Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jessica Rabbit Merchandise Review #21 - Markrita Statue

After the turn of the Millennium, things were about to change drastically for Jessica Rabbit. However, there had only been a few things available up to that point. Markrita statues became a hot new collectible, but for some reason, this didn't last very long. Husband and wife team Mark and Rita Dornan were making such statues based on movies like Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. In 2001 they finally released a Who Framed Roger Rabbit Markrita Statue.

They were all limited editions, but they were not numbered although each one did come with a Certificate Of Authenticity. They were made exclusively for the Art of Disney Gallery stores found only on Disney park property and came in a special box with the store logo.

The statue was wrapped very well in plastic and encased in styrofoam. You have to be very careful taking it out as there are several fragile elements on this - from Roger's ears to Jessica's arms.

Once out of the box though, this piece is simply amazing. The colors are so vibrant and the work is great. There are a few issues I have with this statue, and although they are minor, they do stand out when you look at this statue.

Jessica Rabbit is full of color and posed so impossibly for a statue that it pained me to see there are some things they did not get right to make it 100% perfect. First is the very noticeable wrong hair color. I'm not sure what happened here but there is no way her hair is close to being the correct shade, as hard as I try to overlook it. Jessica's hair here is much more brown for some reason. Usually when creating her, the hair is too red, but red would have looked somewhat better than this brown-ish color they gave her. It isn't horrible, but it's very noticeable. The other issue is there's something slightly off about her face. Again it's not terrible, but when you look at her, the face is slightly off. The rest of her is stunning so this is where character likeness problems totally stops.

They had no problem giving Jessica all the right curves and shapes she needs. There are very - VERY - few statues that even begin to have the nerve enough to tackle this area, probably for many reasons. Jessica is so slinky but also voluptuous in many areas, making her a difficult character to create dimensionally. This statue does not disappoint in this area. Her bust is ample. Her arms have a full rounded shape to them. The fingers are small and pointed. The legs are long and lean. Her feet are tiny. Everything from the neck down on this piece is perfectly right out of the movie. She is also plussed with glitter. It's not red glitter but more pink, just like it appears during the Ink and Paint Club scene.

The only issue here has nothing to do with Jessica, but rather the mechanics that go into this statue. This actually is not simply a stand alone statue. It's also a jewelry box with a secret compartment at the base. When you open it, Roger is part of the base that needs to be moved, which makes him have to go around Jessica. His fragile ears go dangerously close to Jessica's leg, and on my statue they do touch. This leaves me certainly wanting to limit any amount of times I open this jewelry box, which is sort of the point of it. I did notice that there is a slight wear mark on Jessica's leg from the few times I did open it, leading me to wonder how well her leg and his ear are going to hold up if anyone is opening this box often and what damage may occur.

As I mentioned, Jessica's feet are small. Her heels and feet were made so small in the movie so that it would not look like a real woman was under the animation of Jessica. She also has a tiny waist, hands and is tall. There is no way a real woman could have been animated over with the cartoon, letting the audience see that this was all genuine hand drawn animation. This is where problems come in for creating her in any real life merchandise, as she poses a gravity problem. Somehow they pulled it off and I can only hope there is a metal pole or something inside that is keeping her upright and standing. Jessica's torso and legs appear to be all one piece, her arms and head are attachments, but you do not see any paint gaps or glue.

I have to admit Roger really shines in this statue. His face is spot on perfect. His size and shape are correct. The paint is vibrant and also has a lot of shading that works well - like some blue on his fur and purple on his overalls. He has hearts in his eyes while gazing up at his wife, and also has three different colored hearts coming out of his head. This is another one of the very fragile parts you need to look out for, as the last small heart is almost in mid air off of his ear. The expression on his face is great and the likeness is stunningly accurate here. Again, the only issue would be that ear that has to touch Jessica's leg when you open the bottom of the box.

The base is well done, heavy and solid. It's one big silver heart lined in purple, with a multitude of hearts all around it in red, pink and purple. I'm not sure why they chose silver as the main color but something about it works very well. The base of the Jessica Rabbit Big Figure is a sliver film reel, so these two pieces would look very well together.

Not only is this as statue, but also a jewelery box - with a special extra surprise. When you open the box there is a sculpted pin of Benny the Cab inside. This is such a great touch and adds so much value to it for the $95 price tag. The Benny pin is wrapped in foam which has turned yellow over the years so it's something you might want to remove as to not damage the pin.

This statue is about a foot tall or so and if you have other character pieces from this Markrita series, they all work nicely displayed together. Their use of shadows and different paint tectures and shades really makes it look like the character jumped right off the screen. The best example in this area is Jimminy Cricket.

Sculpted into the statue is the Markrita logo. I really couldn't find any information about the artists, Mark and Rita Dornan - mainly because I had been misspelling the name of this series - but even after getting it right there are only photos of the past released statues. This series came to a sudden and abrupt end with a small selection of characters available.

The Roger and Jessica Rabbit Markrita statue may have been one of the last Markrita statues released, which was in September of 2001. I ordered mine and got it on September 9th, and after everything that happened days later, this statue pretty much just sat in it's box all this time. I forgot how good it really looks, and seeing as how seldom it's coming up on eBay, it will probably be something more rare down the line, if not sooner.

This gets a 4. The look of Jessica is slightly off, as is her hair color, but the rest of this is amazing. It's fragile, but the closest these characters have looked to the film. The box feature and Benny pin add to the value.