The Masters of the Universe Classics line is one of the greatest lines of action figures of all time. I don’t think one can debate this. If you strip away all of the problems with distribution, quality control, communication and Digital River, and focus solely on the toys, I don’t even think this is a question. Alongside Palisades’ Muppets, Toybiz’s Marvel Legends, and even Takara’s Masterpiece Transformers, MOTUC is an absolutely superb line of beautifully sculpted, wonderfully playable and awesomely detailed action figures to appeal to the child and adult collector alike. (Yes, MOTUC isn’t aimed at children, nor are the Masterpiece Transformers, but let’s face it, if kids could get their hands on them they’d love them, as long as they weren’t busy doing drugs and stabbing each other like most kids these days.)
Alongside Swiftwind, a new She-Ra figure was announced – an update of classic variant Bubble Power She-Ra – with improved leg movement enabling her to ride
Bow Swiftwind. The first She-Ra figure lacked the articulation to do this, but with the new Bubble variant, she can easily climb on and wrap her tan, silky thighs around Bow Swiftwind as they take to the sky. For this reason, I’m reviewing the two figures together; it’s a silly idea to get one without the other, as without the new Bubble Power She-Ra Smokey has no rider, and without Swiftwind She-Ra has nothing to straddle except her hapless eunuch Bow.
Packaging: The only thing differentiating Bubble-Power She-Ra’s packaging from the other figures in the line is the bright Princess of Power sticker displayed on the plastic, asserting the characters as part of the sister series to the central He-Man saga.
Design & Sculpt: The Four Horseman have built upon the iconic She-Ra outfit, adding the features of the classic variant Bubble Power garb. The new winged mask on She-Ra’s head is held on with clips instead of a peg like the previous She-Ra figure – a much better option that is both stable and attractive without needing to drill a hole in Adora’s forehead. A bright shimmering pink sticker adorns both sides of the mask, which looks delightfully sparkly, very similar to those in the original toyline. A vest-like armor worn over her top is detailed with shiny pink and gold, which compliments the underlying She-Ra costume, featuring a cape with a golden underside instead of the traditional red. All of these are easily removable like the mask, so Bubble Power She-Ra can quickly dress down to become regular She-Ra if you want.
The only complaint I have with this sculpt is that of the original She-Ra and many of the other long-haired MOTUC figures: the long sculpted hair is too firm to allow much neck movement. This isn’t too much of an issue here, though – the interchangeable heads make it easy to switch the Bubble Power head here for the traditionally-masked head, which allows you to make the original She-Ra with the new articulation to ride Swiftwind with ease. Many excellent design decisions have been made here, making this update of She-Ra different enough from the original that it is a unique figure, but with everything easily removable and interchangable with the previous toy.
Plastic & Paint: Bubble Power She-Ra features the same strong durable plastic as others in the MOTUC line: stable enough to hold poses, and solid enough to stand up to play. The paint detail on the figure is excellent – I spotted no overspray or mess anywhere on the figure. It’s interesting to note that on all of the removeable parts and accessories, the light blue color of the original She-Ra has been replaced by a pink, which helps distinguish her from the original toy and regular costume. You will not get any accessory here confused with the original’s accessories.
Articulation: As mentioned, the best reason to get Bubble Power She-Ra is the improved articulation: while She-Ra has her already amazing ball jointed neck, ball-and-hinge shoulders, swivel wrists/biceps/boot-tops, hinged elbows/knees and rocker ankles, she now has a swivel joint at the waist and proper ball-and-hinge joints at the top of her legs, complimented by the softer-plastic dress, which has slits in the side allowing her to move into that hot straddle position. It makes a huge difference to her poseability and playability, and allows her to actually ride on her steed.
Accessories: Bubble Power She-Ra includes repaints of the original She-Ra’s accessories; the comb-axe here looks slightly different, with a more gold-bronzed paint than the original, while the Bubble Power Sword shares that same paint with a pink gem in the center, a change also shared by her shield. Her primary and unique weapon is the bubble blower weapon, which is really stupid a recreation of the original figure’s working bubble blower. The spinning component that allowed one to blow bubbles on the original is too rigid here to work and thus for me falls into the same irritating category as the moulded non-working spinner knob thing on the back of dumbass Hurricane Hordak. Regardless, it is cool to have it here. The outfit and mask are also removable, and can therefore sort of be considered an accessory.
Overall: Bubble Power She-Ra is one of the best figures in the line, and an excellent compliment to Swiftwind; but even if you don’t want Swiftwind, but you do want a better She-Ra, this is a figure worth owning.