Babydoll - Sucker Punch
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|It's an early special review
today - a first look at one of the newest Hot Toys figures! Jeff is
going to give us the full rundown...take it away, Jeff!
Thanks as always to our grand overseer Master Crawford for keeping the
faith in the world of collectible reviews, and staying fresh while
those around him wilt!
This is a preview figure so it will require a quick turnaround, and as
such its not a figure I’ve had time to digest fully, but I shall try to
dissect it as concisely as I can as I open, un-box and set her up.
Zack Snyder seems to be one of those directors that people either love
or hate. But regardless of your thoughts on the art he produces, you
have to admit that guy can make a movie look visually stunning with
spectacular set pieces that would have been hard to conceive, let alone
commit to film (all be it digital) just a few years ago. His
groundbreaking work on 300 set the benchmark for his signature style,
then his work on the Watchmen proved and cemented that the unfilmable
had now become very filmable. But before he took on the Watchmen movie
he had another project in development that had to be put on the
backburner. So as soon as Watchmen wrapped he was straight back on to
what ended up as Sucker Punch. It had been a pet project of his for
some time, and was his first completely original movie… perhaps a leap
he wasn’t quite ready for.
I found it to be a wholly unfulfilling movie on many levels, and its
flippant regard for the fetishistic abuse that the protagonists faced
was hard to justify in places. It dealt with what was a pretty serious
subject matter but reduced it to a seedy adolescent fantasy. In making
the action take place in the character Babydoll’s head, Snyder created
the ultimate licence to do just what he wanted. But it blurred the
rules of engagement, while lost in her dance and fantasising about the
fantastical worlds she had to face her foes in, be they hordes of
Nazis, oversized Samurais or fire breathing dragons, the amount of
peril our heroines were ‘actually’ in was difficult to grasp.
Ultimately it was a movie that it’s just not worth getting too worked
up about, you just need to let it wash over you, suspend disbelief and
go with it. It looked great, had a slight story and meandered through a
series of set pieces before fizzling out. The one thing I do respect
about the movie that there was no set-up for a sequel, in fact it ended
in such a way that you could pretty much guarantee there wouldn’t be
one. But having seen its worldwide box office takings compared to the
production budget… well, that’s a moot point anyway.
But enough of me picking the movie to pieces, we are here to look at
the leader of the Sucker Punch gang, and I’m impressed with what I see.
It’s a solid representation of the character and will be a big draw to
those collectors who favour femme figures in general. However with
Babydoll here and Amber being the only two figures yet announced, could
we have another Watchmen situation on our hands… will we ever get Sweet
Pea, Rocket and Blondie to stand by their sisters? Only time (and
Howard Chan) can answer those questions, but even if these are the only
figures we will see, they work well in representing the movie on your
shelf (or as is more likely, in your Detolf). And for Snyder fans, when
placed with King Leonidas, The Comedian and Silk Spectre you will have
a small potted history of his back catalogue in 1/6th scale,
even if he does seem to be afflicted with the Hot Toys ‘unfinished
I hope my pics manage to do this figure some degree of justice, but for
some shots that really make her sing check oput these amazing
shots by Lukazou.
One of the other aspects I did love about this movie was the press
campaign. The trailers were amazing, and the graphic design was gaudy
triumph of classic typography and super hi-definition images of hot
kick ass babes dressed in skimpy military and Sailor-Moon outfits… what
is not to like. Well, funnily enough once we got to see the actual
movie there was quite a bit… but lets just stick to the graphic design
for this section.
I love this box, it has a quirky gimmick, and even thought the quality
of the cardboard used isn’t quite as sturdy as some others we have had
from them, it still manages a top score from me purely because of its
eccentric nature. The outer box that forms the die-cut slip-case is a
deep royal blur with a floral motif blind laminated over its surface.
It has twin tramlines sweeping around its edge and stitch/rivet like
dots tracing all of its straight edges. The front has the cool Sucker
Punch logo on the front and a brief character bio on the back. All
these features are printed in a dense matte gold over the blue
background. The cool gimmick is the elasticated suspender that holds
the outer and inner boxes together. On the left hand side is a strip of
black garter elastic. It has a sliding adjustor and an S shaped hook
that holds it shut, you simply slide the clip out of the loop at the
bottom to release the elastic and pull the two sections apart. Once
released you can slide out the inner box, which has a golden sepia
colouration. The front has a picture of Babydoll from the movie in the
lower left hand corner and a large die-cut window next to it, showing
the fully constructed and dressed figure within. The rear has another
movie still of the character alongside a full production credit list,
letting us know that this boxes design was the work of Dixon Chan and
Monster jr… guys you did an epic job, outstanding… I love it! I do wish
the card had been of a higher spec as mine took a bit of a bashing in
transit, but I’m even willing to overlook that in light of how ice cool
the design is!
Sculpting - ****
Emily Browning is a very attractive young lady, no two ways about it.
And the choice of story she chose to take on after this movie ‘Sleeping
Beauty’ showed she was an actress willing to tackle controversial and
challenging independent roles. She was already a firm favourite in our
family as ‘Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events’ is a firm
perennial DVD favourite for rainy afternoons in our household (if you
haven’t seen it you should). A natural brunette by birth, in this part
she was required to become a platinum blonde. Why? Well each of the
Sucker Punch girls has a distinctive look, they’re like a comic book
version of the Spice Girls mixed up in a blender with the Power Puff
Girls, covering as many bases as possible in terms of ethnicity,
outfit, hair colour etc, etc… something for everyone!
I’ve said before that getting a beautiful woman’s portrait right is one
of the toughest jobs in 1/6th figure making. If you inject too much
character or aggression into the sculpt you run the risk of losing the
attractiveness and indeed the likeness. And lets face it, in this
particular field of collecting everyone is a critic, and some have less
realistic expectations than others. I think the choice of a relatively
neutral expression was the right one here. It allows for any number of
general poses and helps capture the serene, otherworldly beauty that
the character portrayed. But it still manages to hint at a modicum of
fragility and pain.
The complexion is flawless but exhibits gentle detailing on the skin
pores, the eyes are wide and the lips full just as they should be for
Ms Browning. The hair is of the rooted variety, which is another
divider for collectors. Some only seem to like sculpted hair and feel
that rooted is too Barbie like and girly. I disagree, there are times
that both can work. Take for example Silk Spectre from Watchmen and
indeed the base female TT’s reviewed here all
worked well with rooted hair. And on the flip side the Abigail Whistler
from Blade Trinity, Alice from Resident Evil and showed how sculpted
very much has its place.
Here I’m glad to announce it works well and helps in showing the more
soft feminine side of the character. It is styled in a centre parting
with double ponytails at the back on either side of the base of the
skull, while the front has loose sections hanging over the sides to
frame the face. The styling and fineness of hair used here is top
quality, and if you are one of those who thinks rooted hair is too
Barbie like… look again. This hair is to Barbie what the DX PERS eyes
are to Ken’s crude doll dot peepers, i.e. they hardly frequent the same
There is a navy blue/black head-band included as an accessory that
needs to be slid over the back of the head, over the two pony tails and
pushed to just above where the hair falls into the looser front section
of the parting, but the fact it has an elasticated segment makes
positioning it pretty straightforward.
She also comes with a selection of six hands-
2 gun grip
2 sword grip
All of the right hands are wrapped in a sculpted, textured bandage and
all six of the hands are sculpted well with tight detailing and the
ability to hold the accessories well.
Female figures require a different, lighter touch to your big sweaty
action heroes. Where as we expect to see the guys with dirty, swarthy,
earthy tones, for the gals we want a more gentle and refined approach.
Of course JC Hong doesn’t let us down. His brush is just as adept at
being subtle as it is bold.
So what we end up with here is a beautifully handled paint job
capturing Browning’s alabaster complexion with a slick and flawless
make-up application. The lips are full and glossy while the eyes have
that Hot Toys trademark twinkle, their ability to look wet and catch
the light so convincingly being one of the factors so effective in
bringing her to life. It looks effortless but also looks just right,
but what did you expect?
Hot Toys make a darn good
base body, we all know that, but their female bodies have been in need
of tweaks for some time. Sure they look good, but for kick ass heroines
like the Sucker Punch femme fatales you need a body that can stand in
some deep action poses as well. Well here they have addressed many of
the problems from the past. We now have a much better range at the hips
with ball and socket swivelling joints and the knees are now a double
joint allowing for a much better bend for action and kneeling poses.
But perhaps the best innovation here are the new ankles, as a newly
designed joint allows them to be angled in all directions, and also to
point much further forward, this feature alone has allowed for so many
more poses and makes it easier to find the centre of gravity when
posing with the feet on different levels or with the legs further apart.
The torso from the waist up is covered in a rubber/silicone skin with
finer definition on the abdomen, ribs and clavicles and is able to lean
forward and arch right back. The bust size is also realistically sized
to the character meaning everything looks well proportioned when fully
dressed. The rubber skin goes right up the neck to the base of the head
and this also affords a great degree of motion for turning and looking
up and down.
The shoulders are a hinged universal joint letting them arch back,
shrug and move forward for double grip sword and gun poses. The elbows
are one area where a double-joint would have been nice, instead it’s a
single swiveling hinge joint so a 90 degree bend is the best we can
achieve. Lastly the wrists are a double pegged cut ball joint, so you
can expect the full range as usual.
This is deffinetly the best female body from Hot Toys to date, and the
subtle revisions really do make the world of difference. Though it is
worth noting that the knee design can look a little odd when in very
deep bends, a thing that is made more obvious on this particular figure
because of the semi-opaque stockings, On Amber I think it will work
even beter. But overall the proportions look great, Emily browning is
pocket sized 5’ 1” so her body to head proportions work well, as can be
In the movie Babydoll is set a number of tasks in the form of missions
to retrieve five artefacts representing key items that she needs to
affect her escape in the real world. So I guess it was important to
include some of them… but because of the action orientated bias this
movie has it is also important to arm her to the teeth with a selection
of high calibre fire arms and a nice shiny Katanna.
Her full inventory consists of-
Three pairs of interchangeable hands with bandage/straps on the
One M1911A1 automatic pistol with engraving and ornamental accessories
One Heckler & Koch MP7A1 with supressor and sight
One Japanese-styled metal Katana with Saya and plaited strap
One hair band
One communications headset
One key with metal neck chain
One map holder with strap
One pistol and magazine harness
Two spare magazines
Figure stand with movie logo
As we have come to expect from Hot Toys all the pieces have a high
level of detail and finish, with the weapons featuring articulated
elements and removable magazines, the pistol even has a string of
ornamental charms hanging from its handle.
The five items Babydoll needed to find were..
- fire (the lighter comes with Amber)
- a key (included)
- a knife (comes with Amber)
- a map (included here… well the holder is)
- and a mystery object (?)
The later being a thing that I won’t reveal just in case you haven’t
seen the movie yet!
The detailing and subtle weathering on the map holder is worthy of note
as it manages to look like antique leather and has small intricate
details on the straps and end sections and also has a working
The sword is very cool, as like the Goemon Katana’s it features a real
metal blade and even has microscopic etching (well, probably a
transfer) along the length of its blade. It fits into a brown Saya that
has floral emblems along its sides and is held in place on her back
with a plaited yellow lanyard.
So, a nice selection made all the more apealing by the fact the sword
is real metal.
Misogynistic… maybe, but that’s often the stuff that geek fantasies are
made of. From Leia in a metal bikini to Uhura in a tight red
mini-dress, women in sci-fi and fantasy are invariably half dressed. If
that’s wrong I don’t wanna be right. Here the outfit is
straight out of Sailor Moon (hell, she even has the twin
ponytails) and consists of an immaculately tailored pleated
skirt and a cropped top. Both items mimic cutesy fetish wear, but with
enough of an ironic knowing wink to camera that they just about get
away with it.
Her long legs are clad in black semi-opaque stockings that stop at the
mid thigh, again evoking thoughts of clothing more suited to a
nightclub or strip-joint than a combat situation. But I think we’ve
decided to just go with it for now. Because if practicality for
indulging in the martial arts was truly high on our agenda then the
shoes she sports are also not really fit for purpose. Her skirt is
short and pleated while the matching nautical shirt is also short to
show off her midriff while being well detailed to replicate the over
the shoulder ‘yoke’ collared design. It also features tiny sewn on
buttons and double tramlines around the edges of the collar, cuffs and
hemline. The shirt also incorporates a weapons harness with X shaped
straps over her back and shoulder straps holding a holster for her
automatic pistol on the right and twin magazine holders on the left.
All the tailoring is well handled and the stitching is scaled to look
The ‘Mary-Jane’ shoes are very cool, and though sculpted (rather than
pleather) the detailing is crisp and distinct. The new ankle design
(that I shall cover in articulation) works really well with them,
meaning that even though they are high-heeled she can still stand
solidly in a great many poses. I hasten to add that unless you can
actually see a stand in my pictures then none was used, All the
crouching and squatting photos were taken using the figures centre of
gravity and balance.
Snyder’s movie has scant regard for real world practicality, but hey
it’s a fantasy, and when it comes to getting a guy hot under the colour
he certainly knows what buttons to press, and the reproduction of the
screen worn outfit is near perfectly executed here.
I really like this figure, but the full RRP of $169.99 does seem quite
a wedge. As far as the outfit goes, it may be skimpy but its well
fabricated and fits the body well. The accessories pretty much cover
all the bases for any pose you’d like to replicate from the fantasy
segments in the movie, and the sculpt and paint are solid (after all
its Yulli and JC, so what do you expect?). So to the dedicated 1/6th
collectors (who are sometimes miffed at my lower scores in value) the
price might not seem like such a big deal. But to the guy or gal who
happens to be a fan of the movie and is new to the world of hi-end
prices, well, that might be a different matter.
What I will say is that if you are of this latter category, you may
just find that once you have invested in your first hi-end figure you
become hooked. Finally you will see just what all the fuss is about,
and you will NEED more. Welcome to a whole new world of pain (and
living off cheap packet noodles for weeks on end).
Factor - ***1/2
In terms of looking good on the shelf then his is a peach of a figure,
and that new body means there are a huge selection poses you can get
her into where she looks natural and really quite striking. On the
whole she is well equipped and well built enough to strike any pose you
want, for me it has to be with that Katanna drawn, ready for action. I
kind of wish the movie had been a bit better and done much better box
office, because if it had garnered a big enough following, not only
might we get the full line up of heroines but we could also have
possibly seen one of the hulking samurai warriors, lets face it, Hot
Toys ambitions are far from slight, and it would have made a truly
awesome display piece.
It does of course go without saying that the fragile and pointy nature
of her accessories doesn’t make her an ideal plaything for kids. But
the price and subject matter should really make that blatantly obvious,
they are far from its intended market. But for adult collectors it’s
all good, if a little kinky.
For many of the reasons I stated in the value section there is far more
to like here than dislike. Virtually all the sections it is reviewed
and rated on are highly ranked and the overall package is solid.
So, price plays a factor in keeping Babydoll from a perfect score, but
also a niggling feeling that after the release of Amber we might not
see the rest of the gang. It will be a shame if that is the case, but
not half as tragic as the lack of a full Watchmen line-up. And while
I’m at it, where is Elias from Platoon Hot Toys?
Where to Buy -
Sideshow has Babydoll
available for preorder at $169.99 here. Sadly I
could’t find her at many of Mike’s sponsors, but Urban
Collector does have her for $10 more… (go figure) and BBTS
has her for $10 less (get it while you can).
eBay where the BIN prices are between $150 to $215.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.