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Grimm Fairy Tales
by yo go re

There used to be a lot more toy companies than there are today. In 2004, we could host an entire month-long bracket where you could pick your favorite toy company, and now a decade later barely half of them still exist. One of the casualties was Moore Action Collectibles, but now it looks like Clayburn Moore is tentatively getting back in.

It's not that he hasn't been sculpting - for the past few years, Moore has been focusing on creating statues, both licensed properties and work-for-​hire for companies like DC Comics and Diamond. But thanks to the persistence of Joe Brusha, president of Zenescope Entertainment, Clay's work is back in plastic again, starting with Alice Liddle.

Alice Liddle is Zenescope's version of Alice Liddell. Why the name change? Well, either it was a typo, or there was a reason for it, but either way, it's not terribly important. She's still the grown-up version of the little girl who fell down the rabbit hole and had various adventures in Wonderland, so what more do you need to know? She went to Wonderland, she came back, but she left a part of herself there and so was driven a bit crazy. The end. The star of Zenescope's various Wonderland books is actually Alice's daughter Calie anyway, so don't worry if you haven't been following the comics too closely.

When it comes to sculpting female figures, no one is in the same league as Clayburn Moore. He's the best. If you think someone does them better, well, we're sorry, your opinion is wrong. Now, we're not saying it's the most anatomically correct sculpt - these are not remotely the proportions of a real human woman - but that in no way detracts from the skill taken to create it. It's just like with MAC's Darkchylde toy: it may be weirdly distorted, but it's weirdly distorted on purpose.

She's wearing high-heels, but her feet are so thin that there doesn't seem to be room for an actual sole on the shoe; it's like she just blacked her feet. There are tiny bows at the top of her stockings, and she's got the kind of thigh gap that makes confused girls starve themselves - yet somehow manages to top that with the kind of butt that would have a dedicated Tumblr full of gifs. Her "skirt" is more of a frilly belt (with the texture of a petticoat sculpted underneath), and instead of a shirt and apron, she's wearing a bustier with a white stripe down the center. And judging by this figure, separate little "sleeve puffs" that don't actually connect to anything, though that may be simply to allow for the articulation. Her back is arched like her tits are separate objects that she has to keep balanced up there, almost as if she's trapping a soccer ball. Go sports!

Rather than relying on one artist's interpretation of Alice's face, this toy goes for a composite of several different sources. That means there's a lot of Clay Moore in this sculpt, and that's a good thing. Actually, if not for the oversized eyes, the way her hair falls around her face might remind you of the old Buffy toys - wish I could remember who sculpted those.

When MAC released their first figures (based on Chaos Comics' Evil Ernie and Lady Death) in 1997, they only moved at the Big Five. Things eventually got better, but since this figure pretty much represents Moore starting over, her articulation is very simple. She has a V-crotch and swivel shoulders. There's a neck swivel, but her hair keeps her head from turning. And although she technically has a "waist," it's shaped in such a way that the figure can't really turn there. This is not articulation that allows for a lot of multiple poses.

It also doesn't allow her to stand by herself very well, which is why she includes a small display base to keep her upright. It's just a 2" diameter circle of grass with a few spotty mushrooms gowing behind her. Her other accessories include a croquet mallet, a glass bottle with "Drink Me" on the label, and an adorable white bunny. Adorable!

The packaging for this figure is gigantic - 13" tall and 8¼" wide, which is a lot more space than the figure needs. She's only about 6⅛" tall, and quite skinny. Why the giant blister card? Well, because Zenescope has opted to take a cue from Marvel and IDW and even DC (years and years ago) by including a free comic with this figure. It's a copy of Alice in Wonderland #1 (okay, technically Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Alice in Wonderland #1, because that way strict alphabetizers can keep all their GFT books together) with a variant cover - it's one of the normal covers, just with the blue and white of her costume reversed. Yes, that means the colors don't match the toy, but you'll be too busy trying to figure out where in Wonderland Alice can get her waxing done (the answer, of course, is from the Walrus - "shoes and ships and Brazilian wax, and cabbages and kings").

There are two variants of Alice available, which is another throwback to the long-ago days of Moore Action Collectibles: they used to do that kind of stuff all the time! Anyway, the more plentiful version, at 1700 pieces, was wearing red and available at SDCC; the other, wearing a white dress, is packed one per case. It's also limited to 1,000 pieces, which tells us that there are 1,000 cases; and since we also know that each case has six figures, some Hawking-level mathematics tells us that there are only 5,000 regular Alices in existence. We've reviewed SDCC exclusives that are more plentiful than that!

As an action figure, Alice isn't great - there just isn't very much "action" there, but there's a whole lot of "figure." Does that make up for it? We were given this figure free for review, but honestly, it's great to see Clayburn Moore getting back into toys, and if this is the gateway to that, then so be it. Besides, CS Moore Studio's upcoming Queen of Hearts figure would look right at home next to MAC's Witchblade or Fathom, and for our mild fetishist readers, Alice's daughter Calie looks like Betty Page in a French maid's uniform. Start with this Alice, and you might find yourself heading down the rabbit hole.

-- 11/19/14

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