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By Thomas Wheeler

Okay, I'll readily admit that I don't know a whole lot about the WarCraft video games, produced by Blizzard Entertainment. But I recognize their popularity, and I always appreciate a well-made action figure. So when a friend of mine recommended the Shandris Feathermoon figure from the brand-new WarCraft line of action figures, I decided to pick her up, assuming I could find her.

I turned one up at Electronics Boutique one afternoon recently, and decided to purchase it. She's a Night Elf Archer, and basically, she's got long pointed ears that would make Mr. Spock turn green(er) with envy, a wardrobe that makes Xena look overdressed, and a build that would send most Hollywood divas scurrying back to their plastic surgeons for more enhancement. She also has pale purple skin, and I really can't think of anything there to make a comparative wisecrack about, so I won't bother.

The figure stands about seven inches in height, and has superb, and in several instances, superbly concealed, articulation. Shandris' articulation includes the head (although I'll comment on that in a minute), arms, elbows (double jointed in the left arm), wrists, mid-torso, legs, upper-leg swivel, knees, and ankles. Some of this articulation is quite cleverly done. The wrist articulation is largely concealed by the construction of the gloves. The mid-torso articulation is right at the point of her armored haltar top or whatever you want to call it, and the upper-leg swivel is right at the level of her boots, so again, it's not really noticable.

My only real complaint about the articulation is the head. The figure has long, sculpted hair, which effectively makes turning the head impossible, and the head is perpetually posed looking slightly to the right. I believe that if the company that produced this toy, ToyCom, had wanted to, they could have produced the hair, or possibly the entire head, from a more flexible plastic, allowing for greater head articulation.

There's a couple of interesting warnings on the package that are worth mentioning. For one thing, the toy is recommended for ages 13 and up. This is no doubt due to the source material, as well as connected somewhat to the other package warning, that the toy may contain "functional sharp points". This would no doubt apply to the archery equipment Ms. Feathermoon comes with.

The figure includes a quiver, a bow, and an arrow (there are several non-removable sculpted arrows in the quiver). And here's the kicker -- the bow works. Maybe a little too well.

Shandris is really designed to be posed holding her bow up and ready to shoot. The pose of the left hand and the double-articulation in the left elbow leaves no doubt about this. And indeed, it is possible to snap the two bow-halves together (although personally, I'd recommend gluing them together) and stretch back the elastic string for her to hold, and carefully place the arrow into the bow as part of the "pose".

Of course, curiosity got the better of me, and I thought, "Hey, I wonder if this thing really works to some degree?" and decided to try to fire it myself. Firing Shandris Feathermoon's bow and arrow should go on a list of "Really Dumb Things to do with Action Figure Accessories", right after that blasted over-powered spring-loaded disc launcher that came with the G.I.Joe Roadblock figure back in 1992.

I expected the usual "child-safe" effect from this, whereby most spring-loaded action figure accessories bounce out about five inches tops from their launchers and wouldn't even wake a hamster. I neglected to consider two things -- Shandris wasn't really intended as a "toy for kids" per se, and this was actually a miniature bow and arrow, not a spring-loaded missile launcher.

I carefully pulled back the bow, making sure the arrow was as well placed as possible, aimed across the room, and fired. SHEESH! Thing shot clear across my workroom and whacked into a G.I.Joe APC on the floor with a very solid sound. I half-expected to find a puncture mark.

So, bottom line -- do I recommend the SHANDRIS FEATHERMOON figure from the new WARCRAFT series? If you're into the WarCraft video games, definitely. The figure was only $9.99, and is superbly well made. She's an excellent action figure in her own right, even setting aside the annoying head non-articulation. Even if you just like shapely female action figures with purple skin, long ears, and a taste for barbarian-fantasy-type wardrobes, you'll like her. What I do NOT recommend is posing her with her equipment. The fingers don't have THAT good a hold on the bowstring, and at the very least, if you must pose the figure with her bow and arrow, don't have it pointing at anything else you consider valuable, including other action figures. There's just too great a chance of an --unfortunate mishap.