Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:24 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Universe Classics: Star Sisters
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Well it's 2012 and that means it's the 30th Anniversary of Masters of the Universe. While the MOTUC line has been around for a few years now, I felt it was time I threw my hat in the ring and started posting my own reviews of the figures. (Who knows? Maybe in time I can get paid to do this -or at least get Mattel to send me free figures as review samples.)
So let's take a look at the first new item of the year (due to some schedule rearranging): The First Quarter large scale item. A multi-pack of THE STAR SISTERS.
Now some of you may not know who these ladies are. The Star Sisters were characters who got prototyped, advertised, and even had a brief cameo in one episode of the She-Ra cartoon, but sadly never saw release until now. Many fans have longed to finally get these characters so was it worth the wait?
Normally I won't spend much time talking about the packaging but I want to point out a few things. The Star Sisters come in the new style white mailer box which is slightly smaller than the previously used ones for this line so the product is more snugly secured inside. (Of note is how it says Cringer in small print on the box. Cringer has nothing to do with what's inside. Mattel is doing this kind of thing off and on as a loophole to keep the trademarks active.)
Now the purpose of the smaller white mailers is to cut down on material used, which would be commendable, except that the Star Sisters box inside is the same size as the Swift Wind package. This results in a lot of wasted box space. I really feel they could have just as easily fit everything in a box the size of Battle Cat's (or more to the point the Palace Guards).
At any rate the box is standard fair for the line with the back showing off other figures in the line, (All Great Rebellion and Horde) as well as a bio for the characters:
Starla™, Bright and Beautiful Leader™
Real Name: Gemma,
Jewelstar™, Hidden Beauty™
Real Name: Devena
Tallstar™, Lovely Lookout™
Real Name: Cassandra
In ancient times, an evil sorceress became jealous of the Star Sisters’ youth and beauty and trapped them in a shooting star. It was sent hurling through the cosmos until the three women crash-landed on Etheria. There, they remained magically confined in the side of a mountain until the day Swiftwind’s hooves accidently loosened the stone that concealed their prison. She-Ra® quickly used her powers to melt away the star that held them captive. In gratitude, the sisters pledged their everlasting friendship. Jewelstar™ magically conjures gem armor to protect herself and others. Tallstar™ uses her magic to stretch to unbelievable lengths. Starla™, with her pet Glorybird, can sense danger and project spells of light against her foes. Together, they stand side-by-side with She-Ra® in the battle for freedom.
On the whole the bio is okay. It doesn't contain anything I don't like, but I would have preferred a little more info on the individual sisters' personalities. The real names are not bad. (Hell of a lot better than Squidish Rex) but I think they got mixed up. Wouldn't Gemma make more sense as Jewelstar's name? If Starla's powers include divine sight wouldn't Devena or even Cassandra (the prophet of Greek mythology) make more sense?
Accessory wise, each Sister comes with a star topped staff made of translucent plastic filled with glitter. The same mold is used for all three, just in different colors. The sisters also come with a pack-in character; Glorybird. Glorybird uses the same mold as Zoar and Screeech painted bright pink. He/She/It has a new armor piece, really just a collar with the mohawkish feathers/hair, which slides easily off. The stand is a new mold made to resemble what the vintage toy would have had. It's actually a much nicer design. Sadly, because of how it's packed, Glorybird's left wing and foot were slightly bent. (Again better packaging could have prevented this.)
Now let's look at each of the sisters individually:
Starla, I'm somewhat surprised to say, is probably my favorite of the trio. I honestly have nothing really bad to say about her. The figure features a very pretty face sculpt. Her hair does not hinder neck articulation like most long haired figures in the line. She utilizes the 2.0 female buck for the most part giving her full articulation including waist swivel, however she has new lower legs which do not feature the standard boot cuff articulation point. While this doesn't bother me much, it is definitely worth pointing out. The paint job is well done and the color scheme for her outfit was nicely translated, as you can see there's not much difference in her outfit between toy, cartoon, and ad. I think she actually looks better with the tiara and I'm glad it was included. I'm not entirely sure what the vintage figure's action feature was going to be, (some kind of light-up backpack?) so I don't feel it's missing anything.
Jewelstar on the other hand, I'm sad to say is probably my least favorite of the three. First and foremost she really seems to loose something without the action feature the original toy would have had allowing her to transform into a crystal (similar to Rockon and Stonedar). Second, her color scheme is bright pink like the ad poster and I personally think the red of her figure or even cartoon looks better. It's kind of hard to defend someone this pink from POP naysayers who claim the characters are "too girly" Now I will say I do like her shiny silver cape, even though it is permanently attached, and the translucent plastic of her crystal parts is very cool. Sculpt wise it's a mixed bag. The female buck used provides most of the standard articulation, though like Starla she too is lacking the swivel joint at her boot cuff. Her face sculpt is, in my opinion, not as pretty as the others. Also her ponytail is made of a softer plastic and is showing signs of wear and paint cracking at the base on mine. Personally I do not like the chest armor piece. While it does perfectly capture the look in the add, what exactly is that look supposed to be? Is it meant to be metallic armor or some kind of crystal cut? I feel it looks too blocky, almost like a female Transformer instead of MOTU.
Then of course there's the pelvic piece. Sadly this sculpt is clearly meant to be used more with girls who wear skirts. The legs attach lower than where the hips should be, and thus create an elongated look that is then covered by an oversized leotard giving a sort of saggy appearance. By comparison Starla has the same sculpt but you can't see it thanks to her skirt. This is an issue that will continue to plague the female figures and Mattel really needs to fix it. (Don't blame the 4 Horsemen -the prototypes sculpts don't have the issue it comes up during translation to final product)
Tallstar gets special attention as she is the only one to have a (semi) action feature. Her arms, legs and neck can all unplug from the main body and she come with plug in attachments that create her power to extend her body. You can even put the extensions together making one super long arm or neck. The original figure was going to extend at the waist too, but sadly this feature is not included. Because of her feature, Tallstar actually does have swivel capability at her boot cuffs. One interesting note, the leg extension pieces are marked on the inside with an L and an R indicating which legs they should go on. However, I find unlike the reversed shoulders we saw on some previous figures, it makes no visual difference. In fact, on mine I find the connections are actually a bit loose if following the letters but fit nice and tight if reversed. I should mention that, while I can get her to stand fine after a little adjusting, when fully extended she seems a bit top heavy and unstable (much like someone on stilts) she can be balanced but note it may take a bit more work than a normal figure and may limit the poses she can be displayed in.
Sculpt wise you can see Tallstar has a lot more unique pieces than her sisters. In fact, her torso is an entirely unique sculpt instead of a new armor piece over the standard buck like most figures. Not sure why that is, it can't be reused for anyone and I don't imagine it was any cheaper to produce. Possibly it was necessary due to the different neck peg used because of her extensions. Her paint job is well applied and looks nice, though I do slightly prefer the silver and purple of her vintage prototype toy. Her face sculpt is very pretty, though her long hair does slightly limit head articulation. Sadly the pelvic piece problem is VERY noticeable on her. (Though you could argue it kind of works with her stretched out look) Still she is a very fine looking lady.
Being obscure characters, The Star Sisters have been getting mixed reactions from the fan base. Overall, I'm rather pleased with this set and am happy to get new females in this line, particularly members of the Great Rebellion. While I do want to see some more core members like Glimmer and Castaspella, (and I REALLY hope Mattel doesn't write the three of them off as our female allotment for the year) the Star Sisters are still a welcome addition to the collection.
If you want to add them to your collection, note that they have sold out on Mattycollector.com, however as I mentioned many subscription holders, particularly ones with more than one sub, have said they plan to sell off their extra sets, so finding them on the secondary market should not be difficult. Good luck, good hunting, and until next time, Good Journey!
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