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Jill Valentine (BSAA version) - Resident Evil Biohazard 5
Hot Toys

Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

   "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."

Another figure that is on the Poppies and People's Picks ballots for 2010 is Jill Valentine fro Hot Toys. Jeff Parker stops by tonight with a look at this exceptional lady - take it away, Jeff!

Way back when Hot Toys first announced they had the Resident Evil licence the names you heard most requested were Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

Why?

Well because they are two of the original character/play options from when Resident Evil first kicked off in 1996 and they are also two of the survivors of the fabled Mansion Incident. But as the first series of figures was based on Resi 4, both these characters were a no show.
But with the new line from Resi 5 the fans were quickly rewarded with not one but two versions of Chris, alongside 2 versions of his arch nemesis Albert Wesker and the new gal in town (well, more township) Sheva Alomar… but still no Jill!

The natives got restless, much gnashing of teeth was heard (alongside a few idle threats) and eventually the squeaky gate got its oil!

So if you were one of those that cried the loudest to get Ms Valentine, one of the original Raccoon Police Department's Special Tactics And Rescue Service (STARS) operatives and a founding member of the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), was all the hard work worth it, can she possibly live up to expectations.

I have covered all of the resident Evil figures released to date here-
Leon S Kennedy x 2
Jack Krauser x 2
Ganado (Chainsaw)
BSAA Chris Redfield
Sheva & Wesker
STARS Chris & Wesker

Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
The Resident Evil 5 packaging has had its layout set in stone over the release of the first 5 figures in the series, and so this obviously keeps very much to the formula. As I have said in every other review I have done for this line, they are well designed and robust boxes, but they just don’t ‘actually’ excite me that much.

We get a wrap around cover that is held closed by concealed magnets. The inner side of the door has a tray holding the weapons and accessories, and opposite is the ‘near’ fully constructed figure with a few more accessories packed beside her. Inside the box Jill lies in a black vac formed tray with a clear lid to hold everything in place.

So, as I said I like it, I like it a lot, just not as much as some others!

Sculpting - ***1/4
Like Sheva, Jill here is the work of Hiroki Hayashi, a man with a solid history of sculpting beautiful female figures in 1/6th, in fact he was even responsible for his own fan made versions of Jill and Alice based on how they looked in the Resident Evil live action movies. If you try to Google his name (with safe-search turned off) You will see just how lifelike and indeed titillating some of his past work has been, veering somewhere between fine art and soft porn, an area that seems to interest many collectors of female figural sculpting. But here its all about the face, and Hiroki has done a fine job of taking the pixel version of Jill, as seen here and here, with that second image being just about the best reference I can find of her in this version of the game. He’s translated it well, but I do feel that like Sheva he has made her look just a little too soft. She needs to have a little bit more of an edge, an expression that says ‘I might look like butter wouldn’t melt’ but with an undercurrent of kick ass attitude. However, that’s just my take on it. As far as the likeness goes then this is very close to the source material and is also certainly very attractive.

Her expression is relatively neutral, but that means it will suit a good range of poses, and her hair is worn in a relatively simple style with a few wispy strands falling over her forehead and a low pony-tail at the back. So, I’d say this is a strong piece of work that stands well next the other Resi figures and the likeness is closer to the game seen character here than it was with Sheva, but it still lacks a certain wow factor!

Paint - ****
Yet another homerun, nothing to complain about here at all!

We get some beautiful soft flesh-tones showing her fresh-faced and youthful complexion. She’s definitely more natural beauty than Barbie doll, but the attention to her subtle eye make-up, well groomed eyebrows and pale glossy lips is all carried out to the highest of standards. The hair is painted in a relatively flat tone, but it works fine in letting the sculpted work beneath show through.

The continued high standard of work that we are getting from Hot Toys really never ceases to amaze me, they are so far ahead of the competition that it’s almost embarrassing. I keep seeing the so-called ‘hi-end’ stuff being released from their rivals, which end up looking like the very poor relations in a one horse race, admittedly I always take price point into consideration, but even so, c’mon!

Suffice to say the finished job is near perfection, and even though Jill is a character from a video game she looks more realistic at 1/6th scale than many other companies will achieve for years!

Outfit - ***3/4
Like the BSAA fatigues worn by Chris, this has the look of a specially designed hi-tech tactical outfit. The boots are like a cross between Oakley tactical combat boots and some kind of cross-trainer sports shoe with multiple panels, seams and a high grip sole. Her trousers are made of a stretchy synthetic material and have zips on the outer shin, they are also covered in numerous panels and seams to help in her mobility… well, they are meant to help in her mobility but the trousers are actually so tight that some articulation is hampered, especially at the hips. On her top half she wears a blue and black length sleeved shirt which is tailored to be form hugging, again to help in her ease of movement, luckily this does actually do its job and hardly restricts her ability to pose at all. Under this there is also a black skin-tight leotard that fills the gap in her midriff between her trousers and shirt when you put her in one of her more extreme poses. Over the outside of the blue shirt she also has a shoulder holster for holding extra magazines for her hand gun and also to attach her radio to on the left shoulder, this whole rig is actually more of an accessory, but I figured it made sense to describe the way it fitted into her wardrobe here. The belt also has multiple pouches that hang from it and you have to fit them all yourself. So it’s time so pour a stiff drink, maybe assume the lotus position, meditate for a few minutes, get your magnifying glass and then just get on with it. There is a sheet of instructions included letting you know where everything is meant to be situated and to be fair it is all pretty straightforward, just take your time and ‘enjoy’ the construction process… it’s all part of the ‘experience’.
Lastly comes her hat. Oh the hat. What a shame!
I liked the rest of the outfit a lot, but the hat just doesn’t work for me. I have positioned, pushed, pulled, futzed, tweaked, repositioned and futzed again but I just can’t get it to sit in a way I am 100% happy with. I can get a reasonable approximation of how it looked in the game, but I feel this is a time that we either needed a sculpted vinyl hat or even a second head with a permanently attached hat sculpt. Ultimately it should be quite firm in its form, looking like this but try as I might I just couldn’t get it like that. I guess some of you out there might get it better than I did, but my Jill has thus far been displayed hatless.

So it’s the hat and the hat alone that robs Jill of that final star, a star that would have lead to a full score!

Articulation - ***1/4
Jill comes on a variation of the female True-Type (TT), you can see semi clothed versions of it in the overview I did of the recent crop of TT’s here. However this has quite a few modifications, I didn’t want to strip her off for fear of never getting her outfit to look right again, so after having had a good feel around and posing experiment it would seem she utilises the same body as the recent Black Widow (BW) figure which looked like this. Now, I can understand some aspects of the redesign, like the larger bust that was necessitated to suit both the characters that they have used it on so far, but for some reason they have also tweaked her arm sculpt and the mechanics of the actual elbow design, and on this occasion it is to the detriment of the functionality for these characters.

One of my biggest gripes with Sheva was the limited articulation, as because of her bare arms they had gone for aesthetic over function. I admit I’m first and foremost an articulation junky, but I could see how it worked better for her on that occasion. However, for Jill (and indeed BW) they have given her a new design of arm, meaning the part that is viewable from under her length sleeves does have a little more texturing and fine work than the standard female TT, but this is at the expense of a double elbow.

It means I had to struggle to get a good pose on Jill with the sniper rifle, it was ultimately doable, but a double elbow would have made all the difference to getting a deeper, tighter and higher position. The rubber torso covering the whole of the abdomen down over the waist to groin also means a little articulation is lost here, especially when coupled with the tightly tailored trousers.

So to sum up, there was no way she could get a full score, but compared to Sheva she’s a veritable contortionist!

Accessories - ****
The category that the VGMS really comes into its own is in the accessories, and Jill doesn’t disappoint. Sure there is a little… OK, a lot of re-use from previous Resi 5 figures, but she ends up with quite a little arsenal, her full inventory is thus-

- Blue cap (oh dear)
- Radio with earpiece
- Radio pouch
- Shoulder holsters with two holster pouches for magazines
- Belt with multiple pouches including one to hold the first-aid spray
- Drop-holster (right leg thigh)
- Drop-magazine pouch (left leg thigh)
- Knife
- Knife sheath (right shin)
- Handgun
- 2 x extra pistol magazines
- H&K PSG-1 sniper rifle
- H&K MP5 machine gun
- 2 x extra H&K MP5 magazines
- VZ61 compact machine gun
- Torch with flip-up lens cover
- 2 Flash grenades
- 2 Smoke grenades
- First-aid spray
- 2 Ammo packs
- 2 x spare wrist pegs
- Figure stand

The weapons are all up to the usual calibre (sorry) with the stand out being the H&K PSG-1 sniper rifle; it has a removable magazine, positionable panel on the stock and a red lens at the end of the sight. All the other weapons have removable magazines and articulated features as well.

The remainder of the other items are well sculpted with finely observed details and they fit and interact with the figure well. But be warned, you will need another one of those much needed blobs of Blu-Tack to hold the earpiece on. It has a small curved clip that does fit around the ear, but I found that the smallest re-pose would lead to it coming free, so by using a miniscule ball of the famous blue putty it will help hold the earpiece in place when moving the head. Also it’s worth warming the small pouch that holds the radio before pushing it into position, as it is a very tight fit.

So, a great haul, and this category can thank it’s lucky stars I am considering the hat part of the outfit section, where it has already done its harm… meaning the accessories are left to get a much deserved full score.

Value - ***1/2
The RRP from sideshow for all of the Resident Evil 5 figures has been $149.99, which to me means that the two Wesker figures with their light-up eye function and funky selection of weapons are still the tops in terms of bang for buck. But Jill here still comes up looking like quite a good deal, especially with her great selection of weapons.

However with a little rooting around you can easily find her for $134.99, and basing her on this price I think she’s approaching a full score, but she just doesn’t quite have the oomph to jump that final hurdle for a top score, still a cracking figure though.

Fun Factor - ***
Jill has a lot of play potential, if you were someone who did still actually ‘play’ with his or her toys. That said, if futzing and fiddling about to get the outfit looking it’s best, and then spending hours posing and photographing her isn’t ‘play’ then what is?

Hence I consider myself duly charged!

So, while she can’t hope to compete with either of the Wesker figures in terms of how much fun I had posing her, she still manages to make Sheva look like a wall flower, and that counts for quite a bit.

Overall- ***1/2
The only thing I don’t like about this figure is the damn hat and the restricted articulation (which is mostly down to the way she moves… or doesn’t, within her outfit). Everything else is top notch, even the price isn’t extortionate considering she’s a licensed figure with more guns than you’d find under Charlton Heston’s bed!
So had those arms been better suited to the jobs they needed to perform, and had she come with a hat I would be proud to display her in, then she would have romped home with the gold.

As it is, we have a great looking figure, well painted, with a ton of accessories and a nicely tailored outfit… apart from that damned hat!

Where to buy
Sideshow has her for $149.99 or you can try some of Mikes sponsors where you could potentially save up to $15-

Fan Boy Collectibles $134.99

TFAW.com $134.99 

BBTS $144.99

Or try eBay where her BIN prices are between $135 to $175.

But act fast unless you want to end up with ‘Umbrella's leftovers!’ ;)

Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Jill Valentine Resident Evil sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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