Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (Ichiban Kuji Version)

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

Fate Testarossa is undoubtedly one of the most visible characters in anime culture, and it’s no surprise that figure makers turn to her again and again. For example, Alter is on schedule to release or re-release five figures of her this year alone – an astonishing number for a character who doesn’t even take top billing in her show. Lesser-known scale figure manufacturers also enjoy showing love to Fate; this particular figure comes from Banpresto, who I know more for making trading-sized figures and mecha toys than 1/7 scale figures. Regardless of my unfamiliarity with Banpresto’s products, I have a mandate to be the world’s biggest Fate fan who hasn’t actually watched her television series, and so I went ahead and picked this one up.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

This particular rendition of Fate comes from her design in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha movie; it says so on the box and the lack of armor plating on her shoes and gloves give it away. The box doesn’t say what scale size she is in, but I would guess she’s 1/7 scale; she’s 20 centimeters tall and 1/7 scale would put her at around 4′ 7″ in real life. That seems plausible for a nine-year old girl.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

The box does say that Fate is to be sold only in Japan as a prize. The Ichiban Kuji figures are apparently sold using a lottery system; you pay a small amount of money for a lottery ticket and you can win several prizes, including relatively large figures such as this one. Unfortunately, foreigners aren’t eligible to play, but fortunately these figures are not difficult to purchase on the secondary market, such as at Mandarake, which is where I picked this Fate up.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

I did not have very high expectations for this figure – I haven’t seen much of Banpresto’s stuff and at 800 yen to enter the lottery, I didn’t think that Fate’s quality would be very high. Happily, I was wrong – sort of, anyway. Fate’s quality is certainly not at the level of some of the more consistent figure makers, but it’s certainly better than, say, the BEAT figures that I have. Or the Giga Pulse figures. Okay, that’s not saying much, but I was certainly surprised to see that Fate looks quite nice.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

A less pleasant surprise was Fate’s base. It’s a white beveled square with magical ring imprinting – nothing too special there. When I first placed Fate’s feet on the pegs, she was very loose and when I removed her, I noticed that the pegs were shorter than they had been. I immediately thought I had screwed up and snapped the pegs off, but the holes in Fate’s feet were empty. I wadded up some adhesive putty under Fate’s right foot to keep her standing – you might be able to see it in some of the pictures – but I couldn’t believe that Banpresto had made the pegs so short. After finishing up the pictures, I looked at the base again and found something very unusual – the pegs retract back into the base if you put pressure on them. I was perplexed by this since probably the only time you would press down on the pegs would be when you are trying to mount the figure to the base – and that’s when the pegs retract. I’m half-wondering if I’m missing something completely obvious, but this seems like a big load of fail on Banpresto’s part. At any rate, I found that pressing down on Fate’s feet while pressing up on the bottom of the peg (from below the base) seems to make her stable and secure.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

The paintwork is adequate – there is not a great deal of shading on Fate’s clothing or her skin, but Fate has a fairly simple color scheme and Banpresto’s work gets the job done. Her hair does have some subtle dark tones to keep it from looking completely boring. The sculpt also helps, as her twintails show a bit of movement that contrasts with Fate’s tranquil pose.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

Speaking of the pose, I like it a lot, and I also like her friendly expression. Figures of Fate in her barrier jacket tend to go heavy on action poses and angry loli scowls. Alter’s recent figure epitomizes that convention, as does their earlier figure, and so do several other figures, such as FREEing’s oddball 1/12 scale one and Good Smile Company’s actsta toy, which comes with not just one but two frowning faces. Banpresto’s Fate, in contrast, sports a placid smile and a rather sedate pose. She’s wide-eyed and seemingly at peace as she clutches Bardiche.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

It also helps that Fate wears comparatively less clothing than many of the other characters in the Nanoha franchise, and Banpresto emphasizes this fact by providing some castoff options. Fate comes with her big, billowing cape, though it doesn’t seem to attach to her; rather, it just drapes over her shoulders, though it fits well enough. She also separates under the red strap encircling her body below her bust; this facilitates removing her skirt. I think she looks pretty cute without her skirt and cape, and it makes her visual design a bit less cluttered. I like the simplicity of her appearance in this mode, particularly when contrasted with the complex shapes that comprise Bardiche.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

Fate has a cute rear, which is appropriate; it wouldn’t be right if Fate didn’t have a cute rear.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review

I had low expectations for Fate but I’m quite happy with this figure. It’s not the most spectacular figure, nor is it particularly impressive as far as technical qualities go, but I think it has a warm and friendly charm that complements Alter’s action-hero Fates. I like her youthful, innocent expression, and I like her castoff options. And she was pretty cheap; not 800 yen cheap but not quite as expensive as most 1/7 scale figures go. This is a well-made figure of a happy, scantily-clad young girl and her battle axe, and that’s enough for me.

Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
Banpresto Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Figure Review
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28 Responses to Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (Ichiban Kuji Version)

  1. I like how they’ve really detailed her knee pits even though she’s wearing thigh highs. But for a Banpresto Prize figure, this looks quite good! Like her crotch & inner thigh area. Very nice. I agree, the cast-off option is a nice touch. I am quite surprised when I saw your tweet regarding a Banpresto figure though. I thought that was kinda rare, but I can see the Fate fandom taking over that I don’t think the company matters anymore. 😉

    • Tier says:

      Fate is definitely A-list as far as merchandising goes. In fact, I’ve got three more Fates in the review queue; I was planning on announcing Fate Week and just reviewing them all then, but I decided that was probably silly and at the rate I post, it’d be more like Fate Month instead. One of them is from a mainstream company (GSC) but the other two are from somewhat more niche companies (Cospa and Azone … okay, Cospa’s a huge goods manufacturer, but they’re kinda niche when it comes to figures. I think, anyway.).

  2. Wolfheinrich says:

    You’re right, this Banpresto Fate does look very charming in her own way, certainly for the price she is quite the gem I am sure. But since I have just committed to buy the 3rd pvc figure of the year, I think I don’t have a choice but to pass :3 I look forward to the day you show off you Fate collection in one swoop~

    • Tier says:

      Man, I don’t think I have the room to do that. I remember trying to cram just the three Alter Fates that I own in one picture and that was pretty tough. Cramming in a 1/4 scale figure and a 50-centimeter tall doll would be pretty hard. I think it’d look pretty cool, though, having Bardiches of all different sizes poking all over the place.

  3. Punynari says:

    Outstanding review and photos. I picked up the Ichiban Kuji Fate (and Nanoha) after striking out big at the lottery. The Fate and Nanoha full sized figures had low odds and I ended up spending more on the lottery then if I just would have bought them outright in Radio Kaikan. ^^;

    Still, it was worth it. The Ichibankuji Fate is my favorite figure of her. As you said above, Fate is nearly always scowling and, thankfully, they went with a more sweet and innocent look.

    Also, good job with your photos. She’s a angelic cutie and your photos really bring this out. ^_^

    • Tier says:

      Thanks XD I’m not actually sure which is my favorite Fate figure. Well, actually, I do know, it’s Caramel Dice’s garage kit, but nobody seems inclined to make a PVC version of it so I guess that doesn’t count. I have a soft spot for Alter’s 2006 figure, but it really doesn’t stand up that well to current figures. Their Phantom Minds figures is fantastic – it’s dynamic, it’s ambition, it comes with a billion accessories – but it might be a bit over much, if such a thing could be said of a figure. I think probably I’d just say that I love them all, despite not having watched the TV shows (I did watch the movie, though).

  4. Fabienne says:

    The fact that shes from Banpresto still leaves me speechless, haha she looks so surprisinlgy good, ^_^ ok she’s no Alter figure, but even though she looks nice.
    These different dressup options are also very cool features of this figure.
    I guess I like her the most with just the last layer of clothes 😀

    In general I like Nanoha the most from this Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise, albeit I only have one figure of her. This is the first Fate figure I would like to get for myself, her face is just too cute *omg* I realy like this charming and playful smile of her.
    There aren’t many Fate figures with friendly faces out there and this a nice change.

    great review and really great pics, my favs are 03,06,07,08 and 28 thx for sharing.
    Maybe I can find this figure somewhere for a good price after I’ve cooled down my exaltation. I’ve actually never considered to buy a figure of Banpresto, but in this case… ;p

    • Tier says:

      I like Nanoha as well though curiously, I only have one figure of her so far (GSC’s actsta toy, which I’m not sure qualifies as a figure). Oddly, I have one Nanoha dakimakura cover but no Fate dakimakura covers.

      You might be able to find this figure on Mandarake, it seems to pop up with some frequency there, and it usually isn’t too expensive.

  5. Cantan says:

    Sometimes I think people notice what they want to see – you like Fate so you notice every single figure of her… but there are a lot of other characters who receive massive numbers of figures every year that you probably aren’t as attuned to. Some like Saber do take top billing, but others like Kanu Unchou and Ryomou have usurped another character to take over the anime and figure markets – you just don’t see many figures of Hakufu these days and she was always the protagonist of Ikki Tousen!

    Figure makers do seem to be focusing on particular characters though… just look at the 47million Super Sonicos currently released/announced.

    I’m back in the figure game sort of… Just received my Naruga X Hunter from Gathering and was absolutely blown away. Her weapon is without a doubt the best quality and coolest looking weapon on any of my figures, she’s massive, well painted and has fishnets like Sonico… what’s not to love!

    Have to say that I like my figures more mature and rounded than this one – never been particularly into loli.

    • Tier says:

      I’m quite aware that the Ikkitousen girls get a lot of figures – I own something like five Kanu Uncho figures. In fact, I celebrated Kanu Week on this site, and she’s the only character I’ve given three straight reviews. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Griffon did five figures of her in one year, particularly given their penchant for issuing repaints, but everybody knows that Kanu used to get a ton of figures (and quite a few people used to complain about it … I guess I can’t criticize them, I whine all the time about there being too many nendoroids and BRS figures). Curious that Kanu’s popularity seems to have waned considerably this year. Also curious that Hakufu never got that kind of love – Alter never did one of her, even though they did one of Chouun and Kakouen. Then again, she sorta faded in prominence in the manga and I think the anime as well; I didn’t get much through Great Guardians so I couldn’t say for certain. That also reminds me that since Tokyopop has gone under, I’m not certain if anybody is translating the manga into English anymore.

      Oddly, I haven’t gotten a figure in a while; I think the last figures I got in the mail were Charlotte Yeager and summer Saber. Heat Blade ought to be arriving soon – I’m amazed she shipped at all – and I better ask Amiami to straighten out an order which has two in-stock figures and one figure that got kicked back to October.

  6. Devastator001 says:

    Detail work on her face is quite good! @_@! Definitely a nice fig for 800 yen if one did win one 😀

    • Tier says:

      I definitely did not win one, and I wouldn’t have played even if they let overseas people play because I have this huge reluctance to gamble. I once went to Atlantic City with a friend and I just stood around in the casino because I don’t like gambling. I have no moral issues at all with gambling, I just really hate risking my precious cash money like that. I did pick this figure up for 5000 yen, I think, which wasn’t too bad a price for a figure that wasn’t available through the usual stores.

  7. Asa says:

    Interesting. Seems rather high quality for banpresto; still not high enough I would want one (already have a Fate and I don’t repeat characters, anyway) but still much higher quality than I’ve seen out of banpresto stuff, which is usually cheap and tacky looking, poor finish, paint bleeds etc.

    I agree it’s nice to see the calm kind of pose, happy face from Fate, most figures are usually action and aggro (which is why I love my dual wielding Alter StrikerS Fate) but this kind of figure is nice from time to time.

  8. BioToxic says:

    Another Fate figure, you must have one of the biggest collections of her. This one’s not as action orientated as the others we’ve seen but I think this calmer look is really cute. Being able to disassemble the various pieces of her outfit is also nice. She looks best with the least amount of clothing I think since her skintight suit hugs her figure well revealing all the contours of her body. Does she suffer from paint transfer when removing parts?

    Ah my CC figure by Banpresto also had a really strange display base, and square. The pegs disappear into the base and are too close to each other. There’s also a strange wedge they give for one of the high heels to keep her in place, the problem is it doesn’t fit the heel. Once I eventually got her set in place she’s been fine. Sometimes her legs pop-out the peg when I move her though.

    A lot of people knock Banpresto Prize figures but the ones I’ve got I’ve been rather pleased with. C.C. is probably one of my favourites from them since no one else seems to make figures of her. Liking the character you’re buying can also help with overlooking any flaws.

    • Tier says:

      Let’s see, how many Fates do I have … three Alter ones, a Volks one, a Cobra Kai one, a Cospa one, this one, GSC’s actsta, and a doll, that’s hmm, nine in all. I don’t know if she’s the most-represented character in my collection, though; I think I may have more Asuka figures. It’s an odd circumstance since I’ve not seen the Nanoha television series apart from the first episodes of the first and third seasons and also because Asuka’s not my favorite Eva girl.

      She seems to be okay with respect to paint transfer; I have not noticed any, at least, and I’m assuming that I can remove any marks with rubbing alcohol. Uhh, though I would definitely test it out on in inconspicuous spot first; I’ve had decent luck using rubbing alcohol to remove marks and paint from PVC figures but I’ve found the hard way that it’s a very bad idea to apply alcohol to Buddy’s scythe.

      I wonder why Banpresto uses these weird retracting pegs. I also can’t get Fate’s right foot into her peg; I’m not sure if the hole in her foot is too small or something. Fortunately she seems to be okay with just her left foot secured.

      Yeah, I definitely have a strong bias when it comes to characters I like. If I don’t particularly care for a character, I’m more likely to be more critical than I am with a favorite character. It’s also much, much easier for me to write posts on characters I like; some of the recent reviews I’ve done (like Haruka, Charlotte, and Maxima) were very difficult to write just because I didn’t know much about the characters and didn’t have much to say about them.

  9. Tier says:

    >> Asa
    Ah, well I shall look forward to them, then. I’m tentatively planning on watching A’s since I’ve heard it’s the best series of the three, but I’m not sure if I want to go through StrikerS, particularly since it’s a full 24 episodes.

    To be honest, I didn’t like the Nanoha movie a whole lot. The action was great, and it was definitely very pretty, but the plotting and characterization drove me nuts. I probably should’ve just enjoyed the visuals and not paid much attention to what was going on.

    • Asa says:

      StrikerS is by far the best because it is a double cours, has more character development… plus Nanoha and Fate are adults, which are much more appreciable than lolis. It’s not well received among most of the fanbase because they prefer their loli heroines. It has better pacing, more story and some amazing action. But really you need to watch all of them in order… the first movie can be considered having seen the first season, though did cut out the fluffy character development home life stuff which does kind of add to the entire character growth train.

      I find it strange you have so many Fate figures yet don’t actually know the character… but to each his own, I suppose. ^^;

      • Tier says:

        I haven’t seen much of the source material but I’m familiar with Fate’s background; it’s hard to avoid missing Nanoha stuff in this hobby and I haven’t gone out of my way to avoid reading spoilers. Plus the Nanoha series isn’t extraordinarily original so it’s easy to extrapolate personalities from conventional archetypes.

        To be honest, though, my affinity for Fate comes from porn. I’ve got a ton of Fate rape doujinshi and I need to arrange an order with my favorite doujinshi-buying proxy since C80 just occurred. One can never have enough Fate rape doujinshi.

        • Asa says:

          I can’t say I agree, but don’t take that as me being a femnazi or something, I don’t care what other people are in to… whatever floats your boat, but I just don’t dig it personally. Especially given most will be loli, and I’m not a fan of sexualised loli. I like adults. 🙁

          • Tier says:

            OMG 🙁 If you change your mind, I can point you to some titles that I like and circles that I admire! Fate rape porn is great rape porn.

  10. Asa says:

    Unless it’s adult Fate (or mimified) I’ll have to pass, thanks though. ^^;

  11. I love fate and I wish I could have gotten this figure but it’s sold out everywhere here.

    • Tier says:

      I got mine from Mandarake; I see it reasonably often there, that’d be a good place to look. Usually pretty cheap too, as far as figures go.

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