Happy Christmas everybody. We’ve seen a few figures from massively-multiplayer online RPGs, primarily from the Lineage series, but today we’ll be looking at a figure from the Mu series. Mu Online was originally released in 2001, making it one of the first MMOs to be released after EverQuest, the defining game of the genre. Some years later, Webzen released the mobile games Mu Origin and Mu Origin 2. I’m not actually certain which game this character comes from; Japanese stores say Mu Online, American stores say Mu Origin, and the box simply says Mu. I’m inclined to think that she comes from Mu Origin 2 as her design matches some of the concept art, but being that I know virtually nothing of this series apart from having bought a few Mu comic books about fifteen years ago, it’s hard to tell for certain.
Speaking of MMOs, I’ve been playing World of Warcraft as my primary game for the last eight years but I think I’m close to throwing in the towel; Shadowlands isn’t really appealing to me and I’m not enthused by Blizzard’s current game design philosophies. These days, I’m mostly playing Epic Seven and I’m enjoying it quite a bit more than Warcraft.
A few notes before we begin: this figure was riotously expensive when it went up for preorder, being around thirty thousand yen or thereabouts. That is a ton of money for a figure of this size, though we’ve since seen other figures being listed for prices that would have been both unthinkable and untenable just a few years ago. Such a price tag could be justified if the manufacturer had a pedigree that merited such or if the figure were of unusual size or decoration, but this figure comes from Vertex, a maker that, in my eyes, seems wildly inconsistent in terms of quality. As for size, the Fairy Elf herself isn’t particularly large; she’s listed as 1/7 scale but her more realistic body build makes her appear similar in proportion to a 1/8 scale figure. This figure is about 36 centimeters in height from the base to the uppermost tip of her wing, and though the figure itself is not overly large, her wings and jumping or floating pose do cause her to require a significant amount of shelf space to display.
The Fairy Elf’s look is decidedly atypical, being that it does not show much influence from anime styling. I think she looks quite pretty, but her wide-spaced eyes, mannequin-like features and the absence of any discernible emotion gives her a somewhat alien look.
While her face lacks some detail, her outfit more than compensates. She’s not wearing a lot of clothing but what she does wear is elaborate and stylized, with her armor featuring a surfeit of gold trim and filigree work.
Her outfit essentially comprises an open babydoll, black string panties, and thigh-high boots. It’s a very attractive ensemble that reveals quite a bit of skin, providing a sexy (some might say crass) contrast to its ornate elegance.
Oddly enough, she comes with two left hands, one holding this bow and one simply clenched into a fist. I’m only showing the one with the weapon; her pose would look a little strange without it. The bow is just as complex as her armor, though no bowstring is provided as far as I can tell. The arrow is a loose part that does not seem to have any specific attachment points to the figure; I’ve simply tried to balance it between her right hand and the bow handle as best as I could.
Speaking of her pose, the Fairy Elf is depicted in mid-leap, twisting backwards to aim at some target off to her side. It’s a very dynamic pose that adds a great deal of visual interest to the design of this figure.
However, as sexy as her outfit is and as striking as her pose might be, her wings are just as captivating, and it’s a bit of a shame that it’s less likely they’ll be noticed because most of their complexity is behind the figure. Turn the figure around and one can see that her wings are made of multiple tendril-like projections framed by a kind of curved golden lattice. There’s a remarkable level of detail here and it’s gratifying that Vertex did not skimp on this element.
The wings are substantial and so a pylon is provided to hold up her left leg. The peg in her right foot is metal but it is not as long as one might expect, and hopefully this figure will not suffer from sagging or leaning issues in the future.
One aspect of the figure that is a little less impressive is the base, which is a rather large white disc with a simple Mu logo printed on it. I don’t normally pay much attention to bases but I do think a black base would have provided a better contrast to the Fairy Elf’s color scheme.
As large and heavy as her wings are, they were also pretty difficult to fit them into the Fairy Elf’s back. They slot into specifically-shaped sockets, but I did not find them to fit particularly well, and the fact that her hair partially obstructs the sockets didn’t help.
I’m not certain that this figure was worth its eye-watering price tag but I’m happy to have it nonetheless. I’ve been fond of character designs from Korean role-playing games ever since I saw Hyung-tae Kim’s artwork for the War of Genesis and currently there aren’t that many such figures out there (I’m really hoping that Smilegate realizes that the world would appreciate a mass-produced Luna figure). The Fairy Elf’s design is particularly attractive and it’s great to see that Vertex is capable of making a figure of this quality.