hubbub die down you can expect the asking prices to drop.
Queen Marlena is a long-awaited figure that fills a gap that’s been in everyone’s MOTU collection since the vintage toy line. While she isn’t the most versatile figure due to the limits her costume puts on her articulation it doesn’t stop her from being a great figure of the Queen of Eternia.
Captain Glenn is the real surprise here and it gives MOTUC collectors the option to display Marlena as another ass-kicking lady rather than standing safely with her man. Captain Glenn is as good as the other fantastic females in the MOTUC line and even occupies a slot that we never had before, that of the Space Faring Femme! Now that I have this set in hand I really do wish that I’d ordered 2 of them so I could display Marlena in both of her fancy styles.
I know I always say nice things about Masters of the Universe Classics but that’s not going to change today, Queen Marlena or Captain Glenn, depending on which set you’re able to get your mitts on, is among the best buys you can make in the MOTUC toy line. Lots of accessories, a versatile figure and an essential sidekick figure makes this SDCC exclusive not only a great value but a ton of fun too!