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Agent Dana Scully

by yo go re

When The X-Files revival was just starting, Fox tried to cheat Gillian Anderson by only paying her half as much as David Duchovny, proving that even 23 years into the project, they have no idea what it was people liked about the show.

Recruited out of medical school by the FBI, Agent Dana Scully was originally assigned to the X-Files to debunk Agent Fox Mulder's work and report on his findings. Idealistic, intelligent and with strong convictions, Scully soon realized that the X-Files contained extraordinary secrets that could not be refuted by scientific interpreatation. Scully's own inexplicable abduction and the discovery of a bizarre metal implant in her neck only served to strengthen her solidarity with Mulder, despite the risk to her career - and her life.

While we're on the subject of Scully getting short shrift, notice that Mulder's bio only ever talks about him alone, while Scully's only talks about her in relation to him. See, children, that's what people mean when they talk about institutionalized sexism - stuff like that happens, and nobody notices it's weird. There's more to discrimination than being a trilby-tipping pantysniffer who holds secret meetings in the park. Mulder and Scully are partners, which means they're equals; it's fine to have her bio mention Mulder, but then have his mention her, too.

This figure's likeness is decent, but only from certain angles. For some reason, her head is the wrong shape - like, inhumanly wrong. Her forehead is tall and angles forward, while the back of her head is too small to have a full human skull inside it. If this had been made in the era of the digital sculpt, we'd say it looked like someone had an accident with the Skew tool.

Scully's wearing her grey suit, with a sash belt cinching it in at the waist. Fox was apparently against casting Gillian Anderson in the first place, because they felt she wouldn't look good in a bathing suit - Chris Carter informed them that Scully would not be wearing any bathing suits. But despite the network's misgivings and Scully's taste in formless clothes, she became a '90s nerd sex symbol anyway. Her off-white shirt collar pokes out the top of her jacket, and her golden cross necklace is sculpted around her neck. And because she's such a tiny one, she's wearing chunky high heels - they still only bring the figure up to about 5½" tall.

Since this figure is in her business suit and not her Arctic wear, she's wearing her FBI identification badge. Her name and a stylized "photo" are printed on the badge, one of the first toys to ever use this kind of printing for its details - before the X-Files figures, this would have either been a sticker, or just left blank.

The articulation is unimpressive, even by the standards of the time. Scully moves at the neck, shoulders, left elbow, wrists and waist, and all of them are plain swivels. Her pose has her leaning slightly to the side, but not so much that the toy can't stand up. Her only accessory is a cellphone, but at least like Mulder, she's not molded to hold a gun she doesn't have.

There were tons of variants of the X-Files toys: as previously mentioned, Mulder and Scully were both available in their FBI or Arctic outfits, but that's hardly all there was. See, there were also three different "pack-ins" available: a docile alien, a cryopod chamber, or a bodybagged corpse on a gurney; the Arctic figures were both available with either the stasis pod or the alien, while the FBI figures were available with either the stasis pod or the corpse. You may look at it as McFarlane trying to bilk completists, but we choose to look at it as them giving us a choice of what bonus pieces to get.

While the important characters weren't sculpted by the Four Horsemen, the pack-ins were. Cornboy did the Cryopod Chamber and the human host inside it, as well as the gurney and the wrapped up body that goes on it. The alien was the work of Eric Treadaway. The alien is articulated just about as well as the other figures, the stasis pod has doors that hinge open (in addition to being able to plug multiples together, just like in the movie), and the gurney has real working lifts and hand rails. Outstanding!

Scully was a lapsed Catholic with an admitted Electra complex, who refound her faith while having to exaggerate her skepticism in order to keep her flighty partner in check. And she's immortal! How would anyone think she was the less important member of the team? The figure is pretty mediocre, but for years it's been the only option.

-- 02/19/16

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