POP TOYS XING SEMI-SEAMLESS BODY - QUICK REVIEW
These bodies seem to be on indefinite pre-order status on various sites. Recently I took the plunge and bought one from a U.S. based eBay vendor.
Pop Toys has two basic body types in this series in both pale and "sun tan" skin tones. Each body is available in three bust sizes, small, medium and large.
What distinguishes the two body types are whether it has exposed plastic joints or whether it is a semi-seamless or hybrid design. It's important to make sure you're purchasing the body type you intend because some vendors will mix the product graphics. Here is the product number breakdown to determine the body types:
ST-92003A,B,C: Exposed joints, pale, small, medium, large bust
ST-92004A,B,C: Exposed joints, suntan, small, medium, large bust
ST-92005A,B,C: "Seamless joints", suntan, small, medium, large bust
ST-92006A,B,C: "Seamless joints", pale, small, medium, large bust
The body in this review is of an ST-92005C: seamless joints, suntan, large bust.
Overall, it's a very nice looking body. The first thing I noticed in lifting it out of the package is it's a lot heavier than I expected, though not as heavy as a TBLeague or Jiaou Doll body. It does have a steel skeleton, and I believe steel joints as well. The skin is a type of rubber as opposed to the silicone used by the two leading seamless body manufacturers. In fact, the material used on the limbs feels different from that used on the torso. The torso has some nice sculpting, whereas the legs don't really have any to speak of. There is a nice contour to the knees, though which is one of the design goals of this body: to look better in revealing clothing than the plastic jointed bodies.
One of the design goals of these Pop Toys bodies (seamless as well as exposed joint) is to smooth out the gaps between the limbs and body. This can be seen in how the gaps around the hips are covered by the skin, as well as the design of the ankle joints and feet.
A little bit of a quality note here: There is some flashing along the production seam on the outside of the left leg, and along the inside of the right leg. It's easily dealt with, but it's there. I will say that all the openings in the flexible skin are clean, without any ragged edges.
The feet and hands are nice sculpts, with good details. I think the hands are similar to those used by Very Cool with their bodies, though these may have a bit more detailing. The feet look like a new sculpt, with better details than what I've seen on Very Cool bodies (it will be interesting to see if they switch to these new sculpts).
These are the feet and hands that are installed in the package:
The details are crisp, though there is a little bit of flashing on the feet that could be cleaned up.
Here are the accessory feet and hands:
Here's something that I find a bit puzzling. With their efforts to make a body with smoother ankle joints, yet provide versatility with other bodies, there is no explanation anywhere in or on the packaging. In fact, I had to refer to promotional graphics supplied by on-line vendors to see how they're supposed to work. A graphic on the box or an instruction sheet would serve the company as well as buyers.
One important way these bodies differ from other bodies with steel skeletons is the attachment of hands and feet. Both TBLeague and Jiaou Doll both have arms and legs with fixed steel balls at the ends. Pop Toys uses a skeleton with a cylinder at the ends. The ankles and wrists slide into the skeleton much the same way as they would on a plastic body. This makes swapping feet and hands very easy: as long as they have a ball attached, they simply slid on or off- no heating required. This is a plus when shooting on location and a heat source isn't available.
What Pop Toys has allowed the hobbyist options when it comes to shoes. If we want to use a boot/shoe foot that has a ball attached, simply insert the ankle cups on the right. If the item has a hole for a ball to fit, insert the ankle balls with the stem.
If maximum range of motion in the ankles is desired, the arched feet with the higher ankles would be the choice. This option would be handy when using boots and a very dynamic pose is desired.
If the ankle is going to be exposed such as when wearing high heels (with or without hose), and a smooth shape to the ankle is desired, the arched feet on the upper right would be the choice.
So how does all of this work?
I was very anxious to try the arched feet with the smooth ankle design. This is an area that has always been a priority for me since I've never been a fan of the ankle cup design. Up to now, the champion of ankle design is the Triad Alpha. Here's the result with these ankles and using Pop Toys high heels:
Despite the fact that I managed to give her left foot some pronation, she is a very stable "stander" in these heels, even on this slick surface. A quality note is that I did have to wrap the stem of the left foot with Teflon tape as the fit was a bit loose. A touch down and conversion point for Pop Toys or in FIFA terms- "Goal"!
I'm so pleased with this, that I uh, haven't tried any of the other options yet...
Another disclaimer: I didn't put this body through every contortion to test the maximum range of motion, though I did check that the manufacturer's claims in their promotional graphics are achievable, and they are.
Make no mistake though, this is not a TBLeague or Jiaou Doll body in terms of range of motion. I think the culprit is the rubber skin. The arms will give you a maximum of 90 degrees bend at the elbows. The knees will bend to just a bit less than 90 degrees.
Whereas TBL and JD give you smooth and solid actuation in all joints, this body uses click-stop joints in the knees. They're not the violent clicks that plastic Phicens had, but I was surprised to find this type of joint in use. Again, I suspect the rubber skin is the culprit. There is no practical way to ensure that a friction joint is going to hold a pose against the rubber skin. This is true especially when you consider it has to do this repeatedly over a period of use. Frankly, this is a bit of a bummer, as bending the knees, especially towards the end of the range, brought back memories of broken joints. Nothing failed as I posed her...
Another surprise I found was fitting a head.
Kind of an innocuous, conventional looking neck ball that we're all familiar with. I have no idea why so many of my heads would have required heat to fit on this neck. Heating heads is something I like to avoid, and do it only sparingly when absolutely necessary. I finally found an adapter that to fit:
You can see that there's quite a bulge at the bottom. This fitment is easily solved with a bit of sanding on the ball. Many will simply use heat and be done with this. My life is complicated...
The next question to answer is how Pop Toys clothing fits this body. I really like PT clothes, but not much of it fits the bodies I like. They tailor most of their items to fit a much more slender body type than I typically use, and much less busty as well. I actually intended to buy the medium bust body, but the vendor I used was out of them (and I don't want to comment on how long eBay shipping from China takes now).
Here she is wearing a POP Toys business suit (item X16-B). This is an early set, tailored to their first body.
Not a perfect fit, but far better than I expected. I still think I can get the shirt to close a bit better. There's not much hope for the jacket, though.
I do like the way the pants fit.
They look really good on her, and they don't restrict movement much at all. She can sit without embarrassing herself, and she can take a stance that some figures can't do in combat attire (I'm looking at you, DAM Toys).
All in all, it all contributes to a lot of fun in posing this figure.
Some concluding thoughts:
I'm happy with this figure, though I don't know how many more I would buy. This figure cost me $43.19 U.S. with shipping and California tax, and that's the danger for Pop Toys here, I think. A parted out TBLeague S23B can be sourced for $44- $45 from a U.S. vendor, before shipping. True, this figure is a complete accessory set with feet, hands and adapters, and the parted out figure is just a figure, but for me that price difference is very close. Once you've accumulated as many spare hands and feet as I have, they stop really being a consideration.
While the articulation isn't that of a TBL or JD in terms of range or function, it's still a fun body to pose, and she can wear all that cool clothing from POP Toys.
An odd thing about the packaging is that no where does "POP Toys" appear on it. The only product name is "Xing Series". Just for reference, here are some of the promotional graphics from the manufacturer: