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Seventh Kingdom
by yo go re

Every year when The Seventh Kingdom invariably won the FANtastic Exclusive (until it was removed from the running), we were shown representatives from each of the seven lands. The two choices from the Elemental Kingdom were an ice man and a fiery woman - odd, then, that the first Elemental figure we'd get wouldn't be either of them.

Khromius, here, is an exclusive from The Fwoosh, and is the only figure to come from one of the partner sites who doesn't get a cute theme name. You hear about Biggara and Baddathiir, you can probably guess who was selling them - but short of what people call them on message boards, what could you turn "Fwoosh" into? Showof? Whoofs? Nah, Khromius is better (and more descriptive). I still don't know whether the partner sites picked the names or the Horsemen did, but playing it straight worked here. Oh, and while all the press releases said her names was "Kromius," the packaging calls her "Khromius," so you can pick whichever spelling you prefer.

The idea behind the 2009 installment of the Seventh Kingdom line is that Queen Alluxandra is a uniter, not a divider: she created a council of representatives from all the warring kingdoms, hoping to promote piece. A council of consuls. Who probably give advice, and are thus a council of counseling consuls. [Now cut that out! --ed.] Assuming the still-unnamed Elemental Kingdom is based on the typical ancient idea of elements, Khromius would be the metalbender. Hey, at least chromium is a real element (#24 on the Billboard Hot 200 periodic table), unlike "fire" and "ice."

Below the neck, Khromius uses the same body as the rest of the court - a slightly modified version of the queen's, without even the bonus necklace the cats get. Unlike Siliskk, though, she's wearing underwear, which suggests she has stainless steel naughty bits beneath. Hubba hubba! Her skin is painted silver, thankfully not vac-metallized - or, as the kids like to call it, "chromed." Actually, the reason cars and such had chrome-plated parts was that it resists corrosion nicely, keeping the steel beneath from rusting so fast. So I guess you don't have to worry about getting her wet.

Since mixing chromium and nickel with molten steel produces the sort of stainless steel commonly used in eating utensils, it's probably fitting that Khromius's head looks like an ornate fork. Seriously, in lieu of hair, she has three high tines rising off her scalp. Why? I get the fiery and icy elementals looking fiery and icy, respectively, but what about "metallic" says she needs to look like a teardrop? She's also got pointy ears and dangling earrings, and a stern look on her metal face. As is so often true with metallic paint, it shows nicks and scrapes very easily, so Khromius looks like a warrior woman, not a model - she's not a self-healing T-1000, after all.

The reason our resident female fanatic isn't reviewing these Seventh Kingdom figures is that Artemis is increasingly fed-up with the articulation, and I begin to understand that point. As a list, the available articulation is good - balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and double-hinged ankles. But in practice, the hips are rendered nearly immobile by the skirt, and therefore everything below that is pretty much pointless. It's well made, it just doesn't do much for the toy. Khromius has the same weapons as everyone else: a 2⅜" sword and a 7¾" spear. For the record, though, I finally experienced the breakage Artemis spoke about - the spear snapped below the ornate hand grip.

Khromius has a few flaws beyond the normal "her legs don't do anything" that the rest of this series shares: her head is beyond weird and her paint shows damage like Rotten.com. But honestly, both of those "flaws" are things that are easy to overlook or accept, and Fwoosh deserves credit for not ordering yet another catgirl. She definitely won't be the hot seller of Seventh Kingdom, but as part of the Queen's Court, she actually comes out above average.

-- 12/05/09

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