Are you a formerly handsome, monstrously cursed prince with lots of money, a huge castle, and in dire need of a beautiful woman to show you true love? Well this Belle figure from Hot Toys may not be real, but you look like a minotaur, so it’s about as good as you’re going to get.
Though the figure won’t be available until early next year, Hot Toys’ Belle in her signature yellow ballroom gown is a spectacular collectible. There are few moments in either the animated or live-action iteration of Beauty and the Beast as iconic as the ballroom dance to “Beauty and the Beast,” and the tailoring here is just outstanding. Bringing such a delicate gown to life was likely challenge enough for the actual costume crew, but to do it at 1/6 scale is something else entirely. Hot Toys is no slouch in this area, but it’s always seemed a lot easier when it was a superhero costume instead of a fanciful couture outfit.
Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast has been an unstoppable force at the box office. As with any juggernaut in the Disney Princess library, a lot of merchandise was released already to tie into the film, including a number of Belles in fancy dresses, Beasts in formal wear, and the like. Whether from Hasbro or Disney itself, nobody has been able to quite capture Emma Watson’s distinct look quite right just yet, but Hot Toys does come the closest so far.
Emma Watson’s head sculpt, strong as it is, does fall a bit into that awkward uncanny valley so many portraits do under the Hot Toys umbrella. The option to not give her any real expression is what dooms the face when looking at it straight on. In portrait, it's a rather remarkable rendering of Watson’s Belle. The moment you try to have a staring contest with her though, things start to fall apart.
This has been a complaint of mine for years regarding Hot Toys’ figures, but even just giving Belle the smallest of smiles would do wonders to alleviate the slight off-putting vibe she gives off. At least the living accoutrements like Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts have an excuse for looking terrifying at certain angles. You know, because they’re not human. Even in spite of the sculpt not getting it quite 100 percent right, it’s miles above what Disney and Hasbro have attempted. Then again, those toys don’t quite cost as much as a car payment either.
The Hot Toys Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Belle figure is available for pre-order from Sideshow Collectibles now for $229.99, and is expected to arrive in Q1 2018.