Gender-bending: Masters of the Universe custom figures

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The She-Ra/Princess of Power cartoon and toyline may have turned the tide of the guy-centric Masters of the Universe collection, but in the early days, MOTU was very light on “girl power.”  The toyline included Teela and Evil-Lyn, and right around the end of the vintage era they released a Sorceress figure.  Queen Marlena was a cartoon regular, but she never received a vintage figure.  I’m happy to say the modern Masters of the Universe Classics collection has blurred the line between He-Man and She-Ra’s allies, creating one unified brand.

That said, I still think there’s room for more ladies amongst the main He-Man characters.  I decided to make custom figures of two classic characters from the vintage line in the form of a female counterpart.

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Zola, the Cosmic Enforcer
In the vintage line, Zodac is the “Cosmic Enforcer”.  It was never explained  what that really means.  He appeared to be a neutral character; neither good nor evil.  “Cosmic” implies that he comes from another world rather than He-Man’s home planet Eternia.  (I do have to wonder how many planets sport the “furry short-shorts with bare legs” fashion trend, but I’m not here to judge.)  In the modern (200X) revamp of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon, they made an effort to correct the racial imbalance by making Zodac’s character black.  The spelling of his name was also changed to Zodak to give a subtle difference between the two.  This led to a theory amongst the fan base that Zodac wasn’t “the” Cosmic Enforcer, but instead “a” Cosmic Enforcer, and that there was a whole group of these guys (and girls) who were patrolling the spaceways.
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I used a Shield Maiden Sherrilyn figure from the Fighting Foe Men 3-pack for the body.  The head was cast from the MOTUC Zodac figure, purchased from Karak Nul’s Customs.  I carved out the chin and replaced it with Shield Maiden Sherrilyn’s chin.  I replaced her boots with the ones from the Catra figure.  Her chest armor and backpack came from the 200X Zodak figure.  I combined this armor with Sherrilyn’s body armor.

I painted her to match the MOTUC Zodac and Zodak figures.  I wanted them to be as uniform as possible.

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Ninjira
The vintage MOTU toyline featured Ninjor, whose superpower was the ability to cash in on the 80’s Ninja craze.  According to the MOTU mini-comic, Skeletor was using magic (powered by Digital River) to summon new minions, and (a few weeks later) he received Scare Glow and Ninjor.  Scare Glow was a freaky see-thru ghost guy with a glow-in-the-dark skeleton.  Ninjor was a typical Ninja stereotype with a black bag over his head to hide his “pretty much the same as Jitsu” head.  I thought that changing Ninjor’s gender would add a new facet (and relevancy) to the character.

A while back, I was digging through some old boxes and came across a figure from the Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon collection; Yu Shu Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh.  The cloth bits were made of a very soft, almost foamy rubber that had not held up to the test of time.  It was cracked and peeling.  I tore off these bits; the sleeves and shirt-tails.  I sculpted on new shirt-tails.  As you can see, I tried to add tree-climbing claws to her boots as a nod to vintage Ninjor’s three-towed “dragon feet”, but they looked more like duck flippers so I carved them off.

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I painted her black and red.  I first painted the red parts with orange, which worked as a primer that helped boost the cover ability of the red paint.  I hand-painted the dragon logo on her chest.  I sculpted a removable mask for her face.  Her swords and scabbards were from other figures in the same CT/HD collection.  the scabbards are glued to a Ninja backpack from the G.I. Joe collection, which was then glued to her back.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Gender-bending: Masters of the Universe custom figures

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