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Barb Wire
Triad Toys

Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys


Triad Toys has been producing mid-range sixth scale figures for several years now, but in the last couple has worked on taking their game to the next level, including efforts with licensed characters. They have a particular way with the ladies, and their female base body is perhaps best described as Angelina Jolie meets Dolly Parton.

In the licensed theme, they've produced a couple of Dark Horse Comics better known heroines. First, there was Ghost, a favorite of mine when her comic first hit in the 90's. I liked the figure as well, and tonight I'll be checking out the second in the series - Barb Wire.

Barb Wire is one of several characters (including Ghost) from the fictional town of Steel Harbor. She has no super powers, but is extremely skilled in combat, and works as a bounty hunter and bar owner. The comic was enough of a hit to garner a live action movie, starring Pamela Anderson. It wasn't the worst comic book based movie to ever be released...but it's damn close.

Triad's version has just recently been released, and runs $120 direct from them. You may manage to find a better deal if you search a bit, but I didn't find any other online store carrying her at this point.
Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys

Packaging - ***
Triad's packaging is usually pretty straight forward, and generally collector friendly.

My favorite aspects of this particular box are the small size (no wasted space here), and how they've attached the inside cover tray for the accessories. Like we've seen some companies do in the past (and Hot Toys do a lot recently), there's a small tray on the inside cover that fits into the larger tray area when closed. This tray isn't affixed with tape or slots like most, but rather with the plastic snaps we occasionally see used to hold two trays together. This is much more sturdy and less likely to damage the inside of the cover than other options.

However, they end up losing some points for the annoying twist ties on the inside holding the figure in place. Babs is tied in with several, and the one around her throat was tight enough to pop the head off. It wasn't broken, so if you get one with the head bobbling around inside don't freak out too quickly. Mine popped right back on, but that sort of thing can be a marketing issue for a company if too many folks think they've received a damaged product.

Sculpting - ***
Triad is a big fan of rooted hair on their female figures...and it is a pretty hit and miss proposition. With Ghost, it wasn't too much of an issue for me, but here it's a different story. For the first time ever, I spent a bunch of time using a small comb and brush trying to get this hair under some sort of control and style. It should be pretty clear I'm not ever going to work at Fantastic Sams.

I did finally get something I thought was reasonable in person, but it was still wilder with more fly away strands than I cared for. If you're good with doll hair, I'm sure you'll get better results, but if you're like me, expect to be in for some fun.

The face is pretty, and as usual with Triad, more doll-like than many other sixth scale ladies these days. She has a look of determination though, and this is clearly not THAT Barbie.

The hands are all nicely in scale, and the gun grips work great with the weapons.

I'm not sure where the best spot is to mention it, so I'll mention it here - she has the small, round magnets in her feet that allow her to take somewhat acrobatic poses with the metal stands that you can buy separately from Triad, or any other metal surface.

Paint - ***
There's not a ton of paint ops, but what's here is reasonably well done. The eyes are clean as are the lips, although I'm not a fan of the thin, dark line on the mouth. This is added to give some additional shadowing, but it's not something that most high end companies do.

There's a little bit of a lazy eye going on with the left, but it's very, very minor. You have to be particularly anal or particularly sensitive to it to notice, but I did. I suspect I'm both.

Articulation - **
I'm generally pleased with the Alpha female body that Triad is using here, but there were several key issues that pushed its score lower than normal.

The joints all work as advertised, and there's more than enough to get the sort of battle poses you'd expect. I have no complaint about the number or type of joints either - plenty of healthy articulation here.

However, many of the joints are quite loose, especially the ankles and hips, making it tough for her to keep all those cool poses you might come up with.

I also had a lot of trouble this time keeping limbs attached. I mentioned that the head was dislocated in the package and that I was able to return it to its proper position. But it popped off far too easily after that, even when bending the head down or up. The left arm and left leg also popped off with the slightest touch, which meant working with her was frustrating at best. None of the posts or pins broke, and I was always able to pop the offending piece back on, but it popped right back off again just a few minutes later. To say I found it annoying is a huge understatement.

Sadly, the wrists have the complete opposite problem. I mentioned that with Ghost the short wrist pegs made working with the swappable hands difficult, but this time it was almost impossible. The pegs tend to pop out of the arms rather than the hands, and you'll need a set of needle nose pliers to get them free to use with another pair. Once you do pop them out, you'll want to force them into the hands first, rather than put them on the wrists and try to force the hands over them. That's a disaster waiting to happen, but even popping them back into the hands is very difficult without some hot water to soften them up first. The hands that is, not the pegs.

It was bad enough that I swapped hands once (to the gun grips) and left them there, avoiding the fists altogether.

So loose joints, popping limbs, and impossible wrists all helped bring this score much lower than normal.

Accessories - ***1/2
You can't be Barb Wire and not have weapons, although she is a tad light in this department.

There's a hand gun and an automatic rifle, complete with removable clips and some minor articulation. Both sculpts are impressive, and the rifle has removable pieces, like the small launcher below the rifle barrel, or the sight on top. They've also used some different finished on the gun to add some diversity to the otherwise black surface.

Both guns are scaled well and fit in her sculpted hands nicely, although the handgun doesn't work particularly well with the holster. That's more of an issue for the holster, which is made from very thin material. The strap intended to hold the gun in place is difficult to work with, and you should do your best to keep it threaded in place while fitting the gun in around it.

They've used metal on some of the accessories, including the handcuffs. These are working versions, and you open or lock them with a small button on the side. There's also metal bullets filling a bandoleer, but there's no real good place to put it. I wrapped it around her waist and used the gun belt to hold it in place, but you may find a better use.

The gun belt is also thin, but has a nice working buckle and rivets for the closure.

There are two extra sets of hands to go with the relaxed pose she comes wearing. There is a set of gun gripping hands of course, and a set of clenched fists. These are properly scaled, but as I mentioned in the Articulation section, tough to swap.

Outfit - **1/2
The outfit consists of thigh high boots, fishnet stockings, a bustiere, leather sleeves, and a leather jacket. And let's not forget the small choker she wears, with a metal circlet.

The boots look good, but I'm not sure I like the decision to put the seam at the front. It's a conscious decision too - the seam flows all the way down through the top of the foot, so you can't turn it to the side. There's also a seam in back, and I'm not sure why they had to go with two. While the lower section of the boots look great, the uppers lose points for this obvious seam.

While the stockings are a little baggy, it's not an issue for me. They actually look pretty good, and don't restrict the legs in any way.

The leather bustiere doesn't fit as well. In fact, it fits terrible. This is a common piece of clothing for Triad females, and we just saw Ghost wearing hers. The fit there was fairly good, but here it bags around the crotch and is in a permanent state of wardrobe malfunction. If she had nipples, they'd be on full display most of the time, since the 'ears' don't stay up around her breasts. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing probably depends...

The leather sleeves are on the opposite end of the tailoring spectrum with a great fit. You'll need to remove the hands to put them on, but they fit tightly and look great. The strings are a bit long, and if you decide to use them all the time you may consider cutting them.

Finally, there's the leather jacket. The material is high quality, but tends to be thicker than what we've seen with other high end sixth scale figures from other companies. The zipper is woefully out of scale as well, and with her already ample chest, the jacket looks pretty bad zipped up. If you do go with it, you'll probably stick with it unbuckled and unzipped.

Fun Factor - **
I found myself far too frustrated with this figure to have a whole lot of fun working with her. The rooted hair was a constant problem, and I never quite got any look I was happy with. The arms and legs falling off, the difficulty with the wrists, the loose ankles and hips, the constant wardrobe malfunction that required adjustment, all of this detracted from the normal pleasure of posing and arranging a figure like this.

Value - *1/2
Ghost was running $100, and to me, that was a bit too steep. Now Barb Wire is coming in at $120, and at that price point, there's no way to avoid comparisons to the other higher end lines from companies like Enterbay and Hot Toys. While Barb Wire has her attributes, the simple fact is that she doesn't have what it takes to command that price point.

Things to Watch Out For -
Mostly, it's the wrists. Get those needle nose pliers - you'll be glad you did. Have some hot water for the hands at your side as well. Let the hands take the pegs with them, use the pliers to pull the pegs out, soften up the new hands, pop the pegs into them, then pop them back on the arms. I think that procedure will result in the least gnashing of teeth and wailing of voices.

Overall - **1/2
Triad has been doing a good job supplying good quality sixth scale action figures, outfits and accessories in the mid-price range over the last couple years. When they come in at that $80 price range, they meet a need that's otherwise unfulfilled these days.

But when they start creeping into this $120 territory, they are knocking on the door of the price range of companies like Hot Toys and Enterbay. While you won't see too many $120 Hot Toys figures, their recent Predators Royce was $135, and there's no comparison in quality.

In fact, I almost dropped this figure another half star because of the multitude of problems. While the accessories are good, none of the other categories are issue free. Loose joints, almost impossible to swap hands, poorly fitting clothes - this is the first time I've actually been disappointed by a Triad product.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - *1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
You can pick up Barbwire directly from Triad at their online store for $120, or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Triad reviews include:

- my reviews of the quarter scale Tekken Heihachi, Ghost, Helga, Josh RandallLola, Agent Indigo, and the Otaku female body.

- and guest reviews of Dakota, Tyrus, Taki, and Lola.

- and don't forget the cool Triarama dioramas!

Discussion:
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Barb Wire Dark Horse sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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