Ok, yesterday we took a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about Dragon’s Lair and checked out the first of Anjon’s figures, the evil wizard, Mordroc. Today we’ll take a look at the true stars of this little collection of Dragon’s Lair figures. It’s the fearless hero, Dirk the Daring and the Princess Daphne. Let’s go ahead and start with Daphne.
Daphne is the stereotypical damsel in distress and without a doubt one of the most sexualized cartoon women ever drawn for pop culture consumption. As a kid seeing her for the first time in the game, I’m pretty sure I glanced down toward my nether regions and thought, “Oh, so that’s what that’s for!” To anyone out there that suggesting it’s not normal to find a cartoon chick attractive, I would present Princess Daphne as Exhibit A for the contrary.
As for her figure’s likeness, Anjon mingles with success. It’s good but not great. I don’t think they quite got the portrait right and while the body is certainly curvy in all the right places, I think they underestimated a couple of her biggest assets. The sculpting of the hair is also not quite right to me, although I do find it amusing that if you look at her from behind, her ridiculous mane of hair makes it look like she’s sans clothing. Not that she’s wearing much to begin with. I think in the end, it’s the stiff pose that is most at odds with this figure. The paintwork isn’t too bad. Her painted flesh has a few stray scratches and scuffs that were like that out of the package, and there’s a little slop around the edges of her outfit, but otherwise it’s pretty good.
Daphne features five basic points of articulation. Her arms rotate at the shoulders, her legs rotate at the hips, and her head turns. Unfortunately, the quality on my figure left something to be desired. The first time I tried to turn her head, it came right off in my hand. The post didn’t want to give and so it just twisted and broke. Fortunately, with the sculpted hair, there’s not a lot of movement to be had there, so gluing it back into place didn’t really ruin anything. Besides, this Daphne is intended to stand there on her pile of gold, look pretty and not do much of anything else. There was an amulet included, but I have no idea what happened to it.
Daphne also comes with the Fire Drake companion figure. I love this guy. He looks like a little angry baby dragon. The sculpt is impressive and really drives home the Don Bluth art style and he even has five basic points of articulation and two little detachable wings. This guy actually finds himself on my Masters of the Universe Classics display an awful lot. He just seems to fit in well with the Eternian crowd.
Which, brings us to the man himself… Dirk the Daring, and my, oh my, did Anjon nail this guy. I can’t tell you how much I loved this Dirk when I was younger. He was my idea of the quintessential knightly adventurer and I used to doodle him all over my book covers in school. Man, I would have loved to have had this figure when I was kid. Don’t get me wrong, this figure isn’t perfect, but his sculpt is absolutely fantastic. The proportions are spot on, from his super slender waist to his huge feet. The simple animated style of the outfit matches his on screen counterpart perfectly, and his determined and angry expression looks as if he’s seriously pissed off because you keep getting the timing wrong on your reactions and getting him killed in the game.
Dirk features a functional backpack, with a peg that clasps it shut. You all know how much I love functional holsters on my figures, so imagine how I feel about A FUNCTIONAL BACKPACK!!! The backpack is designed to hold some of his smaller accessories… all of which I’ve lost! He came with a potion and some keys. It’s hard to get the clasp to stay closed unless you have something inside of it. He also has a sword and a working scabbard. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a functional backpack AND scabbard!!! The scabbard comes glued onto the figure via a peg and socket, but mine has become detachable after some years of handling and storage.
Most of the issues I have with this figure involve the quality of the paint. The colors all look great, but there’s just something about the plastic that doesn’t seem to take the paint all that well. It’s rubbed and nicked a lot, particularly around the shoulders, and it looks a little grungy in some spots on the arms and legs. It’s the little things like that, which make me want to pick up another one someday and leave him carded.
Dirk fares pretty well as far as articulation goes. He has a rotating head, and his arms feature ball jointed shoulders and swivels in the biceps and wrists. His legs feature a T-crotch at the hips and swivels at the tops of his boots. He can also swivel at the waist. The lower part of his tunic is soft rubbery plastic so as not to interfere with his leg articulation too much.
Like Daphne, Dirk comes with a companion figure, which is a bendy version of the purple tentacle creature he fights on the drawbridge in the very first screen of the game. Ok, it’s not much of a figure, but I really like this thing a lot. The tentacles will even stay in position, more or less, giving it a decent amount of poseability.
Anjon’s Dragon’s Lair figures have their share of issues, most of which come down to the fact that the quality could have been better. That having been said, I’m pretty sure that these are the company’s first (and only) attempts at action figures, so I’m willing to cut them some slack. As an overall collection, they’re pretty good and I would go so far as to say Dirk himself is rather excellent. He’s definitely a figure that I would have loved to own as a kid, and I guess in the end he was worth the wait. The real pity of it is that Series Two never came to fruition. There was a lot of untapped potential here and I would have gladly picked up figures based on the Giddy Goons, Snake King, and Black Knight had Anjon been able to deliver them.