Last year, when figure sites posted up pictures of Velvet, the figure-buying collective gushed over Bubba’s latest creation. Would it make into mass-market form? If so, who would do the honors? Max Factory, maybe? They and Bubba had collaborated before, and Max Factory has certainly always had the full confidence of the fanbase.
Then Yamato announced that they would be doing the job. Exuberance evaporated into anxiety and exhilaration flash-boiled into exasperation.
I wasn’t too distressed since I like Yamato, but I wondered how she’d turn out; Yamato’s done a nice job with REFLECT’s sculpts, but I was curious as to whether they could do justice to Bubba’s masterpiece. How did she turn out?
Velvet hails from Vanillaware’s well-regarded PlayStation 2 RPG Odin Sphere. Being that I’ve played the game for maybe a half hour total, I haven’t yet gotten to play as Velvet, and as I might someday want to play it, I’ll hold off of consulting the character bio on Wikipedia and go straight to the figure. Velvet is a bit over 24 centimeters tall from her toes to the top of her hood; she’s listed as non-scale, which I don’t really understand since every figure obviously has a height ratio. Assuming Velvet is an average-sized girl, this figure is somewhere between 1/6 and 1/7 scale; I like 1/6 scale better so that’s what I’ll call this.
Bubba is most famous for his superlative bunny Haruhi sculpt, which never did made into PVC form. It was sold as a model kit almost three years ago; it doesn’t seem that old.
Velvet’s base is a six-pointed star with a faux-marble surface and an intricate raised plant motif embossed on its side. While I’m not certain of its significance or meaning, I can appreciate its appearance, and it looks gorgeous; it’s definitely a nice step up from the typical black or transparent round plastic base supplied with most figures. I had a bit of difficulty keeping her left foot attached the foot peg, but pushing down on it with a bit more pressure seems to have done the trick.
Velvet’s main accessory is a chain with a large red gem on each end. Yamato thoughtfully provides a couple of plastic half-bracelets to drape the chain over the back of each of her hands. However, much to my amazement, I managed to misplace those bracelets not more than ten minutes after opening up the box. Doubtless they’ll turn up around here somewhere, but in the meantime, I’ve just wrapped the chain around her hands.
One of the admirable things about Velvet’s sculpt is that she looks great from almost every angle. It’s a testament to Bubba’s talent that there are so many individual aspects here that stand out: the arch of her back, her elongated legs, her curved backside, her billowing skirt and hood, and especially her heavy-lidded, expressive eyes. Velvet has one of the most beautiful faces I’ve seen on an anime figure, and it’s remarkable how her demeanor seems to change with how you look at her; from behind, she looks cool and dismissive, from the side she wears a neutral expression, and from the front her face takes on an apprehensive cast.
The photographs of the original garage kit version showed Velvet with very liquid, luminous eyes, and I liked that look a lot, so I brushed a bit of floor wax onto PVC Velvet’s eyes. Model kit builders have known about the usefulness of Future floor wax for years, and I thought that it could make her eyes a bit more glossy. I didn’t use very much though and I’m not certain whether it had any effect.
Another aspect of Velvet’s appeal is of course the fan service angle. Her crop top looks as if it were made of nothing more than body point and her chest and rear are thrust forward and back, a pose that might seem excessively wanton but Velvet still manages to look classy. However, that dignity disappears when her skirt is pulled off as Yamato has happily made her skirt removable. Velvet separates just under her bustline and her skirt slides up and off.
Bubba and Yamato have done a superb job rendering her undergarments; no plain white panties here, Velvet is wearing some very sultry and very skimpy black panties that are sheer and sexy. Fully dressed or sans skirt, she looks fantastic either way.
Velvet is an amazing figure and I’m very pleased that Yamato did an excellent job with her. While I’m guessing that Alter will be putting forth their own rendition of Velvet at some point, it’s hard to imagine how they can top Yamato’s version and that’s not something that you can say about Alter all that often. We shall see.