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…