"There ain't no body like a CG body", at least there wasn't when Takara designed the original CG body.
Takara wasn't the first company to launch a female action figure, but they were the first to release one with a body with feminine curves instead of the skinny, stocky female action figures that were available before.
Here's an overview of the different versions of CG and related bodies.
This page is broken down into four categories:
The CG body design minimizes the amount of 'cuts' for joints in the limbs whilst still offering a good range of motion.
More details on CG and PB bodies can be found on the excellent Jimbob Wan's website, in particular this CG v1 review, this CG v2 review and this PB v1 review.
Released in 2000.
First wave: CG-01/02/03 Sky/Jet/Kat
Second wave: CG-04/05/06 AJ McLeod/Shadow/Blaze
Apart from its curves the Takara body may not appear that ground breaking: hips and shoulders both consist of a disc on a horizontal pivot, the pivot lets the limb rotate forward, the disc to which the limb is fitted lets the limb spread sideways. The elbow and knee joints offer a range of slightly over 90 degrees and also allow the lower limbs to swivel.
The body has a spring loaded chest joint that allows the chest to twist and be posed in any direction.
The clever parts of the CG body design are in the details though:
CG v1 bodies were available in four skin tones: pale, Caucasian, tan and Afro-American.
Released in 2001.
Changes from v1 : removable ankle cups, redesigned wrists.
The ankle cups are now attached to the legs in a way similar to how the hands are attached to the arms: a peg with a narrow ring behind the tip that snaps into a tight section inside the limb.
The ankle cups come in three sizes: 8mm, 13mm and 16mm tall, with 13mm being the most commonly used size.
Destiny always came with a v1.5 body, the earlier figures were available with both v1.0 and v1.5 bodies (in case of a v1.5 body, Takara put 'V1 body' on the box).
The v1.5 hand design has an additional pivot joint between the hand and the wrist hinge. This allows the hinge plane to be rotated independent of the arm and the hand, allowing the wrist to be posed bent sideways as well.
Some Takara v1.5 releases came with an extra set of hands with redesigned wrists in addition to a full set of v1.0 hands.
The CG v2 body offers a widely improved range of motion in all areas:
Released in 2003.
Changes from v1.5 : double jointed elbows with greater range, knees with greater range, pelvic joint, 3D hip joints, slightly taller upper legs, newly designed ankle cups (different post, egg-shaped cross section, always 15mm tall), pegs on hands now have small notches molded on.
The CG 2.0 bodies are sometimes referred to as:
Released in 2008.
Changes from v2.0 : stiffer joints to allow the figures to maintain poses holding heavier gear or when dressed in rubber body suits.
There are no visible clues on the outside of these bodies to tell it from a regular v2.0 body, although a batch of Deunan Knute bodies was allegedly made out of black colored plastic.
The v2.0 Plus body was used for four figures: Deunan Knute, Eris, Asuka Langley and 'CG Dissectionz Vol.1'.
Deunan Knute and Asuka Langley each came dressed in a sealed rubber body suit. These rubber body suits can not be removed without damaging the suit and some type of oil was added to keep the rubber from clinging to the limbs, so finding a nude body of one of these figures is rare.
Apart from manufacturing and marketing the Takara CG figures, BBI also made its own female Perfect Body.
The PB body features ankle cups and a similar way of attaching hands and head but offers a larger range of motion compared to the CG v1 body.
The first series came with the same head sculpt as the CG v1 bodies, later series feature original BBI designed head sculpts.
Released in 2002.
Heads: Sky, Jet and Kat, all dressed in gray-ish sports attire with a CG logo printed on the chest.
New (compared to CG v1): CG ankles with bare feet; disc-type wrists with rotatable hands, double jointed elbows, double jointed knees, ratchet 'click-stop' hip joints, removable chest plate and shoulder joints that allow the shoulders to be moved ('hug and shrug').
The chest sections of all Perfect Bodies consist of a removable chest plate that can be changed for one with larger or smaller breasts. The first wave came with regular and large breasted chest plates.
The chest plates are made of slightly softened vinyl that is not as prone to picking up stains as e.g. head sculpts or ZC Eve bodices are.
Released in 2003.
Changes from PB v1 : new original head, Caucasian blonde, red/auburn haired Afro-American and black haired Asian figure, again all dressed in gray-ish sports attire but no longer sporting a CG logo.
These figures sold so well that an auburn haired second release of the Caucasian figure was made, this one is sometimes referred to as 'Stage 2.1'.
Released in 2007.
Changes from v1 Stage 2 : redesigned ankle cups, two new original heads, a Caucasian ginger haired head sculpt with blue-grey eyes dressed in red/black sports attire and a Hispanic black haired head sculpt with brown eyes and pink lips dressed in white/black sports attire.
The hair on both of these figures was implanted in a widows peak running across the forehead.
Body itself was not changed (apart from 'improved ankle cups and minor production changes') but now came with regular and small breasted chest plates.
Released in 2007.
Changes from v1.5 Stage 3 : no changes to the bodies; Figures came with different color clothes and hair: the Caucasian now came with auburn hair and emerald green eyes dressed in blue/black sports attire and the Hispanic now came with dark brown hair and red lips dressed in gray/black sports attire. The hair of the v1.5.1 figures was no longer implanted into the forehead.
The v1.5/Stage 3 Perfect Body figures sold out so fast that a second series was released in 2007.
Same bodies and chest plates were used.
The Hispanic head sculpt was later also used for the Caucasian skin toned BBI Mystere figure.
Several batches of CG v2 style bodies were available that were not manufactured for Takara, these are often referred to as 'clones' or 'knock-offs'.
The names I used here are the names most commonly used for a particular body.
In 2009 a lot of loose bodies showed up on places like eBay. These v3 or 3.0 bodies look similar to the 2.0 B bodies that were used for Doronjo (slightly orange tan skin tone) and have a Takara copyright notice embossed on the back.
The plastic used for the v3 bodies does differ from what was used for Doronjo: the actual Doronjo bodies are made of harder, more shiny plastic with a slightly lighter skin tone.
The v3 bodies were usually sold with a pair of white gloved hands with orange-tan CG v2 wrists and two pair of nude feet: one pair with flat soles, one pair arched.
It is not clear if these bodies were part of an initial batch of Takara Doronjo bodies that was rejected or if the bodies were cloned.
In 2010 the 'enhanced 2.0' body became available at eBay vendors.
These bodies are similar to a 2.0 A body but the breasts come with sculpted nipples and some joints have a slightly larger range, in particular the pelvic joint and, to a lesser extent, the hip joints.
These bodies were usually sold with two pair of hands similar to CG v2 hands and a pair of flat feet.
The 'enhanced 2.0' bodies were available in both a very pale and a chocolate-milk brown Afro-American skin tone, these bodies do not have a copyright notice embossed on the back.
In 2012 a number of loose bodies showed up on eBay that had a skin tone close to the tan 2.0 A bodies as used for the re-releases of Ash and Harley, however these new bodies do not have a copyright notice embossed on the back.
No hands or feet were included with these bodies.
These bodies were allegedly made for a ZC Girl/Figure Fun figure that was subsequently canceled.
BBI/Takara weren't the only manufacturers to offer female action figures, here's a selection of the most noteworthy competitors.
When Skynet launched its Ladies Mission series in 2003 they used a body made by Armoury.
This somewhat stout looking body makes for interesting comparison with the CG v1 body as it shows much more joint cuts for only a slight gain in range of movement (mostly in the double jointed knees and the lower pelvic joint).
The LM hands can be swapped and use the same size pegs as CG hands. Elbows use a similar hinge that allows the arms to be lifted to slightly over a 90 degree angle, but the sideways travel was moved to a biceps cut. Feet are fixed to the body by flanged ankle joints. All joints are friction based.
A loose body of this type is often referred to as an 'Armoury body'.
In 2004 the v2 body (made by Soldier Story) was introduced to the Ladies Mission series (starting with Nrs.8-11, dressed in US uniforms).
Apart from better proportions, double hinged elbows and shoulder joints similar to BBI Perfect Bodies allow for an ever wider range of poses than the Armoury body.
This body has been produced in a variety of skin tones (pale, Caucasian, tan) and with various breast sizes.
A loose v2 body is often referred to as a 'generic LM v2 body'.
In 2006 a slim body was added to the Ladies Mission range (Basic Infantry Nrs.3-6).
Compared to the LM v2 body all but one of the dimensions of the slim body are more slender: oddly the waist section has the same size as the LM v2 bodies waist.
The slim body is actually slightly taller than the LM v2 bodies.
This body has been produced in two different skin tones: Caucasian and tan.
A loose slim body is often referred to as a 'LM Slim body'.
Released in 2006.
This Soldier Story body is a variation on the generic LM v2 body, fitted with ankle cups and hands with separate wrists (similar to CGv1.5 wrists).
The ERTL 'Turkey Huntress' figure looks a bit similar to a CG v1 body but there are some differences: the neck post is larger, the hands are permanently attached to the arms, the ankle joints are flanges instead of ball joints and the feet have no heels, instead the legs extend all the way to the floor.
As far as I know ERTL only released a single figure based on this body.
Released in 2002.
This body is remarkably light in weight but it is quite sturdy (apart from the wrists and ankles).
The neck joint is a swivel joint between the shoulders rather than a fixed neck with a swivel post.
The hip joints have a very subtle ratchet mechanism that holds poses well without breaking up the range of motion too much.
Dragon based several figures on this body, each figure came with differently posed hands. The 'Svetlana' sniper figure stands out because the neck was modified to include both the swivel joint at the base and a swivel post at the top of the neck, resulting in a double jointed neck with a wider range of motion (similar to what I did with this Neo Eve body).
In 2008 'ZC Girl' launched a more affordable version of the body they had been using for their figure sets, called 'Eve'.
The first 2008 release had a Caucasian skin tone, in 2009 a tan version was added and in 2012 a version with pale skin tone and a new head sculpt was released.
The 'Eve' bodies were an original ZC Girl design, but the design did borrow some key features from the Takara v2 body design: wrists and hips joints are identical and the ankle cups differ slightly in design but the ball-and-socket idea is still there.
The Eve body is made of hard ABS plastic with a chest piece out of softened vinyl. The Eve body offers a choice of a long or a short chest piece, the short piece allows the body joints to move, the long piece covers the body joints, trading range of movement for better looks.
To replace the chest piece the head and arms need to be removed from the body.
In 2010 ZC Girl produced a series of 'Walking Paradise' figures based on the Eve body. These figures came with a bodice with smaller breast size than regular Eve bodies and feet with clipped toes fitted to high heeled pumps.
The Walking Paradise series comprised of figures with a Caucasian, tan and a new Afro-American skin tone.
Released in 2009.
Another original body design that incorporates some idea's from the CG design.
The limbs of TTL bodies are made with plug-in joints similar to those of Volks bodies, so knees, elbows and shoulders can be taken apart. Downside is that these joints may wear out rather fast.
The hip joints consist of a ball fitted to the body and a socket inside the leg.
There are at least two types of bodies made by TTL:
The only difference I could find between the L1.0 and L2.0 bodies is the skin tone which is slightly more pale for the L2.0 .
Released in 2010, the Triad Eva body (and its male Evo counterpart) can be considered to be Triads masterpieces.
Triad optimized the Eva body for realistic looks without sacrificing too much range of movement.
Some novel features are ball jointed wrists using 'wrist cups' similar to CG ankle cups and a clever ankle cup design that shows hardly any gaps.
Chest plates come in three different sizes and are attached with magnets to ease swapping.
Originally released in 2010, with Version 2 (offering improved quality and larger range of wrist joints, plus new head sculpts on figure sets) in 2012.
Looking only slightly less realistic than the Triad Eva bodies, the Alpha body is optimized for widest range of movement.
Available with a choice of three breast sizes: smallest and largest (both pictured here) were available as nude bodies, medium sized was only available as a complete figure set with a highly detailed and well painted head, two pairs of hands, two pairs of feet and dressed in a bodysuit.
Four skin tones were available: pale/Asian, Caucasian, tan/Hispanic and dark/Afro-American.
The Alpha bodies have similar ball-jointed wrists and ankles as the Triad Eva bodies. The Alpha bodies wrists and ankles can be swapped for CGv2 wrists and ankle cups.
The limbs of Alpha bodies can be removed and taken apart and swapped with other Triad body parts.
The legs of the Alpha bodies are slightly taller than those of the Triad Eva bodies, whereas the Alpha body itself is slightly shorter.
The neck of the Alpha bodies is thicker than that of CG bodies, making CG compatible heads sit too high.
In 2014, after Triad had closed down, a number of Caucasian Version 2 small and medium bust Alpha bodies showed up on eBay, these were sold by Chinese sellers and are often referred to as 'cloned Alpha bodies' (despite having Triad copyright text on the left lower leg) or 'Chinese Alpha bodies'. These bodies came with a single set of hands and a single set of feet.
Soft skinned bodies are not new, DML and BBI made some soft skinned female action figures before, but realism and longevity of the recent figures is at a much higher level.
When done right, soft skinned bodies offer a very high degree of realism.
The main drawbacks of rubber skinned figures are:
There are two ways to make a soft skinned body: either fit a seamless contoured rubber sleeve over a traditionally made action figure body or envelop a jointed armature in soft solid rubber.
Hot Toys (and Kumik) opted for putting a thin rubber sleeve over a hard plastic body, TBL/Phicen and Edaction each created fully skinned figures.
A detailed comparison between the TBL/Phicen and Edaction Hot Stuff bodies can be found on the Japanese Infomax 3D Model Club website (use this link for an english translation by Google).
Released in 2010.
Hot Toys True Type body is a hard plastic action figure body fitted with a single piece soft rubber sleeve over the body, from the neck down to the pelvic joint. The soft rubber sleeve has realistic contours and a skin-like look and texture.
The bodies Hot Toys uses for the Movie Masterpiece and Videogame Masterpiece series are also based on the True Type body, but are fitted with different rubber sleeves depending on what parts of the skin of the figure are bare: some have sleeves over the arms, some have a two part sleeve over the body with a cut at the chest joint.
The remaining parts of the body are made of hard plastics, making it easier to dress and to pose.
The quality of the materials and the fit of the parts is of a very high standard.
Compared to a CG body the waist of a TT body has a much more realistic shape and wrists and ankles look rather slim.
The TT bodies came in two skin tones: a rather dark Caucasian and an even darker Cuban tan. The skin tones of the MM and VM figures closely match the subjects. All of the skin tones of the TT, MM and VM bodies look dark or even gray-ish to the naked eye but look very realistic on well lit pictures.
Released in 2013.
This appears to be a cheap look-alike of the expensive Hot Toys True Type body. It comes with a two-part soft plastic sleeve covering the body.
A choice of neck posts allows both CG and Hot Toys style heads to be fitted.
Released in 2011.
These bodies are made of a silicone rubber skin cast over a jointed plastic body with metal joints.
There are many different versions of TBL and Phicen bodies around as these figures are produced in small batches and are continuously being improved.
The earliest bodies had a sticky skin, noticeable molding seams and the joints were rather fragile and not as tight as later ones.
The size and shape of the ankle cups was also changed from a size similar to CG ankles to a more slender design.
Hands can be changed and are similar to CG v1.5 hands without the wrist joints, feet are similar to CG feet.
In 2014 an armature out of stainless steel with better joints was introduced.
Released in 2011.
This body is almost like a miniature Real Doll as it is made from layers of different grades of soft silicone rubber over a jointed metal and plastic armature. The innermost layer of silicone rubber has an almost foam-like consistency, allowing the rubber to be compressed.
Hands and feet are fixed to the body and have a wire armature inside allowing each finger and toe to be posed independently. Downside to this is that repeated bending may cause the wires to poke through the skin of toes or fingers.