If you are ever looking for something on the cheap, has a cast of characters you want that you'll probably not see anywhere else, and like them to be cute, you can always rely on trading figures to give you what you want. There are several types of trading figures on the market such as Kotobukiya's One Coin Grande Figure Collection, Good Smile Company's Nendoroid Petit series, Bandai's Deformeister Petit series, and a slew of other, some of which we have reviewed here on Tomopop.
One series of trading figures we have not reviewed are the Toy'sworks Collection Niitengo series by Chara-Ani. The company has produced pint sized figures from many popular titles but what is being reviewed today is multiple popular titles from visual novel producer Key. This collection of trading figures covers the characters Ayu Tsukimiya and Nayuki Minase from Kanon, Nagisa Furukawa and Kyou Fujibayashi from Clannad, and Misuzu Kamio and Minagi Tohno from Air. There's a total of 11 figures to collect, each character having their own variation available except for Nayuki.
Now I'm no visual novel expert, only playing one in my life time, but that won't stop me from looking at what matters most. Is Chara-Ani's Toy'sworks Collection Niitengo series of trading figures worth the purchase? Read on for the full review and see how these figures hold up.
Figure Name: Toy'sworks Collection Niitengo Key Memorial
As a trading figure collection, the box that converts into a retail display comes designed with a full view of all the various characters included. Just a reminder that this is the Niitengo series of figures, that word is splashed all over the box in the background, and just like the retail box, each individual box shares the similar style with the photos of the figures displayed.
Most of the figures are divided into three parts: The head, the body, and the base. The head has a long stem that inserts into the top of the body which can be tight on some and loose on others. Expect yourself to have to be using some force on some of these figures.
Because of this required force, I was a bit scared that I would break one of the figures. I came close to it on one of them as one of the figure's heads detached from the stem revealing the ball joint it was on. On the same figure, because of this removal force, I detached the torso from the waist, revealing that you can in fact have them all displayed in just their underwear... but why would you want to? They're trading figures. Plus it's nothing you haven't seen before.
Once you have the head attached, the feet from the body will then attach to the base. Each figure's base has two holes that the pegs on the feet connect to. Not to cause any confusion, each peg on the feet and each hole are different sizes so that you insert the character correctly to the base.
Unfortunately one of the figures came with a incomplete peg on one of their feet. It looks like it may have just been from the way the mold was cut. It didn't cause any issues with the figure as the other foot peg was able to attach rather snugly into the base.
Speaking of quality, how are each of the figures? First and foremost we have to remember these are trading figures. Not your top of the line PVC figures, though that can be debated based on some companies. Before we get into that though, let's take a look at each figure included in the set and gush over how cute they are because, well, they are.
Ayu Tsukimiya - Kanon
Nayuki Minase - Kanon
Nagisa Furukawa - Clannad
Kyou Fujibayashi - Clannad
Misuzu Kamio - Air
Minagi Tohno - Air
Two things will be quite evident on these figures. The first are the lines from where the arms connect to the body. There's no smooth transition here where you would have a thin seam. Nope. You will see a full gap, or in the case of Misuzu, an arm that doesn't quite go in all the way. I can't say if this is just the set I received or if the attached appendages will vary by box.
The other thing is the paint job. It's a mix bag with these figures. In some areas, it's nice and sharp. In others, as demonstrated above, it's very patchy and rough.
The molds are nicely sculpted, still sharing some of the faults you would see from their PVC cousins. Well, not quite. The edges are rounder on these figures but I think that fits with the super deformed appearance.
Again, the paint job is good and bad. The hair on each figure have a soft gradient starting from their base color on top and fading into a darker tone toward the end of their hair. There are also additional shades from where the hair parts and layers.
The eyes on these figures are as sharp as any PVC figures you'll find on the market, along with their eyebrows and blush marks on some. The smiles are simple with no real detail but, again, it fits the style of figure that this is.
The school uniforms have very detailed lines with some have the schools emblem sharply painted onto their uniform. Though the nicely done emblem is countered by the uneven paint job on other parts of the figure. You also won't find beautiful folds and edges on these figures, but for what has been done, it looks nice.
Here is one more look at the trouble with the paint job on these figures. This is rather surprising on the huge chunk of hair, but maybe I'm just unlucky and received a bad batch.
Again, the figures are nice and all, cute, but still suffer the issues of figures of their size when it comes to construction and paint application. If anything, it's almost something you would expect from trading figures. At least until nano technology takes over and provides more details than we can imagine... well, so I dream.
Would I recommend Chara-Ani's Toy'sworks Collection Niitengo series? If you're a casual collector who likes cute, small figures, then definitely. Especially if you're looking for characters from titles that don't normally get any love, or just want figures that are normally available, but in bite size so you can save on shelf space. Now if you're the hardcore collector who wants quality over quantity, then you probably already know that this is not for you. Again, these are trading figures.
Once again, a big thank you to HobbyLink Japan for their support and for giving me the opportunity to review figure series and types that have not been touched yet on Tomopop for you, the community.
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