Figma “Attack on Titan” Mikasa Ackerman by Max Factory

I’ve been spending a lot of time unwinding after work in front of good old Crunchyroll and getting caught up on some anime. Granted, for every five series I start, I often only stick with maybe two, but Attack on Titan was certainly one of the keepers. Oddly enough what really made this show stick for me wasn’t the bizarre premise or the well fleshed out characters. Nope, it was that bitchin Omni Directional Mobility Gear. There’s something about that rig that is just so ridiculously anime and so brilliantly steampunk that I track from episode to episode waiting to see it showcased again. Damn, it looks so cool in action! Of course it wasn’t long into the show that I realized I had to have some plastic collectibles from this series on my shelf and while the obvious choice was Kotobukiya’s offerings, I actually took this opportunity to pick up my first Figma figure. I started with Mikasa Ackerman because, well she’s just a total badass.

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After the compact boxes of S.H. Figuarts, I was pretty surprised at how big this package is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a huge box, but it’s sizable enough to display the figure with all her gear spread out beside her in the plastic tray. The box won’t win any awards for flashy art design as it’s all very shockingly utilitarian. The front uses a window to let you see what you’re getting but until you get it all together it just looks like a figure with a bunch of parts. The side panels and back of the box, however, do show the figure in various action shots, which should be more than enough to make anyone want to buy it. In fact, there’s no actual character art from the anime anywhere to be found.

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As one would expect, the box is totally collector friendly so you have somewhere to store all those extra bits and bobs when you’re not using them. And holy crap, does this figure come with a lot of stuff, which is especially impressive when you consider that the Omni Directional rig is mostly comprised of one complex ensemble of parts and cables. Not only is all her stuff spread out in one tray, but there’s another tray nested beneath it.

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The basic figure is a fantastic representation of Mikasa in full uniform, and boy do I love the design of AoT’s military uniforms. They’re very evocative of the Classic Battlestar Galactica look to me and all the details are recreated here through a very solid sculpt. The half-jacket, skirt, and scarf are all cast in soft plastic and layered over the rest of the sculpted uniform. The various belts and buckles are all sculpted on and carefully painted. The emblem of the Survey Corps is printed neatly on her shoulders, back, and left breast pocket. She also comes with her billowing green cloak, which is attached to the figure simply by popping off the head and sitting it around her neck. As long as we’re on the subject of popping off Mikasa’s head, you can also remove her scarf and substitute it for a shirt collar piece. They really thought of everything!

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The head sculpt is a fine likeness for the character on screen. Mikasa is pretty, but not drop dead gorgeous and that’s reflected perfectly here. In fact, let me point out here that it’s rather refreshing to get a female anime figure that isn’t all skin and wanking material… says the guy with shelves full of Bishoujo statues. No, I’m serious! Anyway, Mikasa comes packaged with a fairly neutral face, which you can swap out for her slightly angrier face or her, “I’m going to carve a hunk of meat out of the back of your neck!” face. Face swapping is very similar to the Figuarts system and is as easy as pulling off the front of the hair. Speaking of which, I really love how they sculpted her ears even though they are almost entirely covered by the sculpted hair. It adds a lot of credibility to the portrait.

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In addition to the extra faces, you also get an additional four pairs of hands. I love the fact that they come on a reusable hand sprue and not just in a tray. The figure comes wearing a pair of fists, but you also get relaxed hands, hands with the fingers splayed out, and hands designed to hold the sword hilts. The last pair is designed for holding something as well, but since they don’t have the separate fingers for the hilt guards, I’m not entirely sure why I need them. You also get an official Figma zip-lock bag to hold all the parts if for some reason you don’t want to keep the box.

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As Mikasa is indeed my first Figma, allow me a moment to gush about how much I love the articulation. It’s so simple and yet so fun. I thought the Figuarts articulation was great, and to be fair I still think it is, but the jointing feels so much more solid on this figure. You get fully realized rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. The hips are ball jointed and there are also ball joints in the torso and neck and hinges in the feet. And even with all that poseability the figure is rock solid and beautifully balanced. I could get used to this! I’m anxious to get her kitted out with her gear, but before I do, let’s take a quick look at the stand, which is a requirement for getting the most out of displaying her with her gear.

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Yes, the stand is the only thing in the box that doesn’t wow me. The base feels rather flimsy and light. The stand includes a clear arm hinged in three places with a peg that plugs into the upper hole on Mikasa’s back. There’s also a clear plug to stick in there if you want to display the figure without the stand. While the whole assembly may not feel all that substantial, I’ll give credit where it’s due because as we’ll soon see it is perfectly capable of holding the figure in all sorts of airborne poses.

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As great as the figure itself is, I’m totally blown away by the way Max Factory managed to recreate the Omni Directional Mobility Gear. It’s paintstakingly recreated in one elaborate harness of steampunk ingenuity and possibly one of my all time favorite action figure accessories. The belt pegs into the lower hole on the figure’s back and the two scabbards-slash-gas canisters peg into the thighs with the holes for the grapples positioned just above the hips and the two control hilts pegging into the ends of the wires for her to hold in her hands. The whole thing is just superb and fits the figure beautifully. The scabbards are stocked with permanent replacement blades, but naturally you get a pair of blades to peg into the control hilts as well.

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A long effect part simulating the propulsion trail from the expelled gas canister plugs into the valve on the top of the belt and into the peg in the stand. It can be a little tricky to balance the figure right, but you can sure get some great poses using this piece.

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In fact, once I had Mikasa all kitted out with her Mobility Gear, I became totally enthralled with playing around with her. The combination of her poseability and the intricate recreation of her gear kept a smile on my face for at least an hour. Most of the time I get these figures for display pieces and after a little inspection and some time under the studio lights, they go onto the shelf to be admired in passing. Mikasa, on the other hand, she’s just impossible to put down.

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But as much fun as it is posing Mikasa zipping along the rooftops and slashing at giants with her swords, the display options don’t end there. Nope, you also get two grapple lines an effect parts simulating the expelled gas from their firing points. Damn, if that effect isn’t well done! You also get some cord and clear plastic hooks, which I presume are so you can hang the figure in mid flight? I’m not sure. The instructions weren’t all that clear to me, and I didn’t want to mess around with it.

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Holy crap, is this an amazing figure. Max Factory has manage to not only capture the character splendidly, but this figure captures just about everything that is cool about the show. There aren’t likely to be any Titans forthcoming, but then I could always strip down to a loin cloth and try to bite Mikasa’s head off. Yeah… I won’t do that. Aaaaaanyway… these folks sure went all out with every little detail and created a figure that not only looks incredible, but manages to be an absolute blast to play with. Even at $55 I think she was a pretty solid deal. The quality and execution on display here is top notch across the board. I was originally thinking that one Attack on Titans figure would be enough, after all, they all wear the same uniform and gear. Getting different characters is basically buying variants of the same figure. But now that I have Mikasa on the shelf, I may need to grab a few more figures for my Survey Corps. The variety of display options alone would make having multiple characters in this line worthwhile.

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