Review > Temple of Darkness Sorceress (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

11100

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Comments now closed (13)

  • Damn, nice review, with great pics – makes me wish I'd picked this up when they had it on MattyCollector recently. Maybe, hopefully, they'll have it for sale again…

  • Check her hips again, Sir. She SHOULD have ball jointed hips, not the Battle Ground Teela hips of the first release. Mine does anyway and I’m pretty sure I’ve read that’s standard.

    • You're correct – noted in the review!

      I have no excuse for missing that. It simply didn't occur to me that Mattel would spend the money to improve a figure like that.

      • they didn't. the battleground teela hips are the 2.0 hips, which were supposed to be an "improvement" to allow she-ra to sit on swiftwind, BUT after having them, collectively the motuc fandom pointed out (and by that, i mean pixel dan said it in a roast gooble that scott was on) the original 1.0 hip was superior in all ways, the only thing inhibiting it was the skirt of 1.0 she-ra. anyways, TOD sorceress was an answer to a cry out from us that asked them to revert, not an improvement over the existing hips.

        it's also worth note that when i say hip in the above, i mean the joining of the hips and thighs. the 1.0 hips were built different, aligning a ball joint into the top of the thigh to allow for a swivel, the 2.0 hips anchored the hip, sans ball, into a 45 degree angle hip slot, which seems completely stupid without a hip swivel,

        anywho, sorry to sound like i'm lecturing… i really was in no position to buy her when she suddenly popped up for black friday, but i am envious, as this was the version of her i wanted. the only thing i think holding back both was really the barrels on the shoulders for her wings. those things are just hideous, and seemingly way more than what was needed to house those things. i just don't understand what they were thinking w/ those things.

        • They originally did, but design changed it. The most common agreed reason was safety concerns since everything they sell has to meet the same safety tests of products sold at retail. The 4H design was probably failing the fall test since it looks pretty delicate.

        • Well that sucks. I would have just had her include two pieces that plug into the back: Wings down like a cape, and wings spread open for her iconic pose.

        • Nope!

          Bubble Power She-Ra still had the hips that originated with the first Teela (not really a "ball joint", btw, but thats another convo for another time). Her only structural change was the new torso/pelvis combo that allowed for the cut waist joint. The non-swivel upper thigh debuted with BG Teela. The first time I know of that the issue was raised was when Poe sent my very own question regarding it to the monthly Q&A, and the response from Scott was something about how it was all up to Horsemen, I think (y'know, the typical denial of all responsibility).

          Now, to be completely fair, do remember that BG Teela wears a girly version of the furry underwear, which is so "brief" (no pun intended) that it would have shown the rather ugly not-a-ball-joint-but-functions-as-one original hips. She needed another arrangement, and the elimination of the articulation point was how someone chose to address it. Fine. But the new thighs should have been used that one time only and never been incorporated into the "standard" female body.

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  • I would have preferred it as cloth or light plastic wings that have one peice plug into the back and one piece on each side that had clasps that plug onto the wrists …like the old Silverhawks but updated for modern tech advances.

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