THE PRINCESS BRIDE (MCFARLANE TOYS)
There are some movies that are just undisputed classics, and The Princess Bride is one of those movies. It’s adventurous, witty, and terribly quotable. I think everyone will be quoting it in the future. Or, you know, the now. Since that’s kinda what I’m doing. Despite its fixed placed in the cultural lexicon, the film has never been much of a merchandising juggernaut. There have been a scant few attempts at toys over the years, mostly amounting to a bunch of orphaned Westley figures and an okay set of Funko Pops. The first real stab at a true set of figures from the film comes from McFarlane Toys of all places. I know, I’m just as surprised as you. Even more surprising? There’s actually a girl in the line-up! Look at good old Todd, actually releasing the film’s title character, despite it’s potential to inspire serial killers everywhere. I guess The Princess Bride is just worth that risk.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Princess Buttercup is part of the first standard series of McFarlane’s Princess Bride line. She’ll be back again for a variant in series 2, again with the actually putting a girl toy out there. How crazy. This first release gives us Buttercup in her red dress that she wears during the horse ride that leads to her capture by Vizzini and his crew. It’s the look she sports for the first half or so of the movie, and is generally one of her most distinctive, so it’s well-chosen. The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and she has 35 points of articulation. In a fashion typical of modern McFarlane figures, there’s a decent portion of the articulation that’s just there for the sake of it being there, with little practical purpose. I mean, why does Buttercup need toe joints? That said, the joints do work a little better with the overall sculpt than some of the other figures the company has put out. Movement is fairly decent, and the joints don’t wind up breaking the sculpt too badly when used, so it’s an overall win. Buttercup’s sculpt is all-new. The legs and head might wind up being shared with the Series 2 Buttercup, so there’s already going to be some overlap, but it’s sensible. All things considered, the sculpt is actually not bad. The proportions aren’t nearly as wonky as other offerings, and the detailing on the outfit is actually pretty solid. The lower portion of the dress is soft-goods, which better from a movement standpoint. In terms of shaping, it has a bit too much of a train for it to be accurate to the red dress, suggesting that this might be sharing a pattern with the Series 2 wedding dress appearance. Buttercup’s head sculpt is a respectable offering. It’s not spot-on by any stretch, but given the generally fair features of Robin Wright, there aren’t a ton of immediate details to grab onto, which makes this sort of sculpt a good deal harder. The straight on view gets it pretty close, but the likeness is lost a bit from other angles. The general likeness is still certainly there, though, and it’s better than a lot of other McFarlane sculpts. The paint work on Buttercup is generally pretty okay, apart from the one, rather glaring thing, which is the eyes. Yes, for reasons only he can truly fathom, Todd decided to pull rank on a large number of figures currently in circulation and give them all some real serious side-eye, as opposed to the standard straight forward look. It’s not a terrible thing, and does actually allow for a lot of character to be gained. The trouble is, it’s very limiting. Were it an alternate head, it would be awesome, but as the only option, it really doesn’t work. Given that the figure’s only accessory is a stand, the extra head really would have been helpful to make her feel a little more worth the money, all things considered.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, and very certainly one that brings me a lot of comfort, so I return to it quite a lot. I’ve always wanted a good set of toys from it, but there’s never really been a good venue. When McFarlane announced the license, I was skeptical, but hopeful. Buttercup is better than I expected, that much is for sure. That said, she’s also held back just the tiniest bit from perfection, largely by those stupid eyes, which were such an easily avoided issue, and one that will plague this whole first assortment, unfortunately.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.