ZC Girls - Janice (Bunny/Witch)

Janice ZC Girl action figure

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jeff Parker often looks at Hot Toys, but tonight he's just looking at a 'hot' toy - Janice, one of the ZC Girls. What's the scoop, Jeff?

I’m happy to say 1/6 collectors are an extremely eclectic bunch, not each and every collector, but as a collective group.

Many specialise in say World War II Military, perhaps even streamlining their collection to one nations army, or a particular division or regiment within that army.

Others go for figures from popular culture, movies, comics even music, or they may even focus on just one character. Hell, it’s all good, it means manufactures are constantly chasing licences and trying to find ways of making their product more desirable than their competitors, we the collectors are in a win-win situation yet again!

There is also a growing number of people who collect purely female figures from the kick-ass characters like Lara Croft, Snow-bunnyboiler Padme, Deunan Knute or AvP Machiko through to more traditional fare like say Barbie they all have their fans and collectors.

There has also been a middle ground supplied by Takara in the shape of their Cool/Cy girls for a good few years, but for whatever reason their production at this scale has recently ebbed from slow stream to a trickle, meaning the figures released so far, which were relatively costly to start with tend to have higher and higher prices on the secondary markets.
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure

This seems to be where ZC girl have seen a gap in the field that desperately needs filling. A specialist niche that aims at those who want a well articulated figure and nicely tailored outfits with a good range of accessories. These can stand up well as non-licensed ‘genre’ figures in their own right, or be the great starting point for a kit-basher.

They have been around for some time now, and I first became aware of ZC Girl selling outfits and accessories on eBay, then last year having missed the Takara version of Cat-woman I nearly bought the ‘Cat’ figure, but each new release from them seems to get better so I thought I’d jump in with ‘Janice’ I thought she’d look great in Bunny-girl mode draped between Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark when he’s out.

I also picked up ‘Julia’, as I was a little disappointed with the SS Lara Croft, I figured she might be a cool Lara’esque figure for the collection.

After ordering these the news came out about ‘Carol’ a figure I just have to get as she will make a great female henchwoman to stand behind the Joker, and she has positionable eyes like the recent Enterbay releases!

Packaging: ***

We’ve all come to expect the flap fronted, 5 panel box as pretty much the industry standard these days, and that’s because if it ain’t broke why fix it. This follows that tradition and has a wealth of photos of the figure in the various dress modes she can adopt. They show her as the bunny girl and witch (kind of a glam Venetian masked ball kind of a witch, rather than the wicked old hooked nose, crone type), but there is also a top hat included in the accessories so she could even be changed into a magician should the fancy take you.

The figure and big accessories are all housed in trays on the left side while her smaller items are in a tray fixed to the inside front flap. This is held in place by four small transparent circular stickers, so they can be removed easily, and it’s all pretty collector friendly. So for a relatively new company I think this shows a very nice start!

Sculpt: ***1/4
As I said, this is a figure that has a definite audience in mind. Like the Takara fem figs they mostly come with rooted hair and softer features, not as simple or ’cartoonish’ as Barbie but neither are they as hard or angular as a generic female by Sideshow, Hot Toys or Dragon. 

They have more of a sexy Manga feel to them, like a young glamour model has taken up Cosplay… so, as a red blooded male, what’s not to like!

However the softness and lack of sculpted eye detail keeps her from full marks, but the over all general quality means she’s definetly deserves a smidgen more than just three stars.

Paint: ***
Janice comes with simple but well applied paint, on her face this consists of red lips, dark eyebrows and the eyes. It looks to me like the eyes are very well applied transfers, and because ultra realism isn’t the order of the day here they have gone for a well illustrated, glamorous big glossy eyes with lots of reflections and luscious eyelashes. I admit it’s not quite up there with individually hand painted eyes, but for a figure of this type it works surprisingly well, and compared to many hand painted figures this is actually an improvement… but note I say ‘many’ not ‘all’.

Lots of the accessories are painted as well, like the Venetian mask and the skulls, all are painted well and have some nice metallic and bone finishes, good solid apps from a young company. 

Articulation: ***1/2
Janice comes with the ZC Girl, Eve body (pale), this is a nicely engineered figure with a good range of movement.

A rough breakdown is ball jointed ankles, double knees, ball jointed hips, waist and mid-torso. A peg mounted head with a good range of movement at the top of the neck. The shoulders are attached by means of a pegged and hinged fully rotational universal joint, with a cut upper arm and double-elbows, lastly she has a selection of hands with a nice long solid peg and a rotating universal joint, there’s another picture here that gives you a feel for her general physique, which is more the ‘fantasy’ side of female, she also comes with a second torso that is swap-able by removing the arms and head and pulling the soft formed rubber body off, the breasts are the same ‘impressive’ size, but it gets rid of the mid torso articulation giving a more natural look and alters her height a little (and yes the nipples are painted… make of that what you will!).

I had no problems getting her into any of the poses I wanted, but the nature of her high-heeled footwear means you might have to futz for a while to find her centre of gravity, but a girl built like this in a strapless top doesn’t want to be leaning too far forward, if you get my meaning… ahem!

Accessories: ****
This is the area I think the ZC Girls come into their-own, she’s a kit-bashers dream come true. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what is purely outfit and what is accessory as much of this stuff kind of flip-flops between the two, the official list on their website says-
- Witch Hat
- Black Hands
- Black Silk stockings
- Black Boots w/h bootfeet
- Cape
- Mask
- Two steer skulls
- Two human skulls 

- Rabbit Ears
- Magician Hat
- Magician's Stick
- Walking Stick
- White Hands
- White Sleeves (though I found mine came with black)
- Bow Tie
- Black Silk stockings (Skin tone silk insides)
- Feet
- Black high heel shoes
- Swallow-Tailed Coat

So plenty of well put together extras, and I have a feeling a few ‘Predator’ collectors might be trying to get hold of some of those skulls as separates.

Outfit - ***1/2
A lot of the stuff listed in accessories is really her outfit, but as you get so many bits that are used to swap the look of the figure between characters they kind of become accessories as well. For example when in witch mode with the long black boots you have to swap over the stockings for ones without feet, as the ankle pushes into the boot directly. And though the box gives you guidance, it’s really up to you to mix and match as much as you like to create the character you want.

All the garments are well made and the flesh coloured under stockings do a great job of making the legs look more natural. I did notice that being a very well developed young lady, she has a habit of ‘popping’ out of her bodice/bustiere if you try to pose her too ‘extremely, but you’ll see what I mean when you have her in hand.
The witch hat has to be put on at just the right angle, and is more of a pose and display garment as I noticed (on mine at least) it tends to fall off if moved about too much. 

The cape however was a revelation it’s tailored fantastically over the shoulders and is secured with a real chain, it’s also fully lined in red satin, ideal for a fem vampire bash.

So to sum up I was pretty impressed by this outfit and all the extra pieces make for a lot of potential.

Fun factor: ***
This figure surprised me, I expected to like the ‘Julia’ figure best, but ‘Janice’ is pretty damn cool as a background character, as I said I think I’ll go for Bunny mode draped over Tony Stark when he arrives. 

Swapping over the outfits needs to be done carefully, but it’s all pretty straightforward and ZC girls have certainly made me sit up and take notice. I predict great things!    

Value: ***1/2
I’ve seen many on eBay and they go from between $70 right up to some traders asking for $175, but the average ‘buy it now’ seems to be about $90 which strike me as pretty fair, not ‘exceptional’ value, but definitely fair.
As I said I think I’m gonna have to try and get Carol and I’m certainly going to be watching how this brand develops.  

Overall: ***1/2
This figure in many ways is a four star figure, and if you can pick one up for nearer the $70 mark (and it is possible) then it’d be four stars all the way. However for $90 the ‘transfer’ eyes and generic head sculpt just hold it back a little. But I really like this figure and my daughter has asked if she can ‘play’ with her… but it doesn’t seem age appropriate, so she’s staying on daddies shelf looking lonely, till Tony can come and keep her company.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/4
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
I can’t find her with any of Michael’s sponsors yet, so for now it’s eBay all the way or contact ZC girl directly on the web-site here.

ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure
ZC Girls Janice action figure

ZC Girls Janice action figure

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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