Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Mara (Masters of the Universe Classics)


Ask two fans, get three opinions!  The New Adventures of He-Man – you know, the one where he went into space – is not the most popular MOTU incarnation.  And its related figures tend not to sell too well, even when well-made.  A lot of important characters, like Master Sebrian or Mara, have sort of existed in a probably won’t be made” limbo because of that fact.

Mara was an important character in the cartoon – they sort of waned her to be a new love interest for He-Man, kind of like a futuristic Teela… only a total pacifist, because we can’t have strong women in He-Man lol.  Yah, that didn’t work, and her toy was planned to include a spear and spiked ball in her hair.  It wasn’t produced, though, making it a surprisingly desired prototype – female characters are always few and far between, after all. Oh yeah, and Teela totally showed up in the cartoon, establishing that He-Man had feelings for her.  So, Mara was kind of a… little sister, maybe?  I dunno.  But she got a figure thanks to winning a Mattel poll, and they have honored the results by making her this year!


Master Sebrian’s young assistant, Mara is very intelligent and bright. She and Caz stepped up to pilot Starship Eternia when the Galactic Guardians were busy elsewhere and word had to be taken to He-Man immediately to hurry back and save Primus! Since then, Mara has risen in skills and stature and can be counted on to help out whenever there’s trouble. Shes reached the pinnacle of her career when she was made the Primus Ambassador on a visit to necron and shortly after became Queen of the Mytes! Alongside her loyal friends, Mara fights against Crita and the Gleanons with her ponytail mace that’s capable of swinging the advantage to their side!


Queen of the Mytes!  I think I missed that episode.



Ignore my intentionally crappy picture of the same packaging as always, and instead focus on the visible cat’s paw in frame.  Hi, Catsby!



Mara’s outfit is weird.  There, I said it.  It’s not her fault, though – that’s how she looked in the cartoon, as a prototype toy, and that’s how she was made.  But it just seems uncomfortable and wedgie-ish for some reason.


Okay, complaints aside – ignoring her goofy giant hands – Mara’s sculpt is pretty good. Her face is a little harsher and more violence-proe than in the carton, but this is spear-wielding Mara, not cute scientist Mara.  She’s expressive, her outfit is detailed pretty well, and she overall has a pretty good amount of quality in that sculpt.


And finally, there’s her ponytail mace.  I can’t begin to imagine how much of a catastrophe waiting to happen it is, like lightsaber nunchuks, but it’s kind of cool that she decided to turn her hair into a bludgeoning implement.  Mara is nothing if not resourceful – and instea of inventing new tech gadgets, she just wove a heavy spiked ball to her head and gives herself whiplash to use it as a weapon.  And you wondered why they needed He-Man to stop the Evil Mutants.


PAINT: ****

Mara’s paint is without complaint – aside from her skin and hair, she has a lot of blues, purples, and gold tones, which set her apart from nearly anybody in the line (except maybe Rio Blast?).


There have been some reports of Maras showing up with uneven eyes, which has plagud a lot of fmeale figures recently – but not mine.  She does have eyeshadow, though, and in fact there are a good number of tiny details in the paint job that help keep it in league with the better MOTUC figures.



At first glance, Mara has typical female MOTUC articulation – ball-jointed head, ball-and-socket shoulders and hips, hinged elbows, knees, and ankles, and swivel biceps, wrists, thighs, and waist.  However, she is missing thigh swivels, and the resulting ball joints offer surprisingly restricted articulation.  It really hurts her potential battle poses.


Her ponytail is soft, flexible rubber, which is quite different from the beny material some figures have had, the rigid tentacles of Octavia, or any jointed pieces.  It’s quite flexible and feels durable, though Mattel has a history of using self-destructing material at times like this.  Kepe an eye on it.



Because Mara is a futuristic scientist from deep space, she gets to use a spear as a weapon.  One side has a blade, the other a mace, slightly reminiscent of Decimus Hrabban’s armaments, or maybe one of his allies.  It’s hilariously promitive, though the spiked ball goes well with her ponytail and gauntlet, because apparently Mara likes smashing things.


She also comes with a shield, because that’s what futuristic people use.  It looks kind of tribal and ornate, like she stole it from a museum, but who am I to judge?  It’s a good shield.


So the spear and shield are different weapons, it just feels weird that Mara has absolutely nothign technological in origin, which sets her apart from all the New Adventures characters.


VALUE: ***

Because this month was so filled with figures, the shipping got defrayed a little, and Mara seems less awful-expensive than most.



Nothing seems terrible fragile, but I would be careful not to put too much stress on that ponytail.



Like any MOTUC figure, you might as well just troll the internet and pray.  Since she’s New Adventures, Mara shouldn’t be too hard to find.



Mara has some good things going for, but also some odd or bland decisions.  She looks more vicious and martial than on the cartoon, has the lowest-tech weapons ever, and her costume just looks uncomfortable.  But those couldn’t be helped – they match the prototype toy’s design.  So honestly, she is pretty good, and her retro non-futuristic look helps her blend in with other characters from this oy line, even if you don’t like New Adventures.


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