Figure Name: Tamaki Kousaka Deluxe
Figure Maker: Kotobukiya
Retail/List Price: ¥12,800
Available at: HobbyLink Japan
Now, certainly, a character like Tamaki needs little introduction. One of the most popular characters ever from a fairly popular visual novel, Tamaki's been drawn, modeled, and marketed more times than I can count. Indeed, while To Heart itself may have drifted into visual novel history, the fact Tamaki continues to breed such popularity speaks quite a bit for her character -- or that people just really, really like curvy redheads.
Whatever the case may be, she's hard to miss, and it's not always easy to make a decision on just which Tamaki one should add to their collection, particularly when the options are as sizable as this Deluxe version in particular. So, let's get into things!
First off, she's packaged in a fairly standard box. The window is nice and large giving you a good look at Tamaki herself, and I also like the inclusion of the source artwork in the corner rather than just showing more images of the very figure you're about to unpack. The package is tied together with Kotobukiya's classy logo, and it all comes together rather nicely, if simply.
Now, I've owned a few 1/5 scale figures, but I'm pleased to say Tamaki is my first coming in at 1/4. You wouldn't necessarily think such a small jump would make a difference in size, but Tamaki is enormous! Even kneeling down she's almost as tall as the average 1/5 scale character, and she's quite hefty to boot, weighing in at over four pounds!
One thing I found interesting is that while she certainly stands up well enough on her own, the included base is, well, curious to say the least. It's a soft blue cushion, just big enough to fit her on it without the popsicle. Given the theme, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be further melted popsicle or water, but it's a nice cute little touch.
As for her popsicle itself, it's big. Really big. Bigger than Tamaki herself, as you can see, and nearly a foot long as it towers at just a bit over eleven inches. While it's almost as simple as you'd expect from a popsicle, Koto added some small touches to add just a bit of flavor. Along with the melted tip, droplets run down the sides here and there, and they've also added some writing along the stick itself. Of course, the real important part of the whole package is Tamaki herself, so without further ado let's take a look at the lovely lady!
When it comes to her overall positioning, I really dig it. It's got an air of casualness about it, particularly in the way Tamaki's arms are draped around the popsicle. I'd be avoiding the elephant in the room if I didn't acknowledge the many directions Kotobukiya could have taken with a massive popsicle and a character known for her sex appeal, so I'm glad to see the figure has a larger air of "fun!" than it does "I belong in porn!"
Nothing makes this more clear than the absolutely adorable expression on her face! Tamaki figures range from looking sexy to naughty and much in between, but few I can recall have an expression that just screams cute. Her bright eyes and smile, coupled with the silliness of her tongue poking out is all just too much. I'm not a huge fan of the original artwork, but Koto lent the expression an air of their own, and it's really fantastic. I couldn't be happier with how cute it turned out.
Of course, it wouldn't be Tamaki if there wasn't some cheesecake, and certainly along with all the cuteness she serves it up in spades. While I love her figure overall, particularly her stomach and legs, I unfortunately do have to say this is the one area I'm not too much a fan of. Tamaki's always been a rather endowed character, but here she just looks more fake than large. It's not a deal breaker, but it is disappointing to see her curves swinging to the less-than-natural side. Fortunately the popsicle is in the way, further aiding in keeping it from being a huge concern.
Indeed, there's still plenty to love! The aforementioned stomach and legs are very nicely crafted, and beyond just being fanservicey, make a nice point in the difference between figures of this scale and those around the smaller norm. Tamaki's 1/4 scale really lets Koto sculpt things carefully, and you get a lot of anatomical detail you wouldn't otherwise. You can see this mostly in the line of her stomach and ribs, though it's noticeable all over the figure.
Naturally this detail extends to the hair too, and she's got a nice lush look that completely covers her back, accentuating both her unique twintails along with a number of messy strands hanging loosely. I do wish the actual back of her hair apart from the twintails was a little more defined, but her trademark hairstyle is very noticeable and that's the important part!
Over all, Tamaki ends up being a fantastic figure with a few minor quibbles that shouldn't really turn any real fan away. As a fan, I absolutely love it, and she's definitely the best quality overall amongst the few large scale figures I've had my eye on. Some have come close, but she definitely feels the most solidly and capably crafted despite the niggling issues, and I'd absolutely have to recommend her not just to Tamaki fans, but anyone that wants a high quality, attractive figure that's quite a bit larger than the norm!
[Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for providing us with this sample!]
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