PHICEN STEEL BODY S01
For some reason, I never posted anything about my first Phicen (soon to be known as TBLeague) S01 body. I really don't know how this got past me. It could be that very soon after S01 (Pale) and S02 (Tan) were introduced, the larger bust S05(Tan) S06 (Sun Tan), S07 (Pale), S08 (Pale), S09 (Sun Tan) came out. I do remember almost forgetting my S01. In fact, I did forget her and found out later that I had left her with her arms bent for close to a year. It destroyed the skin on her outer elbows. I eventually gave her away to another hobbyist.
From the standpoint of completeness of a collection, I probably should have kept the body. It's good to see what an advancement these early steel framed bodies were. For me, that's the value of these photos; to remind myself of how they changed female (and later male) action figure design.
The outside of the S01 box hinted at good things to come: Large Bust/Tan, and Large Bust/Pale. Here's what it looked like in the box:
They included instructions, which some didn't take seriously. The biggest cause of failure was (and probably still is, mishandling).
Out of the box:
This early series included a head. This S01 probably had the least attractive of all of them. The sculpt itself wasn't bad, but I never could get the hair right. Also, up through S09, they all had integral feet. I remember how amazed I was by the look of her knees. Knees have always been a challenge in figure design. Good range of motion had always come at the expense of aesthetics. Not anymore!
With these early figures, TBL introduced us to rubbery feet that had nice looking ankles, but did not allow the body to stand unassisted. Current bodies that still use this design continue to have this disadvantage.
The only way to get these bodies to stand was to find shoes that fit and support them. That opened up a shoe hunting mission on the forums. Everyone was looking for shoes. I tried just about every type that I owned, and found some from the Fashion Royalty line by Integrity Toys that worked really well. These were intended for the newer body that IT was introducing at the time (Color Infusion).
Now I could have fun posing her standing!
Of course she was still good at lounging around too!
She obviously looked really good off her feet, but it was the ability to put her in almost any pose while standing that really fascinated me. Yes, well designed conventional bodies could do some of these poses, but they didn't look anywhere as good!
In this pose you can see the nice curve of her back, and its contours. Other nice things these bodies brought us were the nice shoulder blades, and the realistic looking details on the back of her knees. You can also see that the elbow design still needed work. A testament to TBL's constant improvement is how much better the current bodies are in this respect. You can also see something that still plagues them: the awkwardness of the wrist design. TBL has greatly improved the function of the wrists, but they still look awkward.
While I don't often pose my figures in extreme positions, it's interesting to see what they can do. These new bodies looked great doing just about anything!
Is it any wonder they turned female action figure design upside down?
One advantage of this slender body is that she could be dressed in clothes from quite a few sources.
The above outfit is from Dollsfigure, which often designs clothes for slimmer figures. She's using the Phicen 4.0 Pale head in the above photo. As you can see, she's shopping for shoes!
It's amazing how rapidly TBL released new steel body figures, for me completely eclipsing these early ones. You can still get a body similar to this, without a head: the S02A in Suntan, and I believe there's the S01B in Pale. I'm pretty sure they have updated the elbows and use better wrists (these early ones had a tendency to fall off, with the wrist pin). A sense of history is always good to have...