The figure world has been lacking in the PVC area when it comes to males. MegaHouse has been the only company to heavily embrace males though it has mostly stayed close to shounen titles. There have been other companies that have dabbled in the male market but it's hard to come by ones that are given the love and attention of the female PVC.
Luckily, this has started to change in the past year with more male figures popping up. ALTER, a quality company, just entered this market and sees potential. So much so that they created the ALTAiR line specifically for their 1/8 scale male figures. Their most recent release is Yuri Lowell from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 RPG Tales of Vesperia. It's interesting that ALTER would get this title as it is common that Kotobukiya would be the company to produce the scaled figures from the Tales series.
Yuri was quite the anticipated release, even for me, which had me making out with my monitor. Now that he is in front of me and ALTER only having two males under their belt so far, how will Yuri hold up? Read on to find out.
Figure Name: Yuri Lowell
When removing Yuri from the shipping box, I was surprised by the style of the packaging. Rather than the common front window only design, ALTER did a wrap around window allowing to see most sides of the figure. The artwork is very simplistic but that's fine as the different window design and who is being sold here is all that matters.
Yuri doesn't include any accessories. You can't really count the sword and scabbard as they both are meant to be a part of the figure. The sword is your everyday katana with nothing that really makes it stand out. Just like a true katana, the scabbard that Yuri carries follows the traditional style to match the blade. The gold trim looks beautiful against dark tone of this sheath.
So does Yuri buy these in bulk with the way he always tosses them to the side?
Being that this figure is a pretty big deal, Alter chose to include fancier base with the figure. That being a stone path.The raised stones are painted with different shades with various grooves etched giving an excellent impression of the path. I feel this is ruined by the gaps between the stones as the base of the, er, base is a solid color making the stones jump out at you.
Ah, yes. The main attraction. The beautiful man himself. Yuri Lowell. The figure exudes bad ass-ness while still looking gorgeous. An superb job was done in the pose with it perfectly capturing the attitude of Yuri. Sadly, the sword cannot be sheathed, which could have made Yuri look closer to the official art.
Oh my! Somebody bring me a fan! I need to cool off after looking into those eyes. The smile and the come hither eyes are spellbinding. Must be an Arte I don't remember. The way the hair flows in the wind is beautifully produced.
This view also gives you a look at Yuri's upper outfit. Just like Yuri's weapon of choice, his outfit also follows that of the Japanese style with it being based on the informal kataginu. An informal outfit? How fitting of Yuri.
Here is a better view of said outfit and chest as it loosely fits on his upper body. The impression of it being loose can be see from it pushing out from his belt and the slight folds. The sleeves have a more Western style to them with them being tighter and the cuffs at the ends. An interesting mix.
The sculpting of the folds on the back above the belt are amazing. Though it's the back, you have to appreciate that they took the time to think about how the clothes would be affected there. Unfortunately the hair goes into blob mode as it loses some of its detail in the ridges of his hair. Luckily, it's the back, so you're safe unless you have the figure on a turntable.
The included scabbard has a tiny peg that easily pushes into Yuri's hip and gives the impression it's attached to the ribbon around his hand. The ribbon wraps round Yuri's back and sways in the wind. What's up with the attachments at the end? Is this like adding streamers to a bicycle?
What is a warrior without the required warrior boots? Yuri came prepared in his gravity defying boots. I looked at these boots over and over again with official art and I can only assume they are attached to his pants as an entire single piece.
Wackiness aside, I'm loving the work on the boots. Again, I get a sense of realism from them with the deep folds around his ankles and the reflective surface of the toes. It makes the boots look thick and sturdy like the real deal.
It's gripe time again. Due to Yuri's pose, you only see the back side of his Blastia as illustrated in the photos above. The only way you can see it is standing above Yuri from the back. The Blastia looks great so it's a shame it's a shame that it would be positioned as such. At least you get to see his finely detailed fingers.
Did I saw Yuri does not come with any accessories. Well, I guess that depends on how you see this little guy. The Nendoroid Petit-sized chibi is included with Yuri for what reasons I do not know but it's a cute addition. The pudgy fellow is all levels of happy with his beady eyes, long smile, and rosy cheeks.
One thing that made me very pleased with this mini Yuri is that the base has two metal pegs that connect to his feet. Just like all the sample photos we see with Nendoroid Petit figures! Hey, Good Smile Company. Be great if you did, too, instead of your crumby back pegs.
There is one thing left to highlight for this review.
Have to have the obligatory up skirt shot, right?
With that stated, I hope fans who have desired this figure were able to get their hands on him as he is hard to come by now. It is a definite must have for Tales series fans, those who want more male figures, and those who like to stare at pretty men.
Unfortunately, I had to give up my pre-order for financial reasons but do thank my best friend for loaning me this figure for review. Hope she didn't mind that I totally slept with him. I will say that I am quite upset that when I look up at my shelf of Tales series figures now, it feels empty with him missing. ... I might have to steal him.
ALTER put a lot of care into this figure from the different packaging design to the quality of the figure. The ALTAiR line of male figures may be young but it shows so much promise. With Yuri sold out everywhere, it is a positive sign and one I hope that continues when Flynn is released and many more times thereafter. ...now if I can just get a standard scaled Estelle figure. Dammit.
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