Crystal Castle Playset
Back in the day, Mattel made some awesome playsets for the Masters of the Universe toyline. Or rather, they made ONE awesome playset and that was pretty much it, but I digress. Anyway, with the Princess of Power line they dropped the ball so hard it left a hole on the floor. I thought it would be a nice design exercise to think what a cartoon-style Crystal Castle playset would look like, as opposed to the pink cloud with windows that they treated kids to. Now, the problem when trying to conceptualize a Crystal Castle playset based on the cartoon is that so little of the cartoon actually takes place in it, that there is almost nothing to reference. I mean, in the only episode which featured the Castle heavily, the Stone in the Sword (go watch it) the action takes place in the caves below the castle.
Design-wise this is an “open back” playset. There’s no way that shape is going to be turned into one of those briefcase style playsets that open and close, at least I am not that good a designer to pull that off. The lower area is the entrance, the big jewel is actually the door and it would be notched so that you can open it with a little help from your fingernail, without any sort of mechanism. Right next to the jewel door is a frame with a decal of a dark cave with a dim light coming from far below, a direct reference to the chamber of the First Ones from the aforementioned episode. Connected to the bottom by a flight of stairs is the second level which represents Light Hope’s chamber. Light Hope itself would be a glowing cylinder, I imagine it as one of those color-changing nightlights you find at discount stores. Another set of stairs brings you to the top level which has pegs for She-Ra’s sword and shield, and features another frame with a decal of Castle Grayskull, representing a portal to Eternia. There would be an appropriately winged throne for She-Ra to sit on, which you can place wherever you see fit.
In case you are wondering, I have no intention of actually building this. I don’t have the time, room, money or skill, but if anybody wants to give it a try you’re more than welcome. It was fun, I may do more of these.