You know it’s been a crazy month for Masters of the Universe Classics collectors when the firefighter with a robot-elephant-head isn’t the most bizarre toy released for the line that month. But here I am… with Bubble Power She-Ra! With the devastating power of… blowing bubbles. Seriously. For those wondering, there’s some BS convoluted story in the bio on the cardback about how She-ra used her magic to summon the bubble elements or something to fight off Skeletor, the Snake-Men, and the Horde. But let’s get real here, there’s one and only one reason this figure exists: to sport a new-and-improved female body that can ride She-Ra’s rainbow-winged-flying horse, Swiftwind. Can she do it?
There was a lot of concern voiced by MOTU collectors in spring 2010 when the first She-Ra was released. Fans weren’t sure that the limited lower-body articulation on She-Ra would allow her to sit properly on her steed, Swiftwind (reviewed here), when he was eventually released. Matty replied confidently that they had a plan, by which they meant one of two things: 1) They were lying and they didn’t have a plan at all; or 2) They had a plan–to make collectors spend another 20 bucks to buy a She-Ra who could ride Swiftwind.
She can sit!! It’s something basic, but it’s also the main reason we needed a new She-Ra at all. Bubble Power She-Ra has much better lower-body articulation than her predecessor, including the crucial ability to sit on Swiftwind! In fact, she looks completely natural on Swiftwind and pretty spectacular when displayed on him, so rest easy. In addition, her boots and gauntlets have new and improved detailing on them which makes the figure look more polished.
As far as quality-control goes, Bubble Power She-Ra is a complete victory. The factory did an expert job with the paint apps and left no noticeable flaws or imperfections whatsoever, and the joints are all nice and tight, even the “problem” ankle joints. She feels nice and solid and sturdy, exactly the way that you would expect a $20 action figure to.
Everything done to differentiate this She-Ra from the classic She-Ra falls totally flat. The pink Romanesque “Bubble Power dress” looks ridiculous, quite frankly. Placed atop She-Ra’s regular attire, it looks huge and clunky like She-Ra’s wearing some risque, Plus-size clothes. In addition, the add-on dress largely inhibits her neck joint and thus the range of motion of her entire head. She looks even doofier holding the ludicrous giant Bubble Wand or whatever you wanna call it–this is quite possibly the first time a female action figure has come with a weapon to blow their enemies to death with. And the glittery metallic pink headpiece She-Ra wears completes the deal, making this bar-none the dumbest-looking toy in the entire Masters of the Universe Classics collection when fully-accessorized.
And just in case Matty didn’t make this She-Ra fruity enough, we get the fourth and ugliest paintjob on She-Ra’s Power Sword ever here: gold with a giant crystal pink star in it. Ick. We received a cartoon-accurate silver sword with Adora, but people complained about it being monochrome. We received a very nice but inaccurate two-tone gold Power Sword with the first She-Ra, but Mattel finally gave She-Ra a nice two-tone silver Power Swords in the Great Wars Weapons Pak. Any of those swords would probably go well with this She-Ra, and any of them would be a big improvement over the one we got here.
Realistically, bogus crap like this might have been okay in the 1980’s when little girls wanting insane variants of She-Ra like this were buying Princess of Power figures for 3 bucks at Lionel Kiddie City. 25 years later with adult males being the main buying demographic at $20-plus per figure, not so much. And as a sidenote, my wife says that despite what was released in the vintage line, she finds the idea of “Bubble Power She-Ra” being put out in this day and age to by misogynistic and demeaning.
Matty has set the bar pretty high for extortion, but I think releasing Bubble Power She-Ra without the parts necessary to create a cartoon-accurate may be their greatest offense ever. Mattel knowingly released the original She-Ra with no possible way of sitting on Swiftwind, a beast that was pretty much guaranteed to be made. Then they announced this new She-Ra, which can actually sit on Swiftwind, but didn’t include a proper cape or tiara. So if you only want one She-Ra, you can either have it cartoon-accurate and unable to sit on Swiftwind or inaccurate and able to do so. So to summarize: if you want a cartoon-accurate She-Ra that can sit, Matty’s getting your 40 bucks-plus to kitbash a fully-articulated She-Ra. Period. Matty could have easily jettisoned all of the “Bubble Power” crap contained here that no one cares about, but then they wouldn’t be able to sell reissues of the outdated and obsolete original She-Ra just for its accessories. This is blackmail, plain and simple. It’s working on me, because I want a perfect She-Ra, but I’m not happy about it. At all.
Here’s where things get tricky. Mattel has officially stated that no Masters of the Universe Classics toys released after September 2011 will be reissued. What this means is that supposedly what’s been released is all that will ever be produced. So with MattyCollector’s official site sold-out, all that leaves now is online stores and the secondary market forever.
BigBadToyStore has Bubble Power She-Ra available for $34.99, which isn’t a terrible price since there’s no sales tax and you can combine shipping on orders with the Pile of Loot. In addition, they have tons of other MOTU Classics in-stock including Swiftwind for She-Ra to ride and more.
For a couple pennies cheapter, CMDStore also has Bubble Power She-Ra available for $34.95.
Amazon has Bubble Power She-Ra available from many different sellers starting at $34.99, although toys go in and out of stock rapidly at Amazon.
Overall: The She-Ra figure itself here is fantastic, and certainly the best female figure released in the Masters of the Universe Classics line so far. Unfortunately, she’s been saddled with a big assortment of ugly, useless accessories instead of the ones that collectors really needed to make a perfect She-Ra in one shot. It’s highly frustrating that fans wanting to make a cartoon-accurate She-Ra that can ride Swiftwind will need to buy both this and the original She-Ra figures, as well as the Great Wars Weapons Pak if you want the best Power Sword. In the end, the base figure here is great and I’m impressed with it and glad to have it, but I can’t help but feel cheated by the accessories included and Matty’s blatant extortion tactics. All we really needed here was a resculpted classic She-Ra–instead we got a stupid variant with $20 worth of parts we need to make a great She-Ra figure ourselves.
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