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Vault Review: Catra

What I really loved about the paint job was the different reds used on her costume.  Sometimes using various shades of one color doesn’t always turn out well when a character is translated into 3D.  But Catra turned out just fine.  Her dress has a dark matte look, while her belt, symbol, and mask have a metallic sheen to them.  But my favorite part is that her bracers and boots were given the glossy look of patent leather.  All these various shades really work well together and are nicely separated by the purple of her cape.

Catra’s got the same basic articulation of the female MOTU Classics figures.  I was trying to figure out if she had any of the new female buck pieces incorporated into her design, but I don’t think she does.  What she does have is a consistent attention to her poseability.  The 4H designed her long hair to be up in a ponytail, which allows her ball jointed head a good range of movement.  Although her dress is too firm for her torso to move, it’s just rubbery enough to allow her hips a full range of motion.  Unlike She-Ra, Catra can actually kick or even sit down.  This is something I hope will be duplicated in all future female figures.

Catra comes with way more accessories than I expected.  Not only do you get her Filmation mask, but there’s also her original toy mask with its cat-like face.  Both fit over her head and stay in place perfectly and without the use of a peg.  This is the type of design work I like to see.

Weapon wise, Catra comes with her sword, shield, and whip.  The sword and shield were designed after her older figure’s weapons, and they really have that great MOTU Classics updated feel.  Her whip has its own unique styling and the Horsemen were even able to add the comb feature which I really love.  I can’t wait to see what future POP characters will get as weapon/combs.

Here’s the part of the article where you get to hear me complain.  This figure has some truly great aspects to her, but then there are also some really questionable design choices also.  First of which is her left hand.  You all know by now that it’s made out of a super soft and rubbery plastic.  Matty claims this is because of safety regulations, and maybe it is.  But these regulations seem a bit suspect to me when the hand sculpt isn’t as sharp as Mer-Man’s left hand or even the Power Sword, which we all know could easily poke an eye out.  Also, if this is a Matty regulation, the Horsemen should have known about it and adjusted their sculpt to a hand that wouldn’t require inferior plastic.  Catra’s hand already feels like it will rip loose when you swivel it, I’m just hoping that it also doesn’t start excreting that white plastic dust as it ages.

The second thing I wanted to address is Catra’s rubbery weapons.  Toy Guru originally said that they had to choose between having a hard or rubbery plastic because the weapons were molded at the same time.  I don’t know about you folks, but I’d rather have a hard sword that isn’t ruined by the packaging rather than a whip that “really works”.  I don’t need a whip that really works because my toys can’t actually whip things.  Also, if the whip had been molded out of hard plastic it could be in an action pose like it is being cracked.  Instead, we’re left with this limp noodley thing that doesn’t even lie like a real whip.

Lastly, there wasn’t even a need to choose to make the whip or sword out of one plastic.  Catra’s cat mask, which is molded in silver like the sword, is made out of a very hard plastic.  So hard in fact, that it’s beginning to scratch the black paint off of her hair and I’ve only put it on her a couple times.  If anything needed a softer plastic it was this mask.  But since they chose to use hard plastic, why didn’t they just mold the sword with the mask instead of the shield?

Overall Catra is a good figure.  Even with the design flaws, she’s still got a great look and fits in nicely on the shelf.  I just wish design team would pay a bit more attention to the details.  This is supposedly an adult collector’s line, and the decisions that go into making it should reflect that idea.

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15 comments to MOTUClassics.Com
Vault Review: Catra

  • polo23

    Another good review. I guess it’s a cat thing with her & Panthor!

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks Polo. I didn’t even think about that pattern. Hmmm, I wonder who my next MOTU review will be?

  • bjpalm1994

    Great Review! Glad to have you guys back!! I have’nt had a Matty fix in a couple of months so hopefully I will be able to jump back in this month. Yea the soft plastic for the weapons and hand is a bit of a head-scrathcer. Once again great review and welcome back!

  • Battle Catman

    I really like Catra’s cape, but damn if she doesn’t look sexy without it.

    I’m not too bummed about Catra’s sword since the whip is more of a “bad girl” weapon, but it would have been nice to have some symmetry with her and She-Ra.

    • AdventureVault

      I have to admit, she looks pretty good with or without the cape.

      I was hoping to have her hold the sword on the shelf, but now I’m not sure if I’ll even have her holding anything.

  • dayraven

    i just don’t get some of the weird choices mattel makes, like in this case, the gooey weapons. why? like when webstor got a gooey gun, and the haft of the grapple hook was gooey… why? i just don’t get it.

    • Cade

      But it makes it more fun when get capes as solid as a rock and weapons as wiggly as water….I mean that’s FUN!

  • orionpax636

    That packaging pic got a sizable chuckle out of me. At first I wondered why there wasn’t a patented IAT humor caption to go with it, and then I realized that its ridiculousness speaks for itself.

    • AdventureVault

      Yeah, when I first pulled her out of the white mailer I had a “What the…” moment.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Excellent review, as always. A few seconds in boiling water sorted out the rumpled sword that came with my Catra, if that’s any help.

    I hope the post-tornado recovery proceeds quickly for you all.

  • Motorthing

    I never watched Princess of Power either and am therefore confused as to why the Scarlet Witch is in it. Having said that it’s a 4H Wanda so it can finally replace the Godawful Toybiz one that hangs around the back of my ‘Vengers shelf.

    Glad you guys are back.