Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Enterbay's Gang2 1/6th Figure

THE PACKAGING: there is no doubt that the slip-case box wrapped in fabric is indeed a luxurious and handsome case. an epitome of Enterbay's intention for this product-line [read interview] with the embriodered pull-tab (to me) being the highlight of the packaging (as is the autograph out back by T.YORK, designer of G2 - which i reckon may not come with every other figure). altho dependent on how it is packed, the crisp edges may suffer dents or tiny dinks (mine did *sob*) and personally, it's a box you'd more likely want to keep, than just ripping into it and chucking it away like other "regular" 1/6th-figures boxes (but then again im a hoarder... :p)

to be frank, i had mixed feelings when the box-slipped open to reveal the contents. a sense of utter excitement (as all box-opening does, im sure) as well as trepidation of a figure i'd been blogging about (and only thru the sheer generosity of Enterbay's Bill Tjhang would i have the opportunity to have this figure, much less review it). and also a simple "fear", for i realized i've built-up an expectation of this figure, for which hampered my full enjoyment of it (but more on that later).

LAYOUT / CONTENT: simple but (again) classy layout of items revealed within a molded-tray finished in lush felt-texture. the fur jacket was a thrill to touch, and the bling-necklace on the side flickered in the light (drama, but true LOL). the matt-black envelope held a pull-put "comic" of G2's adventures [featured here prior] produced as an accordian-styled horizontal pull-out with sepia-toned illos - which frankly was something i was looking forward to, but could do without now - but nevertheless appreciate the effort for.

THE FIGURE: the entire figure itself (fully clothed) was heavy. heavier than any other 1/6th-figures i have held (with the near amount of clothes+gear) i like my figures "heavy", as it belies a possibility of being stable. and it does stand well. but alas without his shoes, he could not. i had to prop up the base of his feets with a toothpick for the dude to stand for my photo-taking. i know not if this be just for this figure or for others ... but then again, i know not of anyone who'd want to strip and display their figures, no? *heh*

other than that, this figure rawks for me, visually. standing with attitude aplomb and taking no shitte from anyone LOL

ARTICULATION: i suppose i blame myself for the heightened expectations for this figure. transplanting the notion of Enterbay's exceptional articulation for their 1/6 Bruce Lee series [Way of the Dragon + Game of Death et al] to this figure was a "mistake" on my part. it's quite ironic, when i first received this figure (months back, my bad), i'd wanted to do a review-photoshoot with my 1/6th Ferrari (ie. Barbies R/C-red Ferrari! LOL) and when i finally found the vehicle, i stripped the figure to discover it's lack of articulation (*bummerz*)

the figure consists of a grand total of 7 points-of-articulation. neck + shoulder/arm + higher-portion of wrists + higher-portion of ankles. and by "articulation", it is basic turn/swivel-action. i couldn't get the dude to sit down in the Ferrari (altho with his bulky+beefy build, he wouldn't have been able to fit in anyways LOL)

it's a tricky premise (which also led to a prolonged review). as a stand-alone statuette, the figure is da bomb - but as an "action figure" it totally falls short of my own expectations. on the other hand, to sacrifice the look and form of the figure (nekkid or otherwise LOL) with more articulation may not make a good-looking-figure make, IMHO. cater to the niche-collectors, or enhanced for the commercial masses? mayhap as a "luxury-figure" collectible-line, this figure can cater to the former.

i admit, i struggled with this assessment aspect of the figure. my disappointment for the lack of articulation weighed heavily, but the realization that to do so may disrupt the form (but would be a heck of a new form created, yes?), and in the end, what would make this figure different from any other 1/6th-figure out in the market? except for it's head-sculpt and clothes/accessories?

HEADSCULPT: sporting a more of a "caricature-ish" style/look rather than a hyper-realistic one, with a heightened sense of "danger" with the highbrows shading the blankness of the eyeballs. and tis the sculpt that defines the figure, in G2's instance, IMHO. (and after a fashion, i'd gotten over the Denis-Rodman-likeness :p)

a side-note for kitbashers: i did not attempt (well i did, just not hard enuff LOL) to remove the headsculpt (of coz hoping to transplant it unto an existing articulated body, but not everyone would rip off Hot Toy's Clubber Lang's head for it's muscled-body, ennit? - different skin-tone too) so im not too sure if this will work. (if it does for you, lemme know, yeh? kekekeke)

TATTOOS: the facial tattoo (notably at the chin-region) added to the character's attitude, IMHO. nicely done and not too obvious to take away his rugged looks (*cough*) altho the pencil-thin moustache (or is that a tattoo? :p) was a tad annoying, but that's just me. the body tattoos were quite commendable, most notably the back shoulders and especially the lower-back. any more detailed or even "darkened", it would've been "too fake", in my opinion.

THE BLING: dude has bling. from the singular ear's, to the fingers'. of course the most obvious would be he's necklace. very fine and intricate piece, i must say (which reminded me of Indian costume jewelry - similar technique, i suspect). adds to the total package, but with only the necklace visible when he has his fur on. (of coz including the ear's)

half of me wishes the figure could come with a gun, and a blinged-out one at that! but another part of me is thankful they didn't go by way of "media-profiling" and over-glamorized the negative aspects of the figures' "origins" (as it were) :p

one noticeable little design-change is in his shades - from the initial prototype with cool-ass-wrap-Bono-ish goodness, to the current framed-pedestrian accessory (but of coz im picky that way) - to me, it does affect the final package and "look", as it were ... altho frankly, it would've been uber-cool if his (plastic) shades came with bling as well. of coz that'll be OTT enough for this dude, yeh? but then again, with the current trend now, this dude be under-blinged, innit? *heh*

FORM: taller than your average 1/6th-G.I.Joe figure (which is slightly sorter than 12-inches anyways), he does look impressive as is (he has man-boobies too! LOL). and i reckon if he were to be fully articulated (ie. 25-30 points-of-articulation) then we would have missed the sculpt altogether. but yes, i understand (and have said so before) we may not be displaying him nekkid on a shelf too, IMHO.

would've been nice to have some "healed-bullet-wounds" or battle-scars, yeh? ... but then again, folks may look upon them as "production-defects" than intended sculpts, ennit? *heh*

notice also i had to prop him up standing with a toothpick (as mentioned earlier in the review)

SHOES: if you folks don't know me by now, im a real sucker for 1/6th-shoes. and frankly, tis hard to be "critical" about this pair, becoz i do not instantaneously recognize the make. that said, the form is pretty nifty, and details commendable, especially the sole! LOL - altho with as lush as this figure attempts to be, it would've been fabulous of the shoe had actual laces. it may not be too much to ask for faux-leather/pleather as well, but of coz im greedy :p ... to cap it off, i have no luv for the gold-color tho, 'nuff said.

CLOTHES: the fur coat is indeed the highlight of the figure, no doubt. with full-lined interiors (*gasp*) it is utter mack-daddy-pimpin'! the jeans were utilitarian to me. but to be fair, the tailoring is exceptional - notice the base of the pants and it's "perfect" length? like a "real" pair of pants should be (LOL). the sew-trims were very neat and well controlled, IMHO.

altho i do have an issue with the belt. the buckle is fine (would've been fab if it too was blinged LOL) but tis the soft leather that bugged me, more so becoz it folded under the tailoring of the jeans' loops. so much so in the end, it looks sloppy, rather than refined.

but again this is tricky, for in "real-life" the belt would too have buckled and you woulda seen the dude's briefs, ennit? .. but then again, this is not real-life, and the dude can't even bend down/over ... (i meant "articulation" ya pervs! LOL)

this item is a single molded piece. the handle doesn't withdraw. the zips and buckles don't work. im not too sure, but maybe the wheels can turn? but again, i forgot (so maybe it doesn't, otherwise i may have remembered LOL) ... single molded piece.

(1) the entire package is as immaculate and classy as a 1/6th-figure could come in. (but then again, i've not had the honor nor opportunity to assess a Enterbay Bruce Lee-figure set :p) and is not your average off the toy-shelf sort of affair.

(2) in the endgame, the sculpt was more than decent and manages to provide it the attitude for which the character's "lifestyle" is based from. as a statuette, this figure is rawking, IMHO!

(3) fur coat.

(1) while i do not have violent reaction to this figure, neither am i lording over it. the lack of articulation bothers me quite a bit, and im still struggling with that even now (old "habits" die hard lah :p). for i realize he would only be "good" standing in that pose (and a bad-ass-pose that is too, mind!) and not for anything else. altho his clothes+gear would be good for kitbashing, IMHO - but that defeats the purpose of this figure, dunnit?

(2) a "working" luggage would have been uber-cool, IMHO. (but of coz im being too "parts-specific", innit? *heh*

WRAP-UP: G2 is not for your average 1/6th-collector, who demands multiple-articulation. G2 is a fashion-figure. with very limited articulation, but with a dollop of attitude.

bearing in mind this figure is catering to a very, very niche taste. neither mass-market-1/6, nor is it (directly) based on an existing artiste or character (which loses out on it's real-world fan-base). neither is it a "toy" (per se) nor "fad-collectible" in the sense of urban-slash-designer-figures (or even vinyls). at best, this is a statue that has minor articulation. and in that respect, this is a sweet piece of "Designer" 1/6th (even if only by sense of figure size). for the luxury-aspect of the figure, i feel fulfills it's initial intentions [read interview], and can only get better (i hope).

G2 is the first figure out of (hopefully) an entirely new family of figures, and mayhap with those figures, the image and vision for the world of G2; would be more complete, IMHO. and i for one, am looking forward to that, if and when it happens :)

GANG2 is from Enterbay's ORIGINAL series and is currently available via online for a SRP of US$70 - with a fixed-rate shipping cost of US$35-per via EMS Express post service from Hong Kong (rates accurate at time of post/review, based on Enterbay's website info). no other images of G2 is currently posted on the website, so i am not 100%-sure if the figure is still available. do drop them an email to confirm availability, yeh? :)

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