Americans like their polystone statues. Or resin. Something with some heft and weight, something you could kill an intruder with if your .357 isn’t handy. Something that makes you feel like you got more than just a geek-on for that insane amount of money you just spent.
But Asian companies, like Kotobukiya and Yamato, have made a name for themselves worled wide producing their high end collectibles in lighter weight (and usually cheaper) materials like PVC. I have quite a few in my collection, and feel the quality is excellent for the price.
Yamato has a new series starting called their Fantasy Figure Gallery. I’ll let them explain it to you:
“The Fantasy Figure Gallery is a groundbreaking union of East and West as the leading sculptors of Asia deliver the worlds of legendary fantasy artists from Europe and the Americas as only they are capable.”
The first statue in this series is of Akira, based on the work of renowned artist Dorian Cleavenger and sculpted by Plant-jzero Moekichi. Akira is constructed of over 100 individual pieces and features over 400 paint applications, twice the conventional statue. Thankfully however, you don’t have to put the 100 pieces together, only seven. You attach the ornaments to the side of her head, as well as one on the side of her left leg, put the two pieces of the staff together, and attach her to the base. Voila!
If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line at email@example.com, or head over to my collectibles review site at Michael’s Review of the Week - Captain Toy for more reviews like this.
Fantasy Figure Gallery Akira
As I mentioned Akira is the first in this series. The second is Medusa’s Gaze, based on the work of Luis Royo, and others will follow. Akira has an SRP of $98, but you can find her online much lower than that, and I have a number of suggestions at the end of the review in the ‘where to buy’ section.
There’s also a limited edition “ivory” version of this statue that looks very interesting. It’s limited to just 300 produced, and has the same SRP as this version. You can pick it up directly from Yamato in their store.
Packaging - ***
It’s a large window box, that shows off the statue pretty well, and doesn’t waste too much space considering the size of the various pieces. It’s tough to show off a statue well when it comes disassembled like this, but they do a reasonably good job.
I also like the blue color and soft, feminine graphics. They give the impression of beauty and art, just what Yamato is trying to get across with this series.
The package is also collector friendly, if you decide to disassemble your statue later. It’s not hard to do - none of the pieces snap permanently together - and storage is safer in the original box.
Sculpting - ****
Yamato likes to say that she’s a ‘mona lisa’, and while she’s quite nice, I’m not sure I’d go quite THAT far.
She has a beautiful sculpt, with soft curves and gorgeous detailing on the armor and staff. Like all Yamato statues, she’s voluptous and yet innocent in a strange way. The facial expression and sculpt almost have that southern charm to them, sort of like she’s saying “oh maay, maay…did I drop maay little ol’ robe?” The seductive/sweet expression is offset by the sharper, more defined sculpting of the armor and ornaments, giving the statue a nice contrast and realism.
The statue is fairly large, with her standing about 10.5″ tall, and the overall statue with the base and staff at about 15″. That puts her between 1/7th and 1/8th scale, depending on how tall you think Akira should be. Yep, she’s too small to go with your sixth scale figures or even most of the Kotobukiya statues, but she’s still quite impressive on the shelf.
By the way, yes, she’s fairly nekkid. There’s nothing really covering her breasts, although the robe and staff hide any possible nipple action. In fact, the left breast lacks any sort of nipple because of the staff, and there is a groove sculpted on her breast, stomach and right arm to accomodate it.
The pelvic armor only covers the front half of her crotch. The only thing holding it in place is some strong glue and your lack of imagination.
Paint - ****
A great sculpt can be ruined by bad paint, and a mediocre sculpt can be brought to new heights with great paint. Since we were starting with a great sculpt, it needed great paint to show it off, and Yamato pulled it off.
The skin has that slightly translucent quality to it, created by casting the plastic in a flesh tone, but doing it in a way that makes it appear as though there is a thin later of ’skin’ over top. It’s hard to describe, but it certainly gives their ladies a soft, appealing, natural skin tone.
The small detail work on areas like the eyes, lips or armor is extremely clean, and there are a ton of paint operations here. In recent months, we’ve seen the paint on both low cost mass market and high end specialty market items drop considerably, as manufacturers try to find last minute ways to cut costs and improve profits. It’s nice to have a statue where it’s clear that there was no cost cutting on the paint operations, where the number and quality are both extremely high.
Design - ***1/2
I love the overall look of this statue, particularly the way the head of the staff and her headdress both flow, giving her a dynamic and deadly appearance, even in a static pose.
I did have some minor issues with getting the feet attached to the base. The fit was a bit rough, and it never did quite line up flush. You may find that you need to prune the plugs to get the kind of seamless look that you’lle expect with a high end statue.
On a purely artistic note, I would have also preferred if the staff wasn’t pressed so deeply up against her right breast. It looks fairly…uncomfortable to me. This is more of an aesthetic issue though, so your mileage may vary quite a bit.
Value - ***
You can find this guy for no more than $90, and even closer to $80 with a little looking around. Hey, I have some excellent suggestions just below! Considering the quality of the work, as well as the size of the statue, that’s a slightly better than average value right now.
Things to Watch Out for -
Make sure you pay attention to how the pegs attach on each of her extra pieces. Take your time with the staff as well, since it’s very thin and could break with too much pressure.
Overall - ***1/2
I’m not one to usually go in for the nekkid chick statues, but I have to admit that this one is mighty fine looking. Fans of Akira should be pleased, and the sculpting, paint and quality are all top line. If your sensibilities run more Amish than freakish, then it’s probably not for you, but the human form as art has been a long standing tradition. Slap on some cool, strategically placed armor and it just gets better!
Score Recap -
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Design - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy -
While her SRP is close to $100, you can actually find her at a number of retailers below that:
- Urban Collector has her at just $82.
- Circle Red has it for $90.
- Entertainment Earth has her at $90.
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