Guest Review > Battleground Evil-lyn (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

I appear to be completely out of touch with the average Masters of the Universe fan. In my research for these reviews, I found I much preferred the girl-oriented She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon to the earlier He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, in part due to my bizarre preference for “plot” and “characters” instead of “glorified toy advertisements” (the introduction of Trap Jaw has him literally discussing the toy’s accessories, for dog’s sake).

Recently I’ve taken to watching the Millennium/Mike Young Productions He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, a cartoon I’ve found to be surprisingly strong in terms of making the largely nonsensical MOTU mythos coherent and interesting. The characters tend to have a little more development and the ongoing story arcs are actually followed up, making this one of the best iterations of MOTU. Naturally, that’s the version fans seem to dislike the most, because, I don’t know, they’re allergic to quality?

Where the Evil-Lyn of the Filmation cartoon is just another of Skeletor’s henchpersons who (rightfully) hates him (with fleeting episodes of character development), the Millennium series offers her a proper background that is expanded throughout the series. Her father, The Faceless One, appears in an early episode that develops her character from a black-and-white notion of “evil” to a more mature shades-of-grey perspective. We see her willing to defect against her now-monstrous ex-lover Skeletor. It’s refreshing to have a powerful female presence in the male-oriented show, especially while her “good” counterpart, the Sorceress, does nothing while hanging out in Castle Greyskull. This new Battleground Evil-Lyn, or BAGEL as she has become affectionately known (by me), is mostly a repaint of the previous MOTUC blue and yellow Evil-Lyn in the Millennium cartoon’s colors. I wasn’t initially excited by  the idea of another Evil-Lyn figure, but some great design choices have rendered this more than just a repaint. Read on!

 

Packaging: BAGEL comes in the standard Masters of the Universe Classics blister packaging, with the same art and design we’ve come to expect with the MOTUC. It’s cool to note that she’s packaged with the bare head here, making her distinct from the previous releases for MOC collectors. While I don’t really care either way about ToyGuru’s bios, this one strikes me as particularly ridiculous – not to mention sexist – in the scheme of the MOTU mythology. Apparently her husband cast her aside so she sent their infant son into the future and inadvertently released Hordak and the Snake Men and Satan and Stephanie Meyer and all of the evils in the world, or some such crap. Like, omigod, isn’t that such a woman thing to do? Whatever. Fortunately, I’m man enough to ignore this and concentrate on the awesome figure.

Design & Sculpt: Despite the pale skin and a purple color scheme, there are a number of excellent additions to BAGEL that make her far superior to the previous Evil-Lyn release.

First up, her left hand is now sculpted open in a “spell-casting” pose, which looks very neat in display and play. Secondly, she has a neat removable cape that sits on her shoulders. It’s a great addition and the strong colors add to the look of the figure. No fear of it coming off accidentally either – it is incredibly stable and hangs on her shoulders nicely. Third, she has a new bare head that is interchangeable with her regular head, and it looks terrific. It’s a straight sculpt of her look in the 2002 cartoon and the expression is perfect.

Some are frustrated that Matty chose essentially a straight repaint for the armour, which is the same as the previous Evil Lyn, and Teela, instead of resculpting it more akin to the Millennium cartoon. Even as a fan of that look, I’m actually okay with this – the repainted design is so good that the overall look is great.

Plastic & Paint: BAGEL’s plastic is nicely durable, as expected of MOTUC figures. I’m not so pleased with the softer plastics used for the accessories, but we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let me complement the amazing paint design and applications on this figure, which truly separate BAGEL from the previous Evil-lyn release and look absolutely fantastic. Her pale skin looks great alongside nearly any other MOTUC villain you’d put her against, from Skeletor to Keldor to Hordak; it seems more organic than the previous toyish release.

But the color design on her armor is what makes her really stand out – the combination of purples, pinks and black really make the sculpt stand out, making this my preferred Evil-lyn figure. There are no flaws or overspray on my figure – the paint is excellent. The cape also looks good, with the same darker purple color and a black wash to give it some texture. Even the face looks very different to other MOTUC females, adding to the look of the character. As someone who wasn’t convinced they needed another Evil-Lyn figure, the amazing look of this toy sold me completely.

Articulation: As is standard with MOTUC, BAGEL is decked out with sweet articulation. Ball jointed neck, ball-and-hinge shoulders, ball-and-hinge legs, swivel wrists/biceps/boot-tops, hinged elbows/knees and rocker ankles, BAGEL can move in any way you’d want with very strong and durable points that give her plenty of poseability and play. The only gripe anyone might have is that she lacks a swivel-jointed waist, which is as much a result of the costume as the reuse of the older Evil-lyn body – a joint there would introduce an ugly cut in the costume.

Accessories: I’ve already discussed the awesome interchangeable heads as part of the sculpt. Her staff has an interchangeable orb piece – one dark translucent dark purple, the other glow in the dark green, and both look superb. This makes up for the fact that she is missing the shorter wand-staff that the previous release had – you’ll only want to display her with the staff, and both orbs look awesome. You’ll have difficulty deciding which you like more! She also includes the dagger from the earlier figure, again repainted for this new release.

Quality Control: No problems at all!

Overall: I am blown away by how cool this figure is. I wasn’t originally intending to buy her, being perfectly happy with the previous goofy release, complete with its goofy classic color scheme, but the additions to BAGEL as well as the excellent new paint apps make her not only superior but must-buy for MOTU fans. I can’t stress enough how cool she looks alongside the Faceless One, or King Hsss, or nearly any figure you’d want to put her with, and the interchangeable heads mean you can still have two of the same character in your display but still have them look unique. Also, you can shorten her name to BAGEL. What else is there to say? BAGEL rules!

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Comments now closed (20)

  • MYP had it's problems, hence why fans don't jump on the bandwagon… it traded better story content and more cohesive world building for odd revamps of characterization, at times unpleasant or uneven visuals, anime dash lines, and in general still ignoring the mini-comics world/characters and instead following in filmation's footsteps. it kind of wasn't better at all. it was modestly different, that's about it.

    example? did anyone get cut w/ all those swords flying around? nope. anyone get burned by any lasers? nadda. we had some better action, but only better, if, for example, you're completely unfamiliar w/ the spider-man animated series which ran from 94 to 98 and featured some incredible, fluid animation and dynamic fight scenes. and don't even try comparing the "anime hyper detail" to a real anime action show. you could easily point out that DBZ featured more sword deaths than he-man does, and it did, and you could easily point out that compared to the action of a naruto or a highlander or really just about any action title you'd like to name, the fights are bad, and pitifully executed. the villains are all top heavy retards or magic wielders who never seem to do much damage despite the size of the energy bubble they're creating.

    so yeah, i get it, the MYP is better than filmation at some things, but to call it one of the best iterations of motu? well, no… it's not. there's only best, and it's the original mini-comics. mainly because, the atmosphere was creepy, the characters didn't radically alter their traits between issues, the story made sense, there were no comic relief characters nor any schlocky gimmicks, and they featured the best art deployed for the franchise. i'm sure some folks would like to argue that this is a case of subjective taste… it's not. this is zachary chocolates vs godiva, there is a level of craftsmanship at play that makes the compared items as different as they can possibly be.

    • …actually, yeah, this is a case of subjective taste. You can type lots more words about it, but that won’t change the immutable fact. Fortunately, you are entitled to your opinion, just as Doc is to his! Just don’t try to (rather disingeniously)claim it is something that it is not in an effort chill further discussion or debate (yes, you did).

      Just because you claim an objective viewpoint doesn’t make it so. A genuinely objective viewpoint would be something like: All iterations of the MOTU mythology have value, though the level of that value differs depending on the beholder – as with virtually all things!

      • You are of course absolutely correct. That's just how Dayraven is though.

      • don't butter this guy up rev, he's not right. does he anything at all about writing? i don't mean "pick up pen, scribble on paper" i mean the art of writing, of creating characters, of setting a mood and establishing a theme? does he understand pacing in story telling and rising action, conflict, etc…? cuz if he gets that, the original mini-comics were the only cohesive story that didn't self-contradict. that's my opinion, that's observable, recordable, tested and verified fact.

        now, i think the art was the best, that could possibly be debated, but the art isn't the only thing to look at in a comic book.

        and i suppose a body could say "but i like naive writing, writing that insults my intelligence by defying long-cherished conventions of writing, that self-contradicts, that doesn't know from one issue to the next (or episode to the next) what archetype(s) are being employed by what characters, or really even understand the background of what has come before about these characters." sure, a body could say that, but in so doing, that body loses all authority to define what is "best" because the subject of that body's supposition is certainly not "best" by the creator-standard, and being disrespectful of that, it's hard to imagine a cogent case being made that it was "best" from the reader's/viewer's standard. this isn't like "do you like bacon better in cupcakes or brownies" this is "which is better, stone tools or steel?" sure, you could argue stone… but you'd be the douchebag arguing in favor of stone tools.

        come on guys… i wasn't being disingenuous, i was being informative. i don't know if doc's read the minis or not, and if not, and if he liked the steps forward that MYP took, he owes it to his fandom to scope the first set of mini comics. everything he specifically cited that he preferred about the MYP toon, the minis did better. i'm also not the only cat making this case… http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/blog/jjjason/w… this jjjason makes my case pretty effectively, minus my signature swagger of course.

  • I absolutely love this figure – the colors, the new bare head, the GITD orb – perfect. Tons of fun. She’s been sitting my desk since two days after xmass, and I fuss with her constantly. Must admit I would have liked to see the millenium dress, but so be it.

    One quick note: She also has cut joints in her forearms at the tops of her gaunlets. This is an entirely new POA for the line, actually! Easy to miss, though.

  • I still boggle at the idea of making her Skeletot’s ex-lover. Why? Because the mental image of Skeletor having sex with anything is very damaging to my psyche.

    • To be fair, she was Keldor's honey, right? I'm sure she would rather dig on his soul patch and long locks than Skelly's O-face. Which I'm sure is the same as his surprised face, and angry face, and "you really did remember my birthday!" face. And will your typo influence The Bio Writer when he names BAGEL's "long lost child"?!? Keep reading the bios!

        • The Internet is way, way ahead of you. I dare you to do a Google image search for "Skeletor sex." I GUARANTEE there will be visual representations of Skeletor's O-Face. Just make sure Safesearch is off. And don't be at work.

        • Oh, I know. I've seen any number of unfortunate things along those lines. 😡 I just like to pretend NOT to know. 😉

  • I know that because of the fact that this figure is supposed to be in "toy" continuity with the previous version that the faces had to look alike, but the cheeks are way too sunken and the cheek bones are really way too high. it works for the helmeted one to some extent, but coupled with the severity of her expression, she comes off looking like a Disney style African American. To the extent that she doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the line, at least in my opinion from pictures of the toy.

    It might be different in person, as I don't own any MOTUC figures.

  • I do not like the new joint on the legs of the female figures in MOTUC.

  • The only thing the 200x cartoon did significantly better than any other iteration of MOTU was 'having characters jumping REALLY high for no reason, and having characters twirling around their weapons like ballerinas for even less reason.'

    And I say that as a MOTU fan that owns the entire 200x series on DVD.

    • They twirl their weapons like helicopters to get lift for their jumps!

  • Love the Millennium series, and it's the one I prefer as I was too young to remember He-Man (born in '84). I didn't really see anything wrong with it. My favorite part of the series was the three part story at the end of season one where Skeletor is "defeated" and all of his evil minions are captured. I just loved how Skeletor was playing them the whole time, and almost captured Castle Greyskull.

  • I wouldn't say that MYP was hated or anything, just that the majority of MOTU fans are going to pick the Filmation cartoon. The MYP cartoon does have it's group of fans who liked what that cartoon brought to the table and made the world of MOTU more appealing to adult tastes.

    MYP had better action with some pretty epic battles, actual continuity, a lack of goofy comedy and secondary characters were more fleshed out than in Filmation.

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