Hi-ho, toy enthusiasts! Back with another MOTU Hybrid figure! We most recently tackled He-Man's main squeeze, Teela. Now we're going to take a look at Skeletor's bottom babe! It's interesting to note that, contrary to a great deal of contemporary fiction where the heroes are the weaker but smarter underdogs working to take out the ultra-strong but stupid bully enemy, in the MOTU continuity, the situation is reversed. The heroes are clearly the brawn, while the enemy is substantially more brainy. He-Man is a massive barbarian, and Teela is a warrior maiden. On the other hand, Skeletor is a sorcerer, master of the dark arts, and his companion is just as magically powerful, intelligent, cunning, devious, and most surprising of all among Skeletor's minions, successful. Presenting the wicked witch of the Eternian wastes, Evil-Lyn!
Once again, MOTU Hybrid is my attempt to unify the best of all three MOTU eras. The ideas (i.e. color schemes and concepts) of the original cartoon, the sculpts of the 2002 toys, and the articulation of modern figures, at a far more reasonable cost. Evil-Lyn is a first for the series in two regards. 1) She's the first character I elected to do in her Filmation cartoon colors (technically, He-Man, Skeletor, and Teela are also largely in their Filmation colors, but this is because their designs were already quite close to the original. Lyn, on the other hand, was drastically different), and 2) Evil-Lyn is the first mini-statue I've had to convert.
So the story goes, after they ran the series into the ground and canceled the cartoon and the toyline, Mattel was ready to just call it quits on MOTU. NECA, on the other hand, wanted to keep going. Having already acquired a MOTU license to create statues, NECA asked Mattel if they could just make figures too, as a continuation of the abandoned toy franchise. They would keep using the Four Horsemen to sculpt the toys, and they even offered to sell them under Mattel's logo, no credit to NECA whatsoever. Naturally, since fans wanted this so much, Mattel refused (because they hate their fans, I assume) and maintained exclusive control of the action figure production rights that they had no intention of using any time in the immediate future. NECA responded by flipping Mattel the metaphorical bird, deciding that if they couldn't make actual figures, they would simply use their existing statue license and produce figure-sized mini-statues that fit in with the existing toys, thereby continuing the series anyway, albeit in a slightly less interactive format.
Evil-Lyn is one of the few (the only?) characters that was produced as both a figure AND a statue. Since the first figure was just a retool of Teela, the Four Horsemen wanted to make a new, more cartoon-accurate figurine. This was the version I chose to make my figure. However, right off, the challenges were fairly obvious: this was a STATUE. Admittedly, a statue made of soft rubber resin, made of individual parts glued together rather than one massive sculpted chunk, but a statue nonetheless. Instead of adding joints to an already semi-poseable figure, I was adding EVERY joint to a completely immobile hunk of plastic.
I started by breaking the statue down into its original base components: boots, legs, arms, torso, head, and skirt. Then I discarded the unusable parts, namely the legs. Both limbs were molded together as a single piece. It was much easier to just replace them with pre-articulated limbs from another figure. I chose the legs of a Marvel Legends X-23 figure and replaced the lower legs with the statue's boots. I then dremeled out the statue's immobile feet and replaced them with X-23's feet, carved down into a more feminine shape.
As with Teela, I discarded the arms, but kept the bicep bracelets and lower arms. I hollowed out the bracelets and slid them onto X-23's upper arms, and replaced the lower with the statue hands. I cut the torso in half to add waist rotation, and attached Evil-Lyn's head to X-23's neck. I plugged the arms, legs, and neck into the torso to finish the articulation.
Originally, Evil-Lyn's skirt was solid resin, like the rest of the figurine. This was, of course, unacceptable for a poseable figure. How would she sit? I cut a new skirt out of a sheet of black craft foam-rubber (the stuff kids use to make fridge magnets and Christmas tree ornaments in art class) and used heat and Krazy Glue to meticulously shape it to precisely match the original. I also dremeled out the crest on Evil-Lyn's helmet to make it look more like a metal framework crown than a solid crest. A lot of detail sculpting to fix little mistakes here and there, and the figure design was complete!
The original 80s Evil-Lyn figure was two-tone blue with yellow skin. This made little sense, as the cartoon character looked nothing like the toy. The 2002 character had a more sensible purple, black, and silver motif with pale olive skin, but since I grew up with the original cartoon, I wanted my Evil-Lyn to match her blue, purple, and black outfit, with silver and yellow highlights to homage the other designs. As for her skin-tone, animation stills I found online show her in shades varying from cream to salmon. I went with a dull pink that compliments her metallic purple costume.
Evil-Lyn has four accessories:
- 1 Magic Staff. full repaint.
- 1 fireball, pegs into her right hand
- pet hawk Screech with perch, not pictured; Screech was originally permanently glued to the perch. I removed him, and I'm trying to modify him so that he stands independently without falling over. He's not finished yet, so I'll post pics at a later date.
As I get further into the line, I'm going to have to work more and more with mini-statues instead of figures. Evil-Lyn was a practice run to see if I could pull off a complete redesign of static figurine. I'd say the results were incredibly promising. Evil-Lyn was one of the hardest customs I've ever built, but in the end, she was well worth the challenge!
By the power of Grayskull!