In genre fiction, mannequins are traditionally bad news. Doctor Who’s “Rose,” the first episode of the reboot, features the Nestene Consciousness animating mannequins, and Ghostbusters memorably features a ghost-possessed mannequin. (“Room full of nightmares,” Patty sums up, and she is correct.)
But there is one brave mannequin who swims against that tide. Although they really shouldn’t get wet; they’re made of felt.
You may not have noticed them in Thor: Ragnarok. They’re in the background of the Grandmaster’s private box, competing for screen time with the likes of Hot Topic Hela and Gryffindor Galactus over there.
But when Loki tries to bail, there they are in the background, just in focus enough to steal your heart.
Look at them. Look at Fancy Mannequin. Witness their perfection. That coquettish cage bob thing, that crimson applique (or is a birthmark?), that black and crimson wrap dress? It’s a kind of casual ‘90s high fashion look that you can say, “Oh, I just threw this together” to take in some bloodsport with some cocktails. Fancy Mannequin may not have things like recognizable facial features, but who needs a face when you’ve got style?
Fancy Mannequin, like all good characters, raises so many intriguing questions. Is there a planet full of fancy mannequins? Or did they begin life as a regular mannequin, pull a, well, Mannequin and escape their corporate shackles to completely embrace their destiny as a cosmic fashion plate on the Florida of space? How exactly are they drinking the assuredly excellent and bizarre cocktails on offer in Sakaar? Is it a crazy straw? Please let it be a crazy straw
Fancy Mannequin has mere moments of screen time, but I have not been able to stop thinking about them since the movie came up. Here’s to you, Fancy Mannequin, the most glorious Muppet of all. (I mean, they are both Disney properties now…)