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Legend of Vox Machina
by yo go re

The twins Vex and Vax: she shoots, he hides in the pitch/
They're stealthy and quite deadly (but I forget which one is which).

Opinionated and sassy, Vex'ahlia is one half of the twin duo Vex & Vax. An expert tracker and archer, she'll cut down a hidden target from 200 yards, often backed up by her giant (and adorable) bear, Trinket. A woman of action and a natural leader, Vex may at times be reckless, but she'll look fabulous doing it.

I was a very late arrival to Critical Role. I've been playing in the same D&D game since 2006 (17 in-game months have passed in that time: February of one year to July of the next), but despite the fact the Actual Play began airing in 2015, I only began watching this past May. I actually watched the Amazon Prime series, The Legend of Vox Machina, with no context: it just looked like a fun cartoon with hobbits and a bear and apparently Drax? And even upon watching it I didn't realize it was CritRole-related until the first season ended! And even that was after I saw the first set of McFarlane's toys in a store. Now I'm playing catch-up on both the series (Campaign 2, Episode 48 as I write this, 94 as it's posted) and the toys.

Already, Vex is much better than Vax was: not only is her skin the right color and her head the right size, the sculpt of her face displays a ton of personality. She's got a lovely smirk, and the angle of her eyes make it clear her head is tipped back slightly; considering she uses sarcasm to keep people from getting too close, what could be better? In the game, the two player characters are meant to be identical, which tells us whoever got assigned the Vax job should have asked to borrow this digital file and worked from there.

Because we live in the future and artists can now promote themselves, we can also proudly tell you this sculpt is the work of a gentleman named Salvador Gomes. Vex is much brighter than her older brother, wearing a bright blue dress... over black leggings and dark boots. You can take the half-elf out of the gloomy, but you can't take the gloomy out of the half-elf. Her arms are covered, because she's an archer and needs protection. There's a pad of white fur on her right shoulder, tucked beneath her collar, and a brown leather corset draws her shift in around the waist.

McFarlane Toys' articulation is better these days than it used to be, but it's not without its issues. Vex's dress being a soft PVC shell over the body beneath means her balljointed shoulders don't really do much, and if there's a chest joint in addition to the waist, it does nothing at all. The wrists have that (not too common, but definitely too common) McToys thing where they just kind of twist off their pegs rather than turning, but the rest is mostly fine. Don't expect to turn her head left, though, because of the way her braid interacts with the quiver and the fur.

Unfortunately, she does join the ranks of action figure archers who can't properly arch. Judging by the angle of the quiver strapped to her back, she's a rightie, so she should be holding her bow in her left hand; but she can't, because only the right hand is molded to hold anything. But she can't shoot lefthanded, because the fur on her right shoulder keeps her from lifting her arm up as far as she'd need to. Darn. The quiver plugs directly into her back, and she includes a bundle of arrows that can fit inside it. While she did eventually get some magical bows in the game, the cartoon isn't there yet, so this is just a plain weapon. Fancy design, though!

You know what she really needs, though? Trinket! Her bear! McToys does Build-A-Figures, why couldn't this line have included a Build-A-B... well, we'd have to workshop the name, but you get the idea. Every character should have included pieces of Trinket, possibly with removable armor. Maybe then the line wouldn't have stalled right away.

Legend of Vox Machina Series 1 remain the only figures I've seen in a store, and Vex'ahlia is definitely the better of that pair. There are some issues with design and execution, but the colors and the sculpt really let her roll with advantage.

-- 02/28/24

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