Tuesday 2 January 2018

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Deadpool [DX Ver.]

Release Date: November 2017
RRP: 8333 yen (DX ver.), 7222 yen (standard version)

After getting somewhat of a head start with their Avengers figures, Figma seemingly dropped out of the Marvel Comics game fairly quickly - leaving rivals S.H. Figuarts to tackle the Marvel Cinematic Universe while Kaiyodo played around with the comic designs. However Max Factory are back at it once again with their highly awaited Deadpool figure. First revealed at a Wonderfest some time ago, it's taken a little while for this figure to get off the ground - with some buyers continuing to hold out as similar scaled figures were released in different lines. But as has become a recent trend with the line, Figma have marked the occasion appropriately and released the 'Merc with a mouth' in two different variants - a standard edition as well as a slightly more expensive DX Version including additional accessories.

Deadpool comes packaged in a standard sized Figma box, done up in the same uniform style as the rest of the line but with a predictable but fitting red and black colourscheme. As has been the case with other Figma that have been released both in standard and DX editions the two versions have their own unique numbering, with the standard version being #353 in the main line and the DX version being EX-042. This also means the stock images on the back are different, with the DX version opting to primarily promote the unique parts in terms of image sizing. There’s also a neat little image of all the accessories included, just so you can immediately see how much has been packed into this release.

Curiously the extra pieces included unique to the DX version do not get their own area on the inner tray, instead coming packaged in a plain white box hidden behind the tray. All the box has printed on it are its contents (in Japanese of course), while the pieces themselves are then sealed in segmented plastic bags. Given that the DX figure already comes in its own unique packaging it’s a little bizarre to see the extra pieces boxed in such a slapdash way – it feels more akin to the bonus pieces they include when you buy directly from the GSC store rather than a special release with its own designated number.

On first glance Figma Deadpool looks pretty fantastic. In terms of detailing it’s clear that Max Factory based the figure off of the comics rather than the live-action movie so the finished product is a smooth, PVC-looking figure which certainly does the suit justice. The colours perhaps come across as a little plasticy, but do come off as looking like the kind of material that would be used so does work. It’s only on closer inspection and actual handling of the figure that the truth is revealed – Figma Deadpool is QC nightmare. The most obvious problem is the neck section, which from the front will often leave a rather unsightly gap revealing the Figma joint underneath. From the back you can see that the neck is connected to the head via standard Figma joint, only the plug section doesn’t fit in all the way leaving the head to sit rather awkwardly on top. This means the head falls off at the tiniest touch, which can be a real pain when positioning it. The head’s problems don’t stop there either, as the faceplate doesn’t fit on very tightly either and can leave a really obvious seam unless really forced into place. Taking the head apart reveals that the two parts are held together but a black plug piece – which fits super tightly into the front section but very loosely into the back. This not only means that the faceplates don’t stay on very well, but when they do come off they constantly take the plug (which by all accounts could have just been built into the back of the head) with it.

The QC problems don’t stop there either, because the additional sections are even worse. First off there’s the sword sheathes, which do not want to stay in their designated plug hole at all. I don’t know if it’s because the hole isn’t deep enough or too wide, but you so much as sneeze and they will fall out. Similarly Deadpool’s endless supply of belt pouches stay on pretty tightly to begin with, but accidentally knock them off (and you will if changing the leg parts on the DX version) and they will not stay back on tightly. By the end of this photoshoot my copy was a mess that could barely keep all of the parts on at a given time. Of course this might not be true of all copies of the figure, but given how extensive these issues seem to be it’d be surprising to hear they aren’t common. Once you get the figure into a pose it’s great, but the effort you have to do to achieve it is exactly that – effort.

Meanwhile the articulation isn't exactly bad, but ultimately Figma engineering isn't all that well-suited for dynamic superheroes. It's perfectly fine for anime characters and video game characters whose designs lean towards the anime-esque, but once your dealing with a thicker body type the limitations become a little more clear. The articulation is certainly smooth and there's plenty of it, but there's nothing really on offer here that makes this Deadpool stand out. Especially against something like the Amazing Yamaguchi Deadpool, which looks a bit iffy in vanilla poses but really excels when it comes to wild ones. However on the other hand the Figma looks great in the kind of sassy, ridiculous poses you'd also expect from the character so there is that. The other problem is that moving the body around too much also results in the pouches and sword sheathes falling out of place, which as I mentioned earlier is frustrating enough to make you not want to even bother.

With the figure itself proving to be something of a disappointment, it’s up to the accessories to prove that this is the Deadpool that’s worth your money Included with both versions of the figure are a standard Figma articulated display base, two alternate faceplates (each with their own expression) 13 swappable hands (including a pair in a heart shape, a thumbs up and an aloha hand amongst the usual fare), his twin signature swords, a knife (which can be stored in the holster on the figure’s left leg) and finally two different types of handgun. When the guns are in use the pieces from their corresponding holsters can be removed, revealing them to be partial pieces just like the sword grips that go along with the sheathes. So whether you prefer your Deadpool to making some comedic pose or cutting/gunning down enemies (or a strange but fitting mix of both), this figure has plenty of options when it comes to posing.

And since the standard edition already costs a pretty horrific 7222 yen, if you’re going to buy this you may as well go all the way and pick up the DX version at minimal extra cost. Do so and you’ll also be treated to a partially unmasked eating face, a chimichanga, an additional right hand to hold said chimichanga, two sai, two rifles and an alternate lower body section with heart-patterned underwear and bare legs. Even though this bumps Deadpool’s accessory count to “more stuff than you could ever pose him with”, it’s still a nice little bunch of extras that help set the Figma release apart from other similarly scaled Deadpools. Changing the legs however can be a bit of a nightmare however, as the force needed to pull them off the hip joints might result in the belt pouches coming off inadvertently. And as mentioned earlier, once those things are off they will not want to fix back on securely.

Figma Deadpool certainly isn’t the worst figure I purchased in 2017, but is definitely a contender for the most disappointing. As nice as the figure might look it’s a QC nightmare, with parts poorly fitting together, pieces that fall off at simply a glance and a really unappealing neck joint. The sheer amount of accessories do their best to make up for this, but it’s not enough to overlook the fact that this is an average toy at best. The final nail in the coffin is just how grossly overpriced the figure is, with the DX version only costing an additional 1111 yen for all those extra pieces. Unless you’re truly loyal to Figma honestly you’re better off sticking to either Marvel Legends or Amazing Yamaguchi on this one – the latter of which I hear nothing but good things about.

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