S. H. Figuarts Sailor Moon – Review

The 2016 Christmas break came with a glut of Transformers due to the new Titans Return range doing so well. I’ll eventually get around to reviewing some of the new stuff I got, but for now I’m doing something still “old school” – just not Transformers related. This time around it’s Sailor Moon by way of SH Figuarts!

Since originally airing in the early-mid 90’s, Sailor Moon has gone on to become a cultural icon that’s well known by anime fans and even non-anime fans alike. In fact, it was Sailor Moon that set a new benchmark for “magical girl” shows and since then the name has become synonymous with the genre.

Sailor Moon

A large portion of what makes the show so popular has often been copied, imitated, or referenced (I, myself, love a good transformation sequence 😀 ). To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sailor Moon anime, the show has been rebooted in the form of Sailor Moon Crystal (to mixed reviews) which follows the manga (or comic if you will) events more closely. I’m somewhat familiar with some of the names and terminology used in the original Japanese version, but I will be using names and terms used in the English version as that’s the one most familiar with me.

First Impressions:

Yay!

It’s a very good representation of the character and is instantly recognisable. She has that slender figure and her tell-tale extra long twin-tails that extend down from the buns on the top of her head. She’s decked out in her standard Sailor Scout outfit, the paint apps and decals are pretty good and she features a nice, clean sculpt. On closer inspection the paint apps may be a bit off, but not so much as to distract from the overall feel. Her hair is translucent in some places and her long twin-tails are somewhat movable. Her joints move freely and seem strong enough to hold even the most dynamic of poses.

Sailor Moon says: “Put ’em up!”
Or Karate style if you prefer.

Accessories:

Sailor Moon comes with an interesting array of accessories. Included in the package is her companion/mentor Luna the black cat. Luna’s head can rotate fully and tilt slightly due to a ball joint in her neck, but that’s as far as her movement goes.

Luna

There are interchangeable hands (left and right splayed hands and closed fists, right hand pointing finger and “peace” sign, right hand for holding her wand, a right hand with her Moon Tiara in attack mode attached, and a slightly open left hand).

Moon Tiara~~
Magic!

There are 2 Moon Wands – one with crystal and one without. A selection of 6 interchangeable faces is included – if you bought the 1st edition version that is. The 1st edition version features an extra “crying” face and a happy/winking face. The standard set includes a happy/smiling face, a shouting face, and 2 serious faces, one with tiara and one without (to simulate the Moon Tiara Attack). Also included is a custom display stand with “Sailor Moon” printed on its decorative heart-shaped base.

Moon Wand
I have the power!!

Articulation:

Her head has a fairly decent range of movement. It can rotate a full 360 degrees, can tilt left and right, and can tilt down okay but can’t tilt back very far due to the base of her hair. Her twin-tails have ball joints so they can move around a bit, but they might have a tendency to pop out if moved too far in one direction. The shoulders have ball joints which allow for a good range of movement – the collar can limit her range though. Her elbows can bend just past 90 degrees and the joints in the wrists offer some good movement.

Ka~me~ha~me~~
Haa~!

There’s a ball joint in her upper chest that allows for some decent twisting and tilting. There’s no joint in the waist, probably due to maintaining the sculpt, but the ball joints in the hips give a fairly good range. Her (teeny tiny) skirt is made from a soft plastic so it shouldn’t hinder her movement so you should be able to create or re-create some of her more dynamic poses. The knees can bend to about 270 degrees and the joints in the ankles offer some nice tilting and twisting.

“Fighting evil by moonlight!”

Conclusion:

Sailor Moon by SH Figuarts is a definite must-have for anyone familiar with the series. The figure itself is pretty good in its own right, and there are enough accessories to keep things interesting. It’s possible to collect all the Sailor Scouts now so you can build the full team. Even now prices are still reasonable, so building the whole team won’t be too much of a hassle. She’s lots of fun and would make a worthy addition to any figure collection.

Sailor Moon can be found at the links below along with the other Sailor Scouts and other figures in the SH Figuarts range.

The next generation of Magical Girls
It’s Tuxedo Mask!
Dynamic entry!
For you, my Princess
Hey, wait a minute!
Not quite the result she was expecting…

S.H. Figuarts Iron Man Mk 45 – Review

Coming up next is my review for S.H. Figuarts Iron Man Mk 45.  This particular suit appears in the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron and it first appears towards the end of the movie during the evacuation of Sokovia.  Also of note is that this suit’s Artificial Intelligence system is not J.A.R.V.I.S. as per usual, but a new A.I. called F.R.I.D.A.Y.

First Impressions:  

Compared to Tony Stark’s previous Iron Man suits, the Mk 45 appears to have a much sleeker/streamlined figure.  If there was a sports car version of Iron Man, then this would be it.  Underlying a clean and anatomical silhouette is a collection of fine details and panel lines.  It features a nice and clean sculpt and is a very accurate representation of the character.

Shiny
Shiny
Sleek
Sleek

Accessories:

Included in the package with the figure are left and right closed fists, left and right open/flat hands, left and right open hands and left and right splayed hands.  Also included are effect parts that can be attached to his hands and feet.  2 different sets of repulsor blasts for his hands and 1 set that can only be applied to his feet to show flight.  An instruction sheet is also packed in the box.

Mk 45's Gear
Mk 45’s Gear

It doesn’t seem like a lot of accessories, but then again Iron Man doesn’t use a lot of other weapons or equipment outside of his suits.

Articulation:

The Mk 45 suit moves very well and has a good range of movement.  The joints feel solid and are able to hold poses as you would expect.

His head can look up and down to a good degree and has a good left and right turning range (the neck piece can limit this however).  He also has a good left and right tilt.

Shape up
Shape up
He can hold a high kick pose if you have the patience ; )
He can hold a high kick pose if you have the patience ; )

The arms are able to move freely and have double joints at the elbows to allow a fairly decent bicep curl.  The shoulders are able to come out of the torso slightly to allow for more movement and the wrists also have good range.  The shoulder pads are attached to the arms instead of at the torso.

Fire Repulsors!
Fire Repulsors!

He is able to tilt forwards and back slightly at the waist and is only able to turn a little bit around the upper torso.  The hips move well but due to the design it is easy to rub parts together which may damage the paint work.  Knees are double jointed to allow more movement and the feet (die-cast!) are flexible enough to allow for some nice posing.  The addition of die-cast metal in the feet is a nice touch, although the left foot on mine has become a bit wobbly while the right foot is still fine.  I’m not sure if it’s an issue inherent with using die-cast for joints or if it’s due to my Mk 45 having quite a bit of play time.  😀

Obligatory ground punch
Obligatory ground punch

This is what it’s all about.  Can he do “the pose”?  In a word – yes.  (The true sign of a good Iron Man figure)

Squaring off against Figma Captain America
Squaring off against Figma Captain America

Conclusion:

Iron Man Mk 45 by S.H. Figuarts is a very nice figure and will make a very worthy purchase.  It’s a nice, clean design, there’s enough interchangeable hands to suit most situations and the added effect parts are the icing on the cake.  On the subject of the effect parts though, I will say this – I don’t approve of the way that they’ve handled the attachment system.  I don’t like how the palms of the hands have a prong for the effect to plug onto rather than having a hole in the palms where the repulsor sits and having the effect plug into that.  It’s a waste of a set of hands that could have been used for something else since you’ve got 2 sets of open hands for the same effect.

Dude...
Dude…
I mean seriously... dude...
I mean seriously… dude…

However, if you can look past this issue then you won’t be disappointed.  Iron Man Mk 45 can be found at the link below along with other figures in the SH Figuarts range.  (I look forward to collecting the rest of the Avengers 😉 )

In flight
In flight
Mid-air combat
Mid-air combat
... so it turns out that the Hulkbuster sort of busts Hulks...
… so it turns out that the Hulkbuster sort of busts Hulks…