Friday, February 22, 2019

History in Action - BESSIE COLEMAN!

History in Action - Action Figures Series 01 - Bessie Coleman - HIA Toys 2007

When I started this blog seven years ago, I was thrilled with the idea of regular groupings of reviews based on a common theme. My first post was in late January so the natural first theme was Black History Month for February. I was really on top of things that first year - coming up with themes left and right, but soon I realized how stressful it was to put reviews on hold just so I could lump a few together. I made up for it by adding appropriate hashtags where applicable; "redhead", "felinoid", "fembots", etc, so those themed lists could be assembled at any point by clicking links on the hashtag list at the bottom of the page. By the way, I've continued to use the "BHM" (Black History Month) hashtag ever since, regardless of the actual month it's posted. This is all a long-winded way to say how excited I am that I just got my hands on the perfect figure for a February review - and I'm feeling very excited and nostalgic. HIA Toys ("History In Action") made this great series of historic action figures over a decade ago.



I love educational action figures, and this lovely lady is my absolute favorite I've ever found.




Bessie Coleman 1892-1926 was the first Black woman to earn a pilot's license in America. She was actually forbidden to go to any flight schools in this US because of her race, so she traveled to France to hone her craft (pun intended) and earn her license. She returned to America and became a highly successful air show pilot until her untimely death during a flight at the age of 34. I never heard of Bessie Coleman before discovering this toy, and I love that an action figure exposed me to this amazing piece of history.
























This figure has great articulation. She has hinge-and-swivel shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, ball-jointed wrists, swivel waist, ball-jointed hips, hinge knees, swivel boots, hinge ankles, and a ball-jointed neck. I count 18 points of articulation. I should note that her wrists and hips may be ball-jointed, but the sculpts really hinder the range of motion. Also, her head is articulated at the hem of her shirt, not the jawline like we typically see. It reminds me of the Grendel figure, but better.





Bessie comes with a map, a flight book, an alternate head, and flight goggles.




Her scarf is also removable.













So her goggles *had* a clear elastic band to wrap around her head. Unfortunately, rubber products like that have a short shelf life. Mine crumbled into tiny pieces at first touch. To attach the goggles in these photos, I used a tiny microscopic piece of Blu-Tack poster putty at the bridge of her nose. That stuff is great. It levels out the soles of shoes, tightens loose grips, and now secures strap-less goggles.













This line unfortunately only had three releases. I would have loved to see more figures. Especially Edmonia Lewis and Marian Anderson.













Time for a Comparison Pic!


This figure is a bit taller than I expected at 7" tall.




Cheers!





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