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World of Warcraft
by Artemis

Series one of the World of Warcraft "action" figure (statue) line had one girl in the bunch, and she was rubbish, but since series two went in for testicles in a big way, the line and I haven't met face to face since that original embarrassment. So, over the intervening two series and year-and-a-bit, have DC Unlimited learned anything? Let's find out.

First cab off the ranks (in the order I'm reviewing them, anyway) is Tamuura, a Draenei Mage. If that means as little to you as it did to me when I bought her, let me enlighten you: Draenei are extra-dimensional beings, sort of Warcraft's version of aliens with a bit of demon thrown in, but they're good guys, having fled the influence of the big bads (which annihilated most of their race) and forged a mutual save-out-butts pact with the Alliance. The combined power of Wikipedia and Google seem to be drawing a bit of a blank on Tamuura specifically, but considering that series one's cheerleader Valeera was a nobody until the comic started up after the figures were released, maybe Tam will turn up in its pages sooner or later.

In more prosaic terms, Tam's the kind of person Darkness from Legend would probably have shacked up with had he not got his hard-on for Mia Sara. She's basically a demoness, but since Warcraft - especially since becoming World of - has been delving into the extra options offered by post-Tolkien fantasy, she gets to be a noble not-really-demoness, without any of the old demon cliches like blood-red skin and lingerie made from other people's faces. She gets the good bits of the trope, though: cloven hooves, tail and horns for that naughty "I'm lusting for the spawn of Satan" feeling, and a towering physique (7½" tall, not counting the spire thingy on her collar) to put the closet submissives in their place. The statue captures her in a vaguely surprised moment, like she's just noticed something unpleasant happening to her comrades, but isn't worried about it killing her.

As a mage, Tam's got an outfit that's about 5% armour, 5% robes, and 90% Victoria's Secret - no doubt she's got all kinds of protective spells to stand between her and harm, or failing that, a party of armoured meat shields who'll protect her because otherwise they lose their heavy artillery. In terms of the technical merits of the sculpt and paint she's not a huge step above Valeera - good sculpt but no great leap forward in detail, clean paint but no truly stand-out effects - but then, Valeera's failings weren't purely technical (apart from some pesky painting foul-ups). Where Tam scores is that there's thought behind her design - the detail in her sculpt is incorporated into an eye-pleasing overall design, with each element ordered in such a way as to comply with the basic stance and emotion the statue is trying to express.

The centre of her costume is the purple panelling on her tabard and breastplate, framed by silver borders; on either side in the sleeves and skirts, the low-visibility brown fabric has an appealing geometric design worked into it, but nothing that overwhelms the basic shape of the body beneath, and the use of silver banding ties the fabrics to the central armour. There's a highlight pass on the fabric, a lighter shade of brown over the dark base, which is far from carefully applied - some areas becoming almost fully light, some are skipped over completely - but luckily for the figure, the brighter silver draws your eye away from those issues. The only areas which seem to fall a bit short of what they're trying to achieve are the hooves, where the shaggy hair on the ankles is poorly differentiated from the hoof itself, and the stockings, which have a silvery sheen to them that sets them apart from the bare skin of the upper thighs, but almost no actual difference in colour; at this scale, the intended effect of the stockings is just too subtle to be reproduced on a mass-market figure.

Tam's face is quite gorgeous - the pale sky-blue skin tone is further softened by a healthy curve to her cheeks and around her lips, but she has a haughty stare that sharpens her expression, resulting in an overall nice mix of imperious and accessible. The paint is nothing fancy - dark lips and eyebrows, pale lilac eye shadow, and pure white eyes with thin outlines - but everything's clean and clear, allowing the attractive sculpt to shine through. The horns give her a high, wide forehead, though the way her hair is swept across her left side mitigates that, as well as giving her a bit of a silent film star glamour quality; the paint on her horns isn't that great, with a fairly stark differentiation between forehead and horn, but the horns themselves scrape by adequately.

There's no articulation, not even a swivel joint that's basically just a construction seam they left mobile - every inch of Tam from her high collar crest to her hooves is glued solidly in place. Instead of posing the figure when you first open her up, you get assembly instead - both her sword and tail are packaged separately, with a little instruction page bundled into the glossy backing card to explain what goes where. A brief summary would be: the sword goes in her hand, the tail attaches to her butt. Consult the instructions if you're confused. The sword's pommel detaches so that the grip can be slid into the tightly-fitting right hand, while the tail just plugs right in, with an angle-edged plug ensuring it only goes in at the one angle.

She's not going to win Toy of the Year or anything - Tamuura's a third-party McStatue, with a good design, good sculpt, good paint, but she doesn't stand out from the crowd either for being technically flawless, or for having any especially exciting artistic qualities. But y'know what, I really like her - she's not a superstar, but she's got charm, for want of a better word. If towering cute mystic alien-demoness women are your kind of thing, Tam's your girl.


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