Astro Toy Fate/Zero Figma Saber
by David Cabrera, May 13th 2012
First things first: you aren't allowed to spoil Fate/Zero in the comments, I haven't watched it yet. That first 45 minutes of high-density fantasy novel exposition hypnotized me into forgetting that there was more of the show to watch. I'm holding you all to a standard, you got that? I can't be told what happens in my cartoons.
Alright,then. After a couple of unusual entries, we are going back to normal for a little while at Astro Toy with some recent releases of some very popular characters from the usual Japanese toy lines. I won't tell how long that will last, though. I reserve the right to go weird at any moment.
So here's the famous Servant Saber as she's seen in the currently airing Fate/Zero prequel series, lookin' smooth and aloof in a black suit. Boy, is she tiny. After last week's deluxe piece it's pretty weird to come back to Figmas!
But it's not just a Figma thing, Saber is just really, really short. It's not something you think about when she's stabbing dudes, but holding a figure brings home all those Nasu descriptions. This is a normal Figma body, except the upper part of the suit is made of soft material and the body is articulated underneath. It's actually quite the same as our very first column with Golgo 13.
The ponytail swivels around on a ball joint in the back of the head so that the stand is never in the way. Nice touch.
For weapons we've got two versions of the Excalibur sword. The first is as we usually see it, under the Invisible Air spell. We can't exactly make a sword invisible and surrounded by swirling winds in real life, so you'll just have to make do with a copy of the Excalibur molded in clear plastic.
For this reason, there's also an effect part that makes it look like Saber is in the middle of a strike. This is more often how we actually see Invisible Air used in the Fate series. The sword slides in. Very nice effect: however, this bit is heavy, isn't held securely in place by anything, and will eventually flop over if you leave it on display.
We also have Excalibur and the Avalon sheath, completing the arsenal. These are molded as separate pieces, Excalibur actually slides into Avalon, and is an extra hand to hold Avalon by itself. Be warned that it doesn't work too well.
Three facial expressions are supplied for Saber, who is really the kind of person who doesn't make a lot of faces. We get neutral, yelling, and a soft smile. A replacement hair piece allows Saber's bangs to blow in the wind as she charges towards the battlefield, or maybe just smiles poigiantly.
That last face is also an extra for the previous, armored Saber Figma, which I'm pretty sure was among the first few releases of the line! A photo on the box indicates that it's definitely supposed to be Saber's expression from the end of one of the stories in Fate/stay night. I don't have that figure (I bought Rin instead), so you're just going to have to settle. The fit on the face feels a little off with this one, like maybe it was made with another figure in mind as well...
As is standard for the Figma line, eight replacement hands are included (on that handy rack!) that allow for a slightly greater variety of expressions from this very stoic character. Mostly, though, they're for holding the weapons.
This is a very competent but also somewhat barebones release: in other words, it is the typical Figma. A couple of accessories, no gimmicks, fifty bucks. It's not like they left anything out, you know? It's just as straightforward and spartan a figure as Saber is a character. Whether this is worth your $50, as usual, depends on your level of affection for the character.
Be aware that Max Factory will be releasing a toy of Saber's bike, the Motored Cuirassier, down the line for this figure to ride on.
As I write this, Saber is sold out at all my usual spots online: I had to preorder months early at Amiami (we paid $50) to get it at all. I wish I could have gotten this review to you guys sooner, but unfortunately that's not the schedule! Happy hunting... but unless you're a huge Type-Moon diehard who must have it, dammit I really don't think this is one worth hunting down and paying a dire markup for online. But I can't think of too many figures in this price range that would be...
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.
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