Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
So, my first Figma product, and my first Disney licenced toy in a very long while.
Drossel is the star of Fireball, a surreal CGI Anime put together by Toei and Disney in a marriage made in otaku heaven. So of course, when Max Factory announced a fully articulated, poseable and accessory laden version of her, I had to get a preorder in.
I have to say, upon opening the pristine condition box, I was not terribly pleased when her hair fell off, it seems that the peg connecting it to the head had broken through some quirk of poor quality control. Being the kind of guy I am, I checked around with several other prople who had purchased this figure. One reported frozen joints, which required a hot water bath. One had a fuzed shoulder which needed replacing and another had a wrist where the peg would not come out, resulting in the wrist joint needing to be drilled out. Only one person reported a perfect condition figure. I have to say, given the sheer hype I've heard regarding figma, to me this was very unexpected and extremely disappointing. So after waiting the better part of a month for replacement parts to come in, I can finaly give the figure a review on what SHOULD have been, as well as what I got.
So lets start with the good. The character is very accurately represented. The painting on this figure is unbelievably nice, with the intricate details from the animation being represented perfectly. The posability, if the joints are working, is fantastic. Fireball achieves a lot with faceless robots through the use of body language, with any of the wonderfully expressive poses Drossel adopts in the anime can also be adopted as a Figma. She comes with a ludicrous number of accessories, 4 extra sets of hands, a users manual, the "fashion accessory" flight hair, and the capoeira helmet. There is no "sign of the horn" hands or pumpkin head, but the sheer quantity of accessories is great.
Unfortunately the quality control leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of very brittle plastic was used in the accessories and several people (including me) have experienced the horrible, sinking sensation as a part cracks under normal posing. 4 out of 5 dead on arrivals is also no sign of confidence, and as a result I would not recommend purchasing one from anything less than a reputable supplier that has a refund or replacement policy. Its a damned shame, because its SUCH a pretty figure. Poseable, show accurate, and personable, if it weren't for the horrible fragility and quality control this would have my highest recommendation. And to boot, it was a very limited run, so prices on examples are creeping up even as you read this.
As it is, give it a huge pass unless you're a Disney or Mecha Girl nut.
|Price||C||Limited production, high demand and poor quality control have already spiked the price. Expect the price to rise further.|
|Availability||D||Only two production runs were made before discontinuation, with a fair chunk of the second run goint into replacing the first. Prepare to be scalped.|
|Production Quality||D||Having checked 5 first-run Drossel's, 1 needed work and 3 were dead on arrival. Thats only 2 that didnt need replacement parts and only 1 that was playable out of the box. Even then the plastic is brittle as hell, with several complaints of accessory failure during the switching out of parts. Not what I expected from Max Factory at all.|
|Design||A++||Seriously, if this was readily available and not liable to break through being sneezed on, I would have given it a massive recommendation simply based on how awesome it appears and poses.|
|Verdict||C||The limited production, expensive price, and terrible quality control have pretty much crippled what was an otherwise briliant figure. Only get it if you're a fireball or disney fanatic.|