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The Girly One

Artemis spends an inordinate amount of time writing lesbian erotic fiction, which has often led to his being mistake for a woman - though never in person, except in cases of phenomenally poor eyesight. He has written articles for White Dwarf magazine, and is currently working on a novel, which is a polite way of saying he's poor, a condition which his action figure addiction perpetuates. His idea of heaven is Amber Benson playing the lead in a She-Ra: Princess of Power movie made by Peter Jackson.

1. What got you into reviewing? What figure was so cool that you just had to tell everyone about it?
It wasn't that the figures were especially cool - I just like the sound of my own typing, so I take any excuse to talk about anything. For the record though, the first review post I made was of a batch of figures I bought from a sale at some online shop or other: Aspen Matthews, Darkchylde, Medieval Witchblade, Purgatori, Switch, and Sara Pezzini.

2. What's your favorite review?
I've already got a sentimental favourite: Marvel Select She-Hulk - as well as attracting me to OAFEnet in the first place, it also got me reading comics other than Witchblade. That used to be my one and only comic; the review got me curious enough to try out the first trade paperback of the current She-Hulk title, and from there it went to the point where five comics a week is considered 'a slow week' for me. Dammit yo, this is expensive!

3. Best late night talk show host?
Never been much of a late night talk show viewer - they're far less prevalent here in Australia than in the US (we get reruns of Letterman, and I don't really like his comedy much). If there's anything worth watching in the late night timeslots, it's usually the occasional sci-fi show that the networks aren't interested enough in to give a better slow - Battlestar Galactica was a gem, but it got shunted to post-midnight, then stopped airing here. And they wonder why people buy the DVDs and ignore the networks...

4. Who's your favorite hero/villain?
She-Ra - I love everything about She-Ra. As for villains... I don't know if you'd call it a 'villain', but the Alien (from the movie of the same name) is the ultimate monster. Getting Giger to design it was a stroke of genius; it's the perfect horror movie combination of terrified revulsion and erotic fascination; seeing it on screen, I don't know whether I want to escape from it or let it f#%$ me. Sorry, am I sharing too much?

5. Best thing about toys right now?
I guess it's inevitable that the technical quality of sculpting has improved over time, so what I'd point to as the best feature of today's figures versus older ones is their stances. Used to be action figures were made in a rigid pose, standing straight up facing forwards - now even the ones that aren't highly articulated, and are pretty much stuck in the 'standing upright' pose, are designed in more naturalistic body postures.

6. Worst thing about toys right now?
The giant squid in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that keeps swallowing shipments to Australia. Buying toys here in Sydney is really hit and miss sometimes - there's a lot of figures you have to be there on shipment day to secure one of, and some just never show up at all.

7. What's your guilty pleasure?
Bad sci-fi and fantasy movies, I love them. Battlefield Earth, The Beastmaster, Wing Commander, Street Fighter... heck, I've seen Christopher Lambert's ludicrous Beowulf four times.

8. Sculpt, paint or articulation?
All three preferably, but if a figure is sculpted in a reasonably unique pose, I don't mind losing articulation. I appreciate versatility as much as anyone, but at the end of the day I use articulation to get a figure into a distinctive pose, to make it stand out from the 160-something other figures on my shelves - if the sculpt does that for me, I'm fine with that (for instance, Zera from the Spawn range).

9. Mexican, Italian or Chinese?
Italian. Tortellini panna e proscuitto. Heaven.

10. What's the first toy you remember getting?
Well I don't remember getting it, but the oldest toy I have is a stuffed dog named "Friend," which was bought the day after I was born. All the usual '80s suspects followed, and I don't recall which came first - my earliest memory of getting a toy, rather than just having them, was He-Man. I had quite the range of Masters of the Universe already, but the basic He-Man was a tough one to find, so I remember well finally finding a shop that had one.

11. Favorite toy of all time?
Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Triangle" variant, personally signed, specifically to me, by Amber Benson, who played Tara and is a goddess in human form. Not that I'm biased or anything.

12. Favorite band?
Band, Alisha's Attic. Favourite singer, Heather Nova, who has never in her career recorded a single track that was less than brilliant.

13. We all buy a lot of toys; what do you actually collect?
Women - all my action figures are female (even the Cyberman - it's Yvonne Hartman). Well, except the five Autobots from the Transformers movie, but I consider them more akin to my model starships and so on, random 'cool stuff' rather than part of the action figure collection.

14. Your most wanted toy line?
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. Tarot, Raven Hex, the High Priestess, Boo Cat, Mor-Meb-Dred, heck I'd even buy Jon just to have the whole set.

15. Who makes the best toys?
I've seen a lot of good toys from a lot of companies. Marvel Toys (formerly ToyBiz) made a good impression with their first wave of Legendary Heroes, Character Options has been improving in leaps and bounds with their Doctor Who range, and I'm usually not disappointed when NECA gets a property I'm keen on.

16. What's your favorite candy?
Original Sin: Death by Chocolate ice cream. In fact, any ice cream that sounds physically indecent.

17. What toy that you never got as a kid have you sought out now that you're an adult?
She-Ra - though I've got the new version, not the '80s one.

18. What obscure, unmarketable property would you love to have as figures?
It's not obscure, but most people wouldn't think it a logical choice for action figures: Flashman. One wave per novel: a Flashman (in whatever uniform or clothing style fits the book), a leading lady, an enemy, and one other character or variant. I've got the whole thing worked out. Probably wouldn't be enough buyers to make it profitable, but I'd buy every one.

19. What are you into besides toys?
Comics, TV and film science fiction, anything Amber Benson does, writing Willow/Tara fanfiction, and tennis.

20. What's your secret stash for finding toys?
Oh, I wish I had one to speak of. There's a stall down at the markets at Haymarket that has turned up trumps a couple of times - I found a Scarlet Witch there, and so far as I know she was never even shipped to the country, so heaven only knows how she wound up there.

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