Thanks to Kotobukiya's ArtFX J line, I've been taken back to nostalgia road with the recently released Yami Yugi of Yu-Gi-Oh! fame (reviewed), and now again with Yu Yu Hakusho's Hiei. What I like about the character selection so far is they're from shows I used to watch on TV, here in America. Though the character I'm looking forward to most in this line is the possibility of Kuwabara getting a figure, I was pleasantly surprised with what showed up at my doorstep a few days ago!
Hit past the jump for my full review of this ruthless dragon master.
Figure Name: ArtFX J Hiei
Hiei's box does the job. He's a small guy, so even to scale (1/8) it ends up being a small figure, and it would follow the box doesn't need to be all that big to keep him safe. Besides the figure itself, the tray just comes with his base, an extra arm and an extra face.
Once he's out of the box, he is by default with his right arm bare (the bandage is held by his left hand) showing the tattoo/mark concealing the darkness dragon and his Jagan Eye is covered with a bandanna. He's wearing the plain black costume he has on for pretty much the entire show, though the figure doesn't come with a weapon, his cape, or anything frilly.
His base is pretty cool in that it elevates him a little bit from the surface you place him down on. I think this first time I've seen a base like this in person. Besides that, it's a nice, transparent blue with metallic silver detail on it. Technically, Hiei does not actually need the base to be balanced, though, since his feet are firmly planted on the ground.
Here's a look at his right arm with the dragon sealed in. The paint details are nice and smooth, no smudges or bleeding.
Changing his face is an easy operation, but it might be tough on your fingers the first time around due to the spikey hair. It took me a while to pop that bit of hair at the front of his head out to swap it. Annoyingly, when you switch to the Jagen Eye, it's hard to see it at all because there isn't an extra tuft of parted hair to properly display it. Above you can see what he looks like without the hair covering his forehead.
His eyes look about the same on both faces, but he's smiling a bit when his Jagan eye is out. I love that evil look! I also like that despite the fact the evil eye is more or less covered up by hair, it's still nice and clean with no smudges or lack of detail.
And here he is with his much more interesting evil face. Swapping his arm is another simple procedure, and the dragon is super cool. It looks dark and solid at first if you are looking at the figure in indoor or dim lighting, but actually it's semi-transparent and purple. The front of his hair also has a little purple tinge to it that matches.
Rawr! The dragon is awesome.
It's pretty cool how the dragon coils around is arm. The thing doesn't budge at all, so as long as you're gentle with Hiei you shouldn't have any problems with it getting loose.
The figure overall is rather simplistic. I mean, Hiei is just wearing his usual uniform, but even then, it's usually obvious when a figure company goes through the trouble of doing it right or cutting corners. Besides the lack of an extra hair piece for the front, I don't really have any real complaints when it comes to Hiei. Maybe fans would have been more satisfied with an extra arm holding a sword or something, but even like this, the figure is a solid representation of the character and that's usually good enough for me.
More than anything, it looks like he's going to look best together with Kurama, which also sees its release this month. These are all going to make a fabulous diorama once everyone's released!
Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample! Hiei looks great, and I hope you Tomofolk will be charmed, too. Be sure to check out the gallery for more images which didn't make it into the main body of the review, and as always, leave your feedback in the comments section below.
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