After the... semi-success of McFarlane's Monsters Series 1, Todd followed up with Twisted Land of Oz, which took a skewed look at Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the rest of L. Frank Baum's creations. Now the monsters are back for a third go-round, stocked with some of history's most notorious killers, both on a large and small scale.
Infamous leader of the bloodthirsty Huns, fifth-century inhabitants in modern-day Hungary, who led devastating plundering raids into western Europe. Known as the Scourge of God, Attila led a vast and merciless mounted army, which left a swath of death acrosss much of Europe. Attila is said to have died of a nasal hemorrhage on his wedding night.
Attila definitely falls into the "large-scale kills" category. He and his army rampaged around the edges of the Roman empire for many years, helping speed it to its inevitable decline.
While the first two series had an undeniably "Tortured Souls" sort of look to them, Monsters 3 has reined that in (with one or two notable exceptions). In figure form, Attila is an entirely plain figure - he's not marred by hooks or blades or anything weird, he's just a human guy, which is nice.
The face is particularly nice. The sixth-century Ostrogothic historian Jordanes consulted the writings of Greek envoy Priskos to describe Attila as "a small but broad man, with a large head, small eyes, a partly grey thin beard, a flat nose, and tanned skin." Beneath this figure's horned cap is just that: small eyes, wide nose and a dark little goatee. I don't know if it's research or luck that guided the sculptor's hand, but it turned out very nicely.
While most portrayals of Attila depict him in a vaguely Persian sort of riding gear, McFarlane made him more of a barbarian: fur loincloth, fur-topped boots, a bit of armor on his bare chest and big, mighty bracelets. Give the guy blonde hair and he's He-Man. The sculpt is very good, but we'd expect no less. There's very little costume to deal with, so McFarlane's as-always uncredited sculptors really got a chance to show off their command of human anatomy.
Of course, it's easy to capture musculature when you're not going to put any articulation in, and Attila is certainly not breaking any new ground for McToys: he's got one pose and he sticks to it. Sadly, in what is a cardinal sin for any action figure, Attila cannot stand at all without his included base.
Admittedly, the base is pretty killer - no pun intended. Judging by his hunched pose, Mr. the Hun here has just finished a mighty battle, and is now turning his attention to the survivors. His base is a pile of severed human heads that would put even the Sleepy Hollow sets to shame - there are more than 40 heads piled beneath his feet. Yes, 40. A mix of Romans, Huns, Persians, Vandals and Goths make this base, and it suits the man well.
Attila's got three weapons: an impressive axe, an odd serrated sickle-like sword and a small double-bladed dagger that can be attached to his belt. Each is detailed nicely in both sculpt and paint. For this series, McFarlane Toys decided to release an accessory pack, something that they haven't done since Series 19. A lot of fans have complained (most notably our own Shocka) about the choice, but there's not much question why it was done: costs are rising, and not everyone can be as good as ToyBiz; eventually something's gotta give, and the corners have already begun to get cut.
Attila has no accessories in the pack, but evidence of the tightened belt is still present. A few years ago, McToys would have tried to make this base as detailed as humanly possible. While the sculpt is still there, the paint isn't: the piece is molded from dark brown plastic, then slathered in red paint. Only one of the heads received any individual attention, which just makes the oversight stand out more.
This is a decent representation of one of history's major conquerers - made even better by the fact that you don't have to buy a second item in order to make him complete. Todd was wise to keep the ridiculous Tortured Souls errata out of this line for the most part - historical figures deserve a bit more respect than that, and this time they almost got it.
What do you like better - imaginary monsters or historical figures? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.