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Living Dead Dolls
by yo go re

¡Feliz Dia de Muertos!

It is Calavera who cries and suffers,
For she is completely out of her head.
Wandering through the graveyard,
Collecting the bones of the dead.

The original Calavera - the 10" doll version - was introduced in 2009's Series 18, and can we once again take a moment to recognize and respect the longevity of this line? It began in 2001, and continues to plug along quietly still. Perhaps too quietly: this "Resurrection" series of minis didn't come out until 2018, but Calavera had already been in the first blind-boxed series, in 2012. How did it take us seven years to learn of their existence!

Calavera is not wearing a costume, but simply the clothes she died in (of an unspecified "brain sickness," according to the doll's death certificate): plain shoes, dark leggings, a frilly skirt, and a track jacket with a stylized skeleton pattern on it - you know, bones on the arms, ribs on the chest, like that. She's got a fairly innocent pose, with her head bowed slightly and her shoulders back, but it's what she's carrying that makes her creepy.

The Calavera dolls came with a small pumpkin basket, like she was going trick-or-treating. This Calavera is instead holding a skull. And we know it's a real skull, not the mask she wore, because she (like Walpurgis) is one of the few LDD Figurines to come with accessories! In addition to the figure, the blind box also contains a pile of dirt with a shovel (handle) that plugs into it; she's been digging up graves! The base is detailed surprisingly well, with brown and gray for the shovel, and the dirt fading from black through brown and on to tan as it rises higher. Calavera doesn't actually attach in any way, there's just a little niche where her feet can fit.

The various "Resurrection" series for the dolls are an excuse for Mezco to go back to old characters, releasing them in new colors. And the LDD Figurines Resurrection Series does the same thing. Except Calavera's Resurrection colors had already been used for a chase "red jacket" variant in Series 1, so what is a poor girl to do? Go deeper!

The original Calavera had been released in Series 18, and then again in Resurrection Series VIII. But for Black Friday 2014, Mezco released "Resurrection Series VIII Variant X - The Lazarus Collection," two sets of highly limited secondary variants. The "Infurnum" set (I know this is all a lot of names to keep track of, I'm sorry) featured "Bone Collector" Calavera, which basically just changed her jacket from black with white bones to white with black bones. (It also made the Day of the Dead facepaint a lot more intricate, but this mini keeps it simple.)

If you'd really like to get confused, this Resurrection mini gets a variant based on the non-Resurrection variant from Series 18, which saw her wearing black and orange, with white hair. So in the minifigures, there's a regular release, a variant based on Resurrection, a Resurrection release based on a Resurrection super variant, and a Resurrection variant based on a regular variant. I feel like we need to make a chart to follow all this.

I really wish I'd been able to find the white and orange Calavera instead of this one, but such is the way of blind boxed toys. She's still a cute, creepy little display piece, no matter what.

-- 11/02/23

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