In the highly competitive super-deformed figure market, Bandai's Chibi-Arts have made their place at the top of the field. Previous reviews have shown that they are of a similar quality to Good Smile Company's Nendoroid and, in many cases, have come from more desirable series. Shows like Tiger & Bunny and One Piece are fat cash cows, so it's nice that the merch coming from said cows looks nice and is fulfilling.
Figure Name: Chibi-Arts Perona from One Piece
Figure Maker: Bandai
Retail Price: ¥3,000
Available at: HobbyLink Japan
As per the usual, let's take a look at Perona's box. It's pretty standard fair for Chibi-Arts. It holds Perona well and displays her adorable mug to passers by. Of course, it's difficult to review a figure in a box, so let's get this cutie out into the open air.
Here she is! I've always dug Perona's design, and it's clear that Oda made her to be highly marketable. She's colorful, intricately clothed and absolutely adorable. She's unlike any other character in One Piece, which is a lot to say considering the sheer amount of people that have appeared in that series. While you can't really appreciate it on an SD figure, she's also got a nice set of curves, which doesn't hurt.
Like the other Chibi-Arts, Perona is held up by a peg in the back of her head connected to a solid base. It stays out of the way and does a good job keeping her standing. While some won't like the peg hole, I find that it's the best and most effective way to keep her posed. I'm sure there are some people that remember some older Nendoroids that had clunky plastic pieces that are meant to go under skirts. I always found those to be unintuitive and annoying more than helpful, so I'll take a peg over that any day. A healthy medium could be the magnets used in the Panty & Stocking Nendos (discussed), but I haven't seen that widely utilized. It's a shame; it worked quite well with those two.
Here we get a look at several of Perona's accessories. Foremost, she's got her gothic lolita umbrella and one of her adorable ghosts. They're both part of her character and they look just as fantastic in chibi form as they did on her P.O.P. You can check the gallery for more detailed shots of both. They're both very well done. You can also see one of her alternate faces. Much like the other Chibi-Arts we've reviewed, there are several expressions that you can alternate between, as well as several sets of arms. For the other arms, you'll need to switch her mantle out, as the one that's already on the figure isn't shaped for anything but stiff arms. Oh, and be careful when switching out expressions when she's wearing her mantle. It was hard for my big, beefy fingers to get a grip on her head to pull it out.
Here is Perona's other accessory and expression. She looks quite happy to be holding that lollipop! You can't quite tell from this angle, but her pigtails are on ball joints, so you can move them around as well. The hairclips limit her movement a bit, but you can get some amusing angles out of them. There aren't any additional legs, as they are on ball joints and move around with ease.
I zoomed in a bit so you can check out the level of detail Bandai put into this little gal. I'm impressed that the molded the buckles of her boots when they could've gotten away with making them red hunks of plastic. I'm even more impressed with her skirt and the frills on her blouse. I always appreciate it when companies go out of their way to get the little things right.
Finally, this wouldn't be a Chibi-Arts release if there weren't some speech bubbles! I'm not entirely sure what all of these say, but I know for sure that the second on from the right is Perona's distinctive laugh, horohorohorohoro. I can also hazard a guess that the second from the left says "Negative Hollow," as that's the name of one of her attacks. The first on the left mentions something about a ghost and something about possession? Maybe? Anyway, they all match well with her and would look good next to Perona.
All in all, Perona is an excellent addition to the Chibi-Arts line. Anybody that digs One Piece, gothic lolitas or cute girls in general would like Chibi-Arts Perona. The only thing you've got to watch out for is switching out her facial expression when she's got her mantle on. It's in there tight and I had to apply firm pressure to get it out. She's well worth the ¥3,000!
[A big thank you to the folks over at HobbyLink Japan for providing us with the figure for review!]Photo Gallery: (17 images)
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