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Astro Toy
Nendoroid Hatsune Miku 2.0

by David Cabrera,

Nendoroid Hatsune Miku 2.0

Series: Vocaloid
Maker: Good Smile
Price: $40-50 (probably more, if you are lucky enough to come across it)

Here at Astro Toy I do the shopping myself, and assembling a schedule for the year creates its own work aside from the actual writing of the column. If you're familiar with Japanese otaku toys in the last ten years or so, you probably already know that the most popular figures (particularly Good Smile's) must be ordered months in advance. Due to high demand-- and print runs which very deliberately do not meet that volume-- the fan who fails to preorder a figure is resigned to hunt it down later. If they're lucky they'll run into it at a convention. Perhaps they'll overpay to one of the legions of scalpers these practices have created. With the most popular characters, however, it's most likely that they'll just never own that figure. I apologize in advance for covering a figure you are especially unlikely to be able to find.

And so it is with Hatsune Miku, whose new figure was sold out the very moment that preorders opened, and which has already largely disappeared from the internet. (I'm told by a contact back in Japan that it's still easy to get her in Akiba right now.) The otaku demand for the digital pop star is apparently limitless, and Good Smile's short-running doesn't help matters. We could not score a preorder, because we weren't awake at the time, but Hobby Link Japan had a small supply that I was lucky enough to come across before it too sold out. It's always like this with Miku. GSC doesn't reprint Miku Nendoroids except for special events. If you actually see one at a convention, it is almost certainly a bootleg. So you might as well have a look at the box.

Being as it was in such short supply, and I wasn't running Astro Toy, and I'm not really a huge Vocaloid fan in the first place, I never had a chance to look at the original Miku Nendoroid. This is indeed the 300th damn release in the line. Nendoroid has been all over the quality range over the years-- from fantastic (a previous Miku!) to complete trash-- but due to her extreme popularity you could say that Miku is GSC's flagship product. They won't do her wrong. Right?

Right, of course they won't. Nothing wrong with the sculpt, completely standard Nendoroid all the way. It is not one of the articulated types, so nothing to talk about on that end.

This is also a very nice paint job, especially for a Nendoroid. It's been a while, and I know what Nendoroids and Figmas skimp on. My eyes went straight for the kind of small paint details where GSC usually slacks off: the headpiece, the pattern on the skirt belt, the tie clip, the pocket of her shirt among others. They're all immaculate, hardly a single line of paint out of place on the whole thing. Decals like the tattoo are also clean.

Alright, the point of the Nendoroid is to make every pose with every accessory, so let's going on that. Guitar! Actually, the guitar is kinda fiddly. Even though there is a guitar strap that goes around the body and two replacement arms specifically made for the task of properly holding the guitar... the strap is useless in any sense but asethetic, and the hand holding the neck doesn't do so very well. Once you get it set up, it looks fine... just don't ever touch it.

And here's the stage show setup: you get a keyboard, the keyboard snaps into a stand, and there are little alien-looking speakers you can display with her.

There's a mic too, of course. I think that this facial expression is the best in the package, beating “blank smile” and “wink” handily.

A big chunk of the accessories here are specifically designed for a certain pose, which is Miku sitting down with her arms out in front of her. The replacement arms are molded to rest against the body, and there's even a set of twintails meant to imitate the effect of her body-length twintails flopping down on the ground. The lower half of the body is completely different for this pose, and has to go together just so with nothing in particular to guide the piece there. A little annoying.

Of course a Miku figure comes with leeks.

Same Nendoroid stand, by the way: this time I've gotten lucky and the peg actually fits into the back. The entire inside of the box actually comes apart to make a cute little cardboard house for Miku that you would place over a di:stage. I try not to destroy the packaging here, so we'll leave that part alone.

All the pluses of the Nendoroid and very few of the minuses, as befits GSC's flagship of flagship figures. More accessories than are typical from this line, no quality issues in the sculpt, the parts mostly stayed where they were supposed to, good package overall. However, the HMO Miku from two years ago was better, and remains the best Nendoroid I have looked at in my time at the column. People slept on that one.

We got this for $50 from HLJ, but by now they and every figure seller online are sold out. However, Ebay is absolutely packed with scalpers selling the figure in the $80 to $100 range, which it is absolutely not worth. I suspect there isn't a shortage of Miku 2.0 at all... it proably just sold big to scalpers. Maybe you will see one at your local convention after all... for I don't even wanna think about how much.

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera makes moe 4-panel comics about videogames at Kawaiikochan. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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