Wednesday 17 September 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku

Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku from Kill la Kill

Where Ryuko Matoi goes, her best friend Mako Mankanshoku isn't far behind - and the Nendoroid toyline is no exception! Rather than make Kill la Kill fans wait any longer, Good Smile Company opted to release both characters at the same time, with Satsuki Kiryuin following shortly afterward in October. With her over the top personality and expressions, Mako seems like a perfect character for the Nendoroid line so here's hoping the figure can live up to her potential!

Black and Orange

A girl and her dogSo many faces!

Mako shares very similar box coloration to Ryuko, however the red has been swapped out for a relatively bright orange. The black and orange go rather nicely together, but I'm not sure its the most fitting colour scheme for a Mako figure. Personally I'd have preferred a white/blue box to go with her uniform, but I guess that might have been a bit TOO different from Ryuko's packaging. They could also be saving that for Satsuki's box, where it would be equally as fitting. Who knows! Guess we'll find out in a few month's time when Nendoroid Satsuki hits retail. Moving on, the back is again relatively simple, featuring only three pictures of the figure in various poses. One of these also includes the Ryuko Nendoroid, as well as some photoshopping to remove the (obviously required) stand for the pose.


Born to be a NendoroidIn need of a stand

Rubber arms!Give her a hug

Mako may be significantly simpler in design than Ryuko, but GSC haven't done any less of an amazing job bringing her to life for the popular chibi toyline. The moulding is immaculate, and what little paint she has is perfectly applied. There's even some tone/shading on her hair, rather than it be moulded in one solid shade of brown.

Like most basic Nendoroids Mako does feature some articulation, albeit very limited. There are ball joints present in her neck, waist and legs, with the former being to get the most variety of movement out of it. Thanks to the design the waist joint is little more than a glorified swivel, and with no knees or feet to speak of the legs can only really move forwards, backwards and rotated. With the arms connecting via basic plug joints, they can also rotate a full 360 degrees at the shoulder.


Food is serious businessPouncing

Now it's the accessory count where Mako REALLY begins to shine. For a start she comes with an incredible total of FOUR faceplates - smiling, excitable, shouting and sleeping (complete with a plastic snot bubble which clips into a hidden port inside the hairpiece). And if you were one of the people willing to pay that little bit extra from the Good Smile Company online store, you'll have been rewarded with an additional fifth "bruised" faceplate. Most Nendoroids come with about three faceplates tops, so to get such a wide variety of expressions just shows GSC also recognised how much of an expressive character Mako is.

Also packaged with the figure are a pair of alternate legs bent at the knee, five arms (two pairs of outstretched ones and a pointing right arm) and a plate of food. One set of the outstretched arms is particularly good as not only are they longer, but their also made of bendable plastic! So while Nendoroid Mako isn't capable of pulling off her signature pose thanks to the stubby proportions, she can still pull off a selection of weird and wonderful arm poses.

Guts guts gutsPug on the head, because why not?


Finally Mako comes with an additional non-poseable figure of Guts - the Mankanshoku family pet pug. Despite the lack of any articulation (I'm sure a turning head wouldn't have been that hard to throw in), its a nice and hefty mini figure that also scale well with other animal accessories that have been included in previous Nendoroids. There's also of course the standard Nendoroid, which comes with a little bit extra than usual. In addition to the usual base and jointed arm, Mako also comes with a longer arm piece to replicate some mid-air poses - specifically her sneaking up behind on Ryuko. It can be a little tricky to get the weighty Nendoroid into this pose without the connector piece dropping off of the arm, but once you manage to get it right it can hold her pretty stable.

Then there's all the other fun you can have with other Nendoroid parts! Swapping her body with Ryuko's to replicate those moments in episode 21 where Mako wears Senketsu is the most obvious thing, but I also found that the stars included with Nendoroid Shizue/Isabelle (Winter Ver.) from Animal Crossing work great for backdrop similar to the second ending from the show. 


Shizue's stars are perfect for those ED2 starsWe're all doomed

As I've mentioned before in reviews Nendoroids can be rather limiting to someone who's used to poseable figures, but every so often there comes along a character who was just born to be a Nendoroid. Mako Mankanshoku is one of those characters. Her simplicity means there was no way the sculpt could go wrong, and even without the additional GSC-exclusive faceplate comes with an incredibly fun amount of expressions and accessories. And if you're adding her to an already extensive collection of Nendoroids, that's only the start of the fun.

If there's only one Kill la Kill Nendoroid you're willing to buy,  make it this one.

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