Dead Cell - Dakota Jennings
Triad Toys

Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad 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."

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, Jeff...

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 might!

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?

Dakota sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys

Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys

Packaging - ***1/4
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 character.

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 them.

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.

Paint - ***
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 about.


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 good show.

Outfit - ***1/4
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.

Articulation - ***3/4
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.

Accessories - ***1/2
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 above.

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.

Value - ***1/2
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.

Fun 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 nonetheless!
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 it.

Overall- ***1/4
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. 

However 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-

Alter Ego - $79.99
BBTS- $87.99 
Or you can hit eBay where I’m seeing prices of between $79.99 right up to $138.99.

Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys
Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys

Dakota Jennings sixth scale action figure by Triad Toys

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