Saturday, January 5, 2013

She-Ra Saturday! The Cat's Meow!

Ok She-Ra Saturday is super special today. But before we get to the whole point, let's have some toy talk. As you all know I am quite obsessed with She-Ra and her friends. In fact it is partly due to She-Ra that I am able to really recall so many wonderful memories at such a young age. It was my third birthday and the Secret of the Sword had just been released in theaters. I had thought He-Man was super cool, but She-Ra had nothing on him. I was turning three and all I wanted was She-Ra stuff. Since the film had just came out the toys had started popping up on shelves, and I was practically frothing at the mouth.

So I was overcome with joy when I opened a simple gift box that had a wrapped She-Ra and Bow inside. She-Ra had come with a special necklace for me to wear and Bow had his magical beating heart for She-Ra. They were soul-mates in my eyes from then on. She-Ra went with me wherever I went. (Which was a good thing, because prior to She-Ra, I had been carrying around an empty bottle of Ivory soap with me everywhere, and people would give my mom really strange looks.) I felt like I could face anything with She-Ra. I was also hooked and wanted more. There were so many other characters to collect in toy form, and I just found myself in a daze of toy nirvana.

With every gleaming hero there must also be the villain waiting in the wings to pounce. He-Man had Skeletor and She-Ra had Catra. Make no mistake, Hordak may have been the ultimate villain in the cartoon, but for me, Catra will always be the true villain. She was also the next Princess of Power toy I got after She-Ra and Bow.

Catra fascinated me. She was the antithesis to She-Ra in many ways beyond their physical differences. I've always been a pale little thing with dark hair and eyes that travel between blue and green, especially depending on what I am wearing. So at that time, my features resembled more of Catra than they did of She-Ra. She-Ra was all blond and virtuous in her white with gold accents. But Catra was different. She had the black hair with splash of red and silver clothing. She was also more wild and practically feral. Her skirt was fur complete with tail. She had a mask that resembled a cat's face. My goodness, she could even transform into a panther! She was dangerous and totally brought out my inner wild child.

She-Ra may have went everywhere with me, but I'd turn into some wild crazy person with Catra. I'd crawl around scratching at things while giving a meek meow before launching into a deadly growl. I was a true force to be reckoned with when Catra and I got together. We'd both transform into wild cats and roam Etheria (i.e. the living room) looking for mischief.

So this is my early connection to Catra. She was just as important as She-Ra. They were a part of a toy line that was simply the best. When Mattel started up the Masters of the Universe Classics line in 2008 and quickly expanded it to feature all the various characters from the entire mythos, I knew there would be some excitement when She-Ra and her friends eventually got their chances for figure form.

Of course the introduction of POP characters would create a ton of controversy. Would She-Ra and her friends have rooted hair like the originals? Would the POP gals look like their toy versions or would they resemble more of the images found in the styleguide/Filmation cartoon. Debates and conversations were endless. I personally was torn big time, but being the greedy mess that I am, I wanted two versions of each character. One to resemble the cartoon and another to look like her toy counterpart.

Enter the Catra Classics figure. When she was announced I geeked out big time. I mean it was Catra! And as cool as she was, I was slightly hoping she would have looked like her toy version. The Catra we received was a work of art, she resembled the cartoon version within every inch of her life. Here is what we got:

Catra looks fantastic. The outfit and all the red really worked. (Though personally, there may have been a bit too much red.) She also came with a cape, among other things.

Anyways, after seeing so many people on message boards and what-not working their magic and skill at creating their own custom Catras, I decided I would one day take a chance on customizing my own Catra. I mean there are some collectors that bring it with their custom projects. I've seen one custom Catra that had a sculpted fur skirt! It was amazing. So I knew my little project would be very basic at best. I found my chance to actually start this project when Catra went for sale very cheap during the big sale on MattyCollector this past November. And after a long effort this past week, I have finally (mostly) completed my Catra custom.

I didn't do much aside from changing up the colors. Painting has never been my strong suit, but I tried my best with this figure. The boots and cuffs were easy to paint, as was the chest piece. Her skirt was another matter. Oh the drama with this damn skirt. I started with an acrylic painter's pen, but the pen busted and I ended up just brushing the paint on. Well the paint never dried.

I removed that first black and then purchased some Testors paints. I was working with this really pretty glossy metallic black paint, and I thought I was doing thin layers of paint, but I don't think so because that never wanted to dry either. I was content to just wait and see if it would eventually dry, but it ended up getting smudged in a spot. So I threw my hands in the air and in my best Catra impersonation purred out my annoyance. I then bought an Elmer's Painter's Pen in black and used that instead.

There are some areas I am not pleased with in terms of the paint. The skirt has some bumps and such and the silver on the Horde bat is still not dry in certain areas. But all in all, I think everything turned out decently well for my first time at painting on this level. I have touched up my older POP toys with Painter's Pens and stuff, but I've never tackled a project like this before. I was so nervous to actually do this. It felt weird at first, like I was defiling a work of art that was already just fine the way it was. However I really want my own Catra Classics in an actual classic nod to the original toy.

So I think this Catra looks close to the original. I have yet to embark on an adventure of making a fur skirt, but I am happy with what I have done so far. I love the silver accents on the boots, cuffs, belt, and Horde wings. (The silver really makes the bat pop, unlike the red.) I left the bat's face red to resemble the red jewel on the originals chest, which may not be totally noticeable. I also went with a shiny darker pink for her top, though the vintage toy had a pinkish red. (Scratchin' Sound and Shower Power Catra would have more of a true pink top with their releases.)

There are a few things I will still be working on, but I am taking a break on it for now. I am just enjoying this new version of Catra and really hoping that if MOTUC sees a Catra variant that she will resemble one of her toy versions. (I would love to see a Shower Power Catra. Wouldn't that just be a refreshing blast of coolness?)

Anyways, here are some more photos. I hope you all enjoy them and if anyone has any tips or ideas on painting and customizing, let me know! Fellow reader Paladin has been very helpful in providing some tips, and giving me motivation to do a fur skirt at some point. We'll see. I'm not so sure I'm cut out for customizing. Anyways, have a Happy She-Ra Saturday everyone! 

Catra- Jealous Beauty
The battle wages on for She-Ra's secret and the Crystal Castle
Venomous Villain

Going in for the kill

The Cat's Meow
If you are quiet, you can hear that loud Catra roar.

I'd be terrified with someone coming at me in that mask.
Now all Catra needs is her friend Entrapta...
So make sure you are here next She-Ra Saturday! Adora's Search for Honor Part 3 will begin and the action will pick up right where we left off. Members of the Great Rebellion are scattered throughout Eternia and Etheria. Portals are closed, so will our favorites make it back? And just what will Skeletor do with so many women in Snake Mountain? I can't give anything away, but I will say this much: it will be really really good! Take care everyone!


  1. Now we know your love is pure when start to customize your own figures. Keep holding that banner for She-Ra high and proud.

  2. Here's the thing...Picture #7 where she is holding the sword and shield--Catra just looks beautiful in an overwhelming sort of way. I think you did a great job, the new paint makes the figure look amazing--really.

    I'm sorry to see that her skirt does have blemishes, but the total result is just awesome. I'm beginning to think that maybe I should give it a try myself. I have 2 Catra's, one boxed and one open; I was never happy with the one I have open because in the box her shield had fallen and out of the box her legs were bowed in. Although the figure is built to resemble the cartoon appearance and is very nice, your custom just pops and is really something cool.

    I have a bit of an obsession with Catra's hair, I think its an amazing sculpt and she comes off as being very pretty, its the rest that clashes such as the cape and even the Horde appearance. I think some of the characters look really good detailed after the cartoon, but then again, some look better being from the toy line. I think Catra is better as appearing near the toy.

    Due to the legs issue, I spend a lot of time picking her up from falling over--even on a stand--that I may just want to give a try with a custom; with fur, if I can find some fake black fur that is.

    Great custom job. Give it some time and the paint should harden, its just like assembling a model, just use patience.

    1. I know! She does look so beautiful in that picture! The angles on her face and the way the colors on her outfit look. I mean she looks like a different figure from the all red.

      I also love her hair. I think the 4H have done wonders with hair sculpts, but her hair has so much movement and goes so well with the figure. They really sculpted an amazing figure. I love what they did. I mean I dn't mind all the red, becuase it is nice to have a cartoon version Catra, but I am very very partial to the toy version. Most POP toys look very very similar to their animated counterparts, but Catra is totally one that had a very different look.

      I think you should customize your Catra and add the fur. I want to see how that looks. It is a shame though that yours has a problem with standing. Mine has pretty good joints.

      And I think before i try to fix the skirt or anything, I am going to just wait and be patient. I've never assembled models before, but my husband has so he also gave me some pointers. lol

  3. Good job! She looks great and I dig the action scenes at the end :)

    1. Thank you Michael! I'm glad you like the action scenes! I have been trying to work on taking fun pictures like that.

  4. You have Catra colored dark hair? You can't tell from your picture. from a distance it almost looks light brownish or even dirty blonde.
    Anyway the custom looks great.Does this mean you bought two Catras and customized one of them or did you alter your one and only?
    Now I never had a Catra but she didn't originally have a Horde symbol did she? Did they even reference the Horde in the POP mini-comics and card backs? Or was that all added in just for the cartoons?
    -Also, I don't know what "shower power" means but I certainly hope it is a Catra that looks like she does in the shower. Shower Power Catra with loofah action! Now that would be a fun action feature! Meow!

    1. No my hair now is not dark. It has lightened up with age and from all the dye I put it through when I was younger. But when I was little my hair was really dark brown. It wasn't black, but it was very dark. Darker than it is now.

      And I did buy two Catras. Well I already had one, but then when she went on sale in November I bought an extra one so I could customize her. I didn't want to take the chance and ruin the Catra that I already owned. Plus I wanted to have both looks.

      The original Catra did not have a Horde symbol on her chest, but she did have a silver symbol that resembled something that could have been Horde related, some say it looks like a spider. But her affiliation with the Horde was from the cartoon mostly. It has been awhile since I read through all the mini comics, but I don't recall her having anything to do with being a Horde member in them, though her presence in the Horde may have been more pronounced in the reading books.

      And Shower Power Catra does sound like an interesting Catra huh? lol SP Catra was the third Catra variant from the very rare third wave of POP toys. It was a smaller wave that had such greats like Netossa, Spinnerella, Loo-Kee, Bubble Power She-Ra and of course, Shower Power Catra. She came with a fun water type gun that could blast water with the action feature. She also had like these leopard spot leggings on, and she came with a silver cape which was a departure from her capeless releases before. She also fetches a pretty penny on the secondary market, much like every character from that final wave.

  5. Wow Miss M your custom Catra looks AMAZING! Nice job on her! :)

    1. Thank you Nastyroker! I am very happy with how she turned out.

  6. Bravo Miss M! Great job...and you knew I'd like the action poses :) I love that first one where Catra's coming in hot and She-Ra's ready with a parry. Sorry you had trouble with the skirt. I've tried my hand at customs a time or two, and I just don't have the damn patience. >< I had to re-plumb the bathroom sink over the last four days - TWICE - and I just about said every curse word in the book. Painting anything evokes that same emotion, especially tiny toys. I'm eager to see your next project.

    1. Well I was inspired for sure to try and make these battle poses work. lol : ) I think they turned out decently well. And the skirt. My goodness, I still get nervous just thinking about that darn skirt. Customizing does require a great deal of patience, and I'm good with some amount of patience, but when it got to be over 3 days it got to be too much. I don't know what my next project will be though for now! I hope everything worked out with the bathroom.

  7. I really think Catra might be your favorite character. You love She-Ra, but Catra has a special history with you, when you found her you were captivated by her. And now, look, she is arguably the main character in Adora's Search For Honor. And even if you didn't originally intend her to be she is the break out character of the fan fic.
    And why do all the Catra dolls look so happy? She was a villain. Mattel made evil looking mean faced characters like Hordak for the boys lines. Why are the mean girls so happy looking?

    1. I think Catra is one of my favorite characters. I mean they all are really. I am very fond of every character from POP. Each one is special to me and Catra is just such a fun villain. I mean she for sure makes up part of the story just as much as She-Ra.

      And I don't know why Mattel didn't make the POP villains more mean looking. I mean the art work on the cards and mini comics make them appear more villainy, but the toys just look content and peaceful. I guess they figured that girls would not want that. Also, I would imagine that most of the POP toys used the same face sculpt so there probably wasn't a geat deal they could have done paint wise and what-not. But I'm more leaning towards the idea that Mattel thought girls wouldn't be interested.

  8. This was an AWESOME read! Catra is one of my favorite villains - I actually follow her mini comic interpretation where she's the Horde Leader (maybe while Hordak's on Eternia), a powerful sorceress, and She-Ra's arch rival!

    If you don't mind, I'd like to share your blog to folks on my facebook page Celebrating POP.

    1. Hello Mykan! Welcome to Diary of a Dorkette! I am glad for your comment, and of course you can share this blog with folks from your facebook page. I don'nt mind at all. I don't have a facebook, but I do have a twitter account @dorkettetweets so if you are on there I will totally follow you!

      And I loved Catra's role and character in the mini-comics. She was always more of a threat. Towards the end of the cartoon she had a bigger presence, but I love Catra from the mini comics. And if you happen to like fan fiction at all, you should check out my She-Ra fan fic called Adora's Search for Honor. The 3rd part is starting up this Saturday, and the story is truly from my heart. I also hope you keep reading this blog, I am always writing about something new. Take care and thanks again for the comment!

  9. nice work your first time customizing for you catra looks cool. plus now you can say you have the catra you always wanted done by your own hands espicaly when you decide to add fur to her. and glad i am not the only one who was crazy and almost obsessive to have cantra when she came out.

    1. Yes it is nice to have this Catra on my shelf! I just can't get over that I actually did this! lol And yeah, it was a pretty fun and special moment when I got a Catra. I only hope that when the time comes for her fur, that she won't look busted. Hope you are well demoncat!