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Astro Toy
Rio:Bone Panty

by David Cabrera,

Rio:Bone Panty
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Maker: Sentinel
Price: $60-70

Editor's note: all images in this column are now clickable and can be viewed in higher resolution.

Ah, boy. I think Toy Fair got me sick, you guys. I never have the con flu, and I was only at this event for one day! Anyway, I had better take a break from blowing my nose and mumbling “uuuuhhhh” to look at a toy up-close, huh?

I think this qualifies as “one of those weird figures I like to buy”. Way, way back when Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt aired I got the go-ahead to do two columns on it when the toys hit, and a year later I'm finally cashing in on that last one. See, to me, the Nendoroids were just the warm-up. The real action figures for these characters have to actually look like Panty and Stocking did in the TV show.

So this figure from newcomer Sentinel was exactly what I was waiting for. Funny I should say that, because it seems not to be well-liked: the figure had a pretty appalling average review score on Hobby Search, for example, months before it was ever released (Stocking from the same line seems to be doing much better).

Most figures from this series have taken the easy way around the series' art style, a look so deliberately flat and two-dimensional that it's intimidating to translate into 3D. They soften it and round it off (the Nendoroids, assorted small figures) or just use the conventional anime style from the show's transformation sequence: I believe there are already several PVCs based on this one scene. Not so here. No compromise at all, in fact. I respect that.

And what do you think about the look of this one? One of my friends calls it “Muppet-face.” You know, there was a muppet-face scene in the show, but that's not what she meant... the open-mouth faces really are a little odd-looking, don't you think? I think it's the paint job. Perhaps they shouldn't have tried to give her a tongue: it's definitely creating that Ernie effect.

The core figure has all the movement you could ask for, as this is a really basic and unencumbered character design. Panty's bracelets jangle on her arms, the hoop earrings clip on (careful, they're finicky) and the super-short dress is made of soft PVC.

You can tell this figure is truly in the dirty and juvenile spirit of the original work because it has the one feature that I had expected from the Nendoroid and was disappointed not to see: an eff-you hand with middle finger extended. Tell 'em why you mad, Panty.

Of course, there are other hands and you'll note that again, Panty's got those boxy fingers like on the show. As with the Nendoroid, a figure of Chuck is included, again offering the opportunity to re-enact your own Chuck-abuse scenarios.

For weapons, we have the two Back Lace guns-- made, from magic, from Panty's underwear, because that's the kind of show this is-- and the shotgun form of the gun from the episode where our heroine uses Briefs' briefs instead. Rather than having to slip guns into “gun hands”, the guns are simply molded together with the hands that wield them.

Of course this wouldn't be an otaku figure if someone didn't think very hard about the underwear. Not only are Panty's panties rendered in unusual detail, Panty can also go without them. Another pelvis is included for going-commando TV show accuracy. Even if nobody ever looks, if you pose her with the gun and panties at the same time, you'll know in your heart that something is wrong, right? Never compromise! Never surrender! Take apart your action figure just so that she can go pantyless!

The stand is essentially identical to what you'd find in a Figma, but with one weird design issue: the peg for the stand is actually in Panty's long hair. In addition to all that big hair dragging the stand down, what happens as a result is that once you've attached Panty to the stand her head is effectively locked: you can't swivel her neck because that would throw the stand off. This makes for some awkwardness in posing, and Sentinel probably should have figured out a stand that goes under the hair and up Panty's back, or maybe a claw-style stand.

At the moment this figure is sold out everywhere but Amiami, and our HLJ preorder (it's gone there) cost us $60 shipped. Is this worth it for a fan? Yup. After looking at this one I've already put the Stocking from this line-- she comes with sunglasses for both figures!-- on order, but in the interest of not being redundant I think I'll buy that one for myself and not the column (unless you all really want it, in which case...). First Dizzy, then Kamen Rider Fourze and now Stocking? Help me, guys, this job has got me buying toys again! For myself! It was never supposed to be this way!

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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