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Celestial Warriors 2-Pack

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

We already reviewed one Vitruvian HACKS Kickstarter exclusive, in the form of Talos, the Eternal Warrior of Bronze, but he wasn't the only one.

Perseus and Medusa's eternal struggle will wage for all eternity in myth and in the very stars themselves. The constellations of Perseus and the Hydra will be forever locked in battle for all to see, a constant reminder of good and evil.

This set, the Celestial Warriors 2-Pack, was only available through the Kickstarter, or on eBay from people who are looking to part-out their sets after going all in. More than even most of the V-HACKS figures, these are just fancy repaints.

Perseus was the son of Zeus and a mortal woman, because of course he is. For those in need of a refresher, this is the time that Zeus transformed into a golden shower. Yeah. Anyway, Perseus and his mother were sent into exile, and then when he was grown, he was tricked into promising to deliver the head of Medusa to his mother's suitor. You may be most familiar with the story via Clash of the Titans.

Celestial Perseus is basically the same as the Spartan Warrior - basic male body, same armor, everything. He does have the longer beard seen on Talos, but that's not a huge difference, especially once he's wearing his helmet. The armor can all be removed, if you want, but why would you want? His weapons include a shield, a medium sword, and a spear.

Medusa you're of course familiar with. Even if she weren't one of the most famous monsters of antiquity, we're already reviewed her once! She was a beautiful woman until she was turned into a monster by Athena, and of the three Gorgon sisters, she was the only mortal one, proving that giving characters plot-specific weaknesses is nothing new.

Clearly this figure is going to use the same body as the standard Medusa, with the basic female chest, the hyper-articulated snake tail, and the unique Medusa head with the open mouth and all the snakes. Surprisingly, however, she is not wearing the same armor as before! She now has the full breastplate, two bracers, and nothing around her bicep or waist. Instead of coming with a dagger or that really cool skeleton whip, she has the set's second shield and a long sword.

Since both figures are reused bodies, they have the same articulation - so we will just direct you back to those existing reviews for all the specific information. Suffice to say, they move amazingly well for 4" toys. Much better than mass market releases.

What truly sets these figures apart is their deco. Both figures and all their accessories have been molded from a translucent grey plastic, with glitter embedded in it. Their eyes are painted white, and they each have several large, stylized white stars painted precisely upon their bodies - five for Perseus, seven for Medusa. The overall effect is quite nice, giving us two figures who look like a slice of the heavens come to life. There's even a bit of purple airbrushing in selected spots to help further the illusion.

To really drive home the connection, each of the characters' shields has a representation of their constellation painted on the front. They both could have used some better reference, though: the constellations are close to what they'd be in real life, but not completely accurate; extra stars, weird angles, etc. Plus, the Perseus deco seems to be painted upside down, until you realize that it becomes right side up if he's holding it in front of his head - you know, as if he were protecting his eyes from Medusa's gaze. Clever! Since there is no Medusa constellation, she's assigned Hydra, and her deco is aligned properly when the shield is held down at her side.

The Perseus and Hydra constellations really aren't close to one another. Hydra, one of the largest constellations, is below the ecliptic from about 8 hours right ascension, 10 degrees declination, to 15 hours right ascension, -30 degrees declination, stretching from Libra to Cancer; Perseus, meanwhile, is above the ecliptic, next to Taurus and Aries at 3 hours 30 minutes right ascension, 45 degrees declination. Since none of that will mean much to you unless you're an astronomy nerd, here's the simple version: Perseus lives on the north side of town, Hydra lives on the south side of town, with a handful of east/west blocks in between them; if there was a pizza place at the tip of Orion's club, they'd be at opposite ends of its delivery area. Amusingly, both constellations have their own meteor showers: the Sigma Hydrids are a weak shower that peaks in early December, while the more famous Perseids are a heavy meteor shower that peaks around August 12 - in other words, the very day this review is being posted. Almost as if we planned it!

The figures in the Celestial Warriors 2-Pack may have only minor physical differences from their previous releases, but the changes in paint make them beautiful new toys and very worthwhile exclusives.

-- 08/12/16

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