Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Action Figure Review: Alice from Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Alice in Wonderland by CS Moore Studio Ltd.

     Last month I entered a contest over at Needless Things that was sponsored by Zenescope Entertainment and I ended up winning a Zenescope prize package. I received a copy of the Wonderland Board Game, a Christmas card, a trade paperback of one of their Wonderland comics, and this action figure of Alice from Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Alice in Wonderland. Zenescope is a interesting company, and a successful one (they've been around for 10 years). I read a number of their titles in trade paperback form and while they tell great stories and have some excellent art that certainly feels very modern, many of their sales methods definitely feel like they're from the early 1990s. You know, things like multiple cover variants (granted a lot of companies do that), bad girl books, and cheesecake pinup style covers. That's not a knock against them, though, as it appears to be working just fine. Anyways, this Alice figure is rather interesting; it's sculpted by Clayburn Moore who was one of the pioneers of direct market and collector targeted action figures in the mid-late 1990s. Looking at this figure, there are things about it that feel both modrn and incredibly dated. Want to learn more? Then read on....

The Facts:
Height: 6 1/4 inches tall

Articulation: Swivel hips, swivel shoulders, and a swivel neck (although it's almost completely obstructed by her hair).

Accessories: Display base, white rabbit, croquet mallet, a bottle labeled "drink me," and a comic book of Alice in Wonderland #1.

The Positives:

* I always appreciate when action figures come with a stand, particularly when it's a display of some kind. This is a great little base that has some very nicely painted mushrooms on it. Alice fits on here very securely and the base adds a bit to the overall look of the figure.
* Clayburn Moore is an excellent sculptor. There's no doubt about that. While this figure is exactly the kind of figure the IAmElemental folks probably had in mind when creating their line, you still can't deny that this is a well sculpted, exaggerated image of a fantasy/ comic book female. It's kind of like pin-up art in plastic form. The paint work is nice and clean and the body sculpt is definitely evocative of comic proportions. I mean, if you look at this figure at the side you can see that this girl's posture is all out of whack due to how...shapely she is.

* The accessories are really nice. They're all really well painted and feature some excellent detail. The rabbit is adorable, the drink me bottle is painted to look aged (even the cork has a dark wash to it), and the croquet mallet is a great, unique accessory. I love having a croquet mallet in this scale since, as you probably know, I've always wanted a Stephen King based toyline. And of course, a croquet mallet is Mr. Jack Torrance's weapon of choice.

The Negatives:

*Remember how earlier I said that this figure feels like it's from the mid to late 90s? Here's a few examples: First, Alice effectively only has four points of articulation (her hair blocks the swivel neck) and they're all swivel joints. Her v-crotch means she really is stuck in one pose and is a static, standing pose. Typically more statuesque figures feature a unique or dynamic pose but poor Alice is just left awkwardly standing here. She hold the croquet mallet in her hand, but she's not really doing anything with it. Had her hands been posed to hold the mallet or even just rest on her hips she would be much improved.
*Moore has his own unique style and I won't fault him for that, but I feel like this headsculpt looks far too simple with very flat helmet hair. The packaging and the included comic book are filled with pictures of Alice, so perhaps her likeness should have been replicated here? I'm just not digging the headsculpt and hair at all.

     I'm a fan of many different types of action figures. I love my highly articulated Star Wars Black figures and I love my preposed Game of Thrones figures from Dark Horse. I love both the exaggerated proportions of Masters of the Universe Classics and the realism of NECA's Reel Toys. I am, however, finding a lot to get excited about with this figure other than the fact that it's a pretty lady with great accessories. The croquet mallet, white rabbit, and bottle are awesome and, while the figure has nice paint and sculpting, it feels like a relic of a bygone era without any of the charm. I'd love to see CS Moore Studios work on a truly modern action figure because as it stands, Alice is a bit of a disappointment. I'm giving her an Eh and a 1/2.

     Let me say that I do appreciate Zenescope sending me this figure as part of the contest over at Needless Things. I do enjoy a number of Zenescope's comics (bring back The Theater!) and I look forward to trying the board game.

Oddly enough, I've reviewed another Alice in Wonderland figure: Hysteria Alice from Alice: Madness Returns by Diamond Select Toys.

1 comment:

  1. If Alice looked like that then am heading to Wonderland right now lol.


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