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
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!