One of the greatest cartoons of all time was He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MOTU). I will always prefer robot and monster characters to human characters and one of the best things about MOTU was that all the bad guys were monsters and so were half of the good guys. The spin-off show about He-Man’s sister, She-Ra, was also a good show but inferior for a few reasons. One of those reasons would be the lack of monsters and robots on the good guy side.
She-Ra’s villains, the Horde, were arguably just as cool, if not cooler, than He-Man’s villains. Mantenna and Leech were some of my favorite vintage MOTU toys even though they were technically She-Ra characters. Hasbro chose to include the monstrous Horde figures in their 1985 MOTU assortment which was already a well-established boy’s brand by that time. They marketed She-Ra and the other members of the Great Rebellion as a separate toy line geared towards girls called Princess of Power (POP). Neither my brother Doug nor I ever owned any POP figures; but neither did my sister. She was much more into Barbie and Jem and the Holograms. So I wonder if perhaps Mattel would have been better off just including the girl figures in the MOTU line as well.
They say that girl figures in boy’s toy lines don’t sell. That may be true in some cases but that wasn’t the case with me; some of my favorite G.I. Joe toys were girls (Zarana, Jinx, Lady Jaye, etc.). Had Hasbro opted to include the She-Ra figures as part of the MOTU line as they did with the Horde maybe I would have collected a few of them. But because they were so clearly geared towards little girls I steered clear of them. The She-Ra figures all had rooted hair and they came with combs and frilly skirts so they were as much dolls as they were action figures.
I’m glad that the POP characters were included under the umbrella of the MOTU Classics toy line which began in 2008. Especially since the members of the Great Rebellion were completely shut out of the 90s and early 2000s MOTU toy revivals. The Classics line has given fans like myself our first opportunity in nearly 30 years to buy most of the She-Ra characters. The Classics versions have done away with the rooted hair and frilly skirts. The psuedo-doll features have been set aside and what we’re left with is some really nice looking action figures that blend in seamlessly with He-Man and his crew.
I was super stoked to add She-Ra to my collection in 2010 and I was also very happy to add Bow (the one male POP character) in 2011 and Glimmer (She-Ra’s best pal) in 2014. However, as the MOTU Classics line went on year after year, and after most of the cool monstrous characters had already been released, the line became a little too She-Ra-centric for my tastes. It seemed we were getting a new princess figure every other month last year. I added Castaspella the spell casting girl, Entrapa the girl with the magical hair, Mermista the mermaid, and Flutterina the butterfly girl to my collection in 2014. I was so fed up with buying girlie figures that I put my foot down and passed on a handful of them including Double Trouble the spy girl, Spinnerella the ribbon girl, and Sweet Bee the bumblebee girl.
Most of the girl toys I opted out of purchasing were nice looking figures but it’s been many years since I’ve watched the She-Ra cartoon so I don’t even remember most of them. At nearly $50 a pop (when you factor in the shipping to Canada) they simply weren’t worth it to me. It was a rare instance where frugal Mike won out over completest toy collector Mike.
This past November Mattycollector.com had their annual Cyber Monday sale where a bunch of previously released figures are made available again at discounted prices and with free shipping. I figured that was my chance to scoop up a few of the POP and lackluster MOTU figures that I’d passed on over the past year or two. I ended up getting 2 MOTU figure, Geldor and Dekker, and 2 POP figures, Octavia and Netossa. I was pretty happy to nab them at $20 a piece instead of the usual $27 plus shipping. However, when they finally arrived in the mail the other day, after a lengthy delay to to strikes at the ports in L.A., I got saddled with a $60 customs charge. The fine people at the Canada Boarder Services Agency decided to overvalue the contents of my shipment by 400%. So that sucked.
Overcharge aside, some of the figures ended up being better than I expected so I was pleased about that. Netossa was not a character I was looking forward to but she ended up my favourite of the four.
Netossa is pronounced “Ne-TOSS-a” by the way, not “NET-ossa” as I had been saying. I only realized my error when I looked up her animated appearance from the old POP cartoon on youtube. I did that because I have zero recollection of this character and I wanted to familiarize myself a little before writing this review. Apparently the character only appeared 4 times out of the 93 episodes so there wasn’t a whole lot to learn. She’s an expert marksman and she’s good with a net. Thats what I learned.
The figure itself is very nicely sculpted an painted. I’m sure she shares a few parts with other figures but a lot of her components are brand new. Her bodice, skirt, and headpiece are all great looking pieces. The headpiece looks like something a Valkyrie would wear. The coolest part of her costume is her signature net cape. The original 1987 toy had a real cloth cape where as this one has a soft plastic cape that looks and feels like a fly swatter. It doesn’t really work as a net that she can use to capture her enemies but it looks great as a cape. Her face sculpt is quite beautiful and the hair is simple yet really cool. It looks kind of like a lion’s mane.
For accessories all she came with is a shield which is kind of dumb. I get that her “net” is her weapon but they should have given her a sword or trident or something. Luckily I have accumulated a ton of extra MOTU accessories so I’m sure I’ll be able to find her something.
I love the combination of blues, whites, and silvers in her outfit. It looks particularly good against her dark skin tone. I have very few action figures of black women in my collection (Storm from X-Men and Michonne from Walking Dead are the only 2 that come to mind) so Netossa is a very welcome addition. 9 out of 10.