Hot Toys Secret Service Emergency Response Team
With P-90

Secret Service Emergency Response Team female 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."

Normally, Jeff Parker hits up the Hot Toys figures as our resident guest reviewer. But tonight we have a new guest reviewer, Gulherme Lentz from Brazil, look at their female Secret Service Agent. Take it away, Gulherme!

Hi there!

First of all, I want to thank Michael for allowing me to participate on his fantastic site, one of my all-time favorites, and certainly my most precious resource for toy collecting on the web.  I have learnt so much from him about the hottest releases we never hear of here in Brazil, it is with gratitude and felling very honored that I step here tonight about one of the hottest action figures I have ever seen, the new female Hot Toys US Secret Service Emergency Response Team with P90.

I am not at all a military collector. Since I was a kid I have been friends with the Brazilian version of the 12 inch GI Joe, our beloved Falcon. Apart from that, superheroes and robots are my thing, plus a little bit of Star Wars and Star Trek and assorted cool toys that appear on the way. If there is a good deal, I eventually get a military figure, mostly for use on my photostories (, but I never really considered spending what HotToys asks for a figure on anyone else than a superhero.

That was until I saw the prototype photos of the US Secret Service, or Cassandra, as I call her, if you allow me. I just thought she was so gorgeous, too gorgeous not to be here.

Luckily the timing was perfect, as I still had some post-Christmas savings, so I decided to confront the crisis and everything else and bring her home.
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys
Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys

In Brazil, we say “waiting is the best part of the party”, but I still had a tough time trying in vain to track the package, Hong Kong, just in the right size we know to contain a boxed 12-inch figure!

Was all the waiting worth? Well… letīs see! Dah! Whatever! Of course it was!! Letīs just celebrate it!

Packaging: ***
The box have some very nice shots of Cassandra using her deadly arsenal, and the title has a glossy finish which I find very classy. It has a nice crispy texture on the box. Thatīs all very nice, but I think itīs all pretty standard for high-end figures.

I liked the fact that there is a small credits list on the back, so we get to know at least the names of the team involved in the creation of the figure. This should be standard procedure for every collector item, toy or not.

On the other hand, I missed some background information about what is an US secret service agent, how they act, what they do, what is their training, what weapons they use and how these weapons work, etc. Background information are pretty common on superheroes boxes, and I see no reason why it should be any different with military figures. Actually, I think it is even more important. Like I said, I do not have any connection with military world or weapons whatsoever, so it would be nice to have that info and learn a little bit more from the toy.

The figure itself comes attached with four twisties, and her hair comes protected by a plastic piece. There are several layers of plastic shield to ensure no accessory will fall or be damaged.

Sculpt: ****
My wife will hate me for this, but I cannot give Cassandra any less than four stars here. She is absolutely gorgeous. I do not think I have seen many woman this beautiful in real life.

I was afraid her chin might be a little too slim, but the thing is she looks marvelous on every picture, from every angle, so I really cannot complain.

Her expression is both sexy and brave, and she has a few expression marks for good measure, which allow her to play a variety of roles, from tired secret agent after an all-night mission to angry girlfriend.

I do not think of someone in particular she resembles to; maybe she has a little of Jean Grey from the old John Byrne classic X-Men. To me she had to be Cassandra, for no specific reason. Sounded like her.

If I had to point some defect, maybe I would prefer she ha the mouth closes – right, got the joke: most men prefer women when they have their mouths shut. But that is not my case. This is really a question of thinking that if in any aspect at all she is danger of crossing the thin line between being sexy and a little sluty, that would be this half-opened mouth. But as it is I can still live happily with that.

Most of the female action figures I saw, specially in kit bashes, go in this wrong direction and end up, instead of looking sexy, looking like a friend of Julia Roberts in the first scenes of “Pretty Woman”. So it matters if a female action figure can be sexy and tasty at the same time.

About that, I would also like to mention that this is my first female Hot Toys body. While I think it has some compromises in the articulation department, she does not have that ridiculous thin waist Sideshow puts on the figures, not that monstruous breasts DC Direct puts on theirs, nor the porn-star shape BBI does, which is totally unsuitable for a superhero or secret agent. So, sculpt-wise, this is a nice body.

I would also like to point that Hot Toys went for rooted-hair, but made it in such a way that it stays in relatively in place, maybe slightly decomposed, which is only right for the character.

Paint: ***1/2
There is not really much painting here, but what is there is pretty well done. Both the lips and the eyes have a glossy finish, and she has some shade on her face which adds a lot to realism. The glossy eyes, to me, are one of the Hot Toys signature offerings. And the lips were a nice touch, because I always hear about how women keep on caring for their beauty even when dealing with the hardest job. So it makes me imagine Cassandra putting her lipstick inside one of her pockets before going to a mission or relaxing in white t-shirt after she gets home. One could think it is not so hard to paint lips, eyes and faces after, but I have tried to do it many times in my customs, so I know well what it takes to make such a good job.

Articualtion - **
I had a pleasant surprise when I took the figure out of the box. I thought she had a fixed neck, but she actually has a rubber torso, which hides a neck as articulated as any from Hot Toys. It is a softer rubber than I have seen before, so it practically does not restrain movement. I am afraid how this will resist to the course of the years, but for now I am happy.

In spite of that… It breaks my heart, but the score has to be lower here. There are two reasons for that:

1. the gloves are too restrictive for the hands. In theory, they have the same double-articulation we see on every HotToys, but it actually can only work as a cut-joint.

2. The knees have a single-joint articulation, which only allows her to make a 90 degree movement. I have tons of Max Steel action figures and I forgive them for such a limited movement, but on a Hot Toys… that cannot be. The feet do not have the same range of movement as the True Type either. It is a shame really. Double-jointed knees are one of the main articulation an action figure must have, in my opinion. It adds so much to the dynamics and realism. I can think of several poses Cassandra will not be able to perform, even in her immediate environment.

No doubt Hot Toys should think about a better articulation for the female body. 

Outfit - **1/2
The basic outfit is pretty simple: black shit, plant pants and boots. While they are well done, there is not really anything spectacular here. I would imagine secret service agents use lighter and more flexible type of fabric underneath all their equipment. The shirt has a nice feminine design, but the pants in general look a little masculin to me. I would prefer if it had a lower waist. But I do not know if this is for accuracy sake. In any case, I donot see here anything that is so far away from a regular GI Joe fabric costume, or that one could not get with a kit bash, and for the price asked I always expect it from Hot Toys.

The big jacket is an exception; it is very detailed. But it hides so much of the figure I think I will not use it.

The cap was a low point for me. It just does not fit well in her, although  it is possible to find a good angle on the pictures so that it will not appear so much.

Accessories - ***
Besides a couple of nude bodies, my only figures by HotToys are Superman/Clark from the Returns movie, and ED-209. While I love them so much, I have always felt they are too overpriced considering the accessories area. I could never be in peace with the fact that a Power Team figure, which I consider of very good quality, costs a tenth of a HotToys an brings ten times more accessories.

But getting Cassandra, my first military Hot Toys figures, made realize that might have to do with licensing issues, because she has got plenty of stuff to play with. If I do not give four stars to her, that is because  she does not have an extra par of bare hands, nor a stand. Let us divide everything in categories and talk about that.

1. Extra hands
They are not here. It is a big shame, since the gloved hands are so restrictive in the movement area. She had to have bare hands, and maybe a couple of extra poses as well. I do not understand why Hot Toys is so economic on this area. Come on! We are spending a small fortune on these figures; just include three sets of hands on each!

2. Stand
It is not there. I always read Michael saying a good 1/6 action figure should not need a stand, and I completely agree. But, now that it is not here, it makes me wish it was. This female body is not as nearly as stable as the True Type and I just do not trust it will not fall from the shelf.

3. The P90 machine gun
I guess this is the big star here, since its name is on the front box. Like I said, I do not know anything about military equipment, but from what I saw on the internet, this is a very accurate reproduction of this weapon. It is pretty detailed, with lots of moveable parts. The only problem is not its fault, actually: because the gloves restrain the hands movement so much, it is not easy to find a good shooting pose for this weapon.

4. M9 pistol
Very well done, again with lots of detailing and moveable parts.

5. Knife
I am not sure if the blade was supposed to move. I like it, but I wish it fit a little better in the hands. The way it is, it is not possible for the figure to hold the knife.

6. Radio
Nice, with the Motorola logo printed on it.

7. Lights
Pretty reproduction, but again too thin for Cassandraīs hands.

8. Bullet proof vest
Simple, well done, fits very well, does its job. But since we have to choose between it and the cool tactical vest, I bet most guys will not use it.

9. Tactical vest
This is the most elaborate accessory. It is very nice, with lots of texturing, pockets and places to keep all the other accessories. It looks very nice on the body.

10. Sun glasses
Nicely designed and fits perfectly on her face.

Fun factor: ***
I still think of my action figures as toys more than anything else. To me Hot Toys, GI Joe, Max Steel and Power Team are all in the same universe. This figure is as playable as any toy we have on various rooms for me and my kids to play. Of course, in this case, their hands will be far from Cassandra, because she has so many small accessories with tiny breakable parts, but, apart from that, she is sturdy enough to support hard playing. The basic figure is not on any risk of breaking if falling or anything.

I had the most fun posing, dressing and undressing her for the pictures. When the times comes to use her on my photostories, I am sure she will always be a thrill.

If I do not give her four stars here, that is because the single jointed knees, which limits posing so much. I know I have already graded her low on the articulation section because of it, but this is such a big problem for the fun that it deserves losing a star here too.

Value: ***
Oh, yeah! I had forgotten I had to pay for her! Maybe it will come stronger to me when my credit card bill arrives in a couple of weeks… I was lucky the customs did not tax this one, or it would have cost me twice as much. The way it was, it was $130, including shipping from Hong Kong to Brazil, and that is just about what can be found on eBay. I am sure Michael will have some excellent suggestions with his sponsors.

Had she an extra pair or two of bare hands and a double-jointed knee, I could give her four stars. Apart from that, she has pretty much everything that she could.

Knowing figures from all kind of price range, I think $130 is arguably a fair deal on such a gorgeous figure like this, but still…

Not long ago someone could be put into treatment for spending this much on a toy. I remember when I got my first Hot Toys, Clark/Superman Returns, I lingered for many weeks until I did it, on the basis that it was really an unique item of a very dear character and that I was madly curious about seeing a Hot Toys in person, but it made me a bit sick for quite a while and it was a long time before I took the figure out of the box to have a proper look at it. Now suddenly it is normal to spend 100 bucks on an action figure. Crossing lines is a very dangerous thing.

I am in Brazil. A considerable amount of our families live with that much for a month. For a middle-class guy like me, this is the kind of acquisition that weights on the house bills, it really has to be planned and implicates on several sacrifices. One has to have very good arguments to spend that kind of cash on a toy and still be in peace with his conscious here.

I was so enamored of this figure I decided to face it all. Only because of that I am giving three stars. She is gorgeous, she might be the best female figure of my life, so all things considered it was a fair deal.

But I do think these high-end figures in general are away too overpriced, and, honestly, not all of them give the right value for our money. I admit Hot Toys has a way of reaching a few very sensitive points of me, but I also now that right now there are on the market quite a few low-price figures of excellent quality, and the distance of them and high-end brands is getting smaller every day. Even among the top brands of action figures, we find very good items that will cost half the price of a Hot Toys. Seriously, it is about time we collectors think more carefully about that and think about how we will react to it. For my turn, I am already being very very very selective about what I get.

So Cassandra here gets three stars, but that is because she was just a special figure to me, therefore it cannot be seen at all as a reference to judge other figures.

Things to Watch Out For -
She is very sturdy, so there is not really anything too worrying.

The rubber body concerns me a little. I trust Hot Toys thought about it, and that it will be alright as the years go by.

I suggest the tactical vest has to be prepared before being put on the figure. It is better to put everything on the belt and all, and then dress it.

One thing important: the knife falls very easily from its pocket, so there is danger of losing it.

Also, the US flag that can be attached to the tactical vest tends to fall easily too. By the way, none of the pockets on the figure closes well. It is a good idea to check them before taking pictures.

Both the P90 and the M9 weapons have a couple of tiny breakable parts. I accidently damaged a bit of the fixing point on one of the P90 targeting lenses, so it is a bit fragile and requires a bit o care to be handled.

Overall: ***
This is the best female sculpt I have ever seen, with lots of ultra-cool accessories, most of them of top-notch quality, and a priceless charm. I will discount a bit because of the knees joint and the lack of extra hands and stand, but apart from that she is everything I hoped for. Considering how beautiful she is and how unique she is in the toy universe, Hot Toys price tag was a fair deal on this one.

Packaging: ***
Sculpt: ****
Paint: ***1/2
Articulation: **
Outfit: **1/2
Accessories: ***
Fun factor: ***
Value: ***
Overall: ***

Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys

Secret Service Emergency Response Team female action figure by Hot Toys

Figure from the collection of Gulherme Lentz.

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