What to say about Raquel Darrien (or Racquel, or Darrian, or any number of other spelling variations, as per usual for porn stars)? Well, I'm at a bit of a loss actually, since not only have I never heard of her (like most of these figures, she was before my time, porn-wise), but a quick browse of the usual websites hasn't turned up any fascinating bits of trivia or amusing parody movie titles to joke about. Oh, hey, she was in a movie in 1990 called Above and Beyond, which later inspired the sci-fi series Space: Above and Beyond, when X-Files producers Glen Morgan and James Wong discovered the video among a bunch the production office had bought in bulk in case they ever needed to show the inside of Mulder's bedroom, and thought it'd make a cool TV series if they replaced the sex with starfighter battles.
There you go, interesting trivia achieved. Hey gimme a break, OAFEnet hired me because I'm funny (and sexy), not because of my journalistic standards.
You all know the deal with Plastic Fantasy by now: action figures of porn stars, portrayed in various sexy personae, with removable clothes. Raquel's role is a fitness babe, clad in the smallest shorts, sports bra, and sneakers she could find - you could make a porn workout club with her and Sydnee Steele and Devinn Lane - with wristbands and hefting a couple of hand weights. Not very large hand weights, but maybe they need to pull double duty as sex toys in the next scene, so their diameter needed to be kept in manageable territory. Or maybe she's just not working out very hard; her biceps are fairly unremarkable. Stormy Daniels maintains that a half-hour of reverse cowgirl beats a full day's gym workout, so I guess Raquel can get away with using puny weights.
Sans base she stands 7" tall (or rather, she doesn't, because she'll tip over), and I have to say I'm not really digging her pose.
She has her feet planted middling-far apart, and her torso thrust forward and twisted around to the left, as if she's really putting her whole body behind lifting the weight in her right hand - except the weight's so damned small it just looks like she's posing with it held up, rather than her posture being the result of the effort of holding it. It kind of throws her whole physical appearance subtly out of whack, though, de-emphasising her hips, making her breasts look artificial (I mean, moreso), and giving a stilted, awkward appearance to her thighs and calves, which in a better pose would be rather pleasant to look at.
She takes a hit from her outfit too. The shorts should be the main draw - everyone loves sexy short shorts - and while they're technically good, with clean and clear detailing of the stars and stripes pattern on either
side, they just don't quite work. Being removable means they have to have a certain thickness, otherwise they'd be thin enough to be damaged by the mere process of taking them off - in the case of most of the outfits I've been reviewing from this line so far that's okay, since they're all about being revealing, but short shorts - while obviously not striving to cover much leg - are all about being tight. Ideally your typical sexy-as-hell personal trainer will be wearing shorts that look like they've been applied with a spray can, and as much as Raquel's shorts do their best to mimic the appearance of skin-tight fabric, they just can't hide their thickness.
There are other areas where things could have been improved, at least so far as my tastes go. The sculpt of her sports bra is good, but its dark blue colour is too much of a contrast with the light colours on the rest of her clothes, giving the impression that it's trying to draw attention to her breasts, when really, while obviously you want to make them look good, it's best to do so in a way that doesn't seem so deliberate. Her shoes are well sculpted and painted, but she's got no socks, and I've never been a fan of that look. IAFD ([one of] the porn versions of IMDb) claims she's got a tattoo on her backside, but there's no tattoo here - then again, I can't find one on anything Google image search is giving me either, so let's side with the figure on that one and assume she got it later.
Her face shows a marked difference from the prototype photos, sadly to its detriment - it's subtle, but the cheeks are just a fraction less obvious under the hair to either side, making her face look thinner. She's also got a faint blush which for some reason has clung to her lower eyelids - her eyes are narrowed,
presumably with "effort" at working out - giving her a slight shadow beneath her eyes. It's not so obvious as the ones on Dasha, but then Raquel can't get away by pretending to be made up as an evil sorceress either. The neck is also curious, with its tendons sculpted as if she's turning her head far to the left, rather than leaning left but looking back to the right - probably a sculptor error, rather than the laser scanning process. Those drawbacks are a shame, because otherwise the face is a good likeness, and the hairstyle is a strong match to the kind of '90s looks that were her heyday, with the neat bonus that the style is unravelling somewhat, just as you'd expect from someone all sweaty from exertion.
Articulation is the usual fare - balljoint neck, swivel/pin shoulders, and swivel biceps. The cross-section on the biceps isn't perfectly round, so there are positions where they look better than others. Both neck and shoulders are removable to assist in getting her naked - the bra comes off easily, but the shorts have to go down her legs, which is a tricky task for such a tight costume piece. It can be done without damaging the shorts, but it's not something you'd want to do too often.
Naked at last, Raquel has something I haven't noticed on any other of these figures yet: tan lines, from a rather minimal string bikini with a thong back. They're very subtle, and stand out most on her breasts - around her hips, where her abdomen creates a slight shadow, they're easy to miss, but they're all there when you inspect her closely. A fair proportion of those Google results show her with tan lines as well, so chalk that up to accuracy, I guess.
She's got the usual very pale, very indistinct paint around her nipples to suggest the areolae - as usual, no, guys, she's got a solid delineation there. Seriously, how did Plastic Fantasy make this mistake so often? You can't tell me they
got a bunch of porn stars to strip off for laser scanning and didn't get a bunch of photos as "reference material," surely, yet the only times they've gotten areolae right has been by accident, when the women really do have faint, indistinct colouration. Sheesh. Anyway, she's gone for the full Brazilian down below, leaving the usual darker pink paint app as the only detailing on her intimate area - and not a lot of that either, since her thighs being fairly close together, and her torso leaning forwards, means that her labia are closed right up, pretty much.
Since her hand weights are sculpted in place, her only accessory is a little "Vivid" necklace (best removed), and the usual black blocky base. She gets the standard "Vivid" backplate, which at least looks more plausible for a workout babe than a barbarian or a sorceress, and there are two pegs for her feet - individually sized, so you can't mix up which one goes where and put her on backwards. At rest her feet aren't quite as wide apart as the pegs put them - not enough to make it difficult to get her onto the base, but it's noticeable - so when in place, she's very stable; you can pick the whole thing up and hold it upside-down without her falling off.
If I seem overly critical of Raquel - at least, compared to the other porn beauties I've reviewed - it's probably mostly that I don't think she really lives up to her costume. I know what a fitness babe should look like - I've got a trainer myself, and at lunchtime Observatory Park, where we have our sessions, is full of fit women inflicting various brands of misery on their desk-jockey clients. And I mean fit - that's Raquel's problem, she just doesn't have the body of a fitness professional, and that's the kind of body I'm going to expect if she's going to show up dressed as one. Failing that, she doesn't have anything much to fall back on - the outfit isn't especially revealing or interesting, her face is held back by minor production issues, and naked she's much the same as the rest.