The Temple of Darkness Sorceress was a “traveling exclusive,” sold at a few conventions before the remaining stock was tossed up on Mattycollector.com, where there appears to have been plenty to go around so, kudos to Mattel for not making this a super-rare exclusive. (To date, I think the rarest MOTUC item – though not necessarily the most valuable – is the Bizarro vs. Faker 2-pack.) It’s based on a legitimate, if possibly accidental, bit of MOTU history; it’s desirable without being a must-have; and it was easily available. Already, Mattel is ahead of the game on this one.
The figure is based on the Sorceress’s appearance in “The Temple of Darkness,” which was included with Tri-Klops and Webstor figures in 1984 as part of the third series of minicomics. The early minicomics had a lot of issues surrounding the Sorceress until the cartoon came along and codified the mythos, but the show had debuted in September 1983 and this comic was produced in 1984, so it’s entirely possible that this variant is based on nothing more than a coloring error.
Still, it’s a repaint I like. The all-white outfit gives the character a less cartoonish look than the standard version (a figure, you may recall, that I found rather disappointing). This figure will look at home alongside the MOTUC figures with a strong heroic fantasy bent, like Vikor and Battleground Teela – figures that are, while not “realistic,” might fit in a less colorful, more barbaric world than, say, Orko or Stinkor.
One particularly nice aspect of the figure are the translucent wings. They’re vaguely reminiscent of insect wings and, combined with the white paint scheme, give the figure a lovely ethereal look. Even the paint work on the face seems to have come out better here.
The articulation still operates the same as the regular version of course, which is what I found most disappointing about that figure. It features a ball-jointed head, which is limited by the cowl (though it’s made from softer material, so there is some movement); ball jointed shoulders; swivel biceps; hinged elbows; swivel wrists; a hinged waist; hinges at the hips that allow the legs to move back and forth and side to side; hinged knees; and ankles with hinges and “rocker” motion for wider stances. UPDATE: As noted by Poester AmericanHyena in the comments below, TOD Sorceress differs from the first release in that she has swivels at the upper thigh, a point of articulation missing from the previous version. This is obviously yet another improvement on the first Sorceress.
TOD Sorceress comes with her staff – it appears identical to the one that came with the regular version – and a pedestal for the Orb of
Sparkle Crest Power that came with the second King Grayskull. There will be a “Secret Orb Room” for this pedestal inside the dome of the Castle Grayskull playset. It’s a nice inclusion, but it obviously loses some of its appeal if you didn’t pick up King Grayskull.
Oddly enough, I find I like this version of the Sorceress more than the iconic regular version. It’s a more attractive look for the character, and the translucent wings are really eye-catching. It still suffers from the awkward wing articulation, but between the colors and the pedestal, I think she’s worth an extra raven.