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Judy Hopps

Zootopia
by yo go re

As a wise man once said: it is okay to like the bunny without wanting to do sex to the bunny.

Species: rabbit
Occupation: first bunny ever to join Zootopia's police force
Personality trait: an optimistic officer who jumps at the chance to crack her first case

The movie that became Zootopia (Zootropolis in Europe) started its conceptual life as a spy thriller, but when it was pitched in 2010, it was too close to the similarly themed Cars 2. The star in that one would have been Jack Savage, a James-Bond-ish rabbit who could have starred in a whole series of films, the first being called "Savage Seas." Everyone enjoyed the first act of the story, though, when Jack was still in the animal city, so the focus was shifted there; and since a single city doesn't lend itself to a spy adventure, the character became a cop.

This figure shows Judy in her full police uniform: light blue shirt and dark blue pants, with an even darker blue (verging on grey) used for her vest, bracers, and the things that pass as shoes: they protect her ankles and go up to the mid-shin, but leave her toes exposed. She has kneepads, a golden badge on her chest, and wears a utility belt that's sculpted with several pockets and even her little Fox Repellent spray bottle sculpted in a tiny holster. The clothes get some tiny wrinkles, but the real detailing is on her fur. Judy was sculpted by Matsumoto Eichiro, who did a wonderful job.

Disney animators know how to make "cute," but in Judy's case they had to tone it down a bit: she's supposed to be determined and athletic, not fluffy and adorable. Not that she's not fluffy and adorable, but she couldn't look too soft and still be taken seriously as an investigator. Because the gray fur was so plain, the designers gave her purple eyes to spice things up.

Jude the Dude comes with your choice of five different faces: the one she's wearing in the tray is a pleasant little smile, but there's also one with a full, toothy grin, one open like she's giving a sacrastic quip, one sad, and one horrified. We're not talking minor changes, here! That's already a ton of variety for your toy, but we haven't even gotten to the really cool thing yet: each of the heads has individually articulated eyes!

Remember when NECA's Gremlins Mogwai figures had a knob on the back of the head that let you move the eyes around? Yeah, this isn't that: 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. Look left, look right, look up, look down, go crosseyed, roll in different directions... you can make her look totally silly if you feel like. It's fun! The faces fit against the rest of the head very tightly, so getting them off to swap can be a little tough, but once you get the hang of it (the best direction to pull, mainly, but also finding a way to grip what's essentially a shallow sphere), it won't be too much of an issue at all.

The figure is part of the Figure Complex Movie Revo line, meaning it's done by Kaiyodo using the Revoltech system - and that means lots of swivel/hinge/swivel joints all over the place. Judy Movves hops at the ears, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, tail, hips, knees, and ankles. The ears, in particular, add a lot to the expressiveness, but all the joints have a great range of motion, which is how Revoltech works. Unlike older, early examples of the format (aka "the only ones we've reviewed"), the joints don't easily pull apart any more, either.

Some of the joints do come apart: she has swappable hands, which wouldn't mean much if you couldn't swap them. You have your choice of fists, open hands, or a right hand shaped to hold the included carrot pen/voice recorder. That's a pretty important device in the movie, so including it was smart.

The figure also includes a clear display stand with a poseable arm and a C-clamp to hold the figure in more dynamic poses.

Like a lot of Disney movies, Zootopia deserved better toys than it got. Not even the Disney Store had anything. Thank goodness for Japan and their fanatical devotion to Disney, because otherwise we'd probably still have nothing. Revoltech Judy Hopps may be expensive by our standards, but she's fun, and our only shot.

-- 08/04/21


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