About a month ago in the Tomopop forums, I set up a discussion post about grail figures. What I never told anyone was that something in particular had sparked the entire forum post, mostly because I was waiting for the right time to tell that story.
Today is that day. It's a story of how a figure slipped through my fingers on a number of occasions, of the difficult choices that were made, of a pursuit and patience in the face of prices that were two, three, four times the original value and the story of how that patience led to this moment.
This is the story of how I finally got my hands on Yamato's second Cammy figure, two years late.
I do remember the first time I saw her. It was May 2009. In fact, I even commented on that post with the following:
"Mark my words, this is not the last time you will see this Cammy on Tomopop. Yeah, I'm implying that I'll be reviewing her once I get her. But now, which one do I want? Blue, or pink? Hmmmmmm... "
That promise was kept, but it sure took a while.
You see, back in the day, I wasn't exactly flush with money. Being just graduated from college, just starting a new job a few months before, I was in no way well off enough to be ordering many figures. And frankly, for a good while, I didn't. I even had to pass on some like this Cammy, in part because of her US$99.99 price tag. I figured I'd pick her up on down the line at some point.
I was pretty mistaken. She didn't sell out, but she sold off pretty quick, and a few months later when I had the money for her, she was gone, save for eBay listings that had her at US$300. Yes, eBay is an evil thing, sometimes, isn't it? And it doesn't help that my timing was terribly, as I missed her a few times on Mandarake for dirt cheap. Turns out there were many others in the same boat as I was.
Instead, I got to spend the next two years searching high and low, waiting for an opportunity to find her that wasn't going to break the bank. That opportunity came five weeks ago in an eBay auction out of California. I can still remember sitting there, nervously, watching her price tick upward as the deadline neared. Two people were going at her in a bidding war, the price rising from US$40 to $50, $70, $85 with only 45 minutes left.
But a real eBay warrior knows not to make their move until the end, and I put in my one and only bid with 45 seconds to go to beat the US$91 bid currently in place. I'd hoped that it would be too short notice for my competition to react.
And I was right; I ended up winning her for US$106, only a $6 difference over her actual retail price two years ago.
But was the wait worth it? You tell me. If those 360-degree shots didn't make you say, "YES" then this face really should.
Just ... wow. Look at the sculpt and paint job. Her lips, her eyes, her nose all beautifully detailed. Her scar on her cheek is there, too, a darker color of skin tone and not the usual pink or oddly-chosen crimson red that I've seen on other figures. The hands on her gloves are all individually sculpted, and you can't see it on here, but yes, that includes fingernails, each individually painted.
Her base? It's translucent black, nothing too notable, but it doesn't detract from the real star of the show, so that's a plus.
DAT BUTT. You want to see attention to detail in the sculpt? This is actually a GREAT example: the little dimples and lines are actually where her muscles should be tensing if she were standing at attention at this pose, and her butt is a tiny little bit flat, but that's also how it ought to be if it were a real person doing this properly.
And the braids that are so characteristic of her? I've really never seen the level of detail in them on any other figure out there. Most completely skimp on this, but the sculptor — Reflect, who also did Yamato's other Cammy — has left no detail out.
And that detail; this figure is so full of it, it's ludicrous, really. Everything looks right, there's no seam issues, the colors are exactly as they should be. In three and a half years, no one has uttered this one word in a Show and Tell or a review on Tomopop, but I'm going to break that streak right now. She is flawless.
This is now my favorite figure in my collection, bar none. The only thing that's a disappointment is that if you don't have this figure in your collection by now, your odds of getting her are really almost none. I know someone a few weeks ago on Tomocast asked if there was one figure I could grab if my apartment was going up in flames, which one it would be. I had no answer then, but consider your question answered in this Show and Tell.
Now, as for the figure on the top of my grail figure list ...
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