Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Action Figure Review: Bow from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power by Mattel

   Slowly but surely I will be making my way through reviewing most of the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power dolls. I picked up most of these for my daughter for her birthday, so now the Great Rebellion has taken up residence in the giant Frozen frozen dollhouse in her room. Her She-Ra figures have it better than mine: They get to lounge in a castle with nice beds, a fireplace, and a chaise lounge while mine are lined up in my Masters of the Universe collection with hundreds of enemies to fight. Today I'm checking out Bow, one of She-Ra's besties in the newish Netflix series. I'm not all the way through Season 3 yet but so far I'm liking the show. I've been liking it a bit more with every season as it seems to be finding its footing while getting deeper over time. While Bow is still an archer with a heart of gold who is fiercely loyal to the Great Rebellion, the Netflix version of Bow definitely seems a lot younger and more immature than the Filmation Bow (though that's true of most of the Netflix She-Ra characters). Mattel's toyline definitely captures the look of the new show but it also does it's own thing a bit, converting the designs into more traditional doll designs. Let's see if Bow hits the mark after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 11 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/ hinge wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Shirt, pants, 2 boots, armor, bracer, and bow.

Non-Scalper Price: $15 dollars
 The Positives:

* I do like the look of these toys quite a bit as they're colorful, fun, and do seem like a nice mixture between the Netflix Show's designs and a more traditional She-Ra style. I'm totally not the key demographic for these, I know, but I think Mattel did a pretty nice job of capturing the characters's likeness. Bow's outfit is removable and his half shirt, shiny blue pants, and armored chest piece (still with a big ol' heart) are all removable. I doubt we'll see outfits for Bow but I'm sure there are kids who will dress him up in other outfits they have around. The body isn't "He-Man" ripped or anything but Bow does have a lean, muscular build.

* Bow's headsculpt isn't a perfect adaptation of the show's character design, but that seems to be part of the design aesthetic of this line. Imagine a blend between the show's art style and a traditional fashion doll. Bow's hair is rooted, rather than being sculpted, but it gives him a lot of character. It looks different than the show's character but that's not bad. My daughter seems pleased with him, so that seems to me to be a big plus in his favor.
 * The articulation on these reminds me a lot of the articulation on the DC Super Hero Girls dolls from a couple of years back, though they never had any males in the 12 inch line that I can recall. There isn't a lot of articulation but there's definitely more than I'm aware of on most doll lines. Bow's got swivel/hinge shoulders, knees, elbows, and wrists as well as balljointed hips and a fully balljointed head. Overall he seems to have enough articulation for a kid to have fun with while still not having so much as to be frustrating to play with. He feels quite durable, too.

* I like that Bow includes a bracer on his left wrist. I didn't even notice that Bow wears one on the show, though looking back I can see he totally does. It's a removable piece that just fits over his wrist, and it makes for a fun accessory and a useful object lesson for teaching archery safety.

* Like She-Ra, Bow's boots are easy to put on
and they're quite heavy. The boots kind of help keep the figure standing up straight, which is great for displaying him or just keeping him standing up.
 The Negatives:

* Bow's shiny blue pants are so tight that he can only spread his legs apart as far as you see in the picture. I really think a more elastic material would have been better since he can't really take any cool poses, look dynamic posed with his Bow, or ride Swift Wind.

 * Bow's bow is just.... kind of lame, really. The sculpt of the bow is decent in places but it's all one color, the arrow isn't removable, and it really seems to small for him. It seems more like a Valentine's Day prop then the weapon of one of Etheria's guardians.
   Bow definitely isn't the strongest figure in the series, though it's typically tough to be cooler than She-Ra or Catra. If he had a better bow and better pants he might have been more on par at least. He's still a Good figure and if you're a hardcore enough fan to be buying dolls from the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power line, then you'll probably still want him. I imagine kids who dig the line will too, as they'll want the She-Ra and her BFFs. They need more enemies to fight, though. Where's Hordak and Scorpia, right? Also, why isn't Kowl in the series? While the show is more serious in many ways than the Filmation series, it also has a goofy sense of humor that Kowl would have fit right in with. (Yes, I know Kowl's there in little cameos such as being a pillow.) Still, can you imagine the interactions between this Bow and the Filmation Kowl? I seriously wish Kowl and Broom were included in the new show. I love MOTU because you can have insanely burly barbarian characters exist alongside of someone like Loo-Kee and the lovable talking Cringer. It's just a magical property!

This is the first figure of Bow I've reviewed. For more figures from Mattel's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, check out the following:
Battle Armor She-Ra and Swift Wind


  1. Still trying to find one of these for my kid without paying the ridiculous scalper prices online!

    1. Last weekend I saw that my nearest Target had restocked, and I've heard others have too. Keep checking as they seem to really be trying to keep these out there.


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