The Matty people continue to surprise me. If you asked me if I would care about a Sweet Bee figure, I'd probably say no - but here it is, and it's a pretty good figure. Tight joints, cool alternate helmet, a gun, and stiff joints make it interesting while the decision to more closely follow the Filmation design over the doll makes it great. Of course, the character design looks almost more evil than heroic when compared to the heavy eye make-up of various women in the Horde, but there's also no Horde symbol. Granted, Entrapta looks more or less like one of the good guys but has a tiny little Horde symbol.
The character appeared in the second season of She-Ra: Princess of Power in an episode with He-Man and Frosta trying to get into He-Man's... almost pants. She's a magic bee lady who can fly, and the episode "Sweet Bee's Home" has some nifty magic and fighting as well as He-Man using a frozen Shadow Weaver as a bowling ball. It's on YouTube as of when I write this, so go check that out.
As aline bee ladies go, she's pretty good - the animation design lacks the ribbing around the boots, but otherwise it's pretty close. With bright yellow, pink, and orange, it's clearly based on a toy from the 1980s. I rarely see these colors come together on an action figure, so it's pretty striking and really doesn't fit in with the other few thousand plastic men here in the basement - plus with her helmet, she looks more like a bee-themed Samus Aran. This is a plus. The standard human head has pink antenna glued in with little chunks of hair, so it is a bit wonky there. With reddish hair, she looks a little different than the blondeish hair of the original doll - but beyond that, the face looks like a decent combination of the Filmation design and Laura San Giacomo, mixed with a little bit of the Four Horsemen sculpt idealization we've seen on so many of these figures so far.
The heads swap pretty nicely and the bee helmet was used on the TV show briefly. I also dig the bee-themed blaster, as well as the shield update of the original doll. Having said that, they could lose the shield and I wouldn't miss it - but that bee blaster is pretty fantastic. Molded in black plastic, it has a few rings of metallic yellow paint accenting the design. A few spots have paint that's a little on the thin side, but it's still a striking design. The yellow plastic shield has a matching yellow gem, plus gold accents. It looks neat, but I'm more or less uninterested in shield without an offensive weapon. This may show the key difference to what boys expect from toys and what girls expect from toys - an action figure with no weapon feels bizarre.
The wings fit in the gaps in her hair nicely, and if you use the helmet head there's a lot less fidgeting involved. The design does sort of limit articulation by design, but it does maximize customization opportunities with lots of pop-off parts. Sharing Flutterina's body torso piece with a new dress element, the wings plug in the holes quite nicely - be it between strands of hair, or under her nifty helmet. The wings themselves are nicely sculpted with a textured, dotted side and a relief with various lines and patterns on the other side. If you hold it up to the light, it looks quite nice.
The slow release of these figures up to this point makes it feel really odd that I now have a small army of mostly pink and pastel action figures born from old doll and cartoon designs in my toy stash. Sweet Bee has good, tight joints and has little difficulty standing - plus the pins in her ankles are nicely hidden. 18 points of articulation plus the jointed wings await you if you're in to this sort of thing, and I'd suggest tracking her down. The design here is quite good, she stands well, and if I could play as her in a video game I probably would.
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