Sunday, May 23, 2021

Blackstar - MARA!

Blackstar - Basic Series 01 - Mara the Princess of Secret Power - Galoob 1983

Blackstar is Filmation's immediate predecessor to Masters of the Universe and contains a mere 13 episodes, all airing in 1981 (a full two years before MOTU). The series features the hero, Earth astronaut John Blackstar, crash landing on the planet Sagar, where magic and sorcery rule. Blackstar and the main antagonist, Overlord, each have one half of the magical PowerSword, which imbue the wielder with heightened senses, strength, skill, and invulnerability (when the sword halves combine, they form the PowerStar). He rides Warlock, an intelligent flying dragon-horse, and has two main sidekicks: the shape-changing elf, Klone, and the powerful enchantress, Mara. This series might have been forgotten in 1981 if He-Man didn't renew interest in sword-and-sorcery properties two years later. The episodes began to be re-aired, and a belated toyline was made by Galoob to ride the coattails of Mattel's MOTU success. The Mara figure is awesome and a gem of my collection. Let's check her out below!

Note that my Mara figure has a slightly discolored face. Originally she would have had a distinct purple hue like the rest of her skin. This seems like a common evolution with this figure over time, but occasionally you can still find a good lavender-faced example.

Mara has 5 points of articulation. A swivel head (unhindered by her hair - see below), swivel shoulders, and legs that seem to have a MOTU-style rubberband attachment.

Mara's accessories have always been problematic for me. She comes with a glow-in-the-dark "aura" and power beam. I know they are essentially energy accessories, but when wearing them she looks like a carnivale dancer carrying a Christmas tree. I would hunt them down for completion's sake, but they can literally sell for hundreds on eBay and I think they're ugly. Also, her hair is attached with a peg like a backpack (which is an ingenious way to include hair without compromising neck articulation) and with many used figures, the hair is missing completely. Mine seems firmly attached so I'm reluctant to see if it's intentionally removable. These pics are from eBay.

So instead I chose to pair my Mara with the bat staff that came with Gargo the Vampire Man. 
Her grasping right hand looks really odd without an accessory and I think the bat motif goes well with her sorceress status.

I thought I would take a minute to talk about my second favorite figure in the line, Klone from the second wave in 1984. Klone comes with extra legs and arms, plus a tail and a torso cover to transform him into the "Cloud Cat." He also has the spark feature that all the second wave figures had. There is a lighter-mechanism mounted on his back that created a flint spark in the transparent chest cavity when you roll it. I posted all these pics on Instagram last year, but thought it would make sense to re-use them here with Mara.

In the cartoon, Klone's Cloud Cat form is transparent blue. But curiously, one of my favorite forms he adopts is the Fire Lion. 
This figure seems like a blending of the two.

Now back to the lady of the hour, Mara the Enchantress...

Time for a Comparison Pic!


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