Thursday, March 21, 2013

Figma Mari Illustrious Makinami Part 1

Mari "Luxurious Figma" Makinami

The first Figma review on this blog this year. ^^

From "Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance", this is Mari Illustrious Makinami. Like many other items in my collection, the review for this figure is super-overdue, as she was released in November 2010, and I got mine roughly a month after that. A near 26-month overdue review this is. ^^;

Mari Illustrious Makinami is my favorite character from the ongoing Evangelion movie series. Voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (坂本真綾), she's a meganekko in pink skintight Plugsuit who goes berserk when fighting an Angel. ^^ Apart from her combat skills, she is impressive to me on the fan service front. ^o^ Much of my appreciation for Mari was already mentioned in my reviews of her Revoltech Fraulein and RAH versions I believe, so there's not much more I need to repeat about the character for this Figma version. ^^

Interestingly and ironically (to me), the Revoltech Fraulein was released just about six months before this Figma version came out, but on my blog, there's a two-year gap between their reviews. XD

Because of the similarity in their product nature, comparison between this Figma version and the Revoltech Fraulein version is definitely unavoidable. I'm certainly very keen on including that as a must-have section in this review series, ^^ although my real intention is just to see the major differences between the two instead of having a superiority competition. ^^ I like the character very much, that's the simple reason behind my purchase decision for all her merchandises I got thus far, so the differences/strengths/weaknesses in their merchandise design are not going to make me prefer one version over the other in any way. ^^

On the other hand, as Revoltech and Figma have their own character series to focus on for action figure release, this sort of head-to-head "face-off" is quite rare, especially with such a short gap between the two versions' release dates. ^^ It would be very interesting to see the differences between them. ^^

Then again, just a quick browse of the two versions' content, this Figma version gains an early impressive score with the awesome Entry Plug module, with is not included for the Revoltech Fraulein version. Since the character in her pink Plugsuit was only seen piloting Eva Unit 2 in "Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance", the Entry Plug module included is helpful to realize or at least to mimic some iconic scenes focusing on Mari from the movie. With the Berserker Mode option parts included, it's going to fun posing a shouting pink meganekko going crazy on top of a massage chair. XD

The content difference suddenly reminds of what I wrote about Tamashii Nations' S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Ryuki And Dragreder set as compared to Max Factory's Figma version when I got the former in September 2011. The merchandising scenario couldn't be any similar to that of the two Maris I believe, except Figma seems to be taking Revoltech's role as the "predecessor" with Figma Kamen Rider Ryuki. ^^; Essentially, the action figure of Kamen Rider Ryuki is pretty much the same between the S.H. Figuarts version and Figma version, but being a later release, the former included a full Dragreder as opposed to the latter's "half offer" and scored a winning first impression. The two versions are priced relatively close as well (3,990 Yen inclusive of tax for the S.H. Figuarts version versus 3,200 Yen inclusive of tax for the Figma version). For the two Maris, this Figma is just 300 Yen more than the Revoltech Fraulein version.

Whichever is the later release gains the favorable first impression when the two versions are paired for a quick comparison, but on the flip side, it also showed the opportunity for the figure to be designed better, and of course the intense pressure to do so for the later release to win over the initial offer made by the competitor. Interestingly enough, Max Factory gets to play the "successor" and "predecessor" with Figma releases of Mari and Kamen Rider Ryuki respectively. ^^

A wider package design like that of Figma BRS2035. Almost all of the accessories included can be seen through the front window.

Typical Figma design on all sides of the box.

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.

Box open.

Simple pictorial instruction on how to swap out the figure's face part is shown on one of box's ears.

Front view of the package content.

Package content without the top cover.

Closer look at the content.

Rear view of the package content.

Closer look at the content.

Pulled out from the bottom of the plastic tray are display bases, stands, folded instruction sheets and tons of option parts in plastic packages.

Special option hand unit and parts for Mari's Berserker Mode, including a super tiny green chest jewel.
Even though it is contained in its own little "compartment" on this particular plastic package, its size makes it an option part that requires extreme caution in handling to avoid losing it forever. Unlike the Revoltech Fraulein version that came with a spare green jewel, only one is included for this Figma version.

Not one, but two instruction sheets are included for Mari.

Instructions on configuring the Berserker Mode, posing the figure with the Entry Plug module and proper handling of the display stand are shown on the two sheets.

A pink backdrop that definitely suits the character. ^^

The cover skin cutout section intended for di:stage display base.

Straight out of box Mari Illustrious Makinami, with all the protective appendages and wrappers still attached. ^^

It's amazing to me that the figure manages to stand so firmly despite having really small feet, especially with "missing" heels. ^^

Tons of plastic wrappers between the figure's joints to be pulled off.

A laundry list of all the accessories and option part, including the massive Entry Plug module to be introduced in the next posting. ^^

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