Double Mischief Review

This review was originally published on August 20th, 2014.
I’m going to try and not complain a ton for this review. I’m not sure if I’m just not feeling this figure due to some specific gripes or because of the announcement today, that the MOTUC sub missed it’s subscription minimum. In the end, I’m not too worried about the sub. Honestly, it will go through or it won’t. Short of my paying $500 to get an extra vintage He-Man head, it’s out of my hands. I’m either going to save a ton of money and miss out on some key characters, or get those characters and be out of a ton money.

What does frustrate me is when folks don’t see a cause and effect. The comment was made today that Mattel just needed “everyone who signed up last year to sign up again”. Now, attrition is going to happen. Less people stay hooked as time goes on, more people will leave something then join, it’s just normal. Comic books overuse #1s for that very reason.

Basically, you can never stop recruiting. And you can’t rest on your laurels. Just look at IAT – I’ve been busy getting ready for our first child. Vault’s not an active part of the team right now. I lost my computer and have this awesome new one, but I’m still getting the hang out of it (& you can tell in the picture quality that I’m not quite there yet). I’m missing review deadlines. And I can see the effect. Traffic is down. It’s not as terrible as losing 10% like Mattel has, but it’s still on me.

I feel like the folks at Mattel do good work, but they don’t always understand that. They don’t seem to correlate that putting out a subpar figure is a possible lost subscriber. This is really a better subject to cover with the disappointment that is Rio Blast, but the thumb-headed figure released this month, right in the middle of the sign-up period is just as good a place.

Now, there is a lot to like on Double Trouble’s sculpt. Oh, it’s officially Double Mischief these days, but she’ll always be DT to me. Anyway, female buck 2.0 fixed a lot of the issues with the ladies in the line and the new pieces for Double Trouble – the boots, skirt, bodice, and cape all look sharp. I would like a little more detail on the POP figures overall, but they’re still fine as is. Getting Double Trouble right though is all about the head. She’s the Man-E-Faces of POP, a double agent that has a witchy Horde face and a kinder Great Rebellion face. It’s her defining action feature. And in the way that Mattel nailed MEF’s multi-faces, Roboto’s gears, or substituted parts in for Mekaneck or Extendar, they needed to do again here. They didn’t.

DT’s head had to fit under the dome, it had to spin easily with enough clearance to not scratch the paint. I get all that. But the solution? To flatten her head down? To remove her chin? Permanent “ermagherd” face? C’mon, man. That’s just lazy. The original, seemingly unreproducible, 4H sculpt looked great and I’d bet – was functional. This final figure can’t say the same. The good news is that some folks have fixed it with paint around the exposed neck areas, a dark color for some false depth and shadow. That’s all well and good, but shouldn’t be necessary.

Ultimately, someone, or mutiple someones, at Mattel looked at the scrunched up face on this figure and thought, “good enough”. And admittedly the two face sculpts came out nice. The overall figure looks good, even the obnoxious hair. The translucent cape looks great as a stand in for the gossamer-like fabric on the vintage figure (but no translucent skirt is kinda funny). There is a lot to like, but that thumb head? That got approved? Meh. I know this isn’t the first time it’s happened. I know it’s not the last. And I know that I’ve accepted little things like this on and off over the years. This one just sticks in my craw today. Frustrating. Continue to Page 2…

66 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com
Double Mischief Review

  1. yikes. I get she’s supposed to be Woman-E-Faces, but even ToyBiz did this better back in the 90s with the Spider-Man TAS Morbius figure. You’d think with easily swappable heads being a “hidden bonus” on this line, they would just give her two heads.

    Aside from the head and a flared collar that makes FA Nightwing feel insecure, it looks like a decent figure. Even the color scheme looks nice, and I never have like the X-Men’s Polaris’ all/multi-green outfits like this.

    also, nice to see Ka-She-Ra back in action! 😉
    (Ann Teeqer?)

  2. A very good review, that mirrors some of my thoughts. Sometime the past year after a string of figures, that were almost good (instead of just ok), I made my peace with this line. If 2015 happens, great — if not, I’ll live. And I am not holding my breath for any (hypothetical) 2016+ offerings, either the price will have to go up or the quality will stay down.

    BUT: I love this line overall and am very happy, when looking at the shelves

  3. Funnily enough in Pixel Dan’s review he carries on about what great sitting and straddling poses she can achieve and how gorgeous the face is. So it’s nice to be able to get a mattel free review.

      1. Mod Edit: That was funnier! But still, let’s play nice. Criticism is best heard when given constructively.

          1. I find it hard to listen to his reviews because they are very pro mattel and don’t highlight any of the negative aspects of the figures.

            1. He was pretty annoyed at Rio Blast’s flap, though. Not every review of his has been glowing and fanboy-ish. Filmation Hordak’s cannon-socket, Sweet Bee’s head articulation, and bulky armour have all gotten mentions.

              1. I must be honest and say I have not seen any of those video reviews. I believe the last one I watched was NA Skeletor or Extendar.
                The reviews he does for other toys are fine and seems to really highlight any faults he has with them but I just think he is very generous to MOTUC. He was quite thorough in pointing out the faults with Bandai’s Thundercats, which to be fair he was mostly right about, but it would be nice if he could do the same for MOTUC.

                1. I don’t know if he was getting his T-cats for free like his Mattel swag.

                  Makes a difference when you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you and brings traffic to your site similar to the “cough” rhymes with swoosh “cough”.

                  1. Swoosh LOL.
                    If he was getting them for free I can’t imagine the people at Bandai being to happy. They were not great but I still don’t think they were as bad as he made them out to be.
                    Same with his TMNT Classics reviews.

                    1. Honestly, I feel like Dan has been critical when there was something that needed to be pointed out. If he seems pretty forgiving I think it’s because he is such a fan of MOTU in general, and that stuff really doesn’t bother him.

                      Now the “swoosh” sounding site? Yeah, I don’t think they have ever or will ever say anything remotely negative, or maybe I should say remotely objective, in one of their first looks. I think the strongest thing I’ve heard them say was something like “some people may not appreciate…” or something like that.

      2. Pixel Dan is a good reviewer. In his reviews of the Mattel Super Powers DCUC repaints he is critical of the price and the value, considering the absence of accessories for Wonder Woman. And, I once saw him completely disparage a toy with poor production values (don’t remember which one–may have been a DCUC).

        Dan talks with that energetic vibe that can come across as “corporate”. But, he’s a serious reviewer, and he’ll call out flaws when he sees them. And yeah, I think he really is excited about a lot of the toys.

        It goes both ways. Another reviewer I like, who is very critical and particular, nearly discouraged me from buying Marvel Legends Movie GotG figures. But, I found the figures to be satisfying once I held them in my hands.

  4. Got Etheria, so I’m worried about her neck but I’ll appreciate her anyway considering my limited MOTUC figures.

  5. I don’t think the face is as bad in person. It is not perfect for sure and compared to the other ladies she is on the uglier side. But on the shelf her unique look outshines her faults. Perhaps when the line is over (and hopefully not for a while) I’ll take a peek and see how others tried to fix her face and do the same. That’s half the fun with this line: for every figure that isn’t up to snuff I’ve tried to mod them into something I’ll enjoy more.

  6. So yea, subscription time extended, but you can’t purchase one till Friday at noon?! That’s just gross incompetence.

    Look at the marketing for this 2015 sub. Look at their current cover photo on Facebook:
    To me, that says “Collectors, we’re tired of dealing with you, you’re tired of dealing with us. Please just give us your trust one more time only to have it dashed again. I swear, this is the last time”

    Speaking of trust:
    <a href=";

      1. you can’t just drop a bomb like that and walk out man, WHERE THE HELL DID THAT PHOTO COME FROM???!?!?!?!?

        1. It’s a leaked photo from Mattel. It’s the packaging mock-up for the licensor (DC) to approve. We don’t have any word on when the pic was taken, if it’s recent & Mattel is still trying to make use of the sculpt or if it’s older from when he was a possibility. I’d love to still get it.

    1. There are two schools of thought on the delay for the period to reopen. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do or not, but it could help as easily as hurt.

  7. you might be able to sand back some of the second chin material, looking at that peg, the hole it fits into should be small enough that you might, if you’re careful, be able to shave back some material from her underchin and then paint to semi-reasonable effect. but yes, this is one of those where a brand manager who had value would have said “no bueno,” and send her back for a rework.

  8. First up, I’m sorry to hear all the issues going on ‘behind the scenes’. I wish health and joy for the upcoming baby, I hope Vault is OK.

    Now, I know I’m having eye problems but I can’t see a difference between the two faces! I really can’t!

    And is the hair supposed to flip ‘side to side’ to signify ‘good/evil’? I don’t see anything otherwise distinct…

    I guess I have zero knowledge of this character so I have no clue how she ‘should’ look, as opposed to iconic Man-E-Faces.

    1. “EVIL” has darker/thicker eyebrows and more of a scowl than a smirk.
      but yeah, basically flip the ponytail t the left/”sinister” side.

      1. OK, I can kinda see that (Noisy, sorry to complain but the pics just needed more ‘fill’ light to show this clearly) when I really stare…

        I mean, I guess, reality-wise that subtlety is what is desired, but we’re in a world where people have names like Evil-Lyn, Trap Jaw, Man-E-Faces, and so on. Evil side should be EVIL, am I right? 🙂

  9. Seriously?!? That Doomsday I would buy in a heartbeat!! Clearly they have made him and are just waiting to unveil him…..That’s crazy.

  10. Just like “The Unnamed One” when it popped up earlier in the year.

    “You’ll have to wait to find out.” (2 months later) “Yep, that’s the figure.”

    The drop in subs is on “Mattel Design.” They fucked up those awesome 4H sculpts these last 2 years. It’s on them and the brand manager that said “yes” on all the stuff that was clearly sub-par.

    NA Skeletor was the last straw for most subbers;

    4H sculpt = Figure of the Year

    Mattel Design = Fat Skeletor

    Same thing could be said with Hydron. Thank Grodd Icarius got done early in the line. A superb figure and no freakin’ fat armor.

  11. Okay we need to get that Doomsday. Wow that is what we all want! Even with a ripped cape!!!!

  12. Great review and pics, as always. Yeah, she could’ve been done better, that’s for sure.

    I spent half an hour mixing an acceptable shade of green to paint her double chins to match her choker. Black might’ve worked better, but I’m happy the way she turned out. The real pain, now, is finding sheer fabric the right shade. I must’ve bought five shades of green, and none of them have matched. Anyone wants to replace the bright day-glo green of their original Double Trouble’s soft goods, I’ve got you covered, though.

    I really, really hope this extension allows the sub to go through. Can’t bear the thought of getting this close to a complete Vintage collection (on top of all the other awesome characters), only to have it whisked away from us at the eleventh hour.

    1. Some say that he returned to the sea, from whence he came. Others tell a legend that he read a DC comic so bad that his mind literally exploded into a cloud of fine dust. There’s even a fantastic tale that if you’re very quiet and listen very closely during the loneliest hours of the night, you’ll hear the faint clicking of a camera and the soft clacking of a keyboard, as if a new review is being summoned from the depths of… wherever.

      But one thing is for sure. He still buys way to many toys. 🙂

      1. Huh. I had heard he had made a pilgrimage to Japan to visit Max Factory and Bandai and was never heard from again… 🙂

        Hurry back, Vault! I’m collecting way too many of these things all of a sudden! 🙂

        (Seriously. I took the plunge on the reissue Cobra. wow.)

  13. I totally agree about all the head issues, but I must say she looks pretty good on my shelf…

  14. Well we do now…Mattycollector announced that Unleashed Doomsday would be a stand alone sale in December

      1. What false pretenses? They had the tooling ready to go in case the DC sub went through, because for something of that scope, they needed to get it ready well in advance. But the DC sub failed, and they were left with some moulds that they may as well try to recoup some costs on.

        1. ‘False Pretense’ may not be the correct phrase, but you do have to admit that what was seen as a ‘choice’ was no choice whatsoever. They tooled it (or should that be ‘Tool’d’? 🙂 ) but told people “You can’t have this unless a specific benchmark is met!!” and that got a good number of people, people with good hearts, to sub up even in the face of otherwise lackluster feelings to what was to come.

          It’s like being told “there might be cake at the party”, showing up at the party, being told that the cake is all gone, leaving, and finding out there was plenty of cake after the fact. It’s kind of a d**khead move, at least to my eyes.

          And that’s pretty fancy packaging. Why do I have the feeling the figure is going to cost significantly more than it would have as part of the sub?

          1. Oh, yeah, I get the fact that they’re going back on what they said before. But I doubt it was a premeditated “Up Yours” move. They probably just wanted to get some use out of the mould and make some money back.

            Plus, they’re caving in and giving the fans a figure they’ve been demanding loudly since they found out about it. I’d call that a win, if I gave a damn about DC figures.

            So, yeah, not handled very well at all (like we should expect it any other way these days?), but you get the chance at a very cool figure you thought you’d never see. Result!

                1. I’d never thought of DKR Superman. That would be an unusual, interesting piece.

                  I’ll pass on DKR Catwoman though. :S

  15. Yeah, this is the wrong time of year to produce a subpar figure.

    For whatever reason, I subscribed to Club Etheria, although I hadn’t subscribed to the 2014 MotU sub. This figure and the choice of characters has me experiencing buyer’s remorse. Mermista and Flutterina were NOT in the Etheria sub? I’m not all that interested in owning a New Adventures She-Ra or Sweet Bee.

    And I just can’t escape it: my standards for action figures have changed. I want figures that are sturdy and can be put into a lot of varied, characteristic poses. I want a ton of accessories, effect parts, hands, and expressions. MotU Classics were terrific for American figures in 2009. Now, they have to compete with S.H. Figuarts, Figma… Heck, even Hasbro has started to figure out swappable hands are a good idea.

    I like the idea of Double Trouble, but this figure just doesn’t look good. And here I sit, realizing that – oh, dear – I’ve *bought* it. It’ll show up in a couple of months with a Madame Razz (yay!) who quite likely won’t be able to ride Broom (boo!)

    I hope the sub goes through, for all the people who still like these figures and, unlike me, have the room for them. But I can’t see myself committing to it when the only thing they’ve announced that I really want is Oo-Larr.

  16. She is improved a LOT with some paint on the neck, but you’re right: It doesn’t change the fact that we had to do it. And those tabs on the side of her neck (you can see them when the helmet is off)? If you cut those, she can turn the whole helmet, making her able to look side-to-side. You literally lose nothing by cutting those tabs. I have no idea why those are there.

    Really, the most confusing part is why they weren’t able to make this head work whereas the 80’s figure pulled it off perfectly. What was different between then and now? How come they had clearance in the helmet back then, but couldn’t get enough for a full head to turn now? We may never get an answer.

    Ah well, at least she’s salvageable, and the rest of her looks great.

    1. Whenever something was done easily thirty years ago and can’t be replicated now is always strange, huh?

      It’s all about inspiration and commitment to doing a good job. I don’t know that Mattel creates a good environment to inspire that. If you don’t bring it with you, it may not be there.

  17. If thats legit HOLY SHNIKES thats beautiful. Doomsday frigging crazy cool there.

    On DT, like and yeah the head was a bad idea choice but coulda been worse. That Beyonce that was flying around awhile back dragqueen looking face coulda been used.

    Sorry if this double posts.

  18. I most certainly did hear that announcement…and I figured with the tooling already there they’d try something like this….Now with Doomsday & BattleRam as stand alone purchases in December its gonna be pricey. And I get a frigging Gwildor piece of crap movie figure…ughg…i wish I could skip that..

  19. woah….I just now realized her crossbow spins! Thats what I get for taking her out of the box and putting her aside to continue playing with SWB figures I guess

  20. The Horseman’s proto looked way better.

    Matty turned this figure into a stinker. She could star in one of those cheesy Steve Oedekerk thumb parodies.

  21. Being in Australia, a group of us subscribe together to get better shipping rates.

    Anyways, I do a monthly pickup from my friend who subs on his credit card for us. I skipped July because of the pretty meh figures and said I’d grab them when August hit. Even with getting a bunch of 5 figures in one hit, I found none of them incredibly sexy. NA Skeletor was close but the bulky armour almost ruins him. Madame Razz I find incredibly dull and cheap looking, plus her angle hinge wasn’t connected properly so I had to fix it. Flutterina was okayish but again, nothing amazing. Flogg is incredibly dull. Double Trouble/Mischief would have been the pick of the bunch had her head not been so horrendously designed. It boggles my mind as to how it could ever be approved like that. Ruins an otherwise excellently designed figure.

    Ok, NA Skelly would have been the pick of the bunch but for his armour. Ultimately, he still was. Amazing head sculpt.

    Glad this meh period is over now. Drooling over what’s coming in the next couple of months.

  22. Why did they make the battle damaged Faker head have such a different color for his hair than the original figure ?

    1. I think it’s because they saw me say something less than flattering about them on the Matty forums, and they wanted to do something to irk me.

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