Cutey Honey

Coheteboy is back with a new 12" figure review - Cutey Honey!  If you miss his Star Wars reviews, don't fret.  I have a bunch that he's sent over that I'll be posting in the next couple weeks, along with some more Joe reviews.  Take it away!

I am a sucker for figures based on anime characters, especially those outside of mainstream cartoon culture. You ask the average anime fan about Princess Mononoke, Vampire Hunter D, and Akira, they’ll probably know what you’re talking about. Of course these are considered classics of the genre. Ask someone about Cutie Honey and you might get a few puzzled looks. 

Better known inside of Japan, Cutie Honey represents a different, older school of anime –back from the days of big-eyed, big-busted, babes who kick evil ass and show some fan-service skin. The short of it: Cutie Honey is an android that battles all sorts of evil monsters while changing form. Of course, when she shifts from one disguise to another, Cutie Honey has a tendency to lose her clothing. Not exactly “classic” animation, but still loud and fun, the old girl does have quite a strong following. After all, she has been around in one form or another since her comic book debut back in the ‘70’s.

Thirty years after her introduction, Blue Box, in association with Takara, has released what is essentially a special edition Cy-Girl of this cult character. 

Packaging - ***1/2
As a specialty figure, Cutie Honey gets her own packaging. The design is nicely done with simple, yet attractive box art and color choices. Unlike the mainstream Cy-Girls, this box is collector friendly. Takara markets the Cy-Girl line under the name “Cool Girl”. The bottom half of the front panel has a corrective sticker over it for the American Cy-Girl line.

Sculpting - ***1/2
As I said in my Destiny review, all of the Cy-Girl figures have somewhat generic head sculpts; there’s nothing really unique to their looks. Blue Box goes for that “babe with and attitude” look with each one. Cutie Honey’s head sculpt is nice and clean, and stays away from overt Barbie territory. Her hair looks really cool in both its flaming red color and fashionable cut. Like all Cy-Girls, Honey has earrings, but instead of silver posts, she gets her own set of hoops. Overall, she’s quite striking.

As a side note, this figure is more inspired by Cutie Honey as opposed to being Cutie Honey. She is a special edition Cy-Girl –basically a Cy-Girl sculpt and body costumed like an anime character. The anime Cutie Honey has a different face, hair, and a much larger bust size. The effect is more like a woman in a Cutie Honey costume than that of the character herself. It’s nice as long as you’re not looking for source material accuracy here. 

Paint - ***1/2
Cutie Honey’s face is probably the best looking of the Cy-Girl line. Her nicely highlighted eyes and slightly opened mouth really set off the whole picture. However, there is a little bit of sloppiness when it comes to the hearts on her choker and armbands. The pink paint bleeds some at the edges. 

Articulation - ***1/2
Cutie Honey has the standard Cy-Girl body with joints at the neck, elbows, wrists, midriff, waist, knees, ankles, as well as ball-jointed shoulders and hips. In other words, it’s the standard Cy-Girl body, but it’s still good. The design allows for great posability, but is limited by her costume below the waist. 

Outfit - ***
This is not quite the same costume found on the anime Cutie Honey. The colors are a little different, and the material comes off like glossy pleather as opposed to the more spandex-like outfit in the cartoon. Unfortunately the lower half of this one-piece outfit doesn’t sit on Honey’s frame as well as it should –limiting her leg movement a bit.

Of course the biggest difference is the cut of Honey’s top. In the source material, she has extreme cleavage from top to bottom, while here it’s only on the top. The box art on the back even has a deeper plunge on the neckline, but it’s absent on the actual figure. In using an unaltered Cy-Girl body, I feel that the costume design change probably worked out for the best. The deep cut top would have only worked if Blue Box decided to bring her bust more in line with the source material. On this figure it would have looked a little silly.

Accessories - **1/2
This is a tough category to rate. Cutie Honey comes with a clear Cy-Girl stand, three sets of hands, and her sword. We’ve seen the stand before. We’ve also seen these hands; this set is painted gold to match Honey’s long-sleeved gloves. The sword is completely new and looks wonderful. The blade looks like metal, but is actually metalized plastic. In all honesty, I can’t think of anything else that could have been included with this figure, but she still seems a little lacking in the accessory department. Perhaps fresh hand sculpts would have been nice.

Value - **1/2
On average you can find Cy-Girls for around $30 or under. Cutie Honey was higher at around $35 for a while, but you can find all sorts of deals out there. ** ½ is assuming you pay around $30. She’s quite striking to look at, but her light amount of accessories and pose limitations of her outfit go against her. There are a few deals out there however. I picked up mine at KB on-line on sale for $19.99. If you can get her at $20, bump it up to three stars or more. In the end it all depends on if you’re a fan or not.
Good Stuff to Go has her at $20; probably the best regular price you’re going to find.
Entertainment Earth also has her for $34.99.

Overall - ***
Cutie Honey is quite a striking figure to have on display. All that red, top and bottom, really leaps out at you. Despite being marketed under the Cy-Girls line, she’s really a stand alone, specialty figure. Honey’s not for everyone, but the die-hard anime fan will find her to be a necessary addition to their collection, as the only other Cutie Honey figures out there are cheap, little painted PVC figures and the occasional collectors’ statue. It’s truly a judgment call; just don’t pay more than $20 if you can help it.


Figure from the collection of Coheteboy.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour