Oh wow, EXkurogane is reviewing a figure. Well, I used to do this in the past – in a personal blog which I shut down many moons ago. You know, too many things to manage. A Facebook page, Google Plus, Flickr, Instagram… Heck, my Twitter and Youtube are both half dead too. Im concentrating the most on my FB page and here in MFC nowadays. Okay, so why write a figure review now? Here’s your answer.
Here's my "trademark" shot of her:
Figure manufacturer Myethos will be having an official booth in a local anime convention called Animangaki on the 19th and 20th of August, to display their figures and promote their products. I was invited as a special guest for the event under the EXkurogane name to exhibit my dioramas and stuff related to figure photography, and my booth is just next to Myethos’ booth. I was given this Stardust figure 3 weeks before the convention. Im free to do photography work on it, and I also have the opportunity to be one of the earliest to review the figure should I wish to. According to the info I received, her release date was to be around the 8th of August 2017, while I received her a week earlier on the 1st of August. However it seemed like her release might vary a bit across different regions. That means by now some of you who ordered one may have already received an invoice or shipment notice. For me to work on the photos and then publish this review on around the 10th to 11th of August, it’s just about the right timing.
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoiler
Photography is not the main topic here, so Im not briefing on that and hid this section, but here’s a picture of the setup. A light tent (Light box). Since the main focus should be on the figure, a studio-style photoshoot with a fabric backdrop is more appropriate, but I made sure to make it look attractive at least with my background choices. I avoided doing excessive post-processing or editing for these photos since a review meant the photos should be as close as possible to what the human eye see. Only basic brightness/contrast/shadow adjustments with no play on the color - well, except for the main photo I uploaded on MFC.
This figure is not listed in MFC’s database because she is not of Japanese origin. Stardust (Xingchen) is a vocaloid of Chinese origin. To avoid a lengthy essay in this section, here’s a couple of references you may check out. She was actually available for preorder in Japanese sites like Amiami.
Character: Stardust / Xingchen
Origin: Vocaloid 4
Artist: ASK @Beijing Photek S&T Development Co. Ltd. (Illustrator)
Height: 230mm including base
Box size: 260mm x 232mm x 202mm (H x W x D)
Release date: ~08 Aug 2017, shipment may vary depending on region
Price: 11,800yen excluding taxes
I’ve heard of the name Myethos before; it’s not a new name to me, but I also have no idea what to expect since they are very new. But when I first received the figure the box’s design wowed me. You get an almost square black windowed box with gold accents on it. The box’s design is similar to the design of her base (more on that later), which consist of sky maps and constellations in gold.
Not much words or texts on the backside of the windowed box either, which is reminiscent of the figure boxes from Native. Minimalistic yet attractive.
Contents and Figure Assembly
It’s pretty much what I expected – the entire figure with her crescent-shaped seat resembling a moon, are fixed or glued to the base. The only separate parts are a yellow polygonal object (A star I suppose) and three strands of pink-magenta jewels. I’m not sure how to describe it but I believe they are intended to resemble the stars in the sky, since stars comes in different colors depending on their temperature and sizes.
Stardust is seated on a stand shaped like a crescent moon, while holding what looks like a star. That doesn't look really comfortable to me lol. The entire figure is a concept of Stardust's character where she is capable of flying and belongs to the skies (outer space actually). Overall pose is pretty natural looking which is to my liking.
Regarding the figure’s face and expressions (which is the most important aspect of any figure to me), Myethos did an excellent job. Accurate to the prototype, with a gentle smile. Amber colored eyes are kind of unique in a way I don’t see many anime characters with this color for the pupil of the eye.
The hair, in twintail (“quad tail” actually), could probably make do with some improvements in sculpt, where the ends of her hair strands are a bit too blunted. However this might be a subjective opinion. Depending on personal preferences, some people may not like sharp ends but personally I have a preference for that.
Stardust wears a bluish violet one piece dress where the inner side is yellow. There’s this glitter effect at the edges which gives her dress some character, but at the same time reminds me of glitter glue.
The black arm bands with some yellow in it are nicely painted; being a design element of the character, it sure is convenient as it hides the seam lines between separate parts.
Her left hand holds a star shaped polygonal object which I presume is a star itself. Once you have seen her artworks you will be able picture it in your mind, where she is holding something magical, which is glowing, in her hand.
The obvious issue here is that you only place this object on her hand, with no pegs or other ways of securing it in place. It’s not even a snap fit. It just sits there on her hand. So it might be easy to knock that object off her onto the ground and giving you a hard time looking for it. Not really an issue if your figure stays in a detolf. She is not the only figure with this issue so I wouldn’t call it a negative point of the figure.
The skin on her bare shoulder is actually kind of reflective, but only noticeable when there is direct light. So yeah, it’s slightly glossy (more like, a very smooth surface capable of reflecting light) and I wished it is completely matte.
Slim slender legs, with matte grey thigh high stockings with a sci-fi design element, the classic well-loved zettai ryouki. The yellow lines on the side sort of resembles a circuit or something. The weathering and color tone here is good.
Moving on to her base, it’s a crescent shaped stand intended to resemble the moon, with a textured surface on it, which feels like a different material has been used to wrap the stand. Three cube-shaped pink, yellow and blue jewels hang from the crescent stand via metal wires, representing the stars in the sky. After all, stars have different colors depending on their sizes and temperature. The pink one is probably a red dwarf star. The entire figure itself, from the glitter on her dress, to the base and its design elements, is a concept of Stardust herself as a character and where she belongs.
The figure is permanently fixed to the stand, and connected to the base via a single metal rod. It screams unique, but this kind of design definitely has a big downside where the figure wobbles easily. It’s only one single metal rod, the gold one in the middle.
Her base has a similar design to her box – constellations on a sky map. Simple yet attractive. Those huge gears / cogs are not part of the figure, it’s part of my photography setup. .
On top of the crescent stand there is a huge and obvious seam line, but at normal viewing angles it’s not noticeable.
Overall Sculpt and Paintjob of the Figure
For someone who has been in this figure collecting hobby for more than half a decade and has collected figures released a decade ago, to today’s newest figures, the overall sculpt is adequately detailed to me but nothing exceptional. However, If you take into account that this is something coming from a relatively new name in the figure market I would say this figure gives away a lot of good impressions.
Overall paintjob is flawless, and that is a very good thing. Probably lacking in finer details such as weathering or toning especially her hair and dress, but considering her original art wasn’t very detailed to begin with, it’s not an issue. This figure is an accurate representation of the original art. There are also no quality control issues - no paint bleeds, no scratches, no visible seam lines on the figure either (maybe except the one on top of the crescent shaped base). That alone should be enough to convince those who are interested in this figure to pick one up as soon as possible if you can find one. There’re barely any faults to pick out.
This is the only figure of Stardust / Xingchen in the figure market so far, and it’s sold out in many places for now. If you are interested, and should you manage to find her in stock after her release, act quickly before it’s gone. Aftermarket values probably won’t be pretty.
- Good sculpt and paintjob, but nothing exceptional
- No quality control related flaws
- Unique base
- Simple assembly
- Attractive packaging/box
- Figure wobbles easily due to design compromise of the base
- Glossy-looking skin, especially noticeable on her shoulders
Thank you for reading the review!