One of my first-ever scaled figures was Kotobukiya’s 1/8 Elwing. (Funnily enough, my very first PVC purchase was also by Koto–their 1/8 Mitsuru) It was love at first sight, and while I had restricted my PVC-purchases to characters that I knew at that point, Elwing was definitely the start of my downward spiral into PVC-madness. After buying so much vinyl, the detail just blew me away, and that is how my love affair with Tony Taka figures began.
While some people seem tired of seeing his figures everywhere, I can never get enough of them, so every new game announcement is like Christmas for me. I spend a lot of time pouring over the character designs and deciding what I’d like to see as a figure–when Shining Hearts was announced, Melty was actually the first to catch my eye (with Mistral being the second–come on, Koto, add her to the lineup!). While she seems neglected by the other manufacturers making figures from the game, I was really just waiting for the Koto version to display with all my other girls. And wait I did, because she was the 5th released figure in the line! So was she worth it? Hit the jump and find out!
Melty’s box is the standard Shining World fare: white with a minimalistic design and the original art on the front and sides. I think most figure collectors have at least one from Koto’s massive Shining World line, so this should be pretty familiar!
And, like most of the Shining girls, Melty requires zero assembly. She’s screwed into the base so all you have to do is remove the plastic that comes on her and stick her on a shelf! It’s interesting to note that because of her design, there’s no cast-off: usually the Koto Shining girls have removable skirts, but that’s impossible to execute with Melty’s short dress.
Usually I put a lot of stock into a figure’s pose. I prefer there to be at least a hint of motion and personality, and stiff poses tend to turn me off from getting an item. Melty is an odd exception: her pose is certainly not exciting in any sense, she’s just standing there holding onto her hat. Her legs are completely straight and there’s no sense of motion, but Melty’s main focus is not on looking active, it’s on being overwhelmingly cute. This is one of the most adorable, girliest figures I’ve ever seen, and the lack of an interesting pose somehow doesn’t detract from that.
Melty is all shades of feminine colors–pink, purple, silver, black. Even her eyes fit the cutesy color palette! Koto once again did a great job on rendering Tony Taka’s art style, and her face has that nice sense of softness that is in his art. She also has a wide-open mouth with teeth, which usually I don’t like, but I think it is pulled off well here. She doesn’t have that odd, unrealistic edge it tends to give figures, she just looks really happy to have a tiny dragon on her head!
Sorbet, her little dragon friend, was the main reason I was so drawn to this figure. Sure, Melty is cute, but Sorbet just tops the whole thing off perfectly. I mean, she’s an adorable loli witch with an ice-cream eating, bowtie wearing chubby dragon on her head.
Melty’s hair is mostly hidden by her gigantic hat, so it’s an easy aspect to pass over. And while the decent sculpting doesn’t add a whole lot because of how little of her hair is on display, the coloring definitely does. The silver-purple is a great accent to her black and pink outfit, and adds a touch of softness that her vibrant outfit is missing. It kind of pulls the whole thing together, as it compliments the silver detailing on her arms and legs and makes everything pop.
Melty’s outfit is quite intricate. There’s a lot of ruffles, lace edging, and lacing all over it. The paint is applied smoothly, with the only overlap being a teeny tiny bit on her stomach that’s barely visible. She’s sculpted by Hiroshi who has done a lot of work for Koto and other companies over the years, most notably GSC’s Saber Alter. He’s quite skilled and it definitely shows in her outfit, which has tons of minute details.
While I mentioned before that Melty herself didn’t have a lot of motion, this isn’t true of her outfit. The skirt has a nice sense of stiffness to it that makes it seem almost like a mini hoop-skirt, and her baggy hat really does look like it is about to slide off of her head. A word of caution about the skirt: it’s actually incredibly short, so unless you want an eyeful of pantie Melty is best displayed at eye-level or below!
I could spend a really long time going on and on about all of the small details that make Melty adorable: the ruffles on her garterbelt, the big red bow around her neck, the tiny hearts on her stockings, the way the lining of her hat and the layering of her skirt match. But the best is definitely a detail that most people won’t see, because it’s hidden behind her! There’s a string with a little silver heart dangling off of the tip of her hat, almost as if it’s a lucky charm of some sort. It’s details like this that make me really love Tony Taka figures: no matter how long you’ve had a figure designed by him, there’s always something interesting to look at and hold your attention.
Melty’s long legs lack the shapeliness that seems to be on the rise in the figure-world, but that’s because she’s a true loli. Not a curvy girl with a young-looking face (which seems to be the way people are throwing the term around now) but a young-looking girl. Lolis are actually kind of a dying breed when it comes to figures: most major companies seem to be moving more and more towards mature-looking women, so seeing a figure like Melty is kind of refreshing. I have nothing against lolis, though loli-hate seems to be a trend, especially when they are done tastefully like Melty. While she wouldn’t have stood out in this regard 2 years ago, nowadays it’s definitely something noticeable and fills a niche.
I think it’s safe to say that I don’t just like Melty, I love her! She’s irresistibly cute, well-sculpted and has a gorgeous and feminine color palette. Plus there’s a fat dragon on her head, so what’s not to love? Melty is my favorite of the released Shining Hearts girls for sure, and while it’s already a pretty big line she definitely stands out of a crowd.
Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures! You know, in terms of how many images we had this review was a little shorter than our average, but I feel like I spent a lot more time talking about Melty than I usually do. The sign of a good figure is that you don’t want to shut up about them! However, I’m pretty sure you guys don’t want to read ten pages of me squeeing about how cute all the little hearts are, so I spared you.
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]