Monday, February 11, 2013

Chibi-Arts Boa Hancock Part 1

A  Nendoroid  Chibi-Arts figure

A review on a colorful and cute figure is totally in place with the celebration during this festive season I believe. ^^

Somewhat previewed in the Chinese New Year posting last night, this is Chibi-Arts Boa Hancock from Tamashii Nations. ^^

Released in July 2011, Boa Hancock is the first character from "One Piece" to be featured in this action figure series, contrary to the S.H. Figuarts and Figuarts Zero series which saw Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist of the story as one of their earliest releases. Was there any special reason behind selecting Boa Hancock as the first release from "One Piece"? Who knows what were Tamashii Nations planning at that moment. ^^ Looking at the series as a whole, one would think that Kamen Rider is going to be a big theme in Chibi-Arts with Kamen Rider W Cyclone Joker been selected to kick start the entire series, but there hasn't been another Kamen Rider figure ever since. ^^;

As hinted in its name, the Chibi-Arts series features action figures of characters in deformed scale (chibi, ちび - small). The name actually sounds much easier to understand what is it about than Good Smile Company's Nendoroid series, if you never heard of it before. ^^ Essentially, the two are on the same level in terms of their product type. The Chibi-Arts series can still be considered a pretty new entry in this "competition", since Nendoroid has been around for a decade or so. The so-called "competition" is not exactly there I think, since releases are based on which company has the merchandising right to which title and the extend of product range each company can dwell into. On the subject of "One Piece" for example, only Bandai and Megahouse are releasing figurines for that title, so Good Smile Company is out of the "wrestling ring". XD Even for Bandai and Megahouse, instead of competing against one another, their "One Piece" releases can be clearly distinguished into different categories and market focus, so you can't say there's competition between the two as well.

When you think about the scale of Bandai and the seemingly endless number of titles it owns for merchandising (exclusive ones especially), it's amazing that the company didn't start the Chibi-Arts series six or seven years earlier. ^^; Then again, Tamashii Nations weren't set up so many years back, and figurine release of anime characters in general just didn't seem to be part of Bandai's main focus back then, so maybe the idea of Chibi-Arts or something similar was already conceived by the folks at Bandai a long time ago, but it got sidelined in favor of other areas.

For the character herself, I never hid my love for Boa Hancock in the reviews of her two Figuarts Zero version. The first release and the purple cheongsam with Salome version realized the character's beauty and elegance (to a satisfactory level overall I would say), but in a deformed scale on this Chibi-Arts release, it's cuteness overload for Boa Hancock. ^^ For myself, I can't think of any reason not to get her at all. ^^

Given the huge amount of accessories and option parts included, not many of them are visible through the front window of the box.

Merchandising seal of Toei Animation, Chibi-Arts and "One Piece" logos on the front cover of the box.

Top and bottom sides of the box.

Left and right sides of the box.

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.

Comparison with the box of Figuarts Zero Boa Hancock.

Comparison with the box of a regular Nendoroid release, Queens' Blade Alleyne in this case..

While its box size is evidently smaller, Chibi-Arts Boa Hancock feels much heavier, and seems more compact as there's less space between the figure herself and the accessories around her as seen through the box's front window.

Box open.


Top view of the content.

With the cover of the tray removed.
Apart from the main tray that holds the figure and larger accessories, there's a smaller tray that holds Boa's many option arm parts.

Chibi-Arts Boa Hancock and the accessories on the main tray.

Closeups on the content.

The second tray which features even more accessories.

Closeups on the content.

Rear view of the main tray.

(Left) A package storing the display base and related parts is taped to the bottom corner behind the tray.
(Right) From the side, some of the talk bubble cutouts with Boa Hancock's famous lines can be seen inside the display base package. ^^

A red backdrop with plenty of love hearts. ^^
The image is the same as the background of the figure's product pictures on Tamashii Nations' official site.

Given the number of accessories and option parts included, having an instruction sheet on how they are to be used to configure some of Boa Hancock's "designated" poses is absolutely necessary.

All of her poses require a specific combination of parts it seems.

A straight out-of-box display of Chibi-Arts Boa Hancock.
As you can see (and guessed from the beginning), the figure's tiny feet are incapable of supporting her ginormous head. ^^;

A look at the package containing the display base and related parts.

The talk bubble cutouts are stored in a small package separated from the display base parts.

To allow Boa Hancock to stand properly, only the base and a support block are needed.
All the other parts are going to be introduced in another posting.

The base is about 6cm in diameter.

(Left) The support block pegs onto the base via a slot in its middle.
(Right) The two gaps on the block are meant to clip onto Boa Hancock's legs to support the figure.

Using the base, the figure can now stand properly. ^^

I guess since that's her expression on the box art, the figure is given the blushed look as her default expression. ^^ It's a very cute side of Boa Hancock showing the moment she's taken out of the box. ^^

A look at the many accessories and option parts of this Chibi-Arts figure in the next posting. ^^

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