Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Apr 28, '09
The only thing I know about David Mack's Kabuki (the comic series where this figure is from) is that it features a female martial artist that looks asian and wears face paint. Don't really know why she does it, don't much care. I have no idea who Scarab or Akemi are. I haven't the slightest clue why a teddy bear is included with this toy line. The only thing I did know when I bought this figure is that it looked like a bad ass comic book assassin with a ton of blades that she couldn't possible hide on her person since she was wearing a skintight leather suit. With boots. And spikes. ooooo...
|Above photo from the image archive of www.entertainmentearth.com|
It's been something like 2 years since I acquired it (at only p500!) and I still think it's a great toy, despite its drawbacks. The sculpt by Andy Bergholtz is really top-notch and actually looks feminine, unlike most female action figures today. Come to think of it, the female action figure has always been a problem for toy makers. Anyone remember the classic Scarlett during GI Joe's initial 3.75" runs? Talk about androgynous. If she didn't have boobs, you'd have thunk it was Duke's red-headed cousin down from the farm.
Fortunately, Scarab (and Akemi since they share the same body) is very clearly a woman. The sculpt is pure curves and the articulation doesn't detract from he lines. The face is very well done, with clean lines and colors, and it actually looks Asian from most angles. The register lines on the face paint and eyes are also excellent.
Her back is exposed skin and there you'll find her best paint application; her dragon tattoo. It's gorgeous, period. You might have seen the new Shocker Toys version of Kabuki which also has a tattoo, but that figure is a mass market toy which is much lower on the quality scale. This is what really sold me on the toy despite the articulation.
Speaking of articulation... it's crap. a decade ago, the joint count would have been impressive, but this came out during the heyday of the "super-articulated" figure. Diamond Select seems to design more along the lines of McFarlane and the old NECA. While Scarab has some decent arm movement (ball shoulders, peg elbow, swivel wrist), her leg articulation is limited to angled cut joints at the hip, ugly cut joints mid thigh, a peg knee and a ball jointed boot. I say "boot" because the ball joint isn't placed at her ankle. It's located where her boot joins the leg and it's less than useless. You can get her in some decent poses, but she won't hold them for any real length of time.
Accessories however are great. She has two guns that fit into the two extra hands that she is packaged with (the pegs are tiny, but they seem pretty flexible) and several different blades. She'd make a mean Punisher villain. Many of the knives are tiny, so you need to be very careful about not losing them. The small pieces mean that she's not meant for kids, but why would a parent buy their child a plastic version of a master assassin? I mean, unless they belonged to a secret ninja clan somewhere in the mountains of Japan, of course. She also comes with a katana with a sheath. The sheath is too big and there's no place to put it on her costume, so she has to hold it in her hand.
She also comes with the aforementioned teddy that looks straight out of Criminal Minds. It's a great include and looks cute as hell, but due to her poor articulation and its shape, there isn't really a way for her to hold it for long. Here's a pic borrowed from BigBadToyStore.com
She's about in scale with the Fraulein Revoltechs, so around the same size as a Marvel Legend. She actually works better than the Revols with the Legends because she doesn't have the anime styled melon head. And did I say that she has a very nicely sculpted rear end?
All in all, the Scarab figure is a great looking toy. Like the Hasbro Tigra and Marvel Girl from the Marvel Legends series, the designers had to sacrifice quite a bit of articulation to bring us a good sculpt, but in the end, that's a sacrifice well worth making.
Availability is a problem though. I got mine Mint from a collector about two years ago, and I've never actually seen it at any of the local specialty shops.
BigBadToyStore.com has several on sale for about p1000, but shipping'll kill you.
See more of Andy Bergholtz's work at Deviant Art or at his official site, AB Sculpture.