I have another toy photo story coming up. Not a Masters-of-the-Universe-piece Theatre story this time, because it involves vinyl figurines (of which I have a huge collection going back more than forty years) rather than Masters of the Universe toys.
However, first I also have a couple of links to other places on the web where you can find me and my work.
Earlier this week, I was over at Galactic Journey, where I review two SFF novels of 1967: the sword and planet novel Flame of Iridar by Lin Carter, which was actually decent, a throwback to the sort of fiction published in Planet Stories or Startling Stories in the 1940s, and Chthon by Piers Anthony, which I first read at the age of sixteen and disliked so much that it turned me off the entire New Wave for years. I explicitly offered to review Chthon for the Journey, because I still have my old copy (given the price of import paperbacks in the 1980s, you did not throw even a bad book away) and because I wanted to give it another chance to see if I was maybe too young to enjoy it. However, it turns out that I actually liked Chthon even less the second time around. Gideon Marcus, who found a copy and decided to read it, also hated it, by the way. Based on my observations, Chthon is also the first SFF novel of the 1960s with truly creepy sex scenes and a lot of them. Even the first Gor book was more dull than anything else with comparatively little of what made the series infamous later on.
Finally, I’ve also been on the Hugos There! podcast, discussing the 2022 Hugo finalists for Best Short Story (video here) and Best Novelette (video here) with a bunch of cool people.
And now, let’s get to the main event, a toy photo story adaptation of “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” by Robert E. Howard. For those who don’t know, “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” is the second story about Conan of Cimmeria that Robert E. Howard ever wrote, ninety years ago now. It was rejected by Weird Tales and only published in altered form (with Conan renamed Amra) in the fanzine The Fantasy Fan during Howard’s lifetime. The original version did not appear until way after Howard’s death. You can read the Amra version here.
“The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” is set early during Conan’s career. Many believe it is the earliest of Conan’s chronicles adventures. I’m not entirely convinced by this, but Conan is definitely young in this story.
My adaptation differs from the original story in two aspects. For starters, I made it less rapey. Secondly, instead of the male pseudo-Viking companions from the original story, the companion I gave Conan is Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, pirate, mercenary, swordswoman and all around awesome character, whom Conan meets in the later story “Red Nails”.
So I present you: “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” by Robert E. Howard, starring Conan of Cimmeria and Valeria of the Red Brotherhood:
Far up in the frozen wastes of Nordheim:
“I hunger, Atali, my daughter. Bring me food.”
“There has been a battle nearby. I shall find a strong warrior for you there.”
A little later on a nearby battlefield:
“By Crom, it’s a girl. Here, on the battlefield. I wonder if she’s cold in those gossamer robes.”
“Hello there, warrior. I am Atali and I am looking for a strong man just like you. Follow me.”
“Of course, I’d follow you anywhere.”
“Uhm, Conan, I don’t think that this is a good idea.”
“Come on, big bad Barbarian. Catch me, if you can.”
“I shall catch you and then I will show you how a Cimmerian makes love.”
“Conan, wait! Oh great, why must that idiot always think with the dangly end?”
“By Crom, you’ve led me on a merry chase, girl.”
“Come on, big bad Barbarian, meet my father Ymir and my brothers.”
“Just to make things clear, I am not the sort of man you take home to meet your family, girl. Conan is not a man to marry.”
“Who said anything about marriage?”
“Meet my father!”
“Roar, I am hungry. He looks strong… and tasty. You have done well, daughter.”
“Crom, this did not go as planned.”
“Crom, he is big. And a lot faster than he looks.”
“Let go off Conan, monster!”
“Valeria, what are you doing here?”
“What’s it look like? I’m saving your arse. Again.”
“Not so fast, witch. You’re involved in this, too, aren’t you?”
“My father! You slew my father, Barbarian swine.”
“Uhm, your father was trying to eat me. What did you expect me to do?”
“Father, no. What will I do now that you’re gone?”
“Thanks for the help, Valeria. What would I do without you?”
“Get eaten by whatever monster uses a comely witch to lure you into its lair, I guess. Anyway, next time use your brain before you run after strange women.”
Ymir, the Frost Giant is a Schleich Eldrador ice monster. Valeria is a Schleich Amazon warrior and Atali is a Schleich princess. Conan is a Comics Spain figurine. The frozen wastes of Nordheim are portrayed by glass paperweights and nice white pebbles.
I love the various Schleich dinosaurs and monsters. Not only are they awesome, the larger ones also match the Masters of the Universe Origins figures in scale and look a lot like the weird and wonderful fauna of Eternia seen in the 1980s Filmation cartoons. And because I got a good deal on them online, I ordered two monsters, a rock monster and an ice monster:
They’re both awesome and the rock monster looks just like the rock people that occasionally show up in the vintage Masters of the Universe cartoon. The ice monster also looks like something out of the vintage Masters of the Universe cartoon, but it’s a bit too small for the Origins figures. However, it’s a perfect fit for my Conan figurine, so the idea to do an adaptation of “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” was born.
Bonus: He-Man and Teela fight the rock monster.
“When you said, ‘Let’s patrol the outer perimeter for some alone time’, I certainly did not expect to be interrupted by rock monsters.”
“Rabar want sword. Rabar want to be warrior.”
“Hey, ugly, interrupting people, when they just want some privacy is rude. And now leave my boyfriend alone.”
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, I just bought some toys, took photos of them and wrote scenes to go with those photos. All characters are copyright and trademark their respective owners.