Sex Vs. Violence (Or Something)
by Jason Wyngarde
Those Who Do Not Learn From History…
Baroness vs. Flint Two-Pack
All the lifestyle pieces in the big mcNewspapers and cottony-soft infotainment websites tell me that action figures of the soldierly variety were the heavy hitters in the toy game for Easter, pard’ner. Especially G.I. Joe, which coincidentally, is in the midst of a major resurgence with new body sculpts and redesigns for old classic figures. Not wanting to be left behind in this rush of somewhat confused patriosumerism, I rushed right out to my local Toys R’ Us and picked up the only two-pack that was of interest to me, the Baroness/Flint 2-pack. (Full disclosure note: I also picked up the 2-pack with Dreadnok Ripper, but returned it a couple of days later unopened, when I discovered, to my horror, that the Hells Angel-speedfreak-punk aesthetic that Ripper formerly sported had now been transformed into a sloppy doppelganger of the Construction Worker from the Village People! Motherfucker!)
So anyway, Flint’s lying in the bottom of my closet somewhere, untouched, whatever. Stupid jarhead. The true reason I got it was because of the Baroness! The fourth-coolest member of Cobra Command! Black leather, horn-rimmed glassed and an icy visage! Yeah! YEAH! Well… no. This figure totally fucking sucks, and I’m afraid this suckness just might permeate the rest of the G.I. Joe line. For one thing, they left the primary structural flaw of the last G.I. Joe line in these new figures — that fucking rubber band that holds the whole body together! Have they learned nothing? This rubber band dooms the figures to obsolescence! The rubber band gets worn down, snaps, and presto, you have three figures instead of one. Calling Major Torso, Sergeant Crotch, and Corporal Legs into battle! I cannot emphasize how much this annoys me. It’s not nostalgic, it’s shoddy.
The Baroness figure seems tres slapdash overall. The ears are damn well gigantic, and the neck is too thin, causing the head to slump forward at any given time, approximating an opiated nod. The body is just weirdly put-together on the whole, without any thought to gender, proportion or reality. The legs are too long, the waist is too thin (she makes Barbie look chubby) and then the upper thighs just explode outward, the shoulders too broad, and the arms are blocky and resemble those bastard Bionicles that my cousin was playing with at Christmas, rather than those of, say, a woman.
The worst thing is that I can see what they were “trying” to do here, in terms of updating the character with a new hairstyle, body armor, etc., for the 21st Century. But they didn’t go all the way, and were chintzy with the molds and sculpts, so what you have is a Lego-looking piece of crap. I’ll wait till the next revival, thank you.
Words (And Good Taste) Fail Me…
Bastard!! High End Figure 5
Kotobukiya – Art Fx
So there I was, bopping around my favorite out-of-town retailer (or maybe it was a convention, details are blurry), flicking through pegs and pegs chock full o’ anime crrrap. Besides the late, great Tranzor Z, I’ve got no use for it, as of yet. Whatever. But there, beneath a clutch of Neon Genesis figures was THE fucking most bizarre, absurd, over-the-top figure that I have EVER seen. It is THE ACTION FIGURE — alpha to omega, nothing will ever be as poptastically/trashily/weirdly fabulous as this. The Philosopher’s Stone as a plastic statue! What is it? Why Bastard!! High End Figure Number 5 — HaChaCha… No wait, it’s so out-there and so exaggerated and so over-endowed and confused that it goes way awry of inspiring any sexualized thoughts and instead gives way to a all-encompassing feeling of awe and lunacy and childlike glee in that something like this that is so just… fucking… wrong could be allowed to exist. But I held off on buying it though — I was kinda worried about the proprietor casting askance looks or making me cart it out of the shop in a brown paper bag in the dead of night. So I chickened out and went on the WWW to find out some info on this lil’ plastic totem of trash and it turns out this character — Polno Dianno or Porno Dianno (I shit you not) is named after the original singer from IRON MAIDEN!! Good god! I bought it the very next day.
The review: This figure is so fucking wrong on all counts. Buy it. Buy it now! There’s no articulation to speak of, but the sculpting is just incredibly detailed. Second-to-none, really – it’s art. The proportions are exaggerated enough to make Dolly Parton feel like Twiggy. The “anime gal” face provides a shocking juxtaposition to the overdeveloped spiderqueen-esque body. The clothing, or lack thereof, makes Vampirella look like a prude. And the wings, the fucking huge demonic wings are the crowning touch. I think her title is like the Devilish Generalissimo or some such. The point is, I’m probably going to hell for buying this figure. But it’s this goddamn close to being the crown jewel of my collection.