The story behind Teela has more than one history. Some say she was a clone from the laboratories of Skeletor, while some just say she was given to “Man At Arms” from the Sorceress of Grayskull. Whichever is believed, Teela is a fireball and shows it at times. She does not know who her real Father and Mother are, and it seems to affect her judgment. She is heard to be castigating Prince Adam at times for his laziness, not knowing that she is also talking to He Man. The Masters Of The Universe Teela is named after an elephant, believe it or not. She got her name from the elephant in the television show “Andy’s Gang”. Mattel made her into an action figure in the early 1980s.
Teela’s powers come from her staff which is shaped like a snake. She is also claimed to have the spirits of the dead warriors inside her. She was an adopted daughter by “Man At Arms”, who is He Man’s best friend, but she never seems to learn who her real Father is. She is a skilled warrior and gives fighting lessons to Prince Adam, not realizing that he is He Man. She can not do transformations like She Ra or Battle Cat. At one time she was able to converse with animals via the cobra staff she carries. This only happens once, in the “UK Ladybird” Masters Of The Universe book series. She is a tomboy and acts irrationally at times. She is a helper during He Man’s battles with evil so she is assumed to be a heroine. She is given the position as Captain of the Palace Guard in later years. The back of the Teela action figure bubble pack says she is able to track her enemy’s every move using her magical staff.
The original Teela action figure had red hair. The height of Teela and the other Masters Of The Universe figures were 5 ½ inches tall which was a departure from the standard 3 ¾ inch figures of the day. She came packaged with a red staff shaped like a snake, a red shield, and a uniquely shaped piece of chest armor that also curved up and behind her neck. Her outfit included calf-height brown boots and green arm bands. Her leotards were off-white with gold embellishments. Teela the action figure was given painted blue eyes.
As an action figure, Teela could pivot at the waist, similar to He Man and the other Masters Of The Universe toys. This type of spring action was mentioned on the front of the bubble packs that the figure was shipped in. It allowed a child to twist the Teela figure and the toy would snap back, making a punch with the hand. Other than that, there was not much else Teela would do. The punch was provided by an elastic band on the inside of the toy, which grew weaker over time.
There were no different versions of the original Mattel Teela action figure. There were some different versions of the card the figure was shipped in. There is an “8 back” and a “12 back version of the card. This is in reference to the number of action figures depicted on the back of the Mattel package. The “8 back” is rarer and worth more than a “12 back” card.
The Teela action figure is not hard to find online with carded and loose figures seen in the bigger markets. A collector who finds an AFA graded “8 back” figure will expect to pay upwards of $800-$2500 dollars for an original Teela in super shape. A loose action figure will bring much less.