Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Octavia By Mattel

Man, I am totally burned out on Matty’s subscription figures. 

I don’t even get excited anymore when the shipping notification comes in. I just look at it and stick it in the Matty folder. I used to track the package every day and know exactly when the thing should be showing up (not that it always did on that day). I don’t hate the figures. I just don’t care. I feel very strongly that I should not have subscribed this year because I could totally live without everybody so far except for Ram Man.

But I have to say that I was anticipating Octavia. I wasn’t excited about her, but I was looking forward to seeing how she was executed. Not enough that I knew when she was coming, though. When my June box from Matty arrived I had no idea what was inside. It was actually kind of neat to open it up and find Octavia and Red Hood – two figures that I was equally ambivalent about.

While I like Octavia’s design, I have no idea about her history. She’s clearly a member of the Horde – which makes me automatically more inclined to like her – but not one I would have been able to list if asked a couple of months ago. I think we all know by now that I am not the internet’s foremost He-Manologist (that would be Needless Things Podcast co-host Mr. Beau Brown); and I’m pretty much okay with any MOTUC figure as long as it looks cool. Octavia seems to fit that bill.
First Glance: I may be past the fresh and exciting phase of collecting MOTUC, but I can still recognize that the figures tend to look better in person than they do in the pictures Matty puts up online (except for Karatti). Octavia obviously has a unique look to her that makes her more interesting than the standard release. Plus I’m curious to see how her tentacle arms work.
Articulation: For the most part Octavia has standard female MOTUC articulation, but with the added four tentacle arms.

Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps - swivel
Elbows – pivot
Wrists – swivel
Tentacles – swivel/pivot
Abdomen - pivot
Waist – swivel
Hips – swivel/pivot
Knees – pivot
Ankles – pivot

Octavia’s head movement is limited by her hair, but it can still manage a bit of posing.
The biggest impediment the hair presents is to the tentacles. While I am certainly glad each of the four plug-in arms has a pivot above the plug-in (which provides a swivel), the pivot points are rendered almost useless by the figure’s hair. I can’t really think of a solution for this issue other than rooted hair (which would have made Little Pond very happy), so this isn’t really a complaint s much as an observation.

Octavia has the same hips joints as most MOTUC females, but her skirt (dress? Tunic?) is cut in such a way that they are concealed for most poses. 

All of the joints on my figure work well and hold poses. I’ve said before that stuck joints due to paint apps seem to be a thing of the past for Mattel’s lines and that seems to be holding true.

I think the most impressive thing about Octavia is that she can stand up at all without support, let alone hold a few poses. I’m not saying it isn’t tricky and you definitely have to put a little work into it, but the figure’s balance is quite extraordinary.
Sculpt: The only way the sculpt of this figure could be cooler would be if she had scales. Well, and if somehow her tentacles could be posed more (but I’m definitely not asking for foam bendy material like that piece of garbage Snout Spout). NECA has been doing great things with bendy materials. Maybe Mattel should go buy some Prometheus and Aliens figures.

I love Octavia’s head. It looks like Grace Jones dressed up as the Gillman. I really like how far back on her brow her hairline is and the band separating the hair and the forehead has a good thickness and design. The hair itself is another great sculpt from the Horsemen, even if it does render the tentacles sort of useless.

The body and gloves and whatnot are all from other figures and work just fine for this one. Her hands are open fists that can hold the swords or the crossbow, though the crossbow fits much better in the right hand. The swords work in either due to their clever clip-on design.
The Horde boots are awesome. Totally awesome. I don’t know what else to say about them. I love how distinctly Octavia is labeled as a member of the Horde.
Coloring: This figure has a truly distinctive color design that sets it apart from the rest of the line.

The skin is a bright green that we haven’t seen used as a skin tone (and I think has been used minimally as anything). I would have liked a scaly sculpt, but I sure am glad they didn’t try to paint scales on because that would have looked terrible. And yes – I understand that cephalopods do not have scales. Nor do they have flowing red hair and breasts, so be quiet.
The red is “Horde Red” (is that a thing?) and contrast all of the other colors nicely. The paint apps are all tight and stay where they are supposed to. I particularly like the paint on Octavia’s face. The eyes and lips are detailed very well and have a certain sinister look to them. Unfortunately, the headband is straight-up sloppy. You can tell up in the "Sculpt" pic. It doesn't even reach all the way down.
Flair: I cannot figure out for the life of me why Octavia’s tentacles are a different color from the rest of her. It’s driving me and Mrs. Troublemaker crazy. She would be just about perfect if not for that dumbness.

So the color is all wrong, but the actual functionality of the tentacles is solid. Bendies would have been best, but I don’t trust Mattel with bendies so I’ll take the rigid plastic we got. They do look very cool. Each one is a different shape and has sculpted wrinkles and spatulate ends with suckers on them. Creepy.

Octavia’s dress (?) is a soft plastic consisting of two pieces – the top and the skirt with sculpted-on belt. The belt isn’t much to speak of, but between the Horde Crests on her chest and boots a Horde belt would have been overkill. The dress itself is pretty plain. The red and yellow Hulkamania color combo is what makes it work.
Accessories: Octavia comes with an absolutely mind-boggling array of accessories – a Horde crossbow and four (FOUR!) swords.

The Horde crossbow is dainty and petite for a lady, but tough enough for a man. Or something. I really dig the look of it and I wish Matty could make one for Catra for a future Weapons Pack. She’s got to be mad that she’s the only Horde warrior without a crossbow. The figure can hold the weapon well and it doesn’t fall off or look crooked or anything. I love the design and the paint on this thing. I do believe it is one of my favorite MOTUC weapons so far.

The swords are all the same, but they are made from a rigid plastic that holds its shape rather than the soft, rubbery garbage Mattel has been using lately. They look great and fit snugly onto Octavia’s tentacles or into her hands.

Here’s where I get picky and ungrateful. I did think of one possible solution to Octavia’s posable-but-not-really tentacles – a head with no hair. It would look kind of cool and even more like the Gillman and would have allowed us to utilize those fancy tentacles. But I realize Octavia already comes with, like, ten times as many pack-ins as a regular MOTUC figure and an extra head would be utterly unreasonable.
Packaging: The standard MOTUC big ol’ blister card. Octavia is the first female to really fill this package out thanks to her tentacles. I might be a little over this line, but I still think this is among the best and most exciting American toy packaging I have ever seen.
There is, of course, the standard bio on the back:
I can only imagine how nightmarish her "cackling" would be courtesy of Filmation. Blech.
Value: Splitting the shipping with Red Hood, Octavia works out to $31.50. I can’t say I would pay that for this figure if I just saw it out at retail. She comes much closer to being worth the price than many other MOTUC figures, but still doesn’t hit that mark.
Overall: Octavia’s only true flaw (aside from the ridiculous price) is the coloration of the tentacles. I don’t know if maybe the original design was like that, but I don’t care for it. Otherwise this is a pretty great figure and one of the more interesting releases this year.

4 out of 5

Naturally you can get this lady from BigBadToyStore if you’re willing to pay even more than the premium Matty charges in the first place. You might be able to score one on eBay for less, but I dunno. 


1 comment:

  1. She does seem interesting, although I don't know anything about her. It would be better if her tentacles were bendy a la Neca's xenomorph tail.

    I'm with you on MOTUC. I almost placed an order for Icer because I like ice-themed characters, but when I saw $9.90 for shipping, knowing what that entails I decided it wasn't worth it.

    I just don't care anymore. I think Spirit of Hordak was a slap in the face to subscribers, then not offering Clamp Champ day-of as a sort of strong-arming/scare tactic to sell more 2014 subs just really keeps me from wanting to give Matty any money.

    Then I remembered that I haven't contributed to the Four Horsemen's Raven Kickstarter, and decided that's where my money would best be spent this month.