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Phat Company: Parfom Labrys
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Tomopop Review: Parfom Labrys by Phat Company

7:00 PM on 05.04.2016 // Tianxiao Ma
  @Makigumo

Class president or killer robot?

Persona 4 may very well be my favorite video game of all time. Given the number of spin-offs it has received, it seems a fair amount of people out there love it too. When I first heard about Persona 4 Arena, I thought it was bizarre that a character-driven JRPG was being turned into a fighting game. But the story mode of P4A turned out to be more of a visual novel than a fighting game.

One of the key characters of P4A is Labrys, a robot designed to fight the monstrous shadows that normally lurk in everyone's subconscious. Being a predecessor to Persona 3's Aigis, the two share a similar look. When P4A's story kicks off, Labrys has lost her memories and adopts the look of a Yasogami High student. This is the look she ends up keeping, and is what eventually got translated into Phat Company's latest figure.

Figure Name: Parfom Labrys
Figure Maker: Phat Company
Retail Price: ¥5,500
Available at: Play-Asia | Right Stuf | Hobby Search | HobbyLink Japan

Labrys is the third in Phat Company's Parfom series, following Aigis and Yuudachi. I was interested in this line because it seemed to combine the cuteness of Nendoroids with the poseability of figmas. But for reasons I can't remember right now, I didn't buy Aigis or Yuudachi. So that makes Labrys my first Parfom, and I was interested to see how good these figures are.

You can see the full box shot in the gallery (it's a nice, clean design) but this weird little detail caught my eye. This is probably the first figure I've gotten with a message on the box flap.

Unpacking the figure took some effort because it comes with a lot of accessories. Labrys is pretty large - measuring to the top of her ponytail she can reach up to 150mm. I don't have the figma Labrys to compare, but my figma Yu Narukami is about the same height. However due to the Parfom's proportions, it ends up being a bulkier figure overall.

With these kinds of figures you have a common set of expectations in terms of how to swap parts and such. Labrys comes with four face plates and an alternate hair fringe which includes her visor. It works just like with any figma: pull off the hair fringe and you'll be able to remove her face plates. The fit of the faces felt inconsistent. Her  default face was a bit loose while some others were very tight.

Speaking of her default face, it wound up surprising me in a good way. Too often with anime figures, you're locked into a boring, neutral expression for the face. Part of the appeal of Nendoroid and figma is that they offer alternative expressions that might capture the spirit of the character better. Initially, I thought Labrys would just have some boring smiling expression as her default. However, the expression on this default face can look like it changes depending on the angle you view it from.

In this shot, Labrys' expression is menacing and her mouth is frowning. But look at the shots above: they're all using the same face! The expression goes from neutral to inquisitive to threatening depending on the angle. This is a rare quality in figures, and I certainly didn't expect to find it here. I love faces with some nuance to them, so this was a pleasant surprise.

The package comes with several accessories revolving around Labrys' weapon. "Labrys" was the Greek word for a double-bitted axe, making her weapon her namesake as well (and there are historical examples of giant versions of such axes too). The axe head comes with a peg that lets you attach it to Labrys' back. Each blade is on a swivel, basically turning them into wings.

The effects pieces you see above come in two parts and clamp around the jets on the axe. I consulted the instruction sheet to see how they should be attached, but was misled a bit. Each flame piece needs to attach to a specific spot on the axe, but the order shown in the instruction sheet seems to be reversed. It took some fiddling but eventually I figured it out.

Here you can see the other accessories for the axe. You'll get a separate stand and base for it in case you want to pose it flying through the air. Unfortunately there's no way to hide that peg if the stand is attached. I guess it's not the end of the world, but it still sticks out.

Other accessories include a variety of alternate hands, as well as a chain that goes between the elbow joint and forearm. It's a single, flexible piece of plastic that gives a more dynamic look than a real chain would have.

Of course you'll get the shadow version of Labrys as well since it's just a face swap. I would have preferred a smirking expression over this blank one. There's also an expression for Aigis included in the package, which I found weird. Parfom Aigis already has a neutral default face, but you get another one with Labrys for some reason.

I thought this figure, with its chibi aesthetic and articulation, would turn out to be like a Cu-Poche. But since I don't have any Cu-Poches, I can't really say. Having played with Labrys for a while, I do think the Parfom line is pretty close to the figma line. The articulation is more extensive than in your typical figma, and the joints are higher quality (while being less conspicuous).

The fit and finish is good, though for these types of figures I don't expect perfection. Still, it held up pretty well during my photo shoot, with only one of the hair flaps falling off when I didn't expect it. Generally this is a well-designed figure with a surprising amount of articulation, but doesn't feel like it's going to break or lose its pose suddenly. The paint job's decent too, with some different finishes throughout the body and axe.

Phat Company's Parfom line is fairly new, with only three figures currently in the series, and this Labrys figure already feels refined and well thought out. I'd say my experience with it has won me over to the Parfom series. It's wonderful for anyone who wants the cute chibi look but with lots of creative possibilities that you may not get with a Nendoroid or scale figure. Hopefully, Phat Company ramps up the release schedule for these. Six more have been announced, but none of them have dates set for the moment.

Photo Gallery: (16 images)
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Tianxiao Ma, Associate Editor
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I love all things gaming, most things anime, and definitely some things PVC. I'm also a photographer and internet personality! more   |   staff directory





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tomopop's previous coverage:
Phat Company: Parfom Labrys


  Aug 27

Welcome Parfom Labrys to the arena

This is one steely class president


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