Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre: “New Look”

It’s time for another Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre photo story. The name “Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre” was coined by Kevin Beckett at the Whetstone Discord server. You can check out all the Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre Photo Stories here.

I have had some new arrivals recently, including the Teela and Zoar two-pack. I mainly bought the two-pack, because I wanted Zoar the Falcon, but I also got a Teela figure with a nice new headsculpt, which is loosely based on the way she looked in the 2002 cartoon, where Teela had a long ponytail instead of her customary upswept hairstyle. And since Teela is my favourite Masters of the Universe character, I’m always happy to have another version of her. Plus, this Teela has a sword, which is the weapon she actually uses most of the time in the various cartoons. The toys mostly only have the snake staff, even though the snake staff only prominently features in the 2002 cartoon – in every other version she uses a sword.

The fact that Teela got a makeover for the two-pack also inspired the following story. Furthermore, I also get to explore the friendship between Teela and Adora that the cartoons never really gave us (so far) some more.

In Teela’s room in Eternos Palace:

She-Ra gives Teela a makeover.“Are you really sure about this,  Adora? Isn’t the gold a bit too bright and too yellow? And won’t my hair get caught somewhere, if I wear it that loose in battle?”

“Oh please. I wear my hair much longer and looser and it never gets caught anywhere.”

“Yes, but you’re She-Ra and have superpowers. I’m just Captain Teela of the Royal Guard.”

“Relax and trust me, Teela. You look gorgeous.”

She-Ra shows Teela her new look in the mirror“There, see. You look stunning.”

“D…do you think Adam will like my new look?”

“Like it? Trust me, Teela, he’ll love it.”

Zoar arrives, as She-Ra gives Teela a makeover.“Squawk.”

“Oh, it’s you. Hello, Zoar. Or mother, I guess…”

“Squawk.”

“Is that falcon really your mother?”

“It’s her… spirit, I guess. Honestly, it’s all very weird.”

“Believe me, I know a thing or two about weird family relationships.”

She-Ra and Teela show off Teela's new look to Zoar.“So, Zoar, what do you think of your daughter’s new look? Stunning, isn’t it?”

“Squawk.”

“Does that mean ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”

“I have no idea. She never says anything else.”

Teela shows off her new sword to She-Ra and Zoar.“Well, time to do my rounds and make sure all my guards are at their assigned positions.”

“Even better, you can show off your new look and… hey, is that a new sword? It looks fabulous.”

“Thank you. My Dad made it for me for my birthday. Those are the perks of being the daughter of Eternia’s greatest weapon smith, I guess. Which reminds me that I should probably drop by Dad’s workshop first to show him my new look.”

“Knock ’em out, girlfriend. Only metaphorically, of course.”

“Squawk.”

***

In Duncan’s workshop:

Duncan is tinkering with his mace while Fisto looks on.“And why exactly are you adding yet more flashing lights to your mace, brother? You’re supposed to conk the bad guys on the head with that mace, not dazzle them with flashing lights.”

“Because I like the lights, okay? They look pretty. And besides, they soothe babies. Teela always loved those flashing lights, when she was a baby, and so did Adam.”

“I don’t see any babies that need soothing around here.”

“Just shut up, Malcolm.”

Teela enters Duncan's workshop.“Hi Dad, Uncle Malcolm.”

“Oh, Teela, just the person I was looking for. Could you help me with soldering these wires? Cause Malcolm’s big paws are way too clumsy for such delicate work.”

“Hey, who you calling clumsy?”

“Uhm, Dad, Uncle Malcolm, don’t you notice anything different about me? Anything new?”

“Oh yes, you’re carrying the new sword I forged for you? How is it? Well balanced, I trust.”

“Yes, the new sword is great. Adora thinks so, too. But that’s not what I mean. Do you really notice nothing different about me?”

“Other than that your mood is particularly foul today, my dearest niece?”

Teela stalks off, angry.“Oh, just shut up, Uncle Malcolm! After all, it’s not as if you ever notice anything other than weapons and machinery anyway. Both of you!”

SLAM!

“Okay, that was… weird. Weirder than usual I mean.”

“Sigh. I wonder what’s wrong with her today. I hope she didn’t quarrel with Adam… again. It always puts both of them in a terrible mood.”

Duncan and Fisto talk and Zoar appears.“You don’t think she’s pregnant, do you? Cause in that case, you might need those soothing lights after all.”

“By the ancients, I hope not. I mean, I hope Adam and Teela would have more sense than that and be careful.”

“Like you were careful, you mean?”

“Shut up, Malcolm!”

Flutter.

“Squawk.”

Duncan and Fisto talk to Zoar.“Oh, what do you want?”

“Squawk.”

“If you know what’s wrong with Teela, why don’t you just say something?”

“Squawk.”

“And no, you don’t get to criticise my parenting. At least, I was there. You weren’t.”

“Squawk.”

“You know, brother, that’s really freaky. Talking to a bird, I mean. But I guess that’s what you get for sleeping with the bird lady.”

“Says the man who sleeps with a human battering ram.”

“At least Krass is human.”

***

In the throne room:

Teela enters the throne room, while King Randor is on his throne, flanked by Clamp Champ and a royal guard.

Unfortunately, I have only one royal guardsman so far. But Clamp Champ is supposed to be King Randor’s personal bodyguard (as well as a childhood friend of Adam’s and Teela’s), so he fits in nicely.

“Your Majesty…”

“Ah, Captain Teela. How go the repair works on the Eastern perimeter wall?”

“Well, Your Majesty. At least, I think so. I was just on my way to oversee the progress.”

“I won’t keep you from your duties then, Captain.”

“Ahem, actually…”

“Is there anything else, Captain? A security issue? Rumours of an attack? Or has Duncan completed a new invention?”

“Your Majesty, don’t you notice anything different about me?”

“Of course, you’ve got a new sword. A a most fine blade it is, too. It seems Duncan has done excellent work, as usual.”

“Cool sword, Teela. Tell your Dad I’ll drop by at his workshop later, because my clamp has been acting up of late.”

Teela stalks off, while King Randor, Clamp Champ and a palace guard look after her in confusion.“So that’s all I am to you. A soldier, a uniform and a sword. But I’m a person, too. Not that I’d expect any of you to understand that. So with your permission, I’ll take my leave, Your Majesty, and find someone who appreciates me as I am.”

“Oh dear, is she quitting again?”

King Randor, Clamp Champ and the guard wonder what's up with Teela.“Captain Teela is a remarkable young woman and she’ll probably be my daughter-in-law one day, provided Adam actually makes a move. But by the ancients, she can be so very irritating. Or do any of you know what’s wrong with her now?”

“Oh, the Captain’s having one of her moods again. Must be that time of the month.”

“I know I wouldn’t even have this job without Teela, but word of advice, Your Majesty, when she’s in that sort of mood, it’s best just to get out of her way, until she snaps out of it. Adam is the only one who can get through to her, when she’s like that, and he’s not here.”

“Where is my son anyway? Probably taking a nap and skipping combat training… again.”

“Considering Captain Teela’s mood, I can’t even blame him.”

***

In the kitchen of Eternos Palace:

Orko is demonstrating a magic trick to Roboto.“And now watch, Roboto, and I shall show you my latest juggling trick. Five eggs, no hands.”

“Are you certain about this, friend Orko? Because Chef Alan said – I quote – ‘Don’t you dare to touch any of the eggs, you clumsy little imp.”

“I’m not clumsy. Also, I’m not touching the eggs, I’m juggling with them. And my magic actually works now…”

CRASH. SPLATTER.

“…well, most of the time.”

Teela enters the palace kitchen.“Orko, Roboto, just the people I was looking for.”

“Hello Sister, how can we be of service?”

“Hi, Teela. Stay and watch my latest magic trick!”

Teela shows off her new look to Orko and Roboto.“I’m sorry, Orko, but I don’t have any time for magic tricks right now. I have to check on the progress of the repair work on the Eastern perimeter wall. But first…”

“You wanted to grab one of Chef Alan’s amazing cinnamon buns.”

“That, too. But Orko, Roboto, do you notice anything different about me?”

“Well… ahem… if you’re wondering who turned your favourite perfume into vinegar, that wasn’t me, honest.”

“I see that you are carrying the new blade Father made for your birthday. I trust you find it well tailored to your specific requirements. I helped Father to make the sword, you know?”

An angry Teela leaves the kitchen.“Sniff, why can’t none of you ever see me as a person? A soldier, a warrior, that’s all I am to you, all I’ve ever been. But I’m a woman, too.”

“Sister, what’s wrong? Is the sword not to your satisfaction?”

“You wouldn’t understand anyway, Roboto. You’re just a machine.”

SLAM!

Orko and Robot look after Teela.“Teela, wait. Maybe one of my tricks will make you feel better.”

“I have to confess that sometimes I do not understand my sister. Uncle Malcolm says that Teela’s hormone levels are to blame, when she is having what he calls one of her moods. But I scanned her hormone levels and though her cortisol and adrenaline levels are elevated, I do not detect any unusual let alone dangerour levels.”

“I just don’t understand why Teela wouldn’t watch one of my magic tricks. Cause normally, my tricks always make her feel better.”

“I shall talk to Father or Prince Adam about this. Maybe they know what is wrong with my sister and how to help her.”

“And who’ll watch my tricks now?”

***

At the Eastern perimeter wall:

Man-e-Faces and Ram-Man are cleaning up rocks.“Say, Manny, why do we always get stuck with clean-up duty, whenever Skeletor trashes the royal palace?”

“Grr, don’t ask me. I’m just an actor who got roped into all this saving Eternia stuff. I’d much rather be on stage playing Hamlet. You know, doing my real job.”

“Maybe it’s because we are the strongest of the Masters. Though come to think of it, He-Man is stronger than you or me.”

“He-Man isn’t here, grrrr. As usual.”

“Right, He-Man never sticks around for clean-up.”

Teela arrives to show off her new look to Man-e-Faces and Ram-Man.“Oh, hi Teela. Cool sword.”

“Hi Krass, hi Manny. How is the clean-up going?”

“Going fine. We cleared up most of the rubble. Once it’s all gone, we can repair the wall.”

“Until Skeletor knocks it down again, you mean?”

“Never mind Manny, Teela. He’s just grumpy, cause we got stuck with clean-up duty… again. Talking of which, you wouldn’t happen to know where He-Man is, would you?”

“Actually, I’m looking for him myself.”

“Sigh, another crisis? Is Skeletor attacking again?”

“No, I just want to show He-Man something. Something special.”

“Oh, I bet. Snicker.”

“Talking of which, do you notice anything different about me?”

“Except for the sword, you mean? Nope, just plain old Teela.”

Teela stalks off angry, while Ram-Man and Man-e-Faces look after her.“Oh, why do I even bother? None of you will ever truly see me, the real me?”

“Uhm, any idea what that was all about?”

“No. Not even my robot brain can analyse what is the matter with Teela.”

“Sigh, I love that girl and she’s practically my niece, but she can be so very frustrating.”

***

In the palace garden:

Teela meets He-Man in the palace garden.“He-Man, oh…”

“Teela! You’re just the person I’m looking for?”

“Really? You were looking for me?”

“Yes, Beast-Man has enslaved the Rock People and is attacking the Widget Fortress. Quick, we must hurry to free them, before they destroy the Fortress and…”

“Is that all?”

“Isn’t Beast-Man enslaving an entire sentient species to attack another sentient species enough of a crisis for you? After all, the fate of the universe can’t hang in the balance every single day.”

“That’s not what I meant. Of course, we must help the Widgets and the Rock People. But don’t you notice anything about me? Anything different?”

“Of course, you’re carrying the new sword Duncan made for you. I told him you’d love it and…”

“Not you, too!”

Teela stalks off, angry, while He-Man looks after her in confusion.“Teela, what’s wrong…?”

“I thought you were different. I thought you cared about me as a person and not just as a warrior. I thought that you of all people would see me, truly see me. But you’re just like the rest of them! Sniff.”

“Teela, wait!”

He-Man goes after Teela and bumps into She-Ra.“Was that Teela I just saw running past me in tears? What did you do to her, Brother?”

“I… I have no idea. She just said that I don’t care about her, that I don’t even see her, and ran off.”

“So what do you think of the makeover I gave her?”

“Makeover?”

“You know, new hairstyle, new uniform… Oh please, don’t tell me you didn’t even notice.”

“Uhm, actually…”

“Sigh, of course you didn’t notice. No wonder Teela’s angry and hurt. You should count yourself lucky that she didn’t deck you.”

“I’m not even sure what I was supposed to notice. I mean, I’d just heard that there was a crisis at the Widget Fortress and I was so glad to see Teela, because there’s no one else I’d rather fight alongside, and then she just went ballistic on me and started crying and I don’t even know why.”

“In short, you did not notice the new hairstyle or the new uniform.”

“Come to think of it, Teela’s hair did look different than usual. And she was carrying the new sword that Duncan made for her birthday.”

“Sigh, of course you did notice the sword.”

“Because I helped. I mean, not really, I’m crap as a smith. But I helped with advice, because we all wanted to make something really special for Teela for her birthday. Anyway, what do I do now?”

“Now you find Teela and apologise to her. And then you’ll admire her new hairstyle and uniform and the sword, too, if you must.”

“But what about Beast-Man and the Rock People and the Widgets?”

“I’ll deal with Beast-Man and you talk to Teela.”

“But Beast-Man is dangerous and he has enslaved a whole tribe of Rock People.”

“And I’m She-Ra, Princess of Power. I have fought Grizzlor and Beast-Man is nothing against him. And if I need help, I’ll simply take one of the other Masters along. After all, the palace is teeming with heroic warriors.”

“Do you even know where the Widget Fortress is?”

“Not really, but there are maps, you know?”

Roboto arrives in the palace garden to look for He-Man and She-Ra.“He-Man, She-Ra. Excuse me, but I am very glad to find you here.”

“Ah, Roboto. Just the man – ahem, robot – I was looking for.”

“As a matter of fact, I was looking for Prince Adam. Something is wrong with my sister. She is upset and I do not understand why. Orko suggested that Prince Adam could help.”

“Yes, we know about Teela.”

“You do? That is a relief.”

“He-Man will talk to Teela. And you’ll come with me to save to Twidgets…”

“Widgets”

“…whatever from Beast-Man.”

She-Ra goes off with Roboto to save the Widgets, while He-Man goes looking for Teela.“But what about Prince Adam? Everybody says that only Prince Adam can calm down Teela when she is having what Uncle Malcolm calls ‘one of her moods’.”

“He-Man will find Prince Adam, if necessary. And now come on, Roboto. The Twidgets…”

“Widgets”

“…need our help.”

***

In the Widget Woods, near the Widget Fortress:

She-Ra and Roboto arrive to free the Rock People from Beast-Man's control.

I probably should have used some random gnome or dwarf figures to stand in for the Widgets.

“So the reason my sister is upset is because I did not comment on changes in her appearance. Is that correct?”

“Exactly, Roboto.”

“I still do not understand. My sister’s appearance changes all the time. Minor changes such as a bruise, a cut, a pimple, a tan, weight fluctuations, hormonal fluctuations, etcetera. Am I supposed to comment on all of them or just certain changes?”

“Changes in hairstyle, clothing, make-up. Best ignore the rest and by all that’s holy, don’t ever comment on pimples, weight or hormone fluctations.”

“Humans can be very strange. Oh, there are Beast-Man and his thralls.”

“Beast-Man, release these Rock People at once and leave the Twidgets…”

“Actually, they are called Widgets.”

“…alone.”

“Get lost, She-Ra! This doesn’t concern you. The Rock People will force the Widgets to mine Corodite for Skeletor and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“We’ll see about that.”

“Rabar, Togar, attack!”

“Uhh, uhhh…”

Robots fights the Rock People while She-Ra fights Beast-Man.“You take the Rock People and I’ll take Beast-Man.”

“Excuse me. I do not wish to harm you, but I am programmed to defend myself and my friends. But if you would just stand down…”

“Uhh, uhh, guhhh!”

“I guess the answer is ‘no’. I am very sorry about this.”

HACK! SLAM!

“Wuuhhh! Oowww!”

“All right, Beast-Man. End of the line. Release the Rock People!”

“Never, She-Ra. Maybe I’ll capture you and take you to Skeletor. Then he’ll reward me and maybe we can have some fun together.”

“Forget it!”

TWACK!

Beast-Man is down and the Rock-People are free.“What… what happened?”

“Don’t worry, Rock People. You’re free now. That mangy Beast-Man can’t hurt you anymore.”

“Free. We are free. Thank you.”

“You’re very welcome. Just doing my job here or rather my brother’s. Come on, Roboto. Let’s get back to the palace and see, if He-Man has managed to make up with Teela.”

“And this time, I shall offer compliments on my sister’s change in appearance.”

  ***

He-Man tries to talk to Teela who is still angry.“Hey, Teela…”

“Go away! I want to be alone.”

“Listen, I… I’m sorry. I…”

“Don’t you have to save the Widgets or something?”

“She-Ra went to save the Widgets and the Rock People from Beast-Man.”

“Sigh, she told you to talk to me, didn’t she?”

“Uh-uhm.”

“And she also told you what to say?”

“Yes, sort of. Look, Teela, I’m really sorry that I didn’t say anything about your new hairstyle and outfit earlier. I think you look great.”

“That’s not good enough, Adam. You’re just paroting what Adora told you to say. Without her prompting, would you even have noticed that I wear my hair differently now?”

“Well, I’m noticing the differences now. Your hair is kind of loose – well, looser than before – and your uniform looks somehow brighter.”

Adam tries to comfort Teela.“You’re terrible at this, you know?”

“I know I’m not very good at this, making compliments and saying nice things. Probably something I inherited from my Dad who never had a single nice thing to say about me.”

“Oh, Adam, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to… You’re not like your father. Who also completely failed to notice my new look, for that matter.”

“No surprise there. Dad only ever notices something to criticise it. But I don’t want to be like him and I’m trying to do better. And if there’s one thing I know it’s that I love you, no matter what you look like.”

He-Man and Teela hold hands.“I loved you when you fell into the Tar Swamp, when we were kids, and were covered in tar all over. I loved you when you flat out refused to wear that nice gown Mom got you for the royal reception for Chief Carnivus and just showed up in your regular uniform. I loved you when I came back from the dead and you had that really terrible haircut…”

“But you said you liked the haircut.”

“I never said that. I said that I missed you and that you looked more beautiful than I remembered. Even with the terrible haircut.”

“It was practical, okay. Easy to wash, easy to care for, never got caught anywhere. After all, Andra and I were sleeping rough a lot of the time.”

“I noticed. But you were still beautiful to me. Because you’ll always be beautiful to me.”

“Aww, you really know how to make a girl feel wanted. But what about this new look? Do you like it? Better than the short mercenary haircut, I mean.”

“Of course, I like it. I like what Adora has done with your hair and I like the brighter colours on your uniform and how they bring out your eyes. Like I said, you’ll always be beautiful to me, but you look particularly beautiful today.”

He-Man and Teela kiss in the palace garden.“I’m sorry for going all ballistic on you… and everybody else, I guess.”

“Roboto was really worried about you, you know?”

“It’s just that everybody only commented on the new sword and no one noticed my new hairstyle or outfit. Almost as if they all see me only as a soldier and not as a woman.”

“That’s not true, Teela. We see you as a soldier, because you’re a damned good one. As for the sword, your Dad wanted to make something really special for you for your birthday and we all helped. Well, I mean, I only helped with advice, because I’m crap as a smith, but Roboto actually did help with the forging. And that’s why we were all so happy to see you carrying that sword, because it means that you like it.”

“Of course, I like it. It’s a great blade, beautiful and perfectly balanced. Though maybe I didn’t tell Dad – and you and Roboto, of course – enough how much I liked it.”

“You can tell him later.”

“Why not now?”

“Because now I want to kiss you.”

Smooch.

He-Man and Teela kissing in close-up.

***

And that’s it for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed this Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre Photo Story. There will be more stories coming in the future, because I’m having a lot of fun doing these. Besides, finally having a King Randor figure makes a lot of stories possible that I couldn’t do before, including the secret origin of Skeletor.

Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, I just bought some toys, took photos of them and wrote little scenes to go with those photos. All characters are copyright and trademark their respective owners.

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3 Responses to Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre: “New Look”

  1. Lurkertype says:

    In scene two, I was thinking, “Wow, he’s really being annoying” and lo, I was rewarded with my favorite line: “Shut up, Malcolm”. More than once, even!

    The lions? fu dogs? are a nice addition. Very royal.

    LOL at Roboto scanning her hormones.

    Which of the writers was so tapped-out for ideas that one day he said “Screw it, let’s just call this bunch ‘Widgets'”?

    The pink ceramic rosebud — my mom had one or more of those, and I think she got them in Berlin (possibly France), but I don’t know. Where did yours come from?

    (and shut up, Malcolm)

    • Cora says:

      Being annoying and getting told to shut up is Malcolm’s secret superpower, next to his mighty iron first, of course. 😉

      My Dad used to bring back all sorts of souvenirs from his travels – that’s how we came by the lions. They make really good props and make the throne room look more royal.

      I inherited the rosebud from my grandma. It’s definitely German, probably East German, though the markings are too small to identify the manufacturer. It’s not Meißen, though, and not Capodimonte, the Italian manufacturer known for making such roses.

      A lot of the Masters of the Universe characters have names which sound like someone was out of ideas and said, “Oh, let’s just call him Beast-Man or Mer-Man or Ram-Man.” A Mattel employee was tasked with writing mini-bios for various characters for a collector line and had to come up with all sorts of real names for the characters, since their parents obviously didn’t name them Ram-Man or Beast-Man. Everybody since has been borrowing those names.

      The Widgets were really strange gnome creatures anyway. They appeared in several episodes of the Filmation cartoon and look as if they wandered in from a completely different show. Which they probably did, since Filmation is kind of notorious for reusing animation. The writer who invented them was apparently Paul Dini on what must have been an off-day.

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