If you aren’t sure where the Goddess fits into MOTU, that’s okay. It’s a bit confusing. You could say she was a work-in-progress stage as the creators of MOTU made their way to the Sorceress. The Goddess first appears, as the “Sorceress”, in the first mini-comic and bestows powerful vestments onto a barbarian so that he may become He-Man. She appears again in Teela’s mini-comic, now referred to as the Goddess, but with Teela’s color scheme. After awhile, the cartoon comes along and replaces her outright with the falcon-themed Sorceress and left her consigned to MOTU limbo.
But for a handful of fans, her story didn’t end there. They remembered her, they held onto her, and they made sure the rest of us remembered her too. As a kid, I didn’t find my way into the toys until Battle Armor He-Man. I didn’t even know about the Goddess until I started running into her fans online and they explained this version of He-Man that I didn’t know existed. It was pretty cool. One thing that all the Goddess fans seemed to have in common was a desire to get her recognition. To get her back into continuity and, most importantly, to get an official figure. Twenty-seven years after her first appearance, their dream has become a reality.
With the Goddess and Teela being so closely related, it only makes sense that Mattel would utilize the Teela figure as a base. And that’s exactly what they did. The Goddess is a straight repaint of Teela with her snake armor head. While the figure was first shown at SDCC as a painted prototype, Goddess was released as a translucent figure – cast in clear plastic and painted green. If you check some areas that are prone to scratching, you should be able to see some minute scratches where the clear plastic is visible.
Honestly, I’m of two minds about this. I like the translucent look well enough. It does give her a ghostly/spirit feel and helps to differentiate her from Teela, but I was very satisfied with her painted look at SDCC. Since the jury is out and I’m usually a sucker for clear plastic, I’m not going to hold that against the figure, but I will always wonder if I’d have been happier with a painted look.
Since the Goddess is a straight repaint of Teela, she’s lost some of what made her unique. The pieces, as they were on Teela, are all sculpted in great detail so there’s nothing objectionable about them, but it does take away from the figures that will all be wearing this same dress (Evil Lyn being the third). If they all end up on the same battlefield, it could be scandalous!
So far, I’ve purchased two figures of anyone with a multiple head. I have a properly mustached Man-At-Arms and an extra guard. I have Mer-Man and his lieutenant. I’ll have Trap Jaw and Kronis. But I wasn’t enough of a fan of Teela’s snake armor to purchase two Teelas. The armor is a great piece with a great head sculpt to accompany it, but I’ve never liked it, even on the vintage figure. That decision, to buy one Teela, inadvertantly scores the Goddess some extra points. She can wear these pieces and give me a chance to display them without obscuring Teela, and again it helps to differentiate between the two figures.
Articulation should have been standard for the Goddess. From the neck down, she’s got the same good range as Teela, but the head articulation is a different story. To put it simply, she’s a bobblehead. The culprit here is that the lower ball (inside the neck) is too loose in its socket. Mattel could fix this by retooling the neck peg to better fit the socket or by shortening the peg so that the contact between the neck and head (they don’t touch) would improve stability. Unfortunately, Mattel has deemed both these solutions unworkable and has asked the .Org regulars to choose between eliminating neck articulation or eliminating the removable heads.
Many fans, unbelievably, supported the idea that the head articulation should be restricted to a swivel joint. I find that unacceptable on a $20 figure. Plenty of other toy lines have been able to combine a good range ball-joint and interchangeable heads with little difficulty. I’m not sure why Mattel seems unable to solve the problem without taking away from the figure. Personally, I don’t see the point of restricting articulation on dozens of female figures that won’t get a second head, just so that the handful that could use them can have them. Hopefully, Mattel can come up with a better solution than giving us two evils to choose from. Right now, it’s a lose-lose proposition.
The Green Goddess paints apps are fairly solid. The gold paint on the costume details doesn’t always extend as far as it should, but it looks good from the front. My main issue here is Mattel’s decision to paint her green instead of casting her green. When I shine light through her, I can see a large patch on her leg where the first coat was rubbed off and a hasty second coat added. Plus, as I said previously, over time the thin coat of green could be easily damaged and flake off if you’re not careful. Make sure she’s snug on your shelves – somewhere in the middle.
If the Goddess figure has one claim to fame, it’s in the accessory department. She’s loaded with other people’s stuff. First, she comes with a set of He-Man’s gear: the shield, the harness, and the axe. Then, she comes with Teela’s snake armor and shield for her personal use. And finally, she gets the one new part for this figure, a spear. The spear is a great piece, but from what I’ve seen online, many fans are giving this spear to Teela and giving the Staff of Ka to the Goddess. This switch brings the figures more in line with the vintage control art, but makes the Goddess a bit of a weapons mule rather than her own woman.
The repackaged armor is welcome and the way it’s packaged is a nice touch. The He-shield and He-axe are just more of the same, but the harness is molded gray this time around instead of painted gray. I haven’t decided, but I might swap it out on my reissue He-Man to help distinguish him and to prevent the paint on his original armor from cracking due to use. Similarly, the snake armor piece seems better painted here than the one that came with Teela. It’s a little lighter, but with a heavier wash, and the eyes are painted a metallic blue instead of neon green. The blue matches the armor detailing and helps bring the figure together.
Overall, the Goddess is a decent figure. If you made me choose amongst MOTU figures, she’d be at the low end, but the whole line is so far beyond most other toy lines that she’s not anywhere close to being a bad toy. Plus, Mattel outlined early on that bonus figures would be made from reused parts and that makes it inappropriate to have expected her to look much different than Teela (unlike Evil Lyn, who is a regular release).
So keeping those factors in mind, the Goddess still gets a hearty recommendation.
Currently, she is the longest available figure since the original He-Man & Beast Man. If you’re interested you can pick her up at Matty Collector right now. If you’re a MOTU collector and you’ve held off, I’d suggest you grab her now. She’s another character to add to your shelf, she’ll increase gender diversity until the onslaught of POP begins, and she’ll give you a way to display Teela’s armor without having to have two Teelas hanging around. Aside from the easily corrected bobble head issues, she’s a good figure that gives a character her long overdue time in the spotlight.
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