Every now and again, a TV spin off takes on more life than the original show. Such is the case with Xena, the fantasy adventure show starring Lucy Lawless. The fabulous action sequences and convoluted story lines have brought the show a dedicated following, as well as a barrage of merchandising. The Roman Xena doll recreates Lucy’s costume from the “When in Rome” episode, where Xena must confront Caesar in his home city. Toy Biz has done a wonderful job of recreating this costume.
Xena uses the “Xena” face mold, which is a reasonable likeness of Ms. Lawless. The nose is a little large, but overall the face is attractive. Her eyes are painted bright blue with black eyeliner and brows. Her lips are bright red, and she has only the faintest traces of red blush on her cheeks. Her hair is black and reasonably well done. However, I have a huge complaint: her tiara was attached to a post that was quite thoroughly glued to her head! As the pictures suggest, I had to break the post to remove the tiara.
Toy Biz has a very nice 12 inch female body that is far more muscular than Mattel’s, but still quite definitely female. Xena has a twist waist and swivel arms. In addition to her jointed knees, she has jointed elbows which allow for a slight additional degree of poseability. She has a small gold ring in her right hand, which is removable. I can’t for the life of me imagine how they got those bracelets on- I was only able to remove one.
(for bad execution)
Toy Biz did an utterly fabulous job on the clothing here. The outfit is a wonderful recreation of the original from the show. The dress is made of a red nylon tricot, trimmed with elaborate gold ribbons. The veil is made of a matching sheer nylon and is attached to a gold plastic tiara. The slippers are rather interesting: since the doll has a slight heel, little plastic plugs are glued to the inside of the slippers. I’m not entirely sure of the reasoning for this, but it does help with the overall fit of the shoes. The ribbons have gold laces which go all the way up the doll’s calves, as shown in the photo (along with an interesting bit of ribbon used to bind the doll’s legs together in the box). The outfit is finished off by two armlets and two bracelets (although only one bracelet is pictured, as I couldn’t get it off), and a pair of black panties.
Because of the more muscular body sculpt on Xena, clothing can be a real problem. I did find that this oversized cloak from the Toys R Us “Coat Collection” fit nicely (as well as covering up the spike in her head). It gives her a mysterious look, like she’s lurking in some tavern somewhere trying to pick up information and avoid trouble. In the second picture, the Bettie Page Christmas Candi doll models Xena’s original outfit, and does so beautifully, I believe. The lovely quality of the Toy Biz clothes makes them well worth picking up for redressing, even if you aren’t particularly fond of the dolls.