Tag Archives: Max Factory

Kamael from Lineage II

Kamael figure from Lineage II

Despite its age, Lineage II has been a popular source of inspiration for figure manufacturers. Thus far, Good Smile Company, Orchid Seed, and Max Factory have made figures of its characters. That’s gratifying to see, as Lineage II has some very attractive character designs. It’s not atypical in that respect; this may be over-generalizing, but I’ve long thought that Korean MMOs – a group that also includes TERA, Aion, Blade & Soul, and Scarlet Blade Online – have some of the best character designs in video games. The Kamael is the latest such figure to be released, and it’s the third Lineage figure to be produced by Max Factory; we’ll be looking at them in reverse order.
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Kuroyukihime from Accel World (Death by Embracing Version)

Kuroyukihime from Accel World

Sometimes, I buy figures because I like the character, or because I like the series or game that she comes from. Those figures tend to be the most meaningful to me, but that’s not to say that familiarity automatically elevates a figure in my esteem. As an example in counterpoint, I know a bit about Saber, I’m a fan of Saber’s personality and I have a ton of Saber figures, but while I like them, I wouldn’t really describe any of them as treasures of my collection, aside maybe from gangsta lean Saber, and that’s mainly because she looks so damn peculiar. (Speaking of Saber figures, I’ve got that one with the motorbike still boxed up in my closet, where it’s been sitting for around 17 or 18 months.) Also, that’s not to say that not knowing much about a character means that I view it with less warmth than would otherwise be the case – even if I loathe the game or show that she stars in. Indeed, if the figure looks really cool, unfamiliarity is no impediment to appreciation. Which brings us to this figure of Kuroyukihime, a cute girl from a show I disliked so much that I dropped it fifteen minutes into its first episode. Despite my contempt for Accel World – or at least, its anime adaptation – I was very much looking forward to this figure. It’s not hard to see why.
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Tomo Asama from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

Tomo Asama figure by Max Factory

Over a year after Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere (or Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, if you prefer the more-grammatically-correct American title) concluded its two-season run, figures have been slow to trickle out. The few that are available have come from a variety of manufacturers; Wave has released a few figures in its Beach Queens series, as well as an anomalous figure of lead girl Horizon Ariadust, which we looked at a while back. Alter, as is their wont, is going with a minor character in an action pose. (I previously expressed some trepidation regarding the figure’s price tag and size but lately I’ve been thinking she’d look pretty cool battling my Yamato 1/48-scale VF-1 Valkyries, and that could also make for some pretty cool photo ops.) Volks’s figures show a lot of promise but nothing yet substantive. Kotobukiya has a few in the pipeline, including an action-oriented one of Tomo Asama, who is who we’re looking at here. This figure, by Max Factory, is decidedly not action-oriented; instead, it is pretty obvious what attributes they wished to emphasize.
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Samurai Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020

Katanako from 7th Dragon 2020 Figure Review

The schoolgirl-with-weapons theme is a very popular one, so much so that it’s made its way into Hollywood films like Kill Bill and Sucker Punch. Still, it is a quintessential theme associated with pop Japanese culture, particularly anime and video games, and as such one of the most common weapons for such a schoolgirl is a traditional Japanese sword. It’s odd, then, that looking at my collection, I see I’ve only got a couple of figures of schoolgirls with swords. This one here is one of them.
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Izumi Shizuno from se.Kirara

Izumi Shizuno from se.Kirara

Cognizant of the fact that well-known titles move more merchandise, most figure companies make figures of characters from licensed properties. However, Max Factory took a rather unusual approach with their figures of the se.Kirara characters; rather than seek out an existing franchise, they developed the title themselves, making them (to my knowledge) the only figure maker to also be an eroge producer. Another unusual thing about their strategy is that Max Factory released the game for free; unfortunately, while it was originally downloadable from the Nico Nico website, it seems to no longer be available. However, even if we can’t enjoy the game, we can at least admire the figures. The first to be released was Aya Kagura, who I actually have – somewhere around here – but we’ll be taking a look at the blue-headed Izumi Shizuno first.
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Samus Aran from Metroid: Other M (Zero Suit Version)

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

I have to admit that lately, I haven’t been too enthusiastic about Good Smile Company’s or Alter’s figure lineups. It doesn’t take any extraordinary talent at prognostication to look at a seasonal anime chart and guess which shows are going to get Good Smile Company figures and lately, Alter’s been eminently predictable as well. Unfortunately – for me, specifically – many of the characters they make figures of don’t interest me or come from shows that I don’t know much about. That leaves Max Factory in the role of the eclectic scale-size figure maker. They’re not nearly as capricious as, say, Daiki Kougyou or Yamato, but well, when one tires of buying Nanoha or Vocaloid or Strike Witches figures, one takes what one can get. Fortunately, Samus Aran surely doesn’t count as a compromise.
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Miku Append from Vocaloid

Max Factory Miku Append Figure Review

Miku Hatsune’s popularity among figure collectors is ascendant, and though it seemed like she would have to share the 2011 hobby spotlight with Tamaki Kousaka and Super Sonico, most of Sonico’s figures won’t be coming out until next year and many of this year’s Tamaki figures are manifestly forgettable, leaving no competition to contest Miku’s prominence. From her humble origin as an image character of a niche software package, she has become a titan of commercialization, appearing not only in her own games but also games such as Pangya Fantasy Golf and the PlayStation 3 port of Idolmaster 2, becoming the mascot of Good Smile Racing, and selling Toyota automobiles. And of course, she’s gotten figures – not just numerous figures, but a numerous variety of figures. A few years ago, one could justifiably complain that Miku figures all looked alike – Good Smile Company’s Miku looked very much like Volks’s Miku which looked very much like Max Factory’s Miku. However, in recent times, figure makers have offered new takes on the Vocaloid mascot, casting her as a sort of warrior clad in robotic armor and as a pit crew worker. Even more conventional takes on the character, such as Good Smile Company’s Lat-type figure and Max Factory’s Tony Taka-designed figure present distinctive poses and facial expressions. The latest Miku figure to be released is perhaps the most distinctive yet, but whether that’s a good thing is debatable. Let’s take a closer look at it.
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Haruka Morishima from Amagami

Haruka Morishima from Amagami Figure Review

Here we have a figure from Amagami SS, a school romance show featuring a male lead who sleeps in a closet. Ordinarily, I’d rather have nothing to do with a harem-based school romance show, given how bad Princess Lover! was and how bad Mayo Chiki! is looking to be, but one guess should suffice to divine what aspect of this figure enticed me enough to buy it.
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Chie from the Art of Ishikei (NSFW)

Chie figure by Native

Dizzy? Great figure. Junko? Great figure. Saber Alter? Great figure. But as great as those figures are, sometimes a person wants something different. Sometimes a person wants something really special. Sometimes a person wants a porno figure. Okay, Erina was pretty nice but she’s more on the softcore side of things, as far as figures go. Fortunately, Native is always willing to oblige the more explicit side of the hobby. Except for this figure, anyway. And this one. Oh, and this one. Okay, maybe they’re going soft on us, and that’s a bit disappointing coming from a company whose motto is “Naked & Creative,” but beggars can’t be choosers. And fortunately, Ishikei’s Chie is such a nice figure that she more than makes up for any concessions those upcoming figures make.
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Xecty from Shining Wind (Swimsuit Version)

Max Factory Xecty Figure Review

It’s not uncommon for figures to get delayed, but some delays are just inexplicable. Like Xecty’s, for instance. I ordered her last summer during Hobby Search’s EMS shipping discount sale. And then I waited. And waited. I mean, this is a swimsuit figure, it’s not like they haven’t made them before. I guess the factories must have been too busy rolling out nendoroids and Figmas.

With some things – like the novel A Dance With Dragons – my enthusiasm is undimmed by delays. And with other things – like Starcraft II – I find myself not caring at all when they finally get released. Xecty falls in the second category – when Hobby Search sent me her bill, I was like, “Aww man, I ordered this?” I left her in her box until a few days ago and needing something to review, decided to take her out. I was a bit conflicted on how I feel about her, but seeing her now, she’s a nice figure. Special? No way. But nice, yeah, I can agree with that.
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