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Queen Bee

Miraculous Ladybug
by yo go re

The distribution for these figures is ridiculous, utterly ridiculous!

Chloe is Marinette's greatest frienemy (friend + enemy)! She is the spoiled brat daughter of the mayor of Paris, 21st district, who thinks Paris should revolve around her - no one else. Chloe also has a major crush on Adrian, leaving her in a constant rivalry with Marinette. Secretly, Chloe is a big fan of Ladybug.

Chloe Bourgeois (yes, her last name is literally the term for detatched, materialistic affluence) is a rare type of character in a children's TV show: an irredeemable C-word. ["contrast"? --ed.] She's given every opportunity to change, to become better, but she doesn't; she stays selfish and mean because she chooses to, and even her unwavering desire to be the hero Queen Bee is less about protecting the defenseless and more about being seen and recognized. The first thing she does after getting the Bee Miraculous is go on the news and tell everyone her secret identity so she can get some fame.

Chloe's default state is "smug superiority." She can listen to everyone complain about her while she's in the room and just sit there like Knife Cat because she's rich enough and connected enough that she still gets what she wants regardless of what the little people think. This toy doesn't attempt to duplicate that, instead giving her a generally pleasant expression. She may be a queen "B," but she does legitimately enjoy being a superhero.

Queen Bee uses the same body mold as Ladybug, which is fine - they're the same basic size in the show (4'11" vs 4'10"), so no need to tool a different form. It's not like any of their costume elements are sculpted on, anyway: Marinette's got her spots, Chloe's got her stripes. It's been shown that Miraculous holders can mentally influence what their costume will look like, and that two people who use the same power (at different times) will end up with different costumes, so presumably this combo of thigh-highs, opera gloves, and a bustier was something Chloe wanted. Given how much she looks up to her fashion journalist mother, that seems believable; she's trying to copy the kind of adults her mom pays attention to.

Most of the figure is molded from black plastic then given yellow paint, but her thighs are yellow painted black, meaning the colors don't match. The yellow on the legs looks better, but we'd have sacrificed that for better consistency overall. She should have yellow on her fingertips and the heels of her boots, but doesn't. There's also a skipped paint app in her hair: as Queen Bee, Chloe gets a black stripe running through her blonde hair, which helps accentuate the way the tip of her ponytail spirals as it gets toward the end. Without that, it's hard to notice the curl.

The normal release of this figure included her weapon - a top of some sort, I think? - and a backpack with wings. This is a budget version that showed up at Five Below, so it doesn't have any accessories at all. The wings aren't anything she's ever actually used, so they're not missed, but it would be nice if she had her stinger to fit over her hand. The toys do get really nice articulation, though: swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, miniscule double-hinged elbows, a swivel waist, balljointed hips, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Every hero in the show gets their own transformation sequence, and while they're all presentational, Chloe's fits her personality by being exceedingly theatrical and attention-seeking.

TV shows teach kids lessons, and the lesson of Chloe Bourgeois is "some people don't care about you, will never care about you, and are simply too toxic to have in your life." In Season 1 she's one of the most popular girls in school, and by Season 3 her entire class hates her. She's Mr. Burns in capri pants and Gucci glasses, except even her Smithers gets fed up with her. As show writer Melanie Duval said, "the question is not how to make her nice, but rather how to react to her." Some people will always stand in the way, and it's your job to learn how to work around them. Queen Bee is a major figure in the show, so it's good she's one of the characters to get a toy. Playmates could get a couple nice repaints out of this mold if they wanted to, so hopefully they haven't given up on the action figure portion of the line.

-- 11/13/22

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