Horizon Ariadust from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Volks Version)

Horizon Ariadust figure by Volks

A figure that is released late is nothing new; many collectors breathed a happy sigh the other day as Alter finally shipped the figure of that one Steins;Gate girl with the bicycle, nearly fourteen months after it first went up for order. A figure that goes almost two years between availability and shipment, though; that’s a bit more uncommon. Looking through my e-mail, I found that I originally ordered this figure on January 31, 2012, and I received it on October 30, 2013 – a time span of 638 days. Putting up money nearly two years in advance for a little plastic doll might seem insane to many people, but I suppose it’s something that figure collectors are perfectly accustomed to. We’re an odd species, being like that.

Horizon Ariadust figure

Horizon on (or in) the Middle of Nowhere is a fun, quirky anime populated by likeable and attractive characters. However, there haven’t been that many figures produced of the show’s cast, particularly Horizon, the titular lead girl. Thus far, she’s only gotten a couple of figures – this one and Wave’s earlier figure. Further, both figures were sold solely in Japan, making it more difficult than it ought to have been for foreign collectors to acquire either figure. Further compounding this aggravation is that neither Wave nor Volks are what one would label top-flight figure makers. It’s one thing to pay a premium for a product from a premium maker; it’s rather less exciting to pay a higher price when one expects mediocrity, or when one does not have any expectations at all. Volks is hard to gauge, since they are famous for their mecha model kits and their big-ass dolls but are less known for their PVC figures. I’ve had a few that were okay and a few that I don’t particularly care for.

Horizon Ariadust figure

At first glance, Horizon makes a decent first impression when compared to Wave’s figure. The Wave figure was rather small, and while Volks’s Horizon is smaller than her nominal 1/7 scale size, she ought to be able to fit in with Kotobukiya’s upcoming 1/8 scale figures. Her body build is, however, substantially slighter than Max Factory’s Tomo Asama and Kotobukiya’s Total Eclipse pilot suit figures, who are all 1/7 scale and share similar design aesthetics. Volks’s Horizon is about 21 centimeters tall, though that includes the small offset in her base. She comes with no additional accessories; just put her on the base and she’s ready for display.

Horizon Ariadust figure

This figure presents Horizon in her usual outfit, which is very similar to the uniform worn by the female students at Musashi Ariadust Academy, though she doesn’t enroll there until a bit later in the story. It is a very attractive uniform, revealing and accentuating her body line. Her leggings or pantyhose are painted with a very glossy texture, which focuses attention on her upper thighs and buttocks. Sadly, her rear isn’t all that large, and from some angles it looks even smaller, thanks to an optical illusion caused by the seam that runs down the rear of each of her legs.

Horizon Ariadust figure

Other highlights of her outfit include the way her breasts are raised up and divided into black and white hemispheres, looking a bit like frosted bon-bons, as well as the mechanical bits attached under her bust and along her hips.

Horizon Ariadust figure

Aside from her body-hugging costume, perhaps the most obvious element of her design is her hair. Horizon typically has gray hair, but Volks has elected to use a transparent silver-white plastic for her tresses. I am not really a big fan of this sort of thing; I recall being quite disappointed when I received Alter’s first figure of KOS-MOS, which had solid light blue hair in the promo photos but transparent blue hair in the production figure. Here, I guess I’m a little more ambivalent; it doesn’t really look that bad, and it opens up some photographic possibilities as far as getting her hair to glow.

Horizon Ariadust figure

Horizon doesn’t show much emotion on her face, which is only appropriate as she seldom shows any kind of expression in the anime. Her slightly-parted mouth and body posture give her an ethereal look, which also seems appropriate given her role in the show. Her skin tone is rather pallid and pasty, but perhaps that too is appropriate, since she’s something of an android and not a human being. (Fans of the show might note that her shoulders and upper arms are actually her bare, synthetic skin and her skin tone there seems realistic enough.)

Horizon Ariadust figure

Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere features an impressively large cast, and its female characters span the gamut of body builds and sizes. As the main character, Horizon occupies the average position, more or less; she has a slim body build that is more developed than Nate or Suzu but not quite as curvy as Kimi or Mary Stuart, and her breast size is fairly large but not quite as large as Tomo, Juana, or (I think) Gin Tachibana. Notably, this figure’s body sculpt is not nearly as exaggerated as Max Factory’s Tomo, though I don’t doubt that the shape of Horizon’s breasts might look a little strange to some collectors.

Horizon Ariadust figure

Horizon’s body build does look quite nice, with her wide hips being balanced by her slender waist. Fans of thigh gaps will also like the way her right leg curves inwards, leaving a small space under her crotch.

Horizon Ariadust figure

Overall, this figure is the very best figure of Horizon Ariadust, though it wins that title by default, as the Wave figure isn’t that great. This is a good figure, and I like it, and I can’t find much fault with it, other than that it wobbles a bit too much for my liking (I hope that doesn’t develop into a problem down the line). I suppose it would be nice if she had a bigger backside, too. That said, I think a manufacturer like Max Factory or Alter or even Kotobukiya might be able to better this figure, and I’m hoping that none of them give up on Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere; it might be out of mind, but it’s still a great show that deserves more figures than it has gotten.

Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Horizon Ariadust figure
Volks 1/7 scale Horizon Ariadust figure
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20 Responses to Horizon Ariadust from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Volks Version)

  1. Tian says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you waited nearly two years for this. That’s a loooong time, and I thought I had it rough with Phat Company’s Bayonetta delays.

    I’m not a huge fan of the pale translucent hair, but gray is hard to pull off and I think this looks much better than solid gray would. The dessert boobs aren’t my favorite either, but now I really want some cupcakes. Your blog does tend to make me want random foodstuffs 😀

    I think Alter and Kotobukiya have a couple of Horizon gals on the way. I remember seeing them at WonFes or something over the summer. Aside from those, it looks like the window has closed for this particular property.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, gray hair does tend to be iffy. I would’ve liked to see them try, but then, I guess it could have been worse; I remember GSC put out a figure of Mina Majikina a long time ago that had metallic silver hair, which looked really strange, like she was part T-1000 or something.

      They do indeed, though I’m probably passing on Alter’s, unless Kazuno gets thrown in the discount bin. I don’t think I noticed if they are doing any more, but I really hope they do. Kotobukiya’s, at least, do look quite nice.

      I’ve been playing World of Warcraft, and there’s this island where there’s a bunch of NPCs selling noodles, and everyone time I run past them, I get this craving for Mongolian stir-fry. Christ, that’s the last thing I need to think about at 5AM, which is when my hunger pangs usually kick in.

  2. Asa says:

    She’s pretty, but doesn’t appear stellar. I don’t know the character though, having not watched the anime yet. I will get to it, though.

    I like what you did with this shoot. Glossy floor, sky backdrop framed with what appear to be sliding doors oft seen in traditional Japanese buildings. It’s a great setup.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, she’s definitely not spectacular. She’s about what one would expect from a Volks PVC figure, which is a little disappointing, I suppose, since they’ve done some really nice high-end stuff in the past.

      The best part of this setup is that it was really easy to construct. I’m kinda surprised at how much I like the floor; it’s just a flat concrete-texture floor, which looked really bad the few times I’ve used it in the past. It looks a lot better with the acrylic sheet, though; it doesn’t look quite so much like fake concrete.

      • Asa says:

        I have one Volks figure; Nagisa from some PSP game. I preordered her because she looked really pretty, long before I set a rule to not buy things from sources I don’t know. She took like 13 months to actually come out, from the time I preordered. >.<

        She is very pretty, though. No glaring defects. Certainly better than some other Volks figures I've seen.

        And yeah, simple setups are good. I just use my TV as a backdrop now. Not the greatest results, but gives me variety to use any picture I want. Main issue is avoiding glare. But, I'm lazy, so eh.

        • Tier says:

          Ah, yes, that figure; I actually have that figure here, somewhere … I haven’t thought about it in a while, which is sort of funny because the sort of background I wanted to use for her is not too different from the background I used here. (This is also pretty much the same background I wanted to use for Alvis Hamilton, so I guess I could consider this a trial run for both of those figures.)

  3. Dvalinn says:

    Damn, two years? And here I thought Suzuha was bad. Finally paid for that one, gah.

    Looking at the figure, she’s definitely better than Wave’s mediocre version, that’s for sure. Her outfit looks a lot better, the body proportions fit better, her pose isn’t as awkward and her hair isn’t as stiff (though I’m not too fond of the translucent nature of it). All of which add to making her…basically okay. I mean, she still isn’t stellar, but I could see myself owning this ’cause I like the show. Looking at Manda, though, this figure is residing in the 8.000-9.000 range now, which is too pricy for a second-hand non-top-of-the-line figure as far as I’m concerned. I might get her if her she gets cheaper in the future though.

    I do hope Koto (or anyone, for that matter), in a fit of madness, decides to revisit this franchise and makes a Horizon, along the lines of their Muv-Luv plugsuit girls. If only because exclusives piss me off because they always end up overpriced. I’m looking forward to Koto’s Tomo as well – that actiony pose is exactly what I wanted out of a figure of her. Let’s hope the painted version looks up to snuff as well.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, two years. I’ve got Suzuha on the way too. I’m hoping to get her review done before the end of the year.

      That’s pretty much how I feel as well; it’s a good figure, it doesn’t have any crippling flaws, but it doesn’t really stand out, and it benefits a lot from the fact that there are virtually no other alternatives. I am not quite sure why so many Horizon figures are exclusives; I missed out on the Mary Stuart figure from last month, and I don’t even remember which manufacturer is making it. I certainly would’ve bought it if it were a retail figure but I guess I’ll be looking at the secondary market after it is released.

      I have high hopes for Tomo, too; at first I was hoping that they would do a figure of her in her black and white suit, but I’ve come to really like her red suit as well. Hopefully we’ll see the painted version soon.

  4. nagisa says:

    at last, she’s finally released along with alter suzuha (some pretty long delays went on them). The good thing is, they delivered both figures as expected. Albeit a very simple fig, it’s in- character indeed. And tight rears are not bad too.

    • Tier says:

      Very long delays indeed; at this rate, I suppose we’ll see Kimi Aoi during the next Summer Olympics, and as for Alter, it’s depressing how little I’m looking forward to their stuff. Tight rears are definitely nice, as are tight shiny bodysuits. In fact, I’ve got a bunch of figures of characters wearing such suits waiting to be photographed … Inia, Asuka, Mitsuru, Yuki, Yuria, and Meiya, I think, and I might have more.

  5. Tsunami3k says:

    I’m not sure if I should take this as hope that my two 1.5+ year Volks preorders will finally break free of whatever deadlock has overtaken Volks or if it means I have another 6 months to wait. They’re both still slated for a 2013 release…but we’re running out of 2013.

    I pondered both Horizon variants and found facets of both that I liked: whereas I liked Wave’s pose the best, the hair on the Volks nearly cinched it for me (particularly because it was translucent which was a feature I recalled enjoying way back when I did my shoot of Bome’s Nono figure). Oddly enough I never committed to either so I suppose that spared me at least one 2 year wait.

    • Tier says:

      Hopefully so; a two-year wait for a figure is pretty ridiculous but a company that needs a lead time of 1.5 years for at least three figures is sending a pretty negative message about their ability to get their products out. Though to be honest, I’m a little surprised that Volks still makes PVC figures; I can’t imagine they are a big part of their business now, given how fashionable their dolls have become.

  6. Tsunami3k says:

    P.S. I kinda like her backside. Does that make me a DFB-man?

    • Tier says:

      Possibly! Though I guess it’s not really that small, just smaller than I like. It’s a little odd how much bust size is fetishized amongst anime fans, but you don’t really hear as much about backside size.

  7. Halbred says:

    Especially from the front, her paint job looks poorly-done. Her tilted grounded foot makes it look like she’s about to topple over, too. Not my favorite figure, that’s for sure.

    However, the post’s title did instantly give me a Ludacris flashback: “I’m in the middle of HOwhere!”

    • Tier says:

      Despite being a fan of rap music for decades, I do not think I have ever heard a Ludacris song. Nor have I ever heard a Chris Brown song, or a Drake song, and I would have never heard a Kanye West song had I not bought NBA2K13. I never thought I’d get to the point where I would deride the music tastes of the younger generation, but I’m definitely there.

  8. Wait, she got a release? FINALLY??? Woah…

    Still, I’m waiting for my Kimi figure. Volks you promised!! Where’s my goddess??

    • Tier says:

      Finally indeed! I seem to remember that they were going to do a Kimi figure, too; I guess I’d be surprised if we ever see it, though. It’d be really nice if they did go through with it; the Wave Beach Queens one doesn’t look that great, especially from the rear, where her hair really reminds me of a pile of excrement, and that’s not really what I want to be thinking of when I look at a figure.

  9. Wieselhead says:

    She looks pretty like this, it’s an enchanting pose, like an angelic creature. The hair comes very close to the image I have from the anime, I like the changing transparency of it.
    The figure is really convincing from the angle in horizon-ariadust-05,

    The normal sized butt might be a bit too normal, but with these shiny hips she’s still sexy.
    I find it negatively remarkable that the white of her breastcover part seems as unsmooth as on the Wave figure, is this so hard?

    The shiny ass, the hair and the mainly cleaner quality is better, but still Im partially more a friend of Wave’s version, Im more convinced by nicer, expressive face.

    Can I have a Suzu please, or Adele or Margot? Im sad that Merry Stuats figure hope turned out not as promising as expected.

    • Tier says:

      As nice as some of their polystone figures have been, it’s a little disappointing that Volks’s manufacturing quality is not really that great. I’m not sure why the material over her breasts has that coarse texture, but it does detract from the way the figure looks. It would really be nice if Max Factory or someone made a Horizon figure, as I’m sure their figure wouldn’t have that issue.

      I hadn’t heard anything about Mary’s figure, apart from that I missed the preorder period; that’s disappointing to hear that it is not all that it was hoped to be. I have the feeling that a lot of the less prominent characters aren’t going to get figures but then, I really wouldn’t have expected Kazuno to get a figure, so I guess you never know. Me, aside from the main characters, I think it’d be cool if Makiko got a figure; her tracksuit-styled suit is pretty cool.

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