Thursday, 12 February 2015

Toy Review: TEKKEN BISHOUJO NINA WILLIAMS

 Silently wondering who the first clown will be to
try making a grab for the goods.

First things first, welcome to 2015 on the blog!  No, I didn't die in some nuclear catastrophe toward the end of last year, I just got caught up in a bunch of non-blog stuff that kinda torpedoed my drive to keep updating this page.  Plus, there wasn't a hell of a lot to talk about - I mean, I could've done a post on Smash Bros. but, why?  Do you need me to tell you it's good?  No, you do not.

But as ever, I'll always drag my arse back here when there's something worthwhile Tekken related to discuss.  And the release of the series' first lady in the Bishoujo statue line - shamefully 3+ years after the line debuted - feels like justification enough.

Let's hit it!  But not too hard, it might break and these things are expensive.


 Box front!

 Box side!

 Box back!

Bisho-Nina comes packaged in the same double-windowed box as most of her linemates, which is around 11" tall with the windows on the front and one of the sides, with the other given over to a full-body shot of Shunya Yamashita's concept art for the figure.  There's a lengthy block of text on the back which is less a character biography and more a description of the toy (which gets a little creepy when it continually harps on about Nina's 'taut musculature') plus an ad reminding us all that, yes, Anna is due for release next.  Assuming they don't get cold feet at the idea of back-to-back non-schoolgirl releases and delay her in favour of Miharu or something.

Point is, it's a nice box that I'm disinclined to throw away.  Onto the figure itself...

 I...I don't know if this is a 'front' shot or not.
How can I tell if her face and arse both point in the same direction?!

As we knew already, Bisho-Nina uses a fresh illustration as her basepoint, rather than the one Yamashita-san drew for Tekken Tag 2.  That one converted Nina's regular (is it fair to say 'iconic' now?) camo'd catsuit into something even more space-age, with layered armour plate on her limbs and a toning down of the more fetishistic elements.  Of course, the Bishoujo line being what it is, a 'less sexy' version of the character was probably never going to fly, so a different concept was needed.

To get the obvious point out of the way - no, human spines probably shouldn't bend like that.  It wasn't quite so noticable on the art but in 3 dimensions it's hard to ignore how tortured this pose looks.  Do I hate it?  Ehhh, not quite.  It's not ideal, but the attempt at a coiled pre-kick at least gives her some agency and reminds us that this isn't a lady to mess with.  It's just unfortunate that it clashes with the more line-typical desire to focus on boobage and butt-age.

 Still don't know if this is front or back but it's the reverse of the last one.

Aside from the actual pose, the sculpt is very nicely done in general.  Despite the 'moar sexy!' ethos of Bishoujo, they haven't tinkered with Nina's combat suit in any meaningful way (the heels might be taller but their height comes and gos anyway), and the assorted straps, buckles and ribbed lines on the silver areas are all present, correct and neat.  There's also a few creases at certain points to denote that this is in fact fabric, and there's nice contrast between the glossy finish on the plain purple areas and the matte finish on the camo.  Despite the box' fascination with her musculature, this is pretty far from the fitness model/professional athlete physique Nina has been sporting in most of her game appearances, so she's missing the broad shoulders and tight abdomen that would usually offset her generous breasts and buttocks.  But I kinda expected that.

Paint-wise, mine has no splotches or mistakes that I can find, which is impressive given how much detail is featured in Nina's design.  The camo pattern doesn't match the artwork - it's far simpler - but then, the artwork made said pattern way more complicated than it was in the games, so I think the statue actually comes off better in terms of accuracy.  That holds true for the overall colour choices also; the purples are more muted and closer to reality than the frankly garish ones Yamashita went with.

 Permanently frustrated that she can't raise that hand higher
to get the hair out of her eyes.

Highlighting the head for a second, it's still got the very 'messy' look from the artwork, which I dig.  Obviously, games being what they are, digital hair never really moves the way real hair does, so with a character like Nina, her bangs and ponytail flop around like they've been glued together with polymer cement no matter how hectic things get.  Toys like this don't have to be restricted like that, and I think the result in this case is very cool.  What's less cool is the overall 'softening' of the facial features.  Yamashita-san's art gave Nina a cocky smirk and a challenging look in her eye, like she was daring you to come closer.  Somewhere along the development line that got lost, and now Nina is smiling demurely and her eyes betray only friendliness.  That's not really fitting for an assassin now, is it?

The colours are also a slight source of consternation, as her hair is...well, I don't know what to call it exactly, but it's not the right shade of blonde.  There's a wee bit too much orange seeping into it, and that takes it away from the pale, platinum-blonde Nina usually sports.  Also, her eyes are blue, which...actually, they should be, but Yamashita-san always colours them green.  I dunno.

 The...side...shot?  Oh god I don't know anymore, DIRECTIONS ARE A LIE ARGH

Uhm...not sure what else to say, really.  Never had to review a statue before; usually this is where I'd talk about articulation, which obviously is not a factor here.  I guess I could mention her base?  It's a 2"-circumference translucent circle of plastic, with a second platform beneath, and uses an off-center triangular wedge to slot into Nina's supporting foot very snugly.  I'm assuming this wouldn't work with most other figures in the line.

Why is there a second platform, you ask?  Well, for these!

 Look!  Accessories!  A thing I know!

Also included in the box are these three...fill-ins?  Not sure what to call them exactly, but you're meant to leave one sandwiched between the two layers of the stand so it shows through the top side and jazzes it up a bit.  As you can see, one has the Yamashita art with the TTT2 logo, one has the special 20th Anniversary Tekken logo, and the third - my favourite - has a copy of Harada-san's goofy signature in a very Nina-friendly shade of purple.

So, on the whole, Nina's Bishoujo figure is...definitely a statue.  Of Nina.  Again, it's hard for me to really 'rate' something with little in the way of play value, and I don't really have a benchmark to compare it to.  Plus I do have a few issues with it, so I can't just cheat and give it a perfect score, but it is very professionally assembled, and I don't regret my purchase in the least, so...maybe 8 out of 10?  7-and-a-half at least.  Still a worthwhile piece of merch for any Nina fan.  For Bishoujo collectors...well, it's got tits, isn't that enough?

Nina family selfie time!

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