Just in time for Halloween (and with the predicted Mayan end-times less than two months away: hurrah!), FPNYC is carrying Living Dead Dolls Presents: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Based on symbolic figures of doom and destruction from the first four of the biblical Seven Seals, these guys are basically My Little Revelations, each sporting a curled right fist to grip an apocalyptic hobbyhorse. Clearly, eschatons of fun for the whole family (or, at least, adult collectors with a taste for creepy things). I’ve bought all four, which are currently perched on my bookshelves to glare at any guests who might visit my apartment.
The first of the four, biblically speaking, is Pestilence on a white horse (pictured at left with Grace of the Grave and Revenant). At first glance, judging by the tricorne hat and beaked white mask, I thought he appeared to be a Venetian carnival character, but he’s actually an adorable li’l plague doctor! During the era of bubonic plague, “doctors” with often-limited medical knowledge wore these foreboding costumes—consisting of broad-brimmed hats, long reinforced overcoats, and birdlike masks—while on duty among plague victims, both to guard themselves against disease and warn healthy folk that death was near. The mask’s eyes were inset with glass, its beak stuffed with aromatic herbs to blot out the stench of decay: this one, though, is hollow and made of plastic. Lift it up and you’ll notice Pestilence is missing an eye under his mask amid several festering plague sores. Aww, how cute.
War, on a pissed-off-looking red horse, combines elements of military garb from various eras: the chainmail uniform of a Crusader with the camo pants and combat boots of a contemporary US soldier plus a WWI-style gas mask, which he’ll presumably need after the world has been overrun with all that plague. The gas mask’s design has been borrowed from that of Toxic Molly from series 9 (see photo: on right), though with slightly different fabric. Underneath it, he’s got a fierce little face streaked with war paint. Though I wish Mezco had kept the helmet shown in the prototype version, War is probably my favorite of this set.
Next up is Famine on a black horse (pictured with Envy from series 6). Famine is depicted here as a screaming green-skinned girl wearing cowboy boots and slanted bangs, with a skeletal-print dress and painted-on sunken cheekbones to demonstrate how emaciated she is from Armageddon-level hunger. I wasn’t that big on this doll—at least compared to the others, alongside whom she looks anachronistically modern (even Williamsburg-worthy, if she had a slightly different color scheme)—though the detailed skeleton print of her costume was a nice touch.
Last is Death on a “pale” horse (which features the same skeletal design as Famine’s black horse, something I found a bit lazy). Fourth Horseman Death appears more ragged and medieval than the velvet-robed scythe-wielding Grim Reaper-style Death from series 15 (pictured at right). This little guy takes the form of a dingy skull cloaked in threadbare rags: clearly he’s already been getting down to business (that is, the business of slaughtering a massive amount of the earth’s inhabitants). Definitely a solid item for weirdos like me who love anything memento mori-related.
Each of the LDD Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is currently available at FPNYC, both in-store and online. You can also pick up the bloody-mouthed Christmas-themed Living Dead Doll toy soldier!