Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kaiyodo's Revoltech Queen's Blade Series No. 004: Nanael Figure Review

I've never seen or read about the Queen's Blade series.  Apparently, the anime (Japanese animation to the uninitiated) has already been released and is quite popular in Japan.  For more than a year, I've mainly seen PVC figures (statues) selling for over $70 a piece which is a bit expensive for my tastes.  However, I was excited to see Nanael as a Revoltech figure because the character design is really cute. 

The Good:
  • Nanael has loads of articulation: jointed neck, jointed shoulders, jointed angelic wings (the larger left wing also has another joint allowing Nanael to spread open her left wing), jointed elbows, jointed wrists, jointed upper-chest, jointed hips, swivel upper thighs, jointed knees, and jointed ankles.

  • The package design for the Revoltech Queen's Blade line has changed considerably in size, color, and quality of the package.  The QB package measures 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches as opposed to the Fraulein Revoltech packaging measured 8.5 inches by 4.5 inches.  The front packaging window is large enough to view the entire figure with some of the accessories appearing on both sides of the figure.  The back of the packaging reveals all sorts of photos of Nanael in various poses with her accessories.
  • Not knowing anything about the character, I think the sculpt is pretty good.  I especially love Nanael's cute "surprised" or "clueless" expression, which conveys to me her lack of experience or just plain innocence.  The sculpt of Nanael's armor is also pretty good, considering the simplicity of its design.  The sculpt of Nanael's hair is okay, but more on that later.

  • The paint application is fairly consistent, which is really no surprise considering the high level of quality control Japanese toy companies have over their factories in China.  There are however, few stray marks on Nanael's left wing and stray paint applications on Nanael's right knee and the back of her left leg.
  • Let's talk accessories.  Nanael comes loaded with: 1x belt with a bottle of milk attached, 1x sword, 1x torn white dress, 1x regular white dress (Nanael comes with this on), 1x milk "splashing" effect (which can be inserted into the milk bottle to further enhance the "splash" effect), 1x "torn" underwear, 1x regular underwear (Nanael comes with this on), 1x additional pre-posed left hand (the other left hand is already on the figure), 1x additional pre-posed right hand (the other right hand comes attached to Nanael), 1x alternate face with "splashed milk" effect, 1x official Revoltech plastic mini-storage [and stackable] box, 1x "10" Revoltech points chip (which can be redeemed to get other nifty Revoltech items), and 1x plastic base.

The Bad:

  • On the both sides of the packaging, there is a drawing of Nanael wearing a blue hair pin.  So why is her plastic counterpart sporting a pink-colored one?  I understand that there may have been changes made to the figure before or after production, but if you do something like that, try to make the picture match the figure or vice versa.  It just looks sloppy [and unprofessional].

  • Although this isn't really terrible, I wish Nanael's front side bangs were a little longer as shown in the picture at the bottom left corner in the back of the packaging.

  • There is thin piece of plastic "string" or perhaps leftover glue sticking out of Nanael's right elbow joint.  I don't know how that happened, but it's visually annoying.

  • The lack of instructions regarding how to replace and remove accessories is also problematic.  I had to figure this out through trial-and-error, which is risky because it leaves me open to possibly damaging the figure in the process.  There are plenty of "brochures" advertising other Revoltech figures that come with Nanael, but no instruction booklet or manual.  I even I had to put in some guess work regarding how to assemble various pieces of the base together.  Something that may be considered common sense should still come with some sort of basic instruction.

  • The awful [and strong] smell of plastic makes me feel a little nauseous at times.

  • Nanael's right hand has a tendency to get loose and eventually fall out when I'm not looking.

  • One of Nanael's left hands is posed in such a way that it looks like she's doing the Star Trek "peace and prosper" hand sign which is often associated with Spock.

The Ugly:

  • Oh boy!  Apparently, the Queen's Blade series contains plenty of "ecchi" (dirty) and risque situations, and Nanael is ripe full of them.  The torn dress, torn underwear, milk "splashed" alternate face, and the milk "splashed" torso are your obvious clues.  Also, innocent-looking Nanael has sculpted breasts (nipples and all) for your pleasure and/or embarrassment.

Additional Notes:

  • There is another [Revoltech] joint in Nanael's right wing.  Apparently, this joint allows you to insert her sword at the hilt to give off the illusion of the sword floating alongside Nanael.  Why?  I have no clue.

I purchased this figure online from Hobbyfan for a total of $38.24 ($32.99 + S&H charge of $5.25).  Hobbyfan is usually good with their shipping, but have most recently been having problems with correctly packaging their items to ship out to customers.  Much to my dismay, I received Nanael with her packaging banged up in an over-sized box with one small piece of bubble wrap placed on top of the package.  Needless to say, I was annoyed.  I e-mailed a complaint to Hobbyfan, fully explaining the problem.  Within several days, I received a response from a Hobbyfan representative quasi-apologizing and excusing themselves because they had a "new" packaging person.  The representative suggested that I request for more protection in the additional request form when placing an order.  Before this "new" packaging person, I never had to do that sort of thing.  I've never had to do that with other respectable online retailers.  Even [I should say most] eBay sellers know how to package their items carefully.  Unfortunately, I still have something pre-ordered with them from a while ago.  Hobbyfan just lost a customer.

I recommend purchasing anime figures of this sort from Toyslogic, which is also based in California.  I've never had shipping problems like those of Hobbyfan's and almost always TL offers the best prices on most of their [import] items.  I very reluctantly suggest using eBay for anime figures mainly because there are a lot of bootleg versions of these figures being sold by eBay sellers residing in China.  If a price is too good to be true, it usually is.


Overall, Kaiyodo's 5 inch Revoltech figure is a fine addition to my collection.  Despite the highly suggestive nature, the decent sculpt of angelic Nanael and the loads of accessories more than match the purchase price.  Please keep in mind that such figures are definitely NOT for children under 18 years of age. With that said, I think I'll stay away from the rest of the Revoltech Queen's Blade series.

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