I’m historically not the biggest fan of DC’s Ame-Comi line, I’ve found most of the designs to be a little lackluster. So I was even more excited when some great new figures were presented at C2E2 earlier this year. DC is putting more of its weight behind the line, bringing in talent like Amanda Conner to give it a comic to back it up and hiring awesome sculptors like veteran James Shoop to bring us better designs, like this Brainiac. Ame-comi still has some evolving to do, but let’s check out the progress, shall we?
The Ame-Comi Brainiac design appears to be a gender-flipped (as all Ame-Comi statues are for the male characters) version of Gary Frank’s Action Comics #868 cover, which also serves as the cover to the Superman Brainiac graphic novel. Definitely one of the better depictions of the character I’ve seen.
Ame-Comi designer Jim Fletcher seemed to be particularly inspired with this character, and sculptor James Shoop rendered it beautifully. The design on the body armor reminds me a lot of Witchblade, but Brainiac definitely pulls off the anime feel. Perhaps the more adult side, but who’s complaining?
Really the biggest problem I had with this figure was its packaging. Despite carrying an MSRP of $69.95, Brainiac is packaged in the same box the DC Collectibles action figures come in, and definitely arrived worse for wear as a result. The box just feels cheap and the blister package/wire tie combo inside made her feel more like a $30 toy.
This poor packaging led to her suffering some damage in shipping, in the form of paint rub from her head. DC Collectibles, if you want to capture some of the Japanese figure market share with this line, you are going to have to step up the packaging quality. This kind of thing just isn’t acceptable.
Once she’s out of the package though, all flaws are forgotten as you’re lost in the amount of detail in her sculpt. At 8.25″ tall, she seems much larger as she’s sculpted in about 1/6 or 1/7 scale. She definitely feels and looks larger than the Black and White line despite her stature. I think the $70 price point is very fitting for her level of sculpt quality and detail versus size compared to similar figures from Japan.
If I could change anything on the figure, it would be to make the pink areas metallic to match the lips and eyes. I wonder if the detail on this figure ended up with a few budget concerns in the end. I’m glad they went with the original illustration’s eyes, as one of the prototypes shown on the box had her with the normal Ame-Comi eyes, which put her squarely in the uncanny valley for me:
I’m surprised that version made it to the box image. There was definitely a bit of oversight on the entire packaging process with this figure. I hope it’s resolved in future Ame-Comi releases and they find something a bit sturdier, because if the design level keeps up like this I will have to pick up some more releases!
I’m not the biggest Superman fan so I don’t have much merchandise from the series, but now I’m thinking I will have to get a Supergirl to pair her with. Ame-Comi has released a couple Supergirls previously, but I’m thinking I’d much rather have one of the Kotobukiya releases. So I suppose Ame-Comi hasn’t completely won me over just yet.
They sure are trying harder now, though! This Brainiac is pretty great.