It’s been awhile, but have a figure review!
|Also appearing is a Christmas tree. Also my photography skills have not improved much since last time.|
Yeah, I know, I know; Cure Beauty’s actually a pretty old figure by now. She was released in January of 2014, but she was an exclusive–and one that I wanted pretty badly at that. I had been itching for another figuarts since getting Cure Happy. If I would ever get another figuarts, it’d have to be a character from the Precure line. For the Smile series, Cure Peace was the only other team member that had a standard release; everyone else (Cure Sunny, March, and Beauty) were all exclusives. Cure Beauty was my second favorite character of the series, but I held off on buying her, because it was impossible to find her at anything less than 9000 yen last year. But luckily a batch of Cure Beauty figuarts has been on sale recently at Amiami for a more reasonable price of around 5000 yen, so I snapped one up for myself.
Anyway, Cure Beauty’s civilian name is Aoki Reika. She’s an elegant girl with a calm demeanor, and is basically stated to be the smartest member of the Smile Precure team. She’s also possibly the only one who can wield “weapons” in her civilian form, being part of the archery club. In her Cure form, she has power over ice, and can later manifest ice swords to fight with. Blue is my favorite color, and I love ice-themed things; so it’s not hard to see why she became my second favorite.
|Not much to say here.|
So, the figure itself. There aren’t very many extra parts, which typical for the Precure line of figuarts. Including her wide-mouthed smiling face, Cure Beauty also comes with a closed-mouth smiling face, a serene-looking face, and an angry shouting face. Cure Beauty has four pairs of hands in all, along with one clasped-hand part. There is a pair of hands specifically made so that she can hold her ice sword. The clasped-hand part also comes with a teeny-tiny Smile Compact, which I’ve shown next to it.
I want to start off with the negatives for this figure, because there are quite a lot. I must have just been unlucky with my particular figure, because while Cure Beauty has almost no visual defects, she has a couple significant functional defects. First off, her right hand peg. As with Cure Happy, you switch hands on this figure by removing it from the wrist peg and popping another hand on. I think it’s mainly that Cure Beauty’s right hands are all too tight because I had the hardest time trying to get any hand parts off and on. I honestly don’t remember Cure Happy’s hands being this hard to switch out (unless I somehow forgot) but this really dampens my enjoyment of this figure. The fun in poseable figures lies in the ability to pose it, and if you can’t switch out hand parts, then that already dampens some of the fun. That’s why there are fewer photos in this review than in my other figure reviews: I just didn’t have the motivation to switch out her right hands too much because I was so afraid of accidentally breaking something. It wasn’t impossible but it was still difficult and made my fingers sore from trying to jam a tiny figure piece onto an even tinier peg.
Secondly, her right thigh seems to be… stuck somehow? The joint piece where her right leg begins doesn’t have the same range of rotation as her other leg. I have a hard time trying to rotate it slightly for poses. Also, her right foot. It seems that the ankle joint was inserted incorrectly because her right food only moves left to right instead of forward-backwards like it should. And trust me, I’ve checked my Cure Happy figuarts at these exact points so I’m almost positive that these are defects. It’s just so… disappointing. I mean, Cure Happy had a ton of visual defects (her front bow being messed up is the most egregrious), but I’d honestly take visual defects over functional defects anyday. Visual defects can be ignored, but functional defects are downright terrible.
|This pose is weird because it was really hard to get her to even balance like this with her wonky ankle joint. She generally needs her stand to keep her upright.|
Like with Cure Happy, Cure Beauty’s stand is a clear claw stand. I think the figuarts line does this so that there aren’t any unsightly holes on the back of the figures. The claw stands aren’t always visually appealing but they do their job well enough. In Cure Beauty’s case you don’t even need to close the claw, Cure Beauty’s back hair strands usually help to keep her attached to her stand pretty well.
|I’m too poor to get the rest of the team.|
Onto the positives: Cure Beauty (despite her annoying functional defects) is still a really pretty looking figure. It’s actually quite fun to compare the subtle differences between her and Cure Happy. Their uniforms are just slightly different. Cure Beauty’s actually a bit taller than Cure Happy, like in the anime series. Cure Beauty’s skin is also one shade paler than Happy’s. It’s actually really amazing that these subtle difference were translated into figure forms. There’s even some subtle difference in the way the the two hold their fists: Cure Beauty has her thumbs out, Cure Happy doesn’t. It’s really cute.
|This was me attempting to use the hands with the fingers closer together. I don’t really like this pair of hands that much tbh.|
|I just basically got bored here.|
Unfortunately, you can’t swap faces between figuarts, because the pegs and holes are different. On the one hand, it’s understandable, since the girls do have different eye colors/face shapes. But on the other… I really wanted to use that serene-looking closed eyes face for Cure Happy… Ah well. You can still swap the hands between figures.
|I had her in a cooler pose with the sword before but that required switching out her right hand and no way am I doing that.|
|It’s actually quite difficult to get her in the pose that she has in the Smile OP.|
Of course, I have to give a mention to Cure Beauty’s ice sword. It’s honestly kinda flimsy, but I guess it needed to be light enough so that the figure can actually hold it. It slots into the hand parts (meant to hold it) fairly easily and at least stays in place so there’s no complaints. From afar it still looks pretty neat.
|The wind-up to the “Beauty Blizzard” ultra attack.|
|From another angle.|
Finally, there’s the clasped hand part with the Smile Pact. This hand part is ridiculously hard to get on, and I highly suggest taking the Smile Pact piece out before doing so. As much pain as this one piece has put me through, I still can’t hate it because this was the main reason I got this figure. I just really love this pose, because I feel it sums up Cure Beauty’s personality so well. And it’s such a graceful pose too. I don’t know how I feel about the Smile Pact being a separate tiny piece, but you can probably put other objects into Cure Beauty’s hands if you felt like it?
Honestly, I just love Cure Beauty’s closed eyes face in general so have another photo of it:
|You are lucky you’re so pretty *grumble*|
Overall, Cure Beauty was somewhat of a mixed bag for me. While I was initially very excited to get the figure, my excitement waned when I discovered all her defects. However, she’s a very pretty figure and I guess I don’t entirely regret being able to get her. Other than her functional defects, I do find her a bit hard to pose at times because she’s such a graceful, elegant character (as opposed to Cure Happy). It just feels weird to put her in super cutesy poses. The bottom line is, unless you already love this character, I wouldn’t really recommend getting her. Now that I own two figuarts figures, I can see that the production quality varies greatly. Cure Beauty was an exclusive figure and she still has pretty bad defects. Because of the randomness of what you’ll get, along with how pricey Cure Beauty is, I don’t think it’s worth it to just buy this figure on a whim.
Out of five for this figure:
She would have scored lower if she weren’t so pretty.
|Happy holidays everyone.|