Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Happinet Princess Resurrection - Hime & Flanby Rob Bricken, Mar 15th 2009
Oh, gentle “Astro Toy” readers. I know you've been concerned about me, what with my long string of horrible, horrible toys and figurines. I'm not going to lie to you — it's been rough. It's hard to sleep at night, as I imagine poor paint jobs and cunning but terrible bootlegs from overseas. I'm drinking more. Frankly, I'm on the nerd merchandise edge.
But two things happened to make me step away. First, ANN reader Phillp Harrington made me this swell “Astro Toy” banner, which kicks the ass of Brian Hanson's “Answerman” banner (here's my answer for you, Brian: suck it). Second, I finally got an “Astro Toy” subject I don't hate. I had actually purchased this Princess Resurrection statuette at the same time I purchased that ill-fated Tachikoma figure, in a bid to buy more expensive toys that I genuinely wanted. Well, you all know how the Tachikoma ended up; needless to say, I as a bit wary of opening Hime here, lest I get my heart broken again. I needn't have worried. This figure from Happinet is just swell, although I'm probably being more generous because of all the recent toy trauma I've experienced.
Let me start from the beginning: I've approved of the concept of Princess Resurrection since I read the first volume of the Del Rey manga back in ’06. A princess in a fancy dress who fights classic movie monsters? That's really all I need. I was a little bit disappointed to find out that she doesn't kill them all with the chainsaw she wields in the beginning of the first volume, but hey, whatever. I'm just very supportive of pretty girls killing monsters, and if they can do it by horrifically violent means, even better. (This is one of the many reasons I'm an anime fan.)
So onto the statue itself. Hime stands 6 ¼ inches tall, including her base. She's wonderfully sculpted, with her dress and her hair both flaring out. The folds in her dress aren't spectacularly detailed but they are good-looking. Now, her paint design is really simple, but I think it works. She has no highlights or washes anywhere; her outfit is all black except a touch of gray at the hem of her dress and gloves; her chainsaw is all flat red for its base, while the blade is pure silver. Her eyes are clean and good-looking. About the only place where I think the paint falls a little flat is her tiara, which has a single red “gem” in the middle; it just looks too plain for a tiara, but it's not a dealbreaker.
The base actually has more paint detail, but since it's all in grays, I think it helps set off the statue. The base is of a defeated mummy, lying at Hime's feet, on a ground of gray cracked tile. The mummy has a nice wash, making him looking reasonably scuffed and the floor's cracked, damaged surface is very well sculpted.
As you saw in the first pic, Hime also comes with a smaller statue of her servant Flan, on her own, totally separate base. I'm glad she's separate, because I just look at her and think she's from some horrible loli manga. She's not, of course; she's not even a child, but a several-ton robot who can toss most monsters around like they were ragdolls (I was very pleased to discover this fact in the Princess Resurrection manga). Flan has been sculpted on her recharging base (I'm pretty sure she's a Frankenstein's monster homage, e.g., “Fu-ra-n”) with the blank look she has… well, all the time. It's a nice add-on, but I'll be putting her in a box and forgetting about her.
Is Hime perfect? Of course not. The chainsaw is made of a softer plastic than the rest of the statue, and thus the blade is (very slightly) curved. It's not bad, but it is noticeable. The pose is such that it's hard to see both Hime's face and the chainsaw at the same time. If you're looking directly at her face, you can't see the chainsaw, and if you're looking straight at the chainsaw, you can't see her face. About the best you can do is this:
…which isn't terrible, but limits how you position her on your desk or shelf if you want to see her in action, but still, you know, see her.
Last but not least, as mentioned before, the paints apps on her are limited, although I still say it only really hurts the tiara. However, I can see some folks getting upset at paying $80 for such a simple-looking figurine. But I'm not one of ‘em. I dig this thing, and while I'd probably be happier if it had been $60 instead of $80, I still recommend it. Although please remember, I'm surely feeling magnanimous because of being so thoroughly crushed by last few “Astro Toy” columns. Your mileage may vary.
Now, there's another Hime figurine from Good Smile at the same price, which might actually look a touch better in terms of sculpt and paint. However, that figurine is wielding a large pair of scissors instead of a chainsaw, and quite frankly, I'd rather have the chainsaw version. Plus, Happinet also makes a Reiri Kamura figurine as well, who is a vampire character I don't know, but is sculpted standing on top of a wolf-girl Liza Wildman base. So unless you're a big scissors fan, I say chainsaw wins hands-down.
You can read more of Rob Bricken's bitter, needlessly mean-spirited thoughts on toys and many non-anime subjects over at ToplessRobot.com (safe for work).
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