Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Sideshow Collectibles Babydoll (Sucker Punch) Premium Format Figure!

Regular readers will know that I unapologetically love Sucker Punch. I’ve reviewed The Art of Sucker Punch, the Hot Toys Sucker Punch 1/6th scale Babydoll and Amber. I’ve said so much about Sucker Punch that I’m just going to quote myself:
“It’s a lurid, uneasy fever dream that fails to adequately establish its own rules and often grapples to even make sense. It's part music video, part fairy tale, and part cartoon. It's a bold experiment - most would say a failed experiment - but I can't help but be entranced by the unfaltering audaciousness of it all. If you are able to concede its premise, then it plays out like a twisted burlesque/action version of Walt Disney's Fantasia - a series of music-backed experimental vignettes, tied loosely together by a shared theme.”
Much like Fantasia, not everybody wants to sit through it, but I love it, and I am especially entranced by the visuals. So I was absolutely thrilled when our very good friends at Sideshow Collectibles sent me their stunning Babydoll Premium Format figure to review. Regardless of your views on the film, this is well worth a look. Especially if you - like me - have been on the cusp about venturing into Sideshow’s Premium Format line of high end collectibles, because I am going to talk quite a bit about that line in general.

Find out what to expect and see many more pretty pictures... after the jump!

So yes, this is my first premium format figure and I’m going to show my hand early by saying that it exceeds all expectations. And here’s why...

These days I’m primarily a Hot Toys collector who admires their attention to realism, especially when it comes to capturing the likenesses of actors and rendering skin and eyes etc. The issue with Hot Toys, however, is that can be a little rigid, and depending on the character/costume can be difficult to get into good display poses, which makes them far more doll-like, especially at a distance. From what I’ve seen, the Premium Format figures are generally more stylised, they don’t have realistic pores painted onto their skin, or anything like that, and can appear even slightly cartoony in photographs. I’ve seen a lot of websites photograph them in very even bright light and it can make their paint jobs look quite flat by comparison. But there’s a reason why the official promotional photos on Sideshow’s site are taken with dynamic lighting.

This figure is an absolute joy to photograph. And it really comes alive through light and shadow - look at how it falls on the contours of the face and allows you to better appreciate the sculpt...

And you don’t need a professional photography setup to get this effect. Display it close to a lamp, or in a lit cabinet. It’s interesting wherever you put the light. But it really helped me to understand what Sideshow is accomplishing.

And, of course, as this is a pre-posed statue it is incredibly dynamic. It’s an extreme pose, her head is turned in the opposite direction to her body and her outstretched sword arm means you’re going to need a lot of space to display her, but I would argue that this goes a long way in capturing the essence of the character. (In many ways it reminds me of the production art from the aforementioned book). 

And although the face is a little more cartoony compared to the Hot Toy, I think it actually captures actress Emily Browning very well. By amplifying some of the features here I think they have managed to convey a very strong sense of the character in ways that a more neutrally sculpted figure can’t.

And here’s a direct comparison between the two. The first thing you are going to notice is the size...

The premium format is absolutely massive, easily twice the height of the 12 inch figure and nearly as wide because of the stance. Which is why it comes packed in this equally massive - but beautiful - box.

Encased securely in a styrofoam tomb Baby Doll needed to be assembled. There are no instructions provided but it’s pretty simple to figure out which piece slots into where. As a first-timer this made me a little bit nervous - some of the hair pieces particularly are quite fine, and the head slots into the neck firmly but will wobble if you touch it. Everything is intact though and she is holding together fine. I’m sure it’s just first-time jitters, although I’d advise treating anything like this with extreme care.

I love all the bunny imagery!
Let’s look at some of the specific details. 

If you haven’t figured it out already - as with most Premium Format figures - this is a cloth tailored costume that fits over the sculpted statue. It’s a feature that really helps bring these alive for me and I find it far more appealing aesthetically than if it were all sculpted. There are nice little added details too like the strong of charms that hangs from the handle of her pistol...

She also has a leather look scabbard which is a separate piece and can be slung across her back. I’d advise getting this in place before you attach the head and arm.

But I think my favourite addition is the giant (and unfeasibly heavy) severed samurai head that doubles as a base. It’s an impressive value add which really makes this piece a stand out for me.

So if you hadn’t guessed already, I am totally enamoured with my first premium format figure, which is dangerous because now I want more. Sideshow has covered a ton of popular licenses with this range already, producing equally desirable statues from Star Wars, DC comics, and an eclectic selection of movies. (There’s even a Jessica Rabbit complete with penguin waiter!). I know I’ve been eyeing the Iron Man 2 Black Widow for a while so this may be the push I need.

Don’t be put off by poorly lit, low resolution shots of these on places like ebay! They look fantastic in person and even better with a decent light source. Consider me a convert!

You can still pick up Babydoll here:
Sucker Punch Sideshow Collectibles Babydoll Premium Format Figure - Sucker Punch

1 comment:

  1. I got myself one today and WOW. I just can't help myself staring at her all the time. I am a huge fan of the movie, which i loved a lot and this statue is pure love. I would just have crafted the hand/sword piece a little better, but, i mean, everything else is simply perfect.