In the past few years, Good Smile Company has generally become much better about the way it does Wonder Festival exclusive figures. They're now available from the GSC website as well as cons around the world, and the company tends to restrict its choices to variant versions of characters. Still, sometimes those variants are so great it's pretty difficult to resist, and so it proved with this adorably aggressive version of beloved Kill la Kill mascot Mako Mankanshoku. Is she worth jumping through the necessary hoops to get though? Read on and find out!
Figure Name: Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku Fight Club Spec Two Star Goku Uniform Ver.
Figure Maker: Good Smile Company
Retail Price: ¥4,167
Available at: N/A
Packaging wise, Mako is very much just another Nendoroid, even keeping the distinctive black and yellow aesthetic that all of the Kill la Kill Nendoroids. On the one hand I kind of like it that GSC doesn't make a big song and dance out of the exclusive variants - they even retain a standard number in the lineup. On the other, a little something to indicate that this Mako is a little special would be nice. Perhaps just a little flash in the corner? Regardless, this is a Nendoroid box, which means it's sturdy, smart and informative without being particularly interesting or spectacular.
Out of the box, Mako is immediately striking, largely due to that distinctive overcoat. It not only provides a really nice contrast to the blue and white of her uniform, but gives the figure a lot more width than a standard Nendoroid. Combined with the big chunky hat, the net effect is of a figure which feels much bigger than is standard for the line, even though that's not actually the case.
Looking from behind gives us a few more details of the coat/cape. You can see that it's hinged at the shoulder blades, a very welcome touch as it allows the coat to fit around Mako's shoulders much more easily than a single piece of plastic would. There's also jointing on the arms of the coat at the shoulders and elbows, and the overall result is a surprisingly poseable accessory. There's no clip or peg to fix the coat to Mako, it simply slips over the shoulders and is held in place by the head. However, Mako's stand does include an extra long extension peg which fits straight through the coat and into her back, and this helps hold the coat more firmly in place as a consequence.
As it is in the show, Mako's coat is lined with golden weapons, all reproduced here in loving detail. Note that they aren't removable, but are instead moulded into the surface. Nonetheless, it's a bravura touch which helps lift the overally impression of the cape as well as reinforcing GSC's attention to detail.
Mako comes with quite a few different accessories, the first of which are the iconic folded arms used in many, many Studio Gainax productions, and clearly inherited by Kill la Kill's production house Trigger (which is largely made up of ex-Gainax employees). It's also worth pointing out at this stage that Mako's hat doesn't pin to her head, but instead simply sits on top like a real hat would. This means that not only can you cock it at a jaunty angle as I've done here, but that it'll fit any Nendoroid with a relatively smooth head.
It wouldn't be much of a fight club without weapons, and to that end Mako comes with both a nasty looking spiked bat and her self-promoting knuckle duster. The bat fits smoothly into an alternative hand part while the knuckle duster just clips on over the existing fist part.
Again, some terrific fine detail work by the sculptors over at GSC.
Including the piece of grass Mako chews on (in iconic bancho style) is a nice touch, but I wish they'd moulded it as a permanent part of this face. As it is it's a tiny plug-in part and given that the grass strand is made of soft, bendy plastic, it can be incredibly frustrating to fit.
Throwing up the cutesy V signs might seem a little out of place for this figure, but it looks rather good regardless, courtesy of a pair of lower arm replacement parts.
Mako's second included face is this sad face, which pairs up wonderfully with the unique 'huge gloopy tears' accessory. That's what I call it and I'm sticking to it. The tear part actually snaps onto the lower part of the face and round the neck peg, making it surprisingly secure. It's so precisely moulded to this face though that I'm uncertain if it'd work on any other Nendoroid.
You get not one but two tear-related accessories with Mako, the other being this enormous fountain of tears designed to recreate the goofiness of an animated breakdown. I'm much more ambivalent on this one - it's a great idea and a pretty funny one-time visual gag, but it's big and fiddly and pretty much a one-joke item. I will note that GSC were smart enough to make the tears high enough to line up with Mako's eyes when she's on her stand.
Naturally, if you own 'regular' Nendoroid Mako there's an awful lot of fun to be had swapping parts and expressions between the two. Fight Club Mako even has the small unique piece of moulding in her hairpiece that allows the sleep bubble from regular Mako to be attached, so it certainly seems this is a case of straight mould reuse.
Overall, I'd say Nendoroid Mako is pretty much the platonic ideal of what a WonFes exclusive should be. She's definitely not essential by any means, especially considering a cheaper, more readily available version of Mako is out there with arguably superior acessories. But she is a lovely little extra for those who love the series, and a great treat for those who do go that extra mile to get hold of her. Keep your eyes on those convention booths!
With many thanks to Good Smile Europe's Maritan, who was hugely helpful in getting hold of Mako for review.Photo Gallery: (13 images)
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