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Thread: "The Shaping Staff" - the return of the Official Classic Episode Review Threads!

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  1. #1
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "The Shaping Staff" - the return of the Official Classic Episode Review Threads!

    It's Monday... which means it's time for... another episode review thread.

    This week's episode is "The Shaping Staff", an early episode most notable for the one and only appearance in the cartoon of Faker.

    At the Royal Palace, a mysterious sorceress called Majestra suddenly appears. She performs a trick, putting King Randor into the 'Cabinet of Wonders' and making him disappear and reappear again. Unbeknown to the Royal party, Majestra is really a magically disguised Evil-Lyn, and the magic trick was to replace the real King Randor with Beast Man. Evil-Lyn and Beast Man have found the mystical Shaping Staff, which they use to transform the real King Randor into a goat, and Orko into a cricket. As King Randor, Beast Man plans to give the command to take over Castle Grayskull. Outside Castle Grayskull, Skeletor waits for them, with his latest creation - a magical clone of He-Man called Faker...

    I'd like to hear what you have to say on this episode.
    I'll be posting my own review of it a bit later.
    ~jay firestorm~
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  2. #2
    80s cartoon guru manny's Avatar
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    one of my faves defenitly like to see the greyskull battle at the end and see how valuable the sorceress really is as she to me was the one that turned out to be the hero in this episode, i give it a 8
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  3. #3
    Eternian Henchman motu77's Avatar
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    This was always one of my favorites as a kid. The main reason was for the brief and unspectacular appearance of Faker. I'll give it a 7, would have been a 10 if they got Faker right though.
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  4. #4
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Here's my review...

    "The Shaping Staff" is an enjoyable, quite early episode that is most notable for the only cartoon appearance of Faker. But there's a good story aside from that...

    Things start off with He-Man testing his strength on Man-At-Arms' assault course. This whole scene feels like nothing but padding, and has nothing at all to do with the rest of the episode. I would have preferred to have seen the time used to provide some backing to the appearance of a certain robot impostor later in the episode, instead of Skeletor suddenly conjuring him up out of nowhere.

    When Majestra (alias Evil-Lyn) suddenly appears at the Royal Palace, there is a great use of music, telling us right away that something is not right.

    After all the magic we see on Eternia, it's curious that the Royal party is so startled to see the King disappear, and subsequently reappear. It is to be assumed that they are concerned about the King's sudden disappearance rather than amazement at the actual trick itself.

    This episode is notable for one of the few occasions that we hear Queen Marlena's alternative voice, provided by Erika Scheimer.

    Things roll on nicely through Act 1, with King Randor turned into a goat and Orko into a cricket, and things really get going in Act 2, with Teela turned into a frog, and He-Man turned into a bronze statue.

    Then, mid-Act 2, we get the scene that makes the episode most notable - the appearance of Faker. Here we see him to be a magical creation of Skeletor, not a robot as he was said to be elsewhere. Here he appears as an exact double of He-Man, with eerie glowing eyes and hollow voice.
    The fight between He-Man and Faker is very good, and Faker's fate - falling into the bottomless abyss, is both dramatic and slightly unexpected. I can only imagine that Filmation allowed such a fate as Faker wasn't a "real" being.

    Many fans were disappointed that we never saw more of Faker in the series - he definitely deserved his own story or two.

    One might wonder why Skeletor or Evil-Lyn actually *need* the Shaping Staff, as the magic displayed by both of them during this episode shows that they are already very powerful conjurers without the staff.

    All in all, a very enjoyable episode, with the appearance of Faker an added bonus. I give it a solid 9 out of 10.
    ~jay firestorm~
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/pj-firesto...id=p4340.l2562 FS: MIB first release Classics, MIB 200x, COMPLETE VINTAGE FIGURE SET, 2009 SDCC Art Book, more...

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior Canadian_He-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust
    Here's my review...

    "The Shaping Staff" is an enjoyable, quite early episode that is most notable for the only cartoon appearance of Faker. But there's a good story aside from that...

    Things start off with He-Man testing his strength on Man-At-Arms' assault course. This whole scene feels like nothing but padding, and has nothing at all to do with the rest of the episode. I would have preferred to have seen the time used to provide some backing to the appearance of a certain robot impostor later in the episode, instead of Skeletor suddenly conjuring him up out of nowhere.

    When Majestra (alias Evil-Lyn) suddenly appears at the Royal Palace, there is a great use of music, telling us right away that something is not right.

    After all the magic we see on Eternia, it's curious that the Royal party is so startled to see the King disappear, and subsequently reappear. It is to be assumed that they are concerned about the King's sudden disappearance rather than amazement at the actual trick itself.

    This episode is notable for one of the few occasions that we hear Queen Marlena's alternative voice, provided by Erika Scheimer.

    Things roll on nicely through Act 1, with King Randor turned into a goat and Orko into a cricket, and things really get going in Act 2, with Teela turned into a frog, and He-Man turned into a bronze statue.

    Then, mid-Act 2, we get the scene that makes the episode most notable - the appearance of Faker. Here we see him to be a magical creation of Skeletor, not a robot as he was said to be elsewhere. Here he appears as an exact double of He-Man, with eerie glowing eyes and hollow voice.
    The fight between He-Man and Faker is very good, and Faker's fate - falling into the bottomless abyss, is both dramatic and slightly unexpected. I can only imagine that Filmation allowed such a fate as Faker wasn't a "real" being.

    Many fans were disappointed that we never saw more of Faker in the series - he definitely deserved his own story or two.

    One might wonder why Skeletor or Evil-Lyn actually *need* the Shaping Staff, as the magic displayed by both of them during this episode shows that they are already very powerful conjurers without the staff.

    All in all, a very enjoyable episode, with the appearance of Faker an added bonus. I give it a solid 9 out of 10.
    I agree. This was a very, very strong episode for the villians. Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, and even Beastman, all came off looking exceptional here. There was a genuine unpredictability to the entire episode. In the back of your mind, you always know that He-Man would win in the end, but when an evil He-Man doppelganger comes out of nowhere, it's dramatic and suprising. The scene of Skeletor appearing standing next to an evil He-Man has a genuine "Oh crap" feel to it (i.e. the good guys are in REAL trouble now). You really did wonder how the heroes would win. The He-Man vs. Faker fight was one of the better one-on-one fights of the show, I felt. He-Man was truly struggling in that one.
    "I'm not just crying for Hordak. I'm crying for the saddest thing I know - a wasted life. To be given that most precious gift - the gift of living, to do with as we choose. I'm crying, because this man has chosen to throw it away, and when he goes, nobody will care..." - She-Ra ( "My Friend, My Enemy")

  6. #6
    Dynasty Masters Universe DynastyMasters's Avatar
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    I copied these from YouTube using the application Grab and Capture on IMAC.

    Last edited by DynastyMasters; August 24, 2010 at 08:47pm.
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