Monday, April 15, 2019

Action Figure Review: Battle for Etheria 2-pack from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power by Super7

    Back in October Super7 announced that they were doing a limited pre-order for two figures based on Dreamworks' She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Netflix series. The pre-order sold out pretty fast and these figures have started arriving about a month ago or so. Oddly enough, while the cartoon debuted in November Mattel has yet to announce any merchandise based on the new show and nothing was shown at Toy Fair 2019 either. Apparently Dreamworks really wanted something available as they reached out to Super7 to do a special set. The set of She-Ra and Catra comes in a brown shipper labeled "Battle for Etheria 2-pack" although both figures are packaged separately inside. If you're interested in getting anything from the new show, this might be your only option (it seems Mattel stated stuff is coming out this fall). I'm about...60/40 on the new show but I definitely wanted to at least add some representation from it on my shelf and these figures seem like they're going to end up being slightly uncommon in the future. Let's check out She-Ra and Catra after the break...



 The Facts: She-Ra

Height: 6 1/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge right wrist, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Sword of Protection
 The Facts: Catra

Height: 5 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel hips, swivel waist, swivel tail, swivel shoulders, and a swivel head.

Accessories: Stun baton

Non-Scalper Price: $50 for the set.
 The Positives:


* I'm still very mixed on the design of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power but Super7 did a pretty good job of nailing the heavily stylized art of the series in action figure form. She-Ra is large, imposing, and very bright with a dramatic shelf presence. The details of the costume look excellent, particularly the details on her dress and the flowing sculpt of the skirt piece. the cape isn't removable but it does look good hanging down from the back of the figure.


 * I'm going to touch on the portrait in a minute but I will praise the work on the wings on She-Ra's tiara. While it's one of the design elements of the costume I don't love Super7 did a great job with them here. They look excellent on a three-dimensional figure.


* The large gold shoulder pads are actually somewhat mobile, allowing them to move up and down when She-Ra's arms are raised or lowered. It's a good design feature that is executed really well.


* The Sword of Protection looks excellent. This is a nice sculpt of a really well designed weapon. Not only is the blue gem prominently placed but the hilt of the blade features a design that resembles the vintage She-Ra's tiara. That's a cool design element.


* She-Ra's long, flowing hair is pretty cool in the show and Super7 did a nice job of replicating it here. It's not articulated or pliable but the sculpt matches the animation well.


* While She-Ra's design is one of my least favorites on the show (although I love Adora's design), Catra is one of my favorites. Interestingly, this time Catra is a legitimate cat person similar to Chief Carnivus or one of the ThunderCats. Heck, she really looks like she could have been designed for the 2011 ThunderCats series. She looks great, though, and the colors and headgear she wears definitely pays homage to Catra's classic look. Like with She-Ra, the colors are bright and the look of the animated series' aesthetic is captured really well here.


* Catra's headsculpt is quite good with some excellent paint applications. I love Catra's heterochromia as both eyes really stand out!


* Catra wears two crossed belts around her waist (they're actually one non-removable piece that floats over the hips), one of which is sporting her Force Captain badge. That's another cool detail that I really like.


* The figure is covered with more little cool extras such as Catra's sharp clawed hands, the tears in her pants, and the stripes on her arms. Little details like that definitely help this design to stand out more from some of the other character designs in the series.


* Catra not only has a tail but it is given a swivel joint so it can spin around. That's fun! Catra's tail really moves around a lot in the show so giving it the ability to move at all if a very welcome feature.


* Catra comes wielding what i believe is the stun baton she uses in the show. The accessory has some paint applications and fits in the figure's hands quite nicely.

 * Let me say that the packaging on these two figures is beautiful. Super7 usually has some of the best packaging in the business and She-Ra and Catra might have some of the best this year. Bright, colorful animated depictions of the characters and gold embossing really make for some beautiful packaging!
 The Negatives:

* I'm not loving She-Ra's head. It just looks off to me. The expression, the paint, and the slightly soft sculpt here really kill this one for me. It just seems like it's really missing the mark.


* These figures really have some limited articulation, something that's pretty crazy for a $25 dollar figure. What's worse is that the articulation that is here feels either too loose (the hips and head) or feels too tight as if it might break (the shoulders and the wrist), Maybe if this had been a mass market retail toy targeted towards kids this would have been OK, but not for a $25 dollar + collector's figure. Let's be honest: These are marked as being for ages 14 and up and were only pre-sold for a limited time online prior to the show's release; these were never intended for kids.


* Catra also is disappointing with only swivel joints. Why didn't she at least get swivel/hinge hips like She-Ra?


* Both figures tend to fall over  rather easily. I think it's a mixture of their heavier hair and their looser hip joints but it's still rather annoying. There are no peg holes in the bottom, either, so you can't use a standard peg based display stand on them.
   I'm pretty disappointed with this set. The articulation is just not well thought out and even getting these two to stand up feels like a battle. Factor in the poor She-Ra headsculpt and you've got a very disappointing set. Separately I'd give She-Ra an Eh and Catra a Good, so average that out to this being an Eh and a 1/2 set. Unless you're a diehard fan of the new She-Ra show or you really need what may possibly become a rather obscure MOTU collectible, I'd avoid this set. I'd love to have toys like this for my daughter but these don't feel like something that would stand up to playtime, particularly at the $50 for the set price.


So far the only She-Ra/ Princess Adora figures I've reviewed on this site are the Masters of the Universe Classics Galactic Protector She-Ra and the Club Grayskull She-Ra.

This is the first Catra toy I've reviewed on Action Figure Barbecue.

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