When a society displaces pantheism in favor of a monotheistic religion, it never really goes away. The old gods and goddesses may be gone, but humanity still needs the services they provide, and turns to fiction to fill those roles: Heracles becomes He-Man and Odin becomes Obi-Wan. It's not a conscious thing - we're talking Joseph Campbell, Hero With A Thousand Faces type stuff, here - but the jobs still need to get done.
One of the roles to be filled is that of the Trickster, the (generally) good-natured guy who uses subterfuge and misdirection to get what he wants and to play pranks on others. Loki, Coyote, Anansi, those kinds of guys. One of our greatest modern tricksters is that Warner Brothers icon, Bugs Bunny.
Bugs was almost always depicted as the target of another character, and a lot of times that other character was Elmer Fudd. So when Elmer became a viking warrior in "What's Opera, Doc?" Bugs followed suit. The cartoon follows the general formula that had been established. Elmer tracks the rabbit, tries to kill him in his hole (this time with a spear instead of a gun) and Bugs shows up to question him. Though he initially scoffs at Elmer's spear and magic helmet (magic helmet?), he high-tails it out of there as soon as he's struck by lightning. Of course, only then does Elmer realize he's been talking to the wabbit all along.
With Elmer hot on his trail, Bugs resorts to one of his standard tricks - cross-dressing. As the mighty warrior of great fighting stock looks for his coney quarry, he spies a beautiful vision, riding down the mountain toward him on the fattest horse in the world. It's Bugs, of course, dressed as the Valkyrie Brunhilde. "She" is wearing a pink skirt and a golden shirt with a metal breastplate. Her helmet has two large wings sticking out the sides, and a pair of yellow braids trail down her back.
The figure is larger than you might expect - 5 1/4" to the top of the helmet, with another 1 1/4" added if you count the wings - and moves at the neck, shoulders, wrists, waist and hips. Why these figures get better articulation than the regular DC Direct ones is a mystery, but no one's complaining. Funny, in fact, that DCD can perfectly capture the look of cartoon characters with fully articulated toys while McFarlane has to make true statues. Gets easier all the time to tell the good companies from the bad.
Bugs' face is really good. He's wearing pink eyeshadow to match his skirt, and has the kind of thick, lucious lashes that Maybelline only wishes it could provide. His eyebrows are cocked slightly unevenly, which gives him an expression and makes him look more natural. His nose and big buck teeth are a separate piece that's glued on, and his whiskers are six stiff bristles glued in place behind the nose. Very cool.
Bugs has no elbows, but he does have extra arms. He's posed with one leg kicked back slightly, so he's either acting demure or running playfully away from Elmer. For the first option, give him the pair of arms with the open hand and the daintily clutched kerchief; for the second, give him the arms with the fingers curled down into the palms. Either way he'll be alluring and cute.
This set has less accessories than its partner, but there's more to the base. Bugs gets the pavilion where he leads Elmer on their merry chase - the ground looks like large marble tiles, and a small step leads to "floor level." At the two front corners we find springs of the pink flowers Maurice Noble designed for the watercolor backgrounds in the cartoon. There's a cardboard backdrop that fits in the back of the base - one side shows the pavilion's columns against a pink sky, while the other is a pastoral look at Bugs' rabbit hole.
This pseudo-viking bunny doesn't have a storage compartment under his base, for some unknown reason, but that's okay - his one real accessory would never fit inside, anyway. A finely upholstered chaise longue, 4 1/2" long by 2 3/4" tall, pegs into the center of the base. The settee is detailed with a padded pink cushion and the body of the object is white. Sculpted tassels hang off the high end of the seat, and its four little legs are clustered in the center, which is why it pegs into the base rather than standing free - it was designed as a cartoon prop, not a three-dimensional item.
The choice of setting for the base underscores one accessory that would have been perfect for inclusion but was overlooked. This pavilion is where Elmer Fudd finally saw through Bugs' ruse, when "Brunhilde's" helmet fell off and went bouncing down the stairs, revealing the rabbit ears that had been tucked underneath. The helmet and braids are separate from the figure's head, so why not make them removable and let us plug a pair of ears in their place?
Despite that, this is a really nice figure. Great sculpt, neat base, decent playability... and a surprising price tag. The figures are large, articulated, come with big bases and ship in huge window boxes - and yet they only cost $13, about 25% cheaper than regular DC Direct figures. Don't know how they managed that, but take advantage of it while you can.
What other cartoon pairs do you want to see? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.