I'm a huge fan of the Bishoujo range of figures from Kotobukiya, spanning as it does multiple franchises; from anime, Western toylines, comics and even horror, these cute figures are often well painted, dynamic and live up to the line's name - these are all beautiful girls.
Of course I'm a sucker for beautiful villainess, so when Poison Ivy was first mooted I was very much on-board for her. A character I grew up with threw my Mum's Silver Age DC comics, the character has gone through many changes since her debut, but the red hair and green outfit, always a stunning combination, seem to be evergreen. (Pun intended).
One of the major updates to the Bishoujo line has been adding detail to the bases. Where older figures have a circular stand and a plastic picture of the character you can use or leave in the box to fill it, newer iterations in the line have started adding interesting bases for their characters to interact with. Ivy's base is entirely sculpted with no clear plastic - instead she has a vine to lean against, it's roots providing the weight to keep her upright, seemingly writing beneath her. Leaves provide extra interest, a brown wash brings out the detail and it crescendos with a nasty, toothy looking flower that adds a touch of menace to an otherwise alluring Ivy. This is, in my humble opinion, the best base to a figure Kotobukiya has provided for this line since GI Joe's Scarlett, with her rocky base and translucent plastic explosions framing the figure.
Ivy herself is in a leafy version of her classic costume - long gloves, leotard and green boots, all covered in a lovely matte green paint give her a modern twist. Her hair is a vibrant red, adorned with flowers and leaves to enhance the nature-girl image. The expression is confident and calculating, weighing up her admirers with a satisfied smile. The skin doesn't have much of a wash applied, instead allowing the natural light to bring out the subtle sculpted details of her muscles and curves.
All this comes at a cost, however. Where Bishoujo figures used to set you back around £60, Ivy is easily double that at most retailers, taking her out of the impulse-purchase market and onto the edge of serious collectable territory. As I'm quite picky with my anime figures these days, I can live with the price increase, but for completists or fans of the line, this has become a point of contention.
As a fan of the character and the line, I can say that for me, this particular offering is very much worth the price of entry. Thankfully Kotobukiya does split the line between different themes, so you can have a pretty complete looking collection even if you limit yourself to just one of them. Ivy is certainly going to be at home on my Batman shelf in the office, turning heads as she so often does.
I know our Anime Editor Dan is a big fan of the Catwoman from this line, so if you like your Batman gals with a cute Japanese touch, maybe check her out too!