|She's a villain, a female, and a design that comes from former McFarlane designers. This figure oozes with fan appeal, and as such, is probably already on your wish lists if you haven't already found one. $7.99.|
When Masters of the Universe relaunched in 2002, fans were wondering when we'd see more villains and when we'd see some female characters. While we were gifted with a Teela before 2002 ended, Evil-Lyn took a little longer to come out of the gates and even after several months of release, she remains difficult to find.
Loosely based on her original design from many moons ago, Evil-Lyn has a lot less yellow, a lot more purple, and accessories a lot more bendy. She includes a staff and a dagger, and has a spring-loaded waist like He-Man and many other figures from MOTU. And no, it's not just you, she really does look like the evil Statue of Liberty. Except unlike her 1980's release, she isn't colored like a lemon this time around.
Evil-Lyn, in the new Masters cartoon, is as powerful if not more so than Skeletor, but she's also a woman. In the toy pecking order, that knocks her down a few pegs, and is why we saw the likes of Two-Bad, Whiplash, and Triclops first. Thankfully, the figure we were eventually given wasn't all that bad.
She doesn't have the gritty detail or the grim visage of other MOTU villains, but she does look like a good animated she-villain, and apparently they didn't bother to tone anything down for her translation to plastic. There's quite a bit in the way of ridges, bands, and other raised and lowered markings on her outfit but the vast majority of them are left without a proper paint job. A wash or a few cents more spent on paint would likely improve her dramatically, but as she stands now, she's painted like a good cartoon-style figure.
The look of her face isn't exactly evil, and isn't exactly groundbreaking, it's just a little overly made-up and doesn't exude any specific personality trait. She may be a little angry, or displeased, but even Skeletor's bony mug seems to say more than Evil-Lyn's.
While there's a lot of detail work done on the armor, some unusual details are on her hand-- if you look at the inside of her left hand, she has a number of odd lines sculpted in to, presumably, help hold whatever weapon the owner of the toy so chooses. Thankfully, it's difficult to see and as such is not an eyesore.
It's nice to see that The Four Horsemen, a quartet of ex-McFarlane designers, decided to make a few changes when updating this character from her earlier version. Or, to be more precise, her blueberry-clad, lemon-skinned former self. It never helps a figure when it looks like it's suffering from some freakish illness, and the more subdued skin color works here, even if she looks like she just got out of the morgue.
Evil-Lyn is jointed at the wrists, hips, neck, and shoulders, plus there's a spring-loaded waist for slashing, striking, or slapping action. This works fairly well, but then again, if a toy company isn't able to pull off a spring-loaded joint at this stage in the game, there's a problem. Unfortunately, those joints don't do a lot to make her easy to stand up-- that requires some work, like with many of the Masters figures.
She includes a staff and a dagger, each of which have their pros and cons. Unfortunately, one of those cons may result in this toy's lack of survival in the wild, and by wild, I mean a kid's toy box.
Her staff looks great. Short of a glowing orb at the top, there's really not a lot they could have done better in terms of appearance short of using a color to bring out some of the details on the silver portion. Unfortunately, their choice of materials was poor in that this is very soft, very bendy, and very "oh-crap-I'm-gonna-break-this" type plastic. A harder plastic would have been significantly better because as it stands now, this seems prone to breakage and it doesn't feel like it would be a clean break.
The dagger, on the other hand, is very stiff and rigid. The detaiing, again is fairly limited given its ornate sculpt, leaving one to picture all sorts of great detailling had this been done by another company, but as it's a toy designed for boys aged 4-11, it really seems pointless to complain about that.
Overall, you get what you expect, more or less. It seems that the only surviving accessories down the road will either be absolutely perfect specimens kept by collectors or ruined, trashed, and broken ones that were handled with a fair amount of care by the younger set. Durability wasn't on the menu this time around, it would seem.
Evil-Lyn is in typical 2003 style packaging with the purple stripe on the bottom of the card, making it easy to identify her and other 2003 villains on the pegs at stores.
Other than that, it's typical MOTU packaging, and as an added bonus it has no twist ties or rubber bands holding any of the toy to the packaging. It's a nice, clean, and easy figure to open.
As a major character, a villain, a classic character, and a woman, Evil-Lyn should appeal to any fan interested in the Masters toy Universe. At $8, she's a nice looking figure, and she's a good size at a good price. While one couldn't stop and think what McFarlane-style paint jobs could do to improve her, it's best just to sit back, take a good look, and enjoy her as a Mattel figure designed for multiple audiences. If you see her-- and good luck on that-- odds are you're going to want one, even if the face is a little shiny.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample found at Phoenix area Target Greatland store in September 2003
Reviewed on October 7, 2003.