The Spiral Zone figures are approximately 6" tall and have loads of articulation. They also broke the barrier for figures with real cloth accessories where that was traditionally reserved for 8" and 12" figures. While the figures have a painted base of underclothes, their gear and uniform are cloth and plastic.
Duchess Dire was the token female for the bad guys known as the Black Widows. Odd that the Black WIDOWS didn't have more female characters, but at least she led them. Oh wait...no she didn't. That would probably be too much for her. Instead, she was the Assignment Expert which basically means she stayed back at base and told everyone the details of all the fun stuff they got to go do/break. Buuuut I'm getting too preachy with my outlook on feminism in vintage toy lines. I'll stop there.
All of the members of the Black Widows were infected and, you know what, here's an article on Wikipedia if you don't know what that is. I'd pretty much be retyping stuff from there.
So back to the figure. Duchess came with a helmet that has an antenna on one side, a piece of chest armor, boots (one of which had a holster on it), a laser rifle, backpack that contained a net and a grappling hook and rope. The amount of accessories and attention to how they fit on the figures in this line was very impressive. Just the holster on the boot alone is something that most figure designs still to this day haven't seen. It was a good use of space on the figure and worth a mention.
I also really like the nickname quoted on her gear as it gives some story to them all gearing up to go cause havoc and grabbing the right stuff in their lockers. I only assume that this was a result of people grabbing the wrong items when heading out and getting pissed about it on the field.
If you get a chance to pick up any Spiral Zone figures, they're definitely worth the price if they're complete. I know I'll be hunting for more, or at least for parts to complete the two figures we have for sale in the store right now (pictured below in a weak battle against Duchess).
Random facts about Spiral Zone;
- Sam and Crank watched every episode of the show on lunchbreaks a few years back when they both worked at Devil's Due.
- Sam went as an "infected" member of the Black Widows for halloween probably back in 87 or '88. His sister put hairspray on one side of his head and used lipstick to add all the red infected parts on his face and arms. (I'm searching for a picture of this. Also, no one knew who I was.)
- Spiral Zone has one of the best theme songs from the 80s and most of you folks are only going to hear it for the first time right now (video below). ♪♫ "Darkness, has fallen, on the victims, of the Zone."♫ ♪
Liz's facts about Duchess Dire/Spiral Zone;
- Sam made me watch the theme song to this show the other day and then looked at me like I was supposed to say something.