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McFarlane Toys
McFarlane's Dragons
Water Dragon Clan 4
Toy Review

By Mark Patraw

Above photo is from package.

Manufacturer Information:
Todd McFarlane Productions International, Inc.
PO Box 12230
Tempe, Arizona


The Package:
This figure is encased inside a plastic clamshell (approximately 9 1/4 inches wide x 9 1/2 inches tall x 4 1/4 inches deep). It's quite sturdy and you get a nice, clear view of the dragon and its base. You'll have to cut it open to get your scaly lizard out (watch your fingers/hands, as the cut plastic is often sharp and you can injure yourself if you're not careful--younger children should probably have an adult help them). The dragon is secured to an interior plastic tray via three twisty ties. The bottom of the base is taped to the same tray. The exterior of the paper insert shows all of the six dragons (five regular, one deluxe) available in this line and gives a little bit of background info on the storyline. The interior of the insert shows the figures from McFarlane's Military Redeployed 2 series.

The Dragon:
This monster is top notch in the sculpt department. The entire surface of the body is covered with ridges, fins, horns, and bony projections. The pose suggests a hunched-over, roaring challenge, as the Water Dragon protects her clutch of eggs (more on this in the discussion of the base in the accessories section below). The nails, teeth, and tongue are all well defined as well. She stands about 7 inches tall with the base (bear in mind about an inch and a half of that is arm fins though) and is about 9 inches in length. Because the dragon has one leg permanently raised and pegs sticking out of the bottoms of both her feet (used to attach her to the base) you can forget about displaying Ms. Water Dragon without said base.

In the paint department, this figure is very colorful and striking. The predominate colors, black and orange/red, contrast very nicely with each other. The dark body is given a little more variety in color with some blue and gray highlights/washes. The mostly-orange fins have a nice black and pale yellow dot pattern near the spines. Unfortunately, the orange paint on the fins is a little uneven and thin/thick in spots--this becomes quite apparent when you hold the figure up to the light and the translucence makes the flaws glaringly noticeable.

As is often the case with McFarlane Toys these days, this figure has very little articulation, and what is there doesn't do much for posing. The arms have biceps and forearm cut joints. The forearms revolve completely around but the biceps have limited range of motion due to the sculpt and their proximity to the body--you can vary the arm poses a bit, but not a lot. The thighs each have a cut joint, but they're mainly there so that you can line the foot pegs up correctly with the holes in the base. The tail has two cut joints, located at about one-third and two-thirds down the length of the tail. You can get some interesting poses out of them, but it only looks 'right' in one position due to the sculpt and paint. At first glance, the neck and waist appear to have cut joints as well, but I couldn't get mine to budge and suspect that (a) they're permanently stuck or (b) that the lines are a by-product of how the figure is molded and assembled. This figure is intended to look good on a shelf, and that's about it--there's little play value as far as pose-ability is concerned.

All Ms. Water Dragon comes with is a base, but it's a nice one. It depicts a section of sand-covered rock on the sea floor. The sculpting is very realistic, as is the paint. The largest rock outcropping, which the creature's left foot is resting on, houses a pile of dragon eggs. Other details include a tiny, white snail shell and some translucent seaweed. Unfortunately, mine was missing one of the two seaweed plants, and, even worse, the one I did get was snapped completely off the base and had to be re-attached with Krazy Glue--maybe it got bounced around too much on the mail truck. There's a very noticeable mold seam near the clutch of eggs as well, which mars an otherwise very convincing appearance.

I won this figure for free in a message board contest at the Spawn website (see link near top of review). That said, from what I've read online, these are being priced in the $12-13 range, depending on where you shop--an increase compared to the $10 that McFarlane's Dragons Series 3 went for. The deluxe, boxed Komodo Dragon 4 can be had for around $25.

Final Analysis:

- Excellent, detailed sculpt and menacing pose. Very nice aquatic dragon and sea floor base design.
- The addition of the eggs, making this an angry mama dragon protecting her unborn young, was a nice touch.
- Colorful paint job makes for a striking display that gets noticed.
- She was free.
- Translucent fins/seaweed adds to the realistic appearance when lit from behind.

- While I didn't have to pay for mine, the price on these figures has increased.
- Flaws in the application of the orange paint become apparent when the translucent fins are held up to a light source.
- Very little articulation, and what's there isn't terribly useful. These are basically sculptures.
- One of the seaweed strands is missing, and the other was broken off the base. Not good. If I had paid for this figure, I would be quite upset.

Where to Buy:
These came out recently, so you should still be able to find them at various stores and with online dealers. My Wal-Mart carried McFarlane's Dragons Series 2 & 3 in the past, but I've yet to see them put out Series 4.

For Parents:
McFarlane Toys recommends this figure for ages seven and up.

Dragon caviar!

Translucence of fins shown above.

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