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Voodoo Queen

McFarlane's Monsters
by yo go re

Most people's perception of voodoo is primarily shaped by James Bond, so they picture that 7-Up guy dancing around in body paint and a top hat. That'd be akin to someone thinking that Richard Gere is emblematic of Buddhists or Jerry Falwell of Christians; not necessarily the most dignified representation.

In their Monsters line, McFarlane Toys took the fast and loose pop culture idea of voodoo, mixed it with their steadfast track record of producing the second-best female action figures on the market (sorry, guys, but you've got a way to go before you can top MAC), and gave us the totally on-mark Voodoo Queen.

Voodoo, the official religion of Haiti, is an outgrowth of African tribal spiritualism in which gods are invoked to protect their people by sharing hidden knowledge. Illness and misfortune are believed to be the result of hostile spirits, and the Houngan priest summons the loa to set things right.

After the controversy surrounding Lotus, I'm surprised this one didn't see any significant changes between prototype and final release; showing the most skin of any McWoman yet, VQ is wearing boots and a thong. Her platform boots are made from grasses, and an animal skull adorns each foot, its horns wrapping around her calves and terminating near the back of her knees. Her thong, other than the string running around her waist that supports the loincloth, exists only in the world of paint, so perhaps some concession was made to modesty after all.

The Queen's costume is comprised of rows of long thin bones that run up her thighs (seemingly stitched into place), fangs on her loincloth that reach up her belly, and more bones that spiral around the gold pasties on her breasts. Her neck is extended with gold rings, and she wears various bracelets all the way up her arms. A very sexy sculpt.

Her appropriately designed face is painted white with a few red dots and a trickle of blood running from her mouth. In fact, even if you don't like her as a Voodoo Queen, she'd make a great Calypso or First Slayer. She's got some weird seedpods poking out of her dreadlocks; I have no idea what those are about.

She comes with a bundle of shrunken heads on a rope, and a 9⅝" tall spear. The end of the spear (about 2½" down from the tip) is removable, so you can get it into her hand. The two pieces connect with a thin metal peg, which is certainly a better choice than plastic; however, the Queen's balance isn't so good, and in one of her tumbles, the peg managed to get severely bent. Luckily, McFarlane Toys has the best customer service department in the business, and they were able to send me a replacement.

The shrunken heads are molded as one big lump - there are six of them, and they're dried, desiccated, and have their mouths stitched shut. One has a bone through its nose. Their hair all stretches up to a single point, then a string runs through a loop at the top and through Voodoo Queen's (permanently closed) left fist.

She also comes with a large ceremonial mask. With humongous feathers rising from its crest and a chin dipping below her groin, she could be naked behind there and you'd never know it! The mask rests easily on her head, and is well detailed with bloody fangs and a wooden texture.

Her pose is great, with one foot trailing and her hip tilted to the side. Her right arm is crooked to hold her spear, totem-like before her. He left arm hangs straight down, and the hand is molded to hold the string of heads. You can almost imagine her in the middle of a rhythmically whirling, undulating dance.

Unfortunately, "imagining" a dance is all you can do - thanks to McToys' nearly fetishistic need to hide their articulation, VQ moves only at the neck, shoulders, ribcage, wrists, upper thighs, and boot tops. The legs might as well be solid, since she can only stand if her legs are in one certain position. Her hair prevents her head from turning very far, and her torso joint only throws her balance off. Her arms offer the best movement, even if she does lack elbows.

Speaking of lacking, this is a fine black woman. Not "decent" fine, "Fine" fine. She's one hot sister, y'dig? But why's her butt so small? I'm not looking for extreme levels of fat-assitude, but a girl like this has gotta have some booty. Damn, Gina!

My glaring whiteness aside, this is a pretty good figure, though a nice Marvel Legends-style ball-joint in the torso would have been a great improvement. She looks great, but has very limited movement. That makes her a nice display piece, but only a so-so action figure. Oh well; now I have someone to control my Zombie Spawn...

-- 10/29/02

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