Warcraft Action Figures (WoW)

Collectors come in all stripes, those who genuinely have a love for what they are collecting, those who just love the chase of being able to complete a collection, and those who hope their investment will one day pay off. One doesn’t have to be one of the millions of players of World of Warcraft to collect its actions figures. The younger players though, or the young at heart, may have a hard time resisting the urge to take the Warcraft action figures out of their box.

The slightly older players will likely find the Warcraft miniatures reminiscent of He-Man figures sold in the 80’s. There are four main companies that started manufacturing Warcraft action figures since Warcraft II. They are Blizzard Entertainment, Toycom, State of the Art (SOTA), and DC Direct (of DC Comics). Out of these companies, DC Direct has produced the largest line of figures, 25 figures including deluxe figures, through 2009. Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, or WoW has only produced five figures.

They are Human Footman, Orc Grunt, Malfurion Stormrage, Muradin Bronzebeard, and Thrall. Toycom has produced six figures all from Warcraft III. SOTA produced only three figures which are: Tauren Shaman, Undead Warlock, and Jungle Troll Voodoo Priest. DC Direct released its first series of Warcraft figures in 2007. This first series was comprised of Meryl Felstorm: Undead Warrior, Rehgar Earthfury: Orc Shaman, Valeera Sanguinar: Blood Elf Rogue, and a deluxe figure, Illidan Stormrage: Night Elf Demon Hunter. DC has released five series through the end of 2009.

As Steve Carell’s character, Andy, proved in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, having a mint toy collection can be a nice investment. Those not familiar with WoW, but looking for the next “hot” collectible, may want to look into these Warcraft miniatures because WoW is a Guinness World Record holding massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), holding the record for most subscribers, over 11 million. With that many followers worldwide it’s likely a market will exist in the future for those collectors who were able to purchase the Warcraft action figures now and hold onto them. And unlike the He-Man figures these WoW action figures are not currently being mass produced and sold in retail outlets.

Fascination With Faeries

Faeries (also spelled fairies) have been popular characters in folk and fairy tales (obviously!) worldwide for centuries. What is interesting is how they are enjoying a modern revival. Faeries in art, stories, movies and various knickknacks and accessories are rampant. Why is this?

Movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, in which the magical race of elves plays a key role, have helped this renewed interest in the Little People (who include faeries, elves, pixies, leprechauns, sprites and various other folk). The popularity of things fae also overlaps with the renaissance of Celtic music, as faeries are probably better known in Ireland and other Celtic lands than anywhere else.

In general, however, I think it has to do with the mysterious, romantic and magical nature of these beings. In a world dominated by commerce and technology, there is a need to be reminded of other, less mundane aspects of life. Faeries evoke and represent the world of our imagination, which is why they are often depicted in the arts.

The supernatural has always been popular in stories, novels and movies. In most cases, however, supernatural creatures, whether ghosts, demons or undead killers, are frightening and often outright evil. Faeries, at least traditionally, are more ambiguous -neither purely good nor evil. They can be kind, but also tricky and sometimes vindictive. The worst tales about faeries are probably those that involve them stealing human babies and replacing them with one of their own.

For the most part, faeries seem mostly indifferent to human ideas about right and wrong. This probably is what caused some Christian theologians to say that faeries inhabit neither heaven nor hell, but purgatory. In some tales, humans are lured into their kingdom and emerge what turns out to be centuries later in human time. There is no indication in these stories that the faeries mean any harm. But neither are they particularly concerned about the troubles they cause in the human world.

The basically amoral nature of faeries is consistent with their presence in the arts and imagination of humans. What I mean by this is that the arts depict things that are new, creative, different and usually interesting, but not necessarily “good” as conventionally defined. This is why strict moral authorities often try to suppress the arts. Faeries can be seen as creatures that inhabit the same realm as the arts.

One of the most interesting questions about faeries, and also one that is hard to answer, is whether or not they really exist. Many claim to have seen them. Others see them as inhabiting “only” a nether-world of our dreams and imagination. While they certainly do inhabit the world of the imagination, there are many accounts of them interacting with our own world as well. And who is to say where the dividing line is between the two?

Victorian Undead #4

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… I am a sucker for anything zombie related. When I saw that they had mashed Sherlock Holmes and zombies in the same comic, I rejoiced and gladly opened my wallet. This is the most recent issue in the series, and I’ve heard that there are only going to be six. Truly a shame because this is much more interesting than most mini-series. I guess they have to end the series soon because Sherlock Holmes doesn’t lose. In all of his cases, he solves them and then moves on. So I am thinking that it is safe to assume that he is going to solve the whole zombie-caper, kill the bad guys, and have a night-cap.

The most interesting thing about this series is the fact that the villain is a self aware zombie. (He is Moriarty, the classic nemesis of Sherlock Holmes). This issue goes into detail on Moriarty’s foray in the realm of the undead and the madness and ambition he found waiting there. We finally learn the reason for the outbreak, and we watch in horror as its nexus swears to bathe the world in blood and hellfire. Sherlock and Watson share their memorable banter throughout the issue as they are rescued from the flat on Baker Street and taken to a secure location. The art is wonderfully colored, and the zombies are especially gory and menacing. If you are a zombie enthusiast then you will in no way be disappointed with Victorian Undead. An excellent series to collect!