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Nick Wilde

by yo go re

This is the biggest enemy of Firefly?

Species: red fox
Occupation: con artist
Personality trait: a fast-talking fox with a big mouth and a lot of charm

Last time we told you how Zootopia began as a spy movie starring a character named Jack Savage. As the story evolved, he became a city policeman, but his snarky, wise-acre attitude conflicted with that: after all, why should audiences care about what happens in the city if the main character apparently hates it there? That's when the more optimistic Judy Hopps was introduced, and the former Jack Savage (renamed, at some point, to Nick Wilde) was turned into the conman sidekick. And also turned into a fox.

Nick dresses casually, because he hasn't sold out to The Man yet. Wait, would Zootopia even have a "the Man"? They couldn't, right? So what would the equivalent be? "The Mammal"? Doesn't matter. Nick's wearing a green shirt with a print of various leaves, a striped purple tie, and grey pants. He's a red fox, so that's the main color of his fur, though his hands and feet are darker. So is the tip of his tail and his ears. Matsumoto Eichiro sculpted some little wrinkles on the clothes, but the thick fur is the real star of the show.

When it came time to design Nick Wilde, the animators turned to another classic Disney sex symbol: 1973's Robin Hood. Sure, there are only so many ways to draw an anthropomorphic fox, but why not take inspiration from your past? (For the record, no, Robin Hood can't be set in Zootopia's medieval past: RH has sentient primates, reptiles, and birds, while ZT has none of those.)

Like his little pal Carrots, this sly fox has alternate faces. Not as many, but still enough to create some real variety. His more-or-less "default" look has him smiling confidently, with his eyes half-lidded and one eyebrow cocked - call it his "condescending" face. But pull that off and you can replace it with one that has big wide eyes and a smile (call it "excited"), one with the corners of the mouth pulled back in a grimace ("surprise"), and one with the eyebrows pulled up in the middle and the mouth drawn in ("fear"). These are very different, very distinctive expressions.

Swapping Nick's faces is easier than Judy's, because he has a long snout you can actually grab ahold of to facilitate it. Just like her, he's got individually poseable eyes. When you take the face plate off the head, you get access to the back of the eyeballs, each of which have a short peg that allows you to point the pupils in whatever direction you want. Clearly the idea is that you'll be able to have him look in different directions to suit however you have him set up in your display, but it's also fun to have each eye going its own way, to make the toy look utterly ridiculous. Play the way you want to play!

Speaking of playing, Nick is part of the Figure Complex Movie Revo line, so he's made using Kaiyodo's Revoltech joints - that distinctive combo of a spherical joint with swivel pegs both above and below the hinge in the middle. It's weird that he doesn't have any knees, but he does get ankles, hips, tail, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and head. Additionally, there are joints inside the head that allow the ears to move, so they can stand up normally or flatten back in alarm. Several of the joints do have that "ratcheted" feel, because the weight of the pieces they connect might have been great enough to make them floppy otherwise. He includes a clear display stand with a poseable arm and a C-clamp to help hold him up securely, so you can re-create any pose in that off-the-wall abortion comic (or its even more bonkers sequel)!

The figure's normal hands are open wide, but he includes a second pair that's more relaxed, and a single one designed to hold the carrot pen that came with Judy. Since real-life red foxes are nocturnal, normal daylight could damage their eyes; that must be why he's also got a pair of sunglasses. They don't fit over his ears, going in front instead, but there are small tabs to help hold them in place. It's a shame he doesn't come with anything else, like a pawpsicle or a bag of Arby's or what have you.

Nick and Judy are the only two good Zootopia figures there are; considering the size discrepency between them and every other major character, they're the only ones who would make any sense, from both a physical and financial standpoint. They make a great pair, it's just a shame the only way to get them is to pay import prices.

-- 08/18/21

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