Dead Cell - Dakota Jennings
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
|Hot Toys, Sideshow and Enterbay
aren't the only companies working in sixth scale these days - Jeff
takes a look at another of the ladies from Triad! Tell us all about it,
One thing Triad have never shied away from is giving us some very hot,
kick ass female characters for our collections, my favourite from the
last couple of years would still have to be Lola as her blend of
implied Catholic schoolgirl innocence mixed with a sassy ‘tank girl’
aesthetic gave her quite a shelf presence, especially when standing
next to her more politically correct peers.
But Dakota here is part of Triads Dead Cell line; you can read about it
on their site
here. Just think of a dystopian future, where society has
broken down and vampires, werewolves, zombies and demons threaten to
rise up and engulf the Earth for all eternity, these hell-spawn are
working together under the title of the Ragnaroks.
Now obviously the US Government isn’t gonna stand by and just watch
everything turn to poop, oh no sir!
So under the guidance of a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The
Prophets’ a crack team of trained weapons experts is put together, lead
by Abigail Van Helsing. The original team was made up of only 5
members, but it’s spreading across the globe as more operatives are
conscripted and trained into chapters to swell the ranks and help in
the ongoing defence of our planet from all that is unholy!
So, that’s a brief round up, letting us know that like the recent Tyrus figure I reviewed
from Triad, that Dakota also comes from a fully realised universe and
has a comprehensive back story that Triad have created for her.
But where as Tyrus frequented the Gunn 4 Hire ‘militia’ universe,
Dakota is from Dead Cell, a ‘super-natural’ one… I don’t know yet if
these two universes ever cross over … but I have a sneaky feeling they
So with Triad getting increasingly stronger at their game, and
delivering more and more hot kick ass babes, like the Ghost figure that
Mike reviewed recently, could this be the one to tempt you in?
Whatever you think of Triads boxes you have to admit they are always
solid and sturdy. This one is no exception; it’s a traditional 5 panel
design and is full colour throughout with multiple images of the
figure. The rear even has detailed back stories of both the Dead Cell
group as an organisation and also for Dakota herself. The inside of the
front flap holds the openable tray which houses her accessories while
the main box holds the figure pinned down by 5 twisties. I admit I
could have done without the twisties, but everything else is well put
together, and although the graphic design isn’t ground breaking it is
pleasant enough and it has a lot of cool information about the
Sculpting - ***
This figure is not trying to be anything that it is not; the gang at
Triad certainly know their core audience and they work very hard at
keeping them happy. It can sometimes come as a surprise for some hi-end
1/6th collectors (well, the less leftfield ones anyway) to know that
there is a whole world of serious enthusiasts out there who have no
interest in the latest movie license. They make up a veritable army of
fans who like… nay LOVE the non licensed figures that emerge just ripe
for kit-bashing. There are also websites and forums discussing little
more than the latest fem figs and the outfits and kit available for
So Dakota here fits the bill perfectly, her look is very ‘ice maiden’
with long over the shoulder straight rooted honey blonde hair, it falls
well and is styled to look good straight from the box, but as always
with rooted hair a little bit of a tweak here and there goes a long
way, and after a bit of a futz she looks great. The expression is
serious and focused, and the general work on the lips, nose and eyes is
all solid for a generic character. I’m not getting a celebrity coming
through at all, but I’m not sure if I’m really meant to, If you can see
one I’d be interested to hear.
She also comes with a selection of eight hands, two fists, two sword
grip, two gun grip and two open palmed gesturing. The sculpting on all
these is well carried out, the fingers are slender and feminine and all
hold the accessories well.
Recently we have been getting more and more paint apps that quite
frankly blow your mind in terms of the quality achieved. But that kind
of work always comes with a hefty price tag! I was very impressed with
the leap in quality that Triad achieved with the Tyrus figure, but here
they kind of return to form. It frequents an area similar to the
classic Cy/Cool girls, so she’s more of a perfect android (think
Stepford wife) rather than an uber realistic flesh and blood woman. The
skin tones are akin to a retouched Playboy centrefold rather than the
girl next door, but that isn’t always such a bad thing. It reminds us
that we are in fact collecting ‘toys’ (or dolls for those are man
enough to accept the word) and for all the lofty delusions of grandeur
(I’m as guilty as the next man, if not more so of thinking that our
chosen obsession is firmly within the ranks of modern pop art). It’s
sometimes good to get an item in your grubby mitt that reminds you what
it was that first got you into this arena of collecting in the first
place, something that reminds you of just what it was that excited you
about the scale and the poseability of these ‘grown up’ toys. And I can
say with my hand on my heart that Triad SERIOSULY know what that is all
Well because Louie (AKA Customdawg of Dawgestyle)
has made it his life’s work to not just enjoy this whole scene as a fan
and customiser, but he has also made the TRIAD brand his own, using it
to bring his love of the genre to the unenlightened masses. I remember
reading his website/blog way back in the day before this whole scene
had taken off to the degree it has now, and his passion for the scene
was evident even back then.
So here we have what can be best described in the modern arena of 1/6th
collectibles a clean and precise paint app. It stands up well to other
figures in a similar price bracket, but it’s obviously found wanting
when compared to the very best (and most expensive) offered in the
1/6th field. The eyes are crisp and show no slop what so ever, but they
also lack the subtlety of the very hi-end figures, and though the flesh
tones are clean and clear they are also lacking the depth and warmth
that can make these figures look so lifelike when handled well.
So what we have is a clean precise application, but it lacks the
inspired fine tuning that we see in the detailed paint apps of the very
top hi-end manufacturers to be considered anywhere near the very top of
the game. But bearing in mind the price point it still puts in a damn
I couldn’t help but notice that Dakota looks like she’d be well suited
to be fighting alongside the Hot Toys Abigail Whistler figure that I
reviewed here as
she shares the same penchant for cropped jackets, skin tight singlet’s,
flared trousers and bondage straps. The short jacket actually comes
packed as an accessory and you have to pop the hands off to fit it, I
also removed the head and the bandolier belt that hold the saya, but
all this is very straight forward and the various parts came off and
could be put back easily. Once in place the jacket fits snugly and the
material is scaled well so as not to hamper the articulation at all. It
has Dead Cell logo badges printed on the left chest and arm, and I
found the zip up the front of the jacket fastened easily and worked
well. It could perhaps of done with being a little smaller to better
fit the scale, but it’s well tailored with tidy seams, no loose threads
and also has smaller working zips on the cuffs.
The black singlet underneath certainly helps to accentuate her assets
and again it is well fabricated with a good finish on all the seams. To
help promote her shape even further she has some pleather body armour…
well I say armour, it’s actually more like a bondage corset, helping to
lift and separate her primary sexual characteristics, it’s made up of a
series of straps and panels that are all laced together with black
thread and it also fits snugly to the body. Next up are her flared
jeans, these have unfinished frayed hems at the ankles and taper in to
fit snugly from the knee up, the detailing is on the whole good and the
fly and waist has well observed denim stitching, but they lack any
working pockets, either cut ones at the hips or patch ones on the ass.
I know denim can come in a million and one styles, but I do kind of
expect patch pockets on the rear of a pair of jeans. The lack of any
pockets does however make them show off the figures basic shape a lot
better, so just think of them as a cool pair of loon pants that happen
to be denim rather than actual jeans. Over the pants she has a pleather
belt with a drop holster attached to the left leg and a pleather knee
pad on her right knee. There is also a laced up pleather elbow pad on
the left arm and a pleather gauntlet on her right.
Lastly there are her black knee high boots; these are also constructed
of pleather with a solid grip sole. The construction means no
articulation is lost and the Alpha body has some pretty good
articulation at the ankle so that’s a big bonus. The soles also have
magnets set within them meaning if you have a metal stand (like the
bullet time one available from Triad separately) you get some great
extreme leaning poses, as long as you can find a good balance point
(but more on that later).
So a cool well put together outfit, not exactly the pinnacle of what is
being done these days, but for the price point she is being sold at it
still shows some nice tailoring and a great degree creativity.
Dakota is built on the Alpha
female base body as seen here
and it’s a well engineered bit of kit. It shows all the hi-end
articulation we expect, with double knees and elbows and a great range
of movement at the shoulders and hips, there’s also some handy
articulation at the waist and the mid torso. The wrists are a push on
ball joint (I advise a drop in boiling water before fitting new hands)
and the ankles can both tilt and point. Lastly there is the neck which
works by means of a peg inserted into the head, with the other end of
the peg having a cup and ball mechanism that fixes inside the top of
the neck post.
All this adds up to a supremely articulated figure that can get into
pretty much any pose you could wish for.
So why no full score?
Well I did find that the joints from the waist down were too loose to
let the cool bullet time ‘magno-boots’ come into their own. She
certainly could never be described as floppy, but when leaning back or
to the side, the knees tend to slowly give way like a slow-motion limbo
dancer. I did manage to find a few poses were they could hold her at a
slight lean, but to really get the benefit of that action feature we
need the base figure to have much firmer and stiffer set of joints from
the waist down. I also noticed a slight differentiation in tone on the
plastics used on the body. This obviously doesn’t impact on her actual
articulation per se, but it is worth pointing out, even if it is slight.
I have to admit that with the back story that Triad have created for
these figures I sometimes find it strange that they don’t come packing
a little more firepower… or a bigger selection of sharp pointy things.
However, although I would have liked a few more, that doesn’t diminish
just how nicely done the bits she does have are. Her stand out, and you
could say signature weapon is her Katana, the blade is constructed of
metal and given a hi-gloss chrome finish, while the handle is plastic
and sculpted to mimic a bound grip. The sword slides snugly into the
saya which can in turn slide into the pleather holder on the bandolier
belt. She also has a semi-automatic pistol with a removable magazine
and a sliding cocking mechanism; this can fit into the drop holster at
her left thigh. Lastly there’s her cropped jacket, which I went over
So a nice little selection and all the pieces are well constructed, but
had she come with just a couple more weapons then she’d have done even
better in this category.
Dakota comes in at a very reasonable $89.99, which to my way of
thinking is a pretty damn reasonable price in the modern 1/6th arena.
The only thing keeping her from that perfect score are those loose
joints in the legs, which aren’t that bad, but are actually accentuated
by the magnetic boot feature. If she wasn’t actually meant to be able
to lean over, it probably wouldn’t have been an issue, let alone a
concern… ain’t life a bitch sometimes.
I also said I’d have a liked a couple of extra accessories, just a
couple of holy water grenades and crossbow made from the one true cross
would have done it, but I didn’t let that impact too much on the score
as her kit was well publicised before she was released.
Factor - ***3/4
She looks good, she poses well, she come equipped with a metal sword
and all that for a gnat’s whisker under $90, in fact by using the link
below she could be yours for a whole ‘Alexander Hamilton’ less.
As I mentioned above, I like the way Triad stay true to their roots,
while continuing to tweak and improve as they develop. But even as
their quality improves you still get that feeling that what you have in
your hands is a toy, all be it a very busty and quite expensive toy
(intended for those 15 and over according to the box), but a toy
Dakota was designed with the express intention of being dressed up,
posed, photographed and displayed… in short, of being ‘played with’, so
she gets just about as close to a full score as she can without getting
the actual gold, but she is definetly a fun figure, no two ways about
She has so many plus points that I almost gave her a full score, but
even at the price she is I felt the paint apps and the loose joints let
her down just a little too much for that.
she still comes through as a solid figure and her good points by far
outweigh her bad.
Where to buy
You can buy her direct
from Triad for the RRP of $89.99. Or you can try
some of Michaels sponsors-
Ego - $79.99
Or you can hit
eBay where I’m seeing prices of between $79.99 right up to
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.