Bow Review

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…

22 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com:
Bow Review

  1. Well I’m planning on Giving Bow the Rack Sword… WHEN I GET HIM!! (waiting for him) Wish I had bought a second Bow…

  2. i am really torn on his for most of the reasons you stated, but i take things more rashly… i don’t like that the armor sits weird and the quiver cord even weirder… they sit so strangely, i just take them off. my bow doesn’t hold his bow well, so i have to warm the hand and the scrunch it a bit… also, i’ve shot bow a lot in my youth, and to me, the wrists are useless, as he can’t hit anything resembling the way a bow is really drawn. part of that might be the floppy grip, but the arrow notch isn’t long enough for him to properly grip in the other hand) and he’s not posed for the three finger grip either). the new waist band thing sucks, it limits his RoM more than the furry loin cloth does! why are we bothering w/ ball hips if no one is going to get them exposed enough to take advantage of how they can pose? and then tiara head is just too gay… i didn’t say it, my wife did. she said, and i quote “the 70’s pornstache head is actually less gay than the tiara head… how’d they pull that off?” i don’t know.

    so what i got, in essence, was a single head, w/no armor, and a weapon he can’t hold… i got some nice custom fodder. that kind of infuriates me. needless to say, that’s my last PoP and i kind of feel like good riddance.

    BTW, i’d also point out that he lacks the vikor neck because he lacks the vikor torso. he’s built on the KG torso w/ the back chunk filled in. my guess is for armored or caped dudes, we’ll continue to see that buck.

    1. The wrists help though, it would be impossible for him to get the arrow anywhere near the bow without them.

      Yep, he’s the old buck. Hopefully the new buck doesn’t get much use.

  3. I got bad paint on my Bow heads too. Carnivus’ sword looks great with him! I think “Kyle’s” little brother (most MOTU people have siblings, sometimes a twin!) may join the rebellion too now that I’ve seen your review 😀 Dang, now I have to swing a trade or troll eBay for an extra.

    I twisted the strap and tucked it under the quiver. It’s flexible enough that it stays there without popping out.

      1. Twisting the rope on the quiver is what I did! And I tucked his bow in the loop it made, so he can hold his bow on his back for when he is awkwardly riding a Lord of the Rings horse. :p

  4. Also, I actually laughed out loud (at work) at “First, I’ll defeat you and then I’ll draft my own bio!” I’m still rolling off that line! Hordak’s retort put me over the edge. Thanks for the great review! It’s no wonder this is my favorite toy site!

    1. I always worry about people laughing at work. I’m not responsible for reprimands and terminations! I’m glad you like the reviews! Thank you!

  5. Two things and forgive me for being nitpicky as I always love your reviews.

    1) Loincloth? Those are pants, man!
    2) Shouldn’t that be Adora in the last panel and not She-Ra?

    1. They are pants, but the piece is still effectively the loin cloth piece. Easier way for me to describe it, I guess?

      I always remember (could be wrong) about him pining over both Adora & She-Ra at different times.

  6. Back when DCUC Green Arrow was released, I read that the added joints in the wrists were pointless on an “archer” figure–when you draw a bow, both wrists should be straight as possible.

      1. That’s true, but the joints are from pointless. The articulation of a DCUC arm (and even more so on a MOTUC arm) leave the figure unable to get the pulling arm in the right position. The wrist joint accomodates the pose because the bicep swivel and single elbow can’t.

        If Bow & Green Arrow didn’t have the wrist articulation, their pulling hands wouldn’t be able to get into position.

  7. 12 days? Dude, that’s nothing. My palace guards and goddess arrived last Monday – yep, that would be exactly 1 day before the next round went on sale; I spent valentine’s day playing with a small green plastic woman.

    I’ve always been more of a PoP fan than MOTU (despite my mother insisting that’s not the sort of toy little boys should want) so I’m pretty excited for Bow, though that oddly-sitting armour does make his chest look three feet further out than his chin, and that ‘archer’s wrist’ sounds like a dodgy euphemism…

    1. I really hope you’re overseas! If the figures took that long, I don’t know how I’d keep the interest going. I suppose they show up at the same frequency just after the lengthy delays.

      My 12 days comment was just more to the fact that it should take 4 for the stuff to get here, so something was clearly up with this month.

      I tried to tack his armor down, but with little success. He’s still in the pose with the cord wrapped around his right arm. It at least keeps it down on one side.

      1. My record for MOTU Classics shipping is six weeks, and I only live in England, which is hardly a vast, trackless desert avoided by postal vehicles at all costs. Comprehensive and fun review, as always; makes me look forward even more to getting Bow, Shaodw Beast, and PD He-Man. Which may be near the end of March.

  8. Hmmm. I’m quite surprised that another review has failed to mention that the arrow is FAR too short to work with the long bow Bow weilds. Even if you string the bow there is no way to get bow into a proper pullback with the arrow.

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