One day back in June, I woke up and went through my normal morning routine: brush my teeth, make lunch, and shut down every emotion but rage and spite in preparation for the drive to work. Before heading out the door, I checked my e-mail, checked Statcounter, and loaded up Moeyo. Then I saw this figure. Treasure Festa was in full swing and Cobra Kai was showing off their rendition of Fate T. Harlaown. It looked so unusual that I had to think for a moment whether I liked it or not – Toshirou’s sculpts are sort of eccentric, and they’re not something that everyone is gonna love. I’ve got a couple of his figures – chained-up Kanu and gangsta lean Saber – and I like them a lot, so I decided that this version of Fate was pretty dang cool. Plus, Toshirou’s circle is called Cobra Kai. How cool is that, that they named themselves after the villains that brutalized Daniel-san? Sweep the leg … do you have a problem with that?
I get to work and load up Moeyo again to take another look at the pictures. I run the page through an auto-translator which isn’t helpful in the least, and while I still have no idea how big she is, I could tell that she’s pretty damn big. Cobra Kai likes the big size, and I figure that she’s at least 1/6 scale, maybe even 1/4 like their Ryomou Shimei kit. I’m like, “Cool,” and then I close the page. They don’t mass-manufacture their kits, so I figure my best bet is for Daiki Kougyou to do a PVC version, and I think there’s a decent chance of that. After all, they’re crazy; who would’ve thought that Toshirou’s Saber would ever see a mass-market version? Or for that matter, who would’ve imagined that they’d put out a 1/4 scale figure with realistically-sculpted genitalia back at a time when both 1/4 scale figures and plastic labia were unthinkable?
Then I foolishly type in – well, copy and paste – Cobra Kai’s name into Yahoo Japan Auctions. And I see a listing for this figure. Someone’s gotten their hands on it, painted it, and assembled it! Or that’s what the listing seems to say, anyway. So I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “Damn.” Gotta think how much I like this figure. I mean, it’s a bit odd-looking. And it’s pretty ‘spensive. And there’s a decent chance Daiki Kougyou’ll pick it up. Now I gotta make a decision: do I let this slide or do I hit up my favorite shopping service in Japan? I’m not big on making decisions, you know; I’m more of a go-with-the-flow kinda guy. (You mean you’re a pussy.) Hey, hey, ain’t no call for vulgarity now, is there?
Anyway, so I gotta think this over. I gotta check the funds. I gotta see whether Daiki Kougyou’s showing any sign of picking this up. I’m even thinking about flipping an e-mail their way, in English and all, asking them if this is in their plans. I’m sure they’d just laugh at the dumb gaijin, though. I’m looking at the pictures and I’m like, “Man, this is really cool.” I’m wondering if it’s authentic, but it says, “All our exhibits use the regular article which they purchased by events.” Sounds authentic to me! I’m wondering if it’s preassembled and prepainted, but I guess the pictures ought to confirm that. Now I just gotta decide how bad I want it. I need some help. I need some advice. I need someone to tell me that this is the right thing to do. (For chrissake, just bid on the goddamn thing already. Jesus.) Well, that ain’t no Jimmy V, but hell, you put it that way, it’d almost be apostasy not to do it, wouldn’t it?
So I type up an e-mail and send it off to my buyer asking him to bid, and I’m thinking, I gotta be crazy, man, I gotta be insane. I’m nuttier than Nutella. I’m on some next level stuff; I’m toked up, straight blazed, high as a kite. ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy.
Then it’s Sunday, I should be relaxing, making the most of the weekend, but I can’t. The auction ends this morning and I’m up early, giving the F5 key a workout. And then my worst fear comes true; some motherfucker is contesting the bid. I’m like, “Aww hell no” and I’m like, “asdfdsklfj.” At this moment, I hate everyone in Japan. I check my bank balance again.
On the other hand, this gives me an out. Maybe it’s not meant to be, maybe I ought to cash out and save my money for another day. But that ain’t the way I operate. So I open up the e-mail and tap out a message telling my guy in Japan to up my bid. And I’m hoping to myself that he’s there, looking out for me, that he ain’t on the couch watching the Japanese equivalent of Leno with a can of warm Calpis. So now I’m tabbing back and forth, refreshing both the auction and my e-mail. I ain’t supposed to be this stressed on a Sunday, but then my guy hits me back saying, “Let’s win this thing,” and I’m all up like Flavor Flav going, “Yeeaaaaahhh boyeeeee!”
So now my bid’s jacked up and I’m thinking, “Ain’t no way this guy is coming back.” That’s the way to do it – strike hard, strike fast, no mercy. I see the bid increase but I know this guy ain’t got the balls to go as high as I will. I watch the minutes and then the seconds tick down and then the auction ends and I’m the winner. Get him a bodybag, yeah! What, what, punk?!? TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW, YOU FUCKING STUPID BASTARD!
Now to play the waiting game, and I’m worried that Fate’s gonna arrive in pieces. Or that it’s gonna turn out that I actually bid on a model kit that’ll arrive in unpainted pieces. When you’ve spent a lot of time bidding on stuff whose descriptions you can’t read, though, you get used to this. Not to change the subject or anything but I bet proxy buyers got some great stories about what sorts of things their customers order. I kinda wonder what they think when you ask them to buy something like this. Or a pornographic pillowcase. Me, in their place, I’d probably just be thinking, “Cha-ching!”
So she gets here and to my amazement, she’s intact with nothing snapped off. Praise Hojo! I pull her out and man, she is huge. 38.5 centimeters tall not counting base or sword, 50 centimeters counting everything. She’s 1/4 scale for true – God’s scale. She’s got this nifty lucite base with her picture and her name – her original name, not that goofy-sounding Harlaown thing. Paint looks sharp and solid, everything seems as it should be. Well, mostly. One of her hair tails is a bit loose, but I think I can fix that with some glue. Hand’s a bit wobbly, but same deal, I can fix that, ain’t no thang but a chicken wang.
Put her up against Volks’s figure and she crushes her in size. Alter’s Fate T. Harlaown is closer, though she’s still pint-sized compared to Toshirou’s sculpt. Bardiche is about the same size, though, which just shows how ridiculous it is with Alter’s figure. Cobra Kai’s Fate can actually swap in Alter’s Bardiche without a hitch.
Man I like this sculpt. It’s different, for sure. Very nice chest, I like the way her nipples are perky, standing proud, as they should be. I’m liking her curves, they probably won’t be everyone’s favorite, but I like them just the same. (Man, just say it, she’s got the boom.) What? (She’s fat.) Dammit, dude, you ain’t got to put it that way. (No, no, seriously, that ain’t a bad thing, I mean, I bet you needed a new wide angle to fit her in the picture, right?) What the hell? (Hey, any excuse to get new gear, right?) You’re a real fucking asshole, you know that? (Always happy to oblige, man.) I think you and I are done talking. (Hey, no, wait –)
Anyways, like I said, I dig the sculpt. And I like the paint job. The guy who put this together and painted it kinda went his own route instead of trying to replicate Toshirou’s eyes; Toshirou gives his figures a heavy-lidded look, it’s sort of his signature, but it’s not too evident here. However, the guy did a real nice job giving Fate’s outfit a transparent effect, just like the original model. Overall, I got to give props to the builder, he definitely did a great job with everything.
Speaking of the dude who completed this figure, he also did this Black Rock Shooter figure. It’s in 1/6 scale, and it looks pretty nice. You don’t want to know how much it went for.
It took a bit of trouble to acquire Fate, but I’m happy to have her, particularly since it seems like Daiki Kougyou gots no intention of doing a PVC version any time soon. A guy asked on Cobra Kai’s BBS whether there was a chance of a completed version and Toshirou responded, “Fate is the sale of finished goods, so far no plan … No offers from our manufacturer (crying). Even that broad-minded Daiki Kougyou (tears)” Or something like that. So there we go, straight from the man hisself. Shame on Daiki Kougyou for making him cry. Me, I’m happy; I only cry when I check my bank statement, and only just a little.