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Seventh Kingdom
by yo go re

So, the third year of Seventh Kingdom is all about the queen of the human kingdom collecting representatives of the other kingdoms to serve as sort of a freakshow UN. Well, most of the other kingdoms. The text on the back of the card specifically says Alluxandra got representatives of "the five active kingdoms," which means someone was left out. We've already seen four of those kingdoms: human, animal, elemental and mutant. Today we see the fifth.

I admit to suffering from some confusion when the Queen's Court was first unveiled. I kept thinking Siliskk was from Animynthus, that she was some kind of starfish or something. And in keeping with my erroneous sea-based assumptions, I thought she was the one named Ccora, since that sounds like "coral." I also thought Khromius was from the machine kingdom, and that today's subject, the real Ccora, was an alien. [The lesson in all this? yo is a freaking idiot. Why do we listen to him, again? --ed.]

So, back in the real world, this figure is Ccora, "the steel siren" from the Machine Kingdom. Since the previous Machine Kingdom figure we'd seen (the Overlord) looked like a pointier version of the Ultima Online Juggernaut, a mostly humanoid offering for the Queen's Court was unexpected. Of course, she is a machine - it's possible she was purpose-built to interact with all the other gynoids. She's been programmed with extensive files on makeup and periods and the proper way to enjoy ice cream while talking about guys' butts!

Ccora is, as you may be able to guess by her name, a Corner Store Comics exclusive. Although, if you want to get technical, this figure's name isn't "Ccora" - that's just the translation of her real name, Ccora. That's kind of clever, honestly. It's not like modern computers identify each other by names we'd recognize, so why should anyone in the Machine Kingdom? Their language looks like a cross between a circuit board, an old-fashioned punch card a graphical representation of pitch modulation: imagine it's a machine's transcription of the noises R2-D2 makes, or the sound of a dialup modem.

Ccora is the only figure, aside from the queen herself, to use the "mechanical" arms. Of course, it makes sense here in exactly the same way it wouldn't anywhere else: why would a wild cat have technological sleeves? If the metal elemental is completely smooth from the top of her head-spikes on down, why would she suddenly get ornate when it came to her arms? Ccora is a machine, so it's logical for her to look like one. In fact, you can probably assume that most of her "clothes" are just part of her anatomy chassis, so while everyone else is wearing a shirt, she's actually topless. No wonder she's going commando, as well!

Doubtless part of the reason I confused Khromius and Ccora is the fact that they both share cranial accoutrements. While Big Momma K had her whole scalp-fork thing going on, Ccora has two short "horns" (for lack of a better term) coming out where her ears would be, and a curving, segmented antenna or somesuch poking out of the base of her skull and rising a good ¾" into the air. Her head has definite corners, rather than being perfectly rounded, and it's detailed with small seams and vents. Her face looks like a silver mask covering her from brow to upper lip, but it's probably a faceplate. Maybe she can swap it out when she feels like a change.

The colors chosen for Ccora are very nice. Her body is a dark gunmetal grey, and her clothes are a metallic teal. The whole thing has bronze highlights, which set off the colors without contrasting too hard. Her loincloth is a faded red, adding a pleasantly understated splash of color. She has the same accessories as the rest of the court: a spear and a sword, done in matching colors.

The Seventh Kingdom packaging has undergone a slight change this year. It's still the same general design, with the orange parchment look and the big map of the world as a backdrop. And yes, we get a new piece of Baena artwork featuring one representative from each of the five kingdoms. What's changed is that the packaging is now resealable. Rather than being a standard blister pack, it's one of those that has plastic tabs wrapped around the cardboard, so you can slie the card out, remove the figure from its tray, then close everything up again. This is the true definition of collector-friendly, so big points to the Four Horsemen for making the switch!

Ccora... sorry, Ccora is a nice figure. She shares the endemic flaw of this particular series - namely, the way the design of the skirt renders her legs nearly useless - but the "robot" design is cool, she's got good colors, and the small choices, such as using the tehnological arms, make her a stand out.

-- 12/17/09

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