One of my favorite websites to spend my hard-earned cash is Fangamer. Independently owned and operated by a dedicated group of Earthbound fans, Fangamer has sold some of the best video game clothing and merchandise for the past three years. They've expanded beyond Earthbound to include Chrono Trigger, Mario, Donkey Kong, Metal Gear, Metroid, Star Fox and Final Fantasy-related items, such as some incredible looking shirts, jackets, hats, pins and bags.
One of the best things that the Fangamer crew has done is work with artist Camile Young, who has created some amazing handmade pieces over the last couple of years. Last November, Young and Fangamer released another gem, which I was able to get my hands on during their Black Friday sale. The piece (or pair of pieces in this case) is called Espera, based off of Terra, from the SNES classic Final Fantasy 6.
Hit the jump to see more pics of this lovely lady or watch my unboxing!
After getting my package from Fangamer, I ripped it open to find this box. It's a sturdy bit of purple cardboard, with a nice print on the lid of the box. Be sure to check out the close up photo in the gallery, where you can also see the wax seal that Young placed on the ribbon. It's a great little print that I wouldn't mind having on its own.
As it says on the box, I got the 20th Espera. While not in the lower numbers, I'd say that 20 out of 150 ain't too bad. That's right, Espera is limited to 150 pieces, which is a pretty small run. I paniked a bit when I saw how few of her there would be, but as it turned out I had no problem getting her. Good thing too, as I already have enough stress ordering Portrait of Pirates on a monthly basis. Don't need to add to that!
So here is Espera! If Terra's pose looks familiar, that's because Young was inspired by La Montagne, by Aristide Maillol. Young managed to capture the thoughtful gaze of the original in her sculpt of our esper heroine. As mentioned in the intro, this is actually a two piece set, with Terra being separate from her base. I'm not quite sure what the base is supposed to be, but it resembles a beast with wings. Perhaps one of the summons?
Here you can see the 'head' of the base in greater detail, along with what looks like scales and feet. The casting by the folks over at Mana Studios is great, as they managed to recreate so many tiny details, such as the aforementioned scales and feet. Zoomed in shots in the gallery show they even added an indentation on the base where her hand is supposed to rest. I'm also quite fond of the ice blue resin used for the base. It really stands out on my desk.
Here are some additional shots of smaller details, like Terra's hand in her hair. It's amazing how both Young and Mana Studios were able to put so much life into such a small figure. Of course, Young's paint job has a lot to do with making Terra look as great as she does. Look at the highlights in her hair, the separation of her toes, the color and intensity of her eyes. I absolutely love it.
My only complaint is how delicate she feels. That has a lot to do with her size and the material used, so I wouldn't say that it's a flaw, per se. It's just that I'm extra cautious when I handle her with my clumsy meat hooks. It can also be a little annoying to get her sit just right on her base, but as long as you have hand and foot matched up to the proper indentations, you shouldn't have a problem getting her to sit right.
If you're interested in Espera, you're in luck! She's still in stock over at Fangamer. You can pick her up for $70. Now, that may seem a bit pricey, considering that she's pretty small. However, you have to consider that this is handmade and hand-painted, not your usual mass-produced figure that was made by soulless machines. This is a work of art and Young deserves every dollar for her hard work. If you dig good artwork by excellent artists, please consider supporting Young and Fangamer as a whole.
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