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Little Miss Muffet

Twisted Fairy Tales
by Artemis

All nursery rhymes and fairy tales are basically just a game of spot-the-sexual-subtext - McFarlane's just making it easy for you.

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Or there's another version (more a song than a rhyme) where Miss Muffet invites the spider into her garden. Yeah. For those who're curious, a tuffet is just a stool with a cloth cover on it, and curds and whey are both dairy products, so whoever Miss Muffet was (probably not Mary, Queen of Scots, as one theory would have it), she likely lived on a farm. Which makes it unlikely she'd have been scared of a spider; the British Isles don't have much in the way of homicidal arachnids anyway, their standard advice for a spider bits is "Get an ice pack for the pain, if you need to." She probably just wanted an excuse to ditch the curds and whey; they don't taste great.

McFarlane's Miss Muffet is par for the course for them - take the basic concept, boost the girl's age so that she's legal, deck her out in fetishwear, and introduce some grisly murder to proceedings. She's 6" long from her head to her outstretched right leg - straightened up and stood up, she'd be about the same 6½" tall the rest of the Twisted Fairy Tales figures are. Her eight-legged admirer is a bit smaller, but the spider's legs give it a greater sense of volume, which - along with the general pose - makes it look bigger and weightier than its victim.

Miss Muffet's sporting a seriously eye-catching wardrobe, with a leather ensemble in black and neon pink. She suffers a bit from McFarlane's tendency to go overboard - personally I'd have preferred her gloves to be matching, rather than a strappy sleeve on her right mismatching a pukka glove on her left - but the majority of her design is fairly restrained. So far as fetishwear ever is, of course. Her lace-up above-the-knee boots have a pink pattern worked in around the laces, matching the pure pink corset, which extends to cover her breasts - barely - and attach to a leather g-string down below.

She's wearing a bodystocking from the neck down - except for her arms, where it cuts off at the biceps - and it looks a little bit like that may have been a last-minute thing, with the legs having a dark, smoky finish that looks a lot better (and more planned) than the upper body's washed-out charcoal colour. I don't have anything to back me up on this, but I wouldn't be surprised if the figure was initially designed to be clad in just the leather from the waist up, and McFarlane chickened out on that much nudity in the end - it wouldn't be the first time.

We don't see much of Miss M.'s face, since - like her equally unfortunate sister-in-bondage Dorothy - she's hooded. Muffet's hood is even more encompassing, leaving only her mouth and jaw visible, glossy scarlet lips open in desperation, with the entire rest of her head covered in shiny black, with pink straps holding it tight. Not the sort of thing a rampaging spider would carry around with it, so one can only assume she put it on herself - slipping into the fetishistic sex mindset, she probably got all dolled up for an evening of anonymous sex, but didn't count on her first partner being from another species. Valuable lesson, there: either know your space when you put the hood on, or else don't go throwing a tantrum when your unseen lover turns out to be called "Fido" or something. I'll grant that a giant spider is unusual, of course.

Miss Muffet's accessories - those that weren't slipped into place before she put the g-string on - consist of, aptly enough, her curds and whey, and a tuffet. Allegedly a tuffet, anyway - it's a three-legged stool with a padded seat, so to properly qualify there'd have to be a cover cloth lying around somewhere, possibly knocked off during the struggle. The curds and whatnot looks like thick porridge, with a spoon lodged in it as it oozes sideways out of its tilted bowl - the bowl has quite a nice blue and gold pattern on the rim, incidentally; McFarlane rarely under-details, so that's to be expected. Both accessories attach to Missy, the stool plugging into her right calf, the bowl into her right shoulder - leave them off (as I'm inclined to do - I prefer less cluttered figures, as a rule) and the plug holes remain visible, but only from the right side. I find the figure displays best from the left anyway, so it's not an issue.

And of course there's the spider - a big monster tarantula kind of affair (or maybe some other type of spider, I don't pay close attention to them, besides "Die!"). It's one ugly-looking critter, with angular legs, matted fur on its body, twin rows of stubby little spines along its back, and a wet-looking gaping maw of a mouth. The paint is murky - on purpose, not due to poor work - mingled shades of greys and browns and greens for the most part that give the creature a gritty, unclean appearance. The only real variation in colour is its mouthparts, which shade from leathery flesh to icky pink, beneath a very heavy black ink wash to make it glisten. Even if Miss M. was into human/arachnid hanky-panky, she likely wouldn't want to get it on with this one.

The spider attaches to her by plugs, like the accessories, although in this case Missy's got the plugs built into her - one from the palm of her left hand, fitting into the spider's foremost right leg at the shoulder, one from her right elbow, connecting to the corresponding "elbow" of the foremost left spider-leg. Properly fitted the spider leans over severely to its left - Miss Muffet's in the process of bucking her hips to try to toss it off. When you pose it you can get a more dramatic look, with the spider's backside (thorax? I forget which bit is which) up in the air like it's being thrown off, but it'll tend to settle down onto her right knee, making the contest more even.

The spider is articulated, kind of - all eight legs are mounted on "shoulder" balljoints, but that's not as much use as it might sound. The dramatically clawed postures of the legs, combined with the angles the body carapace forces on them, mean that there's only really one way to pose the limbs where they look decent - you can't get them rearing up in the air, or clutching inward, much more than the default pose, and being so tightly packed on the body, only the front and back legs can swing much, which looks odd with the middle ones still straight out to the sides. The balls aren't loose in their sockets, due to the slightly spongy plastic, but they'll pop out easily if you try to turn them past their comfortable ranges - reattaching them is no hassle.

Missy's not much more mobile than her unwanted paramour, for that matter. She's got swivels at her boot tops just above the knees, at the biceps, and at the neck, but her preset pose is so dramatic that there's no real changing it, especially with both arms needed to plug into the spider's legs and hold it in place. The neck swivel would be handy if you wanted to have her looking away in dismay, rather than staring (give or take the blindfold) into her attacker's maw, but as I said before I really don't find the right side to be her best angle, and with her body twisting that way to begin with, she really doesn't look natural turning her head to the left, so - unless you want to look at the back of her head - staring up is the way to go. The leg joints are marginally useful, for adjusting how violently she's bucking her hips up, but that's about it.

That's about it for Miss M. - saving minor tweaks like removing the bowl and stool, and adjusting the poses of the bodies slightly, she's exactly what you see in the package, no more and no less. That said, given that she's stuck being a McStatue, she's at least the best kind: unique. You can find articulation and accessories and so forth on any quality figure, but this is the only place you'll get a black-and-pink leatherwear girl being indecently assaulted by a giant spider. Probably.


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