Sunday, December 14, 2014

ZCGirl 1/6 Sniper Muriel Black Ver. Part 1

Long time no see sixth scale action figure

A special review on a very special collectible with content enough to cover for the rest of this month I believe. ^^

Just the second 1/6 scale action figure to be featured on this blog in 31 months, after Hot Toys' War Machine, ^^; this is ZCWorld's Sniper Muriel [Black Ver.] from their ZCGirl series.

ZCGirl 1/6 Sniper Muriel Black Ver.
Production company: ZCWorld
Release date: Early March 2010
Price: 13,000 Yen (exclusive of tax).
Merchandise link

Despite their lack of exposure on my blog, I do have quite a number of 1/6 scale action figures in my collection. ^^ In between the previous review on Hot Toys' War Machine and this new one, I did post about 1/6 scale action figures, but those postings are mostly about my purchases. ^^; Trust me, they were unopened back then, they remain unopened now. ^^; Due to the figures' size, they usually come in very elaborately designed boxes, some with front magnet-equipped flaps, some with inner boxes, and some with ribbon seals - very exclusive arrangement. ^^ For that matter, even when I do feel like taking out a particular box to review, seeing how well everything has been arranged within the nice box often makes me change my mind. ^^ In most of those cases, I think I spent more time admiring the packaging design, which include how well the figures and accessories are stored inside their respective boxes, more than actually developing any real desire to dismantle everything to do the review. ^^

However, since they are designed to be movable, with various display options, I do want to play with those 1/6 scale action figures one day. ^^ I said that just to make it clear that I'm not hoarding the figures to try to put them on eBay one day. XD

Muriel came in some time in late October 2011, so she is a veteran in terms of purchase date. ^^ However, she is the 7th 1/6 scale action figure in my collection, after Medicom Toy's RAH Chunli, Hot Toys' Jill Valentine BSAA Ver., RAH Mari Illustrious Makinami (not including her ridiculously long waiting period ^^;), War Machine, Jill Valentine (Battle Suit Ver), and Alice. So, the sequencing of the review series' publication for this action figure line is really not reflecting my purchase history at all. XD That's especially true with Muriel, since I'm letting her to jump the queue with this review series, to be featured before Jill Valentine (Battle Suit Ver), and Alice. ^^

Front view of the box.

Two images of Muriel on the box art, which were (oddly) taken with different lightings it seems. ^^;

Muriel's main weapon, CheyTac M200 Intervention is also being shown, even though this is the regular desert color version.

Name of the character.

Name of the product company

The lack of exposure for action figures in this scale on my blog notwithstanding, this particular black version of Muriel is very unique in her own rights, and I'm not counting her limited release status in that statement either. ^^ For a start, the box design shown above is actually for the regular desert color version, which is also the only version of Muriel listed on ZCWorld's official site. I got this black version through a local online forum member, but you can also find her on various Japanese hobbysites, like Hobby Search, and Hobby Link Japan, so she's obviously not an elusive event or special website limited merchandise that only a handful lucky folks get to own. I do find it interesting that one could get more information about this limited Muriel on various sources, but not on its producer's official site. ^^

Besides that status of being a limited item, which is not really important to me, Muriel is special for being a female military figure. ^^ The military figure world is as old and as well established as other hobbies like plamo building, and scaled figurine collection. Even though I'm not well informed in that hobby due to personal lack of interest, I do feel that it's a very testosterone-driven world. ^^ I said that without any disrespect to the hobby, since having majority release of male soldiers is actually based in facts - the military sector nowadays is still being dominated mainly by men. There are more male soldiers than female soldiers in the world. On a somewhat related note, military-related toys, like miniature soldier figurines, toy guns, scaled tanks, and others are also traditionally boys' toys. It's (still) not very common to associate girls with the military world, and that's obviously reflected in the military figure hobby line as well. ^^;

It's a very odd phenomenon I think. ^^; We can accept female pilots in robot shows, we can have strong female commanders to order men into combat in related shows, we can see skillful gunwomen or special agents in games, movies, and TV series, and we can have powerful female superheroes, and we can make all sorts of merchandises out of them, but no female military figures. ^^; No matter how I see it, there's something not quite right here. ^^;

To me, Muriel is still primarily a military figure, if I really have to place this collectible into some sort of categorization. ^^ Her weapons, and equipments are a huge part of the figure's overall attraction because of their realistic design, and interesting gimmicks, but the fact that Muriel is a girl adds a lot of unique charm to this figure. ^^ You can look at this package as being a 1/6 scale female figure designed with a military theme, or a more regular military figure set, except with a female soldier as the figure. ^^ It's the former for me, ^^ since I'm not a fan of the military figure line as mentioned earlier on. Despite being a military figure, the face sculpt and detailing gives Muriel a really beautiful look. To me, she looks kind-of like Gillian Anderson's character of Dana Scully from "The X-Files" TV series. ^^

How about that? ^^
Image of Gillian Anderson is from All Women Stalk.

Then again, as noted in many reviews, Muriel's "real" design is based off Meryl Silverburgh from the "Metal Gear" video game franchise. ^^

Meryl Silverburgh.
Take note of her weird-looking Desert Eagle holster, because you'll get to it on Muriel as well. ^^
Images are from Metal Gear Wiki.

Besides her hairstyle, and color, Muriel's military costume, its display options, option weapons, and a couple other parts allow you to get a 1/6 scale action figure representation of Meryl Silverburgh without needing much modification. ^^

Then again, since I know very, very little of the "Metal Gear" series, the character "connection" wasn't on my mind when I was deciding on getting Muriel. ^^ Instead, it's Muriel's own beautiful design as a female figure in 1/6 scale that played a huge part in the purchase, even though I do genuinely like her military equipment design as well. ^^

Super simple design for the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the box.

A clearer view of Muriel in her full military gear (still the regular desert color version) on the back of the box.

Japanese product info, and various emblems related to the figure type, unique gimmick, and product company on the bottom corners of the back cover.

Comparison with the box design of Hot Toys' Jill Valentine BSAA Ver.

Hot Toys' Jill Valentine BSAA Ver. has just about the same height as Muriel's box, but is twice thicker. ^^

Box open.
The box flap is fastened to the right side of Muriel box via embedded magnets, rather securely I should add.


The figure itself, and pretty much all the other accessories inside the box can be seen without removing the top cover.

A repetition of the box back image behind the front cover.

The tray containing the package content can be removed from the box completely.

A totally blank box interior.

Since the box pretty much acts like a bottom support container to hold the plastic tray, the top cover can be removed, but with the tray still remains inside the box.

A look at Muriel with the top cover removed.

Closeups on the figure's details.

Closeups on the details of Muriel's weapons, accessories, and option parts.

Rear view of the plastic tray.

A straight-out-of-box display of 1/6 Muriel Black Ver.

In before she's fully equipped, this look like Muriel gray ver. instead of black. XD

On the other hand, from the images above, it's also obvious that her box design is never part of Muriel's attraction, especially when compared to the boxes of other 1/6 figures, like that of Hot Toys' Jill Valentine BSAA Ver. shown above. ^^ While there are many similarities between the two characters beside being 1/6 scale female figures with big guns, Muriel's box design is so much simpler. It's seemingly designed with minimalism, and practicality in mind, rather than to promote the character, and the figure. Then again, as a storage container, it's quite secured, which is good enough. ^^

More images of Muriel in this "plain form" in the next posting. ^^

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