When I think about prize figures, I think of cute little static figures that are somewhere around 1/10-scale, though sometimes up there at 1/8-scale. Mari here? She's a hulking ~10.4 inches tall, much taller than almost everything else on the shelf around her. If you think about it from this perspective alone, her standard prize pricing over at HobbyLink Japan makes her an absolute steal.
But is the paint detail, molding and everything else worth the burgling? Read my full thoughts below the job.
Figure Name: Premium Mari Makinami Illustrious
As usual, we're starting with the packaging. Mari comes in a big plastic shell and wrapped in a bright pink box with the NERV logo on it. Oh right, and it's pink. Really, really, pink. All things considered though, this pink box is only about as big as it needs to be, which is great for folks who like to keep their pink boxes put away for future use.
Once you free her from her pink box, she's already screwed onto her base, which is square and white with the red NERV logo and the phrase, "God's in his heaven. All's right with the world." Her plugsuit is various shades of pink from collar to footies, and she's got this cutesy pose with her face turned down. At a glance, and from this distance, she looks rather nice.
Once again, I need to mention that I don't like when figures have their faces turned down, though the effect is nice overall when she's placed on a shelf above eye level. In this case, I shot the full-body images with my camera basically resting on the floor (for your reference).
Mari's chest and sides are... well, it's there, inside her plugsuit. She's got the white ribbing on the sides and some black and white material there. The lines are rather sloppy, but this is made apparent by taking close-up pictures of it. There are scuff marks all over the figure, some of which I was able to reduce the appearance of after the shoot, and others which are the result of paint transfer or simply won't come off.
Her belly here has some shading on it to emphasize the molding, and she's got that attractive space between her legs right there at her crotch. You can also see some of the scuffing I mentioned above where the glove is hovering over her hip.
She's got some blue stripes along her thighs, which aren't all that badly painted, all things considered. There are some extra lines molded in there to simulate the different seams on her plugsuit, as well as the obvious figure seam all along the thigh, cutting it in half.
Her butt is as much as a pink butt needs to be, though there's some more obvious scuffing and seaming present as well. Considering how much work went into making the full back view so attractive, I'm disappointed it's a bit marred -- but again, these are things you notice when you're really observing the figure closely. As I write this, I'm looking at the figure on a surface about two feet away, and I don't see any of these issues.
Her hair's sculpting is a major highlight for me with this figure. It gives her a good sense of movement and doesn't look like a 8-year old made it with Play-Doh. And to top it off, the head seam is hidden by the blue headband. Don't worry about those lumpy things on top, though. It started raining while I was outside with Mari, so that's actually just water.
Before we get to her face, let's quickly take a look at her back. From most angles, her hair basically covers this part, but nonetheless I thought it was important. There are some scuff marks here again, but otherwise this area doesn't look bad at all.
Thankfully, Mari's face actually looks rather nice. The glasses don't move nor are they in danger of falling off, which is a good thing. Her fingers aren't quite touching her face here, so there isn't any paint transfer to be seen. Actually, there were no scuff marks or blemishes on her face at all. All the problems with this figure are from the neck, down (starting with the bleeding blue paint on her collar and that gaping seam at her shoulder).
As I mentioned before, she does have this cutesy pose going for her, despite my quick Google image reference search led to many angry-looking expressions of this character. I guess it's refreshing? I wouldn't know, character-wise, but it's definitely easy on the eyes by virtue of the figure itself. Her glasses don't totally block her pretty eyes from view and her mouth is molded just enough to make her seem like she's amused.
Overall, I'd say Mari here is definitely worth your dough if you're a fan of the character and if, like me, you're a fan of prize figures. She's nicely molded and features some great shades of easy-to-photograph pink, without looking like she's suffocating in her suit and more-or-less painted well. There are some gaping seams and blotch issues, but those are easy to overlook once she's on display. She isn't my cup of tea whatsoever, but that doesn't matter since she's a prize for this month's photo contest sponsored by HobbyLink Japan! Thanks to them for sending this figure over!
Mari was released recently enough that, for now, you shouldn't have too many issues purchasing your own. Check out the gallery for more images that didn't make it into the main body of the review, and leave your feedback in the comments below!
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