I'm kind of picky about buying mostly quality figurines, but I'm willing to give any company a chance or two to see what they can make. Was my bargain priced figure just a piece of junk or was it a treasure in disguise? Hit the jump to find out.
Figure Name: Figuarts Zero Mikono
Figure Maker: Bandai
Available at: HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi | Plamoya | Big Bad Toy Store
In English on the Figuarts Zero box it states that Figuarts Zero is going to be a new standard of figure series with an easily collectable size and price. They focus on form and coloring to reproduce each character's charm. So, did Bandai accomplish this with Mikono?
Mikono's box is certainly small, making it easy to collect and store. I placed her box next to one of my favorite Alter boxes. As you can see, the Figuarts Zero box is much smaller. While not visible here it is also really narrow. I could probably fit four or five of this depth wise into the Alter box.
Packed in the box with Mikono are just a few things. Inside are herself, of course, as well as her pet "cat" with it's own stand. She also comes with an extra hair bun so you can display her with her "cat" in her hair, or on her base, your choice.
The base she comes with is elegant and has a simple hexagon style. The overall look is pretty classy. I like how her name is scrolled across the bottom. The triangles and other geometric shapes also look good.
There is a little bit of assembly required, but it is a snap, literally. It only took me a few seconds. Just poke a little plastic peg up through a hole on the bottom and you're done.
Mikono is supported on the stand by just one peg. Even so she seems steady, the grip is very firm and I think she will stay securely in place.
Speaking of her feet, they use a little transparent plastic on them to form wings of sort. While these look okay, I think a purple color would have been nicer.
Her little cat is kind of cute, and its addition is what makes this version of Mikono one of the better versions available.
Her eyes look just like I would expect from Mikono, and I do like her overall design and color scheme which is why I bought her. Though there are a few cheap points on this figurine like the occasional flecks of black paint that should not be there. Also, the seams around her shoulders and atop her head are pretty visible.
Again, except for minor defects, such as the ding in her cat's ears that you can see from this angle, her pose is overall fairly attractive.
Here I switched out her hair bun with the cat to her plain one. It is really easy to pull out and there is no risk of damaging anything.
Her skirt is nicely painted in this hot pink color and all of the dots on her skirt seem to be painted right. Unfortunately there are black flecks of paint everywhere on her skirt which is totally unacceptable to me. Also, the transparent plastic is too smoky in color and looks a little off. I think that Bandai would have been better off simply keeping the bottom of the skirt black than trying to be fancy.
Not to say that her skirt looks totally unattractive. It does a good job of teasing you with her leg and the ruffles in seem natural enough.
I usually frown on showing upskirt shirts of figurines, but there is a lot of detail and some of the best paint job done on this figure that you can only see from this angle. Her shimapan are very pretty and have no painting flaws at all. Her hand sculpt isn't bad either.
Here is the Figuarts Zero Mikono placed next to Alter's Milla. At a glance it is clear to see that Alter wins out in terms of color and detail. At this distance though Mikono is easier on the eyes than when close up because none of the paint defects or little dents really stand out at a glance. Mikono does not seem to be too bad considering the fantastic low price I bought her for.
In the end I am happy with my purchase for the price that I paid. However I would have not been happy had I paid $30 or more for her. Given all the little defects that I saw with her I am not likely to purchase any more Figuarts Zero figures unless they are at a bargain price.
I can only hope that this Mikono was a poor example of what Bandai can do with their line and had more defects than usual. I'm reminded very strongly as to why I prefer to buy top quality products from companies such as Alter, Good Smile Company, and Kotobukiya for most of my figurine wants.
Still all that said, there are not many figurines of Mikono, or any of the characters from Aquarion Evol around right now, so if your a fan of the series you should still check her out.Photo Gallery: (22 images)
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