Monday, February 6, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Star Sisters By Mattel

Note: The above picture is so blurry because A) I am an incompetent photographer who just does stuff like that sometimes; or B) I just didn't give a shit. You choose.
The Star Sisters have been the source of quite a bit of controversy since they debuted at San Diego Comic Con last year.
Some folks pointed to them as a sign that Mattel was truly going to hit every corner of the Masters of the Universe/Princess of Power franchise and were thrilled. Some folks didn’t understand why Mattel would produce this trio before getting to highly demanded, popular, important characters like Ram-Man, Rattlor, Mantenna, Mosquitor, Modulok, Two-Bad, Jitsu, Spikor, Extendar, Rio Blast, Stonedarr, Rokkon, Dragstar, a Horde Trooper, Multi-Bot, Tung Lashor, Clamp Champ, Rotar, Gwildor, Blade, Blast Attack, Ninjor, Saurod, Twistoid, Snake Face, Sssqueze, Angella, Castaspella, Frosta, Glimmer, Double Trouble, Flutterina, Mermista, Peekablue, Perfuma, New Adventures He-Man, Sweet Bee, Entrapta, Loo-Kee, Netossa, Spinnerella (not to be confused with Salt-N-Pepa’s DJ, Spinderella), Hydron, Flogg, Slush-Head, New Adventures Skeletor, Kayo, Nocturna, Visar, Hoove, Karati, Lizor, Artilla, Spinwit, Tuskador, Butthead (who I think we can all agree should be a priority anyway), Quakke, Staghorn, all of the Meteorbs, Eldor, and of course Evil Robot (whatever the heck that is).
I hope you’re picking up on what I’m saying here.

And then there are the people who feel that the Star Sisters are fucking stupid and so obscure and useless that they should never have been made in the first place.
I’m in that third camp.
But they were made and we have to deal with them. Especially if we are Club Eternia subscribers, because there’s no way you’re going to be able to move this stupid set on eBay. Personally, I gave mine to Mrs. Troublemaker. She’ll chime in with her review later. I’d like to solicit the inimitable Little Pond for a review as well, but we’re not currently on speaking terms after an incident involving Mrs. Troublemaker, several monster trucks, and enough beer to sedate a middle-sized Apatosaurus.
First Glance: Yep. They look stupid and I don’t want them. Except the crystal one (Jewelstar) looks kind of cool. And the tall one (Tallstar) has an interesting color scheme. And the yellow one (Starla) isn’t so bad.
Sculpt: All three figures feature new hip joints that seem to me to suck. They look fine (except for Tallstar’s, but we’ll get to that) but they do not offer the same range of motion as the older female MOTUC hip joints. They can move outward and forward and back, but lack the swivel. It’s very limiting. The abdominal rocker joint is also missing from these ladies, and Starla and Jewelstar are missing a calf swivel.
Otherwise the Star Sisters have the standard MOTUC articulation.
Tallstar looks pretty wacky and has a costume that reminds me a whole lot of Rainbow Brite. Her hair looks pretty cool and dynamic and she has a slightly longer face that fits with her gimmick. Which, by the way, is actually represented in the toy. Included with the set are five extension pieces that fit in Tallstar’s legs, arms, and neck. The leg and arm pieces work really well and don’t look as freakish as you might think. The neck piece doesn’t fit in quite as well. I think this is due to the weight of the head, but there is a little space in between the pieces that I can’t seem to get rid of. I do wish Mattel had included the abdominal piece we saw at SDCC. She’d look less weird if she were stretched all over. Speaking of weird, Tallstar and Jewelstar are both sporting some serious granny panties and I don’t like it one bit. It’s especially bad on Tallstar because the leg holes are a bit too open and you can see her hip joints hanging out.
Starla is the most solid looking sculpt-wise. She has a cool hair sculpt, a great face, and her dress covers up the hip problem. Her star crown thing is really cool as well. She somehow seems generic and unique at the same time. 
I can’t explain it, but she feels like the centerpiece of the set even though she has no gimmick.
And finally, we come to Jewelstar, who has a pretty cool gimmick – lots of translucent parts. I am such a sucker for translucent parts. She has a crown, kneepads, and gauntlets that are not only see-through pink, but also very well-sculpted. They are uneven and crystalline and look great. Jewelstar’s face and torso are more angular than the other girls’, which is a nice touch. Unfortunately, she also suffers from granny panty syndrome. Hers just isn’t as noticeable. 
Oh, and she also has a nice sparkly cape that I honestly can’t quite tell if it’s translucent or just has a very shiny, pearlescent finish (I'm just kidding - it's translucent, of course). Either way it looks cool.
Having said all that, there is one major problem with these girls. Little Pond was right back when she complained about Swiftwind. These are girl toys designed by stupid boys. And this set in particular can’t even claim that it is aimed at boys. Look at it. I’m not saying there aren’t dudes out there who are going to like it, but I don’t think your average male collector was dying to get his hands on three glittery princesses and their pink falcon (which should be an Urban Dictionary entry, by the way). So my point here is that if they are going to make these girl toys, they really should go the distance and give them second heads with girl hair. I don’t buy ToyGuru’s claims about the budget limitations. I mean, I’m sure there are limitations, but I doubt they’re as severe as he suggests. The guy always talks about how much they have to charge for all their lines. I very strongly feel that Mattel charges what they feel like they can get away with charging.
Design: I’m not going to run down the individual figures here because they each have pretty great and accurate paint jobs. 
I’ve seen a lot of complaints about smudges and blotches on this set, but I’ve got to tell you – mine all look pretty great.
Overall I really dig the color choices here. These look like 80’s toys for girls except for the one glaring omission.
Accessories: The set comes with Tallstar’s extension pieces, Glorybird the pink falcon (and if you think I’m not dying to do a whole post about the hilariousness of that concept you don’t know me very well), a removable Mohawk for Glorybird, and a stand for Glroybird.
Tallstar’s extensions all look fine and work well except for the neck piece, which still isn’t all that bad.
Glorybird is Beast Boy/Zoar/Screeech; except pink. The Mohawk is extremely goofy but fits well and the stand is shockingly an entirely new sculpt that looks like something Barbie would have beside her toilet. And I mean that in the best way possible.
Packaging: Is this the same box shape as the beast packs? I think it is.
Overall: I don’t necessarily want these in my house, and I’m certainly not happy I had to pay $60 plus shipping for them; but the Star Sisters are not bad action figures. They are stupid girl toys that a bunch of dudes translated into a boys’ line as best they could. And they did a fine job. They lose a point for not just admitting to being girl toys and having combable hair. They lose another point for the weird articulation issues and Tallstar’s neck. But really, these are pretty well done figures. I’d honestly give them a 4 out of 5 if I didn’t hate the fact that they got made so much.
3 out of 5
Do you really want to buy these? Seriously? I guess go to BigBad and pay their fucking ridiculous markup. Normally they're pretty sane, but ninety-five bucks for these fruity broads is absurd.
Believe it or not, there are some idiots out there who are already requesting better, alternate versions of these obscure characters. Blech. I hope those people’s Wind Raiders break.
Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. ha ha :D ...you got a way with words, Friend- pretty funny shit! No, i agree they aren't terrible, but not amazing either-as a group they look better. i also agree with your belief that Mattel cuts/charges for what they think they can get away with, but they are in the business of making money.

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    1. Good point about them looking better as a group. None of them alone would be a satisfactory figure at all.

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