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Watchmen - Silk Spectre II
Hot Toys

Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys


When it comes to comic book creators, Alan Moore is a considered by many a God. The writer of such hit series as V For Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, and The Watchmen always struck me as more diva then deity, so I don't consider it blasphemy to admit that I like the Watchmen movie better than the comic book series.

Much of that preference is due to the ending, which I think is more sensible and only slightly less derivative than Moore's original. It also helps that I think Zack Snyder did an excellent job translating the elements that make a comic what it is over to the big screen, and you can't ignore the exceptional job Jackie Earl Haley did in bringing to life Rorschach.

DC Direct took a swing at Watchmen collectibles, including a few releases in their DC Deluxe series of 13" figures. I really do like the smaller figures, but the big boys left a lot to be desired (as does the entire series). So when Hot Toys announced they had the license, I was seriously geeked.

They've announced both Silk Spectre II and the Comedian, and I'm hopeful we'll see at least a Rorschach and a Nite Owl from them before they are done. Toy Fair is coming up next month, so perhaps we'll get the announcement of another 2010 release then.

Silk Spectre (and this is II, not I) started shipping in December, and I've actually had her in hand for more than a month. Most folks are just now receiving her though, so it felt like the timing was right to check out her assets.

Like most Hot Toys figures, there's a price to be paid for the quality, and she'll run you around $135 or so, depending on the retailer. I have some suggestions at the end of the review - don't forget to visit the sponsors!
Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys

Packaging - **
Generally, I love Hot Toys packaging. Not this time though...definitely not this time.

There is an outer slip box that slides off bookshelf style, and the inner package has the usual cardboard tray inside. The outer sleeve has the black and yellow color scheme, with some nice photos but very, very little text. It's also made from a much thinner cardboard than we've seen in the past.

This thinner cardboard is also utilized with the inner box. It's very easy to rip, especially when trying to remove the complete cardboard and plastic inner trays.

And you have to slide both out, because Spectre's coat has been enclosed in a smaller plastic tray that's attached to the cardboard tray. This third tray makes it near impossible to slide out the large plastic tray by itself, and further ups the risk of damage.

Ms. Jupiter is easy enough to remove from the tray, and the packaging is theoretically collector friendly. They don't force you to damage anything to get her out, but because of the cheap materials the odds are pretty good you still will.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Malin Akerman is a babe, no doubt about it. While she'd had a few roles before Watchmen, it was really her turn as Laurie Jupiter that jump started her on to roles in films like The Proposal and Couples Retreat.

Not only is she a babe, but she's one of those rare beauties that looks even better with dark hair. While she generally goes blond, I think the dark reddish hair Silk Spectre sported really suited her awfully well.

Hot Toys does the most realistic, life-like human sculpts in the sixth scale market today, no doubt about it. With Silk Spectre, they've done it again, with perfectly textured lips, beautiful emotive eyes, softly textured skin, and just the right expression.

I do think that the sculpt is slightly off to the actual actress as the character, but it's quite minor. The face is a bit too square to my eye, but when it comes to quibbles this one is minute.

The most discussion will likely happen around the rooted hair, since this is a topic that tends to divide collectors. If you envision Silk Spectre looking like a Barbie, you'll be very surprised.

The hair is very fine, so that it hangs quite naturally and tends to not tangle. It's also quite thick, so there's no sign of the scalp or plugs. 

The rooted hair works great here, allowing her to have the long locks and yet not interfering with posing in any way. Had they gone with sculpted hair, the neck would have been almost useless, and she would have looked far less realistic.

The hair still can tangle though, no matter how high quality it is, so only time will tell how it holds up to long term display, dusting and handling. But for now, the choice of going rooted was the right one this time.

Silk Spectre is slightly smaller than most of the men in this scale and just about right for display with most other 

Paint - ****
The paint is truly outstanding, and sets this figure apart from other female releases over the last 12 months.

Ms. Jupiter's makeup looks better than 90% of the live women at the Macy's counter right now. The lip color looks like actual lip stick, not paint, and the glossy finish is dead on perfect. She's even got the fine lip line around the edge, a tough thing to do in 1:1 scale, let alone shrunk down to this size.

If the lips don't convince you, look into her baby blues. They've used the gloss finish again to make the eyes look wet and realistic, but they've gone far beyond that with the fine eyelashes and soft eyeshadow and liner.

If there was a category for Best Paint Of the Year, Silk Spectre would be very high on my list. I've said this before but it's worth repeating - Hot Toys is teaching the class on production paint work, and everyone else is stuck in registration trying to just figure out the forms.

Articulation - **1/2
Unfortunately, my love for the modern SS drops off considerably at this point.

While the Hot Toys female body is good, it's never been quite at the same level as their male TrueType. The outfit adds additional restrictions here, especially in the torso and the legs, where the tight leather greatly reduces the number of poses.

That alone would have only reduced the score slightly, however. I had two key issues that really hurt the lass, one due to the ankles, and the other involving to the wrists.

You'll notice that while she comes with a second set of open hands, she doesn't have them on in any of my photos. That's because getting them loose without damaging something is mighty tricky.

The upper section of the black leather gloves fits all the way down over the ball wrist peg. We all know from experience that Hot Toys hands tend to want to pull free with the longer peg in the arm, not the shorter peg in the hand. As you try to work the hand off the shorter peg, you'll be pulling on the wrist peg and therefore the whole upper glove. Even if you do get the hand off, you'll tend to stretch out the glove around the wrist. Or much worse can happen, as it did for me, and you can pull the whole glove down, breaking the very thin, fragile buckle at the top.

Obviously, to get the hands off the small pegs and not dislodge the larger peg, you have to rock them back and forth, not pull straight. How many of us have broken wrist pegs on a Hot Toys figure? Enough that Hot Toys now includes an extra set, as they did here.

So I gave up trying that, and now will have to live with an irreparable break in my costume, not something that ever makes me particularly happy. With a $150 figure, I get particularly cranky. I'll be sticking with the fists, thank you very much.

My other problem is with the ankles, again because the tight leather completely encases the ball joint. You won't be swapping anything here, but the leather is so tight that it's very, very difficult to turn the ball to the side and not twist up the boot in a rather unattractive way. If you can't turn the ball, you can't get her feet flat on the ground in deep stances, another big plus to the Hot Toys body. Negating much of the usefulness of this joint makes the body less fluid and natural overall.

Accessories - *1/2
Accessories, accessories...who's got the accessories? Certainly not Silk Spectre.

She comes with an additional set of open hands, but as I mentioned in the Articulation section, swap them at your own risk.

There's also the usual display stand, which you won't have to use if you don't want to, but is nice to have nonetheless. They throw in a set of wrist pegs too, in case you snap one off rocking the hands back and forth.

And there's her outer coat, but I'm going to move that into the Outfit section, since it can easily be worn over the superhero costume.

That's it. Generally, Hot Toys excels at giving us value even at these high prices by adding in some great extras, but not this time around. 

Outfit - **
While there's no denying that sculpt and paint are key high priority categories for any figure, bust or statue, the costume on a sixth scale figure is almost as important. It often defines the character, particularly with a license like the Watchmen, and getting the clothing to look realistic is often beyond the skill of most companies.

Hot Toys usually doesn't have that issue, but this time around they missed the mark by quite a bit.

To be fair, they took on a mighty tough challenge with Silk Spectre. This isn't a simple men's suit, or a pair of multicolored superhero tights. This is a multi-layered leather outfit, and fake leather material already tends toward the thick side in 1/6th scale.

As you might expect, the final result is more bulky and ill fitting than the actual costume. While the boots manage to pull off the latex-tight appearance, the rest of the outfit has problems. Edges stick out at odd angles (particularly at the crotch), sections that should be loose are tight while areas that should be tight are loose, and the overall tailoring accentuates some of the underlying issues with the base body. For example, the skinny legs, flat butt and wide hips all are much more noticeable due to the tailoring and fit of the costume.

Another costume/body combo issue is the neck. Hot Toys bodies have long necks. They are designed this way to allow collars, especially men's collars, to look in scale. Silk Spectre's costume has a collar that is supposed to run from her torso to her chin line, and it does so here...but because of the already proportionally longer neck, it looks slightly hinky.

The belt looks good, and the boots fit much better than the rest of the clothing. But these two factors aren't enough to save her for me.

The very best feature of the outfit is the outer coat. Technically you could also consider this an accessory, since it wasn't part of her standard costume. The tailoring on this coat is excellent, and it's made from a very, very thin material. It looks so good, that I prefer her wearing it over the black and yellow costume...and that's just wrong on so many levels.

Fun Factor - **
She's not particularly fragile compared to other Hot Toys releases, but those little buckles are easy to break. And while most adult men can appreciate the finer points of Silk Spectre's costume, most little girls (and their moms) are going to think she looks like a slutty bumblebee. If I ever open up a pub, I think I'll call it the "Slutty Bumblebee".

Value - *1/2
She's going to run you at least $135, and $150 isn't uncommon. That's a fairly high price, matching up with other Hot Toys releases that have far more accessories and much more complex outfits and sculpts. At $80, this figure would have faired much better overall, but trying to get Dark Knight money out of her was probably a mistake.

Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned, the little buckles are very easy to break, and because of the problems with the hands, the ones on the top of the gloves are particularly vulnerable.

And anyone who has a daughter that likes Barbie knows that even with the finest rooted hair, you can't let it get too tossed around or tangled, or you'll end up with a mess. Keep the hair neat, and it should look great for a long time.

Even with the great fit, the coat isn't perfect. For some reason Hot Toys gave you enough belt to hang yourself with, our at least wrap around Silk's body a couple times.

Overall - **1/2
Even Barry Sanders fumbled the ball occasionally. But when your at the top of your game, those fumbles seem all the more obvious.

This is Hot Toys first fumble for me in quite some time, but it is a particularly disappointing one. First, I am a very big Watchmen movie fan, so I had high hopes that we'd see not only these first two turn out great, but that they'd fuel further work on Rorschach, Nite Owl and Oz. Second, we don't get a whole lot of female figures in any scale, let alone high end sixth scale, so she could have been a real shining star.

Sadly, she falls short, and at a pretty hefty price tag considering the lack of accessories. I've got Comedian on order too, but I'm beginning to second guess my choice of going with the Hot Toys Watchmen figures instead of the Hot Toys Marvel figures. Maybe it's not too late to snag a Wolverine...

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Alter Ego Comics has her for $131 in stock.

- Urban Collector has her at $143.

- Big Bad Toy Store has her in stock at $145.

- For the UK buyers, Forbidden Planet has her for 145 GBP.

- or you can cruise ebay looking for a bargain.

Related Links -
I've checked out a number of the cheaper Watchmen figures, including some of the variants, and series 1 split in two reviews, one of Ozymandias and modern Silk Spectre, and the other of Rorscach and modern Nite Owl. There's also the series 2 review, and I also checked out one of the 13" deluxe figures, Dr. Manhattan.

Discussion:
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Silk Spectre modern version Watchmen action figure sixth scale by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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