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.
Xecty is the final figure in Max Factory’s series of Shining Wind swimsuit figures. She’s sculpted in 1/7 scale and stands about 22 centimeters tall. She’s refreshingly simple to set up; you just take her out of her box and stick her on her base.
Like Seena, Kureha, and Clalaclan, Xecty is clad in a fairly skimpy bikini. However, while the other characters sport sunny dispositions, Xecty’s mouth is pursed, perhaps in an expression of annoyance, discomfiture, or incredulity. Or perhaps she just doesn’t like to smile. She is also set apart from the other girls by her elvish ears and her winged headdress, both of which add an exotic touch to an otherwise straightforward character design.
Xecty’s body language also distinguishes herself from the myriad other swimsuit figures out there. Her arms are held close, fingers knitted together, and her head is cocked sideways, eyes locked in an icy stare. Many swimsuit figures give off happy vibes, with the characters looking like they’re ready for fun in the sun, but Xecty doesn’t seem to be enjoying herself. She looks a bit like a girl who would rather be left alone, or perhaps like a girl who is surprised to be noticed.
Xecty doesn’t look like she’s completely irritated, but I can’t help but think that her ahoge is flipping me off.
The character designs for the Shining series are now provided by well-known artist Tony Taka. Tony was one of the first anime artists whose name I remembered, and I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time. However, there are so many figures and anime (mostly ero) and games and merchandise featuring his art that it’s starting to get tiresome. Add to that the fact that I was a big fan of the Shining Force games and I’m not particularly pleased by the direction Sega has taken this once-proud franchise. Also add to that all the other manufacturers doing figures from the Shining series – Max Factory and Orchid Seed and Yamato and Alter and Volks and Griffon and Kotobukiya – and one could be forgiven for thinking that things are getting ridiculous.
Also add to that the excessive delays that Xecty suffered, delays that the quality of the figure does not really justify. She’s a nice figure, sure, but she’s certainly not special. We’ve seen a billion swimsuit figures. Heck, we’ve seen a billion swimsuit figures of Shining characters. It would have been nice if Max Factory had given the figures in the series slightly more flair, maybe unusual poses or unique swimsuits or something.
On the other hand, I can hardly believe that I’m ragging on a figure of a cute girl in a swimsuit. Back in the day, I remember eagerly awaiting the Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine each year; it doesn’t seem right for me to criticize a figure just because the character is wearing a conventional bikini. And Xecty’s bikini is pretty cute; the waistband is cut low, showing off her sexy stomach, and her nipples are poking through her top, adding some heat to melt down her frosty look.
So on the whole, Xecty is a pretty nice figure. But she’s hardly a special one, and these days, with so many figures coming out each month, she looks rather plain. Having been delayed for something like half a year, she is in the unenviable position of competing with all the figures released since. She also has the misfortune of being released in the same month as Dizzy, Junko Hattori, and Good Smile Company’s Dead Master, all superior figures with far more impressive shelf presence. Xecty is a good figure and seems a reasonable buy now that she’s in Hobby Search’s bargain bin, but I don’t think many people will remember her a year from now.
Check out Biotoxic’s site for another review and more pictures of Xecty.