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Twilight Saga: New Moon
by Artemis

Oh joy, more Twilight. Actually, I don't want to appear too scornful towards Stephenie Meyer. Sure she's popularizing bad fan-fiction as literature to impressionable teenagers, but as a writer myself, I know the main rule of any creative medium: idiots' money pays the bills just like anyone else's. Mind you, I'll go on record now as saying that if I ever invent a name as godawful as "Renesmee," you can shoot me.

"How strongly are you opposed to grand theft auto?"

Full Name: Mary Alice Brandon Cullen
Status: Vampire
Group: Cullen Coven
Date of Birth: Around 1901
Date of Transformation: 1920s
Special Abilities: Can see the future unless werewolves are directly involved in the events

Wow, that's such a rookie-writer superpower. Anyway, to flesh out that rather sparse bio (with material cribbed from Wikipedia, but what do you want me to do, read the books? C'mon), Alice is cheerful, perky, and straight, which probably means Meyer changed her mind since she dropped some pretty heavy hints early on. Though let's face it, if anyone's going to turn out gay, it'll be Edward and Jacob, for each other - this is hormonal-girl-fanfic, some things are just inevitable. Mind you, if Meyer drops in a relative of Edward's called Peter, I'll forgive her a lot.

Alice, though. She's the same height as Bella, which isn't far off the mark - there's only an inch between Ashley Greene and Kristen Stewart - but even without any of the other New Moon figures standing around to show scale, she looks fairly pixieish (true to character), with her slim figure, and the untucked bottom of her shirt hiding her hips. Like her not-girlfriend she's not heavily padded out front, but she does sport some rather good sculpting on her torso, with a finely textured waistcoat showing off the kind of realistic clothing NECA like doing.

Unfortunately the paintwork is a bit ordinary - the deep purple is good enough to provide some depth to her palette at a glance, but when you go in close you see it's applied none too carefully, with the black stripes on her shirt being a bit haphazard, and purple leaking across the edges around her collar and the waistcoat's edges.

From the waist down she's plain black, although her shoes get a shinier finish to distinguish them from her jeans. Her skintone is pale, but not noticeably so - in the books she's meant to be ultra-pale, but female action figures often have paler skin than you'd find on the average real woman, and in order to not look truly sickly against her dark wardrobe, Alice has had to settle for a pale but unremarkable shade, making her look no more unusual than any other girl who doesn't go in for tanning.

Her face is a decent recreation of Greene's elfin cute looks, although her neutral expression and slightly lidded eyes make her look slightly asleep, a far cry from the mischievous grin she's sporting in the publicity photos. Her brown eyes have a pleasing shine to them, and her face also has some skin tone shading that, with faint red rims around her eyes, is really the only clue to her being a creature of the night. Her hair is fairly accurate, though naturally more solid than the real thing, and thus a bit narrower to compensate, so as not to look too much like a helmet. It's not what I'd called a "spiky" 'do, which Alice allegedly has, but neither does Greene's seem to be in the photos, so no harm done there.

Like Bella she's pretty static, with just a handful of slight-adjustment joints: balljoint neck and waist, swivel/pin shoulders, and swivel wrists - with nothing to hide the wrist joints, turning them is far more obvious than was the case with Bella. She has swivel ankles, but they're so restricted by her pants that she might as well have a a total lack of leg articulation, which introduces another issue with Alice; that being that she's incapable of standing up. Maybe it's a manufacturing defect that won't show up in every figure (although you'd need more than a fraction of difference to eliminate it), but my Alice cannot even begin to remain upright on any flat surface. If not for being able to have someone else take the main photo up top of this review, she'd have been leaning right up against the backing cloth to keep from falling over. Both feet have peg holes, but she comes with no base to help out - hope you've got one spare (or were luckier in the factory-quality roulette).

With her pale(ish) skin, fine-featured good looks, and stylishly dark attire, Alice is quite an eye-catching figure, so far as regular civilians go (granted, I've got her standing next to Camille Noire and Padme in one of her goofy Queen outfits, so she still fades into the background a bit). Crisper paint and, above all, the ability to stand on her own would've made her an unexpected gem from a line which I generally couldn't care less about - as is, she's flawed, but not so badly as to be unsalvageable. Have a spare base on hand, and she's worth serious consideration.

-- 12/06/09

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