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Some Thoughts On
Battleground Teela in Package

I’m a day late on this Masters of the Universe Classics news, but I had a few thoughts (& criticisms) I wanted to share about it. On their Facebook page, Mattel has given us our first look at Battleground Teela in package. As usual, the figure looks great and the bio is… well, it is what it is.

Here’s Battleground Teela in package. Her new bio is reprinted below…

Battleground TeelaHeroic Heir to the Sorceress, Real Name: Teela
After being wounded by King Hssss’s venom, the Sorceress of Grayskull knew her time was short. She quickly arranged a mission with Teela to the Elder’s training citadel in the Polar Ice Cap. Here, the Sorceress revealed Teela’s true heritage: that she was secretly her magically cloned daughter and destined to become the next guardian of Castle Grayskull and its secrets! Although in a state of disbelief, Teela knew in her heart that her mother spoke the truth, and trained with the Sorceress until the venom at last overtook her. Returning to Grayskull as the new guardian, Teela uses her new magic to protect the Power of Grayskull and guard the safety of all Eternia!

If I might offer some commentary on this bio…

I do like it and I think it works as a story snippet. It does explain how we get from Teela to Sorceress Teela – but I don’t think it works with the look of the figure. Why does Sorceress Teela look like He-Man? Why does she need a pistol and a sword if she’s the Sorceress? The bio fails to answer any questions that the figure elicits. The writer(s) applied a pre-arranged story to the look of this character without considering how it goes with this character. I’m starting to believe that when Toy Guru says “the bios were all written at once”, he might mean the narrative was written at once and the bios are pulled from it as needed. I could be wrong, but it does feel that way with certain characters. Either that or we must accept that Scott Neitlich & his team knew as far as back as 2008 that we, the fans (with no idea how the line was going to play out) would demand this version of Teela and he had the tremendous insight to work her in the mythos that far back. I’ll leave that up to you to decide for yourself.

As for the specifics, I don’t mind most of the events described here. All the characters will die some day. And I’d like to know when & how because I believe that all heroic tales require an ending. I don’t mind Hssss being the one to kill the Sorceress, but from a storytelling standpoint, this ups the ante. Hssss must be taken down and must be taken down mercilessly (and ideally by Man-At-Arms). Perhaps the bio writer(s) know that and it falls under “keep reading the bios”, but I don’t know if that’s been considered because I don’t really feel like these bios have formed a well-written narrative so far.

And therein lies the rub. If these bios are going to continue to be story snippets instead of biographies, then they need to be better, more cohesive. The wait and see aspect doesn’t do it for me, because the bios so far haven’t filled me with hope. We’ve introduced that Hssss kills the Sorceress. How long, if ever, are we to wait and see how Hssss is paid back for that? If these bios are a long form & serial narrative, then that needs to be told sooner rather than later. Small setups and payoffs is how you make this type of storytelling successful. Bios, like this one, that raise questions, should soon be followed by bios with the answers.

Teela’s bio has been added to our Sortable/Searchable Bio Page at MOTUClassics.Com.

23 comments to Some Thoughts On
Battleground Teela in Package

  • VTek

    I couldn’t disagree more. The characters are fictional and don’t need to die. There was no reason to kill the Sorceress whatsoever.
    LAME!

  • Wahlquist

    Personally, I think the bios are lame and I ignore them. I think most HeFans do the same. Sure, we all bitch and moan whenever was is released, but that’s just because we all wish they were better. When they’re not, we simply disregard.

    Bikini Teela is going on the shelf with the other preternias.

    And didn’t Scotty tell us that he was mandated by the higher ups to create new characters versus variants like this? That Vikor had to be his own dude. I think the same should’ve applied here. The fans would know it’s a Teela, but we could enjoy it as a new character since he’s blonde and not really anything like the Teela we all know and love.

    • Bill

      I agree with each of your points.

      I look forward to reading the bios, and I’d be disappointed if the figs didn’t have them. But if they’re not interesting or move the “story” along, no problems for me.

      Yep, she’s going to look perfect next to Vikor.

      And I’m with you about this Teela being new character. This could be the Teela that becomes the current sorceress, or even a Teela/Sorceress from Eternia’s distant past.

    • Lay Ze-Man

      Don’t try to look for ANY consistency in what Toyguru says.

      Dangerous business, that. 😉

  • Megatherium

    She looks pretty awesome, but we are getting a Sorceress this year, maybe? Hopefully? I mean the Bios do keep talking about her lately… 😛

    • Globulus

      It’d be awesome if we could get the Sorceress this year!!

      And good call on MAA offing Hssss, Noisy!

  • JamesLynch

    You hit on my complaint regarding the look of the figure vs. the bio, but I went on a bit of a rant myself about this over on the Four Horsemen’s website, so I’m just going to copy and paste it here:

    I’m not in love with the bio, personally, and I think part of it is timing. They’ve basically announced the death of a main character well before we’ve gotten that character in toy form. I think everybody knew that’s sort of where the Teela/Sorceress relationship was going, but it’s still a little shocking to see it spelled out. If this news had come a few years from now, well after we’d gotten Sorceress and 2002 Sorceress figures, I don’t think it would raise the ire of so many fans. It would also help if the Teela figure in question looked at all like she was taking on mystical properties. How does a metal bra, fur panties, and a sword and gun say “new Sorceress”? An actual “Teela as the new Sorceress” figure down the line would probably be pretty sweet, but this figure says more “Teela as a no-nonsense barbarian woman” than anything else.

    I also personally don’t like that they have the Sorceress die because of King Hsss’s venom. I don’t love the Snake Men, and I didn’t like how they were introduced into the 2002 series as “TeH uLtiMaTE BaDAZZES!1!1!” I’m actually a little glad for that reason that the show didn’t continue, because according the the script/comic on the DVD set, they had intended to bring King Hsss back the very next episode (after Zodak awesomely got his own arms to eat him in the final produced episode).

    If the Sorceress is going to die, it should either be of old age (which I have to assume would happen as Teela’s powers increase, thereby draining away from the current Sorceress and making her mortal and aging her rapidly), or in combat with a superior sorcerer. Dying of a snake bite from a lame character is lame.

  • Battle Catman

    Perhaps one day we’ll see a Snake Armor Man-at-Arms that mentions how he finally takes down Hssss?

  • Clay

    Just to be devil#s advocate for a bit, I think a lot of these bios have a sort of way out if you don’t like the information they give.

    For example, though I’m pretty sure the Sorceress dies, it doesn’t really come out and say that. Yeah, the sorceress “knew her time was short” – but I knew a guy that used to announce the same thing every time he got a cold. It doesn’t even have to mean death per se – if the venom “overtook her”, is it possible that for a while she’s just NastySnake!Sorceress, which would certainly cut her “time” short if, by “time”, she means the time she has to train up a new sorceress. If you’re particularly optimistic, it should be pretty easy to assume there’s a chance that the good guys would find a way to de-snake her at some point (even if that isn’t mentioned in future bios).

    Personally though I’m okay with the idea of the Sorceress dying – it’s sad as she’s a great character, but that’s the sort of tragedy that moves a storyline on and motivates other characters to change and step up (cf Tara in Buffy). We can’t have everyone survive or die of old age, after all.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    “I don’t really feel like these bios have formed a well-written narrative so far.”

    This is it in a nutshell.

    We’re almost two years into the line, and the ‘story’ here is holding neither water nor most people’s attention.

    Maybe if they ditched the pathetic nostalgia romanticization with this line once and for all, and left behind all of the cheesy cardback one lines or style guide copy, and focused on crafting something compelling, they’d have a fighting chance.

    But as long as the main M.O. of this line (in all of its aspects) is to be as cheap, rehash-y, and unoriginal as possible (even well beyond the original line!) there’s no way there’s gonna be much here that’s gonna be able to stand the test of time.

    As to the whole “character dying” thing, that’s fine and dandy, but only in the context of a large, well thought-out, well-written story. There has NEVER been that for MotU, so they need to get the basics down before they go into “epic” territory. They fail time and time again to flesh out these characters in any kind of satisfactory way, and they want to KILL them? It’s just bad writing, plain and simple.

  • He-Mullet

    My main issue with the bio is Toyguru killed the sorceress long before we got her figure!
    This makes the Sorceress into a Flashback figure, now where does she stand in my display? She can’t be in the present cause Teela is now the Sorceress… She wasn’t in Preternia. Like Keldor she is stuck on Display Limbo…

    • JamesLynch

      I say ignore the bios and display Sorceress where you like, preferably on a Grayskull base, if you have them. My Keldor is on display alongside his brother, Randor, and his niece and nephew, Adora and Adam, because I wanted to keep the royal family together, bio-continuity be damned.

      • He-Mullet

        I’m working on a BG display for Keldor… It involves Evil Lyn and it’s not family friendly…

  • Jare

    “Battleground Teela” is the figure while she was “training”… and as other guy said it could be that the Sorceress could return at some point, it’s just fiction and any character could die and being resurrected at any time by the writters just look at Hal Jordan and other DC 😛

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Enh, what the Hell. I’ll just call it “DC Comics Teela” and await the day when they take that new head and snap it onto a slightly repainted Original Teela body to make “Mini-Comics Teela.” I agree that the narrative is, as has already been pointed out, piecemeal and fragmented at best, and as such, there’s a bit of “wiggle room” in the intepretation.

    So as far as I’m concerned, I’ll just be getting a new barbarian-looking hottie figure, which is fine by me. Perhaps it’s Teela during a summer of intense training, in rugged battle gear so she doesn’t destroy her nice pretty courtly clothes. And when I was younger and playing outside a lot, the summer sun used to make my normally brown/auburn hair fade to dirty blond. So that’s her hair colour easily explained.

    It’s all fiction, whichever version you embrace. I’m just happy to get some neat-o toys.

  • Ottospooky

    This is DC Comics Teela In my eyes
    Just as Vikor is Pre-He Man concept art.
    The bios to me are written on the back of the cards the figures come on, and are ignored.
    I imagine for these to be written by people who think, ‘i know what sounds good! The fans’ll dig this!’ you’re never going to please everyone. MOTU is a franchise that people hold dear to their hearts. But because it started life as a toyline and has many incarnations outside of the toys – Miniternia, Filmation, 200x to name a few – everyone has taken their own standpoint, assembled their own mythos and you’re just not going to please everyone. To me, each figure is an art piece on my shelf, assembled how I want them. The bios are just not important.

  • vc9k

    Teela is the name of more than one Sorceress and King Hiss was around thousands of years ago…

    just sayin’

  • Sy Branch

    excellent package & I love the new look but the bio hurt me. Can can’t get over that we lost the Sorceress due to King Hssss man I just can’t believe it. This was the only character I thought that will stand the test of time. But life must go on R.I.P. Teela-Na aka Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. I wonder if she also told Teela who’s her real father–it could be Man-At-Arms or his brother Fist-O with his memory lost or even myself–CTFU I had to throw that joke in there!! Can’t wait for Sorceress to be released now!!

    • Clay

      As she’s a clone, technically she doesn’t need a father. But then, if Hordak can suddenly become Adora’s step-father, who knows?

  • Logan

    My initial reaction was a fairly angry one. I don’t like the idea of killing off a character that we haven’t even gotten a toy of yet. The fact that the Sorceress is one of my favorite characters only adds to my ire. But I can talk all day about how it disrespects the character, diminishes the appeal of the toy when it comes out, or how it makes no effin sense that King Hsss’s venom would take (presumably) months to kill someone. “Bwahahaha! You’ve been marked by my venom! I’ll see you in six to eight weeks when I come back to devour your corpse! Best, Venom, EVER!!!” lol I’m just going to ignore the bio, heaping it on the pile of $&@#ups, and make up my own story.

    I say, that when the Sorceress sent PD He-Man©®©™ to fight alongside his ancestor(s) against Skeletor™ and King Hsss™ Teela wanted to tag along so she got a disguise of her own… or maybe, He-Man zaps her with his power sword (of power) to ensure she can survive the dangers they will face. Zip, Zam, Blammo! He-Teela™!!!©©©®®®®©®™™®©™©®®

    I’m wondering if their axing the Sorceress was done to leave room for a future 200x style sorceress as the “Teela” version. If that’s the case, they can make Orko the new He-Man for all I care, as long as they give me both versions. 😀

  • BD81

    It seems like they’re establishing Teela as the new “He” after Adam goes into space, ala New Adventures.