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Review: E2046 Gathering Elin Mystic

Once upon a time, a merry band of figure bloggers played a little game called The Exiled Realms of Arborea (TERA for short). The game played like a mix of Monster Hunter and God of War, which sets itself apart from most MMORPGs. It also has the trashiest designs for female characters I’ve ever seen in the video game, and I loved it for that. Seriously, when half of the game’s population is strutting around in skin-tight leather, skimpy dresses or thongs, it was easy to see why TERA appealed to me. As the intrepid Elin mystic “Babycakes”, I had loads of fun with our little guild (tastefully named “Night Shift Nurses”) for many dozens of hours.

But as time went on, the game became repetitive in more ways than one. Quests seldom went beyond the “kill X boars” or “harvest X items” model, boss mechanics were recycled, and the game even opted to reuse low-level armour models in the late stages of the game where progression was slow enough already. It also didn’t help that the mystic is the least damaging class in the game and all attempts to solo with my mystic felt like pulling teeth. The game started to feel like work to me, and without much in the way of end-game content to look forward to, I had to put it on hold indefinitely. I’m fairly confident that the game will eventually be free-to-play since it already has a pretty whorish cash shop, and when that time comes I’ll probably try it again.

Babycakes, leader of the Night Shift Nurses

But if nothing else, the game was pretty. Having played games on minimum settings all my life, I was far from a graphics whore, but when faced with the dazzling sights of TERA, I just had to drop a couple hundred bucks on a new CPU purely for the sake of playing the game on high settings. It was hard not to be mesmerized by the game’s graphics, which was pretty much like pouring sweet honey right into my eye sockets. Being the figure collector that I am, I wanted a piece of TERA in my display cabinet, and there was one garage kit from Cerberus Project. Of course, I can’t paint anything to save my own life, but that was where E2046 came in.

To put it bluntly, E2046 is a bootleg figure business. They take original garage kits sold by the artists, make new molds from those, and make recast resin garage kits, some of which (like their Gathering line) are pre-painted. As luck would have it, Cerberus Project’s Elin was amongst the selection of pre-painted garage kit figures being offered. Still a little unsure, I asked Ash if he thinks the garage kit would eventually get a PVC release, and when he said the chances were “piss nill”, that was the end of that. The figure even depicts the mystic class, which just so happened to be my main character! I had to get it.

Of course, little did I know that Yamato would eventually announce a PVC version of the same garage kit at summer WonFes 2012 — THANKS ASH!

Before I get to the usual stuff, let me know you how the packaging works. Unlike your usual PVC figures, the Gathering Elin came in pieces, each wrapped with plastic and tucked inside Styrofoam housing. This is to compensate for the fact that resin figures aren’t as resilient as PVC. Assembling the figure is a breeze and all the parts fit snugly together. The only exception to this is the chest and torso divide, which is just slightly loose, but if you make sure to push the piece all the way in and don’t screw around with it (i.e. jiggle it around while you take review photos), it wouldn’t be an issue.

Whenever TERA is brought up, some people always seem to get their balls in a twist over the Elin, a race of nature spirits who just so happens to look child-like animal girls with thunder thighs. Some love them, some hate them, and both sides of the argument get pretty tiresome and embarrassing. I don’t get caught up in that jazz because I know exactly what I like. The Elin is an impossible mix child and adult features, giving them the best of both worlds. They’re both cute and sexy, and Cerberus Project’s sculpt captures those points amazingly well. The large head and oversized flower-like irises give the character that innocent appearance, while the toned midriff and large bare thighs gives the figure that sex appeal that seems to make some stiff sods uneasy.

Well, I can safely tell you that unease the last thing I’d feel when looking at the Elin. I have my own theory on why I like them so much, and it has everything to do with DEM THIGHS. By slapping a grown woman’s hips and thighs onto an otherwise child-like design, the attention is drawn squarely onto the Elin’s legs. Bluehole Studios (TERA‘s developer) knew this perfectly well, and it shows in the Elin armour models. Likewise, the sculptor French Doll was able to exploit this trait, thus both the pose and sculpt seem to be shaped for the sole  purpose of showing off the Elin’s lower half. I mean, just look at the sculpt on that butt — you can tell that a lot of love and attention has been poured into the wrinkles of those skin-hugging black panties. It’s a dynamic action pose that has the Elin sticking out her bum and showing off her legs while teetering on top of a tiny pair of high heels — what’s not to love?

In terms of quality control, the guys at E2046 have done a decent job. There are some seam lines to be found on the Elin’s hair, and the paint is slightly clumpy and uneven on a few of spots on the hair and tail upon close inspection, but nothing that breaks the presentation of the figure as a whole. I will say that paint work and shape of the hair and tail are sub-par when compared to most PVC figures, and I suspect that has to do with the fact that the figure is made from a re-cast garage kit. But on the bright side, this is about as bad as quality control gets on this figure, which really isn’t too bad, all things considered.

The dress on the Elin Mystic is gorgeous. The colour gradients transition from dark green in the centre to purple near the edges flawlessly, and the fine ornaments and hems on the dress and cuffs were painted with great precision, right down to the her little high-heeled slippers.

Sadly, there is a mistake in the way E2046 paints these Elin figures. There are two “windows” on the chest area of the dress that were painted in the dress’s colours. The same mistake can be found in another review and even on the sample pictured on the E2046 website. I’m not overly bothered by the omission of those two windows, as the Elin doesn’t exactly have anything to show off underneath, but I’m  still nevertheless puzzled by how this mistake could’ve gone unnoticed.

The Elin’s skin is adorned with those all-important pink tones that I wish Kotobukiya figures had more of, most notably on the midriff and face of the figure. There are no mould lines to be found on the Elin’s legs, which I am really grateful for, as you know how much I like those legs.

The Elin mystic is depicted swinging her scepter in a rather energetic manner. I have no idea what spell she could be casing, given the anemic nature of ALL of the mystic’s skills, but it certainly looks cool. The scepter is handsomely detailed, though I wish I could say the same about the lighting effect part coming out of the end. It looks white, it looks like thick fluid, and it certainly does not look like lightning…actually on second thought, I am completely okay with this. If for  some reason you don’t like the sight of blue-tinted semen coming out of the Elin’s stick, then you can opt to remove the effect part altogether, though that’ll leave a sizeable hole at the tip.

By the way, the Elin is huge.  Even though the original garage kit is supposedly 1/6 scale, at 28cm (11 inches) tall, this figure is closer to 1/5 scale. As such, the figure is pretty heavy, yet it is connected to its base solely though a single metal peg beneath her left foot. Since the figure is so top-heavy, the figures is slightly unstable and is shaking slightly next to the keyboard as I type up this review. This makes me slightly nervous and I wonder if anything will happen to the figure in the long run, but nothing bad has happened over the couple of weeks that I’ve had her, and I hope it will remain that way.

Final Say

So, what did we learn today? Well, we’ve learned that Ashlotte is not to be trusted, and bootlegs can be pretty damn good.  Though it’s certainly no Alter or Max Factory, the  overall quality is no slouch when compared to many legit PVC companies, and for the price of around Â¥10,500, you can do worse. I admit that the figure is on pricey side, but not to an unreasonable degree, so all in all, I’m pretty happy with the purchase.

I won’t dwell on the ethics of E2046 as a business. Needless to say, it’s not savory, since the people behind the character and figure won’t be seeing a penny of what I paid to E2046. But when push comes to shove, when you don’t have the talent or the means to paint a garage kit that doesn’t have a PVC release, E2046 is a viable and affordable solution, and I’ll just leave it at that. I am curious, though: would you ever buy anything from E2046?

Would I recommend this figure to most people? Nah, not when Yamato is making a PVC version of the same figure with a more secure base and (presumably) without the chest window snafu. And although I am very pleased with the quality of the Gathering Elin Mystic, I have a feeling that Yamato will outdo it. Do I regret purchasing this little bootleg wonder? Nah. I’m glad to have tried out E2046 and to see their handiwork first-hand. Besides, given Yamato’s shitty history with delays *COUGHHeatBladeCOUGH*, who knows when their Elin will ultimately come out?

P.S: when the Yamato version comes out, you can bet that I’ll be a total hipster and say “I’ve had the figure before it went mainstream!” ;P

The Good

  • French Doll’s sculpt captures the charms of the Elin perfectly
  • Superb detail and execution on the clothing, weapon, and skin
  • DEM THIGHS

The Bad

  • Hair and tail are slightly rough around the edges
  • Omissions of windows on the front of the dress

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed these photos. I’d like to say that I busted my ass shooting them, but in reality all it took was a blue floodlight blub, some Christmas lights, some coloured stones, and 6 bundles of flowers from the local dollar store. I guess this is what it feels like to actually put effort into indoor figure photos! This will take…getting used to, but I guess there’s no turning back now! Here’s hoping I’ll have at least one idea for the next figure I shoot.

19 replies on “Review: E2046 Gathering Elin Mystic”

I didn’t know that the area in the chest was suppose to be skin!! My Elin doesn’t have that outfit…. but it is good to know that there is a mistake. But I still think it was a really well done garage kit. I thought they did a great paint job.

Thought I am a little crushed that Yamato is doing a prepainted version too haha we thought the same thing that it would never be released as a prepainted. If anyone buys this figure from this point on it should be the Yamato one, unless they want to do a custom colour or something.

Haha, it is a bit disheartening to fall in love with a figure yet still being unable to recommend it to anyone. It’s a very conflicting feeling, but I’ve gotten over the recent Yamato announcement. The way I see it, I paid money for a product that exceeded my expectations, and it wouldn’t make much sense to beat myself up for something that came later down the road. Positive thinking, yay!

Too bad this will probably be the only Elin figure ever made. I wouldn’t mind a Lancer or Berzerker.

Also I feel like I should stop bothering taking pictures of figures. I’ll probably just end up staring at the static figures I’ve got pre-ordered when I get them and calling it a day.

Oh Hamster, you and your negativity! Stop being such a downer and shoot the damn things. You’re much better with props than me, and now that you have the white balance thing down, I don’t see why you shouldn’t keep shooting your static figures. Don’t let Sabertits down, Hamster — her vanity would not allow it!

Well i gotta say this better than yamato ver. cause from the preview (and my knowledge of they’re shitty works history) photos, it coming across as very bland.

On the other hand E2046 ver. is much more superb than yamato’s, look at DEM TIGHTS. the pinking is right on. and those chest windows are kinda pointless if unpainted (she has nothing to offer at all)

But her pose is too dynamic? I don’t know, but i’d like to see her in a much simpler pose than this. But i can’t really care. Still a great figure.

I was thinking of getting her, but not until you said “for the price of around Â¥10,500” which kill it.

I’ve seen the photos of the Yamato’s version as well, and though I’m happy to see that the E2046 version is not trounced appearance-wise, I’m still liking what I saw from Yamato. I like the way they painted the dress, and as for the subtle touches on the skin, I think I’ll wait for some official (or at least non-garbage) shots of the figure before judging.

I admit I’m not too terribly proud of this purchase, and that’s no fault of the figure itself, nor is it an issue of business ethics. $135 USD is really pushing what I would pay for a figure. If I had discovered this figure after I quit the game, I probably would not have bought it, but alas, I was still a fan back then and my head was a bit of an obsessive case… Well, I DID go without buying anything for over half a year last year, so I think I can get away with sweeping this under the carpet! =P

Oh you had the guts to order a finished GK ;D

But it looks nicely done, Im a little impressed now.

I like the design of this figure a lot she’s so cute and pretty (。♥‿♥。). Her Face seems to be very well made Eyes and open mouth give her a lively expression. I see nothing wrong with her proportions like this, the body is nicely sculpted and its an attractive combination. The skimpy, detailed, rainbow colored dress looks quite nice as well.

I would buy a painted GK’s from E2046, but so far they never offered the painted and build GK’s I wanted 🙁 I have one GK kit from them at home, its unfinished and I would like that someone would finish it, but it will be expensive unfortunately.

Great pictures Chag, putting stuff in the background was a very good idea.

“Guts”? Oh Fab, you are too flattering — here in Canada, we call it “insanity”. =P

Whoa, I didn’t know you had a garage kit sitting at home! Which one is it, and which kits do you want to see painted?

It took me almost three years to do something as simple as putting stuff in the background while doing tabletop shooting. There must be something wrong with my head.

I have this Nagi in white pieces 🙁 she should look like in the picture, but I have no guarantee that the GK will look like that after I would send her to the GK building service.
I wish I had your “Insanity” to give it a try XD

Ah well I like Twister Tamaki and Marisa^

It is always the question what you want to do, a straight review or something playful and creative.

Well, I will keep in mind when Ash claims there wont be a mainstream release to hold my wallet and wait for the coming PVC release.

Now this figure is nice and all but it’s not representative of my playing experience so I will side with Hamster and wish for a heavy armored Elin. I will admit you made this kit look really nice, the colors are reminiscent of TERA so I’m hoping that’s what you went for in the end.

On another note, I hope all the E2046 are of this quality since I have been eyeing some of their completed GKs.

Thanks Crumby! When I was shooting this, I had the image of the Elin character selection screen in mind, and I’m glad things worked out. I feel a little dirty about whoring out that fake vignetting, but I think it did a pretty decent job in simulating that night-time forest look. I know you and Hamster like plate and all, but I don’t think fire-forged fits too well with nature lolis. =P

I played TERA for a bit myself. 2 weeks before I got fed up with the grind. Sure the combat system was “new” and interesting for a bit. But once you realise all the quests are the same and all the dungeons fall into the same formula many other MMOs have (waiting hours for a healer and/or tank -.-‘), the monthly fee they ask for and the time you need to invest is just not worth it. Plus the thing I really enjoy in MMOs is crafting – TERA crafting is more like go out to kill ridiculous monsters for super rare Titan Runes only to then make something shitty. I’ve not played a good crafting system since Vanguard :(.

Despite that I still love the character designs in TERA. Castanic Mage was my character choice. If there was a saucy Castanic figure in cloth/leather on the go I’d consider picking her up. The Berserker(?) E2046 offer isn’t really my thing.

This Elin Mystic is a really cute figure. The action pose is really interesting, much more interesting than the Mystic actually is in-game. I’m glad to see she’s got eyes with pupils – some of the character eye customization options available have that “soulless doll” look. I really like her outfit, especially the colouring. The metallic gradient running across the dress is nicely done, it makes her look mystical. Her body sculpt is also really well done, the toning around her stomach in particular looks good. It would have been nice if her ears and tail looked a little more fluffy, but they don’t look that bad the way they are.

I seriously thought about picking up E2046 Yamashita’s Original5 at one point. But there was something nagging away at the back of my mind that made me reconsider. Maybe one day if there’s a figure of a character I really like, and there’s no PVC option, I’ll buy from them. They’ve had ~3 years to do that, so I’m not holding my breath.

Yeah, its’ a real shame isn’t it? For all of TERA’s graphics and combat, there just wasn’t enough to fill up a game. I was lucky enough to have Ash queue up for dungeons with us, and since he was a lancer, that meant instant dungeon queues, which equated to more dungeons and less grindy questing. But even then, by the time I hit the mid 30s, the game was obviously running out of enemy variety. Oh, and don’t get me started on the crafting. So bad. SO BAD.

Anyway, getting back on track: I also like how the metallic gradient turned out. That was one of the parts that I had assumed would look worse than then photos, but it turned out just fine. As for the ears and tail, Ash also said they don’t look very fuzzy. I’m trying to think of a figure that does a really good job at capturing soft fur on hard plastic and nothing’s coming up — do you have an example in mind?

I’ve bought a few of E2046’s products a few years back. Honestly I’m both surprised and not surprised to see Elin’s chest error. Out of the three painted bootlegs I have from them, two of them have coloring flaws. For their Suiseiseki & Souseiseki, parts of Sui’s dress that should be black are green. And for Sou, the part of her legs that should be covered with white tights are instead painted to be flesh colored. And then for their 1/5 Gwendolyn (Odin Sphere), parts of her dress are the wrong color. And her hands should be bare, but were painted to be gloved.

Tsk, tsk. I will hand it to E2046. Questionable ethics aside, their stuff usually does look good and they have decent customer service to boot.

Elin looks pretty good, though I agree with you on the hair. It, and the tail, look sloppy compared to the rest of the girl. At least DEM LEGS look fantastic.

Wow, really now? That is so bizarre of them to trip up systematically on that. Then again, these ARE bootlegs, so a few screw-ups like these actually feel fitting in a strange way. Still, this pre-painted Elin kit isn’t even their first batch — you’d think that someone else would have pointed it out for them. Oh well~

Hello, I’m Julia from E2046. Thank you for trying out E2046 and writing this review. All the bad & good you pointed out are great help for our improvement.
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OK, So e-2046 is bootleg. But if an individual wants to be a builder/painter not simply a collector of completed figures there are no meaningful alternatives. If the Japanese manufacturerers want a peice of the action they have to put up. I HATE bootlegging and I want the artist/team that created the figure to get compensated for the awesome work they do. There is a strong international market for kit production – gee just look at e-2046’s site; the Japanese companies have got to overcome the production/export/import problems to fairly and properly expolit that market. Cerebus /Yamato/Gainax have terrible websites and poor availability. e-2046 is just (unfairly maybe) exploiting a demand market

Couldn’t agree more. Garage kits are a very niche market, but there’s gotta be a better way?

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