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Seventh Kingdom
by yo go re

The first year of the Four Horsemen's FANtastic Exclusive introduced us to their original property, the Seventh Kingdom. That year also set the template for how the figures would be released: one main star and several repaint characters. The second year opened that up, mixing the repaints with resculpts and branching out into more than one kingdom. Now that The Seventh Kingdom is no longer under the FANEx system, things have remained mostly unchanged - this year we've got the queen and the repaints, but instead of just one bonus kingdom, there are several.

The idea for this year is that Queen Alluxandra has assembled a court of representatives from "the five active kingdoms." Intriguing! Which kingdoms are those? Well, we already know about Animynthus and Drakkignir (the animal and human kingdoms, respectively), and the rest will have to be revealed as we go through the reviews. [Yes, we could just tell you now, but it's more fun this way --ed.]

This figure is Siliskk, and while it's not immediately clear at first glance, she - like Ggruxx and SSejjhhorr - comes from the Mutant Kingdom. Unlike Ggruxx and SSejjhhorr, she's not an ungodly abomination, so apparently she's a "mutant" in the same way that most X-Men are mutated: incredibly beautiful and nearly flawless. Which, yes, would indeed make her a mutant, since everybody's got flaws. But since G & S were more the "malformed and ugly" breed of mutant, Siliskk's good looks were unexpected.

Siliskk's body is a modified version of the queen's - she gets new smooth arms and her abdomen looks a bit thinner - Alluxandra is clearly wearing a shirt, evinced by the wrinkles and the large seam running down the center, but Siliskk's midriff is bare. In fact, most of her is bare: this girl's got her intricate metallic top, knee-high leather boots, and then that's about it. It's not like the bracelets are worn for modesty, right? Then again, she is a mutant; who's to say everything is where you think it is? That would explain why she's not wearing anything under that loincloth/belt combo.

While Ggruxx and SSejjhhorr had weird, lop-sided heads, Siliskk's is much more symmetrical. In truth, she looks like some sort of dinosaur/fish hybrid: I wasn't paying attention during the announcements, and thought she was from the animal kingdom; you know, an anthropomorphized stegosaurus or something. But no, apparently she's a "slithering soldier mutant." She has wavy ridges on the top of her head, six bony spikes on her jaw. Her nose is barely existant, more of a pair of serpentine slits, and her eyes are green.

The paint on this figure is well worth mentioning. Siliskk is a slick golden yellow, with flaxen amber highlights and dark goldenrod shadows around the edges. The fade from one color to the next is very well done, especially for something that came out of the standard factory process. Of course, there are the usual flaws that come from that sort of thing: the arms were clearly painted in one specific pose, and changing it leaves bright flashes of visible error. Of course, the only other option is to have each piece painted separately, but that can be even worse. She's speckled with black dots, and her bronze outfit is highlighted with a deep aqua.

Articulation is the same here as it is on the Queen and the itteh bitteh kitteh committeh: excellent above the waist, a bit unsteady below the waist, and the hips are nearly useless because of the joint-concealing belt. So if you'll permit a brief diversion, let's talk about that belt for a bit. It may be tough to tell from these pictures, but everything between the silver ring around the waist and the lower edge of the armor hanging around the widest part of her hips is part of the "skirt" - yes, it seems as though the figure's hips are exposed, that's just an optical illusion created by painting the "skin" areas to match. It's clever and a bit sexy, but still, it results in fairly immobile hip joints. Great in theory, bad in practice. Like Communism.

Siliskk has the same weapons as the rest of the Queen's Court: a 2⅜" sword and a 7¾" spear. I haven't had any of the breakage issues Artemis reported, but then again, one of Artemis' figures was straight up missing a hand, so maybe shipping toys to Australia just causes bad things to happen. Similar to how movies and tv shows that are good in the US are bad by the time Shocka sees them. Something to do with the Coriolis Effect, probably. Of course, I'm pretty sure the blade isn't meant to be removable, either, so that may have somthing to do with mine not breaking. Anyway, Siliskk can hold either weapon in either hand, or store them (somewhat) on her back.

When they were designing the Queen's Court, the Four Horsemen offered their partners the choice of what Kingdom they wanted their exclusive to be from - that's how we ended up with a half dozen catgirls and only one of everyone else. Apparently no one wanted the poor little mutant, so Siliskk ended up being a StoreHorsemen.com exclusive - she's the only one of the Horsemen-hosted figures who didn't also make it to SDCC '09. Obviously it was important to the 4H to make sure the mutant kingdom was represented in the united guard, but since she doesn't have a home outside the Horsemen's stable, she also doesn't get a clever referential name. Just imagine - if I hadn't bought a house this year, Siliskk could have been "Oafreya" or something.

-- 11/19/09

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