Astro Toy Cu-Poche Mami Tomoe
by David Cabrera,
Hi, gang. Did you manage to see Madoka 3 in its little theatrical run a few weeks back? I'm going to break my rule and talk about what I thought of it. About half an hour into the movie, I thought “This isn't important or anything, but it's pretty fun.” Halfway in, I really wanted to like the story concept, but it was dragging hard under the weight of its own explanations. Then that hack ending hit. When I walked out of the theater I merely thought, “That was awful.” No spoilers (I agree with a lot of what Hope said), but I ultimately found it a pretty, cynical thing that exists solely for market reasons, and find it a fine point to quit actively following the series. The Alamo Drafthouse, on the other hand, damn, what a theater! You gotta go sometime.
Anyway, speaking of the market, let's talk about Mami Tomoe. Retroactively one of the most popular characters in the series, Mami even had her role significantly expanded upon in the films. Considering how big Madoka's gotten, it's not a huge surprise that we're looking at a new figure of her a few years after the TV run.
The line is Kotobukiya's Cu-poche, whose first release (Kirino Kousaka) I looked at and have really wanted to get back to since then. The aim of the line-- to outclass the Nendoroid line at the same price-- is clear, and I thought the Kirino figure did a fine job of just that. That being said, the Nendoroid of Mami looked like one of the better ones, so they're going to have to put in some work here.
She looks a little out of it.
Note again that despite a similar height, the Cu-poche body is a little less squatty than the Nendoroid, and in turn the body is a little more clearly defined. The arms are basically as articulated as a Figma's would be (the shoulders aren't going far though) and the legs, still tiny, do have joints and some movement.
Damn, that is some clean detail. You wanna know what my criteria is for a quality action figure is after three years of doing this stuff? It's “how clean are the belts and the lace?!”.
Furthermore... behold Magnet Hat!! Mami's hat isn't molded to her head. It isn't staying on by the use of a peg, nor do we have to disassemble the head to put it on. It just sticks there. You can hold her upside down and it won't fall off. I'm always saying “why not magnets?” when I fiddle with these toys. I am happy that this line agrees with me.
The feet have magnets that hold it fast to the metal platform of the stand, but if you want to hold the figure up there's also a conventional posing arm, exactly like Nendoroid's. However, unlike the frequently uncooperative posing arms that come with Nendoroids, this one slips comfortably into the back of the figure and works just fine. This is a long-time issue with Nendoroid which does not look like it's going to change, so I'm glad the competitior gets it right here. Claw posing arm is also present, if you prefer.
Extras are pretty standard: extra faces, Mami's gun collection, and a Charlotte doll. Replacement hands and other parts are a breeze, and when you take apart the head you'll find another magnet to properly secure the face.
Of course it has to be four guns. The muskets look decent, considering the figure has to come with four of them. Most of the details are there, the paint is alright. On a noticeably lower level of detail than the rest of the figure, though.
If you remember the scene this particular face comes from, you're probably already depressed thinking about it. Basic extra hands in fist and gun-holding shapes are included.
I can't remember anymore and Madoka 3 is really fresh in my mind: did the doll Charlotte appear in the first two movies, or just the new one? I often see little miniature accessories like Charlotte here skimped on, but that's not the case here.
That's right, I got Homura.
Looking at two figures from this line hasn't changed my mind: I still like it better than Nendoroid. I can't compare directly to the Mami Nendoroid because that one isn't in my hands, of course. That being said, this is a very high quality piece of work for what you pay. Recommended.
We got Mami for $47 shipped from Amiami; she's still available but Cu-Poches have disappeared pretty quickly in my experience.
ASTRO TOY EXTRA: I bought a paper knife of Ryuko's half-scissor blade from Kill la Kill and immediately gave it to DX Mazinger. I just wanted you all to see. Merry Christmas, I guess! What'd you get yourselves? I got a Medicom Kamen Rider Fourze!
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