Plastikitty Review: Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Kotobukiya Cu-Poche Madoka Review Header

It seems like every company nowadays wants to hop on Good Smile Company’s Nendoroid karma train. We’ve got the Chibi-Arts from Bandai (which are cheaply made and don’t have many poseability options), Daibadi’s Deforevo line (which has more problems than I can reasonably tackle in one sentence), even Phat! Company is starting one up. And last but certainly not least Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche line which hopes to make a chibi figure with a bit more poseability.

It was announced only a year ago, but production moves along quickly and it’s time to dig into the first releases! Madoka Kaname and Haruka Amami were up first, and while we’ll be reviewing both we decided to tackle Madoka first since she has a Nendoroid counterpart. So let’s dive right in!

 Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

A box! For some reason it looks a lot smaller than Nendoroid boxes, but they’re generally the same size though a little less wide. The box design is cute but simple, incorporating the colors and designs from the show without being obnoxious.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

We pretty much never do clamshell shots, but for a new line we had to make an exception! As you can see there isn’t much wasted space, and you also get a baggie to put all the extra parts in like a figma which is nice–you’re far less likely to lose tiny parts if you have somewhere to put them!

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

The most appealing part of the Cu-Poche line for me is the fact that you don’t need those stupid stand bases! I find that they ruin the immersion when taking photos, having a peg sticking right out of the back is just annoying. So Cu-Poches come with a metal base and magnets in their feet! They won’t stand in more dynamic poses because the leg joints do make them a bit prone to tilting over, but they do come with a second base along with a stand similar to the new Nendoroid ones.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

The face proportions are a bit less chubby than Nendoroids, and super friggin cute! Those cheeks, I just want to pinch them. They got the sketchy art style of Madoka down pat. There’s also a lot of nice soft shading in her hair.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

The big difference between Nendoroids and Cu-Poches are the body proportions: Nendoroids, even the ones in the “Super Moveable” line, really can’t hold many poses. The Cu-Poche line has a body design similar to Kotobukiya’s plastic kits that is quite flexible: the joints are very visible, so perhaps it’s not quite as visually appealing (though I do prefer the more realistic body to the super fat ones on Nendos now that I’m used to it).

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Here you can see her posed with Good Smile Company’s 1/8 Madoka, and she’s able to recreate the pose reasonably well! With alternate arms since her bow only goes in one hand, but you can bend her arm well enough to balance Kyuubey on it which is definitely not possible with the Nendoroid.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Speaking of Kyuubey…. CONTRACT?

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Madoka’s second face is a sort of happy/angry fighting face, perfect for her bow & arrow accessories. Without her bangs she’s got some pretty rockin brows that make it look like she’s going to kill your entire family, but (sadly?) the effect is mitigated once you pop ’em back on.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Her third face is a crying/distressed face, which is my favorite of the three. It just fits the show so well! Just wait until we get Mami, bwahahhaha. Actually…. we don’t really have to wait to have fun with this.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

KILLER GIANT KYUUBEYYYYYYY

~random transition to new topic whooooo~

One of the main questions leading up to the Cu-Poche release was whether or not there would be any Nendoroid compatibility, specifically with head swapping. Well, turns out…

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

…Nendoroid heads fit on Cu-Poche bodies! Not vice-versa, but of the two options this is definitely the best. There are quite a few upcoming Cu-Poches, like Dark Magician Girl and the IDOLM@STER girls, who aren’t in the Nendo line, so their bodies will be totally perfect for cosplay.

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

SHE IS IRON MADOKA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DADADAAAAAA

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

My favorite headswap was with Goddess Madoka: she just looks so pretty!

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

Kotobukiya’s Cu-Poche Madoka Kaname

When I first saw the Cu-Poche line I thought “oh god, do we really need ANOTHER chibi line?” But so far this is the only Nendoroid-like line I’ve actually enjoyed! The bodies really set them apart: they have great poseability, which is something I’ve always wanted with Nendos, and the compatibility with Nendo heads is a huge bonus. Plus, magnetic bases! The quality control is also amazingly high, with tons of shading and clean linework.

Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these shots! It’s been a while since we’ve done a shoot with a poseable figure: they pose more of a hassle than other figures, but the results are so much fun. I mean it’s not like you can pop off Dizzy’s head and put Iron Man’s on her… though I really wish you could.

Purchase At: KotoUS | AmiAmi

[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Plastikitty with this review sample]

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About Leah Bayer