Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur IV (Queen’s Gate Version)

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

There ought to be more figures of fighting game characters, and of the fighting game characters who deserves figures, Ivy Valentine should be near the top of the list. She has one of the most easily-identifiable designs in fighting games, she is one of the mainstays of one of the best fighting game franchises in existence, and yet, only three or four figures have ever been made of her, and one of those is from Todd McFarlane’s toy company. Fortunately for Ivy fans, Hobby Japan has recently shipped a brand new figure of her as part of their Queen’s Gate figure lineup. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as good as one might have hoped for.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Isabella Valentine is one of the stalwarts of the Soul franchise, having appeared in all of the games since Soul Calibur. Perhaps the preeminent bad girl in all of video games, she cedes leading-lady responsibilites to Sophitia and maybe Taki but nonetheless, she is probably one of the franchise’s best-known characters.

To the uninitiated, fighting games all look alike, but many of the series in the genre have a unique aspect or ethos to their design that sets them apart from one another. Mortal Kombat is about over-the-top gore. Guilty Gear and BlazBlue enbrace the bizarre (and rock music). Dead or Alive is completely shameless. And Soul Calibur seems to have a level of dignity, a certain gravity that distinguishes it from other fighting games. Thus, when I heard that Ivy and Taki were going to appear in Queen’s Gate books, I thought that was weird as hell because the Queen’s Blade and Queen’s Gate series are anything but dignified.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

On the other hand, if any Soul Calibur were to appear in a Queen’s Gate book, Ivy would probably make the most sense. The Queen’s Blade franchise revels in excess, pushing the boundaries as much as it can without becoming full-blown hentai. Similarly, Ivy encompasses lewdness and her design borders on absurd. She has the mannerisms of a dominatrix, several highly suggestive moves, and a costume that’s become more abbreviated with every iteration of the game – though lamentably, the fifth game reverses this trend. Such a shame.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

This figure is manufactured by Hobby Japan and, as its name implies, was sold only in Japan, and so required a proxy service to purchase. She’s nominally sculpted in 1/8 scale and stands about 18.5 centimeters tall to the top of her head. Her character bio lists her height as 179 centimeters, so she’s really closer to 1/10 scale. She’s notably smaller than almost every other 1/8 scale figure out there, including most of the other Queen’s Gate figures and just about all of MegaHouse’s 1/8 scale Queen’s Blade figures, which is rather disappointing.


Click for Danbooru.

One interesting design choice is that the sculptor based this figure off of her normal appearance rather than how she looked in her Queen’s Gate book. Her artbook – illustrated by Nigou, a member of the very well-known hentai art circle Lolita Channel – diverges from her canon look in favor of a far more anime-esque design. It’s about as moe as Ivy can possibly look.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Ivy is depicted in a confident stance, her whip-sword raised. She looks a bit awkward, with her right arm raised and her right leg extended. Her right side looks like she’s about to thrash someone and her left side looks like she’s striking a sexy pose. Movement and aggression are apparent and yet, the figure has a very stiff, static look. It just doesn’t seem to come together very well.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Though this figure is rather small, Ivy is quite detailed. Her armor has all the requisite embossing, the leather parts of her clothes feature stitch lines, and the straps of her suit pinch into her skin. Ivy’s Soul Calibur IV outfit is fantastic and overall, it is rendered very well here.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Similarly, Ivy’s paint job is quite attractive. The purple parts of her clothes feature an appealing metallic sheen, and her armored pauldron and gauntlet sport a dull finish, giving them an old and antique look.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Several aspects of her face doesn’t fare quite as well, however. The sculpting of her bangs is rather ragged – though admittedly, given Ivy’s small size, it’s doubtful anybody’s going to notice unless they are nose-to-nose with her. In addition, her look is a bit blank; she doesn’t have the psychotic look she has in the video games nor the moe-fied cute look she has in her game book.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Ivy comes with a sword blade if one would prefer not to display her with her whip-sword. It looks really weird with her pose. I think the whip-sword is much more appropriate. Unfortunately, the whip-sword seems to be made of wire and doesn’t stay coiled very well. A peculiar orange part is provided to install on her base to brace the tip of her whip against.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

I think my biggest beef with this figure is that I wish it were better. There aren’t many figures of Ivy – or Soul Calibur figures – and as one of the most iconic and recognizable characters in all of video games, there was an opportunity to make a really special figure here. Just making it an actual 1/8 scale figure would have greatly improved it, and while I’m fantasizing, a more dynamic pose and a more evocative facial expression would have been nice, too. That said, beggars can hardly be choosers, and if one really desires a figure of Ivy Valentine, pickings are very slim. I wish I could tell you that there’s a better figure of her out there, but I’d be lying if I said so.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review
Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Here’s Ivy next to Queen’s Gate Junko Hattori. Junko is manufactured by a different company but even so, the difference in size is readily apparent, despite both figures being listed as 1/8 scale. Junko is about as tall as Ivy even though her leg is splayed out nearly horizontally.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

And here is Ivy with fellow Queen’s Gate member Dizzy, though this version is Alter’s version rather than Kotobukiya’s version. Both of these characters appeared in the recent PSP game Queen’s Gate Spiral Chaos. Note that while Alter’s Dizzy is also a bit smaller than actual 1/8 scale, she’s still noticeably larger than Ivy.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

“That face! I get goose bumps just looking at it. If you’ll only keep showing it to me, I’ll tease and bully you as much as your heart desires.”

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

Two fighting game girls who don’t mind showing their behinds.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

I’ll shamelessly admit that when it comes to fighting games, I tend to choose the most attractive – and often most scantily-clad – female character. I think pretty much the only exception is in King of Fighters, where Iori is my favorite character to use (though Mai is obviously my favorite character to look at), and maybe Street Fighter, where I mostly use the shotokan characters because I suck at the game and Ryu and Akuma are easy to play. However, I hardly ever use Ivy in Soul Calibur, mostly because I never got the hang of switching between her weapon forms. I like to play as Seung Mina, since she’s not hard to use and her Opening Treasure move is one of the best moves in all of fighting games.

Incidentally, isn’t the internet amazing? I was wondering if anybody had recorded a video of that move, and I was thinking that it’d be great if somebody could show it being performed on female characters. And so someone has!

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review

While it’s great seeing these famous female fighters get figures, I’m kinda hoping somebody does a figure of Mars People one of these days.

Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review
Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review
Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review
Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review
Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur Figure Review
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39 Responses to Ivy Valentine from Soul Calibur IV (Queen’s Gate Version)

  1. Nightmare says:

    The most impressive part to me is how well you handled the light on the face considering her bangs. Hair messing up the face can be quite annoying to deal with.

    The pose is amazingly dull when wielding that sword but when she cracks out the whip she pulls it off nicely. Digging the colors and details. Face and chest, not so much.

    • Tier says:

      I was looking at my pictures of my other Ivy figure and I was like, “Where the heck did her face go?” I think that back then, I was still using a desk lamp with a paper towel taped in front of it. Now I’m waiting for the mailman to deliver my beauty dish (the 6″ one Syl Arena mentions in his book). I’m really hoping it works well for controlling spill.

  2. ImmLff says:

    I wonder if it’s just me or the proportions are somewhat weird. Her head seems to be a bit too small.
    Other than that, the figure looks pretty nice to me, especially her outfit.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, her head is pretty small; it’s the same way in the concept artwork for Soul Calibur IV, and that’s something I wish the sculptor had changed. I think it’s another example of how the figure doesn’t seem to come together very well.

      • Ness says:

        I wouldn’t say it’s all that odd. For all it’s glamor, SC uses pretty realistic models- 7-8 heads tall. I’d be perturbed to see a character from that game in particular that was less than that many heads tall.

  3. Zach Miller says:

    Goddamn insta-buy. This is an excellent representation of the character (besides the face) though the small scale is…not fantastic.

    • Tier says:

      I think the small size is my biggest beef. I like big figures and I cannot lie; it bugs the hell out of me when figures are smaller than they are billed to be. I pretty much ignore Wave’s swimsuit lineup because they’re all 1/10 scale, and it’s annoying when I buy a figure that basically turns out to be 1/10 scale.

  4. Asa says:

    Interesting. I dig weapon girls of all sorts, and she looks nice enough; definitely want to admire her from afar, not through a nice sharp macro, but the same can be said for most figures I suppose.

    I have no idea who she is, not even heard of the franchise; I stopped console gaming at the end of the 16bit era. After the SNES and MegaDrive (aka Genesis) consoles died to me. Was a horrible transition period to “3D” that was handled terribly and put me off any of the later consoles. Dedicated PC gamer ever since. Though I started out on PC too; consoles of the 8 and 16bit era were my only foray in to them, come to think of it.

    Randomness aside, I quite like how you pulled this shoot off largely drowning her in light, with almost no backdrop save the last couple. Couldn’t be bothered staging something new, no time to think of something, or does the bathing in light suit her character for some reason?

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, this is a figure best admired on a shelf. Or in other people’s pictures, since then you can’t see how small she really is.

      I had a somewhat similar video game progression; my family had a Sega Saturn which I liked, but after Sega discontinued support for it I stopped playing console games for a long time. It wasn’t until I bought an Xbox that I got back into consoles. Nowadays, I probably play both consoles and PC games equally, though I don’t play much of either since quitting World of Warcraft.

      That is indeed correct XD I must admit I was not trying very hard because I shot these pictures on Sunday, and my fantasy football team has the Eagles defense. I was down by something like eight or nine points with the Eagles playing the Giants on Sunday night, so I was watching the game and shooting pictures during commercial breaks. I had planned on shooting some darker pictures, since her look is suitable for a dark situation, but I didn’t have time. I’m happy with the bright pictures since I often remember the brightly-lit outdoor Soul Calibur environments.

  5. Oh? She’s out? There was something about her face which disagreed with me so I skipped ordering her back when she was announced. Right now, I’m just waiting for Noel!
    Hopefully, she’s made by a different company so I have something to look forward to.

    And at least Ivy is actually in Soul Calibur 5! There are quite a few characters who have been left out who have been in the series since way back in Soul Edge!! I think only MItsurugi, Voldo and Sigfried will now have been in every soul game since Taki and Sophitia have been removed… And lets not forget Sophitias standard throws where she either knees you in the nether regions (and then apologies for it!) or when she jumps on the enemies shoulders to give them a facefull of panties before doing a frankensteiner!

    Also, for the side, Ivys boobs look like meatbuns or one of the dango daikazoku!

    • Tier says:

      She is! Yeah, I had some reservations regarding her look too. I didn’t think she’d turn out this small, though. I’m hoping Noel isn’t a midget; at least, if she’s in reasonable scale with Dizzy and my other Queen’s Gate/Blade figures, I guess it’ll be okay. Random thought: Alter needs to do a Mu-12 figure.

      I gotta admit I was kinda disappointed when I heard SC5 is going to advance in time. I like playing fighting games mainly for the characters rather than their stories. The game’s main characters, I mean; I couldn’t care less that that Assassin’s Creed guy is in there or that the previous game had the Star Wars guys. Though I did like how SC3 let you dress up a custom character like KOS-MOS..

      Sophitia had some great throws; the one where she jumps on your shoulders is great. I also remember she had one where she bent her opponent back, sat on his or her face, and thrust downwards while giggling. Being the immature juvenile that I am, I used to love doing that move when I played against friends.

  6. Dinara says:

    This is a well done figure, I agree the paint and the detail in it is very good. But… her face… there is something wrong with it. I just can’t get past whatever is wrong with it. They really should have done something different with it. Maybe like you mentioned it’s very bland and not psychotic enough.

  7. Devastator001 says:

    Nice paint job, but Her pose leaves a bit to be desired :(… Looking at it it would seem that they couldn’t quite figure out what sort of impression they’d want her to give. It’d have been better if they went for something similar to her offical art in the game( Soul Calibur 4 one is a nice place tostart) than trying something new. She’d go well with sultry sexy pose :D

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, the pose doesn’t seem quite right to me. It kinda seems to me like her right leg ought to be back and her left leg should be forward. Everything I’ve ever learned about throwing a ball in sports or shooting a rifle or camera says the leg opposite of your dominant hand goes forward. Plus it seems really casual for someone like Ivy, who never seems casual or laid-back in the games.

  8. NegativeZero says:

    Nice Job as always.
    “I’ll shamelessly admit that when it comes to fighting games, I tend to choose the most attractive – and often most scantily-clad – female character.” – I’m with you on this as Mai was always a favorite :)
    Thanks for the montage link ;)

    • Tier says:

      I’ll also admit the main reason I haven’t bought Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the poor roster selection on Capcom’s part. No Psylocke, no Rogue, no buy.

      • NegativeZero says:

        don’t worry DOA 5 should be here some day soon. hopefully they will add a couple more females.

        • Tier says:

          I’m looking forward to that. I’m also sorta hoping they’ll make a DOAX3 one of these days; I wanted to like DOAX2 more than I did but its load times were so long it made it really hard to play (and for some reason, Tecmo disabled installation to the hard drive).

          • NegativeZero says:

            I think I played XBV1 more than 2. Something about just wasn’t fun any more and the achievements were superhard. you on xbl? drop me an email at my email address.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, I think I had about 120 hours into XBV1 and maybe 20 hours in DOAX2. I had this plan to try to get the sling bikinis and the Venus on all of the characters, which worked well since those were all Lisa’s suits and she’s my favorite character. I had a tough time adjusting to the volleyball in DOAX2, since it seems like they increased the difficulty.

            Nah, I’m not on XBL. Or rather, I don’t have a Gold subscription. Sometimes I think I’m the only Xbox owner who doesn’t subscribe to XBL.

          • NegativeZero says:

            yeah difficulty was increased, one thing to be mad at Itagaki for before he left.

            It’s cool if you’re not on XBL, Not everyone is willing to pay. I was always more of a Kasumi or Christie kind of guy personally. She kicks high :)

          • Tier says:

            I think my first favorite DOA girl was Helena, but when I played DOAX, I liked Lisa, since she was the default partner and got the raunchiest suits. I pretty much like all the girls in the game, though. I guess maybe Lei Fang is my least favorite, but that’s just nitpicking for me; they are all great. I wish they’d get more figures.

  9. Wieselhead says:

    Oh she’s more the mature lady type, isn’t she?

    Mhh the face… I think the face isn’t that well done as the rest of her body, I’d rather like the look from the battle book illustration. The lips are too big and somehow her eyes seem to have a lack of emotion.

    The fancy outfit of her is much better ^^ quite revealing and with a loud attention grabbing colortone. The bare inner thighs are very nice to look at, aren’t there any cast off option at this figure?

    I would like to play a beat em up Game at the moment, unfortunately I only have an old PS2 with the wrong games:D

    • Tier says:

      She’s definitely an older person; in fact, she shows up in Soul Calibur V even though she’s older than most of the cast. If I remember right, her lifespan is magically increased by some curse or somesuch.

      Nah, no cast off options; she’s so small that I guess it’d be hard to implement. That’s sort of unusual since almost all the Queen’s Blade/Gate figures have castoff options but not this one. Nor Dizzy, now that I think about it. I wonder if Lili will have removable clothes?

      You could get Soul Calibur III, it’s still a good game and it has unlockable KOS-MOS parts to dress your characters up as. Custom character with KOS-MOS armor and Zasalamel’s moves is always fun.

  10. BioToxic says:

    Ivy doesn’t look too bad. I’ve never really liked Soul Calibur so there’s no attachment to her character for me. By the time you get her in Queen’s Gate Spiral Chaos you’ve already got a decent party together so there’s little incentive to use her :\.

    It’s unfortunate her hair looks really rough. Her face as well looks too long, as well as the distance between her mouth, eyes and forehead. She looks great in her Queen’s Gate book though, would have been nice if they tried to recreate that look. You’re right about her pose – both sides of her seem to be at odds with one another. They should have either stuck with a pure sexy pose or action pose – not mix the two.

    Apart from those issues she looks alright. I especially like the purple clothing – it looks like fabric with all the creases and sewn joins. The fine details on her armour look great too. That sword whip looks bad-ass, although the blade threaded through string remind me more of those plastic size labels you see on coat-hangers in clothes shops :P.

    • Tier says:

      I should try playing Spiral Chaos one of these days; I have the disc but my lack of Japanese comprehension is problematic. On the other hand I have the feeling it’s the sort of game where I can just mash buttons and make things happen.

      Yeah, I think I would’ve liked to see how she would have looked if they had gone with her combat book appearance; it’s very much divergent from her game look but I think it would’ve been pretty cute, not to mention there have been a ton of Queen’s Gate figures which gave the characters more of an anime look. Kotobukiya’s Dizzy and Kasumi figures make them look really young, the upcoming Lili figure obviously departs from her Tekken design, I think an anime-fied Ivy figure would’ve been neat.

  11. I’m shocked there aren’t more Ivy figures. Or Soul Calibur figs in general. But especially Ivy! That outfits just screams for attention.

    Really love the sculpting and coloring on her clothes. I’m a sucker for a nice metallic purple. That only almost makes me want to get her, but there’s just something about the rest of her that extinguishes my flames of passion. The small size issue isn’t helping, either…

    You know what I want? And I’m probably the only person that wants this: a figure of Voldo. He’s freakishly disturbing to the point of being delightful. When I first played Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast I was kind of wigged out by him. Later on down the line after trying different characters I came to the horrifying realization that he was the one I was best at using. Now I love his creepy ass. VOLDO REVOLTECH, C’MON

    • Tier says:

      I wish there were more figures of fighting game characters; there are a ton of good candidates. It’s a bit regrettable that most fighting game characters only get figures through Queen’s Gate membership.

      I think for me, the pose is the thing that bothers me, aside from her small size. It looks rather unbalanced. In my opinion, a balanced pose looks natural from all angles, but Ivy looks a bit off from the front and very strange from the sides.

      I would not actually mind something like that. Heck, if someone like Hot Toys made a 1/6 scale Voldo doll, I might buy it, just to have him work as the president’s henchman. I haven’t used him much but I remember playing Soul Calibur with some friends and every now and then, one of us would pick Voldo and then mash buttons until we got him down on all fours, just to freak out the other player. Good times right there.

  12. Logan says:

    First, love the site and reviews.

    Second, I am a new collector, literally just getting into it, and wonder where to get some of these figures. I understand that the older, out-of-print figures are always harder to find and usually more expensive. For new entries, where should I look? (US/Import)

    Thanks!

    • Tier says:

      Hi, thanks for reading. I usually buy most of my figures from Japanese retailers, typically either Hobby Search or Amiami. I also occasionally buy figures from Mandarake, which sells both unopened and preowned figures and they have a very large stock (but their online inventory system leaves a great deal to be desired). In the US, I’ve bought stuff from Otakufuel and the Anime Corner Store, and I’ve also bought stuff from Amazon, although prices vary wildly there. Sometimes you can find some unexpected stuff there, though. Lastly, I’ve bought stuff from eBay, though generally only from sellers in Japan. eBay is rife with counterfeits and any price that looks too good to be true generally is a bootleg product.

  13. When I first saw Ivy up for pre-order, I was really excited as I liked her character in the game. The promo pics looked pretty good, but now seeing her more closely from your shots, I’m not sure if I’m that interested in her anymore. The quality just doesn’t seem to be as good as I expected – it could also be the fact I’m still waiting for my order to be processed by Hobby Fan – can’t believe it’s been a month and still nothing. Same with Tokugawa Sen, that figure was released back in September. lol At this point, I probably won’t mind if they just cancel my orders.

    I wouldn’t mind a good Taki figure though, I use her the most in Soul Calibur. ^_^’

    Nicely done with the exposure (foreground vs background)!

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I felt the same way when I saw pictures of Ivy on a different website, before I got the figure. I do have Senhime too, though she’s still in her box and I haven’t yet checked if her face is melting off like the prototype figure’s was. From what I’ve seen elsewhere, though, it looks like it turned out okay.

      That’s an annoying situation; I’ve heard decent things about Hobbyfan in general, but it’d greatly disappoint me if I placed an order that got left in limbo like that. Hopefully you get some answers.

  14. Veckx says:

    Hey,

    I’m interested of getting this, i checked Ebay and theres few going for ~200$ with shipping.
    http://www.hobbyfan.com has them for pre-order again it seems, 149$ + shipping.

    I’m however forced to pay the preorder straight away(im only able to pay with paypal).
    Have anyone here ordered from hobbyfan.com before? I’v heard stories about them taking forever to ship the items sometime.

    • Tier says:

      It’s been a long time since I’ve ordered from Hobbyfan but they’ve been reliable in the past. I do not know how quickly they handle preorders, though. Tokyo Hunter has the figure in stock for probably about the same price as Hobbyfan.

      • Veckx says:

        Thanks for responding, ill order from tokyo hunter instead since they already have them on stock. And it will be cheaper aswell! :)

        • Hobby Fan doesn’t require you to pay (perhaps only a deposit on certain items) until the order is ready to ship. They’ve been really slow lately, but they usually follow through and get the item you ordered.

          Tokyo Hunter is usually more expensive and you have to pay up front for his proxy service. But he’s reliable, no doubt about that.

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