Kotobukiya sure has been pulling at our nostalgia heartstrings recently with figures like Vash the Stampede and Yami Yugi (review). They’ve been working on a Yu Yu Hakusho line since last autumn’s MegaHobby Expo, and now finally we are seeing the fruit of these labors, starting with the tiny (but ferocious) Hiei!
Before we dive into the review, I have a confession. While I watched more than my fair share of Toonami, Yu Yu Hakusho never quite grabbed my interest. My dad & brother loved it, but every time I walked in on the show I’d wonder things like “why is that baby talking?!” Of course that doesn’t stop me from appreciating a good figure, so hit the jump and let’s get started!
Hiei’s box is small. Of course, with the huge piles of boxes lying around my apartment I view this as a very very good thing. Many figures have way oversized boxes, so it’s nice to see one that’s barely an inch taller than the figure it contains. And since Hiei is only 7″ tall, this is a very tiny box indeed!
Assembly is pretty minimal. He comes with some extra parts that we’ll view later, but for the most part you just stick him on the base! Only one foot is connected to a peg, so it’s pretty darn easy. Actually, you can get him to balance on his own given his wide-legged stance, so a base isn’t even needed! Good news for those short on shelf space.
With one arm raised in a rather taunting manner, Hiei is in a pretty classic “come at me bro” pose. It’s interesting how different male figure poses are from their female companions: girls definitely don’t often get poses like this, and if they do more often than not they’re also pushing their hips to the side for some added sex appeal. Of course, Kotobukiya isn’t above adding some sex appeal to their male figures (I’m talking about you, Akira!) but Hiei here is refreshingly free of this.
His face matches the animation model quite well, and while we usually use words like “pretty” and “cute” for female figures Hiei here is all badass all the way! He looks determined and cool, an odd but interesting counterpoint to his diminutive stature.
The sculpt is an odd mix of hyper-detailed and rather stripped-down and simplistic features. For example, there are tons of sculpting details in his hair, with spikes out the wazoo. The layering effect is very well done, and they went with dark purple highlights to really bring out the depth.
His outfit, though, is so simplistic I’d almost call it minimalistic. There’s not a lot of detail, though we do get some simple folds around the waist. For the most part it’s just solid black though. Given his low retail price (¥5,800) and the simple animation style it’s to be expected, but it’s nice that they did go the extra mile on some areas like his crazy hedgehog hairdo. Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? Is there some department of crazy hair in Japan?
The default display option has his dragon sealed to his arm, a cool tattoo effect! It’s nicely worked on there, though as cool as it is I find myself preferring the unsealed dragon, so let’s take a look at those optional parts!
Hiei comes with both an optional third-eye opened face as well as his unsealed dragon. Taking his face off is kind of a funny process, since his hair doesn’t really have anywhere to split you just remove the first black fringe part. When you put it on it kind of blocks the 3rd eye a little, though you do get a peek of it through his bangs.
For me, the dragon is the star of the show and what took this figure from “eh, it’s nice” to “OMGWTF LOVE IT.” I mean, it’s an awesomely detailed clear purple dragon! What is not to love? They really did a good job on the sculpting, and the texture is downright amazing. Plus, you know, purple.
As I mentioned earlier the base isn’t needed, but thankfully it’s not a boring plastic disk if you do want to use it! They went with clear blue, not entirely thrilling, but it does have a nifty design that really fits with the show.
Hiei is a simple figure with a lot of good details like his spiky hair and dragon buddy, though I think his appeal will mostly be limited to fans of the show. Then again, they certainly aren’t in short supply! He’ll soon be joined buy Kurama and of course Yuusuke himself. I wonder who will be next, Yoko Kurama? That, at least, is my wish!
I am really liking the ArtFX J, it just brings back so many memories. I’m assuming there will be a lot more announcements, so I wonder what show will join up next? Maybe… Dragon Ball Z? How awesome would an ArtFX Goku be, he’d go so well with Yugi! Spiky hair bros unite.Or, you know, G Gundam. Someone please give me G Gundam figures!
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]