After my first whirlwind love affair with a Hot Toys Iron Man figure, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone for my second figure review. Someone a lot more vulnerable, but ten times as dangerous. Someone like Resident Evil's Ada Wong.
Resident Evil fans know who Ada Wong is. All those who don't know her really need to know is that she's a spy, she can handle a crossbow, and in the movie universe she is played by Li Bingbing. Sadly, this is not a Li Bingbing action figure.
No, this is Hot Toys' rendition of the video game version of Ada Wong, as sold by Sideshow Collectibles, where they are much better at taking pictures of action figures than I am, the jerks.
Having long-admired the work Hot Toys does on fully-armored or fully-clothed figures, I wanted to see how they handled skin.
That didn't come out right. Just read the damn review.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
Times like this I wish I was just reviewing a Transformer. Deep breath...
- Ada Wong, because she has to be in there
- Three sets of additional hands
- Tommy gun with clip
- Grapple gun with different tips
- Holster with strap
- Cellphone with holder
- Various weapon magazines
- A motherfucking crossbow
- Various vials and injectors and okay fine, I have no idea what they are
- A case for holding the things I don't know about
- She probably has a knife too. She seems the sort
WHAT I LIKED
The Fleshy Bits — No, not those fleshy bits. I'm talking about the actual flesh, or the reasonable facsimile thereof that Hot Toys has created to cover the arms, legs and body of this figure. It's absolutely fascinating what they've done here — pores, small freckles, blemishes of sorts — it's headed towards creepy, but takes a left turn at breathtaking just before it gets there. Enlarge the pic for a closer look.
Extra points for sheathing the arms and legs in the material, hiding the knees and elbows from prying eyes.
Smile. Or Don't. Your Choice — Somewhere between her video game representation and real life, that's where Hot Toys' Ada Wong's face resides. In certain light it looks amazingly lifelike. In others its artificial nature shines through, but in a respectful sort of way. I keep imagining her lips are going to curl into a slight smile at any moment.
So Many Accessories — Ada comes with so many weapons, accessories and other bits of fluff that it's almost too many. Guns, phones, sunglasses, whatever the hell these things are...
I am guess it's some sort of biochemical thing I'd know more about if I'd paid more attention to the video games . Maybe some sort of letter-plus-virus combination. Really they could have just stopped with the crossbow and I would have been happy.
Fine Details — When your character's main distinguishing factor is her red dress, you'd better get that bit right.
Get the dress right, and you don't have to worry about things like the engraving on the side of a grapple gun. That does not stop Hot Toys from putting it in there anyway.
It's a large part of the company's success — paying as much attention to the extraneous bits as they do the figures themselves.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
Ankles and Wrists — It's a limitation of the process, I know. Realistically I should be happy the wonderful textured skin is covering up the elbows and knees. But the perfection of those limbs just make the transitions at the end even more jarring.
From afar, the figure looks fine, but get too close — and you will want to get close to Ada — and her freakish flaws are revealed. It's realism, realism, realism, department store mannequin.
Those Sunglasses — Stylish, sexy, sophisticated. I couldn't get them on. I read the instructions, which vaguely told me how to place them, but I just couldn't find the right way to position those little ear bits. I was terrified I would break them. So I gave up. This is most likely my problem, and not the toy's.
Completely Lacking Underwear — If you're going to go to the trouble of sewing up a tiny red dress and making a little bitty black neck dealie to finish off the ensemble, maybe give the character wearing the hip-slitted dress a pair of undies. I placed her on a high shelf for displace, went bright red, then lowered her down a few pegs. No, I have no photographs to illustrate this. I imagine there is an aftermarket that does nothing but make 1/6 scale panties for easily-embarrassed collectors.
That's as close as you get, pervert.
There are Resident Evil fans out there who love Ada Wong, with her red dress and purple vials and crossbows. I can certainly see the appeal, but I am not much of a Wong-ite. Wongee. Wonger. Whatever.
If I were, maybe I could overlook those odd joints at the wrists and ankles. I could just accept her for her pretty face, mostly-realistic skin and those sexy sunglasses that are always nearby but never actually on her face because I am a coward.
As a non-Wongist, I find the whole thing a bit jarring to be honest. Maybe if she wore some long gloves and thigh boots I'd be more into her.
Ooo, I know, put her in some Iron Man armor. That would be perfect.
Hot Toys' Ada Wong is available now from Sideshow Collectibles for $199.99.