Friday, April 29, 2011

Change is in the Air: Bowen's Mystique Statue Arrives

I often have these internal debates over which version of a character I am going to buy. Some of my favourite characters like Colossus and Black Canary get multiple spots in my display, and I’m pretty much a completist when it comes to my main favourites Aquaman and Nightcrawler, but for most other characters I try to keep it down to one version per type of collectable, particularly in the space and money-grabbing statue department. For example, I have a Kotobukiya Black Widow and a Bowen Black Widow, but one Black Widow each in the anime-styled PVC pieces and 12” statue series is enough.

Thus, I was in a quandary when I saw the solicits for the Bowen Mystique Full-Sized Statue,  as I had recently purchased the Sideshow Mystique Comiquette. I hemmed and hawed, and ultimately decided I didn’t want to muck up my LCS by cancelling my order, and would decide once I saw the Bowen version in person if I’d keep or sell.

The short version of this review is that Bowen’s Mystique won’t be going anywhere soon. She really is a beauty. Jason Smith has done a fantastic job on the digital sculpt for this piece, and while there are some small paint issues, I am overall very happy with this purchase.

I have picked up quite a few of the earlier Bowen pieces that were released before I started collecting, but I’d never bit the bullet on the Mystique Mini-Bust as there was something about her face I didn’t really like. It was perhaps a little too exaggeratedly “evil” with its darkened, arched eyebrows. The Full Size statue is a big improvement for me in that regard as the facial expression is open to interpretation, while the gun held just behind her back leaves the viewer in no doubt that whatever side Mystique is on, she’s always deadly.

This is a very beautiful sculpt by Jason Smith. Bowen certainly has a stable of sculptors who have mastered their portrayal of the female form. (Writers note - that sentence required several revisions to not sound totally lewd...) In addition to a stunningly sculpted face and head of hair, there are beautiful lines in this statue, created by her pose and the flowing skirt / super-villainous lap-lap that makes up the lower part of her uniform. The interesting angles created by her pose are made possible by the fact that the statue is permanently attached to the base.

Bowen’s been a little bit hit and miss with paint recently, and there are a few niggles here that are hard to accept for the price point. The edges of her white gloves and boots are slightly fuzzy against her blue skin, and her lips are a bit short of red paint on the right hand side of her face, causing her lips to look a bit pursed. In addition, her white top has no sculpted edges at the shoulder - it’s just painted on. These are all minor complaints that don’t really impact on the overall appearance of the piece, especially since the colour choices are excellent, but for what these cost I think it’s reasonable to expect a bit better.

The base for this piece is a very nice reflection of Mystique, with golden skulls adorning a round and raised black base. I was pleased that this statue didn’t come on the large X-Men base that is often used, as not just because it’s a space hog. It’s nice to get some different sizes and levels in the Bowen bases to create more variety in my display.

Despite the small paint complaints, this is a piece I’m very happy to add to my collection of X-Folk. Bowen has been doing a top job of producing Full Sized Statues of the X-Men variety, and Mystique stands out amongst the growing crowd. I do hope, though, that the recent paint transgressions noted on this piece and the recently released Firestar are blips on the Bowen radar rather than a developing trend.

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum and comment on this post to enter the April AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!


fishmilkshake said...

Thumbs up from me!

ryanlb said...

From what I can see in pics, this is a fantastic looking piece, and I wants it.

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