Tuesday 9 May 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Myethos 1/8 Scale Nia Teppelin Wedding Dress Ver.

Release Date: March 2017
RRP: 11,800 yen

As a figure collector I’ve fallen victim to many different rabbit holes in the past – Transformers, Figma, S.H. Figuarts to name a few. But scale figures is one thing I’ve avoided for the longest time, not just due to their lack of articulation but also the price and space they command. However when Hong Kong-based company Myethos announced they would finally be releasing a 1/8 scale Gurren Lagann Nia Teppelin Wedding Dress Ver. figure (seen for many years as a garage kit at various conventions) as a mass release item, an exception had to be made. What better way to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary than with a high-end figure of my favourite character? I may have been celebrating, but my bank account sure wasn’t.

A big figure means a big box, so this really isn't a purchase to make online if you aren't a fan of hefty shipping costs (not to mention customs fees in certain places). The packaging is extremely stylish, with the front done up like the front of the pavilion Nia and Simon get married at in the show's final episode (extending up into the lid of the box as well). The side parts of the transparent window even have beautifully detailed flower patterns on them, which are also carried over to the sides of the box. The back is perhaps the best of all - featuring a silhouette of the wedding scene featuring all of the characters present (except maybe Viral since he hung so far back from the crowd). Even though the flower patterns are highly detailed the box itself is definitely a case of less is more, using only two colours and minimal graphics. Even the Gurren Lagann logo on the front is tiny.

Given that hefty price, the most important thing for Myethos to do here was produce a figure whose quality was worthy of such a cost. Scale statues in general cost a lot more than articulated figures, but for me at least anything that breaks the 10,000 yen mark should be something really special. This figure does a pretty great job of that with its beautiful sculpting and gorgeous paintwork, with the whole dress done in a wonderful pearly pink that just gleams in the light. The colour of the dress isn’t all that far off from the skin tone, but the minor difference in shade and finish separate the parts perfectly. The glossy light colours work brilliantly to capture the extravagance of it all but what’s really catching are the bright colours that work alongside it, such as the red and pinks of the bouquet/hairband and Nia’s distinctive blue/blonde hair. A good Nia figure can always be gauged by the quality of the eyes, and those have also been replicated flawlessly onto the figure’s serene facial expression. Topping it all off is the net veil, adding yet another texture to the figure for a more premium look. This is a statue that may look great in pictures, but they still don’t do it full justice. 

That said however, given the price it would have been nice for it not to be so bare bones in terms of extra parts. Since scale figures have fixed poses a few alternate faces can make all the difference, and Nia definitely could have benefitted from something in this regard. Not that there’s anything wrong with the expression Myethos decided to go with, but just imagine the figure also came with the close-eyed, smiling expression Nia had on her face just as she disappeared? Wanting more from such a gorgeous figure feels so nitpicky, but really would have made this feel all the more special. Opening the box and seeing all that blank tray space is just painful.

There are in fact legs fully sculpted underneath all that dress, complete with an underwear/suspenders/stockings/high heels ensemble which you might assume is appropriate for one's wedding day (or alternatively would have been had the celebrations continued). The legs are bent into a pose that would most certainly struggle to hold the weight of dress, so it's no surprise to find them completely covered and the dress itself offering most of the weight support. The initial promo images showed off what the figure looks like with the lower half removed so one can assume that it is somehow removable, but upon investigating the two sections of the dress seemed fastened together pretty tightly. Given the cost of the figure, I wasn't prepared to risk breaking it by prying them apart.

If you're not a fan of the veil look it can be removed and replaced with an alternate hairband that shows off the hair tied up in the back. Both hairbands plug firmly into place on either side of the head, so all replacing them requires is lifting both ends outwards so the entire piece can slip easily upwards. Both looks have their merits - the veil feels more 'complete' but the lone hairband shows off that hair sculpt thats otherwise almost entirely hidden. Alternatively if you aren't a fan of either hairband you can just leave Nia with an au natural look, however this does leave some fairly obviously plug sockets on show depending which angle you're looking at her from.

The bouquet isn't fixed into place and can be safely removed from the figure, although without it Nia's pose doesn't look particularly good. Given that the hands are cupped together specifically in a bouquet holding pose, without it looks like she's either making some sort of strange gesture or just cupping thin air. 

Finally the statue comes with a big round display stand, with the entire top part covered in vibrant red fabric. Not only does the fabric finish give the display a premium look (fitting for both the price and the dress), but would also protect that precious pearly white paint from any scuffs or marks it might get from being displayed on a hard surface. The downside is of course that since the figure is already pretty huge to begin with, the stand has to be extra wide to accommodate it. You're already looking at this figure taking up most of a shelf as it is - with the stand in tow its highly unlikely you're going to have much room to put things in front of it no matter how small they are. The figure also doesn't fix to the stand in any way, instead just standing comfortably on top of it as it would any surface. Basically this is a really nice display base that suits the figure perfectly - providing you have the space to use it that is.

Myethos’ Nia Teppelin Wedding Dress Ver. figure is truly a gorgeous figure to behold, but a pretty hefty price tag (as well as all the additional costs that may come with it) makes it a purchase only recommendable for the most dedicated of Gurren Lagann fans. As my favourite character from my favourite series getting her was a must and while I certainly don’t regret buying her one bit, I fully acknowledge there was probably more Myethos could have done to justify that price. But with a surprising lack of new merchandise for Gurren Lagann’s 10th anniversary and even less for Nia in general (especially as an adult), a premium figure like this was long overdue.

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