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Candice Michelle & Melina

WWE Ruthless Aggression 29
by Artemis

Catfi-- ...wait, I already used that opening line in the last wrestling review, didn't I? Oh well, since when has the WWE shied away from recycling the same stuff over and over? Catfight!

Candice Michelle and Melina are natural enemies. Candice defeated Melina in 2007 to win her first WWE Championship. Melina disapproves of female wrestlers posing for Playboy, while Candice couldn't wait to show the world her fake boobs and airbrushed beaver. Candice is known as the GoDaddy Girl, and Melina isn't. Both have stupid-sounding finishing moves like "Candywrapper" and "Divastator," so they probably argue about whose sounds sillier... Okay, you try writing the bio for a pair of professional wrestlers. Their careers are about as convoluted and nonsensical as Days Of Our Lives characters, but with worse writing.

For all intents and purposes these two are variants of the same action figure - they're the same body, just with different heads and paint. Mind you, the use of generic bodies is nothing new in action figures, especially not in Jakks's long-running WWE line, so let's not be quick to complain. The body in question is a generically athletic woman, with enough visible muscle tone to credibly (so far as wrestling has credibility) pull off the appearance of someone whose job needs strength, wearing a three-quarter-cup sports bra and long flared trousers.

The right hand is sculpted open, the left in an accessory-ready grip. Articulation-wise they sport ball joint necks, double-sided ball shoulders, peg elbows, hinge/peg wrists, a swivel waist, peg hips, pin knees, and pin ankles. They're not the most flexible figures out there - not to compare to the best of Marvel Legends, or SOTA's Street Fighters - and the lack of balljoint hips is a bit of an irk, but they're decently capable for figures intended to be played with.

Their skin is cast in fairly reflective plastic, which hurts the look of their faces, but not as much as the sculpt does. Melina is passable, though not especially flattering or accurate - she gets a long, horsey face, which isn't helped by high eyes and high, off-center lips that make her chin look huge. Candice really suffers - she's a decently attractive woman, but her action figure looks like it's gone twelve rounds with Mike Tyson (or been on a date with him - same thing, really), taking a really nasty blow to the mouth among other disfigurements. Another set of off-center lips don't help, especially as they accentuate the asymmetrical sculpt of her cheeks - whether that was intentional (if ill-advised) or just a casting defect I can't say, but it's sure not a good look.

Candice also suffers in the wardrobe stakes, thanks to sub-standard paintwork. Her outfit consists of a full-cup bra and strappy faux-suspender pants with laddered thighs, and as well as being painted plainly with no additional detail, neither work on a fundamental level. The sculpted lines of the figure's three-quarter-cup, easy enough to spot in any case, are made even plainer by variations in the paint colour, which almost make it look like she's wearing one bra on top of another. Meanwhile the trousers are a wreck - the painted skin tone doesn't come close to matching the cast colour of her torso and arms, the red on her thighs doesn't match the shins, and the open design of the waistline leaves sculpted wrinkles in the garment extending onto what's supposed to be bare skin.

Melina fares better. Her bra wisely stays inside its sculpted limits, and features a fairly nice speckled blue pattern, which is repeated on her trousers. These don't feature any open skin areas, so they avoid the "wrinkled skin" problem, and the painted pattern further helps the articulation at her hips and knees blend into the shape of her legs. The black cross symbols on her thighs don't stand out too well, but that's picking at straws a bit - paintwise, she's got her game together.

Each figure includes an accessory to play with. Candice's is a Women's Champion belt, presumably commemorating the single time she won the WWE women's championship - don't ask me if it's accurate to the real thing or not, but it looks fairly good for a low-cost accessory, with one large and three small bosses cast in shiny gold plastic, mounted on a pliable belt with a catch clasp at the back. Even closed up as far as it'll go it's far too big for her to wear, but I gather these things are just ornamental anyway.

Melina gets a less salubrious but more useful accessory, the professional wrestler's asset of choice whenever the referee's back is turned: a fold-out metal chair. It's identical to the blue one Sensational Sherri had, but the switch in colour makes it look less plasticky and toy-like. With only one grasping hand apiece neither girl can get a really firm grip on the chair, but it's easy and light enough to get it into the left hand, and wedge it up against the open right well enough to look ready to bash someone over the head.

These aren't top-quality action figures - their sculpts are generic (and variable in quality at that) with little truly fine detail, their articulation is unremarkable, their paint workmanlike (sometimes shoddy), and their accessories nothing to write home about. But they're cheap and cheerful, intended for play rather than display, and what they claim to provide, they mostly deliver. Melina got the short end of the stick on various points, but I'm genuinely pleased with Candice - she's no work of action figure art, but I've bought many a "quality" figure that's been less enjoyable.


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