Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Guest Toy Review by Mr. Beau Brown: Masters of the Universe Classics Temple of Darkness Sorceress from Mattel

Greetings Phantomaniacs! I am back to pitch hit for Phantom since this is one of the figs he is missing. (And since I am on vacation – I’m thrilled Mr. Brown is able to perform on demand.)

Temple of Darkness Sorceress was the Traveling Convention Exclusive Figure for 2012. She was released at Cons like SDCC and Powercon. She depicts how the Sorceress appeared in the minicomic “He-man vs. Skeletor in the Temple of Darkness.” Strobo is the Traveling Convention Exclusive for 2013.

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The Sorceress is out flying around in human form, instead of being magically bound to Grayskull, and flies too close to the Temple of Darkness where Skeletor just happened to be hanging out. Skeletor captures her, and she psychically calls out to He-man to come save her. Suffice it to say, he does with a little help from Man-at-Arms and Ram Man. There isn't anything special about her being white in the story, that is just how she is drawn.


this is pretty much how it went down

For some people this is a close nod to how the Sorceress appears in the live action movie, since she was all white there too.


This was one of the figures that inadvertently turned me into a completionist and all by virtue of puppetry and friendship. I do not go to any of the Cons that Mattel brings product to. I also wasn't all too excited by her since I already had my Sorceress and I am not too invested in the minicomics to have even known about this variant. This in fact pretty much makes it a great Con exclusive. Something that is a bonus for people who get it but isn't in SUCH demand that people are angry for it being hard to acquire. So it wasn't on my need list and I thought maybe if I run into it at a Con someday I will get it if it is a good price, and pretty much put it out of my mind.

Then one day I was actually thinking about her for some reason, I forget what it was, and a package came in the mail. I open it up to lo and behold it is the figure herself that was on my mind. Crazy right? After I had calmed down from getting surprise toys in the mail, (really when does that ever happen?) I further inspected the package and found a note from my friend Kathleen David. Kathleen (wife of acclaimed writer Peter David) and I are friends from DragonCon, where she has been involved for years and was presenting puppetry workshops before there was a Puppetry Track. If you read Phantom's review of the Puppet Slam (Ed. - There's a video at the link) you can read about her show “Lord of Time” which features puppet versions of all 11 Doctors and Peter David singing. Needless to say it was a hit. Since Kathleen and I are friends on Facebook and 55% of my posts are He-Man related she knew I was a collector and picked up the figure for me at New York Comicon assuming that since it was an exclusive I might not have it. She assumed correctly and it was a wonderful surprise that totally made my day. THANKS KATHLEEN!

Not only did she send me the figure but also the super cute Orko hats they were handing out for the 30th Anniversary. Which made for some adorbs pics with Little B.


As with most variant figure bios, the bio is used more to move along the metaplot of the bios since we already know who the Sorceress is from her original bio. There is some interesting stuff in there. It talks about Veena, King Grayskull's widow, becoming the first Sorceress. This is the story from the MYP cartoon and is a design of the Sorceress that I really like and would love to see as a figure someday to go along with King Grayskull.

One weird thing is it says “To safe guard the Power of the Universe after the secret deal with the Trolla, etc” As far as I've ever known Trolla is a place and the Trollans are the people. It does have an interesting bit about it being an active choice on the part of the Teela'na Sorceress to create the “Power of Grayskull” as we know it from the “Power of the Universe” that is housed in the Orb so that it could be tapped into by an individual. I dig that idea of using some kind of crazy genetic magic to make the ancestors of Grayskull able to receive the power. There is no mention of the Temple of Darkness in the bio or any reference to her being all white. The bio basically just gives you a little more backstory on the Power.

The figure is just a white/gray repaint of the regular Sorceress with clear white frosted transparent wings and different boots. The new boots come from Battle Ground Teela and are furrier at the top with some of that strapping up the calves as well. The eyes on her falcon headdress are lavender.


The wings look good transparent but suffer from the same drums issue of the other one. So she looks just as weird if you pose her any other way than straight on. Supposedly the Castle throne is going to be designed to accommodate her wings, which would be a shame if it didn’t. White figure always run the risk of getting dirty and mine has a few smudges on it and some kind of weird dark gray spotting on the back of her head.



She comes with two accessories. She has an exact copy of her original release staff. No repaint. So meh. Although in its defense it was already white.


She also comes with a pedestal for the Orb of Power that came with the re-release of King Grayskull. I got my King Grayskull on my one and only trip to SDCC and my version didn’t come with it. I can put the Star Seed that came with Procrustus in it, but it doesn’t look as good.



The pedestal itself looks really cool with transparent blue crystals giving way to flecked stone. This blue crystal imagery comes from the MYP cartoon. It also has some cool symbols on it. One of which is the symbol for Grayskull seen on He-Ro's cape. One is the symbol on King Grayskull's chest. Also something that looks like it is a symbol for the Sorceress herself. It looks a lot like the end of her staff. It has some runes further down that may or not mean anything. I think I remember a podcast with one of the 4 Horsemen on it saying it meant something.



It also looks like a magic bird bath which frankly makes sense. Maybe she likes to take baths as Zoar. Don't judge. It's a lonely job. It does means now you can kind of fulfill any Sorceress bath fantasies you might have, kind of. So there's that.


Castle Grayskull will also come with another shorter orb pedestal. So then I can have two pedestals for an orb I don't have.

So there you have it, ToD Sorceress. I could totally have lived without her but I am thankful for her and seeing her is always a lovely reminder of such a wonderful surprise.

3 out of 5



Thanks again to Phantom for letting me do these!

Join me next time for a review of the Oldest and Wisest of all Dragons, Granamyr!

Good Journey,

-Beau

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