Figure Review

“Review”: 1/8 Rizfis Luttiva Mente

The figure is far from relevant today, the post is hardly a proper review, and there won’t even be any neat photos — hell, it’s not going to be much of anything. If anything, what you’re reading now is a filler post that you might see more of in the future. This time, I’m going to talk about Good Smile Company’s Rizfis Luttiva Mente (Rize), released back in 2008 as a part of the Shuraki series.

Shuraki was a collaboration between Red Entertainment and GSC, probably inspired by Hobby Japan and MegaHouse’s Queen’s Blade series, which also had an emphasis on the violence against female clothing. Each Shuraki figure came with an alternate “battle-damaged” outfit, a illustration book introducing the character and her backstory, and a drama CD starring some solid voice talent.

There has also been five Shuraki light novel books and 1 volume of manga released, according to MFC. I don’t know exactly how well the franchise did, but given there hasn’t been another Shuraki figure in over four years, I assume it didn’t take off as well as GSC and Red Entertainment turned out, despite the talent recruited for it.

Back then I had only started to get into the figure collecting hobby, so I was nowhere as picky as I am now. My eyes sparked as Danny Choo’s blog showed me all manners of plastic boobs and butts, and everywhere I looked, there were things I wanted to throw my PayPal money at. The fact that I don’t know anything about the character didn’t matter — all it took were some pretty looks and a cheap price to move my hand. Such was the reasoning that gave birth to much frustration.

Rize is a story of disappointment in more ways than one. I bought her from Play-Japan on sale for $39.90, but what began as a bargain suddenly turned sour when the SAL shipping fee turned out to be $20.90. I found out the reason for such an unexpectedly high fee when the package arrived at my doorstep, as the box was obscenely large. But as luck would have it, there was yet another surprise pasted on the box — a customs charge of $15. So much for a cheap addition to my budding collection.

Rize came with an alternate battle-damaged set of clothes, but the cast-off feature was an nightmare to work with. the tight fit of her corset top created a lot of fiction against her torso, and after a couple attempts, Rize’s stomach was already being damaged and rubbed bare. The little clip on the regular top never seemed to work right and broke off, and my messy superglue job did not help things one bit. After changing her clothes twice, I decided that I was done with that forever, and to this day, I still can’t see myself buying another cast-off figure.

On a side note, the reason why I didn’t like the battle-damaged clothes is that her stockings are not interchangeable. This means even though the rest of her clothing is completely tattered, her stockings are completely unscathed, which is weird, because in my research (i.e. H-manga), the stockings are the first thing to get torn! OMGERD UNREALISTIC

A well-documented problem Rize has is her ungodly large dress. Made of heavy and hard plastic, it puts a lot of strain on the feet pegs on the display base until the pegs eventually are literally torn out of the base itself — a bad design choice that Good Smile Company has undoubtedly learned from since. A little bit of epoxy manages to return the figure to a standing state, although that means I had to tear her out of her foundation when I moved out.

By now you probably think that I regret getting this figure, and you would be right thinking that. But unlike other disappointments which became eyesores, for every failing Rize possesses, she has something to redeem it.

The sculpting is razor-sharp and the application of shading (especially on her hair) is impeccable. Combined with the solid character design and the attractive blue/red colour contrast, Rize is very pretty to look at. She’s better-looking than most modern figures, and if not for the questional design decisions, she would outright trump them.

My favourite part of the figure has to be her stubby little boots with little red ribbons on them — along with her slightly pigeon-toed pose, they give the halberd-wielding warrior an added dose of girlish charm.

Another thing to consider is her price; for ¥6,800 you get:

  • A 1/8 figure that does not skimp on size
  • Cast-off feature with an alternate outfit
  • Art booklet that introduces the backstory of the character
  • A drama CD

Wow. I know figures these days better made and whatever, but I’m not convinced that rising prices have been proportional to improvements in quality. For example, GCS’s Godoka looks damned good, but I always wonder if she’s actually worth her mighty Â¥15,000 price tag, and when I look at what Rize has to offer for less than half the price, I can’t help but to feel nostalgic. These days, for the price of the iconic 1/8 Max Factory Haruhi, you can get a Beach Queens figure from Wave that’s pretty much inferior in every single way.

…Bah, get off my lawn. Let’s just say I’m glad I got into the hobby before it got substantially more expensive. Whereas my gunpla and video games has remained more or less consistent in price over the past 4 years, figures have not, and I wonder how far the upward trend will go.

Anyway, let’s end this “review” with a question: what do you guys think of the rising cost of the figure hobby? Has it affected you relationship to the hobby? What is your sweet balance between quality and affordability? Let me know!

17 replies on ““Review”: 1/8 Rizfis Luttiva Mente”

No more cast-off figures?! Chag how will you call yourself a figure-collecting weeaboo in front of your peers now??

Seeing as figure costs aren’t going to be going down unless there’s a wholesale shift of manufacturing from China to somewhere cheaper, perhaps the best answer to deal with the costs is to make more money.

Cast-off is the equivalent to transformation gimmicks in gunpla — gimmicks that come at a compromise. I shall redeem my weeaboo sex-pervert credentials with some Native figures — OH WAIT NEVERMIND TOO EXPENSIVE

Making money is indeed a good answer to many things. At the end of the day, figures got so expensive because weirdos like us are just willing to pay. Mass produced PVC figures is a relatively new thing when compared to plamo and video games, and I’m guessing after the industry has established itself, they’re free explore the limits of their customers. And considering how often we hear tales of WALLET DEVASTATION amongst figure collectors, we aren’t really a crowd known for self-restraint.

Also, Japanese nerds pay too much for everything. Have you seen the amount of money they pay for new games? Good lord.

Luth had bought Rize before he moved here and she’d already long snapped off her base before I got to see her. She’s still a pretty sight though, even though she’d glued to her base and has to use a Figma stand to prop up that massive skirt so she doesn’t start leaning again.

The one thing that irritates me the most about her is how bloody hard it is to get her to hold that weapon properly. I seem to need to use part of her top to hold it in place and even then the lower part floats above her hand. Maybe I’m doing it wrong!

I’m pretty indifferent about the whole rising figure costs thing.. maybe that comes from being an Australian and being used to having to pay ridiculous markups on everything anyway. It has cut down my impulse buying a little though and really makes me consider my (well, Luth and I’s) purchases a little more before pulling that preorder trigger.

I think I’m lucky — the shaft of the halberd is ALMOST in the palm of her left hand. I’ve seen photos elsewhere that’s not even close. I always got the impression that she’s in the middle or swinging halberd in that pose — maybe she’s using her boobs as leverage? lol.

When one has to fight off poisonous animals, convicts and SKIN cancers, a few extra dollars for plastic butts is understandably easy to deal with for a native of HARD MODE: the continent. Also, I remember Luth saying something about Aussiedollars being one of the “safe” currencies that people are buying? I guess that makes the exchange rate less awful for you guys!

Paying customs, too huh? Welcome to my world 😛

This figure looks like it came from the future to 2008, she looks very pretty and elaborate I would think she’s not that “old”. Well, calling her old is not correct actually there were already a number of great figures in 2008 like Queen’s gate Alice. The base design of this figure seems like an experiment, it’s apparently too tiny for such a figure.

Seems like a whole generation was inspired by Danny Choo and his early days figure show room.
I was exaxtly the same what you’ve written in the text 😀

I think part of the rising prices is that manufacturers know, that there are a lot of people who actually pay these high prices, look at all these Dollfie “victims” up to1000$ for a mass produced ball jointed doll XD

Haha, Danny Choo is a stand-up guy. Even though I get sick of seeing him everywhere at times, he’s done a lot to spread around the figure (and Dollfie) hobby in the English-speaking world. He makes everything look so nice even when he doesn’t seem to be trying!

Lol you’re right; at the end of the day, the value of any given object is entirely subjective. When the PVC market first took off, it made sense for them to not intimidate the new market with big prices, but now that it’s matured significantly, it makes perfect sense test the limits of our wallets, and if recent prices are any indication, that limit is lax indeed!

As for your question at the end, rising prices has really become noticeable in the transformers collector fandom. The figures in general have got smaller, paint apps are fewer, plastic quality has gotten marginally worse but the prices remain the same. Sure, rising oil prices were going to affect a mass produced toyline eventually but i do miss the mid-2000’s when a deluxe cost a tenner and the ultra-size class still existed.

To think the mid-2000’s was half a decade ago…ugh, I sure am feeling old now.

Between inflation and rising oil prices, it is inevitable for prices to go up, but to compromise quality to maintain a consistent price point really is unfortunate. If nothing else, the overall standard of quality of figures have risen over the past four years. Going by what you told me, it sounds like Transformers fans have it worse. =/

Oh boy, this is like super nostalgic, reminiscing of the early days of figure collecting and blogging. I do remember lots of people buying this figure, lots people breaking the pegs and lots of people raging.

Funny fact, I don’t own a single full scaled cast off figures, the closest would be the Queen’s Blade
revoltechs. The rather contrived ways need to do the casting off like with this figure really put me off.

Rising prices sure piss me off since they are coupled with rising Yen rates. I don’t mind paying a high price for big and elaborate figures like Madokami for example but it bothers me when you have figures comparable to that Haruhi going close to the 8K+ Yen mark. You just don’t get as much bang for your buck nowadays.

One thing I really like about certain figures is the way clothes dig into flesh because they’re so tight. That’s one thing that cast-off figures can’t do. That is one of the reasons why cast-off swimsuit figures just don’t do it for me — go big or go home, I say!

Agreed — as Ash said before, it’s annoying when lesser companies try to ride the current by basing their prices on trends instead of the actual quality of the figure. At last GSC is still handing onto a somewhat reasonable 6800 yen mark for their simpler 1/8 figures like Makise and Yozora. It still ain’t Haruhi or Rize, that’s for sure, but it’s good to know they’re not getting carried away by their flashier releases.

I have this figure and as you say, the foot pegs snapped for me one day and she fell to the ground breaking the halberd, I have super glued her now, so there will never be another disaster.

Ouch, collateral damage? That’s a real shame. This figure must’ve been a customer service nightmare, and I gotta wonder how GSC and retailers reacted to so many reports of figures breaking on their own.

OH MAN, BLAST TO THE PAST TIME! Sit down, let’s talk.

I jumped into the PVC collecting hobby back in 2006 when 1/8 scales were still going between 3800-4800 yen. When Shuraki came out I liked the character designs, but found the 6800 yen price tag per figure “too much” to swallow. If only I knew what was coming! I did eventually cave in and get Liu Meifeng and Rize.

Like you mentioned, Rize is a beautiful figure to this day. I’m particularly fond of her skin. The peachy tone and shading looks so dang good. Unfortunately my Rize has the stomach scratches like yours, and her peg broke quickly. Who’s bright idea was it to make the pegs out of super soft plastic? Or to make her skirt SO HEAVY?

Now about cast-off! Shuraki’s cast-off is a freaking nightmare. Not a lot of companies did full outfit cast-off back then (usually just “remove skirt, see panties” stuff) aside from MH’s Queen’s Blade line. I’ll give GSC credit for trying, but to this day Liu and Rize are nightmares to undress. I’m planning on redoing my reviews for the both of them…not looking forward to the cast-off process.

Now for rising prices! I hate it. I love the hobby but this is getting too crazy expensive. More recent 1/8’s seem to be sporting a 7200-7800 yen price tag. 6800 was bad enough! And let’s not get started on the rising number of 9800 yen 1/8 scales. BLECH! I’ve greatly reduced my collecting because of the rising costs.

Rize seems like the kind of figure that the GSC staff would bring up while drinking at a company gathering. “Remember THAT figure? Man, we sure fucked up on that one, didn’t we?”

I had no idea that the other figures of the series also had horrible cast-off. Perhaps I swore off cast-off figures prematurely…maybe I should give them another chance!

At a figure collecting panel at Otakon last year, I raised a similar concern about figure prices. Apparently I was the only one who felt the figures were getting disproportionally expensive, as everyone else who chipped in seem convinced that the doubling of prices has been justified in the quality improvements. I even got a “Have you SEEN the GSC Godoka figure? It’s BEAUTIFUL!”

I’m still not convinced, but maybe we are but a minority in all this.

Woah, really? I know collectors can be nuts about their hobby, but it’s kind of surprising to hear so few people taking issue with the rising costs.

It doesn’t help when you consider some companies, like Kotobukiya, haven’t really improved much over the last few years but continue to raise their prices along with everyone else.

I guess people will start whining when the regular cost for a 1/8 goes up to 11,000 yen?

Haha, I see what you did tharrrrr. The GSC Karen made me cry a little inside, it really did. Not because I desperately want the figure — I think it looks very nice, but I’m not big enough of a fan of Karen to be bothered. But it’s a sign that the ballooning prices aren’t going to stop. GSC seems to be probing higher the for that sweet price spot, and it seems that 9,800 isn’t quite there yet.

When someone like GSC and Alter raises prices, it affects the entire industry, just as you said. At the end of the day, I can’t blame these companies for wanting to make more money — if anything, I’m a little frustrated at the fanbase, who seems to be more willing to do away with their money than us. But hey, “if you can’t afford it, pick another hobby!” I wonder how many people have done just that.

Visited your blog for Photography tips and certainly i still have a lot to learn.

Speaking of increasing price for Figures, i feel that 2014 saw the beginning of huge price spike of Japanese Toys outside Bandai in particular Goodsmile Company. Probably has to do with the increase of consumption tax up to 8% in Japan combined with low appetite of product consumption in domestic market. It is a sad sight to see and it will definitely get worse.

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