2013 has been a year of big changes for Good Smile company. Like I mentioned in my Mikoto Misaka review, the company has been making moves to establish a solid brand identity for their products. Today’s Hatsune Miku figure feels to me like a culmination of these efforts; she comes in a slick, newly designed box, she’s packed to the seams with accessories, and she’s got some impressive new design features that I hope carry forward to all figma releases in the future.
As the box proudly displays, this Miku is the 200th release in the figma line. In order to distinguish such a huge milestone, Good Smile has debuted a brand new packaging design for Miku. This box is all about solid colors and product photos; gone are the flashy design elements from past releases. Even the figma logo itself has a diminished presence on the box. Instead, the design reflects an effort to place Miku front and center. You’ve got to respect the humility that GSC has in deference to their products!
Right out of the box, she immediately makes a very good first impression. Thanks to her newly designed joints, even Miku’s standing poses can exhibit a huge amount of character and personality. With the joint structure of older figma releases, it’s difficult to achieve a “contrapposto” effect (“contrapposto” literally meaning “counter pose” – helpful Wikipedia article lives here). On the other hand, getting a nice lean going with Miku is very easy.
Furthermore, this release has seen improvements made in both the neck joints and the shoulder joints. Previous figmas could rotate their heads 360 degrees, but couldn’t tilt left or right. Again, not a problem for Miku 2.0. This may not seem that exciting, but I can’t stress enough how much more life and character can be communicated by this figure’s ability to perform a simple head tilt.
Miku 2.0’s hands have also seen some changes. In a normal figma, each swappable hand has it’s own peg that slots into a socket at the end of the arm. In the new setup, there’s a single joint that’s shared between each individual hand (each of which now has it’s own socket). It’s not an enormous change; if anything, it adds a bit more fiddling to the process of swapping hands out.
If the hands aren’t a huge change for good or bad though, then the new shoulder joints are a clear improvement. Miku’s shoulders now behave much more like a real human being’s shoulders do, giving her the ability to rotate them within their sockets. This way, her arms are able to move much more dynamically than what was possible before. I’ve put Miku side-by-side with an older figma to demonstrate an example of the kind of pose made possible by Miku’s snazzy new shoulder joints:
The joint improvements are what make me the giddiest about this figure, but let’s not forget that Miku’s box comes chock full of extra parts. In fact, I’m pretty sure that this figure features the widest variety of accessory pieces that I’ve ever seen in a figma release.
Like any musician worth her salt, Miku has brought her microphone and guitar to this set. The microphone piece is cool because it comes with it’s own mic stand – the mic can be attached to the stand, or posed with Miku separately.
There’s more to the guitar than you might initially think, as well. Miku comes with two special hands that are meant to be used with the guitar – her right hand can be replaced with one specifically made to grip the neck of the guitar, and the left hand can be swapped with one that holds a turquoise guitar pick.
Put these pieces together with the mic stand from earlier, and you have everything you need to turn your shelf into a Miku concert.
Naturally, Miku also comes with swappable faceplates. There are three in total – you’ve got a neutral happy face, a winking singing face, and a demure, bashful face. I’ve found that the provided accessories (with one exception, which I’ll get to later) are best suited to the singing expression; that is what Miku does best, after all.
The final accessory is both sort of bizarre and really awesome. Good Smile saw fit to bestow Miku 2.0 with a pair of semi-translucent angel wings. These aren’t some pansy cherub wings either; Miku is packing a set of straight-up seraph wings.
Considering the amount of Miku merch that GSC pumps out, it’s no wonder that they see her as an angel – she’s like… their patron saint of profit. All joking aside though, this a really pretty piece. The plastic here, like her hair, becomes slowly translucent at the tips. There’s are also joints in the center wings, allowing you to tilt them up or down. The best part, though?
Fully compatible with your other figmas. It’s almost like a gift from Good Smile Company for your loyal patronage to the figma brand over 200 releases. Now every figma on your shelf can become a perfect lil’ angel! D’awwww!
Figma is my favorite toy line, I own a ton of ’em, and just like it’s impossible for a parent to love one kid more than another, I love them all equally. But just because a parent loves their kids equally, they can still have a favorite. And Miku 2.0 is my favorite. And I feel like, because this figure exists, Good Smile loves me. Figma Miku 2.0 isn’t just a great figure on her own merits, but is an exciting indication of where the figma line is headed in 2014. My God, if figma Mikasa and Eren get the same joints…
figma Miku 2.0 is… surprisingly, not sold out everywhere. Some quick research on Amazon shows that you can still get your hands on this release for under $50 if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. AmiAmi still has stock for the same price as well. I have a feeling though that the price for a milestone figure such as this will only go up in the future. It’d be wise to act fast!