Sara Pezzini from Witchblade (XM Studios Version)

Sara Pezzini from the Witchblade

Occasionally we look at figures that are aimed at the Western audience. Or in this case, made from a Western property; one would think that this figure is targeted at the US market but it’s actually manufactured by XM Studios, a relatively small company based in Singapore. As such, it’s not actually widely distributed in North America. Another odd thing about this statue is that while comic book properties are wildly popular these days, most of the most lucrative products are derived from movie adaptations, such as Wonder Woman and Deadpool. Witchblade – the figure obviously depicted here – is essentially a retired title at this moment, as it completed its 185-issue run in 2015. And one more unusual thing about this figure is its price; at $780, it is likely the most expensive figure in my collection.

Sara Pezzini figure

Witchblade has been an enduring franchise; never the most well-known or best-selling comic but popular enough to have received a modestly successful television series on the TNT network in 2001 (cancelled after two seasons largely due to the lead actress’s acute alcohol addiction) as well as at least one movie pitch, though it seemingly never got off the ground. The adaptation most familiar to this site’s readers will likely be the anime version produced by Gonzo in 2006, which starred the likes of Mamiko Noto and Nana Mizuki. That show spawned a number of figures, including one reviewed on this website years and years ago (I have a size comparison picture further down).

There were actually two more Japanese adaptations; a manga titled Witchblade Takeru which starred a Japanese schoolgirl named Takeru Ibaraki (whose Witchblade suit was rather more like the version seen here on Sara Pezzini than the one Masane wore) and a light novel (of all things) titled Witchblade Lost Generation which focused on a girl named Yuri Miyazono. The manga did receive an official English publication (with the predictable graphic quirk of placing the Witchblade on Takeru’s left hand, as the images were all reversed for the American release) but as far as I know, the light novel has not.

Sara Pezzini figure

The Japanese anime and the American comic book ostensibly inhabit the same fictional universe. While seemingly unlikely given their vast differences in plot and tone, this arrangement offers a modicum of plausibility due to the anime being set in futuristic Tokyo whereas the comic book occurs mostly in contemporary New York City. And while the supporting characters in each series are quite different, the protagonists are quite alike in personality. The comic stars Sara Pezzini – a New York policeperson and the lady depicted here – and the anime features Masane Amaha, an unemployed mother. Each character is kind, hard-working, intelligent, a bit compulsive and hot-blooded, and willing to battle the forces of evil and injustice. Both also struggle with living with the Witchblade, and their attempts to find normalcy within extraordinary circumstances is a major theme of both works. And both also try to cope with unexpected motherhood; Masane’s parenthood constitutes the most important thread of her series, whereas the birth of Sara’s child leads her to divest herself of the Witchblade to a blonde millennial named Danielle Baptiste for a time and leads to the events that conclude the comic’s story.

Sara Pezzini figure

This statue is manufactured by XM Studios in 1/4 scale. It stands at least a colossal 52 centimeters in height, including the base (I measured the height with the hair-down head; the alternate head – with the hair flowing upwards – would be even taller). Just to repeat, this figure is over half a meter tall. The manufacturer lists its weight as 7.9 kilograms (or a little over 17 pounds), and while I don’t have a scale to verify that, I can certainly believe it after moving it around.

The figure includes two different heads – one with hair up and the other with hair down – and two different left arms, one with a large polearm and one without. A bound full-color instruction manual supplies steps for assembly, and a large print of the source illustration (credited to Studio Hive rather than a single artist) is provided. 600 units of Sara were produced; mine is #399.

I purchased this statue from Secret Compass, a specialty retailer in Colorado. I had never ordered from them before and I always feel a bit of trepidation when I drop this much money at a store that I’ve never shopped at, particularly when I have to place a deposit to secure my preorder (which was not surprising or unusual to me). Happily, my order was processed and delivered with no problems and I’d have no worries about shopping there again.

Sara Pezzini figure

Sara mostly owes her appearance to the talents of the late Michael Turner, one of Top Cow’s best-known artists and the comic’s original penciller. Later artists (such as Stejpan Sejic, who drew nearly a quarter of the issues in the series’ run) would put their own spin on her look, but her brown hair, massive right-hand gauntlet, and skimpy armor were hallmarks established in the first issue. (Michael Turner died in 2008 at the age of 37 due to cancer. Having been a fan of his work on Witchblade, Fathom, and Soulfire, I was very saddened when he passed away.)

Sara Pezzini figure

When Witchblade was started up, the Bad Girl era of the 1990s was in full swing, and no doubt Turner’s design sensibilities were informed by the trends of that time. Witchblade earned a reputation for sexualizing the look of its main character, though the interior art was usually far more tame than the cover illustrations. A decade later, film adaptations of comics became a hugely profitable enterprise and the online social justice Taliban found a welcoming (and echo-prone) home for their screeds on Tumblr and Twitter; comic book heroines in abbreviated outfits subsequently ceased to be a big thing (Sejic drew the Witchblade armor as an elaborate and complex bodysuit that covered everything but Sara’s face).

Sara Pezzini figure

You wouldn’t know that from looking at this figure (or, frankly at most figure adaptations of comic book characters), though. Here, Sara is dressed in the most well-known version of her Witchblade outfit, the one that bares most of her torso and upper legs. An ornate pattern of green-tinted metal comprises her suit, resembling organic lingerie designed by a fashion house in Mordor. Her right shoulder is covered with a big spiky pauldron and her legs are sheathed in high-heeled thigh-high boots.

Sara Pezzini figure

The Witchblade itself is not actually a blade but the gauntlet on her right hand. It is also quite spiky and features a few gems in primary colors, the blue and red ones being larger than the gold one.

Sara Pezzini figure

The sculpting is done really well; the larger size of this statue allows the detail to be easily visible and while some 1/4 scale figures skimp on this type of complexity, XM Studios does not.

Sara Pezzini figure

The left hand can be posed holding this large pole axe. I don’t actually recall Sara using a bardiche of this type but she has one nonetheless. It has the same green color as her suit and the base which makes it a little less visible than I would like, but it is impressive once you notice it.

Sara Pezzini figure

She comes with two heads, one with her hair down and the other with her hair billowing out and with her lips parted. I like the hair-down option better, but the hair-up head has its charms, too. This head reminds me a bit of a Cindy Crawford poster I had when I was younger.

Sara Pezzini figure

The standard head features an affable demeanor, with Sara flashing a friendly smile. She is wearing a good deal of makeup, which might look a little trashy to some people. Personally, I think she looks great. I should note that the seam in her neck where her head detaches is not disguised in the least, though I don’t find it too noticeable in real life.

Sara Pezzini figure

A more conspicuous sculpting quirk is the massive arch of her back. From the front, she appears to be standing upright but the profile view shows that she’s actually striding forward, and so her back is strongly curved to keep her upper body straight.

Sara Pezzini figure

This anatomical quirk has some unusual ramifications. It tilts Sara’s head down quite a bit – though again, this is mainly noticeable in profile. It also makes her ass look smaller than it really is.

Sara Pezzini figure

Speaking of which, her backside is fully visible should the viewer be behind the statue, thanks to the largesse of the Witchblade design. Her armor tapers back to a thong, fully in keeping with the design sensibilities of the rest of her suit.

Sara Pezzini figure

The base is an impressive affair, with Sara stepping on the skull of some type of demon thing while green tendrils writhe around her body.

Sara Pezzini figure

There’s a magnet in that skull which keeps Sara steady while she lords over it.

Sara Pezzini figure

To further emphasize how big Sara is, here we can see the two Witchblade wielders, Sara and Masane, meeting up. Keep in mind that Kotobukiya’s Masane is a big figure, being 1/6 scale and about 26 centimeters in height. Nonetheless, she looks like a Nenderoid when placed next to Sara.

Sara Pezzini figure

This statue was expensive as hell but I have no regrets. On the contrary, this figure is now one of my favorites. I’ve been a Witchblade fan for a long time and seeing this statue is a delight. Sara looks very sexy and the rendition of the Witchblade suit is perfect. The large size of this statue is highly impressive and the optional parts make a fantastic product that much better. This really is a superb figure, one of the best in my collection.

Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
Sara Pezzini figure
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18 Responses to Sara Pezzini from Witchblade (XM Studios Version)

  1. Carter 05 says:

    As a side question: how good or bad was the 2006 adaptation of gonzo? Just to be clear, this is the first time I’ve ever heard about this serie.

    • Tier says:

      I thought it was pretty decent; not fantastic but entertaining enough. It starts out as a monster-of-the-week affair before the second half starts focusing more on the plot and like most >20 episode anime, I liked the first half better. I enjoyed the Witchblade: Takeru manga, too (there’s an English compilation published by Top Cow that collects the whole series); it’s a bit darker in tone than the anime is.

  2. TomTheCat says:

    This figure looks super awesome! For its size, 780 bucks seem fair. (Only a figure collector could say this, lol) I remember a couple of years ago I bought an issue of a Witchblade comic or two. I bought them for the covers, I can’t remember anything of the content…

    Speaking of big, expensive figures, I recently had my eye caught by Prime1Studio’s Harley Quinn statue from Suicide Squad. I’m strongly tempted, but that amount of money (More than 1500 Euros) really scares me off. I probably could srape that much together, but when I think of “useful” things I could spend it for, I’m afraid I’ll take a pass. Sorry, Harley…

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, prices for 1/4 scale comic book statues seems to be in the $500-1000 ballpark these days. That would probably freak out many PVC figure collectors, and would almost certainly shock many Figma collectors. But I am very satisfied with what I bought XD

      Ouch, that would be a huge hit to the wallet XD I haven’t checked but I have to assume that there are additional import fees in Europe. Our politics are lousy and we seem to be getting hit by hurricanes and engulfed in wildfires as of late, but at least the US may be one of the cheapest places in the world to collect figures.

  3. Elixir says:

    This figure is amazing! Thank you for sharing her images with us. I have to admit I’m a little jealous.

  4. Philip Brownlee says:

    Looks great!

  5. TheDuskwalker says:

    Damn, that is one amazing looking figure.

    I’m mostly familiar with Witchblade from the anime (although I did see the TNT series too), and the 2 games based on the spin-off, The Darkness. Not much of a comic reader, but have wanted to read Witchblade since Sara is sexy as hell. Also liked that Witchblade rip-off character, Nagi, from the terrible Bloody Roar 4.

    • Tier says:

      Ahaha, I had to go look that up. I have never played that game (or any game from that series) but I do remember seeing this game’s cover a lot back when I used to hit up all the local Gamestops to browse through their used bins. (Some games always came up, like various Madden titles, Gran Turismo 3, and this one. That’s probably not something that speaks well of it.) I kinda wonder if Sumita Kazasa played that game since his design for Takeru’s Witchblade armor in the manga adaptation actually looks a lot like one of Nagi’s outfits …

  6. BostonBrandon says:

    The Darkness/Angelus/Witchblade “saga” was one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Despite being part of the eye roll inducing era of comics published in the 90’s I still find myself interested in these characters. Glad to see that I’m not alone.
    If you’re ever feeling nostalgic I’d recommend checking out the 4 issue run of Nick Manabat’s Cybernary that ran as a backup story on Jim Lee’s Deathblow.

    • Tier says:

      Haha, yeah … some of those 1990s comics are pretty hard to read now. Or look at, in some cases (like Rob Liefeld’s artwork on X-Force).

      Thanks for the recommendation, Cybernary definitely looks like something that would interest me (and I’ve somehow never heard of the series until you mentioned it). Poking through some webpages, she looks kinda like Rogue, or rather, a combination of the 1980s big hair Rogue and the 1990s Rogue where just her forelock was bleached instead of having the long skunk stripe.

  7. Aya says:

    Amazing figure, about the wicthblade merchandise I guess the Japanese version figures is more widely sell in the market( thought I remember once they us witchblade action figure in card packaging) and this version is impressive statue, thought for such price I can’t believe this only 1/6… I expect to be like 1/4,but again I guess last time I see you review such figure is the smashed sideshow psylocke XD and this have much better details on those armors

    • Tier says:

      It is 1/4! XD She is very very huge. The Kotobukiya-produced Masane Amaha figure is 1/6, and you can see how small she looks in the comparison photo up above. Haha, I still have those smashed-up parts. I put them in a bag and forgot about them, and every now and then I find that bag and think to myself “Why is this bag so heavy?” before opening up and seeing the naked torso and disembodied limbs.

  8. wieselhead says:

    Nice doll… eh, figure ^^
    She is certainly big, I like the detailed figure and her nicely articulated pose. The face is nicely styled, she really has this expression how men imagine a hot blooded italian woman.

    Her face reminds me Rouge from the old X Men animated series, that character was actually too seductive for a kids cartoon. When thinking of Witchblade I only remember the cute and sturdy anime protagonist, I liked the anime, but the end was a bit too dramatic for me 🙁

    Generally I prefer the cute look of anime figures, I could imagine to buy a more realistic styled figure, but then it must really be my “type”.

    You really paid that much !!?
    ok, basically that are just 3 Cinderella Girl Idols from Alter + shipping XD

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I would have preferred it if the Witchblade anime ended on a different note. I guess the ending did wrap things up, though; there are quite a few anime series that fail to close up the plot even after a >20 episode run.

      I did in fact pay that much! XD I think I actually paid more for a vmf50 doll way, way back in the day, possibly when the dollar-to-yen exchange rate really sucked, but this is the most expensive figure I’ve bought (though I’ve got a few more 1/4 scale figures that come close to this, including a couple of Japanese ones).

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