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Skeleton Warriors
by yo go re

So, wanna know a secret? The Skeleton Warriors that recently hit shelves at KB Toy Stores across the land aren't the same ones that were available in 1994.

When Baron Dark requires a one-skeleton assault force, he calls upon Aracula. Action speaks louder than words with this deadly assassin who hisses wildly as he spins a web of destruction. Single-minded, but multi-armed, with each hand brandishing weapons of ultimate firepower. Aracula's a whirling menace who answers only to his master, Baron Dark. With his Goo Gun, he ensnares The Legion of Light in an inescapable web of doom. Aracula's Spring-powered Tarantul-axe and Widowmaker Shield makes him the most powerful spider ever to shed his skin. If Aracula gets his sticky claws on The Legion of Light, they're hiss-story!

Okay, so the biographical info is cheesy. What do you want? It was '94; things were terrible back then. We had to walk 30 miles to school in the blistering cold - uphill both ways - only hardcore geeks like Poe had even heard of the internet [HEY! --Poe] and all you could talk about on there was Kirk vs. Picard.

Anyway, the Skeleton Warriors. A quick look at the packaging reveals that rather than a mid-90s Playmates, everything is © 2002 Re:PLAY!™ Inc. So no worries for those who had the originals MOC - their value is intact, even if interest in originals might wane now that copies are available. Personally, I wished I'd picked up some of these figures when they were out, so I was glad to see them back on the shelves.

Aracula, here, is easily the most monstrous of the figures, and probably the one folks had in mind when they waxed nostalgic and pondered how well McFarlane Toys could do with the line. Basically humanoid, Aracula's got four extra arms jutting out of his back. He's wearing molded plastic clothes, for some reason - after all, why would a skeleton need a loincloth? He's got no loins!

Like all of the evil Skeleton Warriors figures, Aracula's got a wonderfully detailed sculpt. His skull is extended, looking rather ape-like, and he has four short spikes running back along its length. Playmates really went all out with the badguys, producing completely solid figures that look like completely hollow skeletons. SW launched at the same time as a young upstart company then called "Todd Toys," but these figures were much more horrific than what Spawn was giving us at the time - a double-edged sword. The same features that would later drive Spawn toys from TRUs into smaller specialty shops kept Skeleton Warriors from really taking off. More on that another time.

Aracula is sculpted in a 6" scale and has 10 points of articulation. The arms all move at the shoulder - no elbows or wrists here. Other than that it's the head, waist and hips, all swivel joints. He's got six gold bracers as well as two odd... ears? winglets? Whatever, they're on his head. He's also got shiny golden eyes. Take that, James Bond!

He comes with three weapons: a gun that looks like a spider, a spring-loaded flail (which often fires quite unexpectedly), and a shield which looks like a spider web up front and is rather technological on the reverse.

I was overjoyed the day I found these Skeleton Warriors in the store. Having missed my chance nearly a decade before, I wasn't going to pass again. Aracula looks great, plays well, and even blends in well with my collection of pseudo-Deadites. I'm glad I got him, and I suggest you do the same before these figures disappear again.

-- 10/25/02

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