No Sengoku Collection review this week, because of THIS:

Make way for the Princess!

When GoodSmile Company said they were releasing a Princess of the Crystal figma from Mawaru Penguindrum, I immediately jumped on it the moment pre-orders appeared.  Mawaru Penguindrum is arguably one of the best recent anime out there.  The Princess of the Crystal (the name for Himari when she’s under the penguin hat’s influence; spoiler: actually Momoka taking control of Himari’s body) is also arguably one of the best characters on the show, just for how rude yet fabulous she is.  Which is why I’m happy to say that GSC did a pretty damn good job on her.  Not perfect—but still very good.

And what they look like from the back.

The PotC (I’m gonna call her that from now on) is a very nicely sculpted figma.  Since her costume is mostly black, the color hides her joints fairly well.  The frilly part of the corset near her stomach/waist is made of soft plastic, so as not to interfere with any poses.  Her front hair piece is also made of soft plastic so as not to get in the way of her arms.  And of course, we can’t forget to talk about how nice the dress looks (though I’ll talk more about that thing later).  As with other GSC figures/nendoroids/figmas, accuracy is very high.  The penguins even have the painted numbers on the back, as shown above.  Even the extra parts, like the can of bug-spray that penguin no. 2 carries around, is fully detailed.

Some parts that she comes with.

The PotC is sort of a special case when it comes to extra parts.  Her two extra faces are an angry face and a shouting face.  Her extra hands includes: two open hands with the fingers closer together, two fists, two pointing hands, and two hands that allow her to hold stuff.  Also included are two extra arm pieces that allow you to switch out the arm-ruffles; an extra dress piece so you can display her without the big poofy dress part; and an extra hair-piece for when you want to display her without the hat.  There is also a can of bug-spray and a mirror included for penguins 1 and 2.  While she has a lot of nice little accessories for the dress, she’s a little short when it comes to other accessories.  She doesn’t actually have anything to hold, even though she comes with hands for that purpose.  I don’t really mind, though; as the PotC didn’t really have a signature item in the anime.  Although it would be nice if she had the (spoiler): pink diary, aka Mawaru Penguindrum.  But I suppose that’s more Ringo’s item than the PotC’s.  Anyway, her extra dress parts more than make up for her lack of hand-held accessories.

The dress, which is painted entirely red on the inside.

Now, on to the dress.  It is both the greatest thing about this figure, and also the most annoying.  Why?  Well, for one, it’s heavy.  Like, REALLY HEAVY.  I swear this thing weighs as much as the PotC on her own, if not more.  A nice thing about it is that it can be substituted for a base when you’re just having the PotC standing with her dress hanging “normally.”  The dress itself is made of three parts, allowing you to adjust how far it opens.  When the dress is hanging “normally,” it’s a lot more folded-in, like shown in the first picture of this review.  But if you want for it to be “flying out behind her,” you have to lock the two outer folds to the pegs of the middle piece.  If you actually want to display her like this, you’ll need to use the figma stand in order to make the PotC stand up straight.  And sadly, only the usual figma stand is included, and it really isn’t handled for something of this weight.

Pictured: loose fitting pegs, the bane of my existence.

There’s a special attachment made specifically for the Princess’s dress.  But it is the most infuriating piece of plastic I’ve had to deal with in a while.  While it attaches to the regular figma stand fine, the problem is getting it to stay.  It’s so damn loose that it falls of frustratingly easily.  This, coupled with the pull of gravity and the sheer weight of the dress makes it a pain to actually use the stand with the Princess while she’s wearing the it.  I really wish GSC had thought this out more.  Really; a downward pointing slip-on plastic piece is just asking for trouble.  Other than that one glaring problem, the dress is very nice.  It flares out a lot, so the PotC doesn’t have too much of a problem with restricted leg movement like other figmas with dresses.

Close-up face shot.

On to the other extra dress pieces.   The hat, neck scarf, and arm-ruffles can be removed.  If you want to display her without the hat (even though it technically doesn’t make much sense in-universe), you can just switch out the PotC’s hair piece for the extra one.  The usual hair piece has a peg at the top for that hat to stay on.  However, I’ve found that the hat is molded well enough to her head that you can actually still make the hat stay without having to use the peg hair piece.  The scarf is removed simply by taking off the Princess’s head and removing the plastic piece.  I generally prefer her with the scarf on though, just because I find her neck to be oddly long without it.  The arm-ruffles are nice looking (and accurate!), but I tend to display her without them.  As expected of something so bulky, they restrict the Princess’s arm movement quite a bit.

The famous “SEIZON SENRYAKU” pose. Though she kinda just looks like she’s going to bitchslap someone.

The penguins are a great addition to this figma, and I love displaying them.  Like the Princess, they are very nicely sculpted and painted, and you can easily tell them apart based simply on their faces.  However, they all do have small indentations on the tops of their heads in order to recreate a certain scene in the anime.  Luckily, it’s not too noticeable from afar.  As for recreating the aforementioned scene, well…

“OBJECTION!” Also, standing on penguins’ heads helps to prove your point.

IT’S A PAIN IN THE BUTT.  The figma stand is just BARELY tall enough to hold the Princess while she’s standing on top of the penguins.  And yes, you need the stand in order to hold her.  She’s not well-balanced enough to stand on her own, much less on top of rounded penguins’ heads.  It’s a huge balancing act that’s easy to mess up.  I have not tried doing this with the dress on, but I can already tell that would just be an exercise in pain.

“Ugh, did another one drop dead? Not again!”

The Princess of the Crystal, while a beautiful figma overall, is one that’s hard to recommend to anyone other than fans of the series.  Like I said earlier, outside of the dress, she doesn’t really have any “fun” accessories like other figmas.  Also, to someone who doesn’t know anything about the series, it looks like she just has an expressionless face, an angry face, and an even angrier face.  Though she doesn’t have a wide range of expressions, it is accurate to the anime.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her smile except in promotional work or in merchandise like posters.  Actually, I’d argue that she has the BEST faces compared to most figmas out there.  Think of all the hilarious poses/scenes you could make with those faces!

And now for a more somber looking picture.

Another big turn-off is her price.  She’s one of the higher-cost figmas out there, mostly for the dress and the extra penguin figures.  The price is increased even more when you take into account shipping costs.  Her box is BIG.  Definitely bigger than the box for my Mami figma, the only other figma I own.  You also have to remember that the fancy dress accessories DO hinder her poseablity somewhat, especially with the arm ruffles.  The Princess’s long hair can also sometimes get in the way when it gets caught on the giant bow in the back of the dress.  Another thing I want to note is that her nose is extremely pointy, so be careful when you’re pulling her head out to get the scarf off or whatever.  Her nose poked my thumb when I tried pulling her head out by grasping it from the front and back instead of from the sides…

So obviously, yes; this figma is meant for fans, like all other figmas out there.  If you are a fan of Mawaru Penguindrum, I would highly recommend this.  It’s doubtful that any of the other characters would get figma incarnations, so this is probably the best we’re going to get.  Still, it’s very good figma rendition that allows for a lot of dress manipulation, something that not many other figmas can boast about.  (Figmas with “ripped clothes” effect don’t count.)  Even with its many flaws, I still really love this figure and I’m really happy that I got her.  I’m not sure how popular she is, but if you want her, you should probably get her before she sells out.  GSC is not known for doing re-releases of old figures.

“Wh–what is this?!” “Hell if I know.”

Out of five:

       and 1/2