Cy Girls
Ice and Asuka

Sean Teeter (aka the College Bum) is back tonight with another great guest review of the new Cy Girls - Ice and Asuka!  It's all yours, Sean!

Konami is finally putting out the brand-new Cy-Girl video game for Play Station 2 within the next month, so bbi has timed the release of their two latest ladies to the game’s debut. From the previews I’ve seen, the game looks pretty kick-ass and has already garnered an “M” rating, so you know it’s definitely worth checking out. Unfortunately for me I’m an X-Box devotee, and I’m not about to replace it with a PS2 anytime in the near future.
Ice and Asuka are the game’s protagonists. Us sixth scale collectors have seen these ladies before –basically they’re Sky and Shadow version 2.0. The box even lists them as CG-01 and CG-06, which is the same order Sky and Shadow are listed at the bbi website. Since I don’t actually own the originals I had no problems picking these two up. If you have the money to spare, those of you who already have the original pair might want to snag these upgrades solely for the 2.0 articulated bodies and new head sculpts. Besides, one can never have too many female ninjas, right?
(Speaking of which, there’s some name confusion with Asuka. She’s actually labeled as “Aska” in the toy line and “Asuka” in the game previews. I assume the correct spelling is Asuka, but it’s common in Japanese pronunciation to omit or gloss over “u” sounds. Example: the word “takusan” (“lots of”; “many”) is more commonly pronounced as “tak’san”. That concludes our wonderful language lesson for today.)

The last two Cy-Girls from bbi were Electra and Bloody Rose, and I really liked them. Of course they weren’t without their flaws, so let’s see where the two newest ladies land in the ratings.

Packaging - ***
The opening front flap has been ditched for a solid box. There are windows in front of the figure’s face and weapons. The background graphics show off what I assume are characters from the game. In addition to Asuka and Ice, there also appears to be a shot of Spectre, and possibly Colossus from the Cy-Com line. Inside is a plastic tray with clear tape holding in the accessories. Overall it’s pretty collector friendly; very similar to the packaging for the Cutey Honey figure Takara released through the line a while back.

Sculpting - Ice: *** ½; Asuka: ***
Every Cy-Girl figure has a somewhat generic head sculpt; there’s nothing really unique to their looks, the changes are subtle and brought to life more with the paint ops than anything else. 

Ice’s sculpt seems a little long in the chin area, but it’s serviceable and strays away from overt Barbie-ness. Actually, it’s more what Barbie would look like with a splash of realism and maturity. She also has a ton of long blonde hair that really adds to her look. There’re no female pattern baldness problems here, like with Electra.

Asuka’s face seems a tad wide and her nose looks a little big from the side, but she’s still decent looking. Her earrings are the same hoop style found on Cutey Honey. They fit the character better than the standard studs found on most of the other Cy-Girls.

While I really like the ponytail on Asuka, I don’t think the high hairline on the back of her neck looks all that good. The bangs are also a little bit of a pain when it comes to making them look decent for posing.

Paint - ***
Bloody Rose really kicked up the Cy-Girl paint job with her two tattoos and Goth eye makeup. Here, bbi returns to the classic look. The paint jobs are clean, look nice, and fit the figures well, but they’re pretty much the standard fare when compared to the other Cy-Girls out there. 

Articulation - ***1/2
The 2.0 version body is simple great. As always, bbi does a more than serviceable job with their sixth-scale figures. Both have ball-joints at the neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, limited ball-joints at the knees and ankle, bicep cuts, double elbow joints and a limited ball-joint midsection between the waist and upper torso. It’s not perfect, but shows improvement over the older models. The only problem to be found is with Ice’s ankles, which are pretty weak.

Outfit - ***1/2
bbi always has never disappointed me in the costuming of their sixth scale lines, and here they add two more winners. For all intents and purposes, Ice and Asuka’s outfits are updated versions of Sky and Shadow’s, but they are also different enough to earn bonus points.
Ice is clad in long white pleather boots with armored kneepads, a sleeveless bodysuit, and a cropped pleather jacket with shoulder armor. The body suit’s torso is done in vinyl with silver highlights and plastic buttons. The jacket is pretty cool, and even has an adjustable belt and buckle in the front. The two-toned sleeves and elbow pads really look nice. Overall, this girl’s threads scream “Bond girl”. Find a nice sixth scale motorbike to sit her on –or even better, a sleek snowmobile. 
From the screen shots I’ve seen of the video game, Asuka switches between at least two outfits. The first one looks just like Shadow’s, while the second is the red jumpsuit she wears here.

Asuka’s main outfit is made up of a red jacket and red pants with silver leggings, kneepads, ankle armor, and a double belt in front. The jacket closes with Velcro, which can be tucked into a Velcro liner under the waist of the pants. Underneath she wears a black leotard with fishnet arms and legs. Around her neck is a gray scarf. The best part has got to be her removable armor. Asuka has two forearm guards and a set of shoulder pads. The shoulder guards are joined by a strap that lays across her back. The strap has slot for her sword’s scabbard, allowing her to easily wear her weapon on her back at all times. While it may look somewhat simple at first glance, this is definitely a top-notch job.

Accessories - ***
Welcome to the land of reuse ladies and gentlemen. Certainly this is not a foreign concept among the Cy-Girl line, as the whole first wave basically came with the same weapon assortment. Not only do these two girls reuse previous accessories, the assortment that comes with each figure has gone way down.

Ice comes with two pairs of hands (one pistol grip and fists), folding shades, a pair of Rugers with removable clips, a pair of pistol holsters, and a stand. Ice’s Rugers are the same as the ones that came with Scorpion the Enforcer and Lucifer the Sniper Assassin in the Elite Force Terminate line. I’m not sure if the holsters are reused from one of the other lines, but they work well and address a problem I had with the Bloody Rose figure and her twin Berettas. Ice’s folding shades appear to be a new item however, and they look really cool –almost like a mini pair of Oakley’s. 

Asuka comes with a sword, scabbard, two pairs of hands (sword grip and fists), folding shades, and a stand. The sword and scabbard are the same ones used with Shadow, with a new paint job. The shades are the same as Electra’s.

I complained about the single pair of hands that came with Bloody Rose and while I’m glad bbi has tossed in a second pair with these figures, it’s not enough. The first 2.0 body release, Electra, had four pairs. Why the short change since then? The stands are nice –they’re the same as the three-pegged one that came with Electra, but with different colors and the figure’s name printed on the base. The items that these ladies come with are certainly good quality, but compared to the past releases they really lack in quantity. Not to mention the box cover of the video game shows Ice with two Maggy-Hammer pistols, not Rugers.

Value - ***
On average you can find Cy-Girls for around $30 or under. If you can get either at $25 or lower, bump that score up a half a star. The lower quantity of accessories and total reuse of weapons in light of figures such as Electra, Bloody Rose, Destiny, and Aurora really take their toll on the overall price value. Their cool outfits keep them in three-star range however. 
Good Stuff to Go is a great best sixth-scale seller. They have some of the best prices and excellent customer service. Both go for $26. The other Cy-Girls are $26 and under.

Old Joe Infirmary probably has the best bbi selection out there. Not only can you get the different figures there for decent prices, but they also sell replacement weapons, outfits, bodies, and hands for each figure they carry. Both Asuka and Ice go for $26.95 here. All the other girls can be had for $28 and under.
Entertainment Earth is a somewhat higher at $34.99 a pop.

Overall - ***
These two girls are certainly solid figures all around and if they had been in any other line –or at the very least brand new characters as opposed to updated versions—I would have easily bumped up their overall score another half-star. But I guess bbi’s other ladies have spoiled me. These two just aren’t in the same league as the other 2.0 gals, Electra and Bloody Rose. bbi really set their bar high with Electra as their first 2.0 girl: that’s the figure I now use for comparison to all new Cy-Girl releases –she’s only less than perfect because of an easily hidden hair problem. 

While reuse is certainly a common thing among this line, each girl has gotten her own unique primary weapon since the production of Shadow. Asuka gets Shadow’s weapon and Ice hits up on the boys from the Terminate line for hers. While I’m glad to see bbi bring back extra hands after their omission from Rose’s release, I was disappointed that the sole extra pair for each were just fists as opposed to the assortment found with the other figures. 

With all that taken into consideration, the argument can also be made that these are “special figures”. They are video game specific characters and fall under the same unique figure category as Shi, Cutey Honey, and Princess from Battle of the Planets. (Still, those characters got their own specific accessories as well, including several changes of hands.) I hope this is the case with Ice and Asuka and not the new norm to cut costs.

In the end these two are certainly worth picking up for any fan of the Cy-Girl line. The articulation and outfits these ladies sport are heads and shoulders above the original figures they seem to be based on and make for a worthy special entry into the overall series. I don’t know what bbi has in store for us in the coming year but I’d like to see more bad girls like Bloody Rose. So far it’s 14 to 1 in the battle between good and evil according to bbi’s Cy-Girl web page . . . 

Figures from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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