The Star Sisters arrived, and in my review, I will be taking a different approach than normal. I would point out the limitations and weigh the pros and cons, but these girls come with quite a few strikes already. These girls are She-Ra Princess of Power concept characters, and were released in January as a $66 box set. In a line where some folks finally warmed up to the idea of having noteworthy additions such as Frosta, Castaspella, and Glimmer in their collections, three Z-Listers in a costly set wearing garish colors not resembling their actual toy prototypes, with very little in the way of real accessories, moved to the front of the line.
Mattel went to the FAR reaches of the He-Man universe for this entry. With Sorceress bumped to February, these ladies were it for January 2012. I will say this: these girls have their place in Etheria and on my toy shelf, so I am going to give my argument that the Star Sisters were approached in the best way possible.
First come the price tag: Yes, $60 is quite the price to pay, and if you couldn’t afford a sub, $66 is even less palatable. But the sisters really couldn’t have been released individually. While I am a completist, I would have been upset is the line met an early demise and I never saw Ram Man or Starla. That is to say: Ram Man is essential to a MOTUC collection, but if Matty only got around to releasing Jewelstar and Tallstar, there is a big piece missing. They are a set. The whole is truly greater than the some of their parts. This was the absolute best way to attack this. I think there would be more outcries if an entire quarter year was solely dedicated to the Star Sisters. If you like them, you got them all. If you don’t, the band-aid was ripped off quickly.
Now come the aesthetics. The toy prototypes of the vintage dolls came with some amazing ideas and concepts. First, all of the girls (not just Jewelstar) were planned to have star-field clear-plastic components to their body parts, all three has tinsel streaks in their hair, and each had features and accessories unique to them. With all of the unique tooling they did receive, something was going to fall through the cracks. Their facial features and unique costume components were BEAUTIFULLY rendered by the Four Horsemen. These ladies are among the most beautiful ladies in any toy line. The factory did an outstanding job of retaining each lady’s unique paint, eye color, lipline, and eyeline (even Starla, who didn’t get the benefit of a flesh-tone painted face).
The ladies did get the essentials. While a starfield backpack and Jewelstar’s jewel-form are noticeably absent, we did get nicely-tooled starfield wands, Glory Bird, his unique neckpiece and perch, and Tallstar’s limb extensions. The 4H used a poster shot for the girls’ color palatte, and while it wasn’t the preferred choice among the hardcore fans, the colors selected weren’t chosen at random, so I can’t fault them on this one. Those colors “existed”, and they look appropriately 80’s. Lastly, they all got the same badly-designed pelvis Bubble Power She-Ra and Sorceress were cursed with. What sets these ladies up to fail is that only Starla has a dress to hide the defect. Jewelstar and Tallstar were unfortunately given the “granny panty” treatment as a result, particularly high-waisted Tallstar. As a happy accident, however, Tallstar has no waist extension, and when you add her limb pieces, she appears “stretched out” as she stands. It actually works in a vintage kind of way, but that’s honestly a bullet only she could dodge. Matty has pledged to work on a new pelvis, so expect future PoP entries to be wearing dresses until then.
The Star Sisters, as bright as they shine, aren’t quite the crown jewels in everybody’s collection. What we did get though, understanding the need for budget, character selection, and paint apps, are three beautiful action figures, each distinguishable, yet part of one eye-catching group. As a Final Fantasy fan, I approached posing them like the Magus Sisters: each showing their own personality. Starla standing with wand raised high, ready to go on the offensive. Sultry Jewelstar poses confidently, waiting to use her defensive jewels to shield her sisters from any enemies’ attack. Finally, Tallstar adds a nice contrast standing above the frey, one hand grasping her wand, while the other pushes her hair aside so she can get a better view of the battle. If you take the right attitude, the Star Sisters can certainly find a place among the men of the Masters of the Universe.