I was pretty excited about Phat! Company's Totooria (a.k.a. Totori) Helmold when it was first revealed. It's not like I'm a huge fan of the Atelier series or anything like that - I just thought this was a really cute and cool looking figure. With Phat! Company being under the Good Smile Company umbrella, I thought it would be pretty decent quality, so I put in my pre-order. Now that I'm finally reviewing it, there are some good and not-so-good things going on. Find out more after the break.
At ¥9,450 MSRP Totori certainly isn't cheap. Is the package you get worthwhile? I'd say it mostly is, even if you don't know about the character, but just like cute figures with cool bases.
Speaking of packages, I've included a box shot for reference. It's certainly nothing fancy, although it is small even for a 1/8-scale figure. I'm a firm proponent of compact packaging (some of you know what it's like to have nowhere to put your figure boxes) so I hope Phat! Company keeps it up!
My first impressions upon unboxing were very positive. Assembly was kept to a bare minimum; all you have to do is slide the staff into Totori's hand, and put her on the base.
Totori looks pretty good all-around. The base is a big part of that, adding little, interesting details and a bit of quirkiness.
Totori herself is a pleasure to behold. Phat! Company translated her character design well, and really got that moe look down.
Disappointingly, once you look closer, the figure's flaws begin to show. There are a lot of details packed into every inch of the figure, but not all of them are well-executed. The patterns on Totori's cuffs are clean, but the shoulder straps on her dress look rough. The little book she's holding doesn't look great either despite being positioned next to the focal point of the figure (Totori's face). I also feel like Totori's mouth could have used more definition.
The various items around the base look fine. Though you might find some mould lines here and there, they're not overly distracting.
There are some bigger flaws, such as this chunk missing from Totori's butt. I also spotted some stray paint, such as a tan spot on her leg. While I appreciate the effort put into cramming so much detail into the figure, the quality control does need to be a bit more meticulous.
Clearly this was a shoot for the stars type deal for Phat! Company, and that's what matters most to me. They went all-out with the detailing, and used liberal amounts of clear PVC to convey the delicacy of Totori's outfit. So, despite the QC issues I still appreciate the end result.
As a collector I enjoy seeing original or underrepresented characters, as they add diversity to my shelves. Totori, with her distinct character design, cartoonish base, and pastel color scheme, livens up my wall shelf a lot.
Ultimately I hope potential buyers can move past the small QC issues because Totori is a lovely figure. I own plenty of figures with impeccable quality control, but which are far less interesting to look at. In fact I did two photo shoots of Totori simply because after finishing the first set, I thought of another way to shoot her that I liked better. I'm encouraged by Phat! Company's choice to go with a subject out of left field. With some support they can probably get their manufacturing up to par with the top tier companies.
That'll do it for the review, but there's plenty more Totori in the gallery for you to check out. Also, don't forget to leave feedback in the comments!
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