Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:05 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Unicerse Classics: Catra
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Got one more review of a monthly reissue, not part of the Mad Matty March sale, for you. Sorry I didn't get this one up before the sale actually started, but when Mattel announced the reissues of the month they only mentioned Webstor, Buzz-Off and Clawful. Then they posted the the sale day page and there was another one. So that didn't give me a lot of time to take the pictures and get the review up. At any rate she's still available so let's take a look at; Catra!
Catra comes in the standard MOTUC packaging and features the Evil Horde logo sticker on her bubble. There was some question as to which sticker she would have, Horde or the Princess of Power logo, since she fits both figure categories. I'm glad they went with the Horde logo, even though I'm an open display collector so it makes little difference. If you're a MOC collector and wanted the other logo, well that's what that sticker sheet from last year was for.
The back of the card features a look at other figures in the line, all Horde or Great Rebellion -plus King Grayskull. At this point in the line there weren't enough of either faction to fill out all the spots but this does seem like an odd unrelated choice. It also features a bio for the character.
You'll notice the picture doesn't match up to the figure's outfit because it's of the toy version. Mattel tends to use the original box art for the bio cards whenever possible. I kind of feel they should have used artwork that matched the figure's look. More on that in a bit.
This is actually a pretty good real name, but that's about all I like here. I sort of hate to rag on this bio since I know it was personally written by Toyguru himself, but I have to be honest and say I just do not like the direction he took here.
I don't like the idea of Catra being from NA's Tri-Solar System. I feel she should have been from Etheria. On that note, why make her one of the Horde members from the original Eternian invasion? She was not present in the 200X material where this comes from. It's been really bugging me how much the "thousands of years old but still young" angle has been getting overused and it especially irks me in Catra's case. I can accept it more from a inhuman monster/alien but not her. And she was a Horde member for thousands of years but only got promoted to Captain after Adora defected? By the way step-daughter is an inaccurate term there, it should be adopted or foster daughter.
Sorry Toyguru, I appreciate all you've done for the fans in getting this line started and keeping it going, but I just don't like your fan-fiction story here. (You're free to dislike mine) On to the actual figure.
Now the first thing you may notice is Catra looks like her cartoon appearance and not her vintage toy. How is this possible when they didn't have Filmation rights at the time? Thankfully, Mattel found an old licensing style guide that featured their characters in Filmation style outfits. But it was from Matell, it was their property, so call it a legal loophole if you want, the point is it gave them what they needed to make the figures in cartoon style outfits. Many fans, myself included, are very pleased about this as this is the way we picture these characters more.
Catra uses the original female buck. Her forearms with the bracers and her boots are the same as She-Ra's. Her outfit is done in that great red shade with the Horde emblem across her chest. It is made of a much softer material than previous female figure's outfits in the line so she has a much wider range of leg movement. Definitely a good thing. There is a piece coming up from the outfit between her breasts that lines up with her cape, but it is not connected and can look a bit off if the cape is not lined up right. The cape itself is made of a nice flexible plastic and is removable once you take her head off.
One new piece she has is her left hand which is done in an open position that creates a catlike scratching pose. (this has been later reused for a spell casting hand) Looks great but the problem is it is done in a softer plastic than the rest of her body and feels rather gummy and squishy. This can create a problem when trying to rotate it. I was afraid I was going to tear it off at first.
Her head is very well done for the most part, both in sculpt with the high cheek bones, and in paint job with the heavy eye shadow. Her hair is very long and made of a stiff plastic. It does tend to limit head articulation as it hits her cape even before hitting her back. Also I find on side to side movement the tips get caught on the cape a LOT. It can easily be readjusted but does add extra work when trying to find the perfect pose. Still, this is a wonderful likeness of her cartoon appearance.
Catra has quite a few accessories. First is her cat faced shield modeled after the vintage figure's but now featuring a large pink jewel inside. The shield actually looks very good for her, however it is designed to clip onto her arm and molded in such a way that it's meant for her left arm. When on it tends to hide the scratching hand.
She also has a sword with a pink cat face handle and pink jewels on each side. This sword is modeled after the one that came with the vintage Shower Power Catra variant. It's a good mold, but the bright pink handle kind of clashes in my tastes. I would have liked it better in red like her outfit. Also it is made of a very soft plastic and tends to come out of the package warped, which in turn can lead to the jewels popping out. They go back in okay but it is rather disappointing.
The reason for the soft sword, and I think the hand as well, is they had to make it in the same tool as the whip. I must admit as big on action figures as I am, I really don't understand how the tooling process works. Basically what I got is the sword and whip had to be made of the same plastic so the choice was a soft sword or a stiff whip. Frankly though, I'm not very happy with the whip anyway. As you can see they continued the trend of turning the vintage figure's comb into a weapon. Unlike She-Ra's comb ax though, this looks purely like a comb with a whip coming out of the end. Maybe if they had had the whip coming out of the handle instead it might have looked better. As it is I feel it looks rather goofy. A whip is a good weapon for Catra though so I like to display mine with the red whip from the Weapons Pack.
She also includes two different masks. The silver one is based on her original toy version. It is designed to go over her face and form fit in place, however I find this one harder to get on and frankly once it is, I feel it doesn't really go with the rest of her outfit. Also when I took it off I found it had left a silver paint rub on her head. It was probably best to include it for fans of the vintage toy, but I prefer the red mask.
This mask is based on her cartoon/style guide version. It is designed to form fit onto her forehead like how she usually wore it on the cartoon. It fits on much easier and stays in place very well. It can be lowered over her eyes in a way, however it is not intended for this so it takes a bit of work and may stretch the plastic out. Since Catra only lowered it over her eyes right before she transformed this is not a look she would have for very long anyway. It fits and stays on her forehead creating the classic look very well so that's a win in my book.
You can easily see though that she was not based on her toy look at all. Really the only look parts that are alike are her mask and shield. (Both of which my vintage Catra is missing of course) This does open up the possibility of getting a straight toy version as a variant somewhere down the line. Personally though, I am very happy they went with this version of her appearance and am quite satisfied. To me when it comes to a choice between vintage toy or vintage cartoon look for the Princess Of Power figures, cartoon wins out. That's really how I know the characters better and how I prefer them. I could see getting the other version as a variant someday, but there are plenty of others I'd want first. (Dragon Blaster Skeletor, 200X Adam, etc.)
A female figure, a Princess of Power character, and an Evil Horde member. Catra is all of these in one and a very welcome addition to the line. As I've said a few times, I am thrilled they went with the style guide/cartoon look for her. For any true She-Raver she is a must have character and, despite the minor issues I mentioned, the figure is an absolutely wonderful rendition of her. Catra is available now on MattyCollector.com, but is a regular reissue and not part of the Mad Matty March sale. I definitely recommend picking her up while supplies last. Good Luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS LIVES! -Thanks for the support.
"I HAVE THE POWER!!.... the power is mine, not yours. Thanks for asking."