4:00 PM on 01.30.2013
Mawaru Penguindrum's Princess of the Crystal looks lovelier than ever with Kotobukiya's treatment
This lovely Princess of the Crystal statue was a surprise when she arrived at my doorstep. Another Princess? Alright. But this time, it's Kotobukiya. And this time, she isn't posed so similarly to other iterations of the characters by other manufacturers. Great!
Kotobukiya's Princess of the Crystal is sculpted by Hideaki Kiyohara, also responsible for the likes of ArtFX J Hiei (reviewed), and my favorite ever figure of Aisaka Taiga. At a glance, it looks like another score in this figure, too. My full thoughts are below.
Princess' box here is cute and pink, with plenty of little fluffy shapes and stars to set the mood. Inside the box, she's pretty much assembled save for having to peg her into her base. For me, it took a slight amount of leg-pulling (persuasion) to match her feet and then a bit of her dress to the pegs, but the cracking sound wasn't as horrifying as usual. It was only slightly off.
Once she's ready, it's a beautiful ensemble. She's in her usual outfit, but instead of posing with her arm sticking out or something, she's kind of sashaying towards you and holding one side of her dress in her hand, her other hand in a fist on her hip. Everything else, like her hair and hat, are sweeping to the other side.
Looking at her from behind, you can get a better idea of how her dress is billowing behind her and her hair whipping to the side there. I also can't stress enough how nicely they nailed the lacquer finish along with the sculpting to make the dress look like actual material.
My first impression of the figure? Absolutely fantastic. I don't even have a connection with the character -- I just really appreciate what I have in front of me. On to some details:
Her base has this nice shine to it that offsets the figure rather nicely. If you had asked me what would be the perfect color to make the base, I would never have considered this limey green with a white border, going instead for a dramatic purple or even yellow. I guess it's a good thing I'm not a figure designer.
Going a bit further up, here's a look at her legs and the bottom of her top. I know a lot of folks aren't a fan of the glossy finish, but once again I'm going to mention that I like the overall effect. I like the outline that the light makes in the above picture around her legs -- so sleek.
We saw earlier she's got her hand on her hip, so here's a look at that. Her body reminds me a bit of Taiga's since she's flat-chested and full of attitude. It feels appropriate that the sculptor is familiar with this body type having worked on her beforehand, and I like the subtle molding at her hips to make the wrinkles and such. Something you could also see in this picture though, is that her glove is a separate piece from her hand (it sticks out just a little).
Her hair is nice and wavy, and there is no gradient to it besides some slight darkening down at the ends. Nice and simple. There's a look at the emperor penguin hat as well, which features nice, clean paint and more of that glossy finish.
Finally, we've got her torso and lovely face. I'm happy to report (and show) that there are no paint goofs to be found on her top, even between the black and white areas, or even with the gold buttons. Everything is perfectly clean, including her face which is slightly down-turned (the one drawback I could find in this figure) but otherwise not too blank-looking. It might just be the art style with her eyes that makes other figures of her look kind of emotionless, but she's got a little more spirit here thanks to the sassy pose and sweeping look the way her hair frames her face.
Kotobukiya's rendition of Princess of the Crystal is a real winner. In an effort to be less gushy, I actually held out on writing this review for several days after handling and shooting the figure, telling myself, Kristina -- you need to calm down and be honest, unbiased... you know, give everyone all the ups and downs. After a few days though, I couldn't think of anything to complain about besides my usual personal gripe with figures that have down-turned faces.
If you're a fan of the show and the character, I can recommend this figure with ease. If you have no idea who she is, it's up to your judgement and of course, the way you collect based on your tastes and whether you usually buy figures based on their looks alone. In the spirit of Valentine's Day coming up and sharing the love of nice figures, this one is going to be a give-away very soon, so please keep your eye on our contests!
Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample! She's a beautiful addition to any collection, making a statement without taking up too much space. Check out the gallery to see more images that didn't make it to the main body of my review.
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