Tomopop Review: Chara-Ani Niitengo Ore no Imouto Collection
4:00 PM on 09.19.2011
I've gone through several different "phases" with this petit collection. When I first saw it, it was just plain excitement. I loved the idea of a cute little collection of Ore no Imouto figures, and didn't hesitate too long to pre-order them!
Then, a community member posted about their set in the forums along with a warning that the quality control was terrible, paint splotches and molding defects galore. This, of course, worried me, but I was still looking forward to receiving them. After that, a delay in the mail worried me even more, thinking I may have lost them altogether. On Saturday, I received them and was nothing but delighted to take them out of the box right away and inspect them, shoot them and share them with you.
That being said, follow me through the jump and see how my set came out looking, whether I ran into any troubles and what turned out spectacularly well!
I didn't focus on the box too much. It's mostly yellows, oranges and greens along with a few pictures of the figures around it. This is a picture of the top of the box and you could check out the rest in the gallery. The only other thing I'd mention is the inner flaps of the box had some cut-outs which just had pictures of the figures again, so I didn't end up photographing them (forgot about them altogether). I may use them as book marks or something, though ...
Once you open up the big box, you get a bunch of little boxes, par to the course. Inside the little boxes, not only is each figure wrapped piece for piece, each set of bags was then wrapped over in bubble-wrap. It took a little longer to open everything, but I can appreciate the extra attention to keeping all the figures safe and not-broken.
Here are all the standing figures lined up without the alternate versions. Ayase comes with an alternate face, and I was confused to see that I had not one but three Meruru figures. As it turns out, two of them were Witch Meruru and one of them is Kanako dressed up as Meruru, the difference being the eyes, hair and expression. The other "filler" trading figure I got was Saori, which I am not too upset about, considering she needs much more figure love than she's received.
One thing I like about this set opposed to the petit Nendoroids is instead of having a stand plugged into their backs, their feet have pegs. It's a good and a bad thing, because I actually had one break due to inconsistent hole sizes for the corresponding pegs, but overall, I like the effect and had little issues with anything. The pegs are long enough that balancing isn't a problem, so it's just a matter of being careful when putting the figures together and attaching them to the base.
I'll start up with Meruru since I mentioned there were two different ones! To the left is Witch Meruru proper, and to the right is what I assume to be Kanako dressed up as Meruru (and looking a bit grumpy, too!). [Update: Thanks to Kyrie, we've identified this as Kirino, which is a bit more fitting than Kanako!] They both feature different hair styles and expressions, although the pigtails, clothing and wands are the same. For the full turn-around, you can check out the gallery. With one exception, which I'll show below, the paint and molding were just fine on these two. they came out very clean, and one of the arms is poseable so you could make it look like she's holding onto the wand better (if you have more patience than I do for arms popping off).
Here's a close up of Kanako Kirino. She's got some odd blue line streaked on her left (your right) eye, there, which you may or may not be able to see too well depending on the image resizing here. I have no idea what that line is all about, and I'm going to assume it's a goof since it's not on the other eye. I love the expression as well as the inclusion of the "moe fang," though. The wand is a bit easier to see in this image as well, which has little beads inside and some simple, yet pretty molding on the wings and all that. It's attached at the base to her right hand, and the left hand is poseable to lift it to hold the wand or keep it low like I did. As you can tell, this is also one of the figures I had an issue with the peg on the base. I didn't dare force it any deeper into the base lest it twists off.
Next up is Saori! You've got the full turn-around here, since she's pretty straight forward. She's giving ya a "hang loose" or "way cool" or whatever you interpret it as hand signal over there, carrying her back pack with otaku stuff and wearing her usual goofy glasses. I didn't really take issue with her figure either, although some of the lines were just a little sloppy (nothing you'd notice when she's displayed). The pigtails (like Meruru's) are separate pieces you pop in and pose how you like.
Well, if it isn't the little show-stopper herself, Kirino! She came with the maid version as well as a really ... I don't know if that's frustrated or "hungry" for some piece of merchandise, but it's a funny expression all the same. There's a picture in the gallery that the faces show a little more close-up, and you could see the eye details on school-clothes Kirino (they've got the swirly thing going on), as well as possibly a few little smudges on maid Kirino's face. I left them on for the pictures, but they came off with an eraser.
Looking at them from the side though, there's one little splotch on Kirino's hair to the right. It looks like they share the hair mold though, and you could even sort of catch a glimpse of panties under the school skirt. The lines on her socks were a little bit sloppy too, but those are pretty minor in comparison. Maid Kirino has a little bit of smudging in her hair, where it looks like it was meeting some black paint on her dress. The pieces came separate, so I am not sure why there would be some black dusting there.
Kuroneko, why do you look like you're dancing? My goodness, you are so adorable. Her pose and expression here kill me with cute, but this is another "sloppy line" victim, from her headband to the ruffles of her dress. With her, it's not really noticeable when she's on display, but it's still disappointing.
Finally, here's Ayase. She's the last in the bit of standing figures, and she's got upset expressions all around. I'm sure she's directing something at Kyousuke on the left there, and Kirino on the right. Both of them are the same, and this figure actually really scared me because her legs were too far apart to fit in the peg holes as they were. I ended up squeezing them until they fit in, but heard a scary crack when they came together. I didn't see any breakage, but I'm not going to tamper with these any more, you know, just kind of leave them on the base and displayed in peace. One of them has a little splotch at her tie, but overall the paint was good on both. You can check out the full turn-around at the gallery.
These are the two sitting figures that came with the set. You've got Kuroneko sitting on Comet-kun and Kirino sitting on a star. I absolutely love these, and barring a small defect in Kirino's hair, they are practically flawless. They're definitely my favorite, and I love it when figure makers break away from standard poses or bases. These just rest on top.
Here are the star and plush with the butt dents! You can also see a star on Comet-kun which would normally be covered by Kuroneko's legs.
This is where that hair defect I mentioned was. It's more with the mold than the paint, and not truly noticeable since you'd probably be posing her facing out, not to the side like this. Kirino's left arm (sticking out awkwardly here) is poseable, so you could have her kind of bending down looking at something on the ground in front of her or below her, but I posed her a little more upright for the review. Kuroneko is just cute and well-done all around.
Overall, I'm really happy with the set. There are a few defects here and there, but I wouldn't really think them as deal-breakers except for my scare with Ayase's base. Whether they're worth the price is definitely relative though, depending on how you value petit sets and if you expect something of higher quality. I personally felt the price was a little high, but I don't regret purchasing these. If any of you end up getting the set, I hope they come relatively goof-free!
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