by David Cabrera,
Series: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Maker: Good Smile
I looked at two Nendoroids over the last month, and now we're going straight into the other GSC flagship line, figma. I wouldn't have thought, when I started this column, that we wouldn't review figmas very often. They're the most popular otaku figures around by a long shot, after all! But that's how it's gone. Figmas are usually perfectly good, but there's only so much you can really say about a basic action figure. After as much of this as I've done I'd be repeating myself pretty badly. To keep sane, we try to only buy figmas when they're at least a little fancy or unusual.
I watched one episode of Gargantia, and said “well, that was fine, I could probably keep up with this,” but now it's today and the Gargantia action figure has been sitting on my stack for about a month and nope, just that one episode.
Anyway, this is the heroine, Amy. This is also a really nice-looking figure! There are a lot of little details on this outfit-- the patterns of her outfit, the trim, the belt pocket, the sandals-- that are typically lost or just don't look good on a figma. But here they are. Great sculpt, zero sloppy paint.
Articulation is normal Figma. I'm pretty sure this figure is using the new shoulder joints first seen on Miku 2.0 (which I didn't notice at the time). Movement is great. To reconcile her outfit with her movement, the outfit is mostly made of very bendy plastic, and the scarf (I guess it's a scarf?) is hooked under her shoulders by some small plastic rings.
The accessories that you expect to come with a figma come with this figma, too! As well as the assortment of hands, you get two extra faces, a huge grin and a slightly inquisitive face. No problems taking this stuff on and off, same goes for the stand. A relief.
As for character-specific stuff, you get her shoulder bag. Again, the detail on this is on point, down to the buckles.
Amy's buddy Grace is a piece you can plant on her wherever you want, like in the show. Accessories this small are a real test-- items twice as big as this usually come out as featureless blobs, or one-color chunks of plastic-- and I'm legitimately blown away that this tiny, tiny piece looks so good. An actual paint job! Little beady eyes! Grace looks really good. Her pose is also purposely arched so that she'll easily perch on Amy's head or shoulder.
The thing that makes this figma unusual is that it comes with Amy's glider. That's right, a whole damn glider! This isn't the kind of thing you really expect to get in a figure at this price, but someone at GSC must have really liked it.
The glider is a simple three-piece assembly. Amy doesn't really grab the glider with her hands. Even the supplied “grabbing” hands don't do this, they're really meant for the bag (and perhaps other figma accessories).The glider goes under her arms, and this is enough to keep them in place. An extra piece attaches the glider to the stand, and if you want extra stability you can put a second bar between Amy and the stand. This wasn't necessary for my purposes, but if you're going to actually put this up on display for a long period, you'll probably want to use it.
I'm often hard on figma/Nendoroid, but this figure surprised me by being excellent. Quality construction, great sculpt, character-appropriate accessories (even a kind of excessive one!), this is everything you should ask for in your $50 anime character action figure. Good stuff, and I'm glad it is, because for a while I was worried that if Miku 2.0 was the new figma quality standard, the line would suck forever. I'm now looking forward to the Titan figmas (they sold out too fast for us to get in on the first production run).
This came out back in January: I just kept putting it in the back of the order cause the one week it was Titan, the one week it was Watamote, you know how these things get. However, I'm happy to say that this time, surprisingly, the figure is still in stock at Amiami for about $50 shipped.
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera makes moe 4-panel comics about videogames atKawaiikochan.You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.
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