This review was originally published on February 24th, 2011.
I was starting to wonder if Bow was ever going to show up. After Mattel charged us, it took 12 days for the package to arrive. I could’ve mailed a package to & from California 3 times in the same span, but I digress… this is supposed to be a review about She-Ra’s Special Friend not Mattel’s shipping polices…
I have to admit that I don’t know much about Bow other than the basics. I have most of POP on DVD (I’m naturally missing the one expensive set), but I haven’t had time to get very deep into the series. Anyway, I know the gist, but I thought I’d let Mattel take a crack at explaining Bow with the bio from his box…
After wandering though Despondos for several centuries and unable to return to Eternia, Hordak and his ageless army eventually claimed Etheria as a new throne world, deposing the local monarchs and ruling the people through fear. A nobleman in Queen Angella’s court, Kyle was one of many brave warriors who took up the arms against the Horde invaders and joined the Great Rebellion. Nicknamed “Bow” due to his natural ability as an archer, each of his arrows possesses different powers and he has a magical heart that beats frantically when She-Ra is in danger. Bow, is secretly in love with Princess Adora, unaware that she and She-Ra are one in the same!
Um… Well, it’s kind of about Bow towards the end there. Anyway, he’s an archer, but more importantly, he’s the man on She-Ra. He’s the guy we should all be envious of – he looks like Errol Flynn and he hangs out with a bunch of hot women. Growing up, we shouldn’t have been aspiring to be He-Man, we should’ve been working hard to be Bow. Yeah, the beating heart thing is odd to be sure, but wouldn’t you wear a goofy outfit if it meant you got to hang around Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoots all day?
Even though Bow manages to look very different from your average MOTU figure, he’s still heavily reliant on the MOTU buck. The most notable difference is the tighter, more encapsulated loincloth. It’s similar to what we saw with Optikk & Roboto, but the underside now connects and the sides come down further to cover up the hip articulation. The result looks good even though it does block the articulation a tiny bit.
Bow’s body also features new boots, bracers, and hands. The hands are designed specifically to hold his gear (the right hand is posed to hold an arrow) while the boots and bracers appear to be “pre-uses” of what will later become gear for a New Adventures He-Man. They look great on Bow, particularly because he came first, but also because they add some extra detail to the figure.
And, of course, there are the two heads. Both are nicely done and I’ve been struggling with the idea of keeping two Bows to have them as separate characters on my shelf. The head sculpts are the same, save for the mustache on one and the headband on the other, but they don’t look it. It really comes down to the headband/toy head. I prefer the mustache/cartoon look because that’s Bow, but the other head is too good to just toss in the extras bin.
Another thing to note when it comes to the swappable heads is that Bow thankfully still has the older barbell neck. I hope we see very little of that loop neckpeg in the line’s future.
The other main part of the sculpt is the armor. I love it and hate it. I like the aesthetic. It looks cool and I appreciate the extra detailing at the shoulders. I like that the heart and circle pieces are swappable. I don’t even mind that the quiver is permanently attached. So far, so good, right?
It just doesn’t sit right for me on the figure. I don’t know if it’s the additional weight of the quiver or not, but the armor tends to ride up. It won’t sit on his shoulders right and his pecks tend to pop out from under his armor. Admittedly, he’s the one POP figure that can have this wardrobe malfunction without it being an incident, but it’s annoying. It’s also difficult to get the cord for the quiver just right too*. I find myself wishing that Mattel had glued it into place as well.
* – I did try wrapping the cord under Bow’s right arm. It looks a little cooler when you try it, but it causes the left side of the armor to ride up even further. Boo.
Articulation is mostly what you’ve come to expect with two changes. The minor one is the difference the new loincloth makes in the range of the legs. It’s slight, but deep poses may stretch the piece over time. The major change is in the ball-jointed wrists. Why do we not have these on all the figures? They really help Bow with his archer poses of course, but they improve the figure overall too. Just imagine if He-Man featured a vertical ball-joint on his right hand? He could hold the sword aloft. These ball wrists shouldn’t be a special thing for Bow, they should be standard on all the figures. Bow also featured the encapsulated ankles like Vikor. Continue to Page 2…