The original “Masters of the Universe” toy line from the 1980’s was basically an all-boys club. A hero named He-Man, what did you expect? While it would be two years later that Filmation would create He-Man’s sister, She-Ra, little girls who were forced to watch the original series with their brothers did not have many females to look up to.
Most girls were not going to be fans of Skeletor’s main squeeze, Evil-Lyn, and Queen Marlena was busy being a bland and meaningless character. This left Teela, who according to the package of the action figure we are going to review today is a “warrior goddess,” to be the character little girls could live their action fantasies through. Matty Collector released an action figure of her back when the “Masters of the Universe Classics” line first launched, and today we are going to review her and see how well she has held up compared to the MOTUC figures of today.
Teela comes in the same packaging we have seen for all of the other MOTUC figures, nothing different here. The biggest difference is actually when you take her out of the package. Underneath the plastic case is a pretty complex looking truss system to keep the figure secure, maybe too secure. You can find some photos of that in the gallery at the bottom of this review. It’s pretty hilarious looking at just how many rubber bands were strung around to keep all of these accessories in place.
Teela stands majestically, juxtaposing her feminine curves with her battle-hardened armor. The highly-detailed armor is what stands out the most with this toy, and looks great. It would later be re-used for Evil-Lyn figures, just like the original toys from the ’80’s, but even then, this is a very accurate but modernized take on the classic look. I also like the armbands and how her furry boots look like Uggs.
The face is where this toy stands out the most in terms of sculpting. It’s a very smooth face with soft lines, as opposed to He-Man and the other male human figures. Next to the other male figures, Teela stands out independently from the line-up, but still looks like a warrior and not just a girl with a sword.
Unfortunately, the figure I got has a head so loose it might as well have been a bobble head. When I removed her head to try on her alternate head, I simply could not get it on since the joint shook too much (and it was quite the arduous task putting her primary head back on as well). This is most likely just my figure and not every single one, since I am aware that some of the older figures from MOTUC have this problem, and/ or had loose ankles, which this one thankfully did not, but the loose head deducts many points from my book.
No complaints on the paint job here. Pretty smooth overall with no noticeable sloppiness, no enough to detract points from. It’s a simple paint job to begin with, but the shiny gold tones add a layer of attractiveness to the armor. All of her accessories are also painted with great care, such as her sword and her falcon, which we will talk more about in the next section.
Teela’s face has some blush around the cheeks to soften her face up, although they could have downplayed that just a little more for a more subtle look. For whatever reason, it works better with the snake head version of her face, but on the version with her “battle tiara” or whatever you want to call that gold band in her hair, she comes off like a “Jersey Shore” reject. This would later be corrected with their releases of Adora, She-Ra, and Battelground Teela, so it was not just me who thought this.
Frankly, there are plenty of spots where laziness and human error could screw it up. In the early days of this line, much attention was paid to the paint, and this is a great example of that. Right down to the detail in her gauntlets and boots, no detail was too small to ignore.
Teela comes with more accessories than she can handle. She comes with a secondary head in her snake helmet, a snake staff, a buckler, a long sword, and Zoar the falcon. That is a lot of bang for your buck (especially when you consider how lazy Mattel has gotten lately with their newer figures).
The sword is one of a kind, and has not been re-used in other MOTUC figures, as is the shield and staff. Both of them are excellent looking weapons with great detail in their sculpting. I especially love the intricate design etched into the shield. The snake staff is reminiscent of the original staff that the ’80’s Teela toy came with, although it is made of a softer plastic so it got a bit warped from the packaging.
Zoar the Falcon fits perfectly on Teela’s arm, and has two points of articulation in his wings as well. It might take some fumbling to get the bird on Teela’s forearm, so I suggest putting it’s talons on her hand, then slipping it up onto her forearm. The spare head looks great, and I would have used it here but, as I mentioned earlier, the head was very loose and made it difficult to attach the second head.
Teela has 18 points of articulation, as opposed to the normal 19 points since her torso does not bend. However, her wobbly head makes turning her neck an often-unsuccessful venture. Even without her wobbly neck, her high collar makes shifting her head side to side a bit difficult.
However, the rest of this figure is uninhibited when it comes to joint mobility, allowing her to be posed in some more dynamic poses. Since she is a physically smaller character, she is not as buff as the others, and therefore less top heavy too, making for a more balanced character.
Zoar the falcon also has wings that can be posed in various positions, and her many accessories make for a great experience. The retro-style head will make nostalgic fans very happy, while her head without the helm will make fans of the cartoon happy as well. At the end of the day, this figure is a great balance between collectibility and fun.
Female figures can be hit or miss, especially in a line made up of hulking, muscle-bound men. Teela stands out from the boys, while still fitting in with the integrity of the MOTUC line. Her pile of accessories is a huge plus for this figure, as well as her paint job and overall look. Her face could have used a bit less make-up, but was otherwise a fine looking job. I really enjoyed this figure and had a ton of fun posing her for the photos you will see below, especially with all of her weapons. She is not my favorite female figure from the line, but considering she was the pioneer, she set a very high standard for the rest of the toys that Mattel has continued to improve on.
Teela was one of the earliest figures to be released during the first year of the MOTUC line, making her an extremely rare toy. I was lucky to grab her during the Cyber Monday sale Matty had, and there is little guarantee you will see her pop up again like that. Your best bet is Amazon or eBay, but you will be spending a hefty amount to grab her.
If you liked this MOTUC review, you will also enjoy checking out my review of Orko & Prince Adam, and