We've been waiting for Matilda from 21st Century for what seems like forever.  Even though they started showing up at Toys R Us stores the last couple weeks, I figured there was no way I'd see it for quite awhile.  Our stores are notorious for being late on new stock.  Considering that Boris never showed up around here, I didn't have high hopes.

Imagine my surprise when I went by tonight and saw the mysterious woman on the shelf!  She's running $30 at Toys R Us.  There are tons of on-line stores selling these as well.

Packaging - **1/2
The airbrush art on the front is quite good, although I don't know that I think of Paris when I think of international spies.  The back of the box contains the usual pictures of the newest releases, and the inside flap contains a basic variation on the front picture.  A bio would have been nice - I'm sure they were worried about upsetting someone by anything they said, but still I'd like to know a little about this woman called Matilda.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I know that quite a few people are disappointed in the head sculpt.  Some feel it's too thin and severe, others too 'sleazy'.  I think it fits perfectly, right down to the one raised eyebrow.  I think it's also a good idea to go with sculpted hair rather than rooted.

The only sculpting problem I found was in the left hand.  They've gone with a splayed hand, so wide open that it is almost useless for holding anything.  I would have preferred something useful, although these hands are removable (if you're VERY careful).  But don't get any ideas - the posts for the Yamato girls are too large to fit.

Accessories - ****
If I have one complaint on the accessories, it's that there aren't quite enough.  Matilda comes with plenty of guns - two handguns, two automatic weapons, a very cool case that one gun, with it's barrel/silencer, scope, clip and extended stock all fit into, a couple canister grenades, a knife/sheath, and a terrific double shoulder holster.

Articulation - ***
Uh, bizarre.  I had a tough time with this score, simply because the design of the shoulders is so...unusual.  There are plenty of joints, and she can take and maintain just about any pose.  The only negative here is the neck joint, or really the lack thereof.  Her head is placed on the long neck post at an odd angle, and it's the figures greatest weakness.

Outfit - ***1/2
She sports an almost perfect outfit.  It's pretty basic - there's the velvet body suit, the pleather coat, a new style of belt, and boots.  A pretty basic outfit, but almost perfect in it's execution.  The jacket is excellent, and fits great.  The boots are possibly the nicest piece of the outfit, with great sculpting and made from a soft rubber material.  The belt is made from quality material, unlike many others, and has a new design for a buckle that holds well, and looks like it can withstand use over time.

And while the body suit is a great idea, it doesn't fit as well as I'd like.  As I said, this body has some funky articulation, and the body suit tends to fit into the hip and shoulder joints too much.  On top of that, it's difficult to get the boots to fit on over the body suit, causing it to bunch up at the top of the boots.

However, those are minor complaints.  There is one major complaint though.  In all the pictures she wears black gloves, and that is an important feature.  Unfortunately, they decided not to paint the hands black, and they stand out herpes on a lipstick model.  The best suggestion is to paint them black yourself with a sharpie.

Paint Ops - ***
The paint ops on these are very hit and miss - pick your figure out carefully.  Pay extra attention to the eyes, as many of them are off center.  Find a good one, and you'll be thrilled, but finding one may take a little while.

Value - **1/2
Matilda is a cool figure.  The reason I find the price of $30 a little high is because of some of the current competition out there, in particular the Cy-Girls which are available at $25 many places.  But even given that, Matilda isn't a terrible price, and if you can find an on-line retailer selling her for $25 or so, snatch her up.

 Overall - ***1/2
For the collector of 12" figures, this female is a welcome addition.  We get plenty of good guys, a few bad guys, but almost no bad girls.  Put Matilda with Carlos and Scar, and you've got one very scary group of individuals.

   From the collection of Michael Crawford

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