figma

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Figma action figures by Max Factory, what more can I say.  The name practically speaks for itself.  I have to admit that I was caught up in all the hype surrounding these little five inch menaces and I got myself a couple.  Well, a couple would be an understatement as I currently own nine of them ^^;  I would also like remind you that this is NOT a comparison review, but if you want to know more about the other gals…they can be found here.

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I have decided to use figma release no. 013 Hiiragi Kagami for the purpose of this review because I just happen to have acquired a second copy of her so I have a MISB copy for a package review.  However, this review will be based on ALL figma releases, and is not limited to Hiiragi Kagami’s release.  You’ll be able to find specific details regarding a particular release under the “Releases” section.

This is a very long review, so I have decided to separate the review into the following categories for easy navigation:  The Package, The Stand, The Figure, The Joints, Range of Motion, Action Shots, Accessories, and Releases.

The Package


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Figma figures will come in two different sized boxes depending on the number/size of the accessories it comes with.  Kagamin came in the standard 22 x 15 x 7.5cm box, while some releases with more/bigger accessories (i.e. Yuki Nagato Evil Witch Ver and Nanoha Takamachi) comes in the larger 22 x 21 x 7.5cm box.  Both sizes comes with a window to give you a better view of the package contents.  You can find various photos and information, such as “package content”, displayed on the back side of the package.

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Every figma is packaged differently, so you can never be sure what to expect to see in the plastic inserts.  Usually extra face(s), the stand, and any special accessories are displayed in the plastic inserts while all other accessories and extra hands are tucked away in a compartment located at the bottom of the plastic insert.

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Each figma comes with a resealable plastic bag for all your accessories and extra hands storage needs.  This is a very clever way to give figmas a personal touch, but I don’t use them because I store all my accessories and extra hands/parts in plastic containers with compartments  ^^;

The Stand


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All figmas comes with a generic “figma stand” with copyright information on the underside, the only way to tell which stand belongs to which series.  Also shown here are five pairs of extra hands, Kagamin’s reading material, and the extra expression that came with this Kagamin release.

Every figma release comes with one plastic piece to neatly hold all your extra figma hands, but this piece only holds four pairs of hands while some releases like Yuki Nagato Evil Witch Ver. comes with six pairs of hands…so…where’s the holder for the other two pairs?

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The figma stands are generic meaning that any figma release will work with any figma stand as long as they are  still intact ^^  The figma stands come with three points of articulation to maximize your figure’s posing potential.  Every figma figure comes with a hole on their back to attach the stand into.  Something to cover-up that hole when not using the stand would be nice.

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A close up of the figma base.  Nothing spectacular, it just says “figma” on it…that opaque/sanded look is a really nice touch.

The Figure


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The level of detail and accuracy is amazing in every figma release, it is definitely above and beyond my expectations for an action-figure with a ¥2,300 – 2,700 price tag.  Each figma figure stands at approximately 130 – 140mm tall, and utilizes Max Factory’s in-house action figure design.

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The resemblence of figmas to their anime counterparts are uncanny. The sculpt, paint job, and design of these tiny menaces are top notch, they should be the envy of any figure producer(s).

The Joints


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Figma figures features 17 points of articulation, including the use of figma disc joints (articulation joints pictured below) in seven locations such as the neck, elbows, knees, and ankles.  More details on other joints that are used can be found here.  The specific placement of these joints allows for a wide range of articulation.

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The figma disc joints are silky smooth to work with, and they have an estimated range of 200° from end-to-end.

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Every figma release comes with an interchangeable face mock-up in their heads, but this does not mean every release comes with extra faces to utilize this feature.  The face mock-ups are not standardize among the figma line so some faces will fit with other releases, and some will not.

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While this is an ingenious design, some times their hair piece and face will fall off easily from the front of their head.  Though this is a common problem in my figma inventory (2/9 releases), I’ve not heard of anyone else who has this problem with their figmas.

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Figma joints are incorporated into the character’s clothing, and they are usually well hidden or concealed from sight.

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Shoulder joints are usually hidden by a piece of clothing sculpted out of soft molded plastic.

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Hand joints are covered-up by sleeves whenever possible, and they are well incorporated into the design when sleeves are absent in the figure.

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Elbow joints are well incorporated into the sleeve design, but they stick out like a sore thumb when sleeves are missing.

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Figma hands are generally very weak and should be handled with caution.  I have only broken one figma hand so far…yes so far…but fellow blogger meronpan has broken three hands already.  Again, something that I haven’t heard many people complaining about.

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Figma pelvis is mocked up using a triple ball jointed piece that is covered up with a very clever removable pantsu as pictured above.

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Overall, I find that Max Factory does a really good job in concealing the joints by incorporating the joints around the figure design.  Well done!!

Range of Motion


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Figmas don’t just look good, the little menances are also nimble and articulate with an excellent range of motion to let you recreate all of your favourite anime scenes.  Their articulation system is easy to work with, so they are ready for action straight out of the box.

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Side-to-side head movement is as good as ever, but figma heads cannot be tilted upwards due to how the joint is connected to its head.

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Being as good as they are, figmas are very inconsistent with the possible range of motion with each release.  It all boils down to how much clothing and joint concealment was incorporated into the design.  The more clothing and concealment, the less articulate it is.

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For instance, Kagamin is unable to lift her hands straight up because of her sailor fuku’s design, while other releases such as Hatsune Miku have no problem lifting her hands up.

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Hand movement is often restricted by their clothing as well.

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Another restriction in arm movement is the ability to reach across their chest.  This limitation, like lifting their hands up in the air, also depends on how much clothing was incorporated into the design of the figure.

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Great range with lower-body movement.

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Overall, figmas comes with an excellent range of motion and they are one of the best action figure on the market today.  Choosing Kagamin might not be the best choice to showcase figmas’ full articulation capabilities, but I was able to highlight what you can find as the worst case scenario.

Action Shots


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I’m sure most of us buy action figures for the fun of posing them to create our own scenarios, or recreate some of our favourite scenes.  Figma will not disappoint you with great poseability and amazing accuracy with their sculpt and figure design.

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I usually display my figmas with their display stand because they are top heavy and is prone to face-plants with a nudge on the table.

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They are really fun and easy to pose with.  Kagamin is currently my favourite figma, I can’t wait for her MikuMikku cosplay version ^^

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Who is your favourite figma?  Most figma releases are from popular series’, so it’s quite hard to choose a favourite out of the bunch.

Accessories


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Each figma comes standard with four pairs of extra hands, one character related accessory, one figma stand, and usually one extra facial expression as well.  Most releases will usually feature more extra parts and accessories, but what I listed is the guaranteed minimum you can expect.

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Figma accessories are universal, and they are really fun to mix and match with other figmas ^^

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I get my dose of MikuMikku Kagamin while I wait for the official release ^^;

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Aside from figma accessories, the choice of non-figma accessories is very limited…I hear that 1/12 scaled accessories will fit, but your figmas might have a hard time weilding these accessories because they don’t come with adaptive extra hands for non-figma accessories.

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Max Factory will launch special occasion figma accessories once in a while like this Christmas set from Christmas 2008.  They are including some special school bags with their upcoming April releases ^^

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I usually display my figmas with their respective accessories, and only mix them up for photo shoots ^^  Do you mix and match your figma accessories for display?

Releases


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no. 002 Suzumiya Haruhi: Released in April 2008, and retailed for ¥2,381.

Haruhi is the second figma release and she’s probably one of the most popular figma release because of her cult status in the anime world.  Figma starts in the right direction with releases from popular series’ like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

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She would be a great addition for any SOS-dan, figma fan, or to-be collectors.

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Re-releases for figmas are often issued by Max Factory, so don’t pay for overpriced regular issue figmas because more often than not, popular releases like the SOS-dan’s cast, Miku, and Nanoha girls will be re-released in the future.  Shop around and don’t pay double the price unless you absolutely can’t wait.

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no. 005 Takamachi Nanoha: Released in May 2008, and retailed for ¥2,667.

Nanoha is the fifth figma release and the first of three Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha StrikerS released.  You can see the trend that the lot of figma releases are from popular series’ that will guarantee huge sales.

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Here is what I was talking about in the figure section when I said that the hair pieces falls off easily on some releases.  This picture is an exaggeration of the problem, but her hair will slide out of place easily…sometimes even without me touching it.

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no. 008 Izumi Konata: Released in July 2008, and retailed for ¥2,381.

Konata is the first of four regular Lucky Star releases, and she is one of the most sought after figma releases because of the lack of re-releases.  She is mostly sold out everywhere, and I was lucky enough to buy one from Toylet at a reasonable price.

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Yet another figma with hair issues.  Not only is this huge gap unsightly, her hair and face will easily fall off when posing her.  Seems to be some early production flaws.

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no. 010 Kanu Unchou: Released in August 2008, and retailed for ¥2,381.

Interestingly, this figma is my first Kanu figure ^^  She seems to be really popular with other collectors, but she never caught my eyes.  Her hair is so long that she comes with a special “L” shaped adaptor for display with the figma stand.

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no. 012 Hiiragi Tsukasa: Released in August 2008, and retailed for ¥2,381.

Tsukasa is the first of the Hiiragi twins to be figmatized, and the second Lucky Star figma release.   The extra expressions of the Hiiragi twins are interchangeable as an added bonus.

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no. 012 Hiiragi Kagami: Released in September 2008, and retailed for ¥2,381.

Kagamin is currently my favourite figma, and probably one of the most cutesome release in the figma line-up.  She was one of my first figma, and the reason why I made subsequent figma purchases.  The Christmas gear was a figma Christmas promotion special, she doesn’t come with them regularly.

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no. 014 Hatsune Miku: Released in September 2008, and retailed for ¥2,381.

Miku is another popular and most sought after figma release that’s due to be re-released in May, don’t pay more than retail for her ^^  This popular Vocaloid is the first to be released from the Vocaloid series, with Rin and Len scheduled for release in May.

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She would definitely wow your world!  She is best displayed together with Nendoroid Miku and 1/8 scale Good Smile Miku figure.

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Kawaii~^^

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no. 015 Nagato Yuki Evil Witch Ver.: Released in September 2008, and retailed for ¥2,857.

This Yuki is also known as the Bad Witch Version, whatever suits your taste better.  ^^  This is Yuki’s second figma appearance, and she is by-far the most expensive figma release so far at ¥2,857.  For those who don’t know, Yuki is one of my all-time favourite characters…so I’m basically a sucker for anything Yuki ^^;;

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Yuki comes with Shamisen, Yuki’s Evil Witch cosplay set, a tea set, a electric guitar, a sign board, two Starring Inferno, and a load of extra hands for all your posing needs.

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Why give us only one sign with two sets of stickers?  Do they expect us to buy two sets?  I probably would’ve bought another set if they’re still available ^^;

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Max Factory launches about two to four figma sets per month, so I am really picky and buy only the ones I really like because I don’t have deep pockets like other collectors ^^;  They are really great figures to play with and you will not be disappointed with their releases.

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28 Responses to “figma”


  1. 1 meronpan 04/08/2009 at 03:31

    wow, an amazing overview of figma! and i thought i did long posts sometimes ^^;;

    my nanoha has the hair problem and it’s very annoying. i have not yet tried to stick it in place better with some blutac…

    love all the pose shots you did, kagamin is always so kawaii~ ^^

    think she’s the favorite figma of mine… though well … hmm crap… i love saber with her angry face… she’s too kawaii that way ^^; and fate… well, ‘cuz she’s fate… ^^;; and lulu! i love posing lulu ‘cuz he cracks me up ^^;; well damn that’s like almost all the figma i own

    kinda wish i got the miku… dual leeks is epic!

    • 2 T.I.P. 04/08/2009 at 18:25

      I find myself going on forever some times, but this figma review was intended to be in depth…so…thanks for going through it ^^;; You do an amazing job with your reviews, always enjoy reading them.

      I was going to say “glad I’m not alone”, but then…there’s nothing to be glad about with the hair problem ^^;;;

      Well…Fate is Fate, can’t argue with that ^^ I want to get my hands on Fate too. And lulu…need to get him too, must be fun to pose him in some perverted shots ^^;;

  2. 3 lightningsabre 04/13/2009 at 01:06

    Wow very long review. I was especially intrigued how you’ve explored all the joints and their range of movements. I’ve always had a hard time taking off the parts from their joints because sometimes I don’t know my own strength… I’m so glad my figma comics haven’t damaged any of them yet… ok except maybe Kyon, but that was easily fixed.

    • 4 T.I.P. 04/13/2009 at 17:11

      Yes, very long review ^^;;

      I wanted to give readers more information on what they can expect from figmas if they don’t have one, so exploring the full range of motion was one of the main points I wanted to go through ^^

      I play with my Kagamin A LOT, that’s why I got a second (backup) copy of her because I already broke one of her hands…and another is on the verge of breaking. Having that second Kagamin means I don’t have to hold back during the review. Luckily I didn’t break anything.

      I do fear breaking my figmas because they seem so fragile ^^;;

      • 5 lightningsabre 04/16/2009 at 03:09

        Yeah they are quite fragile. I try to move them the way I want to, but then I remind myself that they’re fragile lol. Hmm… if only I could get a second Saber Lily figma >.>

        • 6 Asian Ed 04/16/2009 at 10:10

          I broke Konata’s leg the other night. I think it was the first time I tried to pose her, and the joint was a bit stiff. As soon as I tried a little force, it just snapped. :(

  3. 7 Q 04/15/2009 at 16:12

    After reading your insight of the other line, it’s time to jump back to figma~

    Favourite figma? Hmph, hard to say, but it’d probably be Fate which is one of the most difficult-to-get regular releases I’ve acquired so far. Fell for her soon after reviews are up, and didn’t even know where she’s from back then -_-;;;;

    Again, a nice review of the line that many people seem to have preferred. While it is indeed very nice in terms of resemblence to the anime counterpart, hidden joints, and accessories etc. It is of course not flawless, as you’ve mentioned here.

    Quality check is sometimes negative mentioned on some reviews and forums, and Nanoha’s notorious hair piece is one of the problems. They are not cosistent, so it appears to be affecting a single production usually.

    The hand joints (and ponytail joints to a lesser extent) can be easily broken accidently or carelessly, which is more of a hassle than falling arms. Having heard people breaking a lot of Fate’s hands or ponytails made me paranoid and not pose my Fate for a very long time (as I had to get mine from an online auction).

    Speaking of Fate being difficult to get, figmas tend to have their prices skyrocketing really easily compared to the other line, which has the opposite effect. For Hong Kong, this is usually due to distribution issues, and this leads to crazy war-like market that I cannot explain with mere words…

    And as for the joints, I’ve blogged about how to take care of them a little while ago. While most of them were taken from the Japanese site of GSC, I think it’s worth mentioning it in English as it’s of great help to many collectors:
    http://quentinlau.blogspot.com/2008/10/figma-care.html

    Haha I’ve actually mentioned quite a bit of cons here for figma, despite me having about 5 of them so far. Overall, it’s a really good posable figure line, and perhaps even better than I’d imagine sometimes. Having them highly resemblence to the anime counterparts and being posable yet not so awkward with joints is definitely what makes figma shines so well in my eyes~

    • 8 T.I.P. 04/15/2009 at 18:09

      It’s really hard to choose a favourite since all of them are from popular releases. Interestingly, Fate was the one who grabbed my attention to figmas when I saw her at an Animate store in Hong Kong. Like you, I had no idea who she was back then, but she looked so cool with her sword ^^

      I think owning the other line before figmas actually helped me a lot because I would be more careful with everything I own now ^^ Like you said, figmas have issues with broken parts (some that I haven’t come across), but these problems are being fixed…

      I think the average price for figma is double that of the other line in Hong Kong, if I remember correctly ^^

      Very nice info in your blog on “how not to break figmas” ^^ I linked it on my DC.com post just now.

      It shows that you’ve done more research and have more experience with figmas than me…even though I own more ^^;; They are some really nice little menaces indeed.

  4. 9 lyfeprojekt 04/15/2009 at 17:22

    This is a very good review
    i myself is a nut for figmas
    i have so many!

  5. 11 meimi132 04/15/2009 at 17:39

    Ahhh I hoped you’d do another of these for Figma.

    Your right about the restrictions of movement with the serafuku. Cute as it is, its kinda annoying. The joints might not fall off like Frauleins, but they both have issues.

    • 12 T.I.P. 04/15/2009 at 18:50

      Thanks for stopping by again Meimi ^^

      Yeah, they both have their annoying problems in their own rights…but I just can’t stop posing them ^^;;;

  6. 13 Asian Ed 04/15/2009 at 19:13

    Awesome review! I’ve had the same issue with the hair falling out on some of my figma, most notably Konata and Tsuruya-san. I’ve also noticed that some figma come with an extra attachment for the stand. Shana, for example, comes with a piece that goes on the end of the stand. Since she doesn’t have a “hair hole,” the extra piece angles the stand up between her hair and body.

    It’s a bit hard to explain, but you’d understand once you see one… Personally, I almost prefer that over having a stand that mounts to the hair.

    • 14 paradigmshift 04/15/2009 at 19:19

      I know what you are talking about with that extra piece. I’m using it right now to keep Shana in her pose about to slice open some meron pan. I’ve never had issues with hair falling out though. My figmas don’t seem to suffer from pattern baldness I guess haha.

    • 16 T.I.P. 04/15/2009 at 19:30

      So I guess it’s safe to say Konata and Nanoha have hair issues. Another thing that bothers me with Konata is how the peg on the stand will not fit in her hair properly, might be just me ^^;;

      I think that extra extension is similar to the one I have with my Kanu. It’s a “L” shaped peg extension that doesn’t quite fit on Kanu’s back ^^;;; But similarly, I would prefer that over a hole on her hair.

      • 17 Asian Ed 04/16/2009 at 10:11

        I almost lost the hair piece for Tsuruya in the snow once. There’ll only be a couple of Figma I take outside at this point for various photo ops.

  7. 18 OropherZero 08/31/2009 at 01:46

    I just had one of my figmas hands snap off and get stuck in the hole where you put the hand in… this has got to be the worse thing which can happen to a figma since there is no way to get the broken part out =(

    • 19 Tommy 08/31/2009 at 03:40

      I was lucky that my figma’s hand snapped in the hand holder thing. I forgot where, but I’ve read that you can use a pin or some other sharp object to break the broken part bit by bit. The down side is that the part will be lost forever, but look on the bright side, you can use the other hands.

  8. 20 blu 12/26/2009 at 02:50

    I own a Kanu Unchou Figma, I thought it was rather weird that their hairs would keep falling off. I had no idea other others were also suffering the same thing. It’s also a bit weird when her face falls off as well. I ended up just taping the face and hair together in the end.

    But my biggest problem is connecting her to the stand, although I love her hair, I find that it really gets in the way of trying to attach her to the stand, and staying that way. I ended up using her hair to help to her stand.

    Anyway, your review was pretty good and helped me understand the difference between Figmas and the Fräulein series. I first did loved Kanu’s quality, except her problems overshadowed the good things about Figmas… still, enjoyed posing her :)

    • 21 Tommy 12/29/2009 at 06:02

      It’s easier if you remove her head and put the “L-shaped” peg into the hole in her back afterward.

      The newer figmas are better, but you have to be careful with their joints as they break easily. Especially the hands. ;)

  9. 22 Gami 01/09/2010 at 14:45

    The only figma I have is Ryoko Asakura, and she has a hair issue, too. There’s a big scratch in the back. -_-

  10. 24 Amber 03/06/2010 at 10:56

    This was a really great review and makes me look forward to maybe buying a new one even though I have some issues with the one I own now. I recently bought my first figma and noticed that straight out of the box the stand seemed to be broken. The peg on the end of the stand is round and does not fit into the figure’s back. Did a piece break off in production or am I missing something? The character is Aigis and because her feet are so tiny she can’t really stand on her own, I have her posing in a chair.

    • 25 Tommy 03/20/2010 at 03:50

      I haven’t bought any figmas for about five months now, and it seems as though the newer figmas have more issues with broken pegs from what I’ve read. The hole on the back of the figure is in the shape of a hexagon while the peg is circular, but it’ll still fit. Just be careful not to use a “twist and turn” approach when putting the peg in and it’ll be helpful to take her head off if she’s got long hair.

      The stand should look like what is shown in this review. If it doesn’t, than it’s probably broken.

  11. 26 konakonaotaku 06/10/2010 at 09:46

    my 1st figma was kagamiku but unfortunately shes a bootleg :( :( :(

    also im grieving about the “demise” of my figma haruhi. her arm joint broke off n is jammd in the arm. also the righthand ribbon of her sailor fuku broke off as well. >.< :'(

    • 27 Tommy 06/24/2010 at 23:33

      That sucks. I was really lucky to get a kagamiku from a reliable source.

      That’s one thing I don’t like about figmas, and a reason I’ve stopped playing around with them, is how easy a joint will break. I broke Fate’s shoulder joint 5 seconds after she came out of the box. “orz

  12. 28 monkeynekobutt 12/26/2010 at 18:00

    hey i was wondering if your selling ur miku on ebay because someone is and saying that it’s yours? if it’s you then nm i just want to make sure because i want a miku.

    by the way love ur reviews


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