Marvel Select Black Cat

Diamond, Toybiz and Marvel teamed up on the Marvel Select line, putting together a series of characters that you might otherwise never see in plastic form, all for the collector market.

I've reviewed both the first figure, Ultimate Spiderman, and the recent Origin Wolverine, and I'll have a review in the upcoming weeks of the Ultimate Iron Man.

The latest figure to pop up is Black Cat.  Ex-girlfriend of Spidey, this version has all the attributes you could possibly hope for in a cat burglar.  I can guarantee the burglars in your neighborhood look nothing like this.

Suggested retail on most Marvel Select figures is around $19, but you'll see them selling for $17 - $20 in most places.  Some comic shops are carrying them, and many of the figures in the series are also at the Musicland family of stores - Media Play, Sam Goody, Musicland, and On Cue.

Packaging - ***
I like the look of the packaging, particularly the excellent work with the side graphic.  But they are definitely huge bubbles, and although they are designed to sit on a shelf like a book, you won't get many on the average shelf.  If your a MOCer, expect to use up a lot of storage space.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This set sports one of the better sculpting jobs on the series so far, although that might just be the testosterone talking.

We might as well get it out in the open, since Black Cat clearly has - she has some huge breasts.  Not only that, but they are made of a slightly softer plastic (only slightly however), which gives them a more realistic appearance.  And by realistic I mean they look like real fake breasts, rather than real real breasts.

She's been sculpted into a rather come hither style pose, with one foot arched up and a tilt to her hips.  I'm not in the least surprised that Spidey is sneaking a peek through the window.  The sculpting work on the figure overall is extremely nice, although comic based figures don't really afford much opportunity for much facial detail.

The only real negatives here are the hair, whose design and style I don't particularly like, particularly around the bangs, and the pose itself.  While she does stand alright on her own, she can be knocked over pretty easily.  I hate having to pick up figures every time someone shuts a door in the room.  A foot peg for the base would have solved that problem.

Paint - ***1/2
I had no serious issues with any of the paint applications on this figure and her accessories.  Colors were fairly consistent, although some of the 'shading' on her black costume looks out of place.  There's no bleed between colors, and that's especially tough to pull off with blacks and whites like this.  While the face doesn't have a ton of detail, what's there is all neatly done.

Articulation - **1/2
This line is intended to be mostly statue, a little posing, and this figure is no different.  While she had more articulation than many of the figures in the line, her sculpt really doesn't allow for it to be used particularly well.

Black Cat has neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, wrists, waist and a v-style crotch.  The legs have to be in *just* the right spot though for her to stand, and the range of movement for the neck is greatly restricted by the hair.

In case you were wondering, Spider-Man has no articulation.

Accessories - ****
Every Marvel Select figure comes with some sort of base/diorama.  This one is easily my favorite so far.

The base includes a section of floor and a wall, with a window.  The exterior of the wall is very detailed, with nice sculpting work on the brick.  The Spider-Man figure attaches to the wall with some pegs, and looks great peeking into the window.

Included for the interior is a floor safe that opens.  There is a diamond necklace, pile of money, papers labeled with Kevin Smith's name (The comic this is based on - Spider-man and the Black Cat, The Evil That Men Do - was written by Kevin Smith, hence the Kevin Smith papers as an accessory), and a pearl necklace.  I'm going to take the high road and leave all the obvious pearl necklace jokes to your fertile imagination.

The accessories all sport solid sculpts and great paint ops.  This is really the first of the Marvel Select figures that I feel gives you enough bang for the buck.  Ahem.

Value - ***
I'm not going to go so far as to say this is a great value, but the price is about right for the product.  You're getting good sculpting, great accessories, and a neat looking display item for under $20.  $15 would be ideal, but I can live with $17 or so.

Overall - ***
Out of the Marvel Select figures I've seen and reviewed so far, this is easily my favorite.  You might have some trouble convincing your wife or girlfriend that you bought this merely for your love of the comic, and I don't think displaying it at work would be such a bright idea.  But if you're a fan of the character you'll be happy with this version.

My only major complaint with the figure goes back to the hair.  There's something about the style and look of the sculpt that reminds me of the old Toybiz figures of 5-7 years ago, when the quality of work wasn't as good as it is today.

Where to Buy - 
I haven't seen them at bricks and mortar stores yet though, although I suspect places like Suncoast, Media Play will be getting them in.  On-line: 

- Boise River Collectibles has them for $19 plus shipping, and they are in stock.

- Action Figure Express has them at $21 plus shipping, and listed in stock.

- Entertainment Earth has it listed for $20 on pre-order, but are currently sold out.



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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