Packaging - *
The SDCC versions came in just a brown box with a basic label. I haven't
seen the final packaging for Tower yet, but bbi usually does a great job.
Since this is a 'special' version, I won't be putting much weight on the
packaging score in my overall assessment.
Sculpting - ***1/2
It's a good sculpt, although the basic design has is fairly, well,
basic. The character has the plain, Kabuki style appearance, and therefore
that's what the figure has.
But while the sculpt is plain, it's very clean
and symmetrical. The nose and lips are just right, and perfectly
proportioned for the face. What additional sculpting exists - weapons,
hands, etc. - is all very well done and looks terrific. This is some of
the better bbi sculpt work, at least in terms of the head.
The hair is rooted rather than sculpted, and cut
to look good. Of course, I can never get the hair to look like they do in
the promo photos, but I'm not much of a stylist. The rooting is well done, with
lots of hair so there's no sixth scale pattern baldness.
Paint - ****
I can't be sure the final versions will look this good - she was hand painted
after all. But the face paint (really the only major paint application) is
perfect. The shading of the porcelain white is great, the eyes, mouth and
eyebrows detailed and clean.
There are a few other paint operations,
particularly on the weapons and hands, and there's no sign of any slop or
Articulation - ***1/2
This is not the 'traditional' Cy Girl body, but the updated version with
additional articulation. While the Cy Girl body has always been the best
female sixth scale body on the market, it lacked some of the ultra articulation
of the male counterpart.
She has the neck, ball jointed shoulders, ball
jointed wrists, chest, waist, and ankles that you'd expect. The hips have
been improved slightly in terms of the range of motion, but the legs sit farther
apart than on the original Cy Girls, and some may find that less
appealing. The elbows are double jointed, and while the knees aren't
double jointed technically, the range of motion has been improved.
Finally, they've added cut joints on the thighs.
All this means even more posing possibilities,
but the hip and thigh articulation looks a bit odd with the thong.
Accessories - ***1/2
Shi comes outfitted with several weapons, including two swords, and one that's a
cross between a spear and a lance. I'm sure regular readers of the book
will recognize it.
All the weapons are extremely well sculpted,
with excellent paint ops. There are two loops on the back of her jacket,
presumably for the two swords, although it looks like she's wearing a deadly
hair hair braid when they are in place.
There is a sheath for the lance/sword weapon,
and it fits around her waist easily.
I'm a tad spoiled this week on accessories
though with the excellent die cast metal swords from the Ignite line.
Still, as Cy Girls go, she's well outfitted and the weapons look great.
Outfit - ***
The outfit consists of her two flags, jacket, thong and boots. There's
also a hair pin that you might miss unless you're paying special attention, and
her choker is a separate piece of clothing.
The jacket and boots are the highlight and focal
point of the overall costume. The quality on both is extremely high, and
the stitching and tailoring really make them stand out. Small touches,
like the gold color made from a softer material than the rest of the pleather
jacket, and the sculpted hands to match the sculpted forearms of the jacket
rally make the outfit well above average.
I've already mentioned the only real distraction
- the odd look of the thong on this type of articulated figure. I don't
have a problem with it, but I suspect some folks will have issues.
Value - ***
I'm not sure what the Tower retail will be, although I'm betting around
$40. I paid $50 at the con, and that's too high, although having a hand
painted version was worth it to me. I'm basing this average value on a
cost of around $40, and I'll update it if the final Tower price comes out well
above or well below this.
UPDATE - at a retail of $30, you can add another
half star to this category!
Overall - ***1/2
This is a terrific looking 12" female figure, for both fans of the
license and general female figure collectors alike. She's the best
licensed bbi product so far, certainly better than stuff like the Andromeda
figures. Let's hope this is an indication of what we'll see with bbi and
other licensed figures in the future.
It's too bad this is an exclusive, since that
will probably drive the price up, but if that was the only way to get this
figure on the shelves then I'm glad they made the decision.