Saturday, May 8, 2010

K-On!: Yui Hirasawa Figma Review

I've never heard of K-On! until I saw this Figma up for pre-order on various online Japanese toy specialty stores.  Unfortunately for me, all the pre-orders were sold out in record time (the minute they were up, everything was sold out).  I saw clearer pictures and read the description of the figure on the Max Factory "Figma" blog and was blown away by the cuteness of the character.  I scoured all of eBay and finally settled on one of those sellers from Hong Kong (who also had a very high sell rating) at a somewhat reasonable price.  I eventually found and watched all thirteen episodes of K-On! which told me that I was going to be poor once again.

The Good:

  • Yui has approximately 14 points of articulation: swivel/hinged neck, ball-jointed shoulders, quasi-swivel/hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists, [hidden] ball-jointed waist, swivel/hinged hips, quasi-swivel/hinged knees, and swivel/hinged/"rocking" ankles.

  • Yui comes loaded with accessories as expected from Max Factory's Figma line: 3x faces (one "determined" looking face; one "cute/smiling" face; and one "blank" face), 1x Gibson Les Paul standard electric guitar accessory (which Yui nicknames "Giita"), 2x [front] hairpieces, 1x guitar case, 4x right-hands, 4x left-hands, 2x pairs of shoes, 3x "straps" (for the guitar and guitar case), 1x "Figma" stand, 1x sheet of various "facial expressions" water decals (for use with the "blank" face accessory), 1x cardboard cut-out of a stage, and 1x "Figma" plastic pouch (to hold Yui and her accessories).

  • The facial expressions of Yui's face are dead-on accurate.  Just glancing at the figure helps me relive Yui's moments in specific parts of the "K-On!" anime.

  • Yui's Gibson Les Paul standard electric guitar accessory is surprisingly detailed to a point (unfortunately you won't find this guitar stringed up).

The Bad:
  • Apparently, Max Factory decided that having the consumer do some of the work was a good idea (I fart in their general direction).  I refer to the "straps" which I had to [painfully] attach to both the guitar and the guitar case.  Why did I pay these guys in the first place?
  • The instructions on how to use and apply the facial expression "decals" onto the "blank" face are in Japanese.  Once again, Max Factory leaves it to the consumer to figure that one out.  Gee, thanks.
  • Yui's head has a tendency to fall off at the neck [joint] (especially if you swivel her head around).  It's irritating to say the least, but at least you can always "pop" it back on.

  • Slight paint mis-applications, but nothing too major.

The Ugly:

  • If there's anything ugly, it's the price.  And yes, I'm aware that import toys are usually more expensive.  That, and the limited availability of these K-On! figmas for purchase.

Additional Notes:

  • There are a lot of bootleg (fake) figmas floating around on eBay.  However, I've noticed that legitimate figmas often have a holographic sticker somewhere on the packaging itself (for instance, the holographic sticker is placed on the front of the packaging).

  •  I may be wrong about this, but also look for the "figma" logo and number on the "inside" flap when opening the package (it should be on the right-side).  There should also be a picture accompanied by an explanation showing how to remove the hairpiece and face accessory.

I purchased this Yui figma from a Hong Kong seller on eBay for $53.44 (includes S&H) while "K-On!" was in its "popular" phase.  You should be able to find better prices by now on eBay.  As I've mentioned before, there are a lot of bootleg versions out there.  Examine the price before bidding on anything; if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Also, ask the seller whether or not this is a bootleg.  If it turns out it is, you have proof that you've been deceived and most likely will receive a full refund.  If you want to avoid the hassles of determining whether the figma you're purchasing is a bootleg, I'd recommend purchasing them from other fine retailers.

I've had several figmas before so it's no surprise how well-sculpted their figures are.  I just hope we get to see a few figmas from other animes that I've been dying to get (for example: "Ah! My Goddess").  The folks at Max Factory have done an amazing job with this figure.  For a "K-On!" fan, this is clearly a MUST-HAVE.  For others, check out the anime (it's not for everyone) first.  Or if you like cute-looking figures, Yui is the one to get. 

Score (out of five):


  1. Thank you for writing this review! Now I'm gonna rethink about buying Yui since now that you mention it, I think the price is pretty high, too...