Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Hot Toys Sucker Punch Babydoll!

Director Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch has plenty of vocal detractors. But I'm not one of them. More than once I've outed myself as an unabashed fan who views the film as a wonderfully over-the-top, indulgent experiment. Yes. I love Sucker Punch. And I want to high-five Snyder's powerful hand.

Does it always work? No. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Is it confusing at times? I'm still trying to unravel it. But if you can approach Sucker Punch with the right mindset then there's joy to be had. I think of it more akin to another experimental film, Fantasia, which is to say, that it's a series of bold visuals, set to music, and loosely connected by a theme. It's also wildly inconsistent and ahead of its time. No, it doesn't have centaurs in it, but I bet Zack loves centaurs and rides one to work all the time.

But we're not here to unwrap the film - not when I've just unboxed the Hot Toys 1/6th scale Babydoll collectible figure! It's hot because a) it's newly released and fresh out of the oven, and b) Hot Toys continue to produce the finest, most detailed, movie collectibles imaginable. In fact you or I don't even have the imagination to imagine them. Photos of their product never fail to elicit gasps of disbelief at the life-likeness of their sculpts. It's like they take our beloved actors and kidnap them, clone them, shrink them, embalm them, and send them to our homes.

And if you think I'm exaggerating, take a look at our doe-eyed protagonist Babydoll for yourself!

For more thoughts and a HUGE amount of pictures, open your mind and join me after the jump!

I don't own a lot of Hot Toys figures (yet) but they are always my most anticipated thing to receive and open. 

Yes, I'm excited about the figure, but I'm almost just as excited about seeing what the box is going to look like. The insane attention to design always carries over to the package. And I had zero idea what this one was going to look like...

This time it's relatively simple, but the photos don't do it justice - what you can't see here is that there's an embossed floral nouveau pattern (think of classy brothel wallpaper) all over the blue, and the gold is kind of shiny. And if you need further convincing of the thought that went into this, then I'm proud to reveal that this must be the first figure packaging ever to have it's own suspenders:

Yes, you will need to get intimate with the packaging by unhooking it's lingerie to open it up. It's very much like a bra strap actually, so rather than recycle this one, I'm going to donate it to the local high school as a practice contraption.

Unhook it and the whole curved top section lifts off to reveal the figure inside... not that we can see too much of her to begin with. Patience!

She's very well packed with plenty of plastic wraps and overlays securing her and protecting her squishier sections. This isn't a box for display - it's a box for travel. But simply slide out the tray and...


There are so many detailed accessories in here, some of which are going to take some identifying. Not to mention the fact that she has three sets of interchangeable hands: for shooting, for swordplay, and for serious voguing. Luckily there's a simple instruction sheet included to help you navigate through the more difficult parts like securing the scabbard to her back with the cord. 

But before we dig deep into all that stuff, let's admire the figure itself (I want to say "herself" but I have a friend who thinks it's creepy if I refer to it as a she. Even though it has boobs).

 No - wait. You know what? Before we talk about the figure, let's address the other elephant in the room. If you're being cynical about this whole endeavour (and if you are then you shouldn't be even reading this far) then you're probably thinking, "Dude... that thing is a doll. Sure, it says it's a 1/6th scale collectible figure, but that's a doll, right?"

Yes. It's a doll. Fine. I'm going to own it. I'm secure in my mighty masculinity. I'd ride a centaur to work if I could catch one. But you see, the thing is, not a whole lot of dolls look quite like this:

I think it's a dead on likeness of actress Emily Browning (who is also Australian! Represent!). Like a lot of these figures you may not necessarily see it in a single pic but look through at all the different face angles and it will definitely click. The head was sculpted by Yulli who was taught to sculpt by God. The hair is rooted, which doesn't always work, but I think it's successful here and probably the best way to go considering the style. It can be a little difficult to contain with the odd strands running wild, but if it's distracting it's only because the face is so real.

I dabble in photography and shoot a lot of real-life female models and once I started photographing this, that's what it began to feel like. Looking through the viewfinder sometimes you forgot the scale and it when the light hit just right it looked like a real live person staring back at me. Eerie, right? But if a doll was going to come to life then at least this one's more promising than a Chucky scenario. 

I have no idea how these are made but I'm absolutely fascinated by how much time and craft is put into them. There's no assembly line robot painting these faces. She has individual eyelashes and pores! 

A lot of time when you photograph regular action figures and blow up their faces the paint looks wretched - you see mistakes and lack of detail that you don't normally see with the naked eye. It's the complete opposite with the Hot Toys' figures though - the images always look great and the skilful application of the paint withstands a lot of magnification. The eyes and the lips have a realistic sheen. There are even tiny blood vessels painted into her eyes. 

The same care has been taken with the costume and accessories. Enjoy this leather:

And that seems like a natural place to talk about accessories too. As you can see, she has a silver pistol that can be holstered or held once you switch out her hand. 

The gun isn't huge but still has a removable clip. She also has two spare clips that can be placed into slots on a leather pouch on her waist. I can't take a close enough photo to illustrate it, but there are a series of microscopic charms hanging on the end of her gun there. One is jolly-looking cartoon rabbit, probably no more than a millimetre or two tall. And he still has a painted face!

But we're only just scratching the surface of her weapons. She's also packed with a larger machine gun which can be strapped over her shoulder and held with two hands. I know nothing about guns so please accept my meagre description that it is "big" and "black".

It also has a removable clip and a thing that pops out of the back which is a shoulder brace or something? (OMG I REALLY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT GUNS). (Except they are awesome to shoot people with).

Actually I think that the other great thing about guns is that you can pose with them:

And speaking of posing, she's got 30 points of articulation and utilises a brand new female body. You can get her into a wide range of positions although she may need help standing up. Luckily she comes with a Sucker Punch emblazoned stand.

Her costume is well fitted and kind of tight around her shoulder and elbow joints so I found her range of movement up top somewhat limited by that, but I'm sure you could get her into the poses you wanted if you persevered. I wasn't prepared to risk damaging the clothes. Hot Toys won't expode in your hand but they can be fragile and you do need to handle them with respect. That said, her face is quite neutral and relaxed so she looks a little silly in a big action pose anyway. I'll probably display her just standing there, weapons relaxed.

I was talking about accessories, wasn't I, and then you sidetracked me.

Two accessories I won't be displaying, although it's cool that they're included, are her key on a necklace and her headset:

I'm not a fan of that style of chain for the key so she won't be wearing that one. The headset looks like it should just clip over her ear and is certainly the right size and shape but I just couldn't get it to stay on.

And then there's this large accessory which I admit was a little bit of a mystery for me:

It's some kind of case but I'm not entirely sure what it's intended to hold. You're probably thinking, "You dumb-dumb, you said you loved the movie and there's an entire scene dedicated to that case and its wonderful secrets". I think it's for carrying Mike Brady's architectural plans.

But the star accessory is the metal katana! It has symbols printed all up the blade!

And she looks totally badass holding it:

Naturally it fits snugly into the scabbard on her back but I will definitely display her with sword and pistol ready. They're the most iconic weapons for me.

And there you have it! That's Babydoll and I'm really pleased how she turned out. They've also made an Amber which I hope to get hold of all things willing, and if/when I do I'll let you know how that one turned out as well. I'm just sad that we probably won't see releases of all the girls. But hey... you never know.

As an adult collector (or at least I pose as an adult for legal reasons) I think I'm really comfortably drifting towards the high end items. Yes, these are expensive, but they are very limited, detailed pieces which have had a huge amount of work and passion poured into them. My collection is filled with a lot of cheap, buy-at-a-chain-store kind of stuff and the problem with that is that a lot of it is poorly done, it dates very quickly, and there's a disposable nature to it all. I get bored with that stuff quickly and it doesn't always stick around the house too long. But the high quality stuff I have always treasured. These are the things I will keep. And it also ultimately takes up less space! I'm definitely feeling ready for a focus shift.

And if you want a Babydoll of your own, our friends at Sideshow Collectibles are the licensed distributors.
You can grab her here: Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series Babydoll 12-inch Figure - Sucker Punch And check out/pre-order Amber here: Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series Amber 12-inch Figure - Sucker Punch

1 comment:

  1. Having never seen the movie, I can only say that she would make one hell of a badass base for an Alice in Wonderland custom.