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Masters of the Universe Classics
by Shocka

Even though I'm a much bigger fan of the Filmation She-Ra cartoon than I was of He-Man, I have to admit I know little about the characters outside of the villains and the central protagonists. After Adora, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom and Kowl, I'm out. It seems that a lot of the female characters alongside She-Ra were predictably made to sell more toys, as gimmicky variations on the core character design. Wait a minute - making unmemorable characters with action feature gimmicks merely to sell more toys? The nerve! Still, I'm always up for more characters to join the ranks of the Great Rebellion, and so today we have Castaspella, the goofily-named chick with the spinny back thing. [Castaspella was one of the major members of She-Ra's party. You're an idiot. --ed.]

Beautiful friend to She-Ra, Castaspella is one of the most powerful mages on Etheria. After the Horde claimed her beautiful planet as a new homeworld during their banishment in Despondos, Castaspella became a leader in the Great Rebellion helping to defend the people of Etheria with her magic. She has been known to temporarily hypnotize her foes, and although she can be a bit flighty at times, her strength and courage have helped her fight the oppression of Hordak. She is special friends with both Angella and Frosta and only uses her magic for good.

So Castaspella is apparently one of the major players from the series I've just been told [disregard my earlier note --ed.] and she's brought to life in plastic here wonderfully, with a terrific sculpt building upon the core MOTU Classics female body. She's featured in the usual packaging, distinct from the non-Princess-of-Power figures with a shiny POP sticker above the character name. It's packaging that continues to impress - this is ideal for your MOC collectors as well as your openers, and having maintained the same design across the series means any mint display has consistency, looking terrific.

Castaspella has a gorgeous sculpt, and one that deviates enough from her POP sistren to be absolutely worth picking up. Beyond my thrill of just getting a new POP figure that isn't mostly blue and white, the 4H have actually gone the extra distance of giving Castaspella what is essentially an entirely new look from the others in this line. Attention is drawn away from her beautiful face to her exceptionally neat hair, which is tied up from her head and splits off into several ponytails, which looks awesome and unique. Her outfit has a nice high collar painted in orange, which contrasts nicely to the blues and yellows of her top and skirt. These colors are very bright, almost to the point of being fluorescent; there's even metallic highlights on various parts of her clothing, which makes brings out these colors even more.

Castaspella has the "standard" articulation for MOTUC females from this point, and it feels a tad reductionary to say it's just "standard" - it really is very cool. You can get so many great poses out of this toy because of the articulation, which is really very well ahead of the majority of toys available. Her skirt is made from soft plastic which means she can pretty easily move her legs however you want, and even with the very cool hair style you can still move her head from side to side easily. My usual issues with MOTUC hands apply, but to a lesser extent - she features one open hand on the left, as if casting spells, and one closed hand on the right, which work really well with her different accessories.

To begin with, she has her own shield similarly sculpted to the others in the POP line but molded in translucent yellow Castaspella has some of the absolute best accessories we've seen across the Classics line(s). plastic, as if it was magic cast as a spell. It clips onto either wrist and looks awesome, a very nice spin on what is now a standard accessory. Secondly, she features one of my very favourite action figure accessories, a blast-effect! It's sculpted in the same translucent yellow plastic and is really long, like an energy sword projecting from her hand. It fits over her spell casting hand really tightly, with no risk of falling off, and looks terrific like she's blasting someone with a powerful spell. Because all of her joints are nice and tight, she has no problem standing with this either, giving her a lot of terrific poses. It'll also fit on her other hand, though not as well, and can be easily given to other spellcasting MOTUC figures to use. It is awesome.

Finally, we come to the most notable accessory - Castaspella's spinning energy disc thingummy. This is a really cool piece, with the same translucent yellow plastic as the other accessories with additionally sculpted and painted designs layered on top of it. Now, if there's one thing that adult collectors hate when they play with their dollies, it's action features. Cor, the nerve of a TOY company creating a new version of a CHILDREN'S TOY with a feature RESEMBLING THE PLAY FUNCTION OF THAT CHILDREN'S TOY!! I stand by my philosophy that action features are great unless they get in the way of sculpt or articulation, and I've never read anything convincing to the contrary, so I'm all the more pleased when one of these little devils does slip through to the Classics line.

To simulate her vintage action feature, Castaspella features the spinny disc thingy clipping onto her back, that then spins around and simulates, I guess, her hypnosis ability? It works incredibly well, and can not only clip onto her back, but also onto her hands (one easier than the other, because of her raised thumb). You could even use it like a hoverdisc, which is very cool. I don't see how anyone could be angry about the design decision to have it this way - a solid non-moving disc would have been just as retarded as non-functioning dials on the back of toys that no longer have moving parts inside - but leave it to MOTUC fans to be angry about everything and anything, regardless of how valid their whining is.

And whining seems to be exactly what they do, especially whenever there's a new POP figure in the MOTUC line. This action figure is absolutely terrific, one of the best of the entire line, yet the fact that it's a *gasp* girl toy is apparently something we should all despise. Because what could be more threatening to your masculinity than having to add a female figure to your collection of children's playthings? Maybe it's time a lot of us grew up, and coming from a website that reviews action figures, that's saying something!

-- 11/24/14

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