Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:08 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Universe Classics: Shadow Weaver
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
When you think of Masters of the Universe what's the first form of continuity you think of? In other words, what do you turn to for the story line? Odds are most of you answered, the original cartoon series. (And if you personally didn't you have to at least acknowledge most other people do) So why is it so many characters, including major ones, appeared on the cartoons but never saw figures made of them?
Well the answer is a complicated copyrights issue but in simple layman's terms Mattel didn't own characters created for the show, even though they owned the characters the show was based on. They were able to basically buy Orko and use him in other merchandise (if you look at the vintage Orko figure you will see his copyright stamp says (C) Filmation not Mattel) but no other Filmation characters got made during the show's run and afterwards the Filmation rights bounced around to different companies for a while and Mattel couldn't work out a deal to get them.
Come the 200X series there was apparently some kind of deal arranged where characters from Filmation could be used in the new cartoon but had to look completely different. So we saw some like Count Marzo and Evilseed. Mattel was wise and arranged to retain rights to all new characters created on the new show, but still didn't have actual Filmation rights.
When the MOTUC line began Mattel still could not make Filmation characters at first. We got a Count Marzo figure for the first time, but he had to be done 200X style. Fans clamored for years and Mattel kept saying, "we're trying". Then at SDCC 2011, just in time for the 30th anniversary, Mattel announced that a deal had finally been reached and at long last they can make figures based on Filmation characters. Wasting no time they put out the first and most fan demanded; Shadow Weaver!
Although Shadow Weaver was released as an exclusive figure only available to subscribers (more on that later) she still comes in the standard MOTUC packaging. Her bubble features the Evil Horde logo sticker and the back of the box has a bio fitting the character into the new continuity.
For the most part they stay true to her Filmation origin, pretty much only adding the stuff about Etheria being in Despondos (which I've already pointed out is a STUPID idea) and giving her a real name, which I'm not really fond of. Beatrix makes me think of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit. Though speaking of Potter, I wonder if they were trying to reflect on Harry Potter's Bellatrix Lestrange -a far more fitting comparison. I do like that they mention her original name of Light Spinner from the UK comics. (How those comics were able to use Filmation characters I don't know)
Now let's look at the figure herself. The paint job is fantastic with her dark red robes complete with the Horde bat logo. The original prototype shown at SDCC had a lighter paint scheme but I think this final product looks better and captures the cartoon look more. Amazingly for how fast they were able to put this figure out, Shadow Weaver is almost 100% new tooling. She apparently uses the existing female shoulder parts, but everything else is brand new.
Shadow Weaver's head is on a ball joint for full articulation and is actually composed of two pieces. The head under the hood is solid, shadowy black with piercing yellow eyes. You can make out a little face detail but it keeps her hidden like it should. The hood is a separate piece and you could probably get the head out if you worked hard enough, but I'm not going to tear mine apart.
Shadow Weaver has no legs. her body with the robes is done as a solid piece of plastic. There is a hole in the bottom where her stand plugs in. The stand is clear plastic and creates the floating effect as Shadow Weaver never walked but always drifted through the air, not flying high but never touching the ground. She does however have a waist swivel and a joint near the hip area allowing her to bend forward some so she's not just a stiff statue.
She features the standard articulation in the arms with ball joint shoulders, swivel biceps and wrists and cut joints and the elbows. Her hands are new sculpts with the right done in a gripping pose and the left in an open spell casting pose. They are done in a very pale green with black nails.
Her forearms feature the robe sleeves in a solid plastic while her triceps are designed for the attachment of her cape. The cape is also attached to her back and it is made of a very soft plastic. In fact it's probably the softest and most pliable plastic in the line ever. It looks great and does not interfere with articulation much at all. Pretty much, you can't get her to hold her arms straight up but otherwise the movement is free.
The execution of this is perfectly done and I really feel this is how Sorceress' wings should have been made. As I mentioned in my review, Sorceress' "wings" are really supposed to be a feathered cloak of similar design anyway. Much as I do love the Sorceress, I can't help wishing she had been made this way instead.
In addition to her floating stand, Shadow Weaver features two accessories. She has a wand made of a solid plastic with a translucent head and also features a book of magic designed very much like one she was seen using in the cartoon series. The book is a solid piece and doesn't open, but is still a neat display piece and a great nod to the cartoon.
Shadow Weaver is a fan favorite character and one collectors have been longing to see made into figure form for over 25 years. Since she was such a major character on the She-Ra cartoon, it's only natural for her to be the first figure made from the Filmation library. However, she was not given a full release!
Shadow Weaver was made the Club Eternia Subscription exclusive figure for 2012. This means they only made enough for everyone who signed up for the subscription (thus committed to buying every figure made for the year -before knowing who all they would be) and no more were made and apparently will ever be made! I can only think of one reason Mattel would do this and that is to try and drive up subscription sales. They actually came out and said this was not the motivation and that making her the subscription figure was "the best way to get her out to the most fans the quickest".
Where is the logic in that? If Mattel had made her a regular release they would have made enough to cover all the subs and then some more on top of that for day of sale. Even if you expect more subs to be ordered because of her, this may allow you to make more then previous figures if subs sell well (which did not happen -sub sales were actually lower this year) but a regular release would have been part of the sub anyway and had day of sale figures made as well. No matter how you slice it making her only available to sub holders means there will be less of her made! Sure enough she is lowest produced figure in the line to date except for the very first SDCC version of King Grayskull.
Shadow Weaver is a fantastic character and her first figure was done to perfection. It's so sad that she's so rare because I highly recommend her for any collection. You're going to have to hit up the secondary market for this one and be prepared for VASTLY inflated prices. Most subscribers are keeping theirs and the ones that are selling are going for anywhere from $50-$200! Good Luck, (you're gonna need it) Good Hunting, and until next time, Good Journey.
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