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!