Jill Valentine - Battle Suit
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."

Jeff joins us with a look at the latest Resident Evil figure to come out of Hot Toys - tell us all about her, Jeff!

A big thank you as always to Mike for keeping this site so ‘happenin’.

Hot Toys commitment to the Resident Evil line shows no sign of abating just yet. So far we’ve had twelve figures from the blockbuster game, admittedly five of those are characters that have been done twice in different outfits, but it’s still quite a number considering that that these are expensive high-end collectables costing well over $100 a pop.

We also have the figure of Alice to look forward to from the last Resident Evil movie, ‘Afterlife’, and with a release date of 2012 for yet another film ‘Retribution’ pencilled in, there may be more figures yet to come.
I reviewed the first version of Jill back in January here and as usual she was a strong release… but that was nice Jill, safe Jill, all dressed up in her BSAA finest Jill… this is BAD Jill!

Yep, this times she’s a cold-hearted killer, thanks to your friendly neighbourhood bio-terrorist and resident sociopath Albert Wesker.

Wesker kidnaps her, intent on using her as a test subject for the Uroboros virus that he is still developing, but when he realises that she has developed immunity to the original T-virus he harvests her mutated DNA to try and harness it’s power. During this two-year period of imprisonment and constant intrusive medical testing, Jill is held in a cryogenic state. This is the reason for the loss of pigmentation in her hair and skin, yep, he literally turns her into a sick puppy. Whilst imprisoned Wesker also fits Jill with a bio-organic pump on her chest, this device is timed to flood her system with the drug P-30, giving him complete control over her thoughts and actions, and also giving Jill virtual super powers.

However when she later meets up with Chris and Sheva she starts to remember the person she was (yeah, that old chestnut), and begins to take back control of her body and mind. During a struggle with the two agents they manage to subdue her and remove the pump, riding Jill’s body of the toxins that controlled her and returning her to normal… phew!

So if you’ve been investing in all the RE figures since day one, it’s a no brainer that you will need this one as well. However, if you are more of a casual fan, and perhaps invested in the BSAA Jill figure, is there enough here to make you want another?

Packaging - ***1/2
Once again we keep true to the same basic design that has been used on the rest of the series. So it’s full colour printed throughout on a good quality textured thick card. Of all the boxes so far I like the image used on the front here the best, but hey, that might have something to do with the tightness of that outfit. The side is held shut with a magnet that unwinds to the left, showing the dressed figure through a large window on the front and a selection of her weapons and accessories in a tray attached to the front flap.

Inside the box she’s held tightly in a vac-formed tray with her feet shackled by two twisties, not a huge annoyance, but they didn’t seem to be that necessary to me.

So, a nice box that does its job well, but when Hot Toys keeps pumping out cool design after cool design, then this one feels like more of the same, rather than groundbreaking. Difficult to fault though!

Sculpting - ***1/4
The Jill Valentine sculpts are by master female sculptor Hiroki Hayashi, and when pics of this new release first emerged it became evident that the same portrait had been used again here. The thing that makes them appear different is the paint app. Nothing new there though, as with all the doubled up RE figures like Leon, Krauser, Wesker and Redfield the same sculpts have been utilized twice.

For that reason I’m obviously giving this the same score I gave the last Jill sculpt. I gave a full lowdown of my thoughts on this portrait in the review here. Suffice to say this is a good representation of the digital version made into a solid 3D likeness.

I do however think that after looking up pics of Ms Valentine on line, that when she is in her ‘recovered’ mode, with a more neutral expression like this then the sculpt is a great representation. But for bad Jill mode I think the face could still do with being a little meaner, if you look at this you’ll see what I’m getting at. Or maybe a second angry face could have been included.

However, those are just my ‘wants’, if I’m fair and compare it to that first pic I linked to, then this is a solid portrait that is hard to fault.

Paint - ****
I loved the paint on the previous Jill, it did a great job of emulating the look of the character in the game, which is what it’s all about, but this time around I think it’s even better. Her wan complexion and pale hair makes her look positively vampiric, I guess it’s a skin tone much favoured by your 24/7 hardcore gamers, living in the basement, eating microwave ready meals and only venturing into the sun to answer the door and sign for the new game that was ordered on-line (or am I being unfair and gamerist there?).

Anyway, we have another slick job here from the paint app maestro JC Hong, the skin tones are as I said paler, but they are just as, if not more convincing than on the previous Jill. As I’ve said before, each new release seems to show some new development in at least one area of the production process. On this particular figure it is most evident on the amazing outfit (which I’ll cover in the next section) but the paint always seems to be getting slight improvements as well. I noted that the work on the eyes was more natural here and seems glossier, whilst still staying true to the game. And the skin showed the usual subtle mottling and variations in tone, this also caries on down over the soft rubber-neck and chest. But the biggest improvement is in the hair, it shows much more variation in tone and graduates from darker roots to a dirty sandy colour. All in all it’s about as good as it gets as far as factory-applied paint apps go at this present time.

Outfit - ****
There’s no two ways about it, a shapely woman in a figure hugging cat suit does stuff to a guy… even if he doesn’t want it to, it just does. And the battle suit that Jill wears in the game REALLY fits, as you can see in the pics I put together here, meaning that for most red blooded males this makes for quite an alluring display item, much like the Black Widow figure from Iron Man 2.

The battle suit, or stealth suit shows some truly amazing attention to detail, this thing is covered in all types of fine observations and is a credit to Rositta Wong, the lady who designed and tailored it. Firstly the very fabric itself is made up of a tiny but finely detailed matrix of honeycomb shaped panels that overlay the entire surface of the garment. Then we have a working zip that runs up the front, this is meant to be partially open to display her drug administering chest pump along with her ample charms. But the way it is cut, with the incredibly complex pattern of seams running down the sides, across the legs, groin and arms is a small marvel to behold. It also incorporates the two rows of five ‘sensors’ running parallel up the back seam, these are joined by the tramline network of integrated ‘piping’ that radiate out to all the limbs, you can just about see them in this still from the game here, I’m not sure what these are meant to do? Temperature control triggered by environment perhaps… but who cares, it looks damn cool! The ribbed flexible panels on the upper arm are well replicated and the way the suit seamlessly integrates the boots, with the rigid soles welted to the fabric of the costume is carried out note perfectly. This feature used to be done well on some of the old 1/6th Cy-Girl suits, but as always Hot Toys have upped the ante and perfected it here.

Many gamers were vocally disappointed that when first announced there were no plans to include her ‘bird lady’ poncho and mask disguise, as seen here. It’s a look that seems to be heavily influenced by the classic ‘Il Dotore’ costume worn by plague doctors in early 17th century Venice. It’s a mask I’ve always loved because of its deeply sinister aesthetic, even going so far as to have one hanging in my dining room.

Any way, back on topic. Hot Toys did later announce that the mask and poncho would be included, and they are as you’d expect fabricated very well. I have to say that getting the snug poncho on was quite the job, so take your time, be patient and do it right. I personally found the best way was to remove the head and hands, then put Jill in an arms up ‘Superman flying’ kind of pose and gently ease her into the garment. There was quite a bit of pulling and pushing, but after a few minutes and a bit of futzing it looked great. Note that when you have put the head back on you will need to remove the ponytail, fit the mask then gently position the hood. Once the hood is positioned how you want, there is a row of tiny press-studs at the rear of the neck to fasten, this helps keep the final silhouette close fitting to the head.

I think this is an amazing outfit, and Hot Toys have pulled it off fantastically, making this the ultimate figure to stand next to your ‘Midnight’ Wesker, my other favourite in the series… so far!

On a side note, for those interested, there are some great shots of the suit created by Cosplayer ‘Spif’ right here, it shows just how complex it is, and what a master stroke she pulled off in creating it in 1/1 scale, let alone 1/6th… Enjoy!

Articulation - ***1/4
Remember, this is a gal that should be able to snap a zombies head off with a mere twist of her knees, as is evident here or high kick out a bad guys throat like this, but sadly there are two things counting against this figure. Firstly, as much as I love the look of the Hot Toys base female True-Type (TT), it still lacks the extreme range that they have achieved with the male TT'. I did an overview a while back showing the basic construction of the various TT’s here so you can get a feel for the articulation on offer. However, this is a slight variation on the basic fem TT as it has a larger bust size, as can be seen here meaning she has a little more articulation at the torso, but less at the waist.

Then the second thing counting against it is the tightness of the battle suit. Now I don’t know if you have ever tried to get into a deep squat in skintight leather gimp suit (I know I haven’t) but it’s hard enough… I mean I would imagine it’s hard enough, even with full muscle tone and good control of your centre of gravity, so what chance does this figure stand.

So in short, you will get her to stand fine and pose OK with the weapons, but just approach it with ‘realistic’ expectations, and you’ll come away a whole lot happier.

Accessories - ***1/2
So far all the Resident Evil characters have come with a good selection of firepower, and Jill here is no exception. The list of items in this set is-

- 2 x relaxed hands
- 2 x gun holding hands
- 1 ‘bird lady’ mask
- 1 ‘bird lady’ poncho
- Beretta PX4 Storm sidearm
- Two (2) CZ Vz. 61 Skorpion short machine guns
- Heckler & Koch MP5A3 long machine gun
- Heckler & Koch PSG-1 sniper rifle
- First-aid spray
- 2 grenades
- 2 ammo packs
- Magnetic administration drug pump for chest
- Black figure stand

The chest pump is an essential part of the figure if you want to show Jill in ‘bad-girl’ mode, though some of you purists out there may find yourself wanting to paint a few angry dark veins radiating away from it, as you can see in this pic here, but I found that once positioned with the magnet it stayed in place well.
All the guns have articulated elements like removable magazines, cocking mechanisms, extendable stocks etc and both the Skorpions can be held in the webbing holsters on the thighs. I guess like in the game the other items are things you could ‘pick up’ along the way, and you could attach the grenades to her webbing harnesses, but this suit is way too tight to have pockets, and the are no pouches to store items either. But I’m not knocking it, it’s always nice to get as many game accurate accessories as possible, and this figure sure doesn’t disappoint in this department!

Fun Factor - ***
As with any figure, how much fun you derive from it tends to be dependant on how ‘into’ the subject matter you are. As I’ve stated plenty of times before, I’m no gamer, but the quality of the outfit coupled with the great range of extras made this a blast to set up and pose. But of course if you are a dedicated Resident Evil/Bio-hazard game junkie, then I’m betting this will be a four star figure.

Value for money - ***1/2
It would seem that $140 to $150 is fast becoming the average price for high-end figures, so if that’s the lay of the land you can cuss and curse about it as much as you like. But those prices are only ever gonna go further north. As it is, she obviously came with quite a bit of R&D needed on the development of her outfit, and the selection of accessories is very impressive. So for me she’s deserving of a high score in this category, but not quite a perfect one!

Overall- ***1/2
There is very little to fault here apart from maybe the full RRP, however to be fair, you’ll be lucky to make a saving of much more than $5 or $10 even by shopping around, at least at the moment. 

The sculpt is based on a CG game character, so we don’t get the hyper realism of some of the finest work that they do on big Hollywood stars, but it does represent the way the character looks in the game well. She comes with a great haul of firepower and the bonus of the ‘Bird Lady’ disguise, but the standout area on this figure is that stunning outfit. It really does need to be seen up close to appreciate the level of details achieved here.

So for me, if I could keep only one version of Jill, then this is the one I’d choose, and she makes another very cool addition to the Resident Evil line-up.

Where to buy
Sideshow have her in stock for the full RRP of $149.99.

Not many of Mike’s sponsors had this listed, but a couple did and you may be able to save  $5:

BBTS- $144.99 

Fan Boy- in stock for $149.99. 

Or hit eBay where prices are between $140 to $180.

Did you enjoy the review? Plus 1 it!
Google +1

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

This page copyright 2000 - 2010, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour