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

QueenGrayskull-Isis

In one episode of the 200X He-Man cartoon, Adam got a look back in time at the first resident of Castle Grayskull – King Grayskull, who was basically a proto-He-Man at twice the size.  King Grayskull died in battle against Hordak, because cartoons can get away with a lot in flashback, but was memorable enough to be the first MOTUC figure released (at a convention), although he got a new version eventually.  We got hisBatte Lion randomly last year, but that was only a hint for Veena’s eventual arrival.

QueenGrayskull-Veena

The Sorceress looked vastly different and vaguely Egyptian in the 200X cartoon, and has been a fan favorite since.  Although mattel has never made her, they did focus on Queen Grayskull from the flashback episode as a potenial entry for the 200X mini-sub.  She’s subscription-only, and arrived earlier this month – well, how is she?  This is a change from the other 200X figures, to be sure, so it is a valid question.

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QUEEN GRAYSKULL: HEROIC GUARDIAN OF POWER
REAL NAME: VEENA GRAYSKULL
After the death of her husband, Grayskull’s widow took up the lonely duty of Guardian, residing in Grayskull’s castle to watch over the secret Orb she helped create containing the Power of the Universe. With the help of the Elders and her apprentice Sharella, she split He-Ro’s sword in two, knowing that the unified blade was the key to channeling the Power once again. While she watched over the orb, Sharella became The Goddess, seeking out brave heroes to guard the twin blades, preventing them from being combined by the hands of evil. The Guardian of Grayskull went on to protect the castle throughout her life, occasionally tapping into the Orb of Power to protect it, as she did during the battle with the Fighting Foe Men. Shortly before her death, at an extremely old age, she located a new guardian to protect Castle Grayskull’s secrets and passed on her role.

***

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Veena’s bio ties a few loose ends together, and gives a tiny bit of info that we didn’t already know from the cartoon.  Nothing groundbreaking, though.

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PACKAGING: ****

Same as always, though her wings are stored in a secondary blister inside the regular blister.

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SCULPT: ****

With her slender curved wings, regal stafff, and serene features, Veena looks a lot like Isis – no, not ISIS, the Egyptian goddess.  Don’t be silly.  The big conceit with the 200X mini-sub is how its figures look like they stepped right out of the TV.  Queen Grayskull absolutely fits that category.  She is an absolutely beautiful figure, which you can attribute to the designs on her armor, or the curve of her wings, or even the sash over her arms.  This toy has far more aesthetic beauty than other figures in the line, and she really stands out either alone or with her husband.

QueenGrayskull

Although Queen Grayskull’s face is a typical high-cheekboned MOTUC female’s, there are a few difference. Hers is flatter than most, and her features seem smaller, pointed, aristocratic.  She has enough of an “exotic” look to fit into many Egyptian displays, even though a white person in the ancient near-east would have fried to death under that sun.

QueenGrayskull-QueenAngella

Unfortunately, Veena’s wings have one flaw.  Becaue of the way they are storedin the package, they bend the wrong way – enough that some people think they got two identical wings, when they are in fact different sculpts entirely.  The curve is subtle, though, and you have to be looking for it.

QueenGrayskull-Face

PAINT: ****

Veena’s color scheme is virtually the sam as the 200X Sorceress (who does not have a MOTUC toy), with lots of whites, golds, and royal blues to give her a regal Egyptian look.  Her coloration matches the cartoon, which is a great thing – believe me, the cartoon design needs no exaggeration, it’s rather good.

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A few figures have had minor flaws, and mine has a small blotch on her headdress.  But overall, this figure’s paint is absolutely good.

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ARTICULATION: ****

Queen Graysull has typical MOTUC female articulation.  And as expected, she has limits from her skirt and headdress, though she can still be moved into quite a few creative poses.  Oher figures have been more restricted than this one.

QueenGrayskull-Staff

ACCESSORIES: ****

Firstly, Veena comes with her staff, a fantastic Egyptian-esque implement made of gold.  Its head is an eagle shape adorned with a single red gem.  Unfortunately, the staff may bend her hands a little bit, but it’s her fault for having such a tight grip.

QueenGrayskull-Kneel

Veen also has a sash, or scarf, or ribbon.  it slips round her lower back to loop over her arms, and is actually quite secure.  The rubber is scul[ted to look like cloth, and you can follow the folds to figure out which way is rightside-up.

QueenGrayskull-Back

And finally Veena comes with her wings, which plug snugly into her lower back.  These wings are absolutely gorgeous, but they carry only one tiny flaw.  Because of the way they are packaged in with her, they tend to be bent or curved the same way.  A lot of collectors assume that they got two right wings, but that isn’t the case – they are slightly warped from the packaging, is all.  it’s often unnoticeable, but you can use a hair dryer to fix them if there is a problem.

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VALUE: **1/2

It’s a MOTUC figure, and an out-of-sub one, too.  Expect to pay too much.

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THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Queen Grayskull’s wings will be slightly warped, and a couple of figures have had sloppy paint.  Other tan that, she seems perfect.

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WHERE TO BUY:

She isn’t a sub figure, so you’ll have to go to secondary market scalpers.

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OVERALL: ****

This figure, the only 200X entry to not be a giant monster (or pack of heads), is absolutely fantastic.  King Grayskull may not be the easiest figure to find, but his wife can stand on her own.  She’s gorgeous, graceful, and in so many ways superior to the “regular” Sorceress figure.  She doesn’t fit into the same timeline as most toys, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

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We may never get a 200X Sorceress, but Veena is a good step in the right direction.  And now we’ve completed Grayskull’s family, too (if you count his lion), which is another step toward recreating that fantastic episode.

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