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Twisted Land of Oz
by Artemis

Before we begin, I should just mention that if you really want to see The Wizard of Oz reinterpreted as hardcore fetish pornography, go find Lost Girls by Alan Moore. Sadly there aren't action figures of that (they're having trouble figuring out the necessary articulation, no doubt) so for now we'll have to settle for second best and see what Todd McFarlane's dished up.

What happens when you wander too far from the yellow brick road? No doubt about it - Dorothy is not in Kansas anymore. Her innocence gone, bound and branded, she is captive.

This is, of course, not a new figure - it's simply a two-up version of 2005's regular- sized Dorothy, and in fact even this giant Dorothy has been around a few months already; since I already had the regular one, I'd ignored this until I happened to have some spare cash and nothing else pressing to buy. But no one at OAFE's reviewed either version yet, leaving a terrible gap in our coverage of replica bondage models, so let's get cracking.

First of all, let's get them out of the way: the munchkins. Possibly there are a few people who really like to look at both Dorothy and her tormentors, a pair of evil monster munchkins, one of whom looks like Freddy Krueger's midget love child, but I doubt there's many, and more than likely the vast majority of mutant munchkins - regular scale and two-up - are stuck in a drawer somewhere, because the buyer only really wanted the hottie in a corset. For what it's worth, the munchkins collectively are 7" tall (not including the brand) solid plastic, and sculpted and painted to quite a high standard.

The top munchkin is obese and veiny, carries the branding iron (which can be removed, though it's a tight fit), and has swivel articulation at his biceps, which isn't really good for much. His right arm is outstretched as if to hold Dorothy's leash, but the hand isn't really clenched, so it's tough to make it look natural. The bottom munchkin is covered in pustule-laden folds of fat, plus a fair bit of scarring, and has no articulation. He does have peg holes in his right hand and left foot, but they're sized for a regular base, not the larger pegs on Dorothy's base - it doesn't matter anyway, since the munchkins are thoroughly stable on their own.

Incidentally, they weigh 400 grams - not inconsiderable for their size - so if you totalled up all the oil used to make all the plastic for all the munchkins currently forgotten in drawers, it's probably enough for George Bush to go to war over.

Anyway, no-one's paid AU$80 (or the international equivalent) for a pair of munchkins in leather harnesses, so let's get to the point of all this: Dorothy. She stands a touch over 12" tall - boosted by her platform shoes, but shortened by her contorted stance - and like her diminutive captors is solid plastic from the tip of her nose (highest part) to the bottom of her raver-girl boots. Her head is slightly off at the joint, where the sculpt of her neck doesn't quite line up, but it's easily hidden by the chain necklace bearing her key.

That aside, all the assembly has been carried out with care, and everything fits tightly and smoothly, especially the upper of the two straps binding her breasts, which was fickle on the 6" version. She's a bit tricky to display - the ideal viewing angle seems to be from above and to the right, with her stance making her look odd from other perspectives, so her spot on the shelf should be chosen with care. Although she has quite a nice bottom, her shoulder muscles are being pretty savagely crunched by the armbinder, so the rear view isn't her best look (unless you're specifically into that).

Her leash is just a lacklustre bit of brown string, looped over the ratchet on her armbinder and glued in place - presumably it's meant to be rope, but with this kind of string being so ubiquitous it's difficult to imagine it being 1:6 scale rope, rather than just seeing 1:1 scale string, and all in all a chain (like her necklace) might have been a better option. Her skirt is layered gauze, attached with a thin ribbon tied in a bow behind her back - it's made in such a way that it holds its intended shape very well, and can be untied and retied quite easily without losing any of its aesthetic value. Beneath the skirt, should you take it off, she's got silk panties, in the process of being worked off her hips. There's some rather accomplished sculpting and painting there, to make the panties look not only a separate layer to the body beneath, but one that's loose in places and in danger of falling off - the effect of semi-loose fabric over the crotch is quite convincing.

It's difficult to comment much on her face, since the majority of it is covered by her hood. Still, the one feature on display - her mouth - is solid work, with a decent sculpted cavity between her parted lips, and a high-gloss finish to the ruby red lipstick. The sculpt doesn't extend to teeth or any of that inner mouth detail that McFarlane does for some of its figures, but the contrast and the angle her head's twisted around at makes that pretty irrelevant unless you're looking straight down at her with a strong light shining.

Paintwise all the major bases are covered - the skin is even, the costume elements are plausible colours applied well, and while the stocking on her left leg (the one that hasn't fallen down) isn't perfect in conveying the illusion of smoky fabric over skin tone, it's pretty decent. Two points stand out, though, as detractors. The tattoo, or body paint, or whatever it is on her shoulder, seems to have been applied a bit haphazardly, with the colours not quite lining up the way I think they're intended to - at a glance it's fine, but if you examine it closely, it seems a bit messy. The other is the brand on her hip, where the munchkins have applied their iron to mark her with "OZ" - it's just painted on, and none too spectacularly at that. At 6" scale, this kind of work would be sufficient, but at twice the size it stands out that the burn has implausibly even edges, and no actual depth to it.

Articulation... well, you know who made this, so you know the drill. She has a neck swivel - essentially a construction joint, the sculpt of the tendons in her neck is too clear to permit the head to be turned off its default position - and swivels at the left thigh stocking top, and right ankle boot top, both to assist in getting her feet in exactly the right position. If you want a versatile bondage model you can pose however you like, either get a Barbie and improvise, or find an up-market brothel that caters to fetish enthusiasts. Her ponytail is also on a swivel, at the base where the leather roll meets the hood - the spikes running crosswise through the ponytail, and the stitching on both parts of the hood, give it a natural default position, but it can be altered without throwing off the look much.

Dorothy can stand on her own, but she's a bit precarious, so she comes with a base to help her remain upright. Unlike the 6" scale version, who had a segment of the dirty and grimy Yellow Brick Road (to combine with the bases of the other figures in the series), this Dorothy's base is intended for solo display. It's nothing fancy - just a black circle, with a mild scuffing drybrush to give it a bit of visual interest, and the "Twisted Land of Oz" title in off-white - but I find I rather like it for its stark simplicity, as it gives the figure a slightly classy "display piece" look. There are two very thick pegs, one for each foot - when her legs are aligned properly the pegs fit in just right, and nothing short of brute force will cause her to fall over.

In its own way, this is possibly McFarlane's most adult figure - at least so far as the women go, which is my "specialty." Not only is she showing a lot of flesh, she's dressed in blatantly sexualised fetish gear, and (even with the munchkins deservedly ditched) she's got the unsettling suggestion of not being consenting to whatever's happening to her. I doubt many people would buy this on a whim, especially at the price the two-up version goes for - you'd have to either specifically want a bondage figure, or already have a collection that spans pretty broad areas of subject matter for her to become a part of. (Me, the latter. Well, bit of both, perhaps.) But if you decide you want her, and can afford her, there's no real reason not to get her - without the munchkins she's still large and striking enough to be worthwhile on her own, and what shortcomings there are in her manufacture are very minor.


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