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Twisted Fairy Tales
by yo go re

Despite everything Disney would have you believe, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm were not intended for children - or at least, if they were, they weren't as sanitized as they are today. It used to be that parents didn't feed their whelps purified pablum, but did their best to educate them in the world's realities. So maybe Series 4 of McFarlane's Monsters, Twisted Fairy Tales, isn't such a departure after all.

Gretel This German princess strikes a much more, uh, impressive pose than her fairy tale counterpart. Getting lost in the woods is the least of her worries.

We all know the story: brother, sister, gingerbread house, breadcrumbs, all that. Depending on whether you read it literally or allegorically, the story is either an admonition of the hardships of medieval life or a psychological examination of a child's fear of growing up. But as far as I know, no interpretation of the tale involves a tarted-up sex doll.

Surprising everyone, Gretel is not a Tortured Souls-style S&M nightmare. Sure, she's dressed like a strumpet, but it's nothing outrageous: she's wearing stiletto heels, fishnets with a garter belt, a thong, apron and lace-up shirt. Not what your grandmother would wear to church, but if your girlfriend turned up in it you wouldn't be disgusted. Unless your girlfriend is your grandmother, and then "ew."

tie one on The fishnets are torn, and the shoes are laced up to her knees. This Gretel has apparently been a prisoner of the witch for a longer time than the one in the story, because her shirt has gotten a few sizes too small - it's torn and stretched, with the laces barely holding the front closed. She's wearing a spiked choker and bracelets, but nothing more extreme than a high school goth would own. Her apron is coveniently flipped up over her leg - otherwise we wouldn't be able to ogle her gingerbread.

not bad Gretel's face is pretty cute - used to be that McFarlane Toys' female characters would be fairly sexy below the neck, but look like they'd been smacked in the face by the Red Hot Frying Pan of Ugly. Gretel, however, is mighty fine, if you're into that Teutonic thing - the light hair, fair skin, blue eyes, tiny nose, master race vibe. She's got a few golden piercings on her ear, eyebrow and nose, and her hair is done up in a weird spiky topknot.

time to change the water Just as in the story, the witch has Gretel cleaning - the figure is posed with her left foot on an overturned bucket, and she's clutching a mop. Well, really, it looks like she's going to give the mop a sensual massage, but whatever. The mop head is a molded part of the pool of blood Gretel is supposed to be cleaning, along with an ear and a few fingers. Guess old Witchypoo has been having a few other guests for dinner while she's been waiting for Hansel to fatten up.

The paint apps are fairly unimpressive. the paint. look at the paint The black of the stockings doesn't always line up with the sculpted lines, but that's forgiveable: what's surprising is that the rest of her clothes are all a flat color - her garters are an olive green, while her panties and top are a burnt ochre. The sculpt is good, but there isn't really a paint wash or dry brush to capture all the nicely sculpted details. The shirt has a trio of white flowers running up each side.

she really puts the 'lick' in 'licorice' There's a bit more detailing on her skin than on her clothes, so it's a good thing so much of it is exposed, eh? Gretel's got a few candy-inspired tattoos on her left hip and the side of her neck. Don't know if that's supposed to be blood or bruises on her knees, but you can tell Gretel's been spending a lot of time on all fours. Her eyes are bright blue and her lips dark red, and the gold studs are covered well.

Between the high heels and the hair, Gretel stands 6 3/4" tall. She only moves at the neck, biceps, wrists, waist and left thigh, but it's enough to ensure stability in her intended pose and to get her into a few dirtier ones, as well. But still, no bondage, no flesh-rending meat hooks? Hard to believe something this tastefully tame came from McFarlane.

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