At least 10 Masters of the Universe Classics action figures were women in 2014. It is possible this may be a record for recent action figure lines - the only other contenders (unless we count doll lines) are Star Trek in the 1990s, where 10 or more per year wasn't at all unusual. Of course on a ratio game, MOTUC broke the gender barrier and capped off a strong year with Mermista. They worked in a surprising amount of women for a male-marketed collector line, and outside of DC or Marvel there's not a lot of opportunity for these numbers. The Mattel people put a lot of work into this one, as you get a bonus half figure to make the mermaid tail swap work.
When Mattel tries out new materials, things can get dicey - soft, flexible foam proved problematic, and now we've got glitter. Glitter flakes off. If you open the figure on your desk, you're going to get some glitter on it. This is confined to her tail, so if you want to display Mermista with humanoid legs you might be able to avoid this pitfall. Given that the tail gives her a lot of extra height, it's not a bad idea depending on your display needs. The tail connects at her waist, and features three points of articulation. Basically you've got "hips," "knees", and "foot." A clear display stand keeps her standing upright, otherwise you'd need to go buy a doll stand and such things can be controversial. They did a pretty good job getting her standing, although you'll need to do some finagling to keep her upright.
The legs are more or less standard legs. The added tail parts made Mattel give us a dedicated shell-bra torso without an ab crunch, consistent with most of the ladies in the line. Each leg is lightly decorated - lots of green without too many extras. He has the usual rotating thigh/hip region as well as bending knees and ankles, plus the typical arm articulation. There's not a lot new in terms of engineering, and she's a little lighter on deco thanks to the piece count. Still, we got a silver belt with a whale tail on it, a necklace, and even some metallic highlights on her horn and shield. They did a nice job with the subtle detailing, in addition to the obligatory above-average paint job on the face.
It's kind of funny - and a little depressing - to think that you get a figure like this, look at it, and see it's great. And then say "Eh, it's OK." Compared to where we were 20 or 10 years ago, this thing is a small miracle. Getting this many articulated parts and pieces with accessories for the price is pretty spiffy, and the precision on her make-up and face paint is nothing if not impressive. We've seen it before - and that's where it's unfortunate. These companies crank out thousands of things, and "perfect" is normal and anything less is trash. So this is closer to perfect/normal - the larger "granny panties" piece remains, but sometimes that's just normal. Maybe we'll see more improvements in this area in the coming year, before the line begins its descent into obscurity. It's coming. Be ready.
Mattel has done a nice job with the Four Horsemen trying to update various action features - and indeed girl's dolls - as collectible action figures. (The gender binary still runs deep in toys.) With the coloring and plastic hair, this works as a great hybrid of both kinds of toys - the coloring owes much to the Filmation cartoon designs from She-Ra while still appearing more or less as modern as you could hope for when discussing a line of this vintage. My guess is most people who started with He-Man and Beast Man weren't expecting to get Mermista a few years later, but if you're still on board they're doing some nice work here. I honestly never expected to have a large She-Ra shelf, but here we are - the figures are good, the accessories are nice, and the price was OK. She's more expensive now - and when the inevitable She-Ra movie happens before He-Man, I'm sure you'll all be very glad you got her early.
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