If you’re a figure collector and a fan of Tamaki Kousaka, you are probably a happy person. Characters come and go with respect to their popularity amongst figure makers – Iroha was a favorite character for some time, as was Ignis, and the Ikkitousen and Sengoku Rance girls had their heyday … but Tamaki – her popularity is as high as it’s ever been, at least among figure manufacturers. This particular figure puts her in a swimsuit, which isn’t particularly noteworthy. What is special about this figure is its size – she’s got many, many figures, but few of them offer a solid fifteen inches of Tamaki.
This version of Tamaki comes from Gift, a company that, like FREEing and Phat Company, is affiliated with Good Smile Company. They’re probably best known for making a bunch of cute plush toys of anime characters as well as their PVC adaptations of the Principality of Kagutsuchino’s Saber kits. Those Saber figures have sold quite well and seem to be well-regarded, but I don’t own any of them – in fact, although I have over two hundred figures, this is the first figure by Gift I’ve ever owned. I had thought about ordering it when it came out last year, but in one of the dumber hobby decisions I’ve made, I decided to get BEAT’s figure instead. Whoops; the BEAT figure was one of the first ones I put back in its box when I needed to reclaim shelf space. A few months ago, wanting to make amends for my mistake, I looked around for this Tamaki and ordered it off Amazon.
As mentioned, this is a huge figure – 1/4 scale, about 38 centimeters in height. It’s not the only 1/4 scale figure of her – Kotobukiya has one with her licking a giant popsicle scheduled for release later this year – and there’s an even bigger Dollfie Dream version of her, if that’s your thing. Even so, the sheer size of this figure is very impressive. With so many figures of anime girls in bikinis out there, it can be difficult for any particular one to stand out, but going big is one surefire way to do it. Tamaki towers almost every other figure in my collection.
The style of her sculpt is an important element that contributes significantly to her shelf presence. Like the 1/4 scale Nanoha character figures produced by Good Smile Company and Gift – and sculpted by Takayuki Kondou, the same man who created this figure – she has a distinctive, womanly body shape. Her torso is comparatively long relative to other anime figures but she doesn’t look peculiarly stretched out, unlike Alter’s upcoming Selvaria.
A lot of that is due to her body proportions, which are perhaps more realistic than many other anime figures. She has broad hips and thick thighs, both of which balance her statuesque physique. Her hips are indeed one of the best parts of this figure, emphasized by the sexy tilt of her body and enhanced by the pronounced arch of her back.
Tamaki is often depicted as a domineering man-eater – she can be seen as such in the To Heart 2: Dungeon Travelers OVA that was released last month – but here, she takes on a much more benign and much more playful look. She’s cheerfully and mischievously pulling down her bikini bottom, hiding just enough to stay on the side of tastefulness.
Her body sculpt is excellent, but I was apprehensive of her face, and those misgivings were enough to get me to pass on this figure initially. Yes, I realize that passing on a figure because of its face and then buying a BEAT figure in its place makes absolutely no sense. Anyway, now that I have this figure, I see that there was no reason for trepidation; she’s very cute, more like a flirty, friendly troublemaker and less like the fearsome face-crushing alpha female that she really is. Her face is fairly flat, and I’m guessing it’s more noticeable due to Tamaki’s substantial size, but that doesn’t bother me too much. Her hair intakes are also very cute – they’re not any different than those found on any other Tamaki figure but again, the colossal size of this figure makes them much more conspicuous.
The rest of her body is just as sexy as her hips and legs. From the side, the curve of her spine might look a bit painful, but from every other view, her back is very attractive. Similarly, her breasts are perhaps unrealistically perky but that can be overlooked in the name of sex appeal. The subtle definition of her stomach is also very attractive.
There are a ton of Tamaki figures out there but this is my favorite one of them all thus far. This version of Tamaki is big and sexy, an exemplar of how to do a swimsuit figure right. To all the figure makers out there: when making a swimsuit figure, the name of the game is go big or go home. Tamaki is so nice that I’m thinking I ought to take another look at those Nanoha figures.
Here’s Gift Tamaki next to Daiki Tamaki. Daiki Tamaki is a big figure herself, standing nearly a foot tall, but she looks like a pygmy next to Gift Tamaki. The contrast in body language and facial expressions is also interesting.
I forgot to cover up Daiki Tamaki’s tit … whoops. Normally an exposed nipple means this post gets an NSFW tag, but ehh … a nipple ain’t gonna kill you.
DAT ASS !!!!!
Certainly an attractive figure. I can’t fathom having a 1/4. I think 1/6 are rather large, since the majority of my collection are 1/8 with the odd 1/7. Tamaki is not my thing, and I don’t get her popularity, but there are undoubtedly nice figures of her out there, and this one is certainly an attractive one. Seems like a very high quality sculpt.
I only have Gift plushies, no figures, but perhaps I should investigate them some. I have a habit of simply ignoring figures made by the plethora of companies not in my “top tier” category. Unless it’s a character I really want. Then I may settle for subpar companies, such as CM’s Horo being the best figure of her despite Koto and GSC having done her too.
I can’t say the shoot is very… thematic? She’s in a bikini, in, what, a dungeon? Some sort of “play” room? Should be at the beach or a pool, not in a dark dingy scary looking place. 😀 Though the idea of tentacles being a risk is fine, too…
I tend to be pretty agnostic as far as makers go. I regard Alter as being the best, as do a lot of people, but I think I have a higher opinion of makers like Yamato and Daiki Kougyou than most people do (the former is influenced by my VF-1 toys, the latter is influenced by the simple fact that not a lot of people buy Daiki’s figures).
The setting may appear inappropriate if you’re expecting something relevant to swimming, but it’s exactly what I intended. The idea is strongly influenced by a shoot done by Boston photographer Eric Levin. Congruity is not something I’m concerned about in the least. More to the point, I cannot snap my fingers and conjure a beach or a swimming pool on my computer desk and even if I knew how to build such a setup, the setup and cleanup would be way more trouble than it’s worth.
But, tentacles. 🙁 Surely a 1/4 figure may work with your delicious tentacle stand. 😀
And yeah, setting up a beach scene would be a lot of hassle, I think. I’m debating whether I should get a tray of sand to do my beach queen figures when they arrive, but given how messy it is (plus, all that dust in my shooting space?) I probably won’t. But I tire of simple coloured backdrops, it’s bland and uninteresting. Thus my interest in a monitor as a backdrop, though I’ve been incredibly lazy about experimenting with that. Haven’t tried it at all since I last mentioned it here, even.
I think I just need to look in to some prop backdrops I can keep to use for different purposes, though I’m not even sure how I would manage that. I understand why some people take figures outside to shoot, though to me the scaling ends up throwing me off. They never blend in. Perhaps a titl-shift lens may address that, but I’m not sure.
And yeah, I will give other makers a shot if they do a figure I can’t get elsewhere, but I do largely just keep an eye on Alter, GSC and Koto (and their associated/partner companies like AlphaxOmega, Max Factory etc). I wasn’t really aware of Gift’s direct connection to GSC, though it makes sense; they did the excellent Moka I’m still trying to hunt down. I just atributed it to GSC, but she’s branded Gift/GSC.
I had planned on using the tentacle stand; I’d made a mental note to include the tentacle stand, as her pose and her winning smile would look absolutely perfect with the tentacle stand. Then I started taking pictures and completely forgot about it. I think I’ve mentioned that I ought to take notes and outline my setups, and this is yet another reason why that would be a good idea.
Generally speaking, I’ve found that the smaller the particles, the bigger a pain in the ass it is to work with. A couple years ago I photographed Samurai Girls Senhime and covered my desk with kitty litter; that was pretty annoying to clean up. I used to use instant coffee to simulate dirt and that was a colossal pain to clean up, particularly since I have a huge distaste for the smell of coffee. Every now and then I think of an idea that requires me covering my desk with dirt or little pebbles or something and I usually discard it and come up with something else, just because I’ve found such materials to be very annoying to work with.
Yeah, that’s one reason why I don’t like shooting figures outside much. It’s also one reason why I’ve been thinking about getting some extension tubes, so that I can use my wide-angle zoom for those sorts of pictures. I’m definitely not using a long lens for outdoor figure shots anymore (I’ve got a review of Nadeko Sengoku somewhere which illustrates why that wasn’t a good idea).
So will we get a followup, tentacles included? Maybe a DAY OF THE TENTACLE where you molest numerous larger figures with it. That’d be a fun article.
And yeah, any sort of dusty particles in my shooting space does not appeal; I just had my camera sensor cleaned as it had several spots on it (It WAS the sensor, not my macro lens, after all. There is dust in the lens but it doesn’t show). I’m not in a hurry to get more crud in my camera. Not to mention I’m not all that ablebodied, so working with such materials is a bother, eg. high risk of dropping a tray of sand while carrying it to my shooting space etc.
I have tubes, but I don’t really have any wide angle lenses. 17mm short end is the widest I get, and it has some unpleasant distortion. Maybe I should look in to that 15mm limited that is highly regarded in the Pentax world… Though I still don’t have a solid enough grip on gear to understand why tube on a wider lens is a better idea than just using a longer lens in the first place. I have seen a few examples, which make sense visually, but my brain can’t just conjure the differences simply thinking about it.
So she was also made by the same guys who did nanoha and fate. But I think this one tops the cake, from the face down to the pose, very sexy indeed as if she was stripteasing you, hehe
I like this figure better than Nanoha and Fate as well; those two older figures have this odd look where they sort of look like women wearing kigurumi masks rather than the actual characters. Hayate looks pretty good, though; I don’t know much about the character but maybe I should’ve given that figure a second thought.
Can you take off her head?
Ok Im just kidding a lil bit XD
The figure looks great overall, I think her body looks damn attractive and seems very well made. The voluptuous bikini cleavage and her broad hips are a feast for the eyes *Q*
Her nice curves appear very three dimensional while her face somehow has such a two dimensional appearance, it seems like its ought to be put on a different figure, unfortunately 🙁
1/4 appears like a good scale, quite big and space demanding on the downside, but if the sculpted figure is your taste, the enjoyment about a giant beauty will be very high.
Talking about big figures, my recently arrived Astraea from PLUM is scaled 1/6, she seems closer to 1/5 I would say…, but she’s a lovely eyecatcher and I wouldn’t want her any smaller ;). Maybe I will really consider to get the to be announced 1/4 Soniko .
I don’t believe her head comes off, though I have not tried. Yeah, her face is pretty flat, and it looks rather out of place – sort of like the sculptor was working off of a photo of a real human woman to model Tamaki’s body and then had to use a different reference for the head. The sculptor is the same guy doing Gift’s lewd-pose Sonico so we’ll see what if her face has the same issue.
I’m a big fan of bigger figures. It’s good to hear that Astraea is on the bigger side of things; their Nymph figure was a good size, and she’s supposed to be a lot shorter than the other angels in Sora no Otoshimono.
What 1/4 scale Sonico is that? I know there are a ton of Sonico figures scheduled for release, but I didn’t know any of them are 1/4 scale. 1/4 scale definitely warrants a look from me.
I should have added a link 😉
Ah, thanks, I didn’t know FREEing had one planned. Good for them – 1/4 is God’s scale and more makers should make stuff in 1/4 scale. I ought to review their Satellizer figure already, too.
You captured this figure really well. Just seeing the pictures you can tell she is more womanly than many of the other characters you have reviewed (Bigger hips and thighs, etc). After seeing this figure I really like it. I especially like her pose and just pulling her bottoms off enough to stay modest, but still be naughty.
The different between scales is huge. 😮
I like the playfulness that she displays as well; a lot of swimsuit figures don’t really show a lot of personality (I’m thinking of Alter’s old Fate/stay night swimsuit figures, and Max Factory’s Shining Wind swimsuit figures, and a lot of Alter’s Nanoha series swimsuit figures …). Her sculpt is also a lot more attractive than a lot of other swimsuit figures as well, I think, though I’ll admit that my opinion of those MF Shining Wind figures has improved over time (I’d thought of pawning off Xecty but now I really like how she looks).
You can also see the yellow tone of the other Tamaki. In your other pictures it didn’t look nearly as yellow, but she looks really weird compared to this new Tamaki.
It is also weird that their boob sizes look nearly identical between the two versions.
Yeah, she’s got a very yellow skin complexion compared to Gift’s figure. The BEAT figure I referred to also has a similarly sallow skin tone. It’s odd how Tamaki gets so many figures and so many of them look really different from each other.
I should’ve put Max Factory’s figure in the picture, too; she might actually have the biggest breasts of them all, despite only being 1/6 scale.
Bah! I thought about ordering this figure but didn’t. Now after seeing your review and pics I kind of regret it. LOL The size is definitely a good scale, and the pose is perfect for my style of photos. But I told myself I’d cut back on figures, and did I really need another Tamaki in a bikini? Probably not, but I should’ve made an exception to this one. Oh well! =(
I really like the pose and overall proportions on this figure, she doesn’t have an ultra skinny waist, arms and legs (like Selvaria) with watermelon breasts. Great sculpt on the abs and back, particularly for a 1/4 – great way to show off her features. =)
Ha! At least you didn’t order a BEAT figure instead. I wonder how much I can get for that one if I hock it. Yeah, I think the same thing whenever I see a Tamaki figure; a lot of them look really nice, but being that I own so many, it’s hard to justify getting another unless it’s really special (like being 1/4 scale in size). I’m feeling the same way about Asuka Langley Soryu and Sonico figures now, too.
I was thinking about ordering that Selvaria figure a few days back but it seems most retailers have shut down preorders. I suppose that’s just as well; I think I like it but whenever I’m not sure and have to convince myself, that’s probably not a good sign.
Are You picking up the Popsicle Tamaki? Am quite undecided on that one I like the genral look of her tongue on her though, but I’d also like some other people’s take on her ^_^;
As for this one I like the eyes but the mouth seems abit lacking in detail considering the scale she’s in, you’d think they’d pay more attention to her face… but no complaints on her body sculpt other than could use more depth in paint. 😀
Nah, I don’t think I am; I don’t like her mouth much. She’s got this cat-like ” :3 ” sort of look, and I’m not a big fan of that. This is, of course, a personal idiosyncrasy – I generally don’t like catgirls or girls with animal-like traits (let us disregard that I have a review of a catgirl figure in the pipeline, and that Dizzy is one of my favorite characters despite having a tail). I do like her body, though, and there aren’t a lot of figures of girls holding onto a giant popsicle (I can only think of one other such figure, off the top of my head).
Wow! That is one impressive Tamaki figure, even with all of my negative impression of her, if there is one Tamaki worth having, this has got to be it! Do love the playful look and very curvy body. Now, I haven’t been a huge fan of Gift due to their line of “realistic” Saber figure, but this has change my opinion about them completely! Too bad that my budget is going to be underwater with DD Maxima announced =/
Their Saber figures seem to be well-received though I’d agree with you, I wasn’t a big fan of their first figure, particularly the somewhat-realistic head. The anime head was okay, though, I guess. Between that figure and gangsta lean Saber, though, I like gangsta lean Saber better. I’m probably the only person in the universe who feels that way. I did like their Saber Lily, but I wish it were bigger; I heard it was pretty small, even for 1/8 scale.
Wow. Do want.
It’s a great figure! Hard as hell to find, though, particularly at a reasonable price.
Probably no follow-up, though I’ll have to make a mental note to include them whenever I get around to photographing Satellizer. And gangsta lean Saber, though her dress and somewhat unusual pose may make that complicated. Hmm … maybe I ought to just do a tentacle stand-themed post, that might be best.
It’s good that you didn’t have to exchange the lens, then. I don’t think I’ve ever had issues with dust on either of my camera’s sensor, but my old Rebel XS’s sensor has an annoying stuck spot that shows up as a cluster of red pixels. It’s not too hard to clone out and I think both Lightroom and DPP can automatically remove it upon RAW file import, but it’s annoying just knowing that the problem exists.
The reason I want to experiment more with wide-angle lenses is for the different perspective they provide. Focused closely, wide angle lenses deliver a greater sense of depth by making background elements appear smaller than they would with a lens with a longer focal length. I’ve been meaning to write a post about this (I seem to say this a lot) but I need to take some pictures to illustrate why this is useful, and to do that I need to get some extension tubes, which I’ve been cheap about doing.
Well, that’s what I was suggesting. Tentacle post, highlighting the stand, and its many… uses. That would be worth all the time in the world. Everybody needs more tentacles in their life. If they happen to be wrapped around hotties, it’s all the better.
Yeah, most spots can be PP’d out, but I’d rather not have to. I just want stuff to work, and not have any issues with it. ;.;
I just caved and bought a 50mm lens (an old manual one) as it was cheap-ish and I’ve been intending to get a manual lens for ages to hone my skills some instead of being lazy and falling back to auto all the time. Though 50 on APS-C isn’t wide, at all really. I would like a wide lens eventually.
I would really like to see a post on it in relation to figures, do some more photographic tutorials instead of specific shot breakdowns. 😀 One just on lenses/angles, messing with DoF and that sort of thing would be a good start. Then again, enough to do several posts there, too… depends how much effort you’re willing to put in, ultimately.
Very true. Looking at the keyword searches that this site gets, it seems that many people arrive expecting tentacles, and I ought to give them what they are looking for.
That sounds like it’ll be fun though I have to admit, I like the aesthetic of focusing manually rather than the practice. I went so far as to rent a 35mm Zeiss lens a year or so back just to see how much I liked it; as it turned out, not so much. I used to focus manually all the time but I’m quite happy to use autofocus all of the time now.
That is my plan, and I have had a bunch of ideas kicking around in my head, which I know I must have said several times before, and yet I haven’t made any progress on them. It’s just a matter of getting my thoughts down into a text file. And tearing myself away from Robo Defense. But first, just one more level.
Yes, give the masses what we desire. 😀
I’m perfectly happy with autofocus; I use it for most of my shooting. Only use manual with my 90mm macro, because a) the focus ring is large and very smooth/easy to handle, and b) I’m usually using it to be in quite close, and autofocus flubs when I’m in close. eg. all the upskirts I do for my pantsu gallery on MFC, just about all of those are manual. But most of the rest is auto, because I’m perfectly happy with the results.
I bought the lens more as a heritage item more than anything, I think. I want to have a manual lens in my collection, or I can’t feel like a real photographer. Or something like that. It’s an 80s model Pentax A lens (auto aperture and other contacts, just manual focus). which is highly regarded. though being older glass may not have all the fancy coatings that supposedly make a difference for digital cameras these days.
You definitely need to jot down some ideas to get some posts you’ve been talking about for ages done, but I understand how things can distract. It’s another beta weekend for Tera atm, and I stayed up until 6am til servers opened, and played non-stop all day. Only stopped because my friends piked, though I should sleep a bit for another long haul at it tomorrow. Beta weekends are only 60 hours, gotta get in all the MMO I can while it lasts. 😀
I’m perfectly happy with autofocus with my current camera, but my old Rebel XS missed quite a bit. Admittedly, my lighting conditions were quite dim back when I was using light bulbs and the Rebel doesn’t have a very robust AF system to start with, being the most entry level DSLR Canon made at the time. I like focusing with a split prism, though; the SX-70 I fooled around with for a few days has one and I liked it a lot, so much so that when I was looking for a 35mm film camera I wanted to get one that came with a split prism.
TERA sounds like a cool game, though the MMO I’m kinda/sorta interested in is called Queen’s Blade. Apparently it has very little to do with the well-known Hobby Japan property, but it does feature female characters battling in various states of undress, which is pretty cool. I really doubt it’ll ever get a release outside of Korea, but I’ll continue to watch the Youtube videos.
Nice review as always 😛
Well I’m just wondering if you’re using any ‘glass container’ or ‘glass display box’ to put your figures inside for displaying, cuz I’m trying to find some :s Plz reply thx
High-Quality review but somehow I donÂ´t like Tamaki, cause she is Baby-Doll-LookALike. Nevertheless, this figure is very impressive, right background, gentle light, you wish to have a candle-light diner at the beach with her. Although I am much more addicted to strong, self-assured female Characters like The Major from Ghost in the Shell, Naomi Armitage or Deunan. I also miss some characters from older Animes in the figure scene, like Deedlit from Record of Lodoss War, always searching for her without any results.
By the way…..using instant coffee to simulate dirt? Hey I love such crazy ideas. Yesterday I tried making some nice rainbow effects on my photos, using old CompactDiscs reflecting the sunlight, while taking some shots of Hayane Urayukihime.
As I understand it, Tamaki is definitely strong and self-assured, though that doesn’t seem to come through in most of the figures she gets. I do prefer the sorts of characters you mentioned though – action girls instead of schoolgirls. I’d like a figure of Iria, though I don’t think many people remember the OVA (or live-action movie), and more figures of Mireille and Kirika from Noir would be pretty cool. Incidentally, Deedlit’s getting a dakimakura cover, which looks pretty nice. And it’s not even that raunchy! Sort of.
Haha, nice, I always like hearing stories of how people try to get interesting and unusual effects. Some of them are kinda gimmicky, like the old plastic bag or Vaseline on UV filter trick, but the results can still be very cool.
Beautiful pictures! I think you’ve really captured Tamaki’s beauty here. I definitely like the focus on her body and sculpt with the different angles, really shows off her soft curves. In fact I might just have to add this figure to my wish list…
Thanks! I was surprised at how impressive Tamaki is in person; I wasn’t moved all that much by her promo photos but she’s a fantastic figure. I’m very glad that both Gift and FREEing are focusing heavily on making 1/4 scale stuff.
Wow, what a gorgeous figure! The face is a little bland but the rest is stunning
and at 15 inches tall awesome. I don’t have any Tamaki figures but this has to be hands down the most beautiful Tamaki i’ve ever seen!
Are you getting the Freeing 1/4 scale Ikkitousen figures?
I don’t think I am; I think I’d be more interested in bunnygirl Kanu if she were standing up but I think she loses a bit of her grandeur by kneeling. I am interested in FREEing’s upcoming Sora no Otoshimono bunnygirl figures, though; Ikaros is pretty cute and Nymph looks like she has a nice butt, which is always a good thing.
“the SX-70 I fooled around with for a few days has one and I liked it a lot, so much so that when I was looking for a 35mm film camera I wanted to get one that came with a split prism.”
You know you can get focusing screens to give a split prism to any modern DSLR, right? 😀 I’ve considered one myself, but I won’t bother on this entry level body. If I eventually get a higher end body, I may well. It definitely makes a difference. See http://www.focusingscreen.com/index.php?cPath=21_104 for examples.
They’re apparently a little fiddly to install, but you seem good with your hands given the random prop making and such you do, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Also, yeah. Tera is pretty fun though has questionable longevity. Any games that get “westernised” now seem to suffer that fate. Nobody just translates stuff any more, it’s all making it a lot easier, removing a bunch of core mechanics that made the game unique in the first place, and of course censoring it for sensitive “Think of the Children!” types. Or just prudes in general (which, despite my general distaste for massive breasts and ero figures as a whole, I am not; my H collections would have content that is likely to surprise anybody, no matter how hardened. I just don’t want it in figure form =p).
Yeah, I know; I looked into it a while back but the 7D has some viewfinder idiosyncrasies (it has a transmissive LCD that displays gridlines and the focus points) and the focusing screen is not easily removable. Replacing the screen also affects metering; that’s slightly less of a concern to me since I judge exposure by eyeballing the picture and looking at the histogram, but it’d be a handicap for any pictures I take without using flashes.
That sounds about right; a couple of my friends got Warcraft: Cataclysm when it came out and a month or so after they got it, I asked them how they were enjoying it, and they said they were already pretty bored. In contrast, I’m pretty happy with the longevity of Robo Defense.
The first thing that strikes me about this Tamaki figure is her swimsuit design being similar to Max Factory Xecty. However she goes one step (or two if scale is your thing :P) further and provides a sexy pose. Her body looks great, especially the way she’s tilting at the waist. I also like the longer torso, it’s different from your usual anime girl / swimsuit figure.
It’s a shame her face, as you’ve pointed out, looks a little flat. If Gift had maybe given it a more defined shape and depth I think she could have looked better.
In terms of a Tamaki figure I’d agree she’s one of the better ones, but not my favourite. I think the Samurai one from Kotobukiya does it for me so far, although Max Factorys one where she’s trying to prevent her boobs inflating any further and lifting her off the planet is also nice.
Recently I’ve been finding myself liking that Xecty figure more and more. I was pretty cool to it at first but looking at her again, she looks really nice. I really like the way her stomach is sculpted as well as her face. I wish she weren’t leaning so much, though.
Yeah, the Max Factory one is really nice, too; that was previously my favorite Tamaki and I think it gives this one really strong competition. Her breasts are a bit over-large for my tastes – though then again, I have to give respect to the sculptor for pulling that off, since neither GSC nor Max Factory often does figures that risque anymore (aside from the Native line, anyway).