I try my best to avoid picking up Sideshow’s Premium Format statues. They’re always stunning, but that beauty and craftsmanship comes at a price, not only in money but also in real estate. These things are big and it’s getting harder and harder for me to find room to display them. Today’s piece is the fifth Premium Format in my collection, and will likely be the last for a while, or at least until I move into a bigger place next year! It also happens to be one that I’ve been hotly anticipating ever since they first teased it. Straight from the pages of Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian novels, comes The Princess of Mars herself, Dejah Thoris!
Dejah arrived in what was possibly the largest Premium Format box I have received to date, which explains the unprofessional picture of it sitting on the floor. It’s colorful and shows off pictures of the statue, while also being unbelievably heavy at a whopping thirty-two pounds! I think I had the misconception of this piece being more reasonably sized because she’s reclining and not standing, but she still measures up at fourteen inches tall with a circular base that measures sixteen inches across. The assembly is a bit more involved than any of my previous PF statues, but there’s still nothing too crazy. The chair pegs into the base with keyholes, and there’s a blanket and a pillow that attach onto the chair in the same fashion. The figure comes in four pieces, which include the main body, the arms, and the head. Everything fitted together perfectly and once together, she makes for a sturdy and stable display. Still, carrying her from her display shelf to my photo setup was quite the ordeal!
And here she is all set up, and what can I say? Is there any doubt why I fell in love with her at first sight? I’ve been a reader and book collector for most of my life and Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series captured my imagination at a young age. Likewise, Dejah Thoris was probably my very first literary crush. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed seeing different artists’ visions of her in their work, and it’s always been a dream of mine to own something like this statue, depicting the Red Princess of Barsoom in all her sultry glory!
Dejah reclines on a chaise lounge, atop a pile of pillows, each strategically placed to support her curvaceous form, while a satiny blanket spills off onto the floor. She has her right leg extended and her left leg tucked under it. Her left arm is drawn up to cradle her head with splayed fingers, while her right arm is extended behind her, partially concealing a Radium Pistol. I think the composition here is absolutely perfect. It conveys Dejah’s extreme sexuality, her cunning and self-reliance, and above all her absolute regality. Despite her skimpy attire and leisurely setting, she comes across as totally empowered.
All of that character is not only conveyed in the body language, but also the beautiful portrait. Dejah is sporting a rather serious expression, peppered with just a touch of courtly boredom. She looks like she’s tired of someone’s shit, and there’s a good chance that when her patience finally runs out, she’s going to make use of her pistol. The facial features are beautifully realized in the sculpt with some absolutely perfect paint applications. The lips, eyes, and eyebrows are all razor sharp. The glossy red they used for the lips is quite striking, and the eyebrows are sculpted as well as painted. The sculpted hair cascades to her shoulders, with a collection of strands partially covering the right side of her face. The other great thing about the portrait is the detail in all the jewelry. She has multiple earrings, and the tiara features some great scrollwork as well as a few metallic colored stones.
When it comes to her outfit, there’s not a lot of it. As a result, a great deal of Dejah’s figure is just reddish-brown skin conveyed though a spectacularly soft and even paint job. She wears a veritable web of gold chains, which connect to a waist chain and two golden cups to cover her nips. Some of this, like the waist chain, is sculpted onto the statue, while some of it is actual chain, giving it some great depth and realism. Her rather elaborate necklace features a purple stone dead center, she has a rather wide wrist bracer on her right hand, smaller bangles on her left, bicep cuffs on both arms, and various ring fingers. All fo the jewelry is painted with a sumptuous gold leaf paint. Down below she sports a rather skimpy G-string, secured with a mix of gold chain and pearls, she has several anklets, and even some toe rings.
The Radium Pistol is a great example of the steampunk-like depiction of Helium technology over the years. It’s design is quite reminiscent of a single-action open-top revolver from 19th Century Earth. It features a long and slender barrel, with a sculpted extraction arm underneath it, and a rather elaborately sculpted grip. Dejah clearly isn’t one for practicing trigger discipline, as her finger is looped through the guard and ready to squeeze off a round at a moment’s notice.
The base consists of a very thick and heavy disk, the surface of which is carved with a map of Barsoom with studs representing each of the Martian Cities. The chaise lounge locks into it with keyholes and remains very sturdy. Some amazing detail has gone into the individual pillows that Dejah reclines on. You get some ornate Eastern patterns, some gilt decorations, and plenty of tassels. It can’t be easy to make polystone look like soft and inviting cushions, but they sure got the job done here!
The base has one removable accessory, and that’s this rather ornate water jug. At one point, I thought this was an Exclusive piece, but in reality, Dejah didn’t have an Exclusive available. And that’s just as well, because it would have made a pretty lame exclusive. The jug doesn’t attach anywhere, so you can just rest it on the base somewhere and pray that you remember it isn’t fixed down the next time you move the statue. I dig it a lot, but the fact that I am only introducing it now suggests that it can be a little distracting from the figure. There’s room to place it in the front, as pictured, or in the back, where it can be less obvious.
I believe it was about a year between the time I pre-ordered Dejah and the time she finally showed up at my door. She’s easily my most anticipated Premium Format figures in my collection, and that means she had a year’s worth of anticipation to live up to. I’ll confess to having been a little apprehensive when opening her. Could she possibly live up to all that pent up excitement? Well, the answer is an astounding yes. I’m happy to say that Dejah met and exceeded all my expectations. Everything about this piece comes together so perfectly. The paint, the sculpt, the overall composition. I can honestly say, that there isn’t a thing here that I would change or want to make better.