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Ginormica

Monsters vs. Aliens
by Artemis

Cartoons have always been full of hotties, even before Jessica Rabbit lampshaded it, but Pixar really took it to another level with the super-flexible Elastigirl. I'm sure there's a mini-generation of men who were adolescent in 2004 when The Incredibles premiered who are now into ridiculously kinky and possibly impossible porn because of her (and I've met Belladonna, so I don't say "impossible" lightly). I mean, just Google "Elastigirl" and it only takes two results before it's an overtly sexual photomanipulation of a gorgeous model as... hey, that's one of mine. Looks a bit amateurish in hindsight; should've worked harder on the layer transitions. Anyway, my point is that there's a proven market for fetish-ready CGI women, and Dreamworks isn't ignoring it. If there's some present-day Kinsey collecting kink stats, the numbers of macrophilia are about to skyrocket.

A meteor full of Quantonium smashes into an unexpected Susan Murphy, transforming her into a 49-feet-11 inch (15 metre) monster, nicknamed Ginormica. Pursued by aliens, Ginormica must quickly embrace her monster strength to defeat the aliens!

That's not really a very polished summary, is it? Repeating "aliens" in the sentence, "an unexpected Susan Murphy" - who did the meteor expect to hit? - and of course, it's 49 feet 11 and a half inches, in homage to the old Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (and possibly the parody Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold, which was the same, except subtract "plot" and add "bewbs" instead). Still, the toy's nearly 10" tall, and retails for the same price as a lot of 3¾" figures these days, so I guess corners had to be cut somewhere.

Ginormica - or Susan if you prefer; I'm sure the movie will be something about her accepting her new status and place with her weirdo fellow-"monster" friends, but let's be honest, "Ginormica" is up there with "Collect & Connect" for sounding stilted (pardon the pun) - isn't one of your high-end collectable toys, so while plenty of corners have been cut, you have to accept her for what she is. She stands 9¾" tall and, while I haven't yet seen the film, looks to be a fair approximation of her CGI self, with a pleasantly cartoony but plausible jumpsuit over a modestly PG-rated figure. No skintight lycra a la Elastigirl, but maybe Dreamworks figure it doesn't matter what she's wearing once the audience figures out she's got somewhere over two and a half feet of vagina. She's out of scale with the rest of her line, of course - I make her roughly right to mingle with Lego figures, in fact.

Her paintwork is quite plain, mainly cast grey on the body, with orange paint - the two-tone effect of the drab base and bright highlight puts me vaguely in mind of those Stargate: Atlantis uniforms. The hollow torso seems to be a different grade of plastic to the legs and arms, carrying with it a different finish, much duller and slightly rough, actually a much better look for a cloth outfit, but it doesn't match the smooth and shiny sleeves and trousers. What little fine detail there is is quite clean, though, with the exception of the stripes on her legs - they don't stray outside the sculpted lines, but judging by said sculpt they're not meant to go over the shin pockets, so that looks like a design foul-up at the factory there.

Her face is a fairly typical modern CG cute woman - it's almost becoming a visual style of its own, like "anime" or "super-deformed." "CGI cute." Wide face, chubby cheeks, cute upturned nose, slightly pouty mouth; it's like no matter the studio, they're all using the same "species" of CG humans. (If Pixar and Dreamworks ever got together, a Monsters/Incredibles team-up would be pretty awesome. Not to mention the Ginormica/Elastigirl porn.) Her mouth is open, showing her teeth and the tip of her tongue in a rather cute expression of amusement, but I do kind of miss the closed-mouth smirk on the movie posters. Her hair is a slightly pearly plastic, giving it an attractive reflective quality. Her eyes meanwhile are looking in wildly different directions, but the black melds very much into the flat blue, so it's not obvious under regular lights.

She's not well articulated, but for a low-cost mass-market toy she could've been a lot worse. She's got a proper balljoint neck - although the socket doesn't let her look down much, which is a bit of an oversight for a giant character - plus swivel/pin shoulders, swivel biceps at the sleeve ends, and pin elbows. In the neutral elbow position, her palms face forwards, so for most poses it's easiest to just turn the arms inwards at the biceps. She's got a swivel waist, V-hips, pin knees, and balljoint ankles, which sounds good, but they're very loose balljoint ankles, to the point where she has difficulty standing up. The angled hip joints don't offer a lot of realistic positions either.

For accessories she's got a couple of little cars to use as roller skates - they're basically the same design, but the red one is styled more like a sports car, with a low front and spoiler, while the yellow is a bit more sedan-like, barring the open top of course. Each has a peg inside for Ginormica's feet, but I found them very fiddly to attach - the spread of her trouser leg around the ankle makes it very difficult to get the foot in and then reach it to press it into place.

She also has her Quantonium meteor, the very thing which gave her her towering height, as well as presumably taking care of all the physiological problems that nitpickers love to go on about when you start playing with the scale of living things, muscle strength squaring and weight cubing and so on. It's plain black, which makes it a bit dull, and though there are transparent blue sections built into it, there's no real light-pipe, just the handful of blue areas on either side - if you hold it up to the light, not enough light really gets inside to make it look that good. There's a flat area on the bottom for it to rest on; otherwise it's jagged and otherworldly (though without any actual sharp edges) like the Armageddon rock.

You know what, I like her. She's not a high quality figure, but she's got a nice clear sculpt, bright paintwork, and her original design is eye-catching in a low-key kind of way. I've got plenty of figures that cost more and delivered less.

-- 04/04/09


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