Cy Girls A.J. McLeod

For literally months people have been asking me the same question - Have you bought a CyGirl yet?  And I kept saying, no, I'll get there, yes they look great...then last week I got off my butt and picked one up.  

The Cy Girls are from BBI, the same folks that brought us other cool 1/6th scale figures like Scar and Carlos.  There are currently six figures in the line, and you can find them on-line at many retailers for $25-$30.  I bought mine at for $25 (although shipping hurt) and had her within 4 days.

Sculpting - ***1/2
A.J. has a great, no nonsense, but yet not grimacing look.  She's a woman not to be messed with, but still looks realistic and attractive.  I took off a little though for two counts - the makeup, particularly the lipstick, is a little much, and I could have really done without the earrings.

Packaging - ***
In the past, Blue Box packaging has been my favorite.  Even one better than Dragon's most of the time, they had been doing a great job of providing excellent text and graphics, but allowing the collector to remove the items without utter destruction.

Something happened here.  The weapons that are placed in the front flap are now stuck in with two way tape in such a way that only by tearing the cover up could I remove them.  So much for great packaging - I'm sure the claim is that it is necessary to reduce stealing, but I think it's just lazy engineering.

Articulation - ***1/2
If you compare the female 1/6th bodies from Hasbro, 21st Century, BBI and Dragon, then BBI takes the prize.  Interestingly enough, it isn't as well articulated as some - there is no cut bicep joint or cut thigh joint for example, no double joints, and the neck leaves something to be desired - but the articulation is good enough to hold most poses, and the style of the body is much more realistic in proportion and build than the others.

Accessories - ****
Clearly BBI's strong suit, the accessories for A.J. are no exception.  She carries plenty of heat, including a SPAS assault shotgun (with three shells for her breast pocket), P7 sidearm, Desert Eagle, and Scorpion machine gun.  The Desert Eagle is by far the coolest, and comes with a moveable slide.

Other accessories of note include her holster, which is adequate, a cool stand that you really don't need but is a nice touch anyway, and a large I.D. card.  And let's not forget to mention one of the nicest touches for this figure, three sets of hands.  Unlike Matilda, we get a set of black gloved hands this time!

Uniform - ***1/2
Some pieces are outstanding, and others left me going 'huh?'.  The jumper, made from a soft material that looks and feels great, fits perfectly and is extremely well made.  The boots are some of the best I've seen, with excellent hard soles that make standing in almost any position a breeze, but they also have soft uppers that look great.  Her hat, although a bit small, can be heated slightly (use some hot water) and molded to fit her head perfectly.  The glasses have that cop feel to them, fit well and are very sturdy.

So what's wrong?  The holster and belt are alright, although nothing to get too excited about.  But that's not the serious problem - A.J. has a real problem when it comes to her elbow and knee pads.  The nylon straps do not fit particularly well into the clips - they slip too easily and won't hold tight.  That means the clips won't stay attached to either set of pads with the slightest handling, and that gets very annoying, very quickly.  It's really the only flaw keeping this outfit from a solid four stars, and you might want to consider using the pads from the 21st Century SWAT uniform.

Value - ****
How can a figure that costs $25 get four stars on value?  By giving you an excellent articulated body, great sculpting, tons of cool accessories, and an excellent uniform.  At $30, she wouldn't rank quite this high, but she's still a good deal.

The other point at issue here is the rooted hair.  I didn't deduct anything for it, but for me it causes a bit of a conundrum.  I prefer sculpted hair to rooted, although most folks don't agree with me.  Why?  Because over the long haul it looks better, requires less effort, and fits in better with the sculpted hair on the male figures.  The rooted hair makes A.J. a little too much like Barbie for my tastes, and not enough like Joe.

That being said, rooted hair, when done well as these are, does look better in the short run.  That's why I didn't deduct - I'll leave it up to you to decide which you prefer.

Overall - ***1/2
A.J. was *this* close to four stars.  Only a couple minor issues held her back.  I will be picking up Shadow as well, the Ninja type, but I'm not sure I'll be buying any of the others currently out. Why?  Other than a new head and slight outfit differences, you're getting the same figure.  The accessories are the same for other figures like Kat and Blaze (in particular the weapons), and I think that reduces the appeal of the overall series.  They need to produce other figures, like Shadow, that take them in other directions.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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