Well, the clouds are in the sky and I’m stuck with a flu miserably inside…Sounds like the perfect time to write a review! Just have to add it to the pile of figures sitting around waiting for photos… *sigh*

I think I try to be a well rounded collector. I’ve bought every type of figure from hand-painted resin garage kits to vinyl figures. There are, however, still a few types of figures that I still didn’t own at any of and prize figures would be one of those few.

Because of my general lack of space, I tend to steer clear of prize figures because of their relatively low quality, but as I said, I like to try a little of everything, so lets see what 20 bucks can buy these days, shall we?

Testing

“STRAWBERRIES!!! Haha yea I went kinda crazy this time…”

I obviously did not buy this figure for its accuracy to Asuka’s original design, but rather for its uniqueness. One of the nice things about prize figures I’ve seen is that because they make so damn many of them, they almost by necessity need to be creative, especially with characters who have been done as much as Asuka.

This particular rendition is designed by the illustrator Okama (sadly, the illustration he created for this figure has never been shown publicly as far as I know…) and as you can see from this figure, he has a rather unique sensibility when it comes to character designs by blending traditional moe characteristics with outlandish costumes (he seems to have a thing for food as seen in his “Food Girls” illustrations.). As such, this figure is a rather perfect choice to represent the artist’s style in general, I’d say!

So the designs whimsically charming, but that doesn’t mean much if the quality is horrible (a combination which happens more often than I’d like…), so lets dive in, shall we?

Box

“Interesting to note they used the same box for both Rei and Asuka…Go go efficiency!”

The box is actually surprisingly nice. Its quality isn’t too much lower then a full price figure and it has a nice little Fruit theme going on with it. On the sides are what I guess to be punch-in flaps. Since this is technically a prize figure meant to be placed in UFO catchers, those would usally be punched in so that the claw can grab hold. All in all, it’s a rather appealing packaging, since I was expecting to receive a plain brown cardboard affair for the meager price of the figure.

The innards are packed just about as well as any full price figure is thankfully although there was some damage rendered on the tip of her “umbrella”, but near as I can tell that might have happened before she was packed.

Alright so the packaging passed lets move on to the gal herself!

P1010165

“Lovely hair too…Not crazy detailed, but nice. Also…STRAWBERRIES!”

For some reason she’s listed as non-scale, but honestly she’s clearly about 1/8th as she measures about as tall if not taller then any of my other loli 1/8th figures.

Now lets see what her sculpt has to offer…Her hair is very appealing in that nice sort of simple way. It has just enough complexity in the front and back to not feel completely blasé and I’d say it manages to capture that great anime hallmark of style with just enough detail quite well. Same goes for her little strawberry hair bobble things.

Her face is without a doubt one of the strong points of the figure. She has a nice youthful and exuberant smile with some appropriately large round eyes that breath a good deal of life into this little piece.

The outfit she’s sporting here is quite unique and interesting because the transparent parts are made of some form of rubber. It certainly has a nice texture and it looks great on the most part, although some parts of her top were slightly smudged up/cloudy.

P1010160

“Such a great adorable expression! Love the eyes too!”

As far as the parts underneath all that rubber, it’s surprisingly good! Starting from the top, Sega actually gave her a defined collarbone that I sometimes don’t even see in full priced figures. They also didn’t make her flat as a board and call it a day, which they easily could’ve done because its pretty hard to actually see, but they did put forth the effort and gave her an ever-so-subtle bust.

Beyond that they took the time to even sculpt a nice little tummy that gently protrudes out in that delightfully loli way and an appropriately shaped backside — not too over-the-top given the youthful look she has, but enough that her low leg panties aren’t completely put to waste.

Lastly, they sculpted out all her individual fingers as well as toes underneath her boot complete with some sort of small accessories on each foot. The only other thing is her umbrella, which is a slight disappointment being very blah looking and almost completely lacking in any notable detail.

P1010130

“Easily one of the best color schemes I’ve seen.”

All and all, I gotta say I’m rather impressed with the figure’s sculpt for this price point though. With that said, the price does rear its ugly head in one rather obvious way though in the form of mold lines. Pretty much everywhere you’d expect to see one you’ll find large ones. I will hand it to them though they did do a good job of obscuring most of them so when you view her from the front it’s a lot harder to spot them.

Paint-wise she’s a step below the sculpt…her hair is nice with all the colors being suitably vibrant, but sadly her skin tones are very much of the shiny “plasticky” variety. There’s also some paint clumps here and there, but frankly I’ve dealt with this level of paint issues on figures 4x her cost, so I’m not gonna bitch too awfully much about that.

001

“Really dig how the boots are see-through too!”

And again like the sculpt, we have this umbrella who has a bizarre color choice for the inner area with its pale blue instead of the white that I saw on one early picture…This thing really feels like a big missed opportunity, because it could have added so much more to the figure instead of being its largest detractor.

Sadly, to round things out we have this boring plastic disc that she’s firmly screwed into. Would have been nice if they could have at least carried the fruit theme over to it and put some sort of pattern or made it transparent like her clothes.

Pros:

  • Nicely detailed sculpt full of little surprises
  • Cute expressive face
  • Charming Pose

Cons:

  • Paint mess in many areas
  • Numerous Mold lines
  • Plastic-like shine to skin
  • Junky umbrella accessory brings the quality of the figure down a notch

028

P1010123014

032P1010147

“Again, she does have her flaws, but really hard to spot straight on.”

So there you have it. Is she worth 15 bucks? Absolutely! I’d say she’d be worth even more with a few small changes like improving the base and making the umbrella accessory more interesting looking.

While I doubt I’m going to start making a habit out of buying prize figures from now on, I’m certainly not going to dismiss them as lightly as I did before I bought Asuka. The quality of the lower price point can be felt for sure, but this figure has taught me there is genuine artistry to be found in these “cheap” figures for sure!

025

“Such an easy smile…*melts*”

And there you have it I have finally posted a review after…how long…? Big shock I know! *cough*

I’m going to try and make an effort to post more steadily from here on out, so we’ll see how that goes, since I hate not putting out reviews especially when they are all written — I just haven’t photographed ’em…

*Note on the photos*

Ah the joys of being Rusty…As you can tell these shots are from two completely different times as I screwed up a large majority of the ones with the strawberries from the first one…

Next time hopefully we’ll have a bit less suck on my part, yea?

020

“And with just the right amount of sass!”