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?
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!
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”