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Ladybug Lucky Charm

Miraculous Ladybug
by yo go re

We've reviewed seemingly the entire line of Playmates' Miraculous Ladybug toys. Surprise, there's actually one more!

No more evildoing for you little akuma! Time to de-evilize! Gotcha! Bye bye little butterfly! Miraculous Ladybug!

That's the series of phrases Ladybug says when she captures one of the evil spirits that have given the people of Paris villainous powers. Every single time. Every single episode. Word for word. For five seasons. For 20 solid seconds per episode. We've said before that Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is a show built on pattern and repetition, but any fictional hero needs to change sometimes - change of clothes, change of powers, change of venue, change of tactics, anything. If nothing ever changes, you don't have a living, breathing story, you have a Wagnerian opera. And even a hero as reliable and predictable as Ladybug needs to adjust sometimes.

After the 71st time poor Xavier Ramier was tricked into becoming the columbimancer Mr. Pigeon, Marinette decided it was her responsibility to help protect him from it happening again. After spending like a week and a half solid trying to come up with something, she did eventually come up with a solution (no spoilers) and that solution came along with a new costume. Because magic.

The mold of this figure is fully identical to the normal Ladybug, which is fine: it's her clothes that changed, not her body. Technically the new costume also came with new hair ties, giving her two on each pigtail, while this mold still only has one. The new costume reverses the colors on a few sections, becoming black with red spots, but the toy doesn't do the look entirely correctly. Like, she's got the shorts and the soles of her shoes, but there should be black panels on the insides of her elbows, and red on the back of her hands. But this figure's price tag was just $5.00, so I'm not going to be too angry about a few minor flubs. And hey, her hair is darker than the normal figure's, and thus closer to the black it's meant to be!

This is definitely one case where the standard figure would have been better than this budget release, though. Ladybug only gets this outfit at first when she's using her Lucky Charm power, in which she materializes a "get out of jail free" object from nothing to perfectly solve the episode's crisis. She doesn't get what she wants, but what she really needs at the time, so it's always something esoteric but ultimately useful; in keeping with that, the normal version comes with four Lucky Charm accessories: a teapot, an oven mitt, a candy apple, and a pair of handcuffs, all things she actually used in the show. It's a perfect choice for extras, and I'm a bit sad mine didn't come with any of that. On the plus side, she does get her yo-yo worn around her waist, which is more than any of the other figures got in the way of accessories, even if it's non-removable.

Being a repaint of the existing mold means all the same articulation, with all the same strengths and weaknesses. Ladybug has a swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, the smallest double-hinged elbows we've ever seen, a swivel waist, balljointed hips, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Would we like a little more? Sure, she's basically a Spider-Man style dynamic hero, leaping and bending all over the place, so swivels in the legs or the ability to move the hands would be super helpful; but also, this is a 5" tall action figure aimed at tweens, so the amount we get is already way above average, especially for Playmates!

This is, as far as I can tell, the actual final figure in the line. At least, searching hasn't turned up any others, and that's a shame: not only do we get a new, toyetic character almost every week, we don't even have figures of the show's actual overarching villains! I'm glad I have all these, but we're still going to wish there were more.

-- 06/23/24

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