*Review* CS Moore Studio’s Alice in Wonderland


INTRO

Today we’re reviewing one of the first toys in a long time from CS Moore Studio and Zenescope Entertainment, Alice. She’s based off the publisher’s popular comic series, Alice in Wonderland.

I don’t get a ton of time to read comics these days, which I consider to be extremely detrimental to my well being. Short of the comic that come packed in with the figure, I’m not super familiar with the storyline backing her up. All I have is my inherent familiarity with the old school Alice of my childhood.

Well I can assure you, this Alice is NOT the Alice from my childhood.

PACKAGING

Alice comes packed in the same type of classic action figure bubble card we’ve all come to know and love. Some vibrant and colorful artwork of Alice from the comic covers the card and some short intro-info is written on the back.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Along with a much more.. uh, mature Alice, you get a couple of cool extras to accessorize with. The most important of them is probably the mushroom covered base for Alice to stand on. The ever-iconic white rabbit is included as a trusty companion of sorts along with a small bottle and mallet. Finally, you get a copy of the 1st issue of Alice and Wonderland to read up on the goings-on in Alice’s world.

THE BREAKDOWN

I first happened upon these figures at the CS Moore Studio’s booth while attending SDCC this year. I was actually scoping out some prototypes of a few of their upcoming Jurassic Strike 5 action figures when I looked up and saw the wall of Alice staring at me. After a brief discussion with some of the staff on site, I learned that Alice is the first in what they hope is a continuing series of figures based off Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales comic series.

Fast forward to today and I’ve managed to pry open the bubble pack and get a closer look at how CS Moore Studios did with the debut. First thing I noticed was how incredibly well done the paint is… OK, the FIRST thing I noticed was how “breezy” our heroine is dressed for her day out in Wonderland. The quality paint job was second, a strong close second.

Hopefully you can see from the pics I’ve taken just how nicely detailed Alice is. There’s actual gradients and variance in the shades of her skin, along with finely painted details around her skirt. They took care not to let much, if any paint creep over onto neighboring surfaces. With the help of the underlying sculpt, they also managed to paint an attractive female face without making her look walleyed or man-ish. Two things that tends to plague female action figures at this scale.

Speaking of sculpt, Moore did a great job at capturing the likeness of the sexy comic vixen. Yes, she is definitely curvy and long leggy.. wearing something that  would probably be more appropriate for sleep wear than adventure wear. All in all, she’s basically a 35 year old.. AHEM! I mean, a 13 year old boy’s comic book girl dream.

I really like the little white bunny Alice comes with. Most toy companies would have been happy with simply casting a bunny in white plastic and being done with it.. at most giving it a quick grey paint wash. But just like Alice, he’s really nicely painted right down to the highlights in his eyes. The little “drink me” bottle fits nicely in his paws.

As I mentioned before, the mushroom laden stand is the most important accessory you get with Alice as she cannot stand without it. Oh high heels, how’s a girl supposed to go on epic adventures? Thankfully, it looks good and Alice’s feet fit the pegs perfectly. The necessity of the base will serve as my segue to discuss Alice’s articulation or rather, if articulation was necessary on figure like this. Alice is referred to as an action figure. She’s herald as the first in 8 years from CS Moore and camp. The thing is, her articulation is so basic I can’t really imagine a situation in which anyone would play with her as such.

The minimal amount of moveable joints on Alice was probably more of an aesthetic choice than anything. Much like every line a comic book artist adds to a female’s face adds age to the character, adding a bunch of seams and joints to a female figure tends to take away from her feminine charm. Alice has shoulder swivel joints, a waist and neck swivel joint and leg swivel joints. The arms and waist look fine when moving them around and don’t detract too much from the figure. The neck joint is a little difficult to turn due to the hair sculpt draping over her shoulders. The real reason for my ire comes from the leg joints. Since the joints are angled and sit high on her hips, her leg swivels up/back and way out. I can’t think of anything PG13 or below that would benefit from that motion. Sitting for Alice is even a bit on the racey side.

Once you’ve moved her legs from their default position, it’s nearly impossible for her to steadily stand in her mushroom base. So what do you do? You keep her legs exactly where her grandmother told her to keep them, together and down. So you’re back to square one. You’re back to her default, out of the box pose. Moving Alice’s legs more than a few millimeters makes her look awkward and uncomfortable. Moving them at all makes it nigh impossible for her to stand. I managed to get her into a decent walk pose, but she fell after a few moments. Stupid gravity.

To add to the awkwardness that is her semi-poseable legs, the cool little mallet she comes with, doesn’t really fit her hands in the traditional sense. She can’t hold it as a weapon. You can find ways to wedge or prop it.. but it’s obvious that the intended way to display her with it is back in her default, out of the box pose.

So much works so well as long as Alice stays in her default pose. Which causes me to question, why is Alice an action figure at all? Kotobukiya have been doing amazingly well with their Bishoujo line of cute and sexy static super heroines. Static vinyl has got to be less expensive to produce than articulated action figures. I’d be just as happy with Alice if she just came in a dynamic or even simple pose, with no articulation at all.

FINAL WORD

Aesthetically, Alice looks great. That was clear to me before I even opened the package. Moore sculpted an attractive, bubbly and sexy toy. Pop her out of her package, put her on the mushroom stand and set her on the shelf. She looks great!

Much like her comic book counterpart, I think Alice may have fallen through a magical action figure door that bends reality and asks the question, “what is an action figure?”  I’m so used to heavily articulated toys at this point, it’s a little difficult for me to take Alice at face value and accept her as one. On the other hand, tell me she’s a beautifully crafted, static display piece and I’ll bite completely. If you’re in the market for a really well sculpted, nicely painted and sexy action figure, sans “action” to add to your collection, Alice may just fit the bill.

Pros:

  • CS Moore did a fantastic job with the sculpting and paint application on Alice. She’s attractive and true to the source material
  • All of Alice’s accessories are painstakingly detailed
  • Love the bunny!

Cons:

  • With her limited articulation, Alice isn’t really much of an action figure
  • Alice’s one “weapon” doesn’t actually fit very well in her hand. Looks better when propped.

A big thanks to Shelley Moore of CS Moore Studio for supplying us with Alice for review! 

 

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