By Christopher Troy
Hey there FPNYC faithful, cold enough out there for you? (The answer should be yes, because it’s cold enough for me dammit) It’s the new year and FPNYC recently got in a huge shipment of new collectibles in , ranging from Gunpla, Figma, Nedroids, Play Arts/Formation Arts and DC and Marvel-based figures, amongst others. There’s too much to cover on a single blog entry, so brave the elements and swing by the store and see what we have in stock. Chance are you won’t be disappointed with our expanded selection!
Moving along, FPNYC faithful may remember that sometime last year I compared Marvel and DC action figure selection, trying to see which company could make the best tiny plastic men and women. I was checking out the Forbidden Planet collectibles selection this past week and something came to my attention- both Marvel and DC still produced anime-influence statues of their female characters, despite the continuing downward spiral of the anime industry. Clearly this means I should do an article covering this.
DC Ame-Comi Statues
The Ame-Comi line dates back to the early/mid 2000s, when DC Direct was attempting to cash in on the anime craze that had infected America (also see CMX, the dead manga line they use to run w/ Wildstorm…which is also dead. Funny how that works out huh?), and instead of having actually Japanese artist redesign their characters (outside of several manga versions of Batman), DC hired Canadian art studio UDON to redesign their characters with a heavy Japanese anime influence. This “influence” meant for the most part stripping down the character’s costumes and increasing the size of their “assests”, because clearly, that’s how “The Anime” works. However, there was clearly a market for such figurines (men liking half-naked comic book women. Shocking I know!) as the line is still going strong, recently releasing 2 figures based on Green Lantern Jade and the Star Sapphire. And yes, they’ve even managed to make a Batman Ame-Comi, a male at that, despite the fact that they turned Robin into a girl (Yes, I know there’s been 2 female Robins, but the statue is based on the Dick/Jason/Tim style of Robin). DC Direct, please don’t change. Ever.
However, there’s only been one Batman released (to date). Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Catwoman all have seen several variants based on their histories, and there’s been some statues for lesser known characters like Steel’s niece and Power Girl. More recently, DC Direct has released smaller versions of the older, harder to find releases, for half the price. Nice if you’re late to the game.
Marvel’s Bishoujo Statues
Retail price: $60
Marvel joined the “vaguely-based on the anime school of design” line of statues only a few years ago, teaming up with Kotobukiya and illustrator Shunya Yamashita (who’s actually Japanese) to create statues based on their more popular female characters. The difference from the DC line being that the final product actually looks like their comic book counterparts, with a hint of Japanese influence. Usually each statues comes out with 2 versions, the 2nd having a variant color, unless we’re talking the Jean Grey Phoenix who managed to get 3 different versions (standard, dark Phoenix and white Phoenix). Marvel’s been pretty good with keeping the line diverse, releasing a handful of X-women, a few different female Avengers, and an upcoming Black Cat statue, covering the Spider-Man family.
And despite being out a shorter amount of time, these statues have proven to be so popular that DC is getting in on the Bishoujo line. Surprising no one, the first 3 releases have been Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon of course!) Overall, I prefer the Bishoujo line, as I like the “classic” look they present over the Bastardize anime statues that DC Direct puts out. But hey, some of the Ame-Comi figurines do look pretty slick and may tickle your fancy. Either way, come by and take a look at the statues yourself and see which you prefer!