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Adult Superstars
by Artemis

Midori is one of the more well-known African American porn stars, which I guess demonstrates that it's still a predominantly Caucasian industry since I've never heard of her. Among her credits are a bit part in Coming to America - the real movie, not an innuendo-based porn version (though with a title like that, there probably is one) - an AVN Award (a porn Oscar, basically) for Best Supporting Actress in Westside, and a couple of forays into hip-hop and rap music. And, of course, her own action figure. A well-rounded career, then.

Of the three adult figures we're reviewing here at OAFE (in a blatant attempt to get horny Google users to view our site by mistake), Midori is the obvious "adult" one - Briana Banks can pass herself off as any number of Hollywood prehistoric hotties, and even Sydnee Steele could pretend to be from some TV show or other (she's wearing more than some of the female figures from the Lost line, after all), but regardless of the microphone, there's no hiding the fact that Midori's putting more than her voice on show. Even ignoring the way her dress is cut specifically to expose the maximum possible amount of skin, and the way she's slinkily perched on her heart-shaped stool, cozying up to the microphone, she doesn't exactly suggest she's performing gospel. Not the church-sanctioned kind, anyway.

I confess I have a weakness for unique action figures - so many have limited articulation that limits them to just standing around that I'm drawn to those that do something different, even if - as here - their pose is preset and unchangeable. Midori's alluring posture certainly makes her stand out, and it's well-rendered by the sculptor - laser scanning or no, I highly doubt that Plastic Fantasy scanned her body in this pose, so this is the artist's work, not some automated reproduction. The angles of her legs and hips are just right to keep her barely balanced where she is, as attested to by the fact that, regardless of her unstable posture and the lack of any pegs attaching her to the stool, she does stay on it. Unless you bump her even slightly, in which case she slides right off, but when you consider how many action figures in upright stances can't stand without their bases, it's not a bad achievement that Midori can get by on her own, even a little bit.

Her articulation is almost entirely bound up with her sculpted pose. She has a swivel thigh on her left leg - a unique joint in the three figures in this little review series - but it's one of those assembly joints that really only serves to get her into her proper position, not provide any versatility. She has swivel/peg balljoint shoulders, but her right hand must be on the cushion to keep her from tipping forwards, and her left can only go around the microphone stand, which in turn requires her balljoint neck to pose her head so that she's singing into it, or close enough. Regardless of the presence of balljoints, Midori is a statue as much as anything McFarlane's ever produced.

The majority of her body sculpt is smooth lines, with very little in the way of fine detail - her strappy heels are about it, rendered well enough but not extraordinary in any way. The paint there falls a touch short, with the glossy green paint covering only the soles and sides of the shoes, leaving the plastic's colour - her skin tone - showing where the shoe protrudes slightly from beneath her toes. Still, it's not inconceivable that the shoes' lining is a different colour, so that oversight isn't glaring, and otherwise the paint is good, with clean division on the straps over her feet, and nice crisp nail polish (metallic pink, god help us). Midori has three tattoos, a "69" symbol on her right bicep, some sort of arrow design on her left, and a decorated rose on her left calf - all are clean, clear paintwork even on the thin lines, but slightly faded in appearance, with the black not being pure black.

Her face is one of those love-it-or-hate-it sculpts, thanks to a very pronounced "in-motion" expression - she's in mid-song, pursing her lips on a note, which affects the whole shape of her mouth and jawline, especially the lips with their metallic lip gloss bringing their pursed shape to sharp prominence. It's not an unattractive look, but it distorts her face by its nature, making the likeness a bit difficult to see - the fact that she's singing dominates the whole sculpt. Her eyes are heavily lidded, with pale metallic lilac eye shadow and quite clean paintwork on the eyes themselves, and her hair has quite an effective highlight, bringing out the detail of a good clean sculpt. One slight shortcoming is that, with the hair sculpted very straight and even, the way it sits loosely on her shoulders doesn't quite ring true, but short of sculpting the head and shoulders as one piece, there was always going to be a gap, so that's forgivable.

Her costume consists of a dress which only just qualified as a dress - short of being transparent, or made of string or something like that, it's revealing about as much skin as it's possible to reveal and still be called a dress. The deeply plunging neckline shows her cleavage - all of it - while the backless design and the very high cut at the hip leaves her almost entirely bare down both sides. The hang of the fabric - duplicated in soft plastic - leaves it hanging forward off her left hip to reveal the top of her thigh inside the dress, which is one of those revealing tricks pinup artists love to come up with. She's not wearing anything under the dress, but the bottom right corner of the front curls around between her legs to preserve what modesty she has, if that's what you want.

If that's not what you want, her head pops off to allow the neck strap to come forward (it can be stretched down under her hair and then up over her head while it's still attached, but no need to risk straining the thin soft plastic unduly), and then the dress simply slides down her legs and off. Unfortunately this reveals her breasts in their entirety, and this is an area where the sculptor mucked things up a bit. Midori's actual bust is ample but not excessive, and fairly rounded - these are asymmetrical, and have a strange sag from the upper chest down to the nipples, but then a very firm curve up the underside of the breasts. What seems to have happened is that the sculpt has been optimised for when the dress is on, to show off her cleavage - the undersides of her breasts are unfinished and reduced to make way for the thick plastic dress, to make it seem to be thin fabric. Leave the dress on and she's fine - take it off, and she looks to have had a very regrettable boob job. I'm not saying the real Midori hasn't had work done (I'm guessing yes, judging by what Google provided) but if so, it was far better than this sculpt suggests. The nipples are, as usual, painted with a vague blend into the dark areolae, and again reference photos suggest that some actual sculpt, a slight pebbling around the nipples, should have been done for a better likeness.

Like Sydnee and Briana there's no sculpted anus - hey, when you're reviewing a porn star action figure, you have to cover these topics - but otherwise she's fairly (in)decent between the legs, with a slight prominence in the perineum, and fleshy labia majora. The inner labia are rendered as a single ridge, but the sculpt and posture - which produces a kind of "pout" down there - makes this easy to ignore so far as simplification of sculpt goes. A darker brown paint app distinguishes the outer labia, and black paint serves as pubic hair - not bad at a glance, but on closer inspection it's evident that the closed legs have limited the painter's access, leaving the hair skewed to the right.

Midori comes with the standard Plastic Fantasy base, with no cardboard backing this time. There are no pegs on the base, and neither her feet nor the stool have any facility for attaching her to it - as mentioned, she can balance on her stool, microphone in hand (it steadies her a touch), but a couple of dabs of blu-tack or similar would be prudent. Alternatively, her accessories can be ditched and she can simply lie lengthwise - she doesn't take perfectly to the pose, but there have been far worse looks in action figures, so it's an option. Her stool is typical grey plastic, with the cushion glued on, painted glossy red with no highlight or wash - its heart-shaped surface is crinkled realistically, but there are three indents in its surface for her palm, left thigh, and right hip to settle in. The microphone comes as stand and base, which slot together smoothly (though loosely), and is a decent if unambitious sculpt and paint job.

No slight to the woman, but she's pretty blatantly looking a bit on the slutty side here - even if she is really singing, I doubt she's intending to be still wearing the dress by the end of her set. Still, given that, I have to call the figure a success - what it sets out to do, it does, and the result is a fairly unique action figure.

Wrapping up OAFE's little foray into the adult industry, you have to give Plastic Fantasy props for effort - many makers of action figures have put in far less effort in design, sculpt and paint, for far more high-profile products. Granted the whole point of porn stars is to look good (well, and have sex, but no one expects action figures to have that much articulation), but even so these aren't amateurish products. Briana makes a very photogenic cavewoman, Sydnee is a bit bland but still good-looking, and Midori is the only cabaret singing action figure I've ever seen. If you happen to be in an adult shop - I'm not judging - it's worth having a glance at the novelty shelf, just in case one of these is lurking away there.


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