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Syndee Steele

Wicked Pictures
by Artemis

We continue our look at the short-lived adult movie star action figure industry with the improbably-spelt Sydnee Steele, actor (in porn), author (about sex), counsellor (sex), and free speech activist (I haven't looked up her columns, but I'm guessing it's along the lines of "There's nothing wrong with sex," not that I'm disagreeing or anything). Her career as a porn star began in 1997 (and she may or may not have retired in 2005, wiki and IMDb can't seem to agree), netted her four AVN awards, and an induction into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2007, and she made her erotic debut painted as a zebra. Fascinating stuff, this. And since porn films with joke titles are a perennial favourite, a quick browse of Sydnee's resume turned up The Wild Wild Chest, Toys in the Addict, and A Midsummer Night's Cream, in which she played Helena, which probably would've been less irritating than Calista Flockhart's version. Ava Vincent played Hermia; the mud wrestling scene must have been a drawcard.

Compared to Briana Banks, Sydnee is far more ornamental - even with her clothes on, there's no pretending she's there to do anything but look hot. She's equipped with a snowboard and snow boots, but her woollen "tracksuit" wouldn't protect her from a gentle breeze let alone a jaunt in the Alps, so it'd be a tough sell to claim she's some kind of sports figure. Then again, if McFarlane made its sports range like this, I'd wager they'd sell more of them. Sydnee stands upright at just a touch under 7½" tall - her actual height is 5'8" (Ava Vincent is 5'4", so Hermia's jabs about Helena's height would still have worked, assuming there was any dialogue at all) and since she's resting all her weight on one foot it's a good thing she has a base to keep her standing.

These figures claim to be the result of laser scans of the actual women's bodies, but whether that's true or not - or whether it works - is open to debate. I spent a few minutes ambling through Google trying to check whether Sydnee does indeed have the dimples in the small of her back that her figure has, but despite seeing quite a lot of Sydnee, that particular part of her doesn't seem to have been photographed a great deal. Regardless of accuracy, the sculpt is decent, giving her a proportionate figure in most regards (though a very flat lower torso that I suspect/hope may have been the sculptor's work rather), and her physique looks fairly attractive. Not athletic in any way, though, which makes the snowboard look even more ornamental than it already did.

The fine detail on her is a decent attempt at first glance, but falls short on closer inspection. Her snow boots have all the necessary detail, with separate boot sections and rigid plastic plates and all the other junk they put on snow boots, but it's not the sharpest sculpt around, and the laces are particularly vague, varying in width a lot and crossing fairly murkily. The paintwork doesn't help especially, with a fair bit of slop on practically every division, right up to the top of the boots where the white extends badly onto her bare legs. For what it's worth, her magenta nail polish is fairly well done. Befitting her "wholesome sportsgirl" image (at least, I imagine that's what she's meant to be looking like) she doesn't have any tattoos.

Her face is quite attractive - Sydnee isn't one of those thoroughly generic-looking adult models - but the likeness isn't quite spot on. If you look at her directly from the front, and compare it to photos of the woman herself, you can see the resemblance, but from any other angle the sharp nose, tight smile, and intent stare make her look a lot more like Juliette Lewis than I imagine she's meant to. Her facial paint is clean and detailed, with dark red lips and fairly intricate warm brown eyes, a neat bit of rouge, as well as eyebrows that manage to be strong without looking too big. Her hair is sculpted well for soft plastic, and is detailed by a highlight pass rather than a paint wash - unfortunately there's just a bit too much glossiness, which interferes with the realism of it.

Her costume - it hardly qualifies as real clothing - is entirely fashioned from the soft plastic used across the line to allow the stars to be stripped down to their birthday suits. It's only natural for the use of soft plastic to cause softening of the sculpt, but in this case it's a bit more of an issue than usual, since the fine texture of the garment is quite important in conveying what it is. I take it to be a tracksuit, but the texture is really not fine enough, with some surfaces looking more like long-range telescope photos of the moon, with their random bumps and pits, than a fluffy material. The zipper at the front holds enough detail, and is painted cleanly enough, that it works, but the paint elsewhere on the edges is inconsistent.

She's a touch less articulated than Briana, with only her left arm having a bicep swivel - otherwise she has the balljoint shoulders and neck that characterize the whole Plastic Fantasy line, and that's it. Her left arm and hand are sculpted to cradle her snowboard - there's no peg or anything to attach it, but unless you bump her it actually stays in place quite reliably. The neck has a good range of motion, but the sculpt of her hair predisposes her to have her head tilted slightly down, looking up from beneath her lashes (not that she has lashes, aside from a paint app) - tilt her head back much and the hair resting on her chest floats about above it instead.

Sydnee's head and arms are designed to be removed to facilitate taking off her costume, and the design of her top makes this absolutely necessary, regardless of how stretchy it may be - even armless, it's a tight fit working the top off her chest. Her "shorts" just slide (tightly, again) down her legs and off. All the joints pop out easily enough and without doing any kind of damage, but her left shoulder doesn't seem to settle quite right in its socket when it's in place - combined with the tight plastic of her sleeves, it leaves the line of her shoulders into her neck a bit lacking, and it's a good idea to position her head so as to largely cover up that area with hair. Speaking of the shoulders, the balljoints there were obviously painted with her arms already raised - lower them and the bare plastic shows on the inner swivel of the joints. It's flesh-coloured plastic, but there is a slight difference in colour, and especially reflectivity, that gives it away. Incidentally, the neck balljoint is a different size to that on Briana, so you can't swap their heads around, which is a bit of a shame from a random goofiness point of view.

Stripped down, Sydnee is fairly good-looking, though her slender hips and flat stomach are more noticeable with her breasts bared, and without the clothes adding width to her hips and shoulders. A hint of ribs, just visible while clothed, is also far more obvious now - she's not unhealthy skinny, but personally I prefer a bit more curviness. The pink paint apps on her breasts are a bit vague at the edges, without a strong border between breast and areola, but her nipples are quite prominent and make up for it. Down below she's got a fairly rudimentary sculpt of her naughty bits, but the paint does its part fairly well, with pink filling the space between the outer labia - not just the inner labia ridges, as with Briana - and a French wax leaving only a slender strip of pubic hair, which is nonetheless crisply painted. Like Briana she's missing an anus - several titles on her filmography suggest fairly strongly that she does in fact have one - but her closed leg stance, with her buttocks tightly together, make it difficult to notice unless you tip her upside down and go looking for it.

She comes with the standard Plastic Fantasy base, equipped with custom pegs - a single one for the right foot, in Sydnee's case - a nameplate on the front, and a clip for a backing board, which is a glossy black one bearing the "Wicked" logo. Oddly, there's no name sticker on the nameplate - there were other Sydnee figures available when I bought this one, but at the time I only thought to compare their faces before choosing one, so I can't say whether the absence of a sticker was a one-time oversight or not.

And of course, she has her snowboard, in pale and navy blue (matching her maximum-exposure tracksuit), with the Wicked logo stamped on it, and mounted clamps for her boots. The clamps do actually fit her boots quite well - the right one securely enough that, if you want, you could put her on the board and forget about the base, and she'd stay upright just fine - but of course she has no leg articulation, so she can't ride the board properly, or even get both feet in place at once. A shame, but action poses weren't something this line of figures were ever intended for, so not unexpected.

As an action figure, Sydnee isn't really much to write home about - she fulfils her function (stand around and, if you want, be naked) well enough, but there's nothing much unique or special about her, unless you're already a Sydnee Steele fan. Or a horny Juliette Lewis fan, in which case the unintentional resemblance would come in handy.


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