Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:53 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Bow
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
First off, in case you haven't heard yet, we did it! After the huge scare that sub sales were down and the line may have been canceled, in the end the fans came through and sales were 35% over the minimum needed to proceed. So MOTUC lives and not only do we get the sub for 2013, but yet to be revealed bonuses have been green lit as well. Won't know for a while what they are but supposedly they will "take care of a lot of fan requests".
Now that we can relax about 2013 let's turn back to 2012 and the reissues coming up. As you know Classics covers all eras of Masters of the Universe including the Princess of Power line featuring She-Ra and her companions. Today we look at one of her most iconic and memorable friends (and I do mean just friend) Bow.
Bow comes packed in the standard MOTUC blister card package. Like the other rebels, he features the Princess of Power label sticker on his bubble. Also like others before (and after) him that came with two heads, he is packed out with his vintage style head on the figure. Like She-Ra I think it might have been better to use his cartoon/style guide head as that is the more familiar look for the character, but as always I'm an open display collector so it doesn't matter much to me. Strangely though he comes with the circle gem in his armor instead of the traditional heart.
The back of the package shows off other figures in the line, in this case Horde and Rebellion -plus He-Man as the only other rebels out at the time were She-Ra and Adora, and the only Horde were Hordak and Grizzlor. Of course, there is also the bio card that, like She-Ra and later Catra, has a picture based on the vintage toy look. It's not as bad here as with Catra since Bow does include a head to go with this look while Catra was pure cartoon in design.
On the whole the fan community hasn't welcomed Bow's real name, but honestly I'm okay with it. Sure I wouldn't have thought of it for him, but compared to things like Hec-Tor-Kur and Squidish Rex it's not bad. One thing that does bother me is how they waste the first third of the bio talking about Hordak's arival and wandering through Despondos before coming and conquering Etheria. Even if we ignore how stupid the idea of Etheria being inside Despondos is, (and that's not easy to do) the bio should be focused on Bow. Talk about that other stuff in the blurb on the Etheria map.
What little there is is taken from the description in the style guide, though the trick arrows did become a big part of the cartoon, even if the results weren't quite the same. The style guide went on to mention the heart shaped arrow heads worked like Cupid's making the one struck feel love while the clover ones brought good luck. I can kind of see using the love arrows to get your enemy to stop hating, and trying to kill, you but why would you use a good luck arrow on them?
Finally the heart deal is taken from these early ideas. The cartoon did something similar but it was a locket that glowed when Adora was in danger and it was Sea Hawk who wore it not Bow. That's the big one. I fully acknowledge that Bow was originally conceived as a love interest for She-Ra, but just as Spider-Man went through Liz Allen, Betty Brant, and Gwen Stacy before hooking up with Mary Jane, Adora's true love and soul mate will always be Sea Hawk. Now I know at the time they did not have Filmation rights and couldn't do a Sea Hawk figure (now that they do they better hurry up and make one!) but since they knew they wanted to get them, the bios should be left open to include him later. Actually, I guess they kind of are since it says Bow secretly loves Adora, but it doesn't say how she feels about him. Indeed the cartoon implied Bow was attracted to both Adora and She-Ra but that she saw him as a friend. Sure she gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek once or twice but she also kissed Orko so it means little.
Kind of went on a rant there didn't I? Let's move on to the actual figure, lest you think I completely dislike Bow as that is not the case. Particularly in this new figure which really makes him much more in line with the tough warriors of MOTU. Bow uses the standard buck for his torso, legs, shoulders and biceps. He has a pants piece instead of the traditional furry loincloth, and the ends fold up between his legs. His boot tops are a new fancy design, which does feature covered ankle joints, and his feet were new and later used again on Icarius. I admit I goofed up in my Icarius review thinking they were new then, they were actually introduced with Bow. Icarius' paint job, with the blue on silver, made them stand out a bit more.
One thing about the boots is they do not match up with the vintage Bow figure. They actually are much closer in design to the New Adventures He-Man figure. Since that figure also wore blue pants, if you stick He-Man's head on Bow's body you can get a general idea of what a MOTUC NA He-Man would be like. In fact many fans fully expected to see one and are surprised he hasn't shown up yet. Some are even upset, though frankly I find this to be one of the duller He-Man variants and would rather the line stuck to cooler looking ones, if any at all. After the close call this year I think all variants need to be put on hiatus until 2015 after we devote the tooling budget and SKU slots to more individual characters. Last thing we need is a repeat of 200X where we had 14 different He-Man figures dozens of individual characters who never got made.
Bow also features new forearms and unique hands. Bow has hinged wrists allowing his hands to turn inwards. This allows him to be set up in positions where he can be loading up his bow with an arrow. His right hand is molded in a unique arrow holding position and the loose arrow he comes with can be placed in a grip between his fingers. It can take a bit of work to get him in a good firing pose, but the increased articulation opens up more possibilities. (Or you could do like me and put him in the drawing an arrow pose)
For weapons Bow comes with, of course, his bow which features the very cartoon style horse head design. He also features one loose arrow that has a heart shaped arrowhead. Now the bow does not include a string, but does feature two small holes where you can add your own. This is due to a safety regulation that says if an action figure's bow has a string it must have the arrow molded to the bow so it cannot be fired. I do not know if this is a self imposed rule by Mattel or one that came up in very recent years because I have seen strung bows in other action figure lines including relatively recent ones like the Lord of the Rings figures. I tried asking in a Q&A and the response I got from Toyguru basically implied he doesn't know either. I also can't understand why a strung bow would be a safety violation, but spring loaded missile launchers are okay.
As I mentioned though, you can add your own string. Be warned this may turn out easier said than done. As you can see I strung mine using one of the elastic bands that hold the figure in the package so as to give the bow string some actual tension to it. This turned out to be much more work than I anticipated. Normal thread may be easier to use.
Bow's quiver of arrows is attached to the back of his armor. It appears to be a separate piece, but is glued on. The quiver features arrows that have heads shaped like other card suits (what power does the spade have?) but they do not come out. The quiver's rope belt tends to come in the package sticking up so you'll need to stick it down around his neck. Sometimes this can look like it's choking him at first, but once it's held in place a while the plastic will relax and look more natural.
The armor and cape itself is one piece similar to Count Marzo's but not as long and thick so it's not as restricting. The chest piece features a removable center attachment that can be swapped between his traditional heart and a circular gem. I feel torn on this, while I want to draw more people into accepting POP characters, I also don't want to cave in to naysayers who claim they're "too girly" and don't belong. So called "fans" who feel this way, I find, are set in their opinion and this won't be enough to sway them so there's no point in making this piece -which by the way is one of the tiniest accessory parts in the line and can easily get lost if you're not careful. That's not to say it falls out of the armor, it stays in real tight, I'm saying the one you don't use can potentially vanish. If they really wanted to cater to people that didn't want a guy with a heart on his chest, why not make his armor piece to cover it like the vintage figure had? (too expensive to tool?)
And as I mentioned, Bow includes two heads. One is his more familiar mustached head as seen in the cartoon, and the other is meant to be like his vintage toy with no mustache and a headband. And yes the vintage Bow figure did come with a headband, but it was a removable cloth piece and one of the most commonly lost articles of any figure in the line. Vintage Bow figures that still have the headband are extremely rare and tend to go for a lot on e-bay. (Of course my figure is missing everything)
Frankly though to me this head doesn't really look like the vintage Bow figure and actually resembles Scrollos from the UK comics more in my opinion. Either way though I always prefer the cartoon look for POP characters anyway so I go with the other head for my display.
One final accessory included is Bow's harp that he was seen playing so often in the cartoon. While this is a great nod to a great cartoon (done before Filmation rights even) I wonder why they went with this instead of the armor piece from the vintage figure. Not that I'd display it anyway, but I think that might have made him more appealing to the "he's too girly" crowd without having to cave in and cater to naysayers' whim since it was an actual piece from the old toy.
Me, I'm a lover. I love the She-Ra cartoon, I love it's characters, and I love this new figure of Bow. Even though I will always pair Adora with Sea Hawk romantically, I still view Bow as one of the most important members of the Great Rebellion and a trusted loyal friend to the Princess of Power. The Four Horsemen did a fantastic job capturing the look and updating him for the new line. I for one am proud to display him in my collection.
Bow will be available for sale as a reissue on Mattycollector.com on August 15. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey!
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