Monday 2 May 2011

Chogokin Hatsune Miku


After my positive dealings with Buzz Lightyear, I decided to splurge on this little beasty.  Oddly enough, cheaper than the smaller figma version of Miku and yet made with much metal and sexiness.  It is a limited run version and has quite a few collaborators in it’s production.  Any good?  Read on to find out.


Hatsune Miku is a character who is made by SEGA,  is popular in Japan for singing and has become a virtual idol.  Now in Japan, an Idol is usually used to refer to pretty girls who sing pop songs.  J-pop is the genre and on the whole, the music is complete rubbish.  Think mid to late 90’s synthesised music with vocals and you will get the drift.  Miku (Hatsune would be her surname and the characters for it represent ‘first’ and ‘sound’) here comes from a rhythm game that has her dancing around as if in a music video while you press the corresponding buttons in time with the music.  It is mildly entertaining, but the enjoyment hinges entirely on whether or not you like the music.  I actually found a couple of the songs to be a little enjoyable, although that may be more due to subject matter (one is about drinking vegetable juice).  Aside from that though, the character design is mildly interesting, but my main reasons for getting her was due to her popularity and (like a crow) her pretty pretty shiny sparkly-ness.  She also reminds me somewhat of Space Channel 5’s Ulala, who I quite liked.


So shiny!


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The shiny starts with the box.  It’s a closed in box, so there is now figure viewing so one has to rely on the photos on the back.  The cardboard is glossy and the silhouette is a lovely shade of aqua/green and metallic shiny too.  Foil perhaps?  For shiny, we are off to a good start!  Most of the  pictures on the back have artificial sparkles added to them.  The box is probably only a little bigger than an average figma box and about the same as a Transformer Voyager sized box.


On the back we can see a list of collaborators. 

  • Master model sculpted by Max Factory
  • Planning advised by Good Smile Company
  • Manufactured by Bandai
  • Distributed by Hobby Japan.


Max Factory and Good Smile Company make the figmas.  Bandai make Chogokin as well as others and Hobby Japan seem to distribute quite a lot, but not any figures that I am aware of.  MF and GSM seem to work together so much I thought they were the same company.


Once we open the box, we see Miku lying in her plastic prison.


All her accessories are noticeable here.  You can see from the hands, that she is heavily influences by figma design.



She come with 2 extra faces,  5 extra pairs of hands, a mike, a mike stand, keyboard, mini-stage, 2 different types of ‘negi’ (that be spring onions/shallots) that seem to be a regular item for her, not sure why.  Best of all, she also comes with a fore arm that allows a ROCKET PUNCH!!! 

Why?  Dunno. 

Who cares?  Not me!

Like jetpacks any toy is better with a rocket punch!

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The keyboard is really nice with metal for the keys and it has a good weight to it.


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These are the mike, stage and name plate, as well as legs for the keyboard, oh and  a stand to hold Miku up as well.



  You can see that Miku’s hair pieces (!) aren't attached to her head yet, well that’s because her head has some magnets in it and the hair uses a couple of ball bearing things at the top to attach to her head.  Cool and not cool at the same time,  but we will get to that later.


Once out of the box, we can see how shiny she is.  I like the chogokin stamp slapped in her shoulder blades.

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About the only real bummer from behind are all the screws, it kind of lets her down a little bit.


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Her hair has this cool metallic sheen all over it, even the seems of her coat which have been cut with a little jagged edge have the green/blue paint with the metal look as well.  It is an extremely well painted figure as well.  No extra splotches where they shouldn’t be and all paint sections are crisp.



Her neck tie is the same colour.  I found that on mine it seems to pop off really easily, but it goes back on just as easy.  Just be careful that you don’t lose it.

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The detail all round on the figure is excellent.

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You can leave her hair bits off if you feel like having a Street Fighter Chun-Li look.  The hair pieces jut clip on using magnets.

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The hair is quite heavy and pulls her head to one side when only one is on.  It can also pull her backwards as well, so be careful of random falling backwards.



So shiny, you can see the reflection of the camera in the metal.







Even some of the more trickier details have been done nicely.  Her arms and legs are crisply painted and nice to look at too.

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The skirt details are pretty good too.  In general the clothes look pretty damn fine.  The skirt is made of two pieces and the front of it is a bit loose (as it is metal as well and won’t flex) and this allows for decent leg movement.

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Even the little looped strip is patterned.



No shimapan…


Her legs are nice.  Although the movement doesn’t allow for any twisting, except that from the hips as she has ball jointed hips and hinges in her knees.  Good strong double hinges, allowing for some great bending!



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I also like the paint on the feet!


Her jacket is nice and shiny and made of metal as well.  Paint applications are good too, there is only one flaw really, as it is a separate piece to her body, to allow for a waist movement, the jacket is split between the top and bottom.  Barely noticeable really and the awesome amount of shiny more than makes up for this though.


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Above R, you can see the split section for the jacket.


As you play, you can see the figma sculpt influences quite strongly.

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The joint for her neck is a figma joint made out of metal.  Her pants look like standard figma pants and if you  compare the top of her thighs, you can see that what is normally a separate piece on figmas has been joined for this.


The light lines above the arrows are 2 parts on figmas, allowing for the thigh to twist a bit on the part connecting the ball joint.


Accessories time. 


She comes with a couple of extra faces and some music related instruments as well as a couple of unexpected items.  The first being the negi/spring onions.

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That seems normal enough I guess, just sitting around and smelling the onions.  Remember though that Chogokin is heavily influenced by action toys.  So (and I like this one) she comes with….




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The tonfa versions of the negi actually have a sprout that is hinged so it can either look like a spring onion, and then it can swivel up to be hold in her fist!



Naturally a singer would want some instruments for creating music and what-not.  Miku here seems to come with a nice selection.  Instrument wise, she has a lovely little keyboard to play.  The case of the keyboard is plastic, but the keys are beautiful shiny metal!  It’s wonderful.  You just need to plug the legs in and you can place it on the indents in the stage.


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I like the way the board has Chogokin written on it.


Next addition is a microphone stand.   There is a picture of the mic above, but I don’t see the logic in her having a mic for her hand, since she has a head mounted one.  Nevertheless, the mic for her hand can be placed in the stand and plonked on the base as well.

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The base itself has an area for the name plaque to go and areas for holding the accessories like hands and face and spring onions and rocket punches.  You know, the usual stuff…  The name plaque is a solid bit of shiny metal.  Very nice!

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The end result ends up looking a bit like this.


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Using the balance claw/stand thing for her, you can make her stand n one foot and have a jolly good old time while performing.  She is also steady enough on two feet to stand without aid.





I just realised there was a face I don’t think I have covered, she also has one with her eyes closed.  I would’ve liked one that was angry for her rocket punch, but I guess the happy one is ok for that.




So shiny.  Did I mention how shiny she is?




Finally a bit of size comparison, with a couple of other figures.    My usual headless figma  BRS,  a deluxe sized Transformers by the name of Scourge and a voyager sized Transformer by the name of Lugnut.

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She stands pretty much closed enough to a Voyager Transformers, not too bad at all.



So to summarise my thoughts, this Miku is a good Miku, not a great Miku.  The sculpt is pretty good, but some articulation is lost through the need for strengthening/cost cutting and the ball bearing magnet hair is a cool idea, but a little weak.  the other main let down is the visible screws in her back, it would have been better had they covered thee up, or perhaps painted them at the least.  The stage is nice and the overall shiny effect of the toys makes it a lot of fun to have, pose and look at.  I am not sorry I got it, but it could have been better.  Still, I believe it was a Wonderfest exclusive and therefore made in limited numbers, which may have been a factor in cost.


Not as good as Buzz Lightyear, but still a decent figure.

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