Saber, Saber, Saber — even eight years after she was introduced to the world, the figure-collecting community is still driven by a never-ending hunger for anything with a big blonde hair bun. I would know, since this is the sixth Saber figure I’ve reviewed here on Hobby Hovel. However, this is not quite the guilt-burdened King of the Britons that we all know, but rather a curious look-alike from the PSP game Fate/Extra.

I didn’t like Fate/Extra — in fact, I think it has the worst combat system of any video game I’ve ever played. It’s literally rock-paper-scissors, and one’s success in fighting monsters boils down to memorizing the order in which the opposing monster will throw their selection of the three attacks. It’s completely dull, unintuitive, and should you take a break from the game like I did, have fun re-memorizing all of the patterns, because going in blind will get you thrown back to a distant save point.

It’s a shame, really, because Fate/Extra has a great cast of characters. With servants like Robin Hood, Sir Francis Drake (who apparently has a pair of great tits), and Vlad the Impaler, The backstories of the servants alone were  almost compelling enough to keep me going…almost.

As for Saber in Fate/Extra, she’s is in no ways related to the Saber in Fate/Stay Night, despite what her appearance might suggest. Her identity is the Roman Emperor Nero, thus there is no reason for her to look almost identical to vanilla Saber, and the game can be fairly accused of tastelessly mooching off of the original game’s imagery.

But appearances aside, Saber Extra comfortably sets herself apart. Confident, arrogant, frivolous and hot-tempered, this red Saber’s personality seems to have taken a page from Gilgamesh. Yet even though she sometimes looks down upon her Master, she has a great sense of loyalty and would lash back at those who would insult her Master.

Since I never finished the game, I don’t actually know Saber Extra’s character all that well. Looking back, this figure was a blatant impulse buy. Wave’s Beach Queens have been around for quite a while, and even though Ashlotte has warned me of what is to be expected out of their 1/10 scale figures, I thought I would give it a try anyway.

…I should have listened to him.

Beach Queen figures are small — I knew that, but it’s hard for me to appreciate how small Saber Extra before actually having her in my hand. Measuring in at only 15cm tall from the bottom of her feet to the bottom end of her ahoge, she is small. It’s not like I don’t know how big of a difference size scales can make (I’ve seen it first-hand), but the 1/10 scale is so small that it doesn’t even feel like it belongs to the same category as other scaled PVC figures. It’s small like an action figure that I’d pick up at the local toy store, and it just doesn’t feel right with the rest of my fixed-pose collection.

Saber extra has an interesting face. Her big toothy smile really suits her overbearing personality, but her eyes are also a little…unsettling. Ashlotte has more than once commented on the sheer terror her “yandere eyes” inspire, and I can completely see where he’s coming from.  Yet that intense look in her eyes is still my favourite part of the figure. Nero is known in popular history to have played the fiddle as Rome burned, so there definitely may be a few screws loose in her head. Maybe that’s what gets me off — women laughing manically while burning my house down.

Like all Beach Queens figures, Saber’s head sits on a ball joint is able to rotate to a degree, though her hair gets in a way a little bit. More interestingly, her ahoge also able to move around to a significant degree. It’s also rather easy to fall off should you try to stuff her into a bag like I did for these outdoor shots, but that certainly beats having it broken off permanently.

Saber Extra’s fashion sense is as loud as her personality. Her breasts looks as if they’re inflated with hot air — appropriate for her character, actually. Both her expression and body language seem to imply she’s got the goods and she’s proud to show them off, and when I take into consideration how toned her midriff looks, I’m inclined to agree.

Sadly, things don’t look as great up close. I’ve done a pretty bad job at showing them on camera, but she’s got very noticeable mold lines running all the way down her sides. There’s also a mysterious scar across one of her breasts, as well as a couple of over-painted spots on her bikini. Furthermore, the backside of her hair has no shading whatsoever. Most of these flaws wouldn’t be too big of an issue on a larger figure, but because the Beach Queens Saber Extra is so small, even the smallest flaws show up in a big way.

Final Say

At the end of this, I still don’t really know what makes Beach Queens popular. In fact, the only thing I’ve come to realise is how much fun figmas are when I shot that size comparison photo with Rin. Seriously, for the cost of less than a Beach Queens figure, I could have something that’s almost as big, is articulated, has more accessories,  and has more elaborate outfits than bikinis.

Just as prize figures dip below a quality standard that I can’t accept, Beach Queens are just too small. As nice as the sculpt might be, it just doesn’t’ feel substantive enough, and the quality control errors are a lot worse on such a puny scale.

The frustrating truth is that Saber Extra makes an excellent swimsuit figure. The sculpt is very sexy, and the flashy bikini and confident body language really suits a frivolous personality like hers. Without a doubt, I would have loved this figure if it were 1/8 scale or large, even if it had some quality control issues.

I had a lot of fun shooting her (even if I had to go through a couple of failed ideas), so I’m beyond regretting the purchase. But to those of you on the fence about her, I would advise think twice, as I just don’t see the bang in the buck for shelling ¥3,800 on a Beach Queens, even though Saber Extra seems like one of the better entries to the line.

What’s Good

  • Sexy body sculpt
  • Energetic face

What’s Bad

  • Dimunitive size
  • Dubious quality control

For another look, check out Hamstercorp’s review.