Saturday, November 22, 2014

Action Figure Review: Octavia from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

 If you never watched Filmation's She-Ra: Princess of Power animated series, you may be asking yourself, "Who is Octavia?"  Ridureyu on Nerditis has written a great article answering just that question: check it out. I'll wait. Ok, back?  Great!  So Octavia appeared in two episodes of She-Ra: Princess of Power: season one's "Treasure of the First Ones" and season two's "She-Ra Makes a Promise."  We're just starting to get a good deal of Filmation characters in the line (the Filmation subscription starts next month!) and Octavia is a nice addition to the Horde, although right now the Horde is still outnumbering the Great Rebellion.  She's also a monstrous female character, which is quite a nice addition to the diverse array of archetypes present in the Masters of the Universe Classics line.  Ready to check out Octavia, the "Wicked Tentacle-Swinging Warrior?" Then join me after the break....

       While most MOTUC figures reuse parts, overall Octavia is a new sculpt.  The only pieces reused from previous figures are her hands, upper arms, feet, and thighs.  While she's based on an animated Filmation character, she has been well translated into the aesthetic of MOTUC and doesn't stick out as being of a different design. She'll certainly stand out, however, with her unique, tentacled look.  She stands right around 6 3/4 inches tall.   

     OK, so here's the rundown on Octavia's articulation: hinged ankles with rockers, hinged knees, ball jointed hips, a swivel waist, ball jointed shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, ball jointed head, 4x peg/post ball jointed tentacles.  Originally, some fans (forgetting poor Snout Spout's rotting nose, apparently) wanted Octavia to have bendable tentacles.  Fortunately, this was one of those times when common sense won out and Mattel opted to go with solid plastic tentacles, because I don't want to have a Quadtavia in 5 months.  The tentacles aren't superposeable at all, and are restricted a bit by the hair (the head doesn't get much range of motion, either). Still, they look nice and are durable.  Everything else works fine, although the ankles are quite weak. I though Mattel had taken care of this problem! Anyways, my Octavia's ankles are not as bad as some, but they're not as solid and tight as most other joints.  Octavia's missing the boot swivels that some female figures in the line have had and some haven't.

     Since Octavia is largely a new sculpt, it's a good thing that most of those pieces are great. I'll get my mini-rant out of the way and complain that I wish we had a few different female thighs and arms to use, similar to how the male figures have different pieces.  Many, many MOTUC figures use generic, flat thigh pieces, and would be improved drastically by more detailed thighs. Octavia would be a truly Epic figure if she had some scales or something on her legs. OK, mini rant over. Looking at the new pieces, let's start with Octavia's head sculpt.  It's really, really good. It's interesting how the 4 Horseman have managed to make Octavia simultaneously a monstrous warrior, and yet she still has a beauty to her face sculpt.  Remove the fins on the side of her head, add some hair a little lower down on her forehead, and you could easily have the face of an Orion from Star Trek. The hair is well done, but due to the way it sits, it does hinder the articulation of the tentacles. The tentacles also have the tendency to push the head forward if not positioned correctly.  The new torso is great--it perfectly matches Octavia's garb on the cartoon, and features a cool little Horde emblem, as do her unique boots.  I will say that my Octavia's left calf has some really ugly mold lines on the front.  The tentacles are quite nice, though. They have a scaly texture on them and four suckers on the end of each.  Perhaps the most controversial element of Octavia's design is her loincloth. On the show it appears to be a unitard, similar to Adora's, but on the toy it functions as more of a skirt.  It's not entirely Filmation accurate, but I actually prefer the toy.  I imagine a unitard was done for the show to make Octavia easier to animate.

     Overall, Octavia has a nice paint job as well.  I like the "She-Hulk" green used for the body, and it's pretty consistent in color all over. The tentacles are a darker green, but that makes sense. There's no paint apps on the suckers, though.  Her outfit has been nicely translated from the show: it fits in with MOTUC but still retains the same look.  The Horde emblems on the figure's chest and boots have flat, red wings with metallic, red heads and "wing spines." The boots are black and glossy, but the paint work along the edges is a little rough.  The face is perfect, however. Really great job there.

      Octavia is absolutely loaded with accessories.  She includes four swords, and new personalized version of the traditional Horde crossbow.  The swords are all the same standard sword sculpt with a fancy hilt that looks like the Horde emblem.  They feature a hand guard designed to rest over the suckers on each of her four tentacles.  They're a bit brittle, so be careful taking them on and off. Octavia looks really impressive when wielding them all, however. It's a great replication of the way she wields the swords during her fight with Seahawk.

     My favorite accessory is hands down the cool new crossbow.  Each of the original Horde members released in the vintage Masters of the Universe line came with a crossbow, so for classics, Mattel has been giving certain Horde members a new crossbow. While Catra and Shadow Weaver didn't come with a crossbow, Horde Prime did.  Octavia's is smaller than the standard crossbow, but very similar in design. It's cast in a shiny black, and features a purple sea creature on the end where the arrow comes out. Some fans have pointed out the likeness of the creature to Cthulhu, which I can see, but I also see a purple Dr. Zoidberg.  The crossbow fits easily in either of her hands.  While they're not really accessories, I will mention that her tentacles do come separate from the figure in the package.  They're each individually numbered and different, but I'm not sure if they were supposed to go in a particular order; I just put them in how I thought they looked best.  I'm sure you could remove them from the torso if you really wanted to, but I wouldn't suggest it.

  I definitely like Octavia, but I'm not quite sure how much.  Let's see--I'm actually going to do some math today instead of arbitrarily assigning a rating.  Octavia fits really nicely into the line and has some great new pieces. That's a plus. Her articulation is kind of loose on her ankles. That's a minus.  I like the sculpt, and everything looks really good, especially the face. That's a plus. Paint is pretty good, with a few minor nit picks.  That's kind of in the middle (an "equals" sign maybe?) .She has some killer accessories. That's a plus. I think, all things considered, I'm going to give Octavia a Great. She's a very unique addition to MOTUC that I would imagine most fans would appreciate. She's creepy enough that I'd imagine POP haters wouldn't mind her hanging out with the Horde. I'm going to confirm her Great. In a few days, I'll be ranking MOTUC figures for the year to date, so stay tuned for that to find out where Octavia fits in.


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