Monday, 31 January 2011

She-Ra: Princess of Kick Ass

Being a remarkably stupid child, I watched She-Ra: Princess of Power based on the merit that her brother was He-Man alone. I mean sure, she ran around with a bunch of dumb bimbos and fought evil with feelings and good intentions but she was He-Man's sister. Duh, no brainer.

However, since watching the show again as an adult (physically speaking anyway), I've noticed how it had a lot more adult themes and was, well, kinda bad ass.

Origins
The show's premise even starts off on a dark note. In classic fairy tale fashion, Hordak, leader of the Evil Horde, attempted to kidnap King Randor and Queen Marlena's twin children. The son, Adam, was saved but Hordak managed steal away the princess, Adora.

Adam of course grew up to become He-Man but Adora was raised by Hordak, trained to become a Force Captain in his army and brainwashed to be unaware of the atrocities the Horde had inflicted on Etheria. It wasn't until He-Man brought Adora her Sword of Protection and she learned of her destiny to become She-Ra that she escaped from the Horde.

Environmentalism
Where Etheria was shown to be healthy, forested planet, the Horde's arrival transformed the countryside into an industrial wasteland. The Horde capitol, the Fright Zone, sat in a now dead valley, dripping with oil and scarred with technology. The only safe haven on Etheria was the Whispering Woods, home of Castle Brightmoon and the fledgling Great Rebellion. But even the Rebels had to leave the safety of the woods to witness how their lands were being plundered for the betterment of the Horde.

Slavery
Where He-Man and his pals tried to protect Eternia from bumbling villains, She-Ra was fighting a losing war. Not only were Etheria's resources being stripped, but the people themselves were rounded up and turned into slaves. One reason the show was so female-heavy was that the monarchs of all the kingdoms had originally tried to fight off the first Horde invasion, only to die or even become slaves themselves, much like Queen Angella's husband.

Horde Prime
Hordak was one bad motha, no question... but he was also another comedic villain in the same vein as Skeletor. However, Hordak was still just a cog in the greater scheme. Hordak may have ruled Etheria, but the Horde Empire as a whole was ruled by his older brother, Horde Prime. We never really saw what he looked like, usually hidden by some sweet green mist, but what we did see what a massive claw that still freaks the shit out of me to this day.

Hot Chicks
Okay sure, He-man had a host of hotties. Hell, even Queen Marlena was a total MILF. But She-Ra and her pals were all smokin' hot! Glimmer, Queen Angella, Mermista, and especially Frosta might not be great in a fight but they could disarm any man with their perky asses. Not only that, they often liked to hug, teet-to-teet. Just sayin'.

While the packaging was decidedly Barbie-meets-He-Man, featuring gals in miniskirts and hooker boots, the themes of the show betrayed all the pink fluff to some pretty hardcore ideas.

For the honor of Grayskull

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Top Five Crappiest He-Man Action Figures

Far be it for me to disparage the original and epic Masters of the Universe action figure line but despite some gold nuggets there were plenty of brown turds too.

5. Two Bad, Double-Headed Evil Strategist
Skeletor was no fool, he just acted that way. He surrounded himself with some pretty bad ass mo fos in his vast army of minions. Until his bad ass streak ended with Two Bad.

A two headed "strategist," Two Bad had a difficult time agreeing on anything, bickering amongst themselves. Er, self? Anyway, aside from that bit of annoying trivia, the toy itself came with spring loaded fists of fury! Unfortunately, the fists would just end up smacking the adjacent head in the face. A nice hats off to their literal split personality but useless when you wanted to smack Teela like a bitch.

4. Rokkon & Stonedar - Young Heroic Comet Warrior and Heroic Leader of the Rock People
Rokkon and Stonedar had semi-fun gimmicks whose novelty wore off about five minutes after you cracked them out of their package.

Y'know what? Since they're so boring, I'm going to use this opportunity to segue into something else: the packaging. Ripping those He-Man figures out of their package was the closest thing I felt to an orgasm before I accidentally discovered that particular vice in my teens. Ripping open the flimsy casing, the smell of the fresh (and likely toxic) plastic, ahhhh... it was sheer bliss.

Oh yeah, these two... the thing is, Mattel tried to capitalize on Transformers... only nowhere near as sexy. You basically just bend them over and they vaguely look like rocks. Unless their enemies where at the bottom of a steep hill and didn't just step away from the Rock People's trajectory, they weren't much of a threat. Otherwise, they just sat there collecting moss. Fail.

3. Snout Spout - Heroic Water-Blasting Firefighter
This guy was so lame that his only cartoon appearance was once on She-Ra, Princess of Power and briefly again in the ill-conceived He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special, shown putting a star on top of the tree with his trunk. Way to take one for the team, Cock Face.

I mean sure, Eternia probably needed a firefighter. And I'm sure whenever Skeletor or Hordak or King Hiss attacked there was lots of collateral damage. But when you're trying to stand tall next to bulging muscle men with big swords and bigger guns, your ability to shoot a sad stream of water from your nose falls short.

2. Blast-Attack - Evil Blast-Apart Robotic Warrior
A later addition to the Evil Horde, Blast-Attack was probably dreamed up in a marketing meeting to be a human bomb. The realization was far more depressing.

When you'd shove one end of a spring-loaded tube in Blast-Attack's back, you'd press the plunger on the other end and he'd "explode!" Well, he'd actually split in two. Literally. From crotch to neck, blam, right in two. And then he'd sadly and clumsily fall on the ground. How the Horde thought this could defeat She-Ra escapes me. But when you're fighting ditzy bimbos dressed in tutus, it's not like you're fighting an uphill battle.

1. Mekaneck - Heroic Human Periscope
And here we have the big stinker. And I don't mean Stinkor. He was rad.

Mekaneck was in the second wave of the Masters of the Universe line as a heroic counterpart to Skeletor's spy, Tri-Klops. But where Tri-Klops had three different sets of eyes (hence the name, duh), each of which could look around objects or fire frickin' laser beams, poor Mekaneck could...? Raise his neck.

That's right, kids! With a twist of his waist Mekaneck's neck would raise an astonishing two inches! Sure he could look over objects but with his silver glasses and pointy red helmet, it's not like he wouldn't be noticed a mile away. Clearly he never attended the Upstairs Academy of Espionage and Dental Hygenistry.

And there you have it. Maybe someday I'll do a top five best of MOTU or even She-Ra... but yeah, these twat nachos have left a bad taste in my mouth.

Unless, of course, I could smell that fresh plastic again... oh yeah... I need a towel.