8" Vinyl Lenore

I'm not a huge fan of goth just for the sake of goth, but there's some really original and interesting tidbits in the genre that shouldn't be overlooked.  One of those is Lenore.

Fans of old school horror - and I mean truly old school - should recognize the name Lenore from the work of Edgar Allen Poe.  He first wrote a poem of that title, in which he discussed the death of a beloved young woman.  Contrary to the subject matter, it was actually one of Poe's more upbeat works.  He later used the name again in his poem The Raven, with Lenore being the dead wife.

Roman Dirge created the character Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl based loosely on the original poem by Poe.  Lenore is undead, living in an old mansion with a host of oddball friends.  Number one amongst them is Ragamuffin, a resurrected vampire in the body of a rag doll.  Sound interesting?  It is.

Poor Lenore tends to get the people and things around her killed, usually while trying to do the right thing.  Ragamuffin tends to be the one most commonly victimized, although everyone gets their fair share.

Lenore has had more than a dozen issues of her comic, and is featured in short animated stories on Sony's Screenblast website.  Roman also does a Lenore strip for his Livejournal.  Check it out!

Packaging - ***1/2
The box itself is a bit flimsy, but does have a nice sized window to show off the vinyl figure (cut in a coffin shape, of course).  It's even a bit collector friendly, although there are a couple twisties to toss out.

But the reason this is getting such a high score is the nice graphics and text around the box.  While I find the general mayhem and destruction in the strip funny, it's really the art that draws me in.  The artwork included on the box is extremely nice, and compliments the figure well.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I'm scoring high here, but let's remember that with items like this it's very much 'art'.  Personal tastes are likely to drive some difference of opinion.

Lenore has plenty of different 'looks' in the comic, but here we get the sort of aghast, shocked expression.  Considering that she's managed to get Ragamuffin swallowed by the snake, and considering that while it was probably obvious to readers that it would happen, it would be a complete surprise to her, the expression fits the scene perfectly.

The sculpting on the body, snake, and hair is terrific.  The Play-doh style hair is particularly well done, and captures the 2 dimensional appearance quite nicely.  The proportions are also good in terms of the size of her head, eyes, body, etc in relation to her other parts.

My only issue with the sculpt is in the shape and placement of the eyes.  She seems to have a bit more chin and cheekbone than in the usual drawing, but I have to admit that I'm getting a tad nitpicky here.  It's certainly not like you won't know who it is the minute you see her (assuming you know who she is in general), and unless you spend some time comparing the sculpt back to the art you're not going to notice the minor inconsistencies.

And if you're a general collector of vinyl figures, you'll be happy to know that Lenore stands just about 8" tall, fitting in well with other figures in this style.

Paint - **1/2
The big issue here is the paint.  While some of it is fantastic, other areas are far less impressive.

First, the fantastic.  I love the color and quality of the aforementioned Play-doh style hair.  The paint is clean and neat, and extremely consistent in finish and application.

I also like the silver skulls, a color that can be very difficult to do and get consistent coverage.  They also added a plastic cover in the package to keep the skulls safe from rub marks.

The white is also prone to such rub marks, but I found that it was generally clean and very, very bright.  The work on the eyes and lips is good as well, improving the overall look.

The work on the eyes is much more subtle than we saw with the smaller PVC version of Lenore, and the hair is much cleaner, making this one a better overall version, at least for me.

The big issue comes on the body, hands and the eyes of the snake.  Where there are cut lines between the white areas and the black or red, there's a lot of slop and bleed.  Considering it's a specialty market item, I expect much cleaner cut lines.

Articulation - **
I'm not including this score to actually detract from the overall - normally vinyl figures have little to no articulation, so any score here is really a positive thing.  It's more important to inform readers that there is a cut neck joint here, which *almost* works like a ball joint due to the softness of the vinyl.  It's not much, but it's better than nothing, and doesn't hurt the overall appearance of the sculpt at all.

Design - ***1/2
Lenore tends to get people hurt, especially Ragamuffin.  Having him eaten by the snake was a cute idea, and worked extremely well within the limited space that this figure could take up.

When you're desigining a pre-posed figure, it's important to select a pose that speaks to the character's personality.  Having a man (or woman) of action standing statically isn't the best choice, for example.  Here, the design of the figure does work emote the personality of Lenore well, and fans should be pleased.

Fun Factor - **
As you'd expect with most vinyl figures, this isn't really intended for kids.  Then again, I had vinyl versions of many of my favorite WB characters as a kid, so you can't rule it out completely.

Still, it's mostly adults buying the cute little dead girl, and as such this category won't have much effect.

Value - ***
Lenore's suggested retail is just $25, not bad at all for a) a vinyl figure and b) one that's not mass market, but done in low specialty market quantities.  Quite honestly, I was expecting more around $40.  While prices on other items continue to rise, it's nice to see the cost of vinyl specialty figures dropping.

And that's just suggested retail.  I'm betting with a little work you can find her cheaper than that.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If you're grabbing her off the shelf, pay particular interest to the white paint on the front of her body as well as her hands.  That's where the majority of the issues lie.

Once you've got her out of her box, you're good to go.

Overall - ***
I'm a fan of the art, so I'm happy to see Lenore finally get some sort of three dimensional representation.  There are some minor issues, but had the white paint on the body and hands not been quite so sloppy, she would have scored another half star from me.  Even so, considering the price, she's definitely something to check out if you're a fan of Roman's work.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - *1/2
Design - ***
Fun Factor - **
Value -  ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
You're LCS might have it, but you can certainly pick it up at these sponsors:

- you can search ebay for Lenore using MyAuctionLinks.

- Related Links -
I covered the PVC's based on the strip awhile back.

Share this review with others!
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour