Sunday 4 September 2016

Quick Crappy Review: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe Evilseed & Monster High SDCC 2016 Ghostbusters Frankie Stein*

What? They’re made by the same company, there’s totally a link.
Alright, I was actually going to pair Frankie with the SDCC She-Ra doll but I’ve decided to keep that doll in her box until I can find a place to actually put the thing, so instead Frankie’s sharing with Evilseed because he doesn’t have a review partner either since I sold Filmation Beast Man.

So we have two completely different toys from two completely different lines, Evilseed is the subscription item for the 2015 He-Man & The Masters of the Universe line, a spin-off of Masters of the Universe Classics focussing solely on the characters as they appeared in FILMAtion’s 1980s cartoon He-Man & The Masters of the Universe. Being a subscription item it wasn’t available to buy on, the soon-to-be-former collector’s wing of Mattel but our other item was, twice. That is Ghostbusters Frankie Stein, one of two Monster High exclusives for San Diego Comic Con International 2016, the other one – a box set of Robecca and Hexiciah Steam – wasn’t made available on and is now expensive on eBay (I think they sold out at the con itself) so I haven't got one. Frankie though was available to pre-order before the convention and the leftover stock was available to buy afterwards.

Evilseed was a one-shot villain from the He-Man & The Masters of the Universe cartoon (the 1980s one everyone says is really gay) where despite having a head like an asparagus he was so powerful He-Man and Skeletor had to team up to defeat him, immediately raising him head and shoulders (well if he had them) above the usual villain of the day. As one of the few characters created for the cartoon that Mattel had ownership of, Evilseed returned for the ‘200X’ cartoon (the anime looking one you probably didn’t like) where he was given a completely different look and became a nemesis for Orko, a bit of a come down really, still he did also fight Moss Man. This is Evilseed’s second figure after receiving his first figure ever last year as part of Masters of the Universe Classics’ ‘Club 200X’ mini-subscription, which was in my very first quick crappy review!

As he’s an entirely new tool the new figure’s less cleverly constructed than last year's offering, this does mean that you don’t have to read a paragraph of me banging on about part reuse though and holy shit he’s an entirely new tool, I thought they were downsizing this year? Well I guess they’re closing down the entire site and not making any more toys… but that just makes getting a figure made up entirely new pieces even more impressive. It also means that his articulation is a very different to a normal Masters of the Universe Classics figure, well except the Trollans, which is fitting really: he has a meagre total of 7 articulation points – a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows and swivel wrists, as far as I can tell without invading his privacy (or potentially breaking anything) he has no articulation below the waist but I’m strangely ok with this because, well, he doesn’t really have anything below the waist in the show, he’s just vines – yeah they could have made ‘em bendy or something, that’d’ve been nice but if you’re going to cut articulation somewhere on the figure this feels the most fitting place to do it. Sculpt wise he’s just-stepped-off-the-screen spot on, I enjoy that they gave him little feet made out of vines and if you do want to invade his privacy a little those vines are sculpted all the way up to his waist, the coat’s a soft plastic overlay. Mine has a paint issue, it’s the first one I’ve had with this issue but it’s not the first time this issue has come up, in fact it’s been a slight epidemic since last year; Wonky Eye Syndrome has mostly been affecting the female figures but it has popped up elsewhere and mine has a very serious case of it, his left eye has wandered off so far it’s hidden up his asparagus. This was pretty fucking annoying as this is ‘my’ version of Evilseed and Evilseed is legitimately one of my favourite characters in the franchise, you can send figures suffering from WES back to Mattel and they’ll replace them but I haven’t done this, why? Well it’s hidden by the asparagus so it’s not really that much of a problem visually, sending it back to America is a long costly hassle and as Mattycollector is shutting down at the end the year I’m not too confident in them having the necessary motivation to resolve the issue.       

Evilseed is the owner of two accessories, his vine ‘effects piece’ is sweet, a big soft reaching set of vines that slides nicely onto this right hand (though it doesn’t fit on his left at all) and looks great, it’s even the same colour as the dark vines on his legs (as it should be). The other thing is a bundle of vines and I can’t quite figure out what its purpose is, I thought it was for wrapping around other figures to bind them (and I hope all imaginary readers who played Pokémon Red and Blue grimaced when they read ‘bind’, fuck that move in the ear) but I couldn’t get it over the arms of Prince Adam (who’s the He-Man buck at its most basic) and it’s too big for his legs and the female figures, so I can’t imagine how it could bind anyone except some of Modulok or Mantenna. I’m sure this is just me being thick and it’s really obvious what it’s for.

Frankie Stein is the main character of Monster High, she’s the daughter of Frankenstein’s Monster and is physically 16 years old (though she was only 16 days old when she first joined Monster High), Ghostbusters is one of the best comedies ever made, it was quite successful, you may have heard of it.

Let me just get this out of the way: FUCK YES THEY MADE A GHOSTBUSTERS MONSTER HIGH CROSSOVER DOLL THIS IS THE BEST POSSIBLE COMBINATION OF SOMETHING AND MONSTER HIGH IT’S LIKE THEY MADE IT JUST FOR ME IT EVEN COMES WITH A MONSTER HIGH PET VERSION OF SLIMER THANK YOU NEW GHOSTBUSTERS FILM EVEN IF YOU’RE SHIT (BECAUSE I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN YOU) I OWE YOU A MASSVIE WET SLOPPY KISS OF GRATITUDE. Right with that done, Frankie’s a bog standard Frankie Stein doll, if you own any Frankie released in the last few years there’s nothing new to see under the clothes, I’m not even certain this is a new hairstyle, Mattel presumably (and quite rightly) realised that this was irrelevant because they were dressing her as a Ghostbuster. Well she’s dressed as a Ghostbuster who likes to personalise their uniform, a Real Ghostbuster perhaps, and I really need to moan about this again because I hate how Mattel’s design team have settled on giving Frankie neon colours as a style, one of the things that really attracted me to the original doll was it’s very low contrasts (it recalled the black and white horror movies that undoubtedly influenced the line) and I really wish they’d kept this up instead they’ve decided that Frankie needs hot blue, neon yellow and neon pink all over the place until she looks like a 1980’s discotheque. This isn’t a problem with this toy specifically and it’s something that’s been going on since the first year of product it’s just that all the other characters have kept their original doll’s style pretty much throughout EXCEPT Frankie Stein (and sometimes Ghoulia, Mattel really seem to like to dress her up tarty which seems a bit out of character to me but who knows) and it bugs me. That gripe aside she looks good, they’ve turned the random lines the new Ghostbusters outfits have into lightning bolts and she has really awesome boots, and while they’re an annoying colour I do quite like her goggles, it’s nice that she’s observing health and safety regulation while busting ghosts (or welding).

I’m not too sure how to judge accessories on this doll, I guess technically she comes with a Proton Pack, PKE Meter and goggles but they’re all packaged on the figure, I’m going to say that the PKE meter is an accessory and the others are just part of her outfit, whatever they’re all nicely done, you could moan about paint apps (or the lack thereof) but Monster High never really does paint apps on accessories and for the figure to work (as it does) for me everything has to be ‘Ghostbusters but Monster High’ and this is part of achieving that. Actually it achieves this all over, they’ve done a really good job of making the Ghostbsuters design a Monster High design without changing very much (and those are some sweet boots she’s got on) and without losing the Ghostbustersyness or the Monster Highryness (this is why I’m not a professional critic). The proton stream seen in these pictures isn’t really part of the toy but part of the packaging but it’s attached firmly and looks cool (and she doesn’t come with a plastic stream) so I’m gonna leave it on there. Anyway the only accessory that really matters Slimer: for those who don’t horde girls toys each Monster High Doll originally came with a pet, a small MUSCLE like mini-figure (well they’re closer to Magic Diaper Babies but I’m guessing most people haven’t heard of them), these have mostly been phased out due to, I presume, Mattel cutting costs. This is a shame as the pets were almost all utterly delightful - my favourite is still Shivers, the tiny mammoth who came with Abbey Bominable – so making a Pets Slimer made a lot of sense but wasn’t something I thought they’d do, I’m happy to be wrong. This is a VERY cute Slimer and I’m not sure how I feel about that, on the one hand it fits the Monster High aesthetic perfectly, on the other hand it brings back horrible memories of the Slimer! episodes of The Real Ghostbusters, he’s also hollow (the older Pets weren’t) which means you can use him as a tiny fingerpuppet (though he only really fits on an adult’s little finger, of course this just means you can have him interact with Finger Frights AND steer the car at the same time!). I am so glad he’s here but he is a bit cheap feeling, charming but cheap. 

"wait! it's just cosplay! I'm one of
you, I'm one of yooooou!"
 This review is over, to conclude it I really like Evilseed even if he has got a wandering eye – his sculpt is just so perfect and so accurate, I love Ghostbusters Frankie Stein in concept and am pretty happy with her in practice, I don’t think it needs the neon accents (though I do like the bandana tied around the leg, pointless but very stylish) but Frankie does look good in a Ghostbusters jumpsuit (also notice she’s written her name on the tag in pen? Little details like that make me smile), they should totally make a Mr Stay Puft Abbey Bominable, actually I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t Ghoulia (the team nerd) or Spectra Vondergeist rather than Frankie, perhaps Spectra caused even more philosophical conundrums eh? 

"but daaaad"
"come along dear, you don't need to mess around with
riff-raff like him"

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