Tomorrow's Collectibles Today!
Have You Caught A Dragon Lately?
McFarlanes have excelled themselves with their hugely popular series of Dragon action figures.
With these action figures they have managed to capture the essence of these beautiful mythical beasts.
The sculpting is breathtaking, and the paintwork is a perfect blend of hues and colors giving each dragon it's own character and life.
Over my years as both an enthusiast and retailer I consider these action figures to have some of the best sculpts and artwork I have seen. The realism and detail really bring these mythical beasts of legend, lore, rythme and song to life.
McFarlane's artists, for they truly are artists, have used their famous and renowned creative talents to their fullest in creating these remarkable collections.
In all honesty these AREN'T action figures but more like Statuettes, and truly remarkable ones at that.
About the only part of these catagorizing them as toys are the points of articulation but there are only a few of these on each figure.Despite the articulation there is little else that would categorize these as toys, I would classify them as an adults collectible.
These figures will transport you to a world of myths and legends, a world of adventure and danger, a world of heroes and damsels in distress.
Smell the acidic stench dragons breath on a cool winters wind, listen to the fierce shrill of a dragon's piercing call in the frosty night air, the rythmatic beat of it's wings high in the sky as it nears.
Each dragon has been taken and meticuously frozen in time for your enjoyment and pleasure.
So realistic are these that when I owned a shop I was asked to remove them from my window display as the kids were having nightmares about them!
Which was a problem I also had with the life size Chucky Doll..... but I digress.
So if you've never seen a dragon before and have always wondered want one would look like know you can see...
When or Where Did Dragons Exist?
For thousands of millennium stories and myths have existed about the struggle between mankind and dragons.
But what is a dragon?
A dragon: drag'en, a fabulous beast often shown as a gigantic fire breathing reptile with huge claws, the tail of a serpent, wings and scaly skin.
But are they fact or fiction?
Did these large beautiful, majestic, mythical fire breathing beasts ever exist?
Or are the stories just a legends and myth with no substance or truth?
Many claim that dragons are based on ordinary creatures that have been distorted by the fears and psychological tendencies of groups of humans, or that they were some type of dinosaur or archosaur.
There are many references to dragons in the bible also and it is said that it was with Christianity and the crusades that brought the age of dragons to an end.
With Christianity came the Crusades and with them the knights and the downfall of the dragons.
It was these very knights of honour and valor who, with their lust for fame and fortune, hunted down and slaughtered the dragons into into extinction for their skins or riches, and often just for sport.
Dragons blood is also said to have been a prized possession as legend tells when wiped on the skin it will protect the wearer from stab wounds.
Other legends tell that when eaten their tongues would enable the consumer to win any argument and eating their heart would give you the power to understand birds (but why you would want to I'm not quite sure).
There are as many different shape, sizes and types of dragons varying from the huge, spectacular fire-breathing dragon that is most commonly talk of to a small faery dragon that has rarely been documented.
The Western Dragon is often portrayed as being evil and blood thirsty as well as a hoarder of gold and jewellery.
Generally the Western Dragon has a long thick, four strong legs, large claws on it's feet, two wings, a long neck and can usually breath fire.
According to some legends and history some Western dragons also have the ability of changing their shape and colour.
They normally eat once a month preferring to feed on cattle or sheep but will sometimes eat a human, particularly if he, the human, is being particularly troublesome.
There are three different families of Eastern Dragon which look very similar but come from different parts of the World. They all have serpentine bodies and four legs but unlike the Western Dragon they do not breath fire.
They are said to be made up from the body of a snake, scales of a carp, belly of a clam, claws of an eagle, paws of a lion, horns of a giant stag, head of a camel, eyes of a hare and ears like a bull. It is said that they have 117 scales, 81 with yang, the good and 36 with yin, the bad thus giving them an even temperament and personality.
Then main difference between the three different families of Eastern Dragons is the number of toes they have. The Japanese dragon is said to only have three toes, the Korean or Indonesian Dragon four and the Chinese dragon five.
Eastern dragons are usually shown either holding a pearl in their paws or mouth as this is where the get their powers from and how they ascend to heaven.
Ascend to heaven? I hear you ask.
But aren't dragons evil killers?
Far from it, they are creatures of God just the same as any other and rather than being evil themselves they have often gotten this reputation by being used for evil means by their masters or when trying to protect their own lands or homes. Hardly a justifiable reason for branding them evil.
In fact many a legend and myth tells of the good dragon kind did for mankind.
The Eastern Dragon is the most documented in the World and is described as being kind, intelligent and good. The Eastern Dragon has been closely linked to the weather and legend says that some of Asia's worst floods occurred when a mortal upset a dragon.
They are usually shown in the colour of either blue, black, red or yellow.
In China it was forbidden for anyone other than the Emperor to show the image of a five toed dragon on his clothes as it was considered a symbol of power and was known as an Imperial Dragon.
These images were usually of a yellow dragon, considered to be the most superior.
If anyone other than the Emperor was found wearing the symbol of a five toed dragon he was put to death!
There are four main types of Chinese dragons, known as Lung.
The Faerie Dragon
Rarest of all dragons is the Faerie Dragon so named because of its size and because according to legend the are used by faeries to travel between cities.
There is little known about this dragon as it has been so rarely reported or seen.
The Wyvern (wi-vurn) Dragon
The Wyvern dragon is a European Dragon and typically has only two front legs although it has also been reported to have to claws on the end of it's wings that also act like "hands".
It has also often been reported to have a "stinger" on the end of it's tail filled with poison much like a scorpion.
Most reports of this dragon seem to stem from Europe and has been the subject of many fables, legends and myths across the continent.
Despite this little is actually known about this dragon and much of it's history remains a mystery.
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