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[Guest Article] Dante's Inferno: The Figure

Vice Squad member Konanda offers up some words on a Dante's Inferno figure acquired by accident.

Vice user Konanda didn't manage to get the Pokemon figurine he wanted, but he DID pick up this Dante's Inferno piece. Here are his thoughts! Thanks, Konanda! -g 
Guest posts are intended to encourage diversity of thought; the opinions represented within are not necessarily those of Anime Vice or its staff. 

Dante's Inferno: The Figure

So like many Pokémon fans I was really excited to pick up my copy of Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver, which released Sunday. I actually bought both because it's a remake of my favourite Pokemon game(s) and Gamestop/EB Games was offering a figurine of Ho-Oh and Lugia for those who purchased Gold and Silver respectfully. 
I went to pick up my copies of both games on Monday and I was disappointed to hear the wonderful manager tell me "Sorry but all the kids got to the figurines yesterday" when I asked where my figurines where. However he continued to say " I do have some left over Dante's Inferno figures though. I can give you that instead since I need to get rid of them." So cutting my losses I agreed even though I do not like the game/animated film because of what it's done to an amazing piece of Italian medieval literature. It was a strange set of coincidences how I wound up with the titular character but I thought I would take the opportunity to say the figure itself is actually really nice.  
The level of detail done on the figure is pretty impressive. Particularly the cross tapestry that is sewn into his chest when observed closely small sets of scenes in a early medieval inspired art style can be observed showing soldiers fighting to a couple together inside a small house. The red strips of cloth hanging from his wrists also have the neat little touch of a small cross at the bottom. His face has a nice bit of detail added to it with a clearly defined chin, cheeks and beard stubble. The armour he wears also has some nice designs on it as well that look inspired by medieval Europe the armour itself though though feels kind of cheap compared to the rest of the figure.      

  Always a good idea to have a cross handy when journeying through hell.
Always a good idea to have a cross handy when journeying through hell.
For those interested in the more technical specs he stands at 7 inches tall (about 13cm) and has 30 points of articulation. He comes with an interchangeable right hand as well for holding either Death's scythe or his cross weapon. The top of  the scythe can also be dethatched and has a peg near the bottom of the blade that goes through both sides and allows him to hold the blade in one hand. The rod/pole part of the scythe (not the blade on top) can be bent and seems to be fairly elastic matching with it's spine like appearance. It also has a weathered look to it adding a nice touch to such an old weapon and the blade portion can rotate around to turn the scythe into an improvised spear. Also the leather straps holding the cross to his right thigh can be undone to remove the cross and done back up to place it in again, instead of just using pegs or some other easy to manufacture method to hold it there.
The figure is made by NECA and although it was a preorder bonus for the Dante's Inferno game but you can find it on Amazon for $15. I think it's a pretty decent figure with some really neat detail and a lot of articulation. The only real gripe is the armour feels a little cheap but for 15 dollars I think it is worth the value. (Full disclosure as said above I did receive it as a replacement from EB for the missed Pokémon figurines because the manager felt bad for me/wanted to clear some old stock)
On a side note, a little bit of trivia that I found interesting is that the cross he uses is a Presbyterian cross. This is despite the fact that denomination of Christianity didn't form until the 16th century long after the Crusades occurred. Nothing huge but a fun little fact for the history buffs out there.   
Below: Dante from the left and right with the detached scythe blade.    

(Note from Gia-- the shadows in that left shot look awesome.)
GodLen staff on March 18, 2010 at 2:45 p.m.
 Beatrice !  
giaon March 18, 2010 at 2:47 p.m.
@GodLen: I'm sad no one digs the shadow in that bottom photo like I do. :(
Lanon March 18, 2010 at 3:36 p.m.
 It looks fugly in the way that says "i'm so manly and tough, I don't need to look good! I'm going through hell, so why bother looking good?" Somehow I think a pokemon figure would be more attractive, but at least you got a replacement. :)
FoxxFireArt moderator on March 18, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.
I played the game recently. I liked it. The story was better then I was expecting. I love the aspects of the hypocrisy of slaughtering in the name of God and thinking that just because some Bishop says you are absolved that it's somehow license to then do whatever you want. I thought the conversation Dante had with his mother was just so tragic.
Konandaon March 18, 2010 at 7:39 p.m.
Well that's kind of where they were going with the character design a big burly tough guy that speaks with his scythe/spear that he stole from Death itself. Personally I think Dante himself could have used a little bit more interesting character design since other than the cross tapestry sewn into his chest, the metal crown of thorns over top the chainmail around his head and the red cloth hanging off his wrist he doesn't look that unique.
 However what I was noting in this post was mainly the quality of the figure. I mean for a figure that you can find on Amazon for 15 dollars it is a high quality figure and I found certain aspects of him to be suprising. For instance The artwork on the tapestry and that the leather cross holder (I forgot to mention that even though the bits that are supposed to be leather are obviously plastic they actually feel quite similar to leather) actually works like how it really would if he were real by having little leather belt loops holding it in place by his thigh instead of some peg or clip. 
If I went down the route of describing what I think they could have done to make a more interesting character design it would eventually devlove into just a giant article asking why did Visceral Games decide to reference Dante Alighieri's epic poem, given how far removed the game/animated film is from what is originally in the first third. (Inferno) I understand why they did it because playing a wimpy little poet that takes a tour through hell after contemplating suicide would be really boring and because well the game itself is taking the gameplay around God of War subbing in Christian mythology for Greek and putting in on the 360.


I liked the way the photos I took came out. What I really liked about the left view is how the light reflected off the blade made it really look like it is metal.
Lanon March 18, 2010 at 9:06 p.m.
Oh I didn't mean to come off as ragging on your figure or commenting about the character design. I understand it's not supposed to be Dante the poet. The figure is just not to my taste, and for me I don't think it's worth $15. The figure has some nice detailing on the armor and the boots. I can't really see the details of the tapestry cross on his chest that well to judge. To me, the overall quality just looks cheap. Sorry; again, it's not really my thing or something I could see going in a curio cabinet. :(
Lydian_Selon March 19, 2010 at 3:33 a.m.
I'd be more interested in buying a figurine of the incredibly well endowed Lucifer just so I could stick it on my desk right in people's field of vision.

Dig Deeper into Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic

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