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Evil-Lyn w/ Screeech

Masters of the Universe Classics
by Poe Ghostal

I recently watched the three-part pilot episode for the 2002 MOTU cartoon (the creatively-titled "The Beginning"), and it reminded me that on that show, Evil-Lyn was badass. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Evil-Lyn never destroyed a square mile of forest on the Filmation cartoon. For her first Masters of the Universe Classics appearance, Mattel and the Four Horsemen chose to duplicate the 1980s figure by making her a repainted Teela with a new head. I'm disappointed. Mattel and the Horsemen have made a lot of effort to stick to the original artwork from the 1980s, sometimes despite the wishes of fans. And yet, when it came to Evil-Lyn, well... there's no other way to put this: Mattel cheaped out.

The vintage artwork shows Evil-Lyn with a different bodysuit than Teela. If you'd asked me before we saw the prototypes whether Evil-Lyn would look like her cross-sell artwork rather than being a repaint, I would have said "definitely." And I would have been wrong.

Raised alone by her father in the ruins of Zalesia, Evelyn left her home in a fit of teenage rebellion. Taking the name Evil-Lyn, she traveled Eternia, learning from many of its great masters the ways of magic and the dark arts. While searching for new ways to increase her power, she met and fell in love with an ambitious alchemist named Keldor and agreed to join his cause. After Keldor was transformed into Skeletor, he lost all emotional attachments to Evelyn and she began to scheme against him. In a series of miscalculations, she helped release both King Hssss and Hordak from their interdimensional prisons. Evil-Lyn uses her crystal ball to foresee the evil future!

The bio is mostly based on the MYP cartoon, though her "real name" - Evelyn Morgan Powers - is taken from the original MOTU bible by Michael Halperin. Given that she took the dying Keldor to the spirit of Hordak (who turned him into Skeletor) and she released both King Hssss and Hordak into Eternia, I think Evil-Lyn is officially the worst villain in the history of MOTU. Or maybe just a world-class enabler.

The body and bodysuit are identical to Teela's, right down to the reversed gauntlets (even though the vintage art shows them going the other way). Though some have complained that the female body used for MOTUC is too chubby, I think it's great - a (fairly) realistic representation of a strong but still feminine female warrior. No T-rex arms or stick-thighs here. The head, of course, is brand-new, and it's great. The shape of the cheeks and the eyes give her a slightly Asian look that, in my opinion, really works for the character (she kind of reminds me of the witch in Conan the Barbarian).

After the head sculpt, the plastic and paint work are the best part of the figure. The big news is that the bodysuit is made from a much more pliable plastic than it was for Teela, the Goddess or even Adora - it's practically rubber, and it lets her move her legs and turn her waist freely (check out the shot of her on the throne - try doing that with Teela!).

Her body is molded in yellow, which does fall to the curse of yellow-molded figures - namely, it looks a bit too toy-ish. The lack of a matte finish contributes to that a bit too. Still, since MOTUC is more a toy-like line, I think it works just fine. For the record, I'm perfectly happy with the blue costume and yellow skin. It's more visually interesting, if less "realistic," than the pale skin/purple outfit of the cartoons.

The paint applications on her clothing are clean and well-executed, and seem to have captured all the right shades from the cross-sell art. I'm very satisfied with the paint on the head as well - the lines are sharp, with very little spill or slop evident to the naked eye. However, I know some fans were hoping for the same quality as the prototype.

Since she shares Teela's body, Evil-Lyn also shares her articulation. That means she's the third figure in this line who can hold a sword in two hands up and behind her head (Adora can't get her arms together quite as high up, owing to her bicep articulation being higher up on the arm; Teela, the Goddess and Evil-Lyn have the armlets to provide an articulation point much lower on the bicep - and kudos to Mattel and the Horsemen for realizing it was better to put it at the bottom rather than the top of the armlet). In addition to the swivel biceps, Evil-Lyn has ball-and-hinge shoulders and hips, hinged knees, elbows and ankles, excellent rocker ankles, swivel wrists, waist and boot-tops, and a balljointed head.

Evil-Lyn comes with a translucent globe with interchangeable parts to make it a wand or a staff (depending on the length of the hilt), a knife, and the evil bird Screeech, who has his own accessories in the form of armor and perch. While I love interchangeable weapons, I'm planning to display Evil-Lyn with the staff because it's her vintage weapon and frankly, there are enough staves in this line already. The knife is very similar to the one the 2002 figure came with. And then there's Screeech, who's much better than Zoar in that he comes with armor and a perch. Owning this one just makes me want the vintage-colored Zoar more.

If she'd had a uniquely sculpted bodysuit based on the cross-sell art, Evil-Lyn would have been a ToY contender. I'm docking her a bit for that, but your mileage may vary. Otherwise the paint applications, improved flexibility of the bodysuit, fully-armored Screech, and interchangeable wand/staff make her yet another superb example of this great toyline.

-- 11/01/10


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