Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rant Review: Masters of the Universe Classics Battleground Teela figure

We've got more pre-Filmation Masters of the Universe goodness today, with Battleground Teela! This was one of those character variants I figured wasn't too likely to be produced as a figure early on in the MOTUC line's life. Though she had blonde hair in multiple appearances in the early years, Teela only appeared in this outfit in a single early DC-produced comic. Honestly, simply reissuing the standard Teela figure with repainted hair seemed much more Mattel's speed than putting forth the effort to create a figure that's different enough that it could serve as another character altogether. (Really, given their preference for doing that in the MOTUC line, I'm rather surprised they didn't give this figure a different name!) Anyway, we did get the figure, and damn, is she ever cool!

The sculpt is typically great work from the Four Horsemen. There are only a few new pieces here, but they're the ones the figure really needed to warrant being sold as a new figure. The most notable new piece is the head. Despite creating generally excellent work, the 4H have had some issues with female head sculpts. All too often, their women wind up having faces that appear flat or pinched. Thankfully, BG Teela avoids these issues, though her expression is perhaps a bit too serene for an incarnation that's supposed to represent her in full warrior mode. This can be largely attributed to the tampo work on her eyes, which has her perpetually looking up. I reckon she's rolling her eyes at how easily her most recent opponent went down? Despite that, it's a good head sculpt, and looks just different enough from the standard Teela head that she can easily pass as a separate character.

Articulation is mostly the same as the standard females that preceded her, aside from the new hips. This means no ab hinge and no thigh cuts, unfortunately. I can understand eliminating the ab hinge for aesthetic reasons, but the lack of thigh cuts really hurts. It really limits the posing options, and it's not as if the standard hip articulation looks so terrible that it must be completely hidden or eliminated. It's a strange omission. I'll point out here that the hair is made with an extremely stiff plastic, severely limiting the range of motion. It's a shame that such a long-awaited and awesome looking figure is lacking some key points of articulation.

BG Teela only has a pair of accessories, but they are cool ones. She has a sword and a ray gun, both of which she uses in the source comic. They're well sculpted and true to the source material, but I find I prefer to outfit her with a pair of the swords that came with Point Dread Teela, so you'll see her with those in a few of the photos. I'm not sure what else would have been appropriate to include here, but it does feel like one more accessory could have really put her over the top. I've seen some griping about the lack of paint apps on the gun, but it's true to its appearance in the comic, so I can't fault them for that. They did add paint apps to the sword, though, so I can understand some feeling that they should have done so to the gun as well!

Overall, Battleground Teela is a very good figure that would have been great with just a couple of tweaks. That's being completely objective, however; personally, I love the figure! Despite its shortcomings, this is another figure representing the pre-Filmation era of MOTU that I love most, and it's executed pretty well. I imagine I'll have her paired up with Vikor (when I eventually get him!) on the shelf, but she's definitely going be on permanent display wherever she ends up.

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