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Astro Toy
Nendoroid Mikudayo

by David Cabrera,

Nendoroid Mikudayo
Maker: Good Smile Company
Price: $40

We're back to Miku again; this is how I make it up to the reader base after taking a detour into robot country. Actually, looking back into my records, this figure had been delayed once every month since March, making it a regular headache for me and probably causing a few item cancellations (sorry Yuno) as I worked out the schedule over the last few months. I am relieved that it finally came in, and sincerely hope that some new item doesn't pop up and start ruining my schedule.

But something's a little wrong about Mikudayo, don't you think? The Miku who is like Miku, but who is not Miku. Mikudayo first appeared as a full-body costume of Hatsune Miku intended to promote a videogame using Nendoroid-style Vocaloid characters. Think of her as an amusement-park mascot costume.

The costume design itself became popular for being more deformed than the typical SD character, in a way some found disturbing-- in a way they liked. After tons of fan discussion and art and so on, the character of “Mikudayo-” (It's Miku-) as a somewhat-off and kinda creepy Miku was established. The joke, as these things often are, was eventually made official by the people who own Miku.

The side of the box lays out the situation as elegantly as it can be laid out, saying (roughly) “Miku became a Nendoroid, then the Nendoroid became a game. The game became a costume and the costume became a Nendoroid! Also, she likes candy!” The box itself is pretty jokey and ironic, with the bright color-burst design and the “Mikudayo-” chorus printed in the background. GSC knows that the people buying this are people who are in on the joke.

So what is so creepy about Mikudayo? Let's take a close look. The big thing has got to be the face, right? There are no alternate facial expression pieces for Mikudayo because she has no other facial expressions. Eyes too wide, mouth too smiling, Mikudayo stares forward into eternity, chanting her own name like a Pokémon. Her head is pudgier, almost like a round-edged square.

The hair has sort of a spraypaint-metallic finish, likely intended to evoke the weird foamy material that the mascot costume is made out of. Again, to mimic the costume, the twintails are made of plastic that's floppy like a dog's ears. This effect is vaguely surreal and perhaps my favorite thing about the figure.

Surprisingly, GSC bothered with real articulation on this Nendoroid: the (weird hunched-up) shoulders are ball-jointed and the (also somewhat deformed) chest even moves a little bit to accommodate them. However, remember that the costume has arms that don't bend at the elbows, and you know what that means, right? Mikudayo's arms are forever outstretched in some direction. This figure features no replacement parts for face or limbs, though that is much of the point of Nendoroid, because they would be out of character for Mikudayo the mascot costume. It still comes apart for your Nendoroid surgery procedures, but it's basically a single piece.

So why am I telling you the whole story of Mikudayo and analyzing her every physical feature? Well, that's my job, but I have overanalyzed so I'll be straight with you: there is nothing else in this box. The only accessories are a pair of identical replacement twintails (in hard plastic rather than floppy) and a lollipop, because it is canon that Mikudayo loves candy. I had hope and assumed this would be actual candy, but it's not. I was really looking forward to reviewing candy on the column so I'm a little pissed off.

Side note: I feel like it's a 50/50 whether or not I get a competent or trash stand with a Nendoroid. This one was trash. Go ahead! Align the peg with the hole! It won't help. I actually removed the peg and leaned it up against the stand.

If you buy this, you likely already know what you're getting into. This is a figure that is quite faithful to a truly bizarre subject. You don't get extras, you don't even get basic Nendoroid stuff. But it's not too expensive, and the sight of it does make me laugh. Mission accomplished?

This cost us $40 shipped from Amiami: it's a very barebones item, so the cost (and shipping) reflect that. I'm not sure you will really have to worry about this Miku becoming difficult to buy. Let me tell you a story. Back when I was hanging out in Akiba late last year, I kept noticing that every hawker outside of every shop was holding up the same big Miku Nendoroid box. “Why is Miku on discount?”, I thought. “Miku is supposed to sell out.” When I got close and finally took a look at one of the Mikus, I understood. It was a giant-size Mikudayo.

Finally, it is self-promotion time. Otakon will be going down on the weekend of the 9th and I will be in the Artist's Alley-- not a place I ever imagined I'd be renting out space-- selling some brand new Kawaiikochan comics. The book is a “videogame magazine”, of sorts, with some really amazing guest work by Jonathan Kim (Skullgirls) and Dan Kim (Clone Manga). You'll be able to buy it online too, but I've printed up a batch for the con and the very first copies will be sold there. We'll be in at table P08 in the Artist's Alley. If you'll be there, come pick up the book and say hi!

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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