Women of Dynamite: Sheena Queen of the Jungle Limited Edition Statue by Dynamite

When it comes to comics, there was no shortage of feral blonde bombshells stalking the floppy jungles. Marvel has the ravishing Shaana the She-Devil and Dynamite dared to one-up them with TWO buxom tree-dwellers: Jana The Jungle Girl (who recently got a wonderful TPB Omnibus release) and, the focus of today’s review, Sheena the Queen of the Jungle! I didn’t need a whole hell of a lot of convincing to buy a Sheena statue, but when you toss in the fact that it’s based on the art of one of my favorite artists, J. Scott Campbell, this was basically a required purchase. But it was also one made with some trepidation. The Women of Dynamite statue series has been really hit-and-miss when it comes to quality control. So much so, that their Vampirella got a second release which promised to improve on the dire paint of the original. I picked that one up and while I did review her fairly favorably, it still wasn’t quite up to my expectations for a $150+ limited statue. Hopefully Sheena will fare a little better. I will confess, however, that I was slightly worried about the fact that most of the promo material for this piece was a 3D render rather than a painted prototype. Not usually a good sign!

Sheena comes in a fully enclosed box, which is fairly sizable given that this statue is roughly one-sixth scale. The box art is colorful and we finally get some shots of what I presume is the prototype. The side panel shows off some of the repainted variants that are available for this piece, including a B&W version and even an arctic version, which fails to put any more clothes on poor shivering Sheena. The statue inside is made of resin and comes encased between two Styrofoam bricks. Along with the statue you get a hand-numbered limitation card (denoting that this had a run of 750 pieces) as well as a card acknowledging that the statue was made possible by a Kickstarter campaign. I watched that campaign closely, but ultimately had to bow out of backing it because of the lack of a physical prototype. There are quite a few companies that I would trust pre-ordering based on a render, but Dynamite is not one of them. Ultimately, I picked her up through an online retailer, and she is still available through Sideshow at the time I’m writing this review.

And here she is freed of her confinement and on the prowl. Sheena is based off of the Campbell’s cover for 2017’s Sheena Queen of the Jungle #1. The only real difference is on the cover she’s depicted holding on to two vines, while here she has one hand resting on the tree and another holding her knife. It’s a clever work-around, as the vines leading to nowhere probably wouldn’t have worked for a statue. The tweaks allow her to retain the essentials of the cover art while even adding a little more excitement to it, as she has her weapon at the ready and looks like she’s about to pounce. As in the cover, Sheena’s left foot stretches forward with her toes clutching the tree, while her right leg is held back as if ready to propel herself atop her unseen foe. In terms of composition, I have no complaints here, the choices they made are all excellent and serve the character extremely well.

Sheena’s skimpy costume consists of some shredded leopard skins, which do little to conceal the Jungle Queen’s modesty. These are sculpted as part of the statue but hang off of her quite realistically and look great. Sometimes resin sculpted outfits can look rather thick and unnatural, but that’s certainly not the case here. The paint is also very well done, giving the garment a shade of yellow slightly deeper than Sheena’s hair and some meticulously painted brown spots. It’s secured by a sculpted belt, which feels a little too modern or civilized for the rest of the costume, although in fairness it is depicted on the cover. Maybe it was included to give her somewhere to carry her knife, although there isn’t a sheath. The rest of her costume consists of gold bangles on her wrists, and another on her left ankle, and finally a pair of gold bicep cuffs. And as nice as the outfit looks, its best attribute is that it shows off so much of Sheena’s best attributes. The sculpt does a nice job recreating those stylized curves that have become a trademark of Campbell’s sexy ladies. There’s a lot to enjoy here, but I think it’s Sheena’s legs that draw my eye the most. They are absolutely stunning and go on for days! What’s more the paint quality and application used for her skin tone is smooth, even, and absolutely perfect.

The portrait turned out fine, but as with Vampirella, I’m only seeing a little bit of Campbell’s work in there with more from some angles and less from others. The nose and lips look right, the overall structure of the face seems right, but the eyes aren’t quite there. In fairness, Campbell’s women are hard to copy in three-dimensions. Up until now I think Sideshow has been one of the few to get it spot-on. Still, I like what we got well enough. The paint is neatly applied, especially around the lips, and I’d say that goes for pretty much the whole statue. There are a few spots here and there where the paint lines could have been a little sharper, but you need to get in pretty close to start seeing any real imperfections. That alone makes this a huge improvement over the previous Women of Dynamite release that I reviewed. The hair sculpt is a little chunky, but that’s to be expected with resin and overall I think they captured the flow of her hair pretty well. The tribal necklace is a nice touch too!

They made an interesting choice with the base by putting the tree on a plain black disk, rather than going for a total diorama display. I kind of like it, as the contrast really brings out the detail in the tree itself. The bark is realistically sculpted and painted in a rich chocolate brown and additional vegetation is sculpted onto it, including some moss, vines, and leaves to imbue it with an unruly jungle flavor. I do love me some contrasts in my statues and the rough bark against her smooth skin makes for some great composition.

The bottom of the base indicates that this is the Standard Edition, as this piece was available in a number of different paint variations. The sculptor, Steve Kiwus is also credited here, although I’m surprised that Campbell didn’t get his name inscribed on here as well. The copyright is for 2019, but the statue was actually released this year. Finally, we have the limitation, which is hand numbered. Mine is a fairly high number: 662 of 750, but I’ll take what I can get.

And here’s a shot of her with the cover art she’s based on. I’m proud to have a CGC Graded copy of Sheena #1 signed by Campbell. And it’s the gold foil variant too! I’ll definitely be displaying these two items together!

If you can’t tell, I’m extremely happy with how this piece turned out and it’s nice to see that Dynamite is upping their game with these releases. Honestly, it was a bit of a tense moment when I opened it and had my first look at her, but gradually that apprehension was replaced with relief and then sheer delight! The sculpt, quality of paint, and precision of application are all where they need to be, making for quite an iconic and undeniably sexy display piece. But is it worth the price of admission? Mmm… that depends on where you get her. MSRP seems to be around $190 which seems pretty high for what you’re getting. I was able to pick her up for $130 and I had some gift cards to toss in, so like Vampirella, she came in at under $100 and I’m perfectly satisfied with that. Now, if only they can take another crack at Dejah Thoris and have it turn out as good as this, I’d be willing to go back to Dynamite for a third time!

Marvel Gallery: Emma Frost (FCBD Edition) by Diamond Select

I was supposed to be spending this Marvel Monday diving into a new wave of Marvel Legends, but then I realized I should take this opportunity between waves to have a look at some of the other Marvel related collectibles waiting to be reviewed. And it just so happens that I have a new(ish) and unopened statue from Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery series, so let’s have a look at Emma Frost today!

DST did something kind of weird with this release, making the translucent diamond version of the statue the regular edition and this regular-looking version this Free Comic Book Day Edition of the statue. Seems like that should have been the other way around. Not that this one is any more difficult to get than the regular flavor Emma, and it doesn’t seem to be any more expensive either. As always, the statue comes in a multi-window box, which lets in plenty of light from the top and sides. The PVC statue comes fully assembled and suspended between two clear plastic trays. While this figure is scaled about the same as other releases in this line, her pose makes for a really tall box! The front of the box is marked with the Free Comic Book Day tag and everything about the box packaging is totally collector friendly.

And here she is out of that box and ready for display on the shelf, and damn she’s just all sorts of beautiful! Emma stands atop the remains of a Sentinel, taking a slow and sultry victory lap, with her right arm stretched above her head. The composition is so simple, and yet so elegant, and that goes for pretty much everything about this piece. I do love me some museum-style poses, and this one adopts that style only with a side-order of sexy thrown in. It certainly accentuates, Emma’s lovely curves and just exudes power and confidence. And while this is a fairly large and impressive piece, it doesn’t require a whole lot of real estate to display it, just make sure you’ve got a shelf with a lot of vertical clearance!

The outfit is all cast in a striking pearlescent plastic, which gives it a lovely sheen, while the cape has more of a matte finish to it, creating a subtle but welcome contrast in what is an almost entirely white costume. Sometimes this sort of plastic can look cheap, but that’s certainly not the case here. Sparse and subtle details in the costume include sculpted stitch seams, which run up the up the middle of her leggings, and several more on her top. The high-heeled boots have some light rumples where her ankles are flexed and the top edges are well defined. There are two branded X-Men discs, one used as a belt buckle, and another up in the center of her chest, which secures the front of the cape, while the back is secured at the collar. The way the cape is attached gives it a cool cut-out effect, leaving her shoulders bare. And speaking of bare skin, DST did a really nice job giving Emma’s exposed bits a nice, warm skin-tone, which pops against all that white of the costume. There’s certainly a lot to love here for such a simple look.

The portrait is equally praiseworthy with Ms. Frost looking as striking as ever. The paint applied to the eyes and lips is pretty sharp and clean, and if you look close you can make out her choker collar buried under her chin and between her cascades of hair. The hair is sculpted separately from the head, giving it a great sense of depth and I really dig the way it frames her face, The hair itself is painted with a sandy matte finish, which looks so much better than when they try to go full on yellow blonde and add a wash. The hair sculpt offers just enough to show some detail, but remains soft, and I think they did a nice job with the way it bunches around her shoulders, making it look quite natural.

The base hints at being a piece of Sentinel scrap, although it’s hard to make out what exactly. I’m thinking probably a couple of fingers. It looks fantastic and features some wonderfully weathered paint, and the sculpt itself is all nicked and scratched showing that this Sentinel saw some action before Emma brought it down. The cold dirty metal finish also makes for a lovely contrast to the clean white look of the figure. The base is, however, very small compared to the rest of the piece, and while that is certainly welcome in a sense of preserving real estate on the shelf, it doesn’t really convey the sense of Diorama, which is exactly what DST continues to call these. Although, I’ve gone down this road before in these reviews, and I have a feeling the diorama moniker has something to do with licensing.

I have absolutely no room these statues, and while I’ve been better about being more selective, I still continue to buy them. Why? Because they look great and are probably the best value on the statue market these days. For what is essentially a budget line of statues (Emma cost me $50), DST really does bring their A-game to a lot of these Gallery releases. And that goes double for Ms. Frost here. She’s absolutely stunning in every way, and other than in the materials used, I’m not seeing a whole lot of difference between this statue and some of DST’s much higher priced Premier Editions. Hell, I think Emma here is at least as good, if not slightly better than a few of those, and they rank in at the $150 range. Throw in the fact that these Gallery statues often turn up for sale at under the MSRP, and it’s hard to go wrong here and even harder to resist temptation when they turn up in my browsing.

Fate/Grand Order: Caster Nitocris “Super Premium” Figure by SEGA

I’ve recounted recently about how I’ve pulled back from buying Prize Figures, mostly because they were starting to get out of hand and I had no space to display them. All in all, I’ve been pretty well behaved on this newly imposed restriction, but I still had the odd pre-order pending here and there, and I decided to let most of them ride. I still dig these figures a lot, they look great, they’re inexpensive, and they come in handy for days like today where I don’t have a lot of time and need something quick and dirty to feed that content beast. So let’s check out this Caster Nitocris Super Premium Figure (SPM) from SEGA!

Nitocris hails from the Fate/Grand Order game, and I like to call this purchase a Consolation Prize Figure, because I really wanted to pick up Amakuni’s Scale Figure of her, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger on that price, and so I satisfied myself with this figure instead. Yup, there’s more of that self control again. I’m not entirely hopeless.¬†As with most of SEGA’s SPM figures, Nitocris comes in a very colorful and fully enclosed box, featuring some nice shots of the statue and a bit of English copy on the box to help you know what you’re looking at. Inside, the figure comes wrapped in plastic and requiring some minor assembly. Here you attach the head and the right arm at the elbow, plug in the support piece for her hair, and then plug the figure into the base. All told, she measures about 9-inches tall and now that she’s all set up, let’s have a look…

There’s something about chicks in Egyptian costume that does it for me, and this is indeed a very beautiful figure. Nitocris stands proudly with one leg in front of the other, her left hand resting on her hip, and her right hand clutching her staff. Her outfit doesn’t leave too much tot he imagination, and I ain’t complaining. She has a white top to cover her Upper Deltas and a sculpted blue sash to conceal her Lower Nile Valley. Her hips are covered in plastic pink “fabric” and the whole ensemble is held together by some sculpted beaded chains. She has some brown wraps on her forearms, and her plastform sandals have sculpted wraps that reach up to just under her knees.

Nitocris’ curvy figure is framed by her copious coif of cascading blue hair that balloons out in the middle and comes to an end with a chunky red ring. This hellacious waterfall of hair looks cool and distinctive from the front, but sadly covers her entirely from the rear view. Seriously, from behind she looks like just a big blob. Besides the excellent sculpted detail on this figure, I think the colors are probably what I dig the most. The combination of white, pink, and deep indigo blue all looks so lush and striking against mocha colored skin. But what really shines is the wonderful gold leaf paint they used. Just lovely!

The portrait is suitably adorable, as Nitocris features a pair of Anubis-like ears, large printed purple eyes, and some face paint on her cheeks. She has a cute pointed nose and her mouth is pressed into a grin. Her gold and blue gorget and headpiece both frame her portrait perfectly. And as if she didn’t have enough hair pouring down the back of her, she also has two bunches running down either side of her head and nearly reaching her hips.

Her ebony staff is quite striking and is permanently attached to her right hand. I also dig the loose bangles that hang on her wrists.

The base is a simple translucent disk with the game’s logo printed on it in vibrant blue lettering. It’s simple, functional, and doesn’t take away from the beauty of the figure.

And that’s it for this Wednesday’s admittedly brief review. It’s always a treat to take a look at a new Prize Figure, especially since I won’t be doing it all that frequently here any longer. If you’ve been kicking around with me on FFZ for a while then you probably already know that I’m a big fan of SEGA’s SPM figures. At around $20-25, they offer plenty of bang for the buck and Nitocris here is no exception to that. I’m not even a big fan of the game, but I do love me my Servants and this one in particular has been calling to me for a while. I pre-ordered this lady a little while back, but she’s been available on places like Amazon for a while, and to me this one makes for a nice alternative to those pricier Scale Figures. Now, if Max Factory should happen to release a Figma of her, well I’d probably have to come back for seconds.

One Piece: “Grandista” Grandline Lady Nami by Banpresto

Once upon a time there was a thing around these parts called Anime Saturday, wherein I would devote the day to opening new prize figures, scaled figures, Figmas or any sort of anime figures I happened to acquire. Well, I’ve kind of taken a few steps back from collecting these sorts of things these days, mostly because of limited space. But that’s not to say a few pre-orders haven’t slipped through this embargo. And maybe I do have a short stack of these figures in the corner of the closet left to be opened. Whatever the case, I had a little time this morning and I figured, what the hell… let’s do an Anime Saturday (on a Wednesday!) for old time’s sake. Besides, it feels like forever since I gave Nami some loving!

As you may know, I adore One Piece and I love Banpresto’s One Piece prize figures. They’re cheap, they’re beautiful, and they scratch that nasty itch for One Piece merch. Today I’m checking out Nami from Banpresto’s Grandista line. And since Nami is a lady that needs no introduction around here, let’s jump straight to the packaging. She comes in a colorful box with photos of the figure all around and both Eastern and Western lingo printed on the box. And don’t forget that hologram sticker proving that this is not some shoddy bootleg. Inside, she’s wrapped in plastic and comes in two halves, so you’ve got some simple assembly ahead of you. A lot of the the Nami figures I’ve looked at recently have featured some kind of new spin on the character, so it’s kind of refreshing that this figure takes us back to basics.

With Nami’s two halves plugged together, there are two things that immediately struck me as interesting about this figure. First, she’s really big. Most of the Banpresto prize figures I get are around 7 to 9-inch scale, whereas Nami here tops out at about 11-inches. Second, there’s no base and, quite miraculously, she doesn’t need one, as she stands just fine on her own, even in those high heels. Other than those two points, this figure holds few surprises. It features Nami wearing her trademark blue jeans, blue and white bikini top, and high-heeled orange sandals. This is traditional Nami through-and-through with her weight tossed to her left hip and her left hand resting on her fine backside.

The paint and sculpt here are both excellent. The jeans are wrinkled in all the right spots and have those double rings cut out of the hips. The stitching around the pockets and belt loops is all sculpted in place and they are fastened with a simple silver snap right under her belly button. The blue of the jeans contrasts nicely with the orange of her hair and shoes, and her skin is a warm and smooth without too much of a waxy finish, as we sometimes get in these cheaper figures. I think my only nitpick would be they went a little heavy with the shading around her lower midriff.

And all the necessary Nami-detail points are hit along the way. Her tattoo is neatly printed on her left shoulder, and she has both her Log Pose and a loose bangle around her left wrist. But that’s not surprising. Banpresto has been doing Nami for a while now, so they know her backwards and forwards.

The portrait is also as classic as you can get. She has a broad smile, with just a hint of mischief and her large eyes are perfectly printed. The hair sculpt flows down her back with the rest of it framing her face and partially covering her forehead.

Yup, today was a quickie, but there’s not much more to say about this lovely lady. If you’re up for a very traditional Nami figure, than it’s hard to beat this new one from Banpresto. At about eleven inches, she really stands out among her peers. The sculpt and coloring are both fab, and the quality of plastic is top notch. I think she’s also a perfect pick up if you just want that one excellent representation of the character on your shelf. Sure, there are plenty of scaled figures that outshine this offering, but when you’re talking around $200 versus the $25 this one cost, I think the value can’t be beat. And I gotta say it felt good to open one of these again! I’ll try not to wait as long before I do it again.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe (Series 3): Catwoman by DC Collectibles

Well, this feels good. Not only did I make it back for three reviews in one week, it’s the second week in a row that I achieved this time management miracle! Plus, I’m tossing out a little homage to the old DC Friday content I used to churn out on a regular basis. It’s been a ball buster of a week and I felt like a little statue therapy today, so I’ve decided to open up another one of the Cover Girls of the DC Universe! And it’s Catwoman! Meow!

This release is from the most recent and third series of cold-cast porcelain Cover Girl statues, based on the art of Joelle Jones. I was away from these gals for a while, but a few months back I picked up the Mera statue and now I’m back with Selina Kyle. Although I still maintain that these two acquisitions were anomalies and I’m I’m not back to seriously collecting this line. I just don’t have the space for them. Anywho, Catwoman comes in a fully enclosed box with plenty of shots of the statue. And while she conforms to the same (roughly 9-inch scale) of the other ladies, the box here is a lot more compact because of the nature of the pose. Inside, she comes sandwiched between two styrofoam trays and the only assembly required is pegging the figure into the base via tow metal posts.

Straight away I’ll say that I love the composition for this piece. The vast majority of the Cover Girls have been fairly conservative, and very vertical, museum style poses. There’s nothing wrong with that. I love it. They all look great when displayed together. But if it weren’t for this release trying something different, I probably wouldn’t have taken notice and ultimately purchased her. Here, Selina sits atop a safe in a very cat-like pose, her hands resting in front of her and one leg drawn up on top of the safe. Overall, the pose is very reminiscent to me of the one Diamond recently did for their Marvel Gallery Black Cat. I don’t know which one came first, but this one instantly reminded me of her Marvel counterpart.

I love the simple look they went for with her costume. The skin tight catsuit features only some sculpted wrinkles and stitch lines in the way of details. Well, that and the silver ring zipper, which is surprisingly zipped all the way up to her chin. Yup, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your kitty cleavage fix. Her knee-high boots are each sculpted with three buckling straps and chunky high heeled wedges. Finally, her whip is sculpted coiled around her waist and snaking down the back of the safe like a kitty cat tail. The paintwork on the costume is also quite lovely with a mix of black and purple to depict the light reflecting off of it. Additionally, the zipper and boot buckles are all sharply painted with a crisp silver.

The portrait is just full of character. Selina stares ahead with her perfect green eyes and a cocky smirk on her lips. Her face is framed by the sculpted snug hood and her goggles are worn up on her forehead. The goggle rims and strap are painted silver to match the zipper on the costume and the lenses in the goggles are tinted red plastic. The headgear is topped off by two perfect little cat ears. I’ve got zero things to nitpick with the portrait. I was really sold on it based off the solicitation photos and I think this is one of those somewhat uncommon examples where the production piece came out just as good.

The safe is an extremely simple piece. It’s got a black matte metal finish to it and a raised door on the front. The door features two sculpted hinges, rivets running around the edges, a handle, and a giant combination dial the front. Diamond went a step further with their Black Cat piece, by having the safe door open, but I think this works just fine. The safe is detailed enough to look good, but it doesn’t upstage the figure itself. One of the odd things about this piece is that the base is sculpted with Joelle Jone’s signature. I don’t think any of the Cover Girls statues has done this in the past, and it further makes this statue feel like a stand-alone release to me.

DC Collectibles is still limiting these pieces, this time to 5,000 each. They are hand-numbered on the bottom of the base. I purchased mine quite a while after it was released, but still got a fairly low number, #468.

Catwoman tends to be something of a focus in my collection, so this may have been an inevitable purchase. Truth be told, I like the Cover Girls series a lot, but I truly have no place left to display these gals and I’m not keen on getting to the point where I’m cycling statues in and out of display because I have too many. Yeah, I already do that with my Gallery Statues from Diamond, but those are just so damn good for the money, sometimes I can’t resist them. Nonetheless, I think it was the distinctive composition mixed with the alluring portrait that made me bite on this one. I believe the MSRP on these pieces are up around $125, but they tend to list closer to the $100 mark. I think I paid $75 for this one as part of a holiday sale. Yup, she really has been waiting around to be opened for a while. But I will say that she was money well spent.

Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood Bishoujo Statue by Zenescope

How about that comic industry, eh folks? Woof! With the Covid Virus closing comic shops, Diamond shutting down distribution indefinitely, and a lot of Marvel’s creators at war with their own customers on social media (well that last bit is nothing new), I’m not sure how this is going to come out. But that’s why I’m glad to have companies like Zenescope. Sure I used to buy their stuff at my (not so) Local Comic Shop, but these days I get most of it online and direct from the company. Same thing with Alterna, and I’d love to see other publishers work up similar online stores. At least it seems to me to be the way the industry is going. The only downside of smaller comic companies like Zenescope is the lack of merchandise. I like to be able to buy action figures and statues of my funny book stars and there hasn’t been a whole lot of that for Zenescope. Still, there was a temporary partnership with Phicen to make some Sixth-Scale figures, and now we’re getting the second in a series of Kickstarted Bishoujo-style statues. The first one was Sela Mathers, this time it’s Robyn Locksley! Next to her pal Liesel Van Helsing, Robyn has been my favorite character in Zenescope’s stable. She’s had some great limited series and even had an ongoing book for a while. From the golden early days of Pat Shand to the newer stuff by Chuck Dixon and Ben Meares her funny books seldom disappoint, and I was thrilled to see she was the subject of this new Bishoujo.

The box is similar to the Sela statue and obviously inspired by Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo line. The big difference is that there’s only one window here, on the front panel, so not as much light gets in to show off the goods. But chances are you aren’t eyeing this up in a store. And on the other hand, less windows made room for more character art, which we get on the front and side panels. The Grimm Universe logo is on the top panel, and the back panel gives us a blurb about Robyn as well as a teaser that Liesel is coming up next. Everything is collector friendly and there’s no assembly required. The statue is roughly 1/7th scale, which puts her right in line with Koto’s ladies and it’s cast in a similar sort of PVC plastic.

Out of the box, Robyn is looking mighty snappy and the pose really captures the character beautifully. Robyn is depicted in mid stride with her trusty compound bow drawn, as she targets an unseen adversary, probably one of The Cabal’s goons. The composition strikes a perfect balance between action and a measured pose and it offers a few choice angles for display.

The attention to detail in her costume is well executed and nearly all the details are part of the sculpt, including the reinforced bands on her high boots, the lines separating the leather and camouflage of her pants and top, and even the finger-less gloves. Even the cross strap that secures her quiver is sculpted separately from the figure. The quiver is a simple box with several arrows peeking out the top. I’ve always loved the design of Robyn’s bow and it’s recreated quite nicely here with all the sexy curves and complex network of pulleys and cables. If I had one nitpick, I wish they had used actual string for the bow because the plastic cables look rather chunky, especially in relation to the arrow shaft. Still, I could see why they wouldn’t want to go that way and if nothing else, making them plastic will certainly mean more durability.

The portrait is pretty faithful to the Bishoujo aesthetic with maybe a little bit of cupie doll thrown in. Robyn sports one green eye and her trademark scar is shown transecting her pupil-less left eye. It would have been cool if they did some kind of foil or gold leaf paint for her mystic eye, even if it was offered as a more limited exclusive. Oooh, they should have done that on the B&W one. That would have looked pretty rad. Either way, I think they did a great job on her facial details and I really dig the way her hair sculpt came out. Sela had some minor issues with mold flashing on the hair, but I’m not seeing any of that here. Of course her hair is capped off with her hood drawn up over her head, but not pulled so far forward that it obscures her face.

The paint and coloring here certainly gets the job done. I dig the use of metallic paint for the blue leather parts of her costume and the emerald green finish on the bow and quiver is quite striking. The camo portions of her outfit are painted neatly, although I would have preferred these had a matte finish. Add in the bright yellow coloring of the hair and ruby red lips, and you’ve got a deco that pops quite nicely. The skin tone isn’t as warm and soft as I’m used to seeing in Koto’s pieces, but it’s serviceable. I’ll also note that the applications are all crisp, with really no slop or uneven lines worth noting.

As with the Sela statue, the base here is just a black disk and I’m fine with that. It’s serviceable, but there’s nothing really else to say about it.

There were a whole slew of Add Ons and Stretch Goals that came as part of the Kickstarter. The project hit $92,000 so that means a lot of extra freebies were unlocked and I added some extra money to my pledge to get some other goodies. First off are these two beautiful art prints by two personal favorites of mine: Paul Green and Jamie Tyndall. I can never get enough of these two artists, and I’ll confess to having a ridiculous number of Tyndall’s framed art scattered through my home, a lot of which is signed.

Next up, there were three Exclusive comic covers of Robyn Hood: Outlaw #6 in my box. The first is by Jason Cardy and it’s the art on which the statue is based. The second is a gorgeous piece of work by another one of my favs, Mike Krome, which was limited to 200 copies. Finally, the third is the line drawing of the same piece of art with an added background. I believe one of these was an Add On and the other two were Stretch Goals.

There were also two stickers in the box, based on the Jason Cardy and Mike Krome art from the previously mentioned comic covers. These were each Stretch Goal bonuses.

And finally, I got four metal cards. I adore these things, but I don’t buy a lot of them individually. I do, however accumulate them as bonuses or incentives. These are all beautiful, but I have to call particular attention to the one based off of Billy Tucci’s cover of Robyn Hood #1. I also have a CGC graded copy of that comic hanging on my wall.

The Kickstarter was originally scheduled to deliver in September of last year, so yeah… things ran about eight months late, as my box just arrived last week. But after backing my share of Kickstarters, I’ve come to expect that. And it’s easy to overlook delays when such a wonderful box of joy ultimately arrives on my doorstep. I’ll say the same thing I said when I reviewed the Sela statue… these are not in the same league as Koto’s statues, but there’s no shame in that. Koto’s work is top-tier and they’ve been doing it forever. And with that said, I’m quite pleased with the way Robyn came out. I got mine with Early Bird pricing for $70 and that’s more than fair. And I’m obviously not alone in that assessment, because this project was funded in under four hours. It makes me happy to know that with successes like that, the line will continue, and I anxiously await the campaign for Liesel Van Helsing!

Marvel Comics: Domino (Exclusive) Premium Format by Sideshow

Yeah, another week of abbreviated content. I didn’t make it back on Wednesday because of real life craziness, but at least I did double up for Marvel Monday. And to make up for it a bit more, I’m tackling a big one to end off the week!¬†Sideshow’s delectable quarter-scale Premium Format figures are the bane of my existence. They’re so big and expensive, and yet they’re so damn pretty. I shouldn’t buy them, but I always want to. I’ve only reviewed one of these beauties before, and that was the Batman Returns Catwoman I won from one of Sideshow’s contests about three years ago. Yup, people actually win those! Free is great, but as any good drug dealer knows, it’s that first free hit that hooks you. Since then I’ve picked up a few more but haven’t gotten around to reviewing them, mainly because it takes a lot of effort to gerry-rig my little photo stage to handle them. Anyway, I’d like to remedy that by starting to review some of these, and what better place to start than the one I got in this week! I’m like a kid on Christmas morning!

It’s Domino! A character that I’ve been in love with ever since lucky Neena Thurman first graced the pages of Marvel Comics. Hell, X-Force #11 from 1992 was one of the first comics I ever got CGC graded. When Sideshow solicited this one, I knew I had to have it, but not just because it’s Domino, but because the composition is so amazing. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As always the statue comes in a box massive enough to house the 20-inch tall statue and plenty of Styrofoam to protect it. The box is made up to look like a giant slot machine and has some cool touches, like X-Men stickers ripped off one side and the machine’s marquee branded after Domino herself. There’s a silver foil sticker on the bottom left corner of the front panel to denote that this one is a Sideshow Exclusive, limited to 1,000 pieces.

Inside the Styrofoam, it looks like something that’s been cocooned by spiders. As expected, there is some unwrapping and assembly required here, and this phase tends to be the most stressful of the un-boxing. Are all the parts going to be OK? Is everything going to fit together properly? In this case I’m happy to say, Yes and Yes. Assembly includes attaching the figure to the base with a key tab that protrudes from her butt. Next up, the hands (each holding a gun) gets attached and held by magnets. The slot machine arm keys into the side and attaches to the toe of Domino’s boot with a magnet, and finally the head attaches by magnet as well. When all is said and done, this is a very solid and pretty heavy piece all ready for display. I’ll also note here that there is no mixed-media in this figure, so the entire costume is part of the sculpt.

And what a display it is! Domino sits playfully on top of a leaning X-Men-themed slot machine with her legs crossed and one foot resting on the arm. She leans back to support herself with her right hand, still holding a pistol, while she draws the pistol in her left hand up near her neck and points it to the ceiling. I don’t think Sideshow has ever managed to have the base upstage the figure itself in one of these Premium Formats, this might be pretty close. In truth, they both just complicate each other tremendously well. I tend to waffle between preferring classic museum style poses and something more dynamic and action-y, but this one introduces a whole new ballgame. It’s wildly creative, it’s deliciously meta, and it understands the character so well.

Of course, this is a pretty modern look for Domino, which really just means that her traditional black cat suit is enhanced with a lot more detail and a more tactical look to it. And while we already have a Domino for the films and I wouldn’t take any of that away from the glorious Zazie Beetz, I do think that this version of Domino has a realistic quality to her, which would have worked fine for the big screen. The bulk of the suit is a delightful mix of black and blue, which comes out beautifully under the studio lights, and is enhanced with patches of exposed ribbed blue “material,” presumably to add a little flexibility. Again, it’s all sculpted, but I have no quarrel with the decision because the end results are quite spectacular. Everything from the zipper track to the stitch lines, and the subtle wrinkles here and there make for a very convincing garment, even if it is all polyresin.

The suit is covered with tactical gear, all held on by sculpted segmented belts. Her inventory includes all sorts of pouches, slots for extra magazines, empty shoulder holsters under each arm, and a futuristic looking gun strapped to her right thigh. The gun is a great example of all the detail that went into the sculpt. The hard-molded style holster is textured and features sculpted rivets that simulate holding it together. There’s a sculpted retaining strap locking the weapon into place and the weapon itself is just brimming with detail. The twin pistols in her hands enjoy all that same great attention to detail. The X-branded belt buckle breaks up the blues and blacks with a bright red glossy background.

The standard portrait is superb. Domino sports her trademark pixie cut and offers a sideways glance and a knowing smirk. It’s like she’s thinking, “My luck is going to hold out, but yours is about to change.” I love the pale coloring they used for her rather unusual skin tone and the iconic spot around her left eye is crisp. For that matter all the paint work on the face is sharp and crisp. The sculpt for her hair is intricate and almost looks like it’s layered. The hair color follows the same pattern as her suit, being black with some blue-purple highlights. The only thing that sucks about this portrait is that the Sideshow Exclusive comes with a second, and that’s going to make for some tough decisions…

The Exclusive head features longer hair, the left side of which is blowing off to the side a bit. The head is turned to face her gun and her lips are pursed. It looks fine just like this, but it’s intended to be displayed with the addition of one extra piece.

 

Add the smoke effect to the gun barrel and now she looks like she’s blowing the barrel of her pistol after having fired it. I love the way this turned out and it’s creating quite the conundrum on which look to go for. The pixie cut from the standard head is more Domino to me, but the Exclusive looks so good. Luckily they are easy to swap, so I may just wind up doing that every couple of weeks.

And that brings us to the base, which is usually not something I need to spend a lot of time on when discussing statues, but here’s the exception to that rule. This is just amazing from both a composition standpoint as well as execution. It offers an on the nose nod to Domino’s mutant power, but it has a lot of fun with it too.

Sideshow went above and beyond with the detail in the bullet-ridden one-armed bandit. It has a steel sheen to the sides and back and the sculpted bullet holes look quite realistic. The back of the unit has all the vents and bits that you would expect to find on something like this. The coloring on the upper and lower marquee are beautifully illustrated. It would have been cool if SIdeshow added some lights to this base, but I don’t think that’s something they ever do in the Premium Formats. I particularly love the bullet holes in the plastic screens that cover the top marquee and the rollers. The later of which look convincing enough that I’d swear I could pull the lever and watch them spin.

Finally, the Days of Future Cash slot-machine rests on top a pile of Deadpool-branded tokens with spent bullet casings peppered generously throughout. Under this pile of loot is a simple black circular base. Lift it up and you get a little Domino artwork along with the limitation of the statue. Mine is hand-numbered 208/1000.

It’s s funny thing buying these Premium Formats. I always go into the purchase with sweaty, nervous palms and yet I’ve yet to be disappointed with one of these pieces when they arrive. And that’s saying a lot because they sure ain’t cheap. At $585 ($570 for the regular edition), I fear these statues are creeping past my budget right when I’m starting to get into them. But it’s easy to see where the money went, as Domino makes for an impressive presence on the shelf, and I can’t find anything on the piece to even nitpick about. The sculpt, paint, and overall design came together so beautifully. I’m certainly glad I didn’t pass this one oup.

J. Scott Campbell’s Fairytale Fantasies Collection: Tinkerbell by Sideshow

My love for J. Scott Campbell’s artwork knows no bounds, but I don’t get to talk about it here on FFZ as much as I’d like to. That’s because despite the tons of Campbell’s comics and art prints in my collection, the collectible merchandise based on his art just isn’t as prolific as I would like. We’ve had some action figures from Danger Girl and Gen 13, and some statues based on his art, but that stuff seems to be few and far between. But that’s not to say Sideshow hasn’t been doing their part lately. They’ve done some very nice statues based on Campbell’s Spider-Man art, a Premium Format of Abbey Chase, which I promise I’ll get around to reviewing sooner rather than later, and now they’re working on the Fairytale Fantasy Collection, thus far releasing J. Scott Campbell’s versions of The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, and today’s subject of review… Tinkerbell!

The statue is comprised of polyresin and reproduced in roughly one-sixth scale. Or, maybe it would be more accurate to say she’s 12-inches tall, since, being a fairy, Tinkerbell isn’t exactly people-sized. The standard statue was limited to 3500 pieces, but the Sideshow Exclusive that I’m looking at today was limited to 1500. Tink comes encased in two slabs of Styrofoam and ships in a very attractive enclosed box. The artwork on the box alone is worthy of display, and I’ve actually got a couple of prints of similar art coming to me from Campbell’s webstore. She comes mostly assembled and ready for display, the only set up required is to plug the metal foot post into the base, which was easy to do thanks to a perfect fit. This little pixie has been on my shelf for a while now, and I’m truly excited to finally get around to giving her the spotlight.

If all you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie-dust, than Sideshow must possess it all in spades, because this statue came out gorgeous! Tink stands on her tip-toes atop an ornate brass compass with one hand on her hip and the other trailing beside her. Her head is turned off to the side and her impressive wings (all 11-inches of them!) fan out behind her. The composition just exudes spunky confidence! Obviously, Campbell has branded Tink with his singular style of sex appeal, giving her legs that go on for miles and flow beautifully into the rest of her curves. I’ve always thought Campbell’s work blends well with Disney’s designs and Tink here is about as best an example that I can come up with.

Tink’s petite costume covers only the essentials and consists of two sculpted leaves, one covering her front and the other the back, and secured together with sculpted and painted laces running up each side of the makeshift dress. The dress is convincing as being something separate that’s actually worn by the figure, even though I’m pretty sure it’s just part of the sculpt. It has a plunging neckline to show off her fairy goodies up top, but comes to a point down below so as not to show off too much of her fairy goodies. On the flip-side, the dress exposes enough of her back to see where the wings connect, and makes the most minimal effort possible at hiding her pixie-tush. Tink accessorizes her costume with three simple green bands: One worn on her right bicep, another around her left ankle, and the third as a thin choker necklace. Finally, she has a sprig of ivy painted around her right thigh. Because there isn’t a whole lot to her costume, the statue gets by mostly showing smooth skin, but the detail work in the dress is very nice, and did I mention how great the curves look? Yeah, I probably did, but I’ll say it again anyway because I just love how Campbell does curves when he draws his ladies, and this statue does a fine job reproducing them in 3D.

The paint on the figure is also worthy of praise, but that pretty much goes without saying when it comes to Sideshow’s work. Most impressive to me is the skin-tone, which is so soft and warm and lifelike. A lot of that is thanks to the gradient shades used for the shadows, which looks particularly good around her knees and the arches of her feet. It’s so easy for these statues to come out looking flat and lifeless, but Tink here is anything but. Likewise, there’s a great mix of green paint used on the dress, from darker green around the edges to the more yellowish green in the middle. Because of the rather simple costume, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for slop on this figure, nor is there really any that I can see. Of course most of the detailed paint is on the portrait, so let’s go there next!

As much as Campbell has a signature way of drawing a lady’s curves, his portraits are really the trademark of his art style and it’s here where I think that style matches so well with Disney’s. The big eyes, the pouty lips, the dainty little nose, it’s unmistakably Tinkerbell, albeit with a saucier flavor than what the kids are used to seeing. Once again, the paint here is impeccable, from the emerald green pupils in her eyes to the glossy pink lips. Her short hair is secured with a painted green hair band and a few strands have escaped to fall down the left side of her face and gently kiss her chin. This is one of those times where the portrait came out every bit as good as the image we were solicited with, and these days, that’s no small feat.

My final stop on the figure is that gorgeous set of wings, and here is where most of my trepidation lay while waiting to get the figure in hand. If they were too thin, they’d look cheap and be terribly fragile. If they were too thick, they’d look unconvincing. In the end, I think Sideshow got them just right. They certainly lean toward being thick, and the golden top edges are where most of the heft can be found. The rest consist of semi-translucent plastic with patterns running through them. Each of the four wings secure firmly into her back and I have no worries about them coming loose or easily breaking off.

And that brings us down to the base, which is quite a work of art in itself. I love the fact that they used the compass as a base, as it gives a sense of scale and reinforces the fact that Tink is supposed to be tiny. There’s a crocodile motif sculpted around the side of the compass and a single ring protruding from the top. The surface that Tink is standing on is clear plastic, displaying the needle and the face of the compass beneath it. It’s pretty convincing as an actual instrument and it’s wonderful to see Sideshow put so much effort into it.

Flip the base over and you get the series logo, Tinkerbell’s name, and the hand-numbered limitation. Mine is #241/1500. As far as getting a lower number, I guess that’s not too shabby, but then I did pre-order this statue the day it went up. So, other than the smaller circulation number, what else is different about the Sideshow Exclusive?

The Exclusive also came with this metal art card and stand. The card features some of the original concept art that this statue is based on. The stand is painted gold to match the base of the statue and has a simple slot running through the middle that allows the card to stand at a bit of an angle. The colors are vibrant and I dare say this piece would be worthy of display even without the statue to go with it!

When Sideshow first showed off this series, I knew I was going to get at least one for my collection and then if budget allowed I would see what happened. And as great as all three of the statues looked, it wasn’t a hard decision on which one to go for. Tinkerbell was the one that called to me, and it was the one that had me slapping the pre-order button. And if you can’t tell by this review, I had absolutely no regrets. At $300, she’s a little more pricey than the statues I’m used to buying in this scale, but then it’s easy for me to see where the money went. The sculpt is lovely, the colors are vibrant and her beautiful golden wings make people take notice of her even from across the room. And besides, having another piece of J. Scott Campbell’s art realized in 3D form? How can I put a price on that anyway? As for the other two? Well, the first release of The Little Mermaid has sold out, so if I go for that piece it will have to be a variant. Alice in Wonderland, on the other hand, is still available, and I’m considering picking her up more and more each day.

Cover Girls of the DC Universe (Series 3): Mera by DC Collectibles

What’s this? An actual DC Friday? Yup! It’s hard to believe I used to have enough material (and time) to do these every week, but if sure feels good to come back to it every now and then for old time’s sake. If you’ve been with me for a while than you may know I was an avid collector of the second series of DC Collectibles’ Cover Girls cold-cast porcelain statues. But when the series rebooted again I decided that in the interest of diminishing display space that I would call it quits. For someone with very little willpower when it comes to buying collectibles, I have remained surprisingly true to that decision. That’s not to say that I haven’t been admiring them from afar. And ultimately, it was a price that I couldn’t refuse on Mera that made me finally dip my toe into this third series. It’s been about two years since I last visited with this line, so I’m more than ready!

The previous line was based on the art of Stanley Artgerm Lau, whereas this time around it’s Joelle Jones’ turn and I dig both artists’ work a lot. The packaging on this line hasn’t changed much since my absence, although this time around they are scaled bigger and the size of the box obviously reflects that. The statue still comes in a fully enclosed box and sandwiched between two Styrofoam trays to keep it safe. I’ve heard one or two horror stories about breakage with this new series, but I was happy to see that mine survived. The only assembly required is pegging Mera’s single foot post into the base. Let’s do that and check her out!

Standing tall and proud, Mera strides across the waves with confident poise and her head held high. It’s an appropriately regal look for the Queen of the Depths. And regal is also the word I would choose to describe her attire. She sports the very familiar form-fitting scaled bodysuit with some stylish gold piping on her arms, torso and boots. I also dig the stylized “M” strategically placed where her belt buckle would be. The bulk of the scales are painted over in a stunning emerald green, as are the boots. The center of her chest and her arms are painted gold, making for a very striking two-tone deco. Every detail on this costume is part of the sculpt and the precision and quality of the paint applications are both excellent.

Moving on to the portrait, and oh boy do I get a major Filmation (as in He-Man/She-Ra) vibe off of this. I’m not sure if it’s from the eyes, but I saw it right away and can’t unsee it. It’s not a bad thing, mind you, just that I find the styles highly similar. Mera’s face is framed by a gold tiara, behind which flows her voluminous red hair. The sculptor really went over the top on her hair and it looks great. The painted facial features match the impecable quality of the rest of the piece. Her eyes are straight and even and the eyebrows and lips are crisp and sharp. No complaints here.

And that brings us to the base. As with the previous Cover Girls Mera, they went with a translucent plastic to simulate water and the effect works beautifully. The splashing water erupts from beneath her feet and curls up at the ends, all set upon a disc-shaped platform. Flip the base over and the bottom is branded with DC Collectibles and shows that the piece is hand-numbered. Mine is 324 of 5000 pieces produced. The previous series produced 5200 of each, so it looks like they shaved a whole 200 off each run.

The previous Cover Girls Mera was one of my favorite statues in that series, so it comes as high praise when I say I like this one almost as much. There are actually some things this one does better, like that superb water effect, and in truth this one has a far more intricate sculpt. Plus the green paint used for her suit looks a bit more premium here. With that having been said, I do really like the way the Artgerm version is balanced, as if defying gravity, and the portrait is less stylized and still absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Did I really need two Meras on my Cover Girl shelf? Nah, but I picked this one up over the holidays for around $40, which was a deal I could not refuse and I’m glad that was the case because she is a very beautiful piece. Does it mean I’m going to dip into any more of this third series? Eh, maybe. I sure have been eyeing that Catwoman, so if you’re interested in that one you may want to keep watching this space.

Marvel Gallery: Goblin Queen by Diamond Select

It’s Christmas week and that’s always a busy week for me, but I’m still going to try to get in three reviews this week, including one for Christmas morning. Since there are only two more Marvel Mondays this year, I decided to get one more non-Marvel Legends review in before we say goodbye to 2019, so let’s open up another one of Diamond Select’s wonderful Marvel Gallery statues. This time we’re checking out Madelyne Pryor… The Goblin Queen!

If you’re still unfamiliar with DST’s Marvel Gallery statues, please have a look through some of my past reviews, because these roughly 9-inch scale PVC figures are perfect for statue collectors on a budget. As always, they come in display boxes with windows on the top, front, and side panels to let in plenty of light and show off the goods inside. Everything is collector friendly and the statue comes fully assembled and ready to go!

And it’s no wonder why all those Goblins follow her around, because Maddie is smoking hawt! The composition features her standing atop an arcane-looking stony ground with plumes of semi-transparent smoke and a lone Goblin prostrate at her feet and huddled over some skulls. It’s definitely more of what I would call a museum pose, but the placement of her legs and the blowing of her cape do offer a whiff of possible action.

I’ll confess that I don’t recognize this precise costume from any books that I’ve read, but I’m going to assume it’s somewhat contemporary. And that’s fine because Maddie’s costumes tend to have a running theme and this one isn’t all that different from what we’ve seen in the past. She dons a pair of skin-tight leggings and a top that could only be considered modest if you find bare arms provocative. As is often the case, she’s showing off her mid-riff and more than a modicum of cleavage. Almost every facet of the costume is part of the sculpt, including the coiled wire around her arms, the fasteners for her cape.

I tend to think of Maddie wearing black, but here she has a very deep and beautiful metallic purple sheen to her outfit, with only the tattered cape being black. The coils on her arms are painted gold, as is the fastener for her cape. The lighter purple pattern running down her right leg appears to be a decal, which is the first time I remember seeing that used on one of these statues. It looks great, and hopefully it will be durable enough to last without chipping. The paint applications here are overall good. If I want to really nitpick, I could see a few minor areas for improvement in the lines between her skin and costume, but I’m talking very minor. To be fair I’ve seen far more expensive statues than this one with worse.

The portrait is quite lovely, with her pretty face shadowed by her luxurious coif of flowing red hair. You do have to get in and under her to really appreciate the work they did here, but I love the way the hair partially obscures it. The paint used for her lips and green eyes is sharp.

If there’s one area where these Gallery Statues sometimes come up short it’s the base designs, although that’s not the case here. The semi-transparent plumes of smoke make for a cool effect and the extra sculpt and paint that went into the goblin really takes this base above and beyond what we usually get. He’s got a ton of personality to him, and it’s clear that they poured just as much love into him as the rest of the piece. The skulls are a nice touch too!

DST has been killing it with the Marvel Gallery lately. Not only are the sculpts and paint on point, but I’m really digging the diverse character selection. I can’t think of all that much merch devoted to Maddie Pryor, and that makes this all the more of a welcome treat. It also makes for a nice consolation prize, because I was once considering picking up the Bowen version of The Gobln Queen, but by the time I decided to pull the trigger the prices had gone too rich for my blood. Meanwhile, this lovely little piece only set me back about $35 and you simply can’t beat that. The craftsmanship here is definitely on par with more expensive pieces I’ve seen. And that’s why despite the fact that I’ve run out of room to display these a long time ago, I’m still buying them, because I just can’t say no.