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Queen Alluxandra

Seventh Kingdom
by yo go re

For the first two years of the Four Horsemen's FANtastic Exclusive process, the Seventh Kingdom property was the clear winner. And within that property, the animal kingdom of Animynthus handily beat the other kingdoms. That's how we got Xetheus, Ramathorr, and all their little friends. Because The Seventh Kingdom was so popular, the Four Horsemen took it out of the running for FANEx 2008, and turned it into its own standalone line. For the first figure, they chose the figure who was right behind Ramathorr in the voting: the human queen.

Drakkignir, the kingdom of women and men, is a kingdom forever in turmoil. The Bluddmane clan, governed by Queen Alluxandra, has recently reclaimed its influence over the kingdom from the malevolent reign of the Ironspynne clan. The focus of Alluxandra's rule is her undying commitment to unity among the kingdoms - a sharp contrast to the Ironspynne's isolationist law. Alluxandra wears a coin from each of the kingdoms as a constant reminder of her yearning for peace. To date, Alluxandra feels that her greatest achievement is her united guard - a unified peacekeeping force representing the five active kingdoms. Alluxandra's hope is that her united guard will pave the way to a permanent peace amongst all of the kingdoms.

Right away we've got something excititing: we know a lot about the Seventh Kingdom, but this is the first time the name of the human kingdom has ever been revealed. Drakkignir, eh? Do you think the G is silent, like in "sign," or voiced, like in "ignominious?" The "Drak" at the beginning sounds like it's referencing dragons, and the "ir" at the end gives it a rather Nordic vibe, so overall there's a very Northern European feeling imparted by the name.

Though really, it's more than just the name of the country that's doing it. Queen Alluxandra isn't some glorified Disney Princess, she's a real warrior woman type, cut from the same cloth as Boudica. She's what Teela would have been if all restrictions were cast away. She's wearing a cloth bodysuit with a loincloth and thick belt, as wel as high leather boots and short gloves. None of that would look out of place in, say, a Conan story. But then she's got armored kneepads, an intricate metal breastplate, and technological arms. It's a very nice blend of science and fantasy, which suits the Four Horsemen's strengths. As promised, a collection of coins hang from the queen's belt, and for those times when she still has to get into a scrap, there's a sharp blade on the underside of each forearm.

The name "Bluddmane" is a clear reference to Alluxandra's hair, a deep auburn that's styled into twin braids emerging from her spiked helmet and reaching down nearly to her knees before terminating in crescent blades - you can just picture her swirling around in battle, cutting people down with her hair. The face is unusual, in that she's sculpted with a distinct frown, rather than the usual slight smile - this is a great choice, one that speaks well to her character. Proving her role as a warrior, she's even got a large raised scar on her jaw.

Proving, as always, that they understand what fans want better than most big companies, the 4H have given Queen Alluxandra a whole slew of useful articulation. She moves through the grace of a 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 those ankles that combine a hinge on the leg and another in the foot. Everything moves well right out of the package, and nothing broke or tore. Her torso joint is limited by the large fur cape, sadly, and the range on the hips is cut down some by the design of the loincloth/belt, but overall, this is excellent work, and really what more toylines should strive for. Thanks to the spike on the top of her helm, she nearly reaches the 6½" mark.

The cape isn't meant to be removable - it's plugged into her back and glued in place, but if you absolutely want it off, that's doable. Alluxandra's actual accessories include her sceptre, a nearly 7" staff crowned by the symbol of the human kingdom, as well as a 3½" short sword "for when diplomacy doesn't do the trick." Ha! You may overlook it at first, but there's also a removable dagger on her belt; the two on the back under the cape are just sculpted in place, but the one in front is a real piece. Nice!

The paint work is beautiful. Alluxandra's bodysuit is a dark red, nearly the same color as her hair, and her armor is blue with gold highlights. The loincloth is forest green, and her mechanical sleeves are a gunmetal grey. The black boots have gold clasps and brown straps holding them closed. There's some minor spillage on all the edges, but only things you'll notice under heavy scrutiny. The coins on her belt get their own apps, with a wash to make them look weathered.

Alluxandra's name is a take on "Alexandra," itself a feminine form of "Alexander." That name comes from alexo (αλεξω - to defend or help) andros (ανδρος - man) - "defender of men." As the leader of Drakkignir, the human kingdom, that name is perfect. Plus, changing it to "lux" brings in a sense of light, suggesting she's a shining example of what a leader should be. And even though this is the first Seventh Kingdom figure the Four Horsemen have made outside the FANtastic Exclusive process, she's got the same high level of quality as all those that have come before her, making her a shining example of what an action figure should be, too.

-- 09/02/09

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