Up until about eight months ago or so, I wasn’t into PopBot. I really didn’t know anything about it, and of all the 3A toy lines, it was the last wall of my personal resistance. Last year, I decided to get PopBot: Big Beautiful Book from IDW as well as a cool sketch in it from Wood himself. When I got that puppy home I dove head first into the hardcover beast. The world of Ashley Wood’s Popbot is a convoluted, confusing mind screw coupled with gorgeous paintings and sketches. My hope was that I’d develop some sort of appreciation and attachment to its characters. I told myself that if I’d take the time to read and re-read the massive catacomb-like storyline, I’d glean a bit of real understanding and background of the dramatically illustrated world.
Nope. No idea. None what-so-evah. There’s something in there about a talking cat that sings and sleeps with robot hookers, some robots who want him dead, a blind cowboy that shoots his teeth, Sherlock Holmes waxes wise, Lady Sham is chatting it up with the devil in the wastelands, more robots, a few salt and pepper shake’s worth of Tomorrow Kings, Andy Warhol has his own talk show where he keeps interviewing some rapper dude who keeps killing him… I don’t know. The saga continues, I guess?
The Popbot world is as big, varied and fascinating as it is confusing, silly and unorthodox. The only thing I took away from reading the Popbot collection other than an even further appreciation for Ash’s skilled brush is that I now have the general knowledge that those characters and their vague stories exist.
But that’s the odd thing. Now that I have that, it somehow manages to be enough to make my ears perk up and my F5′n finger twitchy anytime 3A announces a new Popbot figure. I’m hooked on PopBot. 3A has to be lacing them with something.
Which brings me to 7 Bones, another expansion of the PopBot world. The 3A wiki says, “Seven Bones, stylized “7bones,” is a group of rogue Tomorrow Kings in the Popbot Universe who are the personal guard of Punk King.” 3A has been slowly releasing them over the course of the past year. So far we’ve seen Wasabi, Kyoku and Queenie. Wasabi has been setting the vibe on our shelves since 2011. Kyoku was next in line sales-wise, but due to a production delay, Queenie was actually shipped out first.
So now that all that intro huffa-puff is out of the way, on to talking about Queenie. Read on to learn more about one of the most exciting figures to come out from 3A this year!
As you can see, Queenie gets the packaging treatment she deserves with a nice painting of her looking stoic on the front. On the back things get traditionally 3A graphic design-y. It’s a nice contrast, shelf worthy for sure.
Queenie has a tiny array of stuff to fiddle with. Equipped with a staff (a first for any 3A toy!) and a couple of interchangeable hands, she was triple clam shelled together and took a little work to get out. A few spare pegs are included as well.
Also I’m happy to report she comes with a fantastic poster of the cover art with a mini comic on the back. I’m unhappy to report that it appears a blind monkey packed my poster. Instead of neatly folded as they’ve always been in the past, mine came loosely bent together and crinkled. There’s even a few small wear holes where the folds come together. Bummer.
The second I got Queenie out of her plastic prison I was sold on her character. As the leader of 7 Bones, she looks appropriately tough in that unrealistic, super slim tough chick way. Her eye patch gives her an air of mystery, while the subtle smirk on her face gives her a sense of confidence. Other than possibly her belt/packs, all her attire is completely new, never used before on any previous 3A figure. The pants in particular set her apart from any other of 3A’s offerings as they’re almost a faux linen material.
Her staff fits into her hands as perfectly as it should. I want to mention that the staff was straight as an arrow. No warping or bends from bad packaging. Huzzah! The second you get her set up with it, you’ll probably lose track of time for a few, putting her in your favorite Donatello pose. I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a figure with a bo staff.
Queenie is also the recipient of yet another new female body. Ever since 3A updated the tried and true Tomorrow Queen bodies of old, they’ve been messing around with the formula, trying to get the best balance of asthetics and articulation. The older Tomorrow Queens were kind of a pain to pose. Not only did they wear skin tight latex, but their long legs made them wobbly and the opposite of sure-footed. They had a mid thigh joint you could twist around, a very limited knee joint and an ankle joint with a round twisting ankle peg to allow for rotation in most directions. With a good deal of futzing, you could pull of something dynamic, but it wasn’t a very organic process.
3A updated that body when they released Lolli last Christmas. All new leg joints, much better knees, a new torso and thinner arms. You can check our review of her here. They came so close to getting it right, but dropped the ball by changing out the round ankle joint for a square peg. You basically have a figure with much more generous articulation in the legs that should promise you better and more dynamic poses.. but it’s hacked off at the knee by the inability to move the ankle around to get a solid flat footing.
So now we have Queenie. 3A kept the double jointed knees of Lolli and brought back the ball ankle joint. Ah.. that wasn’t so hard, now was it?
Queenie is the first female figure that’s just about as fun to play with as any of your TKs or Adventure Kartel gang. Yes, the ankles are still pretty finicky. You have to press the shoe together to grip the ankle peg so you can twist it to the desired angle. But it’s not difficult at all to get her into some really fun stances. With the bo staff in both her hands, it’s incredibly easy to shift her from one cool pose to the next.
The other hands she comes with are more neutral/relaxed variations. I like that they’re slightly different from one another and not symmetrical copies. They’re useless for holding the staff, but they do add some nice variety when you feel like changing things up.
Speaking of not symmetrical, I might as well broach the subject here. One of the main “complaints” of the new 3A female body is the supposed wonky-ness of its.. breasts. Boob-gate, we’ll call it. Well, Queenie is not lacking in the chestal region by any means, and yes, you can tell they’re not lined up perfectly. I’m of two schools of thought here: My first is the fact that in real life, women’s breasts are unsymmetrical. Now, whether or not Ash and 3A designed them this way on purpose to reflect that is simply a matter of personal opinion, but even for a stylized character, Queenie is more realistic and less barbie doll this way. My second feeling on it is.. this is a toy and I’m simply not going to spend more time talking about a toy’s boobs.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, check out that thing dangling between her legs!
Made you look! When the teaser pics of Queenie popped up, I thought the cylindrical thing strapped to her belt was a jar of rice wine or something, like an old drunken monkey kung fu legend of old might carry. Turns out, it’s a giant EMP bomb. I suppose this makes sense due to all the robots the gang has to take on. Still, a rice wine jug with some XXX would have been cool.
As a member of 7 Bones, it’s only natural that I’d want to put her up with Wasabi. The two look great together, though the blues aren’t exactly spot on. It makes me even more excited about the idea of having all seven positioned together. Which at this rate should be sometime in 2014.. ugh.
So what do we have so far? The new articulation is a marked improvement over any previous female figures. The new head/hand sculpts, accessories and clothing make you comfy in the knowledge that you’re legitimately getting a brand NEW character and not a bunch of reused bits and pieces. There’s a lot to like about Queenie.
There’s also a few things that aren’t so fabulous. I already mentioned boob-gate, but only because there’s been some discussion amongst the ranks about them. However, they don’t bother me. My first real complaint is the equally discussed misaligned/sized eyepatch strap. If it’s a design choice as some argue, it’s a very odd one that simply doesn’t work. If it’s something 3A somehow missed before finalizing her sculpt, I can only ask the question, “How?”. It’s just a bizarre detail that doesn’t kill the cool factor of the character, but those more OCD than me may have a hard time looking at her from some angles thanks to it.
The other complaint comes back to the articulation in the legs. While they’re vastly improved and easier than ever to play with, once again 3A’s knack for adding while subtracting has somewhat shot themselves in the foot. (So many leg/feet analogies I hardly know what to do with myself!)
When they upgraded the female figure for Lolli, giving her double jointed knees and a more forgiving hip joint, they took away her mid thigh joint and stuck her with a square peg at her ankle. It was an upgrade that was nullified by the downgrades. With Queenie they brought back the round ankle peg, but still left out the mid thigh joint. I feel like this was a bad move, especially for a figure that should be as articulated as possible. Some may argue asthetics, but Queenie’s legs are covered up by pants! I’d start trying to push her into a pose and get about 80% there only to realize that’s as far as it’s going to go. It’s still a jump forward of course, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself thinking, “If only I could twist her leg this way just a tiniest bit, she’d be perfect”.
My last issue falls on the shoulders of 3A QC. Early pics of Queenie revealed some terrible peeling and bubbling of the paint on her chest and stomach. From what I’ve read, it’s pretty rare, like shark bites or plane crashes. My Queenie doesn’t suffer from the same disaster those images portrayed, but she has a few odd paint bumps on her chest that are obviously not meant to go there. My instinct is to scrape them off, but I’m sure that would just start a chain reaction of peeling and heartbreak. I’m waiting to hear back from CS to see what my options are. Issues are bound to pop up from time to time and in my history with 3A, I’ve had next to none, but that doesn’t make the bumps go away.
So yes, Queenie is cool. Despite her unique design, I wasn’t incredibly excited about her arrival after being fairly disappointed with Lolli. Seeing how untouched and neutrally posed I generally keep her on the shelf, the thought of having yet another figure that’s a struggle to balance upright didn’t exactly thrill me. I’m happy to report that she was well worth the wait and in fact exceeded my expectations.
She looks great and is loaded with character. The amount of unique poses you should be able to squeeze out of her should make her a stand out addition to your collection. She balances well, she moves for the most part how you’d expect her to, even her neutral hands add appreciated variety to the package.
Queenie is a positive step forward for 3A. I hope they continue to tweak the female body, refine the articulation some more and do something about the uncertainty of the paint app on their rubber torso. Right now, she’s as good as it gets.
- An all new unique character that will stand out from the rest of your collection
- New female body with enhanced articulation; a big step forward
- Tons of character squeezed into her tiny frame
- Wish they’d bring back the thigh swivel joint as her articulation still feels inhibited
- Her eyepatch band, purposeful or not, is mismatched and just looks off
- Boob-gate? Nah, but some paint issues.