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Vax'ildan

Legend of Vox Machina
by yo go re

You just got Vaxxed!

The dreamy, studly loner of the group, Vax'ildan doesn't share a lot, except with his sister Vex'ahlia. Troubled yet determined to reckon with the wrongs of the world, he'll steal your heart (and possibly your coin purse). His methods and demeanor may be rough, but there's no denying he's a hero - or at least one in the making.

Based solely on that opening, we'd have guessed he wrote this bio himself, but he's not introspective enough to have done the rest of it. You'd have to drown him in a pool of blood or something to get him to think that deeply about himself. Despite dresing like the ultimate fantasy-world edgelord, he's honestly one of the more friendly and approachable members of the team... which isn't saying a whole lot, but it's still the case.

In the cartoon, the half-elf siblings were, while not the darkest-skinned members of the group, certainly more tan than average (though when "average" is a pale nobleman and a cinnamon girl, that's not very average at all). McFarlane Toys has for some reason chosen to interpret that as "they had grey skin," if Vax is anything to go by. It definitely does not look right. I get what they're going for, but that's not until later.

The characters were designed for the show by Phil Bourassa, who you know from doing a bunch of post-Bruce-Timm DC Animated stuff. Vax is the stealthy ninja of the group, scouting ahead and checking for traps (but no unlocking doors), so he wears as much black as he possibly can. Black tunic, black trousers, black boots, black fur on his black(ish) cape. There's dark grey trim and even darker brown straps for his sheaths, plus a belt that's so dark a green it blends in with the black. The lightest part on the figure is his also-too-dark skin. Okay, we get get it dude, you shop at Fantasy Hot Topic, not Fantasy Costco, it wouldn't kill you to add some color to your wardrobe.

McFarlane's articulation is always a little weird, with the knees set just slightly too low on the overly long legs. The extremities (head, hands, and feet) also seem too small, compared to the official character design. The figure has hinged toes, swivel/hinge/swivel ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed waist, a balljointed chest, swivel/​hinge/swivel wrists, swivel/​hinge elbows, balljoint/hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. His tunic being a rubber sleeve over the plastic body beneath really cuts down the usefulness of a bunch of the joints, sadly, and his cape will always hang straight down no matter what. No crazy leaping around for this Vax'ildan!

For accessories, we get three big knives. Yes, I know, "dagger dagger dagger," but this is three of the same knife, not three of the ones he uses. If I had to guess (and I do) I'd say it's three of the Dagger of Venom, the one that does additional poison damage; the Flametongue Dagger would be the red one, obviously, and it makes sense for the necrotic Dagger of Life-Stealing to be the black one. So that just leaves poison for plain silver. Two of them can store in the back of his belt, meaning one will always have to be in his hand, but fully none of them teleport back into place when you throw them. The very least they could have done was paint them different colors.

If they'd really wanted, McToys could have made Vax a deluxe figure, with... a different cape. That'd be a Season 2 thing, though, and right now we don't even know if they're going to finish the whole team. By himself, Vax is, honestly, kind of crummy. Weird proportions, bad colors, nonsensical accessories. He'll be a lot more fun with some compatriots around him.

-- 01/03/24


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