Figure Review

Review: 1/7 Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur~

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For a site without a whole lot of content, we have already reached the fourth Saber-related review here at Hobby Hovel, and boy is it getting hard to rub out an introduction. It’s not as if there’s anyone who hasn’t heard of character before, because with the recent BD/DVD release of the Unlimited Blade Works movie, even the newest of the newfags would know who this blonde chick with a big-ass sword is.

But as ridiculously popular as Saber is, I gotta give it to the old girl – she is a great character. Saber is strong-willed and mature, yet her appearance as a petit teenage girl and the tender/funny moments in the plot allow the reader to emotionally invest in the character with startling ease. Unlike her tsundere and kouhai co-stars, it is hard to place Saber neatly in a trope. Instead, author Nasu Kinoko put the character of a respectable heroine into moe-friendly packaging and fully embraces the seemingly paradoxical nature of the combination right down to the ahoge sticking out of her head, and I think this absurd matchup is the key reason behind her charm as a character – after all, what’s cuter than the King of the Britons getting flustered over a home-cooked meal?

But enough of this wannabe aniblogger nonsense and let’s get down to Good Smile Company’s highly-anticipated figure. Long story short: if you have procrastinated on deciding whether or not to order this figure to this day, it’s time to stop dicking around, because despite the presence of a significant flaw, Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur~ is without a doubt the definitive Saber figure out there – and that’s saying a lot, considering the sheer number that has been produced to this day.

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As a 1/7th scale figure, Saber is 23 centimetres (9 inches) tall. However, like the GSC Saber Lily that came before it, the mass of this figure is amplified by its immense width. Expanded by her dramatic leap, Saber’s battle dress makes this figure quite the space-hogger.

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Back in my Saber Lily review, one of my few reasonable complaints was against the lack of depth in the hair. Fortunately, GSC avoided repeating the same mistake by giving Saber’s hair a full-fledge paint treatment. The seam line between the front and back half of the hair is almost indistinguishable, and the sculpt of her bangs and side locks is sharp and crisp. Personally, I would have preferred a richer tone blonde like the figma version, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with what we have here either.

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Anyone with a pair of working eyeballs should know from the promo shots of the figure that Saber’s face is exceptional. The final product stays true to what GSC promised – a fierce pair of emerald eyes and a mouth brimming with two rows of pearly whites. I can’t stress enough how much well-sculpted teeth enhance the appearance of a figure’s face – it worked wonders for GSC’s Canaan, and Saber’s no exception.

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However, there is a significant problem: as nice as Saber’s face may be, it is very difficult to see the lower half of her face due to the obstruction from her left arm. The clear angle as seen in the promo shots does not exist in reality, so whereas you can almost make out Saber’s chin in the promo shots, you’d be lucky if you can even see her lower lip on the final product. Needless to say, the face is a crucial part of any figure, and have such a crucial spot obscured to such a degree is a serious misstep.

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Thankfully, the position of Saber’s head is the only real flaw she suffers from, and virtually everything else about this figure is superb. Let’s start with the armour; the metallic finish applied to Saber’s plates carries a strikingly realistic appearance. This is especially the case with the side tasset plates, on which darker tones are applied around the rivets and the division along the centre. The design of the armour may not be as complex as Saber Lily’s, but there is definitely an enhanced sense of depth to be found here.

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The big blue dress Saber wears underneath her armour is by no means complicated, but GSC definitely did not spare any expenses in making it as pleasing as it possibly can be. The gold edge is painted with crisp precision, the stretches of cloth are shaded, and even gold oval-shaped ornaments on the edges of her inner white skirt are admirably executed. The rounded sculpt of the outer layer carries an impression of weight, while the ruffled inner skirt conveys a sense of motion. Together with the tasset plates, the lower half of this figure has a superb multi-layered look that is not only pleasing on the eyes, but is also a haven for dust to settle! …Okay, maybe the latter isn’t so great, but is that really going to sway your opinion of her dress?

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One interesting thing I found about the dress is the pattern on the “loincloth”. When I first opened the figure, I thought I was the victim of some terrible quality control – the loincloth looks like it’s got scratches all over it. Upon closer inspection, however, I soon realized these so-called “scratches” are actually deliberately made to reproduce the pattern as seen in the original art. While I appreciate the attention paid towards accuracy, I gotta admit – it’s not a very appealing pattern.

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There’s not a lot to see under Saber’s hood, since Saber is clad in a conservative pair of pantaloons. But alas, no figure review would be complete without an obligatory upskirt shot.

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Saber’s oval display base depicts a tiled surface that has seen some servant-related vandalism. While it’s far from the focal point of the figure, GSC did a great job with the busted tiles and the blasted concrete. The only thing connecting the base to the figure is an inconspicuous metal rod. While it definitely feels sturdy, doesn’t reach all that deep into Saber’s foot. Some may wonder whether the figure would bend in the future, but personally, I have faith in Good Smile Company – after all, bending is one of the most commonly-known pitfalls of the bishoujo figure world, and it would be pretty mind-boggling if the folks at GSC somehow completely neglected this concern.

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Saber comes with two weapons: a normal Excalibur and a semi-transparent Excalibur. The former is exactly what you’d expect, along with some metallic gradient effect running down the center of the blade. When compared side-to side with the Excalibur that came with Saber Lily, you would find the new Excalibur to be longer and noticeably thicker.

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Good Smile Company Saber Triumphant Excalibur-6199 Revoltech Saber, GSC was nice enough to throw in this incredible effect part by combining a coloured transparent sword and a foggy wind components detailed with hints of blue at the tips. Needless to say, it looks absolutely fantastic.

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Those who also own GSC’s Saber Lily may be pleased to know that the weapons of both figures are interchangeable.

Final Say

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I mentioned earlier in the review that this is the definitive Saber figure. Do I mean this is the best Saber figure? By no means. “Best” is a very subjective term, and different people have different tastes. Some may prefer Saber in a maid outfit, while others may prefer her in a lion suit, and so on. But as far as the essence of the character is concerned, I can confidently say Good Smile Company’s 1/7th scale Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur” is without equal, because at the end of the day, the king of the Britons is a professional ass-kicker, not a bikini model or a domestic servant. Not only is this figure well-produced and beautiful to behold, it also captures the character in an “IMMA HIT U WITH MY SWORD” moment, which is more than enough to overcome the disappointing flaw of the obstruction over her lower face – and then some. No matter how many other Saber figure you may already have, if you are a true Saber-phile and do not own this figure yet, then you’ve got a 9,800 yen mistake to correct.

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  • Superb rendition of “Invisible Air”
  • Dynamic pose captures the essence of the character
  • Virtually perfect quality control
  • Impressive depth in the paint work
  • “I can’t believe it’s not metal!”


  • Mouth is excessively obscured by clothing and her left arm

26 replies on “Review: 1/7 Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur~”

Goddammit Chag, do you know how many late nights I spent contemplating the purchase and then convincing myself a better original Saber will come? After I finally succeed in convincing myself that there’s enough niggles to warrant a pass I then see some asshole post a review on their blog and am now back to square one. :p

One thing though, that “pattern” on her loincloth is downright ugly. I know there’s a pattern on her original design but it’s this fantastical shiny crystalline appearance. The ones on her are more like stains to me than anything else. I feel GSC would have been better off not including a pattern at all if it’s going to look like cum stains. (btw the picture you linked is about 2×2 pixels so nobody can see what you’re talking about)

With that said this Saber is MUCH better looking than GSC’s Saber Lily IMO. The expression, the hair and pose are all vastly superior to SL’s. Like you said, it is probably THE definitive saber on the market at the moment but I’m holding out hopes that there will be a better one to come along. It was easy for me to pass on GSC Saber Lily but it’s taking me lots of effort to get this one out of my mind.

Oh god, thanks to you, I am now seeing jizz stains all over the loincloth. Looks like some of the Knight of the Round Table decided to play a mean prank on their king. Cannot un-see. (Thanks for pointing out the bad link, btw!)

You’re right: Lily really can’t stack up to this new version in terms of impact. No amount of lace garters and bare shoulders can top the sheer vigor of the original Saber. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to keep waiting for a better Saber, simply because I can’t imagine anyone else outdoing this sculpt. Besides, after the triple GSC Saber wallet assault, would other high-tier makers like MegaHouse and ALTER really be interested in fighting for what’s left of market for Saber figures? Dooo it Sloth, do it before it’s too late!

Muhahahah welcome to the jizz club. Haha, Prank of Knights of the Round Table, that would make a great doujin 😉

I’m not sure about a better Original Saber but from the preview shot we’ve seen I am in love with Gift’s Lily. I’m one of those who finds the more realistic face very appealing. It’s sexy and strong, like Saber should be.

So I guess it still doesn’t help that I can’t think of a better alternative to this Original Saber. You’re also probably right in saying that there won’t be a Saber to top this any time soon. There’s still “Plenty” at amiami so I guess I still have a few days to think about it T.T

Loving what they did with her armor…So hard to find figures that get the “metal” parts right paintwise.

Still like non-armor lily the best so far though…Odd since I love armor, but when it comes to Saber I seem to like her in a dress…?

Yep, my skepticism against GSC was definitely eased by how well Saber turned out. If they can keep up this standard, then their fat 9,800 yen price tags would be wholly justifiable.

No less from Chag I must say… Another excellent review of another amazing figure. Not as if Saber deserves any less than this, Right?

The stains on the lower cloth are unarguably ill-suited. But asides that, this version of Saber is beyond compare. Especially the “Invisible Air”, I’d like to see more photos of Saber Lily action with that.

You flatter me.

Unfortunately, Saber Lily wide stance makes it hard to take photos of her. The photo you see in this review is the extent to which my current light box can accommodate her, as she is just too wide for a full-body shot in the light box. The alternative solution would be to do away with the box and tape some tissue to my desk lamps I’m using to diffuse the light, but mehhhh, I’m just too lazy =P.

I SHOULD tinker around Lily again, though… when I don’t have midterm assignments breathing down my neck.

That is pretty awesome looking. Since they’ve also done Lily and Alter, I wonder if they’re going to do Extra…

With all the Sabers out there, I guess it’s a good thing I’m pretty satisfied with just the Figma and a few Nendos. Though, I still want to do a Saber Sentai Squad.

I never took Extra seriously since she’s more or less just a recolour of normal saber minus the armour with a ridiculous peekaboo skirt, but since GSC hasn’t tackled an armour-less Saber yet, I definitely wouldn’t rule out the possibility. Besides, she’s got a mean-looking sword and plenty of service potential.

I’m betting the GSC marketers are twiddling their thumbs right now trying to figure out how broke Saber fans are right now — they’ll swoop in like vultures the moment those suckers recover from their Saber-induced debts.

By the way, did you know the figma Saber Alter is currently on sale over at Amiami and Hobbysearch for around 50% off?

I have to admit I like Extra’s outfit for some reason, and at least she’s a different person (Emperor Nero, I think). I think I might just have a thing for strange, nonsensical, or outright ridiculous outfits, like most of Queen’s Blade.

I actually almost bought one of those half-off Alters during a Ambien-induced stupor. Luckily, Hobby Search takes just long enough to get around to processing an order for me to cancel. I’m desperately trying to keep myself from letting my Figma collection get out of control, and half-off sales are not helping! Having access to the internet while under the influence also isn’t helping…

I like Saber Lily better than this version of Saber because you can see her face. The pose necessitates that her arm obstruct her face but the face is by far the most important aspect of a figure to me and if the choice is between a more dynamic pose that blocks the face or a revised, less interesting pose that shows her mouth, there’s no choice at all there. I liked her prototype shots but I was dumbfounded that GSC could have made such a colossal error when I saw reviews pop up.

Don’t let my criticism diminish your enthusiasm for this figure, however XD

Saber Alter is looking amazing, though; I like Saber Lily but Saber Alter is going to trample over her stab-ridden corpse when I get her. God I hope GSC doesn’t blow this.

I know what you mean, dude. When I first noticed the problem with the face, I considered the figure ruined because it. But after spending some time taking photos of the figure, I eventually learned to be more fond of it, partly because of its other virtues, and partly because I’ve already seen the promo shots so many times that I can visualize the mouth behind the arm in my head. Nothing like a little self-delusion to set things right~

Wonder why they had to change the angle of her head or arms? The prototype looked great, what needed to be changed….

I can’t believe how many Sabers I’m going to have in the future, I’ve got 3 now including this one, I’ll have 4 when Saber Alter arrives, and I still want Alter’s Saber Alter. At the end of the day that’ll be comparible to Asuka, and both nearing my Horo collection. Someone needs to make more Horos so she can stay at the top of my collection!!

Anyway, good set of pictures and I’m lovin’ the metalic look of her plating. Oh oh! And nice pantaloons Saber! Rawr!

I actually tried to tug at Saber’s head to see if the assembly worker pushed her head in too far. But judging from the photos, she already has long and thin neck as it is. Maybe GSC decided to cheat in the promo shots and didn’t push her head all the way down? That would be a pretty dirty trick.

Maybe Hasekura should write a high school spin-off. That would certainly spawn a couple of figures of Horo in uniform. But then again, that would mean Lawrence would become the local drug dealer and Horo would have to be his main squeeze, spotting the bad dope and getting into gang shoot-outs. Maybe the idea isn’t so hot after all.

Thanks for the compliment! I feel as if I’ve been slacking on photography these days (well, I always slack, but more so than usual recently), but I’m kind of happy with how Saber turned out. All you need is motivation, it seems.

lol why would Lawrence have to be the drug dealer? I’ve got some Ayakura Ju pictures of Horo in school attire, along with Lawrence. One, two. A couple more, but they were shorts it seems, not really sure what any are about do to moon speak.

When I finally get my Saber out of her box I’ll try and get a better idea of what’s up with her head. But if no one else has I don’t know what I’ll be able to add.

In keeping the ECONOMICS theme of Spice & Wolf, Lawrence has to be peddling something, even in a high school context. But when I think of things that high schoolers sell, the first thing that comes to mind is “drugs”, and the second thing is “themselves” — and I really don’t want to see him standing at a street corner wearing pants that are few sizes too small. On the upside, Horo can be his pimp… wait, now this has nothing to do with getting Horo into a school uniform anymore.

That first picture is adorable, by the way.

Wouldn’t Lawrence be Horo’s pimp in that situation? I don’t like where this is going unless I’m Horo’s first and only customer and the end game is she stops being a lady of the evening.

Hmm things Lawrence could sell in High School. How about favours? he’s the go to guy if you need something done, and his currency exchange is how much a favour is valued. I’m not talking sexual favours, but you know, you need shit done and Lawrence is the man (boy?) to get you someone who’ll do it. Then we can stay away from drugs and Horo being a drug lords squeeze.

The world definitely needs a figure of Horo in that first pic (or 2nd attached pic as they’re in a different order)

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