Discussion with Round2 Exec, Ed Catto, Reveals Current Development Status and Future Plans for Captain Action’s New Heroine———“Lady Action”

Professional models hired to promote Captain Action products are attired  in full-length blue and black body suits, set off with a leather skirt, belt and knee-high boots. Note the cap features a smaller CA logo. Will the action figure's chest emblem read CA or LA? Hmm... (Photo: Round2)

Professional “Lady Action” models hired by Round 2 to promote Captain Action products have been attired in full-length blue-n-black body suits, set off with a leather skirt, belt and knee-high boots. Note that her cap features a smaller CA logo. Does this mean the new LA action figure’s chest emblem will also read CA for better “team unity,” or will R2 alter the emblem to read LA? Interesting… (Photo: R2)

Secrets of a Superheroine

She’s new. She’s mysterious. She’s… British? Blimey! Clearly, there’s a lot we still don’t know about Round 2’s much ballyhooed, upcoming release of an all-new “Lady Action” (LA) action figure. Will she be as tall as Captain Action or shorter? Thin or muscular? Normally proportioned, or…”well-endowed?”

Popular consensus seems to indicate that she’ll be “raven-haired,” but will she sport Barbie-style “plugs” or some sort of a wig? How about a painted hair GIJane-type headsculpt? Or, perhaps she’ll be shipped BALD so that her character masks can contain her hair?

Hopefully, her hair will be “real” and not look fake or rubbery like Thor. (That’d get old real fast.) Collectors universally agree that believable hair is VITAL to the success of a 1:6 female figure. “Flyaway” or chunky, hard-plastic hair is often visually unconvincing and can make the difference between a sale or no sale at checkout.

Indeed, the ability to change LA’s hairstyle and her hair COLOR will be of paramount importance if the new figure is to successfully achieve its assortment of superheroine transformations. And to keep its look, the hair would have to be semi-rigid, much like the kind found on high-end, heavily-hairsprayed Barbies.

In fact, the hair may end up being one of the most expensive and challenging aspects of creating a successful Lady Action figure. It will be interesting to see how Round 2 addresses this problem. Yes, LA can use her long dark hair to portray Wonder Woman or Spider Woman, but never Batgirl (a redhead) or Supergirl (a blonde). SO… The hair. The body. The face. At this stage, fans have MANY unanswered questions about Lady Action. Oh, what to do?

Lady Action's "raven hair" would work easily to create this version of Spiderwoman, but other characters would require Round 2 to create interchangeable wigs or find some other solution. (Art: Marvel Comics)

Lady Action’s “raven hair” would work easily to create this version of Spiderwoman, but other characters may require Round 2 to create interchangeable wigs. (Art: Marvel Comics)

Always Go to the Top

To get some answers, we decided to turn over the helm of The Joe Report (TJR) today to one of our veteran TJR “Field Reporters,” renowned 1:6 scale fan and collector, Chung Kim. Kim’s no-nonsense, straight-forward commentaries on 1:6 scale-related topics have provided years of entertaining and informative reading on a variety of forums and websites.

Fortunately for Captain Action fans, Chung had written in to us recently with news of an exclusive phone interview he had conducted with Round 2 exec, Ed Catto. During their conversation, the two discussed future plans for the Captain Action line, but thankfully for the purposes of this article, they concentrated the bulk of their discussion on current and future plans for the upcoming introduction of the “mysterious” Lady Action!

Is THIS the new look of Round 2's upcoming "Lady Action" figure? Maybe. Though many fans have commented she looks a little too "SS" with her dark cap, ammo belt and jackboots, the look appeals to many who label it "erotic" and "sexy." Currently, there are any different versions floating about the blogosphere, in various forms of fan art, convention model cosplayers, comic books, and even Round 2's own concept art. How she ends up looking remains to be seen, but the beauty of Captain Action has always been, if you don't like it, you can change him (and now HER) into any number of different heroes and villians. (Art: Moonstone)

Is THIS the new look of Round 2’s upcoming “Lady Action” figure? Maybe. Though many fans have commented she looks a little too “SS” with her dark cap, ammo belt and jackboots, the look appeals to some who label it “erotic” or “S&M sexy.” Currently, there are many different versions floating about the blogosphere, in various forms of fan art, convention model cosplayers, comic books, and even Round 2’s own concept art. How she ends up looking remains to be seen, but the beauty of Captain Action has always been, if you don’t like it, you can change him (and now HER) into any number of different superheroes and super villains. Let Justice Be Done! (Art: Moonstone)

Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Chung Kim, decided the best way to get answers to fan's questions was to go "right to the top," which led to his calling Ed Catto on the phone to discuss the future of Captain (and Lady) Action. (Photo: Chung Kim)

Intrepid TJR Field Reporter, Chung Kim, decided the best way to get answers to fan’s questions was to go “right to the top,” which led to his calling Ed Catto to discuss the future of Captain (and Lady) Action. (Photo: Chung Kim)

“Actioneers” Want to Know

Chung admits he’s had to edit the content of their conversation somewhat as per Catto’s request, and that you may have to “read between the lines a bit” to fill in juicier parts he had to leave out. Regardless of Ed’s restrictions, Kim’s remaining intel is very enticing and informative. With that said, we turn it over to Chung Kim:

“Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Ed Catto, ‘Retropreneur’ of Captain Action Enterprises, LLC, by telephone. Our call originated due to an inquiry I had made over on the Captain Action Facebook page (found HERE) about the pending/upcoming Lady Action figure. I asked if the company was looking for input specifically from collectors of 1:6 scale female action figures. I received a reply indicating they are and Mr. Catto was kind enough to speak with me.”

Early concept drawings of Lady Action for a possible animated cartoon series sent mixed signals to collectors. Now she appeared to be a teenager wearing gloves and sporting brown hair. Was this look going to transfer to the action figures as well? (Art: Round 2)

Early concept drawings of Lady Action for a possible animated cartoon series sent out mixed signals to collectors and fans. Now she appeared to be a teenager wearing gloves and sporting brown(?) hair. Is this new look going to transfer to the upcoming action figures as well? (Art: Round 2)

“I’ve been a collector of 1:6 scale figures since 1998, but my primary collecting niche has always been focused on 1:6 scale female figures starting with GIJane to the CY GIRLS and the current bevy of female figures now available from different manufacturers. Mr. Catto was very interested in obtaining input from collectors so the company can ensure that Lady Action will be a successful and welcome addition.”

Customizers have created their own versions of Lady Action. This one features a black beret instead of a cap, blue satin costume with matching collar and a silver belt, on a Cy Girl figure with auburn hair. Notice her custom "LA" chest emblem and beret flash. (Photo: Neal Patterson)

Customizers have already created their own versions of Lady Action. This one features a black beret (nice!) instead of the blue sailor’s cap, an all-blue leotard with matching collar and a silver belt, all on a shapely Cy Girl figure with auburn hair. Notice her custom “LA” chest emblem and beret flash too! (Photo: Neal Patterson)

“According to Mr. Catto, Lady Action is ‘still in development.’ He said they’re aware of the variety of different 1:6 female bodies that have been made by different companies over the years. And that due to the general emphasis on retail (i.e. toy) segment, we shouldn’t expect an overly feminine body per se. Overall, the proposed body will be more athletic with a ‘average or common build.’

Currently, they’re evaluating all body designs and they hope to decide upon one ‘sometime before year’s end.’ In the meantime, Mr. Catto did ask for fan and collector input to aid them in getting a better feel for this particular niche market segment of collectors within the 1:6 scale hobby.

Mr. Catto also asked if other collectors like myself were familiar with a variety of DC & Marvel Comics female characters along with female video game characters. As an example, he mentioned Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Harley Quinn.

Additional insight was shared that Lady Action will be going the same route as Captain Action in terms of a base figure and costume/outfit sets. Catto said they’re still trying to determine out how to properly create/design that aspect of a female character. From what we discussed, it’s not necessarily an issue with the costume, but the problem of making a female mask like the CA offerings, due to the differences in aesthetics and design when it comes to working with a female head sculpt. They’re also debating the possibility of rooted hair and sculpted hair for female characters.”

Captain Action "cosplayers" seem to prefer traditional depictions of the two characters. In this case, Lady Action sports a skirt with hose, rather than the blue leggings. (Photo: samaritanx)

Austin Powers would probably approve of these two Captain Action “cosplayers” who clearly prefer more “retro” or traditional depictions of the two characters. Here, Lady Action sports a ’60s mini-skirt with pantyhose and go-go boots, rather than the more modern version with blue leggings, ammo pouches and submachine-gun. Oh, BeHAVE! (Photo: samaritanx)

“As for a designer/sculptor for Lady Action, they’re not doing it in-house but have a short list of known & respected sculptors in the hobby whose works ranges from action figures to sculptures/statues. Mr. Catto mentioned one name specifically and asked me for my take regarding the sculptor. I actually own quite a few pieces of work from the named sculptor/his studio during my years of collecting statues based on comic book characters. I was really surprised by the name. They’re still working on details so I have to keep this one quiet for now. However, I’m sure some may be resourceful enough to possibly figure out who it is.

Mr. Catto also talked a bit about distribution and the recent pass by Toys ‘R Us (TRU) for the third wave of Captain Action offerings. He stated he and TRU have a great relationship, so he is not dismayed about their recent pass (so it’s not necessarily doom & gloom). But he does understand how and why some within the collector community may be concerned. His choice of words during our conversation clearly conveyed the desire and enthusiasm that Captain Action offerings appeal to kids (hence the TRU arrangement), but that they also cater to new and ‘old’ collectors like ourselves. And though their current focus is on licensed properties, they are also considering in-house concepts.”

Yes, this is a 12" action figure. Female figures have come along way since the first GIjane Nurse. The astonishing likeness of Scarlett Johansen as the Black Widow from The Avengers has set the bar about as high as it can go. Round 2 doesn't have to achieve this quality with Lady Action, but it gives them a good goal to aim for. Collectors are becoming more and more discerning—even kids! (Photo: Hot Toys)

Yes, this is a 12″ action figure. 1:6 scale female figures have come along way since the first GIJane Nurse in 1967. This astonishing likeness of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow from The Avengers has set the bar about as high as it can go. Of course, Round 2 doesn’t have to reach this level with Lady Action, but it certainly gives them a goal to shoot for. After all, collectors are becoming more and more discerning—even little kids! (Photo: Hot Toys)

“One key point Catto hit upon was that he wants to provide offerings at an affordable price with great quality and improve when & wherever possible. Their current licensing agreement is written so that Round 2 can create ‘outfit’ sets of licensed characters, but not full boxed sets of a figure (as a licensed character). He was very specific on these points, which sheds light on how the company will approach future offerings.

Thus far, Lady Action is currently in development along with refinements to the current Captain Action base figure. Mr. Catto also stated that once Lady Action is formally launched, then the next possible evolution could be their version of a young ‘side-kick’ character (i.e. Kid Action), but it’s still too early to speculate. They are considering ‘exclusives,’ but nothing definite thus far.”

Round 2 draws inspiration for future CA and LA sets from Marvel and DC comic book characters. Marvel's "Scarlett Witch" looks like an obvious (and alluring) choice. Will she "make the cut" and be on toy store shelves soon? Stay tuned, Marvel fans! (Art: wikia)

Round 2 draws inspiration for future CA and LA sets from Marvel and DC comic book characters. Marvel’s “Scarlett Witch” looks like an obvious and alluring choice to “cast a spell” on collectors. (Art: wikia)

“The possibility of Jonny Quest also came up because I specifically asked him about it. Mr. Catto stated that it was a license he would love to acquire in addition to other classic cartoon characters that are viable in the Captain Action format. Time will tell. Space Ghost was also mentioned and is considered to be ‘a great candidate.’

Finally, as our conversation ended, I thanked Mr. Catto profusely for spending his time speaking with a collector and ‘fanboy’ such as myself. He stated (strongly) that other collectors with suggestions should submit them through the company’s website or on the Captain Action and Lady Action Facebook pages.”

Bottom Line: It’s exciting to be in on the early planning stages of Lady Action’s development. But it must also be somewhat nerve-wracking for Round 2 as they attempt to leap LA’s myriad production hurdles. We wish them the best of luck with this and all future CA projects and concur with Ed Catto’s suggestion that if you have ANY comments or ideas for Lady Action or Captain Action products, please leave a message over on the CA website found HERE, the Captain Action Facebook page HERE, or the Lady Action Facebook page HERE. It’s a good bet either Ed or Joe will see it, read it and respond to you promptly. Our sincerest thanks too, to TJR Field Reporter, Chung Kim, for his in-depth and informative report. If you enjoyed his hard work, please leave a comment here to tell him so. Thanks, and…”Let Justice Be Done!”

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10 thoughts on “Discussion with Round2 Exec, Ed Catto, Reveals Current Development Status and Future Plans for Captain Action’s New Heroine———“Lady Action”

  1. Michael says:

    Playing Mantis did the best CA line to date and they were doing Jonny Quest and Speed Racer lines as well. I think JQ should be its own line for people only into Jonny Quest, not CA. Besides, they have not made a new Kid Action yet, nor do I see this line continuing much past two years from now. The Captain Action crowd is much too small to support this figure line.

  2. Conner says:

    I just ordered the Codename: Action, Wolverine, and Ironman from my local Comic Shop this week. Can’t wait to see what they do with Lady Action. I think they should do pop-off wigs, like a Liv doll. I really like what they’ve done so far. Really hope R2 goes forward with The Red Skull too. That’s a perfect alter ego for Dr. Evil!

  3. Matthew Pak says:

    As much as I agree that rooted hair can make some beautiful female action figures and dolls, my vote goes toward plastic hair. If sculpted well it could look great. Remember, this is going to be figure wearing a costume over it’s existing body so realism isn’t the big draw. If I were on the design board I would suggest going with a Barbara Gordon/Vyonne Craig short hairdo on Lady Action that masks and wigs can be popped over.

    • If they go with plastic, molded hair, it’s gotta be tight-n-right, like the french-braided GIjane helicopter pilots. But Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman all have long, curly-ish hair. That might be VERY difficult to pull off in plastic. I see tight, perfect “real” hairdos being a better, more upscale solution. The plastic route is a step back IMO. But I guess if they get a real GREAT sculptor, it’s possible it could work (in plastic). POSSIBLE…

  4. Jordan says:

    Love the idea of a Lady Action Figure! I suggest she where the Beret style hat that the 1960’s Action boy figure had. That might lend her to a more feminine & distinct style of her own. What do you think???

    • Again, you asked, so here’s what I think: I LOVE IT! The beret hat style would definitely give her her own look. I think the captain’s hat is too masculine. A beret is more feminine. 🙂

  5. Jordan says:

    Hair wise, Lady Action (The Figure not the comic book character) might have to go with short yet sassy “real” hair ala Haley Berry style, and her costume change accessories for each character might include a wig that matches the length & color for that character. What do you think?

  6. Steve Polzak says:

    I think the idea with Lady Action having hair that comes off so as to put on another hair-style is the way to go. As we know, not everyone has the same color, style or length of hair. But I don’t think it has to be realistic hair. I have seen many great figures with sculpted-on hair. If they (CAE) can do that with hair, that would be great.

    I also think that “life-like” hair will tend to get messed up. Just my idea, but everyone has what they like better. And I wasn’t too crazy about the the hair they showed on the prototype. Its hair looked a little messed up and that it should have been a little longer. Other than that, she looked good. And yes, no Captain’s hat. The beret is a better choice.

    How about her own car? Something like Mr. Incredible’s? She could have a nice small car like a Fiat, then when its “Lady Action time,” and she has to get somewhere FAST, then it transforms into a spy-car, water-car, or a low flying jet! I think that would work well for her. Maybe make something all-new for the Captain as well, a basic car that changes into the Silver Streak! Have fun, guys and gals.

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