After classic monsters and the Wizard of Oz, Todd decided to turn to history for McFarlane's Monsters Series 3 - there have been a lot of psychos and sickos through the ages, and now six of them have new, hyper-detailed figures from McFarlane Toys.
The Blood Queen of Hungary, who struck terror throughout that region in the late 1500s and early 1600s, and is said to have killed more than 600 young women. A member of the ruling class, Bathory tortured servants throughout her life. Later, with concern for her fading beauty, she began bathing in the blood of slaughtered young girls as a perverse form of a fountain of youth.
Ditching the silly "Tortured Souls" junk that marred the last two lines, Monsters 3 presents some (almost) normal-looking figures. Elizabeth doesn't have peeled flesh or hooks in her eyes or anything - she's just a naked woman, lounging in a tub of human blood. Perfectly normal, perfectly natural.
Deciding to really put the "bath" in "Bathory," McToys gave us Betsy in the midst of her grisly beauty ritual. The majority of her body is below the surface - it's hard not to think of it as red water - so this isn't some tacky peepshow figure.
The tub itself is a high-backed, ornate number with claw feet. 6" long, 4" tall and 2 1/4" wide, the tub is covered with detailed carvings (including the Bathory seal) and painted a tarnished golden color. The interior is white, right down to the level of the wa-- blood. There's even a little spout at the end, used to drain the tub when the Lady is finished with her soak.
There are a few bits of Bathory poking up above the surface, and some very choice bits they are. Her head, shoulders and right arm are here, as is her left hand. Her right knee is drawn up toward her body, and her left leg is held high in the air. The sculpt on all the exposed parts is very good, very sexy. They even got a little drop of blood falling off her heel, with a little splash below.
Incedentally, this may be the first McFarlane toy to have exposed nipples - while figures like the Necromancer or Joseph Michael Linsner's Dawn had anatomically correct sculpts hidden behind other pieces, Bathory's chest is both detailed and unclothed. She's floating just above the surface of the blood, and behind her hair and her hand, she is sculpted and painted just like she should be.
Movement is minimal, and mostly hidden. An anklet hides the joint in her left foot, while a metal band on her upper arm hides movement there. The most obvious joint is the one in her neck; while the necklaces that rest on her collar bones are sculpted well, they don't come up high enough to hide the joint.
Erzsébet's face is very nice, having that general sort of Romanian look that a Lady of Wallachia should have. I really admire McFarlane's sculptors' desire to aim for reality in this line - just as Attila the Hun looked much as he was decribed in ancient times, this figure resembles the images of the woman that we have today. The sculpt on her hair and even the ornaments in it are appropriately detailed.
The figure includes three accessories: a knife, a goblet and a candelabra. The blade can be clutched in her left hand, held close to her breast.
The goblet has a sculpted splash of blood pouring from it, and can be held in the figure's raised right hand. The candelabra, nearly 8" tall, features three maidens' heads supporting the candles. Pretty grisly, sure, but from McFarlane Toys, a surprisingly reserved presentation. Buy the Collector's Club exclusive Accessory Pack, and you'll get a blood pool base and a large pitcher to decorate your diorama.
Elizabeth Bathory was truly a mad woman, and had more to do with the modern legend of Dracula than her countryman Vlad Tepes ever did - he gave his name, while she gave the sanguinary habits. Still, she's a bit of a historical footnote, not as readily familiar to most folks as the five guys who make up the rest of this line. This is by far more of a display piece than an action figure, and if your friends and family aren't going to look at you weird for having a naked woman in a bathtub on your shelf, then it's definitely worthwhile.
"Put the 'bath' in 'Bathory'"? Has there ever been a worse joke on our site? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.