As I very briefly explained before (want me to do a bigger summary?), Shokoti was the main villain of The House of Shokoti, one of the best He-Man episodes – also a rare two-parter. Although the lady herself didn’t appear until the second episode, her presence was felt over the entire first episode. House of Shokoti Part Two was also one of the most explicitly Lovecraftian He-Man episodes, with the titular sorceress waking the tentacled “Sleeping Beast” to spread darkness and madness across Eternia. They even managed to have a dinky kid sidekick do something useful!
So when Shokoti was first announced for Masters of the Universe Classics’ Filmation mini-subscription (misspelled Shakoti), there was much rejoicing! And when we saw her accessory, it just got more awesome.
She is like a cat in the dark
and then she is the darkness
she rules her life like a fine skylark
and when the sky is starless
…Wait, that’s not right. Sorry, I got Shokoti mixed up with Rhiannon. Okay, HERE’S her bio:
Real Name: Shokoti
Possessing incredible powers fueled by darkness, Shokoti was the most dangerous sorceress on the Dark Hemisphere of Eternia. Fearing her plan to cover the entire planet in darkness, Shokoti’s fellow blue-skinned Gars lured the nefarious witch into the sunlight and buried her with her beast companion in the House of Darkness. Many years later, the shapeshifting wizard Masque raised the temple from the Sands of Time and opened the door to darkness once more until He-Man heroically defeated Shokoti and the Sleeping Beast forever. Shokoti uses the darkness and magic to cast illusions and project energy blasts from her hands.
Overall, it’s a pretty good bio, though it doesn’t completely match what she is capable of (Shokoti didn’t do much energy-firing, though she summoned a bunch of monsters), nor does it capture the creepy Lovecraftian vibe of the episode. But I’m nitpicking about a paragraph’s text describing a thirty-year-old cartoon character. For shame.
How many ways can I describe the exact same packaging scheme that every single Masters of the Universe Classics figure has? It’s good, it shows off everything, and it protects the toy. Yay!
So, Shokoti just walked right out of the cartoon and onto my toy shelf (with one exception). The Four Horsemen are really some of the best toy sculptors in the business, and things like this show why – yes, she looks just like she did in the cartoon, but she also manages to line up perfectly with other MOTUC figures. Since Shokoti is from a cartoon in the early ’80s, she looks like she came from the ’50s. Yeah, that’s the way it was – a lot of the people working on cartoons at the time were kind of hung up with culture thirty years earlier, and it shows. You can tell from her gently teased hairstyle, the shape of her face and high cheekbones, and even her body type – Shokoti is pretty full-figured.
See, this is why it’s hard for a male toy collector to own female action figures. No, not because of cooties – it’s because of THE PERV FACTOR. See, I could own a figure of a werewolf ripping its chest open so another, bloodier werewolf can tear its way out, and that’s fine (And I own one), but a single attractive female? PERVERT. Granted, a whole lot of female figures emphasize their, um… figure, but Shokoti isn’t like one of McFarlane’s fetish nightmares. This whole intro was because I am about to talk about Shokoti’s breasts. Sorry, folks. She has a full bust line, but her proportions are pretty realistic, although there is a surprising amount of sideboob (Look HERE, you perverts). All of the MOTUC females are meant to be attractive, but I have to give Shokoti a lot of points on… oh, right. Back to the sideboob – the significance isn’t that she has it, but (and it’s not too easy to see in that photo) her breasts sit realistically in the fabric of her outfit, and that’s kind of impressive. It’s probably helped by the fact that her outfit appears to be glued onto the torso rather than a sculpted part of it, but it’s tiny details like this that make the figure seem more “real.” And that’s the thing – Shokoti has a realistic figure. She isn’t an anorexic supermodel, an unrealistic Barbie Doll, or even an impossibly-proportioned superhero. That’s why I spent the whole paragraph on this. Considering that this was made by Mattel, it’s kind of amazing that Shokoti has a realistic body type, and not some sort of odd Barbie clone.
The one big difference between the toy and cartoon is her skirt – in the episode, she wore a leotard (like everybody else), but the toy has a little triangular skirt, very similar to Octavia’s outfit. Honestly, this is a good move – Mattel has had a terrible track record with female leotards, and they usually end up looking like big, puffy granny panties. Giving her a skirt not only alleviates this, it also keeps her from looking like a 1950s-era bathing beauty, while still cleaving closely to the original cartoon design. Oh, yeah, and her butt is flat – there is no butt piece sculpted, so as to allow her legs better freedom of movement, but it means that the back portion of her skirt has no substance, so if you look at Shokoti from behind, you might notice it. It’s really no biggie, though, especially with that cape of hers covering it.
One of the only flaws I can think of are Shokoti’s arms, because the articulation chops them up pretty badly. We’re used to this by now on our toys, but it seems to stand out on her. The other issue is that her hands are clearly sculpted to hold something (or give a thumbs-up), but she doesn’t have a single accessory she can hold! More on that in its own section, though. Shokoti is almost entirely made up of new parts, too, at least for her costume – I think her upper arms and thighs are the only re-used pieces, but don’t quote me on that.
Apparently, a lot of the Shokotis out right now really only have a ** paint job. It seems that her paint isn’t very consistent, and yet mine is really good. Shokoti has a really striking, cool paint scheme utilizing black, a few shades of blue, and the contrasting red and gold of her cape and headdress. She is supposed to be a creature of the night, and her color palette really shows that. Shokoti’s blue skin is actually pretty close to Fang-Man’s, though it doesn’t seem as cartoonish. It’s also nice to see that her skin is cast in the appropriate colors rather than painted-over black plastic, which was a problem in earlier waves. I know that a lot of Shokotis seem to have problems, but on mine the lines are crisp and clean with minimal slop. I especially love her creepy, soulless black eyes – just like in the cartoon, but somehow they make her seem like a nightmare!
Shokoti has typical MOTUC female articulation, which is ALMOST perfect. She has ball-and-socket shoulders and hips, hinged knees and elbows, a ball-jointed head, rocker ankles, and a swivel waist, biceps, and wrists. Her articulation is really only garishly visible on her arms, which is unfortunate but forgivable.
Her swivel waist offers her less motion than the usual MOTUC waist, but that’s normal for female figures in this line. Her hips are surprisingly good, and her skirt does not get in the way of their movement. I found her ankles to be a little loose – not problematic, just not as solid as I would prefer. Shokoti’s head manages to barely avoid the Bobblehead problem that most females in this line have, though it is a little loose. Her hair restricts a few of her head poses, and I did find that mine connects loosely – it falls off really, really easily. Annoying, but not insurmountable.
As I mentioned before, Shokoti has nothing to hold, even though her hands are sculpted for it. That staff you see in a couple of these photos? It’s from something else. She really didn’t hold anything in the show except for a crystal skull, which she does not have. SO, why the four-star rating? It’s because of the Darkling.
In the episode, Shokoti summoned “Darklings” – horrible tentacled spawn of the Sleeping Beast. They are creepy, shrieking little chaos monsters, and although they flee or dissolve in bright light, they are also strong enough to bind He-Man! Really. In the episode, Shokoti easily captures He-man by sending a few Darklings to tie him up.
The included Darkling looks just like its cartoon counterparts – a green ball of tentacles and mouths with a single eye stalk on top. Every Darkling in the episode looked a little different, but that was partly because the animation was cheap, and this little guy captures their essence perfectly. He’s got all the necessary mouths, his eye is surprisingly expressive, and the two-part sculpt even matches the cartoon! See how you can tell where the “top” piece of the sculpt is, with its tentacles and eye stalk? The cartoon Darklings had a top tentacle fringe, too!
Even though this guy doesn’t come with a flight stand or a peg/hole to work with one, he really is awesome. How awesome, you ask? potential Accessory of the Year awesome, that’s what! I wish I had more Darklings. I’m not the only one – the general consensus is that Shokoti could have come with two or three, and people would have been happy. Mere words do not describe the awesomeness of this little Cthulhu spawn. The Darkling is made from the same semi-soft rubber as most MOTUC accessories, so it feels durable. And since it’s softer than Shokoti’s body, it also feels more like a squid monster in-hand.
Sigh. MOTUC figures are technically $27, but will really cost you about $40. Have fun with that.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
My Shokoti is just fine, but my understanding is that a lot of them come with smeared paint, particularly little black blotches from her hair or top all over her face, neck, arms, skirt, and legs. And since this is mail-order, you can’t really tell before buying it.
WHERE TO BUY:
I know I keep saying this, but Shokoti is one of the best MOTUC figures out there. She is a really good rendition of a fan-favorite villain, her design incorporates newer developments and error fixes for MOTUC females (and there have been many), and she comes with one of the best accessories ever. Whether you want an evil sorceress or a shadowy vampiress (note: Her mouth is closed, so you can’t see her fangs), Shokoti is just a cool-looking toy. I really appreciate how her body shape is more realistic than most female action figures, too. That’s kind of a nice thing. I’ve been looking forward to Shokoti since she was first announced back in February, and she does not disappoint!