Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Angella from Mattel

I used to have the biggest crush on Markie Post. I first remember her taking over as the female co-star on The Fall Guy (why the heck isn’t The Fall Guy on Netflix or Amazon?), but where she really stole my heart was as innocent and gorgeous public defender Christine Sullivan on NBC’s Night Court.



Harry Anderson was great and all, but I really think I was watching that show for Markie.

There are probably pictures that would better illustrate my point, but there are no better pictures of Markie Post.
I bring this up because the first thing I thought when I saw Angella here was that she looks like Markie Post. I suppose an argument could be made that she also sort of looks like Katee Sackhoff. I mean, this is an action figure that isn’t actually based off of anybody. It’s open to a certain level of interpretation.

I also bring all of that up because I just don’t have too much to say about Angella. You guys should all know by now that I’m not much of a Princess of Power guy. I appreciate some of the characters, but it’s just not in my wheelhouse. Cool-looking action figures are, however, and Angella definitely fits that description. I wasn’t necessarily enthused about her at first, but once I saw her in person I was glad to have her.

FIRST GLANCE

Those wings look so much better on Angella than they do on Hawkgirl. The size is more appropriate and they look fantastic white rather than grey. As for the figure, she compliments Glimmer nicely and has a very regal aspect that even Randor and Marlena don’t quite match.

PACKAGING

Wouldn’t it be funny if Mattel for some crazy reason decided to redesign the packaging for this line? Like, next month? I try not to be too trollish or to embrace any degree of schadenfreude, but I have to admit that it would amuse me to see the reactions from the mint-on-card collectors.
Sorry – I’m just having a shitty weekend. I wouldn’t actually want that to happen. Much.

Angella’s bio is pretty solid and lacks any confusing sequences of events. This months’ mistake is that they wrote “Eternia” instead of “Etheria” at one point. And the copy editor should have just rewritten the entire last sentence.

LOOKS

This figure represents Angella as she appeared in the Princess of Power cartoon rather than the action figure. Like most of these toys there are significant differences between the two. I prefer the toy design, but it was the right call to make this Filmation Angella. The line is, overall, more Filmation-centric than anything else (though we’ve obviously had plenty of variety) and if you’re only going to get one shot at a character this is the way to do it.

The face sculpt is excellent. Angella looks like a queen. She has a serene expression that also denotes control and power. I feel like a crazy person describing the mental attributes of a piece of plastic, but that’s just how good the 4 Horsemen are. I would have preferred the longer hair of the toy, but this style keeps the sculpt from interfering with the wings and lends to that Markie Post likeness. 
 
The high collar and shoulder pads help, too. SUPER 80s. It’s so subtle that it’s actually difficult to make out in person, but that part, the bracers, and the boots have metallic pink trim painted on them. I think they should have made the shade darker or lighter so that it would stand out more.

This figure – and several other MOTUC females – would look so much better if the waist joint were lower and the belt portion of the crotch piece extended up over the lower torso so that that unsightly waist joint was concealed. It just breaks a lot of these figures in two. The crotch piece looks slightly less diaper-like than others and has a smaller gap underneath. It seems to be molded a bit better.

The boots are a nice 80s rock star/cowboy kind of thing. I like the ridged design at the top. It makes them distinctive amongst the other POP figures. 
 
The wings look great from the front and fugly from the back, but I don’t know that there was a better way. Not while keeping them as poseable as they are. And that’s important. To me, anyway. The sculpt is fantastic, but I already knew that because I have Mattel’s Hawkman and Hawkgirl. I very much prefer the coloring on these. The white with blue highlights looks wonderful and really brings the sculpted detail out in way that the grey of the DCUC figures did not. Also, these look way more angelic.

The ugly parts are the big ol’ hinge in the middle of the figure’s back and the visible joints at the tops of the wings. I’m sure these things could have been engineered to be more aesthetically pleasing, but not on the budget the figures that have used them have available. And I’d much rather have these jointed wings than some static, non-poseable ones that were just stuck to the figure’s back.

ACCESSORIES

Angella comes with a sword and a halo thing.

I believe this is a new sword, but I’m not going to go digging through my box of spare parts to find out. I just don’t care that much. But the crosspiece is quite distinctive and I don’t think I’ve seen it before. This looks good and has some paint on it, but unfortunately also bears the unsightly stamp of the biggest weapons manufacturer on Etheria (and Eternia) – “CHINA”.

The halo thing plugs into the top of the big hinge on the figure’s back and sits behind Angella’s head. I don’t know how I feel about it. It looks very much like an accessory for an 80s action figure for girls, but one that hasn’t been updated at all. Some paint or a more delicate sculpt would have been nice. As is it looks kind of junky. I don’t think I’ll be displaying it. It would also be nice if it angled forward a bit so that it appeared to be over her head and not just behind it.

FUN

This is a fun figure. As with all MOTUC figures, it has plenty of useful articulation. It’s missing the calf joints that many have, but if I’m making cuts those are the first to go. The wings add a ton of play value, as they’re jointed in three places and open up all kinds of new posing possibilities. Discounting those joints they look great just about any way you pose them. I typically hang winged figures from the ceiling, but I really like Angella looking like she’s just touched down and is ready to whoop some ass.

She isn’t exactly loaded with accessories, but those wings do have to count for something. The sword is good and fits in either hand. The halo thing may not be very attractive, but it does add an element of playability and I’ll give Matty all the credit in the world for making it sturdy and removable. We could’ve been stuck with it or it could have been stupid fragile.

OVERALL

I like this figure way more than I expected to, which is always a nice surprise (and one that Matty delivers on a regular basis, which is part of why I’m still collecting this line). Initially I was pretty sure Angella would be going up on eBay, as she didn’t seem all that exciting and certainly isn’t a crucial character, but once I saw her in person that changed.

I’m not going to say everyone should run right out and buy Angella, but if you’re on the fence make yourself an opportunity to look at one in person. I really dig her.

4 out of 5

If you’re bold enough to take my word for it and don’t mind spending what is probably too much money for one of these, you can get Angella here and help out Needless Things!:



 

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