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Cursed Stone Spartan

Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.
by yo go re

Two down, 298 to go.

Those unfortunate souls that found themselves gazing into the Gorgon sisters' cursed eyes were turned to stone. The curse is very nearly a fate worse than death, as it leaves the victim completely conscious of the world around them. More tragic is that the curse magically heightens their senses to god-like levels. Not only are they imprisoned in their own bodies, but they can hear sounds from miles away and can clearly see for many miles, even through walls and structures. A victim's only hope is that the curse can be lifted if the Gorgon that turned them is slain.

Okay, all of that is completely made up. (True, all myths are made up, but you know what we mean.) There's nothing in the myths that says Medusa's statues are still awake and aware. Of course, there's also nothing about cursed eyes, so make up whatever you want. Who's going to tell you you're wrong?

This figure is, of course, mostly the same as the Spartan Warrior that also came out in Wave 1, just done in different colors. Well, "color." It's grey. Not as solid grey as the blank body we reviewed; there's a little bit of dry-brushing to make the plastic look a bit more like stone; it's nothing extravagant, just a little shading and speckling so we know for sure what it's supposed to represent. Stone.

It does, however, raise a question about the Gorgons' calcifying abilities: we're led to believe that Medusa is so hideous that looking at her face is enough to turn you to stone. Okay, fair enough, we will suspend disbelief far enough to accept that something could be so upsetting as to cause rapid fossilization. Fine. But that's live tissue petrifying - how does this power work on weapons and clothing? Transubstantiating flesh into mineral is one thing, but we're supposed to believe this also works on insensate objects? If Perseus doesn't look directly at Medusa, he'll be safe; how does, say, a helmet or a sword avoid her gaze? How does a robe avert its eyes? This whole myth is starting to feel like it's lacking a solid scientific grounding!

This figure is not just a paint-saving copy of the Spartan Warrior - it may have the same basic body, the same sandal feet, the same breastplate and skirt, the same greaves, the same helmet and all the rest, but the head is different! The plain Warrior had hair and a beard, while this one uses the completely bald head. Does vitrification make your hair fall out? All your hair?

The Cursed Spartan has a balljointed head and neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; a balljointed torso (limited realistically by the chest armor); balljointed hips; double-hinge knees; and swivel/hinge ankles. But does he need all that? I mean, he's become a statue - why is this toy moving at all? Shouldn't he be permanently stuck in a single position, like a McFarlane figure? The set's accessories include an extra pair of hands with the hinge joint running the other direction, and a display base to help the figure stand in extreme poses.

Other accessories include a sword, shield and spear. The sword is a new mold, while the spear is the same that came with the other Spartan, and the shield is the ornate piece the Coral Gorgon carried. And of course, there's all the removable armor as well, and it's all done in the same mostly unpainted grey as the rest of the toy.

While this is really just a budget repaint, we could totally see fans army-building it just as much as the plain Spartan - after all, wouldn't it make sense for Medusa to have a lot of stoned guys in her lair? Get a bunch of them and put them all in different poses. And swap their heads with the ones that came with the blank to make them look even more distinct. That'd be fun!

-- 05/06/16

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