Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:10 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Mara (of Primus)
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
while not every character from the New Adventures era was slated for a release in the Classics line, we have managed to get figures for most of the top A list characters and/or most fan demanded (e.g. Optikk's not a A lister story wise, but he is a fan favorite design wise) Strange then that this one was almost not in the lineup. According to Toyguru, the original roadmap included Darius but not her. Possibly this was due to questions over rights to the character, but once the cartoon rights were obtained a vote was held for fans to choose between Mara, Darius or, for some reason, Tuskador. Mara here won by a landslide -though that vote is now somewhat moot as both Darius and Tuskador are coming out next year, but we'll get to them when the time comes. For now let's look at Mara.
Mara was a prominent character on the NA cartoon, though early on she did not get involved in the action much, serving mainly as Sebrian's assistant and as a potential love interest. She did come off as pretty intelligent, showing suspicion of Adam's cover story and possible connection to He-Man, though she never fully put the pieces together. Still, while she had some moments, it was only toward the end of the season she really developed. After being assigned as an ambassador she underwent a costume change and "took a level in badass" to coin a phrase. Now actually getting involved in the battles as a full fighter.
Despite her large role on the show though she never got released in figure form. A prototype figure was made, but it never saw release. I'm not sure if this was due to problems with the action feature, as was the case with Darius, or if she simply didn't make it to production before the toy line ended. For NA fans Mara has long been desired in figure form and at last she has arrived in Classics.
Mara comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package, complete with the Galactic Protectors logo sticker on her bubble. You'll notice of course that the package is labeled as Mara of Primus, likely for trademark reasons as Mara is a rather common name in sci-fi/fantasy pop culture. (Mara the sorceress in Blackstar, Mara Jade in Star Wars....) the back of the box shows off other NA figures in the line and gives a bio for Mara.
It does seem a bit funny that she's labeled Mara of Primus, real name Mara. A bit backwards from the norm isn't it? Overall the bio doesn't have any objectionable material in it as it does all come from the cartoon. The part about her and Caz piloting the Starship Eternia is one of those early shining moments I was talking about. The only real complaint I have here is it does feel a bit choppy as though it was hastily thrown together, which given that Mara wasn't in the original roadmap when most of the bios were written, it probably was.
Okay, taking a look at Mara outside of the package we have another absolutely beautiful female figure. Her look is mainly a combination of her later episode outfit and her prototype figure's. Her head sculpt and the top part of her outfit come from the cartoon, with the shoulder pads, high collar and such, but instead of a full body leotard like on the show she has the two piece suit with the bare midriff and then the gold belt and blue shorts of the figure. It may seem she reuses the Battleground Teela buck, but it is actually a new torso. The top is part of the sculpt and non-removable. She also features new forearms with the large bracer on her right and the spiked bracelet on the left. The gold band on her leg is a separate piece over the existing buck, but it is glued in place.
Speaking of below the waist, I have to say this is probably the best waist piece ever on a female figure in the line. Her pants piece overlay is perfectly sculpted so that it fits on and looks like actual short pants/a leotard bottom instead of a skirt. What's more -and I know this sounds like perverted sexploitation but still- Mara has the best, most defined butt in the line ever. Some previous females had a bit of buttock curve to the back of their waist area, but with Mara there is no question that she was intentionally given a well sculpted ass. And this is what the fans have wanted on female figure since the beginning. Not just because it make them look sexier, but because it makes them look PROPER. If a character is supposed to be wearing a skirt it should be a fully defined skirt like on She-Ra or Peekablue and the like, but if they are supposed to be wearing a leotard it should look form fitting. This in between thing we've been getting is just not right.
And the reason we've been getting them is largely due to Mattel design giving most females the more open legs that can turn so the figure can have a leg swiveled to the side pose. It gives a bit more articulation, but when we can see the open joint it ruins the appearance. Thus the extended waist coverings to hide the joint. Mara here uses the legs from Battleground Teela which are closed so while they are still on ball joints that can move forawards, back and spread to the sides, they can't swivel at the hip like the other joints. I actually prefer these legs for females who are supposed to have leotards though. Mattel's thinking seems to have been alter the look a little bit rather than sacrifice any articulation. I say no way! Far better to loose a very minor articulation feature than compromise the character's look.
Not to mention that argument falls apart when, not only do several figures have articulation hinderance due to unique features, but Mattel also is continuing to not give females boot cut articulation! Mara is another one here and it's even more infuriating because you can look at her boots (modeled after her prototype) and see that they are separate from the leg (as I said, reused from Battleground Teela) but they are glued in place! It's not just a tight joint, they are unquestionably stuck on purpose.
The rest of Mara's articulation is standard. Head shoulders and hips on ball joints, Swivels at the biceps wrists and waist, standard joints at the elbows knees and ankles. No ab crunch, but no females in the line have that.
For accessories Mara comes with a shield based on what would have come with her vintage figure had it been released. It clips onto her arm though it works best on the left arm with the big bracer. She also features a polearm weapon with a blade at one end and spiked ball on the other. Mara's other weapon though is part of her body in that, as seen in the cartoon, she has a long hair braid with a spiked ball on the end which she could use like a whip/mace. I believe her vintage figure was meant to have an action feature where her braid would either spin or whip forward, I'm honestly not sure. For her Classics figure the braid, from her crown down, is made of a more flexible rubbery plastic so it has some whip to it. She comes in the package with an ankle length braid, however about halfway down you'll notice a gold hair band and another right above the spiked ball. The section in between can be removed and the ball placed on the top band for a shorter braid, which is actually more cartoon accurate but it's nice they gave us the option.
Mara is a beautiful character and her figure turned out fantastic. Even better than I had expected. This is really well done and I honesty can't find anything to complain about aside from the now usual lack of boot cut articulation. Even among fans who don't care for NA she's attracting a lot of attention, and rightfully so because she really does fit in with the line beautifully. I could see her not being interesting had they gone with her early episode white dress look, but in the battle suit outfit she comes off as a mighty warrior maiden who easily fits in with the Eternians should you still wish to ignore the Primus story. As of this posting Mara is still available on Mattycollector.com, but she is marked Almost Gone so you better hurry. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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