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Marion Ravenwood

Raiders of the Lost Ark
by Artemis

Fun fact: when they first met, Indiana Jones was 27, and Marion was 17. Hal Jordan would be proud.

When touring a crowded marketplace in Cairo, Marion and Indy are attacked by a band of local thugs. When one of the attackers chases Marion with a knife, she grabs a pan from a nearby street vendor and lures her pursuer into a building. Inside she bludgeons him with the pan, knocking him unconscious with one loud clang.

Odd bio, isn't it? Normally we get a potted history of who a character is, not what they happened to be doing in the five minutes the action figure represents. It'd be like the bio for Hoth Luke saying he was a guy who got clobbered by a Wampa, escaped, and kissed his sister afterwards true enough, but not really germane to Luke's nature. Except the sister-kissing part, since he is a farm-raised yokel. Tatooine gets mighty lonely sometimes. Anyway, back to Marion, who so far as we know doesn't have a sister, readily-kissable or otherwise (though I'm sure Indy has thought about it).

See? Provide a crummy bio, and the review runs right off the rails.

Marion stands a touch over 3½" tall, which puts her firmly in Star Wars territory appropriate enough, since though they never crossed paths (obviously) the two franchises share a lot, and have always sat easily together in the Saturday-morning-serial-adventure genre. During her Cairo sojourn Marion got about in loose fabrics, and the sculpt does a decent job of representing this, with soft, billowy folds in both the sleeves and trousers, and lots of bunching where the loose top is gathered into the sash around her waist. From a fine detail point of view, it's worth noting that her sleeves don't just end at the edges of the loose folds they tuck in, and there's a little cuff of tight material around the wrist. It's a nice touch, and the kind of thing that'd often be overlooked, especially in a figure this small.

The likeness is... well, not great. There's some Karen Allen in there, but it's far from easy to see, and if you took the face alone you'd be hard-pressed to guess who she is. If she had Marion's trademark gleeful grin the resemblance might have been a lot easier to spot, but her slight smile doesn't do it. That said, she's an attractive lass whoever she is and the sculpt does better than a lot of Star Wars women have fared. Her eyes are large, but for the scale, not excessively so there's some variation in paint from one figure to another, so if you're buying in person it's worth checking every figure you can. The same applies to the hairline, which is the only real problem with the head every Marion I saw had a lack of coverage on the hair framing her face, so there were the skin-coloured "gills" connecting her jawline to the hair.

Marion's Cairo wardrobe isn't one you'd want to hand to a lacklustre painter the narrow stripes and repetition of tiny pattern elements are tailor-made to display errors, not least in high-contrast red over white. Luckily in this area the paint job is up to the task, with clean application of the red detail all over her top it's not perfect to the nanometre, but you have to look very close to start noticing where it fudges a bit. The torso is cast in flesh tone and painted white, which makes for a good match between the neck and head, but does leave the interiors of the shoulder joints unpainted the difference between skin and white, in the shadowed joint hollow, isn't great, but again if you look closely you can see it. From the waist down she's cast in red, and for some reason I can't quite fathom her legs don't quite match her hips. It's not a huge difference, but combined with the high visibility hip articulation, you do tend to notice it. The sash is a darker red, and on the sandals both the skin and red straps are painted, not perfectly the straps tend to bleed onto the soles a little but well enough.

Marion's fairly well articulated for a figure her size, but of course Star Wars has evolved the 3¾" scale considerably since its static early days. Unfortunately Marion's inherited one of Star Wars's recent foibles: solid legs. She has a balljoint neck limited by the hair, but able to turn a bit since it's soft plastic balljoint shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, a swivel waist, peg hips... and then nothing until you get down to the swivel ankles. Skipping the knees may preserve the sculpt, but it makes it really difficult to pose her she's essentially stuck on the one position from the waist down, and as a consequence everything you do from the waist up has to look okay with her legs in that one stance.

She gets three or four accessories, depending on how you look at it. First and foremost is the frying pan cited by the bio text it's a big frying pan, even allowing for figures this size often having oversized accessories for aesthetic reasons. It's nothing fancy, being cast in dull dark silver plastic, but what little detail there is to it is nice and sharp, and it fits snugly in her right hand. Her left hand is clenched more tightly, in order to hold her sword, a rugged-looking scimitar that's actually quite delicate due to the small scale. The handle is very thin, and fits easily (though not loosely) in her grip, and the blade has quite a narrow cross-section be careful taking it out of the packaging, as it'd bend easily.

Her third (and fourth, I guess) accessory is a thin card crate, one of the "Top Secret" ones that warehouse at the end of Raiders was packed with, containing a "relic" and a sticker, which, when collected with several others, entitles the owner to send away for a free (or cheap, depending on where you live) Crystal Skeleton figure. It's possible but tricky to get Marion to stand on it the slightly bowed card tends to tip her over one way or another, and of course there's no pegs to keep her in place, though both her feet have peg holes. It's just a simple card box held closed with clear tape, but it looks decent in its own right.

Marion's relic is the headpiece to the Staff of Ra appropriate, since Marion really did own the headpiece (until the Nazis stole it). It's made from gold plastic, with red paint picking out the jewel in the centre which should be a lighter amber colour, but who's counting and quite an intricate sculpt. It even has the inscriptions around the edge of the medallion containing instructions for fashioning the staff itself, and good attention to detail the inscription on the obverse is different, and shorter. The only downside to the headpiece is that it's freakin' enormous Maxi Mounds couldn't hide this thing down her cleavage, let alone Karen Allen. Still, it's a nice inclusion.

Marion's an odd little figure. Generally speaking, I much prefer figures around the 6-7" scale, but she is what she is, and she looks quite good brandishing her scimitar. The prices being charged for these figures seem a bit high given their size, but as a one-off (or possibly a couple more, when we get a Willie Scott and Ilsa in a few months) the importance of Marion as one of the Indiana Jones heroines makes her worthwhile.


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