Sunday, June 3, 2012

Toy Oddities: The Italian Black Widow (Preziosi Collection)

With my current infatuation with all things Avengers and, more specifically, all things Black Widow/Scarlett Johansson, I stumbled upon a never-before-seen (by me) oddity on ebay. It was an Italian auction for a strange, non-articulated Black Widow (or Vedova Nera) figurine of indeterminable scale, produced by a company called Preziosi. Naturally I had to have it.

So imagine my uncomfortable-to-witness delight and surprise when it arrived accompanied by a trading card and booklet, mostly written in the lascivious Italian tongue! Here's the front of the trading card featuring some fantastic Scarlett art which I don't think I've seen before:

To view the figure, and help me decipher what this all means... join me after the jump!

A quick trip to the Preziosi Collection website reveals that this are collectible blind-packaged figurines intended for impulse purchase at a newsagency. The whole team is present and each figure is packed with a card and booklet. Preziosi has made a few licensed figures in the past for things such as Sailor Moon, but seem to have mostly focused on sticker books/collections.
So here she is. Simple, yes, but I can't imagine she cost a lot either...

And for scale, let's view her next to Lego Gollum being ridden by a monkey (make that film and I will watch it):

Or the Black Widow mini-mate which looks like it has been eating too many pies by comparison:

So I'd say she's about two inches tall, and while they haven't attempted to create a perfect miniature sculpt of Scarlett,  I think it captures the vibe of the character quite well. Perhaps it could have benefited from more of an action pose though to celebrate her many kickass moments in the filn.. This figure looks more like her standing-still-like-a-piece-of-wood-and-doing-nothing pose from Iron Man 2.

Anyway, I dig her. I like unusual stuff and I really haven't seen these before.

Now let's return to her pack-ins. Here's the back of the card and the point where we'll need some Italian lessons:

Okay so I have some of this down. She's a special agent. She's affiliated with the S.H.I.E.L.D. iniative. Her abilities include espionage. And she punched a spider. And loves pasta.

Perhaps the booklet will shed more light. Believe it or not this is no thin pamphlet - it's actually 18 pages (probably longer than the junior novelisation!). I haven't photographed it all, but here's a taste of it, starting with the cover...

More outstanding Scarlett art! And notice in the top left corner she has her own version of the Avengers logo with a spider-web on it. I don't think I've ever noticed that before.

And more great artwork inside...

This one I'll have real trouble translating. Let's give it a try. Okay "benche" is probably "ass" because you sit your ass on benches. "Molto" probably means fire, or hot, like "molten". So I'm guessing:
"With a hot ass she has turned espionage into an art form. Equipped with a variety of weapons including a taser called the punch of the spider she also has a repertoire of martial arts. Man to man combat, making pasta, infiltration: none of these are impossible mission for agent Black Widow, who is in her element in the centre of an elite elephant forest with Nicky Fury, vidicator!"
Close enough.

There's even pre-production sketches in this thing!

I won't even attempt to translate that one but it looks like a pretty intense history of espionage for a couple of dollar blind-packaged pack-in! The Italians know how to do things right!

And finally, here's the full list of available figures. Notice they've included Captain America twice. This is so children customise the spare into Captain Italy.

And there you have it! If I could pick them up cheap I might actually be tempted to assemble all of these. They're kind of worth it for the additional printed material alone. 

What do you think? Anyone speak Italian?


  1. I tried using google translate for you but just recieved a message that read, "ohh, you're not Italian. Bad luck putana".
    -Mongo Muggins

  2. The italian writing translated to: "Although very young, was able to transform espionage in an art form! Equipped with a variety of weapons, including Tasers special called "stingers of the widow" and an expert in a vast repertoire of martial arts. A hand-to-hand combat, infiltration sorueglianza: there is no mission impossible for the agent Black Widow, a central element in the power elite Nick Fury: The Avengers!"