Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: The Avengers 4 inch Grapple Blast Black Widow Figure!

Today I got my sensual, lady-pleasing hands on the incredibly rare and much sought after The Avengers 4 inch Black Widow figure (with inexplicable "Grapple Blast") based on the likeness of the delightful Ms. Scarlett Johansson.

She's only one per case in a hard-to-find wave, so everybody wants her but not everybody is going to find her. I live on a distant island that used to be a prison, so I had to eBay-cheat to get her. And shiv a guy in the ribs.  Now I covet my tiny graven Scarjo idol, but, for one time only, I'm going to share her with you. ROCK!

Get out of here, Tony!

To find out what I thought of Grapple Blast Black Widow... join me after the jump!

For the curious, pictured above is an Iron Man 2 Mark VI Iron Man for scale. I don't own any of the other actual Avengers movie figures because, from what I've seen of them on the shelves, they're aimed at kids rather than collectors, and look to have limited articulation and relatively basic sculpts. So prior to Black Widow arriving my expectations were pretty low. I'm happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised...

There's no doubt that this is a mass market figure in the sense that some of the paint work (particularly the flesh-tones) is a little sloppy, but really at this scale it's not so noticeable with the naked eye. The photographs definitely magnify any flaws.

But what impressed me was that even in a sculpt this small I can recognise elements of Scarlett Johansson, especially from certain angles, and she is far more articulated than I would have expected...

She even has ankle joints! Like Spider-Man! And she can be manipulated into all manner of poses.

I have no idea what the number "21141" is on her boot, but assume it forms part of her phone number.

My only criticism with the articulation is that her leg joints are a little loose. (Yes, my Scarjo has loose legs. Particularly in the thigh area). She doesn't come with a stand, or at least I don't think she does - I purchased her without her package, but I'm pretty sure she's complete. That said, even without a stand, she does hold her balance quite well. Which is generally pretty rare for the more petite female figures.

You'll note that she has two pistols that slot into the rubber holster that fits around her waist. She holds the guns pretty well, but I'm so used to 1/6th scale figures with multiple hands that it seems weird when the guns are holstered and her fingers are still squeezing the bejeezus out of invisible triggers.

And yep, that all checks out as well.

Now for the elephant in the room. The "Grapple Blast". What is a grapple blast and did she use this manoeuvre in the movie? I doubt it because I'm pretty sure we would have notice this...

Yep, Black Widow is packed with a giant, phallic, personal space invader that plugs into her back like a backpack and no doubt almost cripples her. 

Of course, the alternative is for her to try to wield it one-handed...

I've seen grapples before. Batman invented them. But I don't think they looked quite like this. The grey part fires and the red claws pop open and if you're lucky I guess some kid loses an eye. 

Do such accessories legitimately appeal to children? I'm sure Hasbro has a secret lab where young kids are sequestered to play-test these, and I'm sure they have plenty of data that justifies the inclusion of the hideous grapple blast grapple, but it feels to me like something more film-based would have worked better. Why not the alien rifle that she murders people with? Anyway, you've seen it now. Let us never talk of it again.


And that's pretty much Black Widow in a nutshell. Sadly most online stores have either sold out of her or are charging ridiculous prices so you really will have to shop around. I paid about double the price of a regular figure for her, and she's already going for nearly double that again now, so keep your eyes peeled!

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