Now that I actually have some free time, here’s the first of hopefully two figure reviews from me!

Say hello to Cure Happy from Smile Precure!

Now, I’ll say this up-front: if you haven’t figured it out yet, I consider myself a Precure fan.  Not a very big one because I haven’t seen a lot of the seasons (whoops), but I started out with Smile Precure and I fell in love with the series.  Since it’s the first one I saw, I have a lot of fondness for Smile Precure; and especially its lead character, Cure Happy.  She ended up being my favorite character from that particular season, and I now own three figure incarnations of her (whoops again).  This figuarts figure is the third figure of her that I own, and my most favorite.

Yeah, she’s pretty bare-bones.

As is the norm for the Figuarts line (it seems), she doesn’t have much in the way of accessories, but she makes up for it with a lot of faces/expressions.  She has a whopping four faces in total, with expressions ranging from smiling calmly, a wide-open mouth smile, an angry/yelling face, and a… um, charging power face, which I’ll get into more detail later.  She comes with the standard set of hands, fists, another set of hands to recreate her signature attack, and one single hand piece where she makes a heart sign with her hands.  She also comes with a fancy stand.  And also there’s Candy, the fairy mascot.

To be honest, when I first unwrapped Cure Happy, I noticed a lot of flaws.

Paint leaking/smudging, oh no!

Other than that bit above, I noticed that the paint job on Cure Happy’s hair was just kind of poor overall.  The bangs on the front of her face and her two pigails seem to have been painted slightly darker than the rest of her hair so it looks a little bit odd. Also…

Mis-aligned bows!

The bow on the front of her dress, one of the most important pieces, is off-center.  You can even see a bit of the glue where it’s actually supposed to be!  And with this close-up, it’s even more obvious to me now what a poor paint-job they did on the bow.  What’s with all the black and grey spots?

Argh, another stray paint smudge.

When I got the figure, I was somewhat annoyed to find the above.  It’s not a scratch, as I hadn’t even touched this face part until after I started playing with the figure, so I can only assume some stray black paint got splattered on the face or something.  I’ve tried rubbing at it, in the hopes that it’s just dust or something.  But no luck; it’s paint.  And it’s probably gonna stay there permanently.

I’m not sure if this is just a figuarts thing, since Cure Happy is the only figuarts I own.  It does make me wonder if the figuarts brand has some quality control issues when it comes to figure paint-jobs, though.  It’s a real shame, because other than the somewhat mediocre paint job, the figure is really great in a lot of ways.

Okay, with most of the negatives out of the way, let’s get into some more positive points.  I absolutely love how much expression this figure has.

I love this face because it makes me happy just looking at it uwu

The fact that she has four faces to switch between really helps with this.  I find that for most figmas, we’re lucky to even get THREE faces at all.  And yes, I know that half of her faces are smiling/happy faces, but she is called Cure Happy for a reason.

Now, let’s talk about figure articulation.

“WAAAAAAAAHHHHHH”

Figuarts figures have some slight differences compared to figmas.  First of all, their face parts are connected to the main figure by two pegs instead of one big one; so no, you can’t switch faces between figmas and figuarts.  Also, their hand parts are attached differently too.  Figmas have you insert a hand part with a peg attached to it into a wrist hole.  Figuarts, on the other hand, have you attach a hand part with a hole, onto the wrist peg.  It can be somewhat annoying since the wrist peg is basically a ball-point joint so it won’t stop moving when you try to shove a tiny hand piece onto it, but once it’s on, it’s on.  I actually prefer figuarts hand-wrist joints over figmas (small annoyance aside) because this gives the figure such a wider range of wrist articulation.  I always found figma hands to be really finicky to pose, but I don’t have any problem at all with my Cure Happy figuarts hands.

Cure Happy tends to be shown in this pose a lot, because this is actually her signature pose after she transforms.

Concerning the rest of the figure, her arms and legs are also quite easy to pose.  When I first got Cure Happy, I was surprised at how “loose” her joints felt.  Fortunately, they are loose enough to pose easily, without falling out of the poses you put them in.  Going back to figmas now, they actually feel rather stiff.  Even though Cure Happy isn’t too restricted by clothing, her arms can’t exactly be raised too high because of her sleeves.  Even though the sleeves are soft-plastic, I could only really raise her arm that high in the picture above without risking the sleeve falling off.  Her skirt is also made of somewhat soft plastic, but it’s still really stiff so you can’t raise her legs up that high.  Which means a “sitting pose” is pretty much impossible for her.  Case in point:

I tried to put her in a “getting ready to kick” pose, but it just looks like she’s doing some kind of weird dance instead.

Despite this, she’s still very poseable.  And as much as I critiqued the paint job, every other detail about the figure is well-done.

Man Cure Happy, you have such ridiculous hair. (But I love it so)

Her outfit is pretty much spot-on, as is her face and hair.  But mostly her hair.  I mean, just look at that.  The two antennae at the very top look somewhat precariously attached to her head, but they’re actually rather sturdy.  Meaning that some accidental hard nudges probably won’t break them off, but if you’re yanking on them then they probably will.  If you’ve noticed from the close-ups, her two giant pigtails are also poseable somewhat.  And yes, she CAN amazingly stand on her own, but it takes some balancing and she can only really stand in this particular pose.  I prefer putting her in a stand anyway, just so she doesn’t fall over and get scratched.  Concerning the stand, though…

Pictured with her “charging up power” face. Though it also looks like she’s throwing a huge tantrum which… probably isn’t that ooc for Cure Happy, I think…

It’s… It’s alright.  It’s a claw stand.  I was initially very annoyed at the fact that she comes with a claw stand, but I’ve found that the claw stand isn’t as bad as I thought.  It actually does its job of holding the figure in place rather well.  You can even hold Cure Happy in airborne poses with it!  However, it does have a few flaws.  For one, it’s a claw stand, so it will be somewhat loose.  This one doesn’t seem to clasp Cure Happy firmly around the waist, so there are some times where she might lean slightly when I pick her up with the stand to move her someplace else.  Also, I really hate that you have to open the claw up all the way just to get the figure out.  I like fidgeting with my figures after they’ve been put on the stand, so it’s annoying just to have to re-open the claw just to change her pose slightly or whatever.  Also, it’s pretty damn noticeable.  Luckily, it’s clear plastic so it doesn’t look that bad if you look from afar.  But it’s still a claw stand in the end, and it’s rather glaring.  I can totally understand why the Figuarts line went this route.  If you make claw stands, then you don’t have to drill unsightly holes into the backs of your figures like with the figma line.  At the same time, however, I do somewhat prefer figma stands just because they’re easier to deal with.  At least the base Cure Happy comes with is personalized for her–it’s cute.

“Happy Shower!!!”

Above is Cure Happy displayed with her second-set of open hands.  If you haven’t watched the show, you can be forgiven for not knowing what the difference is between this and her normal set of hands.  The difference is very subtle–her pinky fingers are pointed more slightly inwards.  Yes, that’s it.  And it’s mainly just to recreate this one pose where she unleashes her special attack.  Even as a fan of Cure Happy, this does seem a little bit… pointless.  But I suppose they couldn’t release a Cure without at least including her special attack in some way, and at least the variety in hands is nice.

At least Cure Happy can hold things up pretty well even without a specific set of hands to hold things with.

Also included is the fairy mascot Candy.  I suppose Cure Happy is the best character to include Candy with, as the two are rather close friends in-universe.  But I can’t help finding Candy’s addition to be somewhat of a “throw it in” from the figure producers.  Don’t get me wrong, Candy is very nicely scuplted and painted, even though she’s miniscule.  However, she can’t even stand on her own, which is a shame because that means I can’t display her alongside Cure Happy.  The only way I can be bothered to display Candy is if Cure Happy holds her in some way.  That’s fine, but… I don’t particularly care for Candy so for the most part I won’t even want to take the extra time and effort to do this.

As I said, she can hold things very well! Also I guess I just wanted to show off a bit of my Re-ment stuff. (Note: Re-ment stuff are almost perfectly in scale with figmas and the like)

Overall, the Cure Happy figuarts does have its fair share of flaws and things it does well.  Obviously, the ultimate buying factor is character love–and fortunately, I love Cure Happy enough to forgive all her flaws.  She’s probably the most fun to pose out of all my poseable figures, and she’s so expressive too.  I mean, just look at her!

This wasn’t supposed to be a review picture, but she was just so cute here…

As much as I love my figmas, the Princess of the Crystal and Ultimate Madoka are ultimately hindered a bit by their giant poofy dresses, and Mami is just such a calm and reserved character that I find it hard to put her in really “fun” poses.  So Cure Happy is definitely one figure that I will end up playing with a lot.

I have no idea if the paint mistakes are common for the figuarts line, because I could have just been really unlucky.  But do keep in mind that these figuarts figures do cost about as much as an average figma.  And (for Cure Happy at least), they don’t come with too many accessories.  So it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to buy. Right now, Cure Happy is already sold out on amiami, and they only have one that’s pre-owned for sale.  I’m… actually really glad I got one of the last few Cure Happy figuarts just a month ago, because Precure items go by FAST on amiami.  So if you have a Cure girl you really like, then you should probably jump on them the moment pre-orders open up, because these things rarely get re-produced.

As for me… I don’t know if there will ever be another Precure girl that I really like enough to buy a poseable figure of.  But… we’ll see I guess!  The figuarts seem like a decent figure line, and I don’t mind buying more from them.

Out of five for this figure:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

Sadly, I do have to knock off a few points for the botched paint job, but otherwise she would have been perfect.

Magical girls! Sadly, I don’t have a regular Madoka figma, because they would have made such a great display duo…

These girls really are too much fun to pose…

See you guys later!