Sunday, July 7, 2013

Figma R. Dorothy Wayneright Part 1

Character popularity versus merchandising

The second Figma figure to be featured on the blog this year after Mari Illustrious Makinami coming up in this new review series after Pokepla Pikachu. ^^

Released in June 2011, this is Figma R. Dorothy Wayneright, the main female character from Sunrise's 1999 super robot anime series "The Big O". ^^

In terms of merchandising, I always looked at this Figma figure to be part of the "buildup" to Max Factory's hefty release of Max Gokin The Big O, which came out two months after her. The same merchandising purpose was perhaps applicable to Roger Smith, the Big O's pilot and protagonist of the show as well, who received his Figma treatment and was released one month after Dorothy, albeit as an event limited item. Without the release of Max Gokin The Big O, I think it would might take a revival of the story or some special anniversary celebration of the anime in order for a merchandise of Dorothy to come out. ^^;

As someone who love the story and unique animation style of "The Big O", Dorothy is a character that I like very much. Despite the intricate roles she played in the story, and her own unique characteristics, I understand that her lack of facial emotion and plain appearance make her a rather difficult character for merchandising. At this point I feel compelled to just say, "the element of moe is lacking on Dorothy." but then I realize that unique inhumane character design could be considered moe by some. XD Still, the merchandising issue of character popularity versus actual sales result needs to be considered carefully before a figure is released. A character's popularity may be very high in the story he or she originates from, but that doesn't automatically translate into good sales result of figurines or action figures. This is especially true for older anime series - more than a decade old in the case of "The Big O" and Dorothy. ^^;

I wrote about this issue back in September 2011 in response to A-Label's design of a 1/4 scale figurine of Balalaika from "Black Lagoon".

In regards to the merchandising issue mentioned above, I certainly appreciate Max Factory's effort in designing and releasing a Figma version of this character, although the list of accessories is quite short for Dorothy, unfortunately. ^^; If I could have it my way, I would put in the grand piano that Dorothy used to annoy Roger a couple of times. ^^ Then again, that would definitely drive up the price while simultaneously reducing her perceived market sales success. ^^; An average release for Dorothy is better than nothing at all no doubt, especially when the figure herself is very well done, and is a very show-accurate representation of the character. Since liking the character was the most dominant motivation for me in getting this figure, I wasn't going to dismiss her just because of the lack of accessories. I actually pre-ordered this figure the moment she was made available at the local web store I frequently visit. ^^

Front view of the box.

(Left) Product label and character name.
(Right) Merchandising seal of Sunrise, the production company behind "The Big O".

Except for her option hand units and Figma stand, all of Dorothy's accessories 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.

Dorothy has the same box size as that of Haruhi School Summer Fuku Ver.

Comparison with the larger-type box size of KOS-MOS Ver. 4.

Box open.

Text-based instruction on how to swap out the figure's face part printed on one of box's ears that is mighty "useful" to international customers. ^^;

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.

A backdrop depicting Paradigm City (I suppose ^^;), the main location setting of the story.
Oddly, Paradigm City is depicted to look a lot like modern day London in the image. XD

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

Straight out of box display of Dorothy.

A look at all of Dorothy's accessories and option parts, as well as more images of the figure herself in the next posting. ^^

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