Mermista was one of the last remaining and most-requested members of She-Ra’s friends, but the question has always been how Mattel would produce her. Would they cheap out on the tail? Would she be a deluxe figure? When she was revealed to be an ordinary toy with a fully-articulated tail, it was quite a surprise (especially considering that Gwildor costs $40). Even the most complainey He-Man fans were cheering at this announcement. But now that she’s in hand, well… is she a gorgeous lady of the sea, or is this gonna be like Philip J. Fry’s surprise?
At least Mermista has company – between Mer-Man, Octavia, and Hydron, I’m amazed that she has room to breathe! But hey, it’s nice to finally get She-Ra’s mermaid friend, so here’s her typo-filled bio:
MERMISTA: MERMAID FRIEND OF SHE-RA
REAL NAME: ELAYSIA
Water maiden of Etheria, Mermista loves to spend time on both land and sea but makes her home in the hidden Crystal Falls. She has the power over water and all creatures of the sea. From thunderous crashing waves to gentle life-giving streams, are all within her power. She also has the power to spray magical waters at her foes. Equally happy to frolic beneath the pale blue sky or swim the depths of the deep blue sea, she is happiest when she visits She-Ra and her friends. When the Horde threatens to spoil the fun, Mermista mist-i-fies her foes with her magic spraying necklace. During the Second Ultimate Battleground she was confronted by the evil Mer-Man of Eternia and was forced to behead him with his own trident to protect her life. Mermista prefers peace, but when evil arises, this warrior maiden of the sea will fight to protect her friends.
Didja hear that? Mermista prefers peace, but if you cross her she will CUT OFF YOUR FRICKIN HEAD!!!! But seriously, that part of her bio has caused a lot of controversy. You see, lots of people identify with the bad guys of MOTU, and can’t imagine them doing anything evil. So when Mermista’s bio says that she was forced to kill Mer-Man to protect her own life, they assume that she murdered him in cold-blood rather than killing him in justified self-defense during a massive battle at the end of a war. Yes, Mer-Man will be mourned – he was always my favorite – but come on, guys. Would you rather he decapitated her and wore her scalp as a hat? Anyway, back to the figure.
This is the same as every MOTUC figure. It’s fine.
For starters, Mermista is tall! With her human legs on, she’s up there with Glimmer (who’s no shorty), but with her tail, she towers over everybody! Mermista is quite the statuesque stunner! It works, though. She stands apart from the crowd no matter what she does, and looks surprisingly regal for a blue-haired mermaid.
With her legs, Mermista… exists. She loses a lot of her specialness, and her “we couldn’t do a leotard” skirt doesn’t work so well for her – it did for characters like Shokoti, but on merista, it looks like a weird afterthought. But the thing is, I guarantee that you won’t be displaying her with her legs on.
As for her upper half, Mermista is quite well-done. Her hair, although super-long, is flexible enough to allow her some range of motion. Her magic spraying Cthulhu necklase is fully-sculpted, and her bra actually looks like it’s just fashioned to look like seashells, and she isn’t wearing something horribly uncomfortable (Seriously. Seashell bras would chafe). Her face matches the high-cheekboned strong-eyebrowed look of every single woman on Etheria, but Mermista manages to look unique.
Mermista’s more sparkly than a Twilight vampire! But seriously, she’s got some sparkles on her tail. The effect makes her tail look like a fish part, and it is quite welcome. Some glitter will rub off at first, but only the very outer layer. Most of Mermista’s glitter is just fine, and will stay on even with repeat play.
Although Mermista’s necklace is painted well, the rest of her body seems to hover just on the verge of sloppiness. A lot of Mermistas have spots on their nose, for example. She isn’t bad, but she isn’t perfect, either. Something seems off about the color contrast between her skirt and shirt, too.
But on the good side, she really does use good shades of blue and green. Her hair stands out without looking icy, and her overall color scheme meshes well together. Her tail glistens nicely, and it’s more or less what she should be.
Mermista in human form has a ball-jointed head, ball-and-socket shoulders and hips, hinged elbows, knees, and hinged ankles, and swivel biceps, wrists, thighs, and waist. Her mermaid tail has a hinged crotch (fish don’t have crotches), ball-and-socked knees (fish don’t have knees), and a ball-and-socket tail fin. She’s surprisingly maneuverable, though perhaps not the most flexible figure in the world.
Unfortunately, because of the nature of her tailfins, Mermista has serious trouble standing upright. Mattel has included a special stand with her, which is sort of a brace that snaps around her tail fins. it works decently – not perfectly, but you can get her to stand. What we really needed was one of those adjustable “flight” stands with a clamp for her tail. Since we can’t do that, it is rather difficult to keep her standing stably, or pose her while swimming.
Mermista doesn’t come with a trident, but she has accessories that match her vintage figure. Aside from the disembodied pair of legs (yikes!), she comes with a seashell horn – you know, something she can blow (heh heh) when out of the water (heh heh). So if you want Mermista to make some sweet music (heh heh), just… wow, never mind. Anyway, she holds the shell fairly well, though getting it to her lips is awkward.
Mermista also comes with a repainted Princess of Power shield. It looks great with her, and the little gem is a nice detail that helps ease the fact that all the girls have one.
As I said, Mermista has a stand. It isn’t the best stand in the world, but it suffices. If I had a vote for what else to give her, I would add a trident or some water effects, but to be honest, she was probably pushing the budget as it was.
At the normal price, you will end up paying nearly $40 once shipping and tax are factored in. Mermista’s swappable legs and tail really help make the situation better than in some MOTUC figures, though.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Some of Mermista’s glitter will rub off, so try to get that over wit early. Also, make sure that she stands safely, otherwise there will be some shelf-diving going on.
WHERE TO BUY:
You want to buy her from Mattel’s site? Hahahahahaha! Just search around the net until you find a deal.
Mermista isn’t perfect. Those legs are janky, and some of her paint is a little sloppy. But those pale in comparison to the things that Mattel did right. She’s got a tail! A great tail! Her hair doesn’t cause problems! Mermista is just good enought to live up to expectations, though she does not necessarily exceed them. Those legs sure are goofy, though.