FIRE DRAGON MAN
So I just got back from a vacation of sorts. For two days I was in Cape Breton, which is a whopping 4 hours from Halifax, where I live. I know that doesn’t seem like much of a vacation but I’ve nothing grander planned for the foreseeable future so it was a vacation as far as I’m concerned. And when I’m on vacation I like to spend money. I like to spend money anyway but while on vacation I tend to be extra frivolous. Vanessa and I headed to Cape Breton, which is the peninsula at the northern tip of Nova Scotia where she grew up, to attend the wedding of her uncle. It was good time filled with lots of booze (a little too much for Vanessa) and it gave me an opportunity to meet her extended family. They had a buffet style candy bar at the reception and at 11:00 they had 30 pizzas delivered so it was basically the best wedding I’ve ever been too.
The wedding was on Saturday and we arrived around lunch time on Friday. When we pulled into Sydney (the bustling metropolis of Cape Breton) my first order of business was checking out the recently opened comic book store that her parents kept telling me about. Vanessa’s family lives in a relatively rural area. Her brothers hunt and fish and drive 4 wheelers to fill their time (shout out to RJ and Adrian!) where as I collect She-Ra dolls. You can understand how her parents might have a hard time wrapping their heads around that. And yet they do their best to show interest in my hobbies and so they were quite excited to inform me of the new hobby shop that opened up in their town a while back. One of my favorite things about visiting new places is checking out the local comic shops and finding hidden treasures. I’ve told you before about how when I was in Europe I tried to find a comic shop in each city I visited. I scored some Daleks in England and some gladiator figurines in Rome. Sydney isn’t quite as fascinating as Rome and perhaps doesn’t warrant a souvenir per say but try telling that to a toy collector with a wad of cash burning a hole in his pocket. The Sydney comic shop, whose name escapes me at the moment, looked promising from the outside with some nice window displays but the interior was sadly underwhelming. They had the latest comics and a small selection of trade paperbacks but the majority of the shop was dedicated to role-playing games. There were virtually no action figures. They did however have a nice selection of pop, chocolate bars and chips which impressed me as none of my local shops sell confection.
I left disappointed but right across the street was a store full of educational toys where Vanessa’s mother once worked. I remembered visiting the store on my last trip to CB and I recalled that they had some sweet plastic dinosaurs akin to my Spinosaurus figure. So across the street we went. They had a nice selection of Play Mobil and Lego sets, plush Fraggles, and other odds and ends but my I was on a mission to get me a dinosaur. Once I found their selection of plastic figurines a couple of large T-Rex’s immediately caught my eye. But then I saw the dragons, which were also very tempting. Amongst the various dragons I found a Chimera, and while it wasn’t the best representation of the mythical creature (only one head, say what?) I found myself needing to own it. I love dinosaurs but you can get them anywhere. I had never seen a Chimera figure before and I thought it would make for a more interesting addition to my collection.
But he was only $20 and I was feeling compelled to spend more. Why take home one completely redundant souvenir when you can take home two? I thought it might be fun to buy one of the bow-legged knight figures who could then ride on the back of my Chimera. As I rooted through the pile of silver helmeted warriors I stumbled upon this glorious creation: Fire Dragon Man.
This guy is just plain ridiculous looking and yet he’s totally awesome at the same time. He’s got a pretty standard knight body, painted in red and gold with black highlights and wielding twin swords, one of which looks a lot like He-Man’s power sword; but then he has a comically oversized dragon head. The dragon head has lots of great details like the sculpted scales, horns and teeth. The paint job is quite nice as well with multiple applications and a black wash. It would make for a very menacing looking dragon figure if it were sitting atop a dragon body. But because it rests on the shoulders of some waddling armored dwarf all of the ferocity is lost.
I just can’t take this guy seriously as a threatening villain. I guess that’s why when it came time to find him a steed I decided against the Chimera and the various armored horses available to me and went with an ass. Seeing this guy sitting atop a donkey just seems appropriate somehow.
This figure is made by a company called papo, the same company that made the gladiators I bought in Rome. They make fun stuff and I’m sure I will continue to buy their products when I’m on vacation and can’t find anything better to spend my money on.
6 out of 10.