Avatar is a movie directed by James Cameron that will open at theaters in December 2009, although toys inspired by it have been surfacing as early as October 2009.
Mattel released Neytiri in 2009 within the first wave of 1:18 scale (3.75 inch) figures in the toy line inspired by the movie. Neytiri is the first female Na’vi released in the line and in the movie she is the daughter of tribal chieftain Eytukan.
Being the first female in the series, Neytiri is a completely unique sculpt. Her body is lean and lithe; yet still feminine thanks to her subtle, stylized curves. She doesn’t wear much more than the male Na’vi, although her attire does manage to cover the right bits. Her loincloth is an unpainted aqua-colored rubber piece, secured by a peg glued to the front of her waist while her chest is covered (mostly) with a feather necklace. The necklace is also made from rubber (ashen brown in color), and sports light red and yellow paint applications to add variety to the feathery textures.
While most of the body is smooth with very little muscle definition, the hair and the pieces of clothing have amazingly detailed textures sculpted on them and even on the sections where paint has been applied it is possible to see clearly the minute sculpted detail. Neytiri’s head sculpt is particularly pretty, with thickly braided hair and clean, harmonious features. Like all other wild Na’vi, Neytiri has only four fingers and toes on each hand and foot.
Neytiri has the exact same articulation than Tsu’tey or Avatar Jake Sully:
• Ball jointed neck. Here it serves as a simple swivel, and rotation is severely limited due to the thickness of her mane.
• Peg & hinge shoulders. The joint on the right shoulder works perfectly, but on the left shoulder range is slightly restricted by the rubber necklace piece.
• Peg & hinge elbows. Very good 90° bend and 180° sideways rotation.
• Swivel waist. Free 360° swivel.
• Double hinged hips. These are designed after the same type of joint Mattel uses for their DC Super Heroes line, and allow the legs to extend sideways as well as rotate back and forth.
• Peg & hinge knees. Very good bending range and sideways swiveling.
• Hinged ankles. Pretty good movement up and down but no lateral rotation whatsoever.
Neytiri is molded entirely in light blue plastic, and other than her armbands and bracelets the only other paint applications on her are the usual blue tiger-stripe markings on her skin. The hair is painted glossy black and her eyes are done in black and white, complete with white catch lights on the pupils. Now, for some reason, all of the samples of Neytiri I have seen at stores (yes, both of them all) had some kind of issue with the paint on the left eye, so you might want to seek out the better painted ones. Mine has a slight case of lazy eye, but for the most part it isn’t too obvious.
Neytiri comes armed only with a bow, sculpted with an extended string and an arrow nocked in. There are a few paint decorations applied to the arrow, but the accessory still looks rather dull. Another issue I have found in this line is that the bows included with most of the Na’vi tend to be warped in the package, a situation that also affects the figures to some degree, especially thin-limbed ones like Neytiri and Tsu’tey.
Neytiri’s personalized iTag plate is made of translucent, amber-colored plastic and sculpted to resemble a carving. The sticker on top shows a close-up portrait of the character. The CGI model assigned to Neytiri is that of a Woodsprite, a dandelion-like organism with flowing appendages that reminds me more of exotic sea fauna than flora. The plate generates the usual three trivia factoids and the accompanying sound clips are from non-specific jungle denizens.
I am pretty happy with the Neytiri figure. It stands out, being an alien female, but at the same time it blends right in with the other Na’vi characters, matching them in terms of detail and playability. Also, I suspect this is the short packed character in the line assortment, so I’m additionally glad to have found her “in the wild”.
Errex Score: 90/100