There are some figures out there that are not received well by the community. They may not like the sculpt, paint job, overly fragile materials, or just over-saturation of the character (NGE, Ikki Tousen figs anyone?). Valid concerns, but sometimes there are figures that just baffle me as to why no one seems to like them.
Today’s example is Holon from Masamune Shirow’s Real Drive. This was produced as a 1/8 scale PVC figure by Megahouse in 2009 (MFC). I’m not familiar with the source material but when I first saw this it really caught my eye. This regularly seems to pop up on re-sale sites like Mandarake very cheap (I picked mine up there for 2000 yen, which seems to be a common asking price for it).
The first thing that struck me was the paint quality and details. The colors aren’t shiny but flat and muted, giving it a more realistic feel as opposed to something lifted directly from an animation cel. The subtle grey shading on the shirt and scarf creates depth, bringing out small details and highlighting folds. The belt buckle and wristwatch also stand out, with the paint quality holding up here, the small details of the watch buckle had no bleed of the metallic paint to any other part of the figure.
The pose itself is simple but creates a dynamic image. Positioning of the arms adds character to her, and the overall pose provides a clean bodyline showing off her curves. My only concern with the pose is that it leaves a single contact point with the base which may lead to leaning down the road.
The pose is cute from pretty much any angle. Some pictures to illustrate:
The details on the skirt add flow to how the fabric is falling, nice to see actual creases along the edges as opposed to a solid form-fitting mass.
The main criticism that I’ve seen about this figure has been the oddly colored plastic base. It does draw away from the figure, everything else about it muted and more realistic — and then you have this bright cartoony base she stands on. Typical move for Megahouse really. All of their One Piece POP line has very similar bases, likely leftover materials that have been re-used with the same mould, it’s near identical in size and shape to the early POP bases. Can’t blame them too much for trying to economize some areas of production but it detracts from the overall display of the figure.
Another problem is a noticeable seam on the top of her head where the hair was attached on. It’s somewhat masked by her bangs from the side, but the seam across the top is not masked at all. Common problem with a lot of figures if the character doesn’t have some sort of hair accessory (bow, hat, headband, etc.) or distinctive and voluminous bangs it’s hard to hide this seam. With the dark color of the hair it’s hard to notice until you get up close, but it is there and low enough on her head to be seen from the front.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this figure, but that may just be cause I’m a sucker for OL style figures. She’s made a lovely addition my collection and remains on my desk next to some of my favorites. As I said, I’m not familiar with Real Drive at all. Maybe this series was just a total bomb, or this was an entirely unlikeable character. Maybe this was simply overproduced. Who knows, but it seems like few have actually picked this figure up in the community and it does show up new & unopened on sites like Mandarake at far below the MSRP of 5800 yen. If you see her cheap I’d definitely recommend her, picking up a nice scale model for the price of a prize figure is just awesome.
Summary: A solid and affordable figure with a cute pose and a very solid paint job. Some drawbacks with a visible seam on the head, potential lean concerns and a slightly garish blue plastic base. Those things aside it’s a great deal for the price, especially if you are a fan of the office lady look.