Banksy is a name that really needs little introduction; the famous graffiti artist is known for his incredible work and the fact that his true identity remains a bit of a mystery. But have you ever wanted something Banksy-inspired for your house and aren't willing to rip out a chunk of wall? Apologies to Banksy might have what you're looking for; the new company, based in the U.K., has rolled out two figures based on Banksy's works Rude Copper and Bomb Hugger.
Are the figures as good as Banksy's work, though? Well, it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges ... so let's just see if they're good figures first, right? Right. Hit the jump and let's check them out.
Figure Name: Rude Copper and Bomb Hugger
Figure Maker: Apologies to Banksy
Retail/List Price: £20
Available at: Apologies to Banksy
So, box time? Box time. The boxes for the Apologies to Banksy series are rather simple; line art of the figure's design adorns the front and sides of the box, with all the colorways shown on the back. As it says on the box, the figures each come with free paint and a brush, though I didn't happen to find any in mine; the paint itself are just primary colors in small containers, so it's nothing you can't find at a store. Relatively simple packaging, but it does its job.
Likewise, Bomb Hugger's box follows the style. Simple, with an outline of the figure on the outside.
Speaking of outside ... I'm kind of feeling like heading out of the studio to photograph these. Shall we?
We'll lead off with Rude Copper, based on a 2002 Banksy print featuring a British constable giving the viewer the finger. It's a bit smaller than I was expecting, even at around 6 inches, but what's great for me are the lack of seamlines. You can tell they cast everything except the bottom as a single piece, and I think that was the right call. The lack of seams makes Rude Copper look very smooth, and it doesn't distract you from some of the details on his uniform like the buttons or sleeves of his jacket. It's also worth noting that while it's not a direct copy (likely for various reasons), the figure pretty closely resembles Banksy's design at a first glance.
On top of his head is the trademark British bobby hat, and what's nice is that I found the police shield on the hat has some very intricate detailing and lettering. It can be a bit hard to see in some of the photos, but it's there, and I'm happy it didn't get overlooked or obscured in the casting process.
My biggest issue with Rude Copper was in the face; there's detail there, but it's obscured by the shadow that the hat's bill casts. Then again, because it's an all-white figure, putting the light directly on the face makes the details blend into the material, so either way, it's very hard to see these details when the figure is unpainted. I expect some of the customs from the upcoming Vinyl Haze show will demonstrate that it has a decent-looking face ... just one that's really hard to see with this colorway.
Other details, though, like the shoulder insignia, really pop off the figure from any angle.
And of course, we have the finger being flipped. The hand is actually pretty well defined, not the plastic blob I might have feared at first.
Next up, we've got Bomb Hugger:
As you can see, she's a multi-part figure, coming with a base, the actual girl and the bomb she's hugging. I'd guess these are separated to make them easier to paint (especially the bomb) and the assembly is relatively simple. That is, the bomb fits pretty snugly into her arms, and the pegs on the base lines up well with the holes in her feet
Assembled, Bomb Hugger looks quite a bit like Banksy's 2003 print, at least from a distance. As you get a little closer, though, you do begin to notice a few issues. The articulated waist is not one of them, and the joint is fairly stable. It's the lack of detail, or perhaps more precisely, the fact that the figure's details don't pop out quite so well which is the first issue. You really can't see a lot of them unless you're staring at her in front of your face or the white figure is colored (either as a colorway or more likely painted).
You can perhaps see it here, but one of my issues with Bomb Hugger is that, in the white unpainted figure, her face is really lacking in definition. The mouth, in particular, could use a little bit more work, as it seems a little too big. Since there's no real shadows or contrast on the figure's face, a lot of Bomb Hugger's details get washed out, and that's a shame.
The bigger problem I ran into, though, were that the shoulder seams had gaps between the arm part and body. Of course, the seam is there so you can disassemble her for painting and customizing, but I would have hoped for a better fit that didn't look so jarring. Hopefully future iterations of Bomb Hugger will be a little better off with the fitting of the different parts so this issue isn't prevalent.
On the other hand, the base has this nice shape to it, fits the figure snugly, and provides ample stability for Bomb Hugger. She looks like she's standing on the grass of an open field while hugging the bomb due to the detail work.
So, final thoughts? Rude Copper is actually a pretty nice, solid sculpt, but Bomb Hugger's seams are really a bit more jarring and distracting, even if they're meant to make her able to be disassembled for painting.
Both blank white DIY figures, though, have traded large details for some smaller ones. That's a bit of a problem for figures of their size; the small details on smaller figures makes those details blend into the base too easily. Take a look at MADL, Qee, Dunny or Munny's lack of small details and use of simple shapes; with smaller figures, simple bases are better.
That's not to say it's a total loss, though; both are fair representations of Banksy pieces of the same name, with Rude Copper being the better of the two. I think both would be great in a black-and-white colorway (especially Bomb Hugger, where the color transitions would hide some of the seams a bit better) or even in one of the non-white versions you can buy off the Apologies to Banksy store.
So yes, I'd give you the thumbs up on Rude Copper and a thumbs in the middle on Bomb Hugger ... just not in their white versions, unless you specifically want the blank white canvas for painting.
[Thanks to Apologies for Banksy for sending Rude Copper and Bomb Hugger along for review!]
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