Monday, July 27, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Peekablue from Mattel

Good lord, that's a lousy picture. Sorry, guys.
You guys can probably guess that I wasn’t all that into a blue peacock lady.

I was not interested in Princess of Power – the toy line or the cartoon – when I was growing up, so for the most part this has been a segment of the Classics line that I could do without (although most PoP releases are still way better than the Star Sisters). There have been some very cool releases like Mermista and Octavia, and some very crappy releases like Netossa. I’m glad I was able to avoid all of the releases from last year’s PoP sub.

Except for Light Hope. I’d still like to have him.

I thought for sure that Peekablue was going to be the dumbest and my least favorite of the PoP Classics but for one thing – Perfuma. I’ll get into it more when I review her – which I will, despite wanting nothing more than to put her on eBay the second the USPS guy leaves her box on my doorstep – because goodness knows I’m going to need some filler for that one.

At first glance Peekablue was exactly as unappealing to me as I thought she would be, but it’s entirely possible that by the end of this review the figure had won me over. At least a little bit. Read on and find out!

FIRST GLANCE

Yep. It’s a lady with a peacock tail. This is one of the girliest action figures I have ever seen. It is not something that was designed for me to like.

It looks like it should look, it just is not for me.

PACKAGING

The MOTUC blister card never disappoints.

Peekablue’s bio is not bad – there’s nothing too ridiculous in here and it even solves the problem of where to put her. I’m out of room on several of my shelves and need to reorganize again. There isn’t much room on my “Princess of Power and other stuff” shelf, but there’s plenty of space on my “Masters of the Universe” shelf, which is just for characters that are actual Masters. Thanks to this bio, I can put Peekablue there next to Man-E-Faces.

LOOKS

Before I could start taking pictures I had to get Penelope here out of the packaging.

Side Note: I will be referring to Peekablue by her “Real Name” for the remainder of this review so that I don’t have to feel like a complete idiot typing that awful name.

This is not always an easy task with Masters of the Universe Classics, and sometimes requires scissors. This one looked like a scissor job since the figure and the tail were on separate sides of the insert tray and the hole was not large enough to pull the tail through. But before I reached for the scissors (I do not say “A scissors” because that sounds weird) I noticed that there seemed to be an unreasonable distance between the figure’s peacock tail and it’s body. I grasped the figure in one hand and the tail in the other and gave a firm pull because, quite frankly, I didn’t care if I broke this one. It might hurt its eBay resale value, but if I broke it at least I’d have something interesting to write in a review I was not particularly looking forward to.

Fortunately the tail popped right out and pretty much saved the figure, because it turns out you can plug it in upside-down and make the ridiculous peacock feathers into sort of a long trail for the skirt. Not only does this change make the figure look not-stupid, it actually ends up looking pretty cool.

Now I can move on.

I think I might be terrible at picking people that action figures (or even other people) look like, but to me Penelope’s face looks like Summer Glau. This gives the figure an advantage in the “eBay or not?” process. The eyes and makeup on mine look fine, which is apparently not the case with all of these. The hair looks great and is actually my favorite on a PoP figure so far thanks to the sassy little flip at the bottom:

It’s a nice sculpt detail that adds character. Unfortunately, it also adds a lot of body to the hair and required the peacock tail part to sit even further away from the body. This resulted in a huge, unsightly peg joining the tail and the body.

Penelope’s gear looks good and has some peacock designs worked into it that not only works with her motif, but also gives her a bit of a Greek look. This makes her stand out from the rest of the Classics figures, as for some reason that’s a design style we haven’t seen a lot of. I particularly like her skirt with the longer portion hanging down in the front. Many of the PoP figures look a little more disco than they do fantasy, but Penelope feels a little more classical. I also like the sculpted collar around her neck.

The peg that connects the tail to the figure is ugly and huge and there’s just no way around the fact that it looks like crap. Much like the Sorceress, we’re just stuck with some fugly toy engineering. The tail itself, however, looks pretty great. It folds out nicely and actually maintains a slim profile when folded up. It consists of three portions that line up when folded together. The sculpt is much nicer than I was expecting, with plenty of detail on each feather. The thing isn’t lifelike, but it does look good. The “eyes” are a nice contrast to the rest of the tail, and there’s a wonderful metallic sheen on the blue portions that add a lot to the overall look.

Her boots have the peacock motif worked in, but to be honest I think she would have looked better with sandals. Her right ankle has a noticeable paint issue:

It's been a long time since I've seen something like this in the MOTUC line. It's not a huge deal, but it's ugly.

I’ve really got to compliment the color scheme of this figure. It’s something different, but it looks appropriately peacock-y and it all matches. The colors of Penelope’s clothing matches what’s on the tail. The green hair is a bit jarring when put with the other colors, but it is definitely within the range of what I consider to be peacock colors.

ACCESSORIES

Penelope comes with a fan and the PoP shield that has gotten pretty old, but is nowhere near as irritating as the Snake Men staff.

And technically her big honkin’ peacock tail, I suppose. But since that’s a defining feature I covered it above.

The shield is the same as all of the others, but in different colors. It clips onto Penelope’s arm and looks fine.

The fan is actually very cool, and I could see her causing some real damage with the thing. She can hold it in either hand and it flips around and can look cool in several different positions.

FUN

Penelope has the same articulation as almost every other MOTUC PoP figure, so I’m not going to waste time there.

When her tail is in the upright position, her head does not move at all. There probably wasn’t a good way around this. Thankfully, as I mentioned above the tail can be flipped and the head has a nice range of motion despite the thick, long hair.

Also, that big honkin’ tail does provide a lot of play value. I don’t know what kind of toy witchcraft Matty and the Horsemen used to make this so, but I have had no problems getting Penelope to stand up. So whether the tail is up or down or folded or out, the figure stands up and can be posed just fine.

Between the tail and the included accessories there’s a decent bit of variety and play value here, so this figure turned out to be a good bit more fun than I was expecting. Penelope is a good one to mess around with and actually hasn’t elft my desk yet, despite the plentiful space on the Masters shelf.

OVERALL

Matty did a pretty good job on a figure I didn’t want. So good that not only am I keeping it, I’m actually okay with having it. Is that connecting peg butt-ugly? Yep. Would I have bought this if I just saw it out in the wild? Nope. Am I shocked that I ended up mostly liking such a dumb figure? Yep.

Penelope had just enough of a goofy look and a fun design to win me over. But there’s no excusing that awful peg.

4 out of 5


Buy one from Amazon and help Needless Things pay the bills if you want, but I bet you can pick her up cheap at a con.:

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