It’s that time of the week for new loots! Tonight I’ll be reviewing Figma Tsukasa Hiiragi from Lucky Star, Figma Nanoha Takamachi from Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha StrikerS, and Starscream G1 from the Transformers Encore line. What do all these series have in common? Nothing, but I’ll review them all together anyway ^_^;;
I recently marathoned Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha and its sequel Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha As. I remember when these series came out, I watched the first few episodes and thought, not for me! After Sailor Moon overload back in the day, no more Magical Girl Anime for me.
I only got interested when I recently watched one of Actar’s Figure reviews of Nanoha, and saw a few clips of the Anime, specifically when she’s winding up one of her special moves (Divine Buster?). I thought it looked pretty cool, so decided to look into it further.
The first few episodes of the MLGN were really kind of boring, and seemed like just another monster of day show. However, when Fate (loli blonde girl) showed up, it all changed ^_^. This is the first Magical Girl Anime that I’ve seen that the whole focus is on Magical Girls beating the absolute living hell out of each other! Think about it … who else can beat a Magical Girl, but another Magical Girl?
So I spent a whole day watching it, then A’s. A’s was even better – more Magical Girl on Girl, and what makes it fun to watch is that all of them are pretty evenly powered, at least when Nanoha and Fate upgrade their devices (what the staffs are called) to the cartridge system.
And aside from the fighting, the emotions run pretty high in this show, and you do get to feel what the actual characters are feeling. And that’s a win for any work of fiction.
The Magical Combat system is also quite interesting. Their devices seem kind of like a cross between real world guns / rifles, in that they need to reload them with cartridges, but they actually look like bullet casings 😛
Currently I’ve started watching its third season, Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha StrikerS. It looks interesting in that the characters are all grown up. However the feel is very different. I’m only up to episode 2, and I’ll see if it gets better or worse.
Anyways on to the second figure / toy, is Starscream from the Takara/Tomy Transformers Encore line. I think I was 5 or 6 when this toy came out, and I actually had it. Unfortunately, eventually, I lost all the parts to it, and the whole toy. So when I saw this had been re-issued, I wanted it again to relive some nostalgia. I remember myself and my older bro saving up to buy this thing, and biking over to the shops once we had enough.
However … as you will see later in this review, perhaps some things are best to leave to nostalgia…
And lastly, the Figma Tsukasa from Lucky Star. I don’t actually have my first loot pics that I debuted on dannychoo.com, but I actually have Konata as well. I figured I might as well collect the set of Lucky Star Figmas. I’m not really a fan of Tsukasa (as you will also see later in this review ^_^;;), but oh well. I do have to admit that this figure is really well made though, and you can tell that Max Factory / Good Smile Company have learned a few things since their first round of Figma Action Figures.
Here are all the figures taken out of their packaging. If Starscream had a pilot, I think he would be very happy.
Here are all the associated parts that come with the figures. Nanoha easily has the most accessories. She comes with her Raging Heart Device (Staff) with optional head piece for shooting mode, an extra hair piece with the fringe on opposite side, an angry face (my favourite), 4 more sets of hands, 2 Axle Fins (the wing things that go on her feet), and Figma Stand and Bag.
As for Tsukasa, I noticed that the Lucky Star Figmas don’t really come with a lot. She only comes with 1 optional face, 4 more pairs of hands, and a special pair that holds her mobile phone. And of course the Figma Stand (which actually fits now) and Bag.
And Starscream has the least with only 2 weapons, missiles for it (Long or short), 2 fists, and instruction book (like you need instructions to transform a G1 figure).
One disappointment with Nanoha. I noticed that when I twist her skirt to the side, it had actually transferred some paint to her waist. I think I can fix this with some paint thinner however (that I use for Gundams). What was funny was that I actually thought it was an emblem of some kind before I looked closer.
And a disappointment with Starscream, this time more serious. I noticed that his thrusters are slightly misaligned and leaning to the side. My original Starscream from like 20+ years ago did not have this problem! And this one I believe, I won’t be able to fix… GRRR
Meanwhile, the Tsukasa figure is perfect. No QC issues that I could see. However what would make her even more perfect is if she was Kagami ^_^;;
Here I am “preparing” Nanoha’s Figma Stand. In all of my Figmas *except* Tsukasa, the Figma stand peg that goes into the figure back is actually too big to fit into the Figma hole. So I’ve been trimming them all slightly on the sides and after that, they fit perfectly. It’s better to damage the stand than the Figma – if you try to force a peg, you may end up either scratching the figure paint when it slips out, or stressing the plastic of the figure.
Here is how you install Nanoha’s “Axle Fins” on to her feet. Basically she has 2 holes in the soles of her shoes that are used to fit the Axle Fins on to. This is really quite clever in that you don’t see any unsightly attachment thingys on any exterior part of her shoes that will be in view, as they will be on the bottom.
Here is Starscream in Jet mode with armament attached, Tsukasa in Haruhi mode, and Nanoha in Divine Buster mode.
Nanoha has the typical absolutely awesome Figma articulation, as well as articulated twin tail hair. Tsukasa’s articulation is also superb because of it also being a Figma.
Starscream articulation? Well … his arms can go up and down!!!
Because of Figma articulation, you can get pretty much any humanly possible pose out of them. And the joints are hardly visible if the Figure has clothing in that area (joints in the skin area are visible, but personally I don’t mind them).
As for Starscream…. yeah … he just stands there. Or leans, because of his QC victim thrusters. One other thing – I was going to review Starscream without putting the stickers on (call it laziness). However, when I transformed it, I didn’t realise it would look absolutely disgusting without stickers. So I was forced to put them on for this review.
Nanoha: 8 out of 10. She loses points for paint transfer (even though I can fix it, it’s annoying), and her hair piece is quite loose and doesn’t seem to fit exactly. I need to check if I can fix that too.
Tsukasa: 9 out of 10. Really top quality figure. It seems that as they get to their later generation of Figmas, they’re improving their build control. Even though Tsukasa isn’t one of my favourite characters, I can appreciate the quality of this one.
Starscream: 4 out of 10. I was really disappointed by this figure. There are plastic nub marks throughout (where it looks like they ripped plastic parts off the sprue), thrusters, and hence legs are leaning. Looks absolutely disgusting without stickers. Articulation of a dead turtle. I think I should have just left this figure to the depths of nostalgia.
And now, time for Figma Fun!