Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Black Widow: Hot Toys Sixth Scale Movie Avengers figure review....



Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Man oh man oh man. Am I really bogged down by endless backlogs or what? I actually bought Black Widow here sometime late last June! I have even received another Hot Toys figure after her so what's with the delay you might ask? Well, honestly my faithful camera broke down after years of service (may the 'DSLR gods' have mercy on its soul!) some time back and I had to borrow one for my photoshoot ever since. And since I didn't have the will power to shoot continuous photo sessions in any one night, I often overlooked the one sixth figures in favour of other smaller scale figures given that more planning is needed to prep these 12-inchers for their shoot. Nevertheless, I finally got around to do a proper shooting session of Black Widow the other day so let's see what this figure is all about, shall we?

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The packaging

Well, nothing new here if you're familiar with Hot Toys' presentation format of its movie Avengers line-up. Slip cover with an image of the actress Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow herself from the film. Hot Toys is known for their creative presentation packaging styles for their sixth scale figures but I feel they have gone on the cheap this time by opting for this slip cover format. I don't really like this particular style as the main box has the tendency to literally 'slip' down if you're not careful enough while carrying it around. I would have prefered the simple yet practical 'shoe-box' format which Hot Toys utilised some years back but that's just me. Your mileage may vary.

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

But what I do like is the huge letterings on the top of the main box which is clearly stating the obvious. You wouldn't miss the wordings even if you're standing 10-metres away from it. No mistake on which action figure is inside this packaging!

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

At the back of the slip case is the usual legal mumbo jumbo, copyright matters and other stuff I believe most collectors won't even read.

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

Once you remove the slip case, you'll immediately have a glimpse of the 'Widow albeit through a plastic window. Before we go any further, let me just say that this is technically Black Widow ver.2 we're getting here. The 1st version was produced by Hot Toys in conjunction with her appearance in Iron Man 2. Naturally, if you haven't got that 2st version already, then this version is a must for your collection. I've seen comparison pictures between the two and I must say....ver.2 is far superior than the 1st! So that's saying something.

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

At the back of this box is the info on the Hot Toys team responsible for bringing this Black Widow figure to fruition.
Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

Once you take the figure tray out you'd be instantly flabbergasted to see that 'Widow comes with minimal accessories. She comes with only of 5 pairs of hands for normal poses/weapon handling/ones with tazer effects, her stinger bracelets, two hand guns, a couple of discs explosives/charges; and most importantly the Chitauri alien gun thingy. With her being 'light' in the accessories department, it's no mystery why so many collectors groaned and grumbled about her price tag. Black Widow here was going for anywhere between USD175 - USD200....and some on-line stores even priced her at well above the USD220 mark! Epic ridiculous if you ask me.

The price rise in Hot Toys' sixth scale figures nowadays is very alarming indeed that one might even have to resort to selling one's internal organs to buy one of these in the future! Luckily I got mine at a rather reasonable price of USD165 through a pre-order I placed with my regular toy pusher, so I don't really have much to complain since most collectors out there had to pay sky-high exorbitant amount just to get Scarjo into their collection.

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

Here's a closer look at Black Widow/Scarjo before I take her out from her tray. I must say, even though there are numerous complaints from disgruntled fan boys that her head sculpt is kinda 'inaccurate' or 'doesn't really nail Scarjo's likeness', this is by far the most realistic Scarlett Johansson sixth scale headsculpt thus far, trouncing her previous Hot Toys' incarnations as Silken Floss (from The Spirit) and the ver.1 Widow (from Iron Man 2). There were doubts that her 'rooted' hair might go disarray and unruly but Hot Toys seemed to have fixed that by pre-applying some hairgel onto her hair, so it's up to you to sculpt and flex her hair to your fancy!

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Avengers Movie Black Widow

In the comics, Black Widow went with many names. She's often referred to as Natasha Romanoff or Natasha Romanova and sometimes Natalia Romanoff but they all refer to the same character aka the 1st Black Widow of the Marvel Universe. The on-screen character portrayed by Scarjo is referring to this one (she's been called Natalie Rushman but later revealed as Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2).

Yelena Belova was the second Black Widow. In the Ultimates universe, Natasha Romanoff was preceded by the 2nd 'Widow, Monica Chang. Now there's some trivia for you! If you wanna know more on the back story of the character(s), then I suggest you check out wikipedia's entry or something for more info. I'm just gonna concentrate on the action figure from hereon and how it relates to the Avengers movie, aight?

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Twist and turn the head sculpt as you see fit, you'd still see Scarjo at every angle. Honestly, I can't really understand how some collectors out there who insisted that they can't see a 100% resemblance to Scarlett Johansson in this head sculpt. I'll let you be the judge of it. All I can see here is Scarjo and no one else. I've also read somewhere that Hot Toys' QC team can't ensure an exact head sculpt for every single Scarjo sixth scale figure out there so that explained why some of you having a 'slightly different' head sculpt in your hands. Hey, they're only humans too. Whatever it is, I'm glad mine did turn out like Scarjo!
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Black Widow here turned out exactly like how I envisioned her would be. As mentioned, she's leaps and bounds better than ver. 1. She's better proportioned this time...and I mean really proportioned! HT even got her 'size' right this time instead of the 'extraordinarily sized ones' in ver.1....thank you for staying faithful to Scarjo's REAL appearance this time Hot Toys...instead of how you 'THOUGHT' she should be....LOL.

I also love how Hot Toys re-created her utility belt and holster pieces. They don't look over-sized at all. Her zipper is also at the right size...I can understand how Hot Toys wasn't able to EXACTLY reproduce the zipper at the right scale. You can appreciate how they went for functionality instead of a visually/scale correct accessory.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

BW comes with the customary 'generic' figure stand with a personalised name print at the bottom. Standard issue as with the other Avengers' figures before her.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Love that SHIELD logo on her arm.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

She can be fairly posed to achieve some decent 'action poses' but this is as far I think I'd pose mine. I have this tiny fear that her body suit might tear at the seams. I've seen some collectors realllyyyy stretching her...posing BW in her 'split' position and such....not me though. These Hot Toys figures are really stretching my wallet these days so no way I'm gonna risk damaging them!
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Then again, there is always the 'evergreen' question of whether the rubber body suit will withstand the test of time without disintegrating right before our very eyes. I think with proper care and the right display environment i.e. temperature, humidity etc I think you might get to see the rubber suit maintaining its pristine condition for quite some time.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

It's nice to know that Hot Toys had given Scarjo/BW a unique True Type body to stay true to the character's physique and not some random/generic True Type bodies. Some collectors have been complaining that Black Widow is a little bit on the smaller side and she is dwarfed by the other Avengers' team mates (scroll down to the last couple of pictures for the comparison) but I think that was how she looked like in the movie and her scale is perfect!
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Haha....can't resist her 'iconic' pose.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

I think if you ask me, one of her biggest flaw is that we're unable to really pose her ankles to the way we want it due to the 'one-piece' boots. They really restrict her posing capabilities. Makes me wonder why Hot Toys didn't emulate how they did Thor's boots/ankles....hmmm? Lack of 'rocker ankles' is a big 'minus' points in my books.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

You might wanna be careful with the disc charges thingy...they're small and easily dropped. I was extra cautious when posing it onto Black Widow's hand for the photo shoot. This shall be the ONLY time that these things will see the light of day. Off to the storage tray you go after this! LOL.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

I think most collectors were looking forward to the Chitauri spear thing. Some of you might prefer to display her holding it. It's a delicate piece of accessory that many would appreciate. It gives you the extra option to display Black Widow with but for me I'm just gonna stick to her holding both her handguns on my shelf.
 
Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Swapping her hands and the stinger bracelets was easy. No real effort needed as the hands pop out almost immediately and I wasn't irritated at all trying to pop the new hands in unlike some of the previous sixth scale figures I have in my collection. Kudos Hot Toys for not making me utter sweet profanities this time around.

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Seriously, I can't get enough of the phenomenal head sculpt. Under low-light conditions it looks even more hauntingly/eeriely similar to the actress. Dare I say it...isn't this the most realistic female head sculpt done by Hot Toys thus far?

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow


THE REBEL'S VERDICT: I'd say this again....this figure is totally light in the accessory department. If not for the Chitauri spear/weapon, I think many would shun away from buying this figure especially given the fact that it would cost you close to USD200....and in some cases even reaching USD 220! Honestly, I do hope that Hot Toys could put a stop to their rampant price hike but I do understand that it's like asking a child to never touch a bowl full of candy! Nevertheless, if you're a sixth scale fan and especially an Avengers enthusiast, then this Black Widow figure is a must...no two-ways about it. The phenomenal head sculpt would soon erase your pain of having to fork close to 200 bucks for such an accessory deprived action figure. She's totally worth it for the insane head sculpt alone. If you don't have BW ver.1, then this one is a must. If you already have ver. 1, then you might want to sell that one off (LOL!) and get this one!

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

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4 Comments:

The Combollector said...

it's just incredible how they get an accurate face sculpt of Scar Jo.

The Rebel said...

Combollector >>> they better do! These figures are getting more and more exorbitant by the day...the least they can do is to ensure a decent likeness for the head sculpts right?

desmond said...

Bro, your black widow's hair style is more accurate and better than mine :)

The Rebel said...

Des >>> hahah...I thought her hair looked kinda 'stiff' when I first took her out of her packaging..my wife helped to properly 'sculpt' her hair to look like Scarjo's. Always trust your better half when it comes to female hair style! Heheh...