Action figure Chell looks like Jennifer Lawrence and that’s something I’m genuinely angry about? Chell is incredibly significant because not only is she one of only a dozen or so female video game player characters ever, but she’s also a woman of color and is the sole human playable character in one of the most popular and critically acclaimed series of video games in the last decade. She’s supposed to represent the everyday person, and be a figure that anyone can step into and play, so the fact that she’s not white or male and much less both is important. I’ve always been a really big fan of hers because Portal was one of the first games I ever played and finished, so I was excited to hear that she was finally getting an action figure, but it’s deeply disappointing to see how white she looks.
Here’s action figure Chell’s skin color as compared to in-game model Chell’s skin color. Both samples were taken from the left shoulder of the above images, which are each meant for display and reference purposes and appear to have little to no outside lighting influencing how the skin appears.
That’s… really not cool. Additionally, the figure’s face is much longer and closer together than the game model’s, which further makes me suspect that they modeled it off of a white woman instead of any official depiction of Chell or the woman her game model was based off of, Alésia Glidewell.
Chell is a character that’s already often extremely whitewashed in fanart - she’s given lighter hair, paler skin, and blue eyes instead of her model’s grey - and she was even a little whitewashed in her updated Portal 2 model, which has straighter hair and thinner lips compared to her Portal model, so to see her whitewashed even further in this action figure is a huge letdown. The figure is apparently going to be seven inches tall, which would mean the head would probably be about an inch to an inch-and-a-half long, certainly enough space to more accurately portray her facial features - and there’s never an excuse for giving a character lighter skin.