Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:00 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Loo-Kee and Kowl
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
If you've been reading my most recent reviews and looking at the pictures within, you may have noticed a sneaky little someone popping up. Well if you want him you're going to have to play the search game on Mattycollector.com because it's this year's chase figure. Following last year's surprise Spirit of Hordak chase figure, Mattel is doing it again. This time though they have made it a brand new character instead of just a cheep repaint, and more importantly they are warning us in advance to be on the lookout for that master of concealment: Loo-Kee!
Loo-Kee was sort of the "Where's Waldo" of She-Ra. He appeared in almost every episode, but not as part of the plot. At some point in the episode Loo-Kee would appear hidden somewhere in the shot. Sometimes he would be very hard to spot, other times he would be right out in the open as though he wasn't even really hiding. (in one of the DVD audio commentaries they admitted that sometimes they just slapped him in quick and easy to spot so the audience wouldn't get distracted from the story trying to find him) At the end of the episode Loo-Kee would reveal his hiding spot and deliver the moral. There were only a few exceptions. He does not appear in the first five episodes (which are the Secret of the Sword movie divided up into parts) one episode has He-Man and She-Ra give the moral instead, and of course there are the two episodes where he actually does participate in the story.
Loo-Kee became an intricate part of the She-Ra mythos and later began popping up hidden in other media like comics. He finally got a figure in the final wave, however it's hardly the best toy in the line. It features only swivel shoulder articulation and frankly looks more like one of those old troll dolls than his cartoon appearance. He did have a sort of action feature where there were small wheels in his feet so as you pushed him along his eyes moved as though he was looking around. But that's not right, we're supposed to be looking for him! Well good luck looking because the vintage Loo-Kee is one of the rarest She-Ra toys out there and almost never shows up on e-bay. Even when he does he sells for a few hundred dollars. Needless to say, I don't have one.
The Classics version will be tricky, but hopefully nowhere near as hard to find. I've been talking only about Loo-Kee, but actually this is a two-pack that includes Kowl. Both figures come packed together in the standard MOTUC blister card package complete with the Princess of Power logo sticker on the bubble. Since both are very small figures, it still seems like a great deal of wasted space, but I guess they didn't want to go through making an all new outer package for this one use. Though they should have placed the characters so that they were over their own names instead of each others'.
The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a card with bios for both Loo-Kee and Kowl. Kowl's bio is very short and only gives a quick summery of the character's role, but I actually don't mind this and wish more bios were done this way instead of twisting and changing the canon we grew up with. By contrast Loo-Kee's bio gives him a ridiculous big real name and background. In the cartoon his species was known as Kon-Seals. This may have been an initially required change due to not having Filmation rights at first but, as I've mentioned several times before, once they got the rights there's no reason not to fix it.
Also in the cartoon his powers were because Kon-Seals are naturally magical creatures. This was a big plot point in his signature episode "Loo-Kee lends a hand" Hordak had trapped all the rebels with a time freezing device, however Loo-Kee's natural magical state made him immune to the effect so Light Hope sent him to Eternia to get He-Man's help (since even Adora was frozen) When doing so Light Hope revealed the twins' secret identities out of necessity, which Loo-Kee apparently didn't know before now despite his talking about the stories during the morals in previous episodes, and more to the point he apparently did know the characters in universe. Unfortunately Light Hope could only get Loo-Kee to Eternia but couldn't control where so he wound up in Snake Mountain. Loo-Kee dropped out of the portal right onto Skeletor's head which is the shot depicted in the bio picture. As luck would have it Skeletor just happened to be in the middle of making a portal right into Prince Adam's room at the palace so he could capture Adam. But the portal could only be used by one person so Loo-Kee rushed through getting where he needed to go and resulting in probably the fastest foiled evil plan ever and a real funny moment. You know what, just go watch the episode.
We'll start with a quick look at Kowl since this is the same figure we already got with the last Weapons Pack in different colors. The figure stands about two and a half inches tall, which while very small is actually to cartoon scale. He has swivel shoulder articulation and his head can turn left and right, but is rather hindered by his large ears. The main draw to this version though is the paint job. He is done in the orangish brown shade like he appeared in the cartoon as opposed to the vintage toy colors. His eyes are more owl like with straight yellow. There are no "reflection" white spots in the eyes but again this is cartoon accurate. Since, like most POP characters, the majority of fans default to the cartoon for how Kowl should look, this is the version we wanted and becomes a must have -though this does in turn take away the must have status of the Weapons Pack version.
Also making this version of Kowl the better one is the fact that he includes a flight stand. It is the same version that came with Unnamed One so it just has a very small peg that plugs into either of his feet. It would have been nice to have the stand a bit taller so that Kowl "hovered" above shoulder level with the human characters, but this still makes for a terrific display, particularly next to Bow. Really makes you feel like Kowl should have come with Bow in the first place instead of THREE YEARS LATER!
Now let's turn back to Loo-Kee. He too is a small guy, around as tall as Kowl. Technically taller, the top of his head is about level with the tips of Kowl's ears. Again this is pretty accurate to cartoon scale. He really captures the appearance out of Filmation with his bright vibrant coloring and friendly face. He has limited articulation. His head turns left and right, his arms swivel at the shoulders and his tail can rotate at the base. There's not a lot of poses you can get out of him, but he still looks perfect with all the Great Rebellion members. He's a perfect transition of his cartoon appearance and since he was there in almost every episode it just feels so right for him to be there in figure form as well.
I'm thinking of making it an ongoing thing to have Loo-Kee hiding somewhere in a picture for all my future reviews. I will admit that, much like the Mini Masters, the price seems a little high for such small characters. However, unlike the minis, that feeling is largely offset by them being additions to the Classics line and must haves for any She-Raver at that. The cost is also overlooked a bit due to the hard to get status of them being chase figures.
Loo-Kee and Kowl were first offered to subscribers through Early Access in April -but only Early Access. Unlike most EA selections which go up on sale day if they don't sell out, this set was only available during Early Access. But that is far from the last time they will be available. To get these guys you have to keep checking Mattycollector.com. At various unannounced times throughout the year a logo of Loo-Kee peeking out from behind a sign will appear. Click on that to go to the sale page and order them. Also I believe there will be a small allotment made available late in the year (like around Black Friday) so you have plenty of opportunities left to try for the set. Sure the set can be found on e-bay and such now, but I'd advise against turning to the secondary market until after the chase period is over. (December at the earliest) Good Luck, good hunting and, until next time, Good Journey.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005