If you haven’t read any of the Darkchylde comics, you may want to pick one up and have a go. I stumbled upon these a while back when I saw some random panel and I was immediately pulled in by the excellent composition and storytelling. Or maybe it was the fact that it featured a sexy blonde heroine who was scantily clad and happened to have demon wings. Either way, I had found a new guilty pleasure! I never knew if there were any Darkchylde figures produced, until one day when I was on vacation and happened upon this figure in the discount bin of a comic shop. I picked up quite a few figures from that cheap figure bin, but today we’re here to look at one particular witchy-woman, Ariel Chylde.
I’m not going to get into the whole figure vs statue thing with this piece. In spirit, This collectible is more a statue than a figure. She has a diorama base and not a lot of useful articulation. On the other hand, she does have the same five points of articulation that many of the vintage figures I grew up with figure had (plus two more in her demon form) so technically she’s a figure. Whatever the case, Ariel is mainly designed to stand on your shelf and look pretty, and so long as that’s all you’re looking for you shouldn’t be disappointed. She’s produced by by Moore Action Figures. Are they even still around? I don’t recall to have seen anything from them in recent years. They did have a pension for making figures based off indie comics and TV series with sexy female stars, including, Witchblade, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Fathom, Heavy Metal and Vampirella, to name a few, so Darkchylde was the perfect fit for them.
The cool thing about Ariel is that she comes with all the parts to display her in either her purely human form or in her half-demon conversion. The demon parts include arms (which are sadly not appearing in this review because I have inconveniently misplaced since I opened her) that have hinged elbows, and a pair of magnificent looking wings. The arms can just be popped off and interchanged and the wings peg into slots on her back.
While I wouldn’t have expected it from a figure found buried in a deep discount action figure bin, the sculpting on this figure is actually quite outstanding, especially considering her scale. She’s only about 7″ tall without the wings, but she’s got a sculpt good enough to compete with larger statues. They did a great job with her muscle tone and the tiny details on her denim shorts and bikini top are amazing. They’ve even sculpted a toe ring onto her left foot! But what’s really great about the sculpt is the likeness. Its not always easy taking 2D character designs into a 3D model, but these guys really nailed the character’s face quite nicely, even if the expression is a little bewildering.
The paint apps vary a bit on my figure. The details on her shoes, shorts and bikini top are all excellent as are the paint apps on her face. I particularly dig how well they painted her eyes. There’s some slop on her hairline, and on her hair itself, but fortunately its in pretty inconspicuous spots. The coloring on her wings is extraordinary and they’ve even painted in her anklet tattoo. The only thing I would really change on this figure is to have given her skin a less glossy finish. Yeah, it gets that from being sculpted in bare, flesh-toned plastic, and I’m probably asking a lot to have the whole figure painted over, but as it is it looks like Ariel is having a very sweaty day.
I already touched on her articulation a bit. Her head technically has a swivel joint, but her hair restricts it from moving. Both sets of arms rotate at the shoulders. Her human arms have no other articulation, but her demon arms have hinged elbows. Her legs both have swivel cuts all the way up at the hips, but unless you want to sit her down in an awkward and unnatural looking way, these joints don’t do the figure a lot of good.
Besides her demon parts, Ariel comes with the aforementioned base. Its also very nicely sculpted with details of the forest floor, including a tree stump, some tiny shrooms and a rather suspiciously placed ribcage. They clearly put a lot of work into the sculpt and paint and it’s appreciated. She pegs into the base and it’s definitely the optimal way to display her if you don’t want her taking a shelf-dive every couple of hours.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about Ariel here. I was really glad to find her and add her to my collection. If you’re interested in obtaining one, she shouldn’t set you back too much. $15 seems to be the average going price, although I got her in a 5 for $10 deal, so I’ve got no complaints. I have a special place for her on my shelf right beside my three Danger Girl figures by McFarlane. She is actually available as a harder to find variant with demon colored skin and I like this figure enough that I may try to hunt that one down later on.