Monday 17 December 2018

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Lillie

Release Date: November 2018
RRP: 6296 yen

Whereas Good Smile Company's Nendoroid line has been fairly flexible about what Pokémon characters it releases (ranging across all generations of games, trainer characters, gym leaders and even the odd anime release), the Figma line has been a little more restricted. So far there's only been two Pokémon figures made, both of which were trainer figures and came from both the first and last of the main game series. However for their third release Max Factory are bucking the trend a little bit, sticking with Pokémon Sun and Moon but moving outside of playable characters with Figma Lillie! The mysterious girl who lives with Professor Kukui, Lillie's connection with her Cosmog 'Nebby' is what kicks off the game's storyline, bringing both her and the player into contact with the Aether Foundation, the Ultra Beasts and Lillie's mother Lusamine. This release is based on her "Lively Lillie" wardrobe she dons toward the end of the game, fresh in her resolve to save both Nebby and her mother.

Figma boxes haven't been especially interesting for some years now and Lillie's is no exception, done in a rather basic yellow and white two-part colour scheme. There are a couple of items of note on the front, such as the Figma-centric Pokémon logo and 10th anniversary Figma logo as well as that the English text uses the character's Japanese spelling of "Lilie" (and not any name specific to this variant like "Ganba Lilie" or "Lively Lillie"). The back and spines of the box feature a variety of images showing off the figure in various poses, and inside you'll find the figure and its accessories housed in a single clear plastic clamshell tray.

As previously mentioned this Figma is based on her "Lively Lillie" look from later in the game, where she ties her hair back in a ponytail and wears a more sporty two-piece outfit with socks and trainers. It's a design that would certainly make for a more dynamic figure than her standard look, but sadly doesn't have quite the same impact - and not just because it's lacking a fabulous hat. Still, it's the kind of look that Max Factory could sculpt in their sleep at this point so it shouldn't be any surprise to hear that the figure has turned out beautifully. While it may be low on detailing the little that it does have (such as her plaited hair or the various folds and billows in the clothing sculpt) has been done to perfection. The pastel blue paintwork is nicely applied, adding a nice splash of colour to her predominantly white ensemble. But best of all is the perhaps the face sculpt. Red and Mizuki's weren't bad, but unlike either of them Lillie is a fully developed character so has so much more personality to insert - something that that Max Factory have managed to achieve even with her standard face plate.

For articulation Lillie features standard Figma joints in her neck, elbows, knees and ankles along with ball joints in the shoulders, waist and hips, bicep swivels and then a hinged toe-cap section in the feet. Lillie's giant ponytail is also fixed to the head via a standard ball joint, allowing it to move from side to side freely as well limited up and down movement. Though the skirt is made from a soft plastic that will move along with the legs, it still somewhat restricts her lower body movement when it comes to more elaborate poses. But that doesn't mean you still can't get some great poses out of the figure, and in typical Figma fashion all of her joints are super smooth and easy to work without any force. Even though they might not be quite as articulated as competitors such as S.H. Figuarts, when it comes to sheer comfort in their movement Figma really can't be beat - especially when it's anime-esque figures like this. They have been at it for ten years now after all.

Like the other Pokémon figures Good Smile have put out Lillie is pretty generous on the accessory side of things, coming with two additional faceplates (a closed eyes smile and an angry expression to join her default smile), four additional pairs of hands, backpack, Pokéball, Clefairy Pokédoll and a standard articulated Figma display stand. The backpack pegs straight into the port on the back of the figure (with an additional hole on its underside for use with the stand), while the straps unfasten from the bottom to go over the figure's shoulders. It's a neat little system that means you don't have to take any pieces off to get it to fit, but does result in some overly baggy straps that don't fasten in as securely as they perhaps should. What's more irritating is the lack of proper hands to hold the Pokéball, which like the one included with Mizuki is of the undersized shrunken variety. Since Lillie isn't a trainer as such they could have easily just omitted this accessory, but since they didn't proper hands that could hold it securely would really have been appreciated. But on the plus side, the Clefairy Pokédoll looks fantastic and the alternate faceplates are utterly adorable – especially the angry one.

Of course it wouldn't be a proper Pokémon release without one of the little critters themselves included, and though Lillie doesn't come with as many as previous releases it's still one that's just as important – Nebby! Sadly since this is the version of Lillie that appears later in the game the opportunity for proper "Get in the bag Nebby" poses is sadly lost, but this scale Cosmog figurine is wonderful regardless. Max Factory have done a brilliant job on Cogmog's vibrant neon colourscheme, and the hints of translucent blue plastic you can see under the paintjob give the figure a suitably ethereal quality. As Cosmog is a floating Pokémon the figurine is completely incapable of standing on its own, however a ball jointed Nendoroid Petite-style display base (like the ones for the Pikachu and Rotom Dex bonus figures) has been included. And if you want him floating a little higher, the figure can also plug quite comfortably into a standard Figma stand as well.

The final pair of accessories included with the figure are the Sun and Moon flutes, used in the game to evolve Nebby (who at this point has evolved into Cosmoem) into Solgeo or Lunala depending on which version of the game you're playing. As one of these flutes is also meant to be held by Figma Mizuki, an extra pair of hands specifically for this has also been included (noticeable by the different skin tone). Though small and relatively simple the two flutes are still very nice additions, with the holes moulded into the flute and painted as well as the Sun and Moon emblems properly sculpted. They look pretty great in the hands of the figures themselves, and definitely manage to make them feel even more of a perfect pair.

While she might not have quite as wide appeal as the trainers themselves, Figma Lillie is another solid addition to the growing collection of Pokémon Figma and the obvious follow on from Mizuki. She's a fan favourite, and in a game as story driven as Sun and Moon was definitely deserving of such treatment. Some might have preferred her original outfit, but the "Lively" version gets the job done just as nicely and the Cosmog accessory really completes the ensemble. While characters like Hau, Professor Kukui, Gladion or a Team Skull grunt might be good additions to the line, hopefully it'll continue to expand outside of Sun and Moon into earlier generation trainers, the Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee models or even whatever is yet to come in the future.

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