Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reaper Miniatures: still a fap-fest, even at 1 inch high

Okay. So last time I posted this teaser image for a post about Reaper Minis:

Dragon replacing alligator as a fashion accessory?

That's pretty representative of a lot of minis. As any woman who's tried to find a mini to represent her character in a D&D game can tell you, it can be really hard to find female minis that are A) wearing clothes AND B) not showing their breasts.

Now Reaper Minis have gotten pretty popular for fantasy minis lately. Partly because of the very high quality of their minis, and partly because of the product lines that they produce minis for. What caught my attention is their line of Pathfinder minis, which I hear sell pretty well. I will definitely admit that the minis I've seen that have been based on existing illustrations are impressively sculpted. And they do well enough for themselves to run a convention called Reaper Con every year, so apparently their product is pretty popular.

However, their catalog is pretty similar to pretty much any collection of minis I've ever browsed at a con in that it's light on females, heavy on males, and chock full of naked or mostly naked women. So I thought that I'd go through their catalog and pull out some particularly egregious examples.

So first of all, meet Sophie. Sophie is the Reaper mascot; there are special edition Sophie minis released for Christmas, sometimes Halloween, and each year for Reaper Con. These are concept sketches that were later turned into special edition minis. (Except for the top right - that's going to be the special mini for this upcoming Reaper Con.)

Riiight. So, instead of releasing special edition minis that are actually interesting they just decided to make a busty demon chick their mascot and make slutty special edition minis. Which are useful in what context other than fap-material? It seems to point out the dearth of women in gaming, and especially in minis-related gaming. I mean, what gamer DOESN'T love cleavagey hot girls?

...oh wait.

Speaking of cleavage... Some of the sculptors need serious anatomy lessons when it comes to the female torso. I found way too many examples of head-sized sphere-boobs - many of them on the same models that also had impossibly tiny waists and no rib cages:

I fail to see how any of these are attractive. Some of them, like The Little Please Have Buttsex With Me Mermaid, are downright freakish. And some of them are just stupid. What is it about the chicks with huge tits, no clothes, and a large weapon?

However, even the misshapen tits are better than the sheer preponderance of models I found that need to PUT ON SOME DAMN CLOTHES.

Half of these models are bare-breasted, and the other half might as well be. How edgy! And by edgy, I mean pathetic. Seriously, isn't this shit what the internet is for? Why do they need to produce fap material for guys who can just as easily find the real stuff online? It's especially silly when you consider the scale of these things.

And of course, some of them go beyond stupid and right into WTF:

"Ghostly summons" (top left) my ass. That's two lesbians having hot ladysex in a cloud of smoke. Don't try to claim it's all artistic - her head is in the other woman's crotch and you folks can't exactly claim the artistic high ground. And check out Miss Muffet (top right). WTF? Why is she showing that spider her tits?

Even that's less ridiculous than the witch (bottom left) and the ZOMBIE STRIPPER. I mean, for god's sake, people. Both of these are supposed to be gross and monstrous, and yet it's STILL tits or gtfo for these women? What if I don't WANT to see their tits? Cause that's kind of gross.

The worst, though, are the two middle images. The chained succubus (bottom) is bad enough, but the VICTIM ON A SPIT is naked folks. Because nothing says "awesome" like tying up a naked woman and hanging her on a spit. In what world is anything like this even remotely appropriate? Gah!

But wait! The WTF doesn't stop there!

... you've got to be fucking kidding me.

The figure on the left is actually a special edition figure, so another example of fanservice to reward their loyal (male) customers? The figure on the left... Gah. So she's described as a "naughty maid", but the expression on her face just makes me think she's surprised. "Holy shit, when did those get so big??"

Can the maid fetish please die now and forever? kthx

Anyway. Not all of the Reaper Minis are complete fail; there are some hidden gems if you look long enough, like this mini from the Pathfinder collection:

I have mixed feelings about this one. The deep cleavage made me roll my eyes at first, but then I re-considered. This is the rare example of a woman who is NOT Barbie and also not monstrous. I think she's quite attractively rendered. So I'm not sure if the cheesecake is ridiculous, or if I should be happy that they're presenting a non-standard body type as attractive. (Thoughts?)

And then there are a few that are totally awesome. Why can't they all be like this??

Okay, so yes, the middle figure has a little cleavage. But she's awesome! Her tits aren't huge, she has a waist, and she looks badass! And I love, love, LOVE the knight on the right. And the nun on the left - awesome! Another woman who's not Barbie, and so completely badass!

Why can't THIS be how Reaper depicts its women? All of these figures are totally awesome! But no, they'd rather continue to cater to their "safe" market of desperately horny young males, which is disappointing. The quality of their product is clearly pretty high. It's disappointing that for the amount of work that goes into each mini, there's a base level of contempt for women as potential customers that clearly isn't being addressed.