July 30, 2013

Review of PHICEN's Nina Williams Death by Degrees Collectors' Figure

Nina Williams Figure Tekken Phicen SMCG
At last! After a month long odyssey basically just being stuck at customs, PHICEN's Nina finally showed up, and man was she worth the wait...

Tekken Action Figure Nina Phicen
Tekken Nina Williams Figure Artwork
Nina Williams Phicen Collectors Figure
1:6 Scale Action Figure Phicen Nina
Roberto Ferrari Artwork Character Design Nina
Tekken Merchandise Nina Phicen figure
One Sixth Scale Collection Nina Phicen
Death By Degrees Action Figure Phicen
Tekken Figure Nina Willliams Wrestling Outfit Phicen
Hobby Consolas Poster Nina Williams 161Phicen Nina SMCG 1:6 Accessories
Apart from reading online about the world of "collecting and/or customization of commercially produced 1:6 scale action figures and accessories" (as Wikipedia puts it) I'm not too familiar with the 1:6 hobby. I'm also not particularly versed in handling 1:6 figures, and with 33(!) points of articulation and no visible joints, a figure like this is obviously more prone to breakage than your regular fare of action figures. In short, I don't feel comfortable posing this figure, at all, and as you can see from the pictures, I didn't bend a single limb of hers. If you want to see some of the amazing poses that 33(!) points of articulation help an action figure pull off, I recommend visiting Craig's Pillar of Justice and taking a look at his PHICEN Nina Armoury Post 1 and PHICEN Nina Armoury Post 2. I plead guilty; I did what a lot of collectors do, but what most people who collect 1:6 products usually frown upon; I took her out of the box, admired all the detail and the stunning craftsmanship, took a few pictures, and back in the box she went, which is now locked away at a place where no dust and no harmful spectrums of light will ever go. 
Now that I got that out of the way let me talk about the figure. I love it! The slight worries I had about the final product maybe not being able to match the look of the prototype from the publicity pictures were washed away as soon as I opened the box. In fact, I think the figure looks even better in person, with much better hair than in the official pictures, too. (PHICEN obviously styled her hair for the pictures, while I prefer the very clean just-out-of-the-box look you can see in my pictures.) The head sculpt is a recast of Iron Man 2's Black Widow by Hot Toys, which is based on the likeness of Scarlett Johansson. While ScarJo's looks don't strike me as particularly "Nina" the head totally works here, and comes surprisingly close to Nina's likeness in Death by Degrees, not least because of a very convincing and flawless paint job. The true eye catcher, though, is the outfit. I still find it staggering, the amount of painstakingly small detail PHICEN were able to incorporate while actually sewing a 1:6 version of Nina's famed wrestling suit. The outfit's design is part the suit from Death by Degrees opening cinematic and CG promotional material, and part Roberto Ferrari's design sketches, with slight modifications by Phicen to accommodate the 1:6 scale body, a seamless synthetic material piece which manages to very effectively simulate the texture of real skin. The figure comes with an additional pair of pistol-grip hands, 2 pistols with removable magazine clips and movable slides, and a belt with a functional snap buckle and a Velcro flap gun holster.
To see such a stunning collectors' set come out, 8 years after the release of Death by Degrees for the PlayStation 2, is absolutely terrific, to say the least. With the official Death by Degrees license pretty much dead it's thrilling to see PHICEN and its creative minds exploring the 1:6 collectibles&merchandise possibilities of this could-have-been//should-have-been franchise via the unlicensed route. As a die-hard Nina fan and collector, another really exciting thing about this figure
, for me, is actually its official product name - NINA VER.1.0. Here's what Chad (the man who pitched the idea of a Nina figure to PHICEN, and the face behind SMcG) had to say about it on the OneSixthWarriors forums:
"I can't say much about upcoming products but somewhere down the line, I do see a Version 2.0 NINA. As to what it will be,


Look for PHICEN's NINA at one of your local places, or buy her on SMcG's official site smcgcustoms.com

Poster of Nina Williams in Death by Degrees from Spanish videogame magazine Hobby Consolas issue 161

Character Design sketch of Nina Williams / Death by Degrees by Roberto Ferrari, courtesy of Namco


  1. Ah, you finally got it! Excellent.

    Kinda bummed you're just gonna keep it in the box, mind you. Toys are meant to be played with! ESPECIALLY the expensive ones!

    And thanks for the links, as ever. :)

    1. I know, you're absolutely right, she is way too awesome to just have her locked away, but with my Nina stuff I'm like the awful Dad who locks his kids up in their rooms so they don't go outside where all sorts of terrible things could happen to them :-D Horrible father/horrible figure collector; feels so good to keep my babies safe in their custom made UF-5 UV-blocking acrylic boxes, though. haha #PsychoDad
      Here, these guys are amazing, really recommend them: CGA Store Their boxes are so good, they should offer boxes for their boxes :-P

  2. This should be shown to Namco, not only this but the this whole blog! You're doing an excellent job with all the projects and updates, it's definitely awesome to see a dedicated Nina Williams fan, maybe Namco can see how much we love her, do something special for her :)) thanks for the blog!

    1. Well, thank you! I really appreciate your comment.
      Sadly, I don't have much time to update as much as I would like these days, but I will definitely never abandon this blog.
      Thanks for reading! :-D