The great outdoors, made better by Selena Kyle.

One of my favorite figure lines right now is Kobotukiya’s Marvel and DC Bishojo (“pretty girl”) series. These are iconic Marvel and DC heroines interpreted through the pin-up lense of Japanese character artist Shunya Yamashita. The sculpts are more or less faithful to his concept art. While ten or eleven Bishoujo figures have been or are in the process of being produced, I’ve only jumped at five of them. Catwoman here is one of my favorites so far. The level of detail has been increased by comparison to earlier Bishoujo girls like Rogue, and besides that, I like DC characters more than Marvel ones.

“Oops, is this not zipped all the way?”

I said that some of the figures in this line adhere to Shunya’s concept art more than others. Catwoman is on the “less” end of that scale, although I can’t really pull up any full pictures of his concept art on the internet. The main differences between his art and the sculpt occur in the face and in the breasts. As you readers will quickly pick up on, mammary glands are of some importance to me when it comes to choosing and purchasing figures. I’m not saying this sculpture’s breasts are incorrect, per say, just they are better–in my twisted mind–in Shunya’s concept art. So sue me. AT ANY RATE. Let’s get on with it.

Com’on little miss, and do the Twist!

Selina Kyle has been Catwoman for as long as I can remember. Her costume has gone through some major changes over the years–it was once green and purple and hileous, whereas her current costume (shown here) is all-black, seemingly made of latex, and includes large orange goggles. Selina has always been Batman’s girl on the side, but during the Hush storyline(s), Bats gave away his secret identity to her. I haven’t really kept up with things since then–with all the reconning that happens in comics, she might’ve gotten amnesia or something since and forgotten about it. Anyway, she’s the only non-member of the “Bat Family” to know Bruce’s identity (although the Riddler figured it out too).

Selena’s got that honkey-tonk badonkadonk.

This version of Selina is a little more full-figured than you usually see. This girl’s got hips, which I appreciate, and a lot of ass. In fact, out of all my Bishoujo girls, Catwoman would easily win the badonkadonk prize. The figure is dynamically posed, balancing in mid-stride on a bizarre gargoyle with an arched, twisted back and a turned head. She’s biting her whip (actually more like a cat o’ three tails), which itself can be bent and molded any way the collector sees fit. There’s a lot going on here, so much so that Selena can be displayed from a wealth of angles–like Velvet. The dynamic pose is pretty awesome, and it’s far more energetic than any of the previously-released Bishoujo girls.

Is this a photo of her ass, or the whip?

The whip is perhaps the most complicated part of the figure. She’s holding the handle in her left hand, but biting it close to the base and pulling whip taught with the right hand (above). Whip then angles back toward her ass, where it attaches via a tab-and-slot peg, and then the actual cat-tail whips are made of thinly-coated wire–you can really go crazy with them. I opted for the conservative approach due to space concerns but also because that’s what the concept art looks like (I’m a stickler for artist/author intent).

Are her boots made for walking or kicking ass?

Everything about this girl is finely-detailed, even her boots. I like the double-straps just above each ankle and the very heavy high-heels, which are both impractical and look very heavy. She could probably kill somebody by kicking them with those heels. If you look at any of the pictures, you can see the impressive creasing at every joint of Catwoman’s latex suit–it’s a small detail but I love seeing it in a figure. It reminds you that the bodysuit isn’t just painted on–it’s an extra layer.

It’s like a fossilized demon Batman. Eh.

Really, the only aspect of this figure that doesn’t blow me away is the base. It’s a gargoyle in the shape of…well, it’s obviously supposed to be the Dark Knight, but it doesn’t really work for me. For one thing, the lower jaw has a very obvious seam where it’s glued onto the rest of the figure, and the whole thing looks like it’s sinking into a tar pit. A more traditional gargoyle would work better for me, not this wierd amalgamation of gargoyle and Batman and a demon. It can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be.

You know, from a practical standpoint, latex is terrible choice for a bodysuit.

The figure features a lot of little extra pieces if you take the time to look (unfortunately they’re all black). There’s a little utility belt on Catwoman’s left thigh and tight straps under her gloves. The utility belt on her thigh looks a little awkward from the front, as it cuts into her leg and almost looks like she’s got a turnaquet on. Her main belt is pretty basic but features a nice silver clasp. I don’t really understand why she has a collar on. I’m going to chalk that up to some kind of S&M “thing.” I do like the silver ring zipper. Oh, you can’t see it from the picture above, can you? Well, we’ll just have to rotate her around…

No, look at her zipper. HER ZIPPER.

Artists who draw Catwoman in this costume (most notably Adam Hughes), seems to like drawing her with the zipper down. Amanda Conner once drew a version of Catwoman storing a valuable necklace in her cleavage…can’t blame her. Here, as in the comics, Catwoman is portrayed with her zipper down, but here to a larger degree than normal. The collar at her neck is holding things together up top, and her belt is holding thing together down below, but her breasts are doing their damndest to break free in the middle. I have to say I’m not super-happy with how her breasts and shaped and sculpted. In Shunya’s original art, they’re a bit flatter against the body–large but more realistic. Big natrual breasts lie flatter against the ribcage. Viewed a bit from the side, this sculpture’s rack looks a bit torpedo-ish.

My larger point continues to elude me.

It’s a subtle thing, but it does bother me. It wasn’t terribly clear in the reviews I’d seen online, either–few people would think to check the specific gravity of their girl’s rack thinking that somewhere, some reader might find that detail important. More importantly, it is a clear break with the concept art. But as I said, they’re not bad breasts, they’re just not conforming to how big breasts are affected by the laws of physics. That said, here are some more pictures of Catwoman’s breasts. Hopefully they further illustrate my point.

This is where Power Girl would say “My eyes are up here.”

It’s worth pointing out that Catwoman’s breasts kind of angle apart. That’s probably due to them being contained by either side of her latex suit, but it looks somewhat unnatural. But hey, while you’re fixated on her cleavage, you can also see more wrinkles and creases in her suit. I also like the subtle indent of her abdominal muscles (and it ends where the ribcage would begin). The detailing on Catwoman’s clavicles is nice, but they seem a little too prominant–maybe she has a thin neck?

She sank your battleship.

With the right lighting, it almost looks like her breasts are falling out of her top–which they are, honestly. But proper lighting also somewhat takes care of the “torpedo breast” problem and just leaves you with “she has really big breasts.” Which, I mean, she does in the comic. Just one more, I promise.

Well, at least she

See? This is what I’m talking about. They heave outwards in a manner suggesting silicone enhancement, which is a huge downer to me. A tight latex suit should press her breasts against her chest, not bow outward. ARGH! Okay, I think I’ve made my point.

Emote, goddamnit!

The other huge break from the concept art is in Selena’s face: it’s spicier in the original art, with a raised eyebrow and a devilish grin. Here, Selina looks pretty unresponsive–playful but not obviously so. Even something as simple as painting her right brow lower would’ve made a huge difference. She just looks kind of unemotive here, maybe because there’s a leather whip in her mouth, but still. Give us something, Ms. Kyle. Although I’m not dwelling on it as much, the lack of an expression is more irritating to me than Catwoman’s seaworthy ta-tas.

She’s got cat class, and she’s got cat style.

Despite my gripes, this is an excellent figure with great production values. Catwoman’s always been one of my favorite characters in the DCU, ever since I became hooked on the 90’s Batman: The Animated Series, so to have her in figure form is a dream come true. She’s almost ten inches tall including the base and is taller than any of my other Bishoujo girls, even Wonder Woman, who I bought just last week. I should mention that Catwoman comes with two small cat figures (one black, one grey) which you can theoretically stand against or on top of the gargoyle, but they usually just end up falling over, so I don’t really pay much attention to them. They’re impressively sculptured considering their tiny sizes and the paint job is nice, but they’re just not functional. A quick eBay search shows that she’s selling from anywhere from $48 to $72 dollars, so there’s plenty to go around. What follows are more pictures just because I toook excessive pictures.

Selina would win races not by a nose, but by a rack.

And if it were a “run backwards” race, she’s win by an ass.She might suffer back problems from bending at a 90 degree angle.

The sculptor did seem to have a singular focus…

“We fall over a lot!”

There you have it. She’s a good figure, plagued by some breaks with the concept art and two useless cats. She was my favorite Bishoujo girl until Wonder Woman came along, but she’s still no slouch. Hey, I figured out how to improve the pictures, too: when I upload them onto the computer, they come out HUGE and, at that size, a little blurry. If I shrink them down to 25% their original size, they’re much sharper and upload to the blog much quicker. Sorry for the lighting differences between pictures. When I started taking pictures, the sun was out, then it got swallowed up by the sun. Such is spring in Alaska. I know I said this post was going to be about Tamaki Kousaka, but the next post probably will be. I’d like to take her pictures on an actual beach, since she’s in a bikini. Anchorage doesn’t have pretty beaches, though…I’ll figure something out.