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Battleground Teela

Masters of the Universe Classics
by yo go re

You thought Star Wars and Transformers were all about catering to fans by turning little-known characters into toys? Well add MotU Classics to that list.

After being wounded by King Hssss' venom, the Sorceress of Grayskull knew her time was short. She quickly arranged a mission with Teela to the Elder's training citadel in the Polar Ice Cap. Here, the Sorceress revealed Teela's true heritage, that she was secretly her magically cloned daughter and destined to become the next guardian of Castle Grayskull and its secrets! Although in a state of disbelief, Teela knew in her heart that her mother spoke the truth, and trained with the Sorceress until the venom at last overtook her. Returning to Grayskull as the new guardian, Teela uses her new magic to protect the Power of Grayskull and guard the safety of all Eternia.

How, exactly does that relate to this figure? Are these the clothes she wore during training? Because this sure as hell isn't something you'd wear on a polar ice cap. They could have made up literally any excuse for why Teela is dressed like a backup story in Heavy Metal (or heck, even turn her into a new character), and that's the best they can do?

This figure is based on a very obscure source: the first issue of the Masters of the Universe comic published by DC. And when we say "the first issue," we really mean just the first issue: in issues two and three, she was wearing a more traditional outfit. In real-world terms, that just means that DC got an updated model sheet after it was too late to change the first issue, but in story terms, it looks like she was running around the palace in her underwear, and only put some clothes on when they had to go out into the rest of Eternia. So apparently this is Teela's equivalent of yoga pants and a baggy sweatshirt.

Battleground Teela uses the same base body as non-Battleground Teela. She's got the fur-trimmed boots, the seemingly backwards bracers, the armbands, all that. She's got new fur panties, and is wearing a big metal "coconut bra," the kind you'd expect to see on viking ladies in an opera. This is first MotU Classics woman to not be wearing a dress or shirt of some kind, exposing her bare midriff. The bra is a separate floating piece, not glued to the figure at all, so if you're bound and determined, you can push the cups up to expose her bare breasts. Though really, if you have that kind of free time, you could just look up some Teela Rule 34 and get a much better result.

I don't have the original Teela figure (for obvious reasons), so I can't tell you whether or not this figure has the same face. Not the same head, clearly (since this one has long flowing blonde hair, rather than a short auburn bun), but the actual face: it's possible the Four Horsemen started from the same place, and just changed what they needed to.

Articulation is very good. Battleground Teela has rocker/hinge ankles, swivel boots, hinged knees, swivel/hinge hips, swivel waist (not at all restricted, for once!), swivel wrists, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. She has a bit of the "bobblehead-ism" that plagued Teela (and the Goddess), plus her hair is stiff ABS, so it limits the directions her head can look anyway. Her accessories include a sword and a ray gun - both of which are taken from the same comic as this design. She can hold the accessories in either hand or, as Poe teased but didn't show, hold the sword with both hands at once.

Battleground Teela isn't a figure that will fit with your Mo2K collection, but that's not why I bought her. I didn't buy her because I loved the comic she appeared in, either (though I did read it for this review, and I must say that it's actually not bad: Skeletor is threatening, his minions are scary and his plan makes good sense; it's everything the cartoon never was). No, the reason I bought this is that she looks like a barbarian warrior woman, and thus makes a great companion for Vikor. She's a surprisingly slow seller - as I write this, she's still available on Mattel's site, despite being one of the June figures. You don't have to enjoy the new MotU Classics figures to find a home for Battleground Teela, you just have to like what you see.

-- 07/25/11

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