S.H. Figuarts: Sailor Neptune by Bandai Tamashii Nations

Holy hell, the last time I looked at any Figuarts Sailor Scouts was way back in April, so I’m going to remedy that today with a look at Sailor Neptune! Neptune and Uranus were each released right around the same time and I believe were some kind of Asian Exclusives. They were easy enough to get through my usual channels, but they did cost a little more. It’s worth mentioning that I’m moving into uncharted waters here (Ha!) in that Neptune is the first one of these figures I’m looking at where I have absolutely no first hand familiarity with the character, but rather only what I know from reading about the series. With the exception of maybe Saturn, I’ve been collecting these figures because of my attachment to the characters, but that was never going to stop me from completing my collection. NEPTUNE PLANET POWER… MAKE UP!

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I’ve been through five figures in this series already, so the packaging should be familiar by now. These little window boxes are colorful, compact, elegant, and totally collector friendly. In other words, perfect! The deco is mostly blue to match Neptune’s color scheme and you get a fairly even mix of both Japanese and English lettering. Both the left and right panels of the box have images of the figure, which is great for lining them all up on a bookshelf and being able to pull out the one you want. The only other thing that sets this box apart from the others is the inclusion of the 20th Anniversary emblem on the lower left hand corner of the front of the box.

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Neptune comes sporting her own variation of the classic Pretty Guardian Sailor outfit. You get the same pleated skirt, ruffled shoulders, and bows on the front and back. The biggest departure here are Neptune’s shorter gloves, which only extend a little past her wrists, and her high heel shoes, which are similar to Mars, only with ankle straps. The bulk of the costume comes painted in that wonderful pearlescent white. the bows are a very deep blue, and the skirt, shoes and collar are green.

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The head sculpt features unique shoulder length blue hair, which looks a lot lighter in person than it does on the box art. I like the sculpt, but it feels like the coloring lost something in the translation. In addition to the somewhat neutral expression face that comes on the figure, you get three swappable faces. It’s pretty standard stuff for this line and include what I like to call, “shouty face,” “contemplative face,” and “happy face.” All the faces include the tiara sculpted into the forehead.

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Neptune’s unique item is the Deep Aqua Mirror and it’s a pretty cool piece. It includes her symbol sculpted on the back and a silver painted front. She also comes with the standard heart shaped clear base with her name printed on it and a hinged arm to support the figure by the waist.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a Figuarts without a ton of extra hands. In this case you get a crazy seven pairs, plus one piece with both hands clasped together. While the hands used to come in little compartments on the tray, SHF, has taken a page from Figma’s book and is now pegging the hands into these lovely little round blocks that all peg together like white LEGO minifigure heads. Anyone who has ever bumped the tray and had all the tiny hands scatter across the floor will no doubt appreciate this new system as much as me.

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Neptune also features a first for the Sailor Moon line by including an extra pair of arms. These very specific, non-articulated arms peg right in at the sleeves and tab together at the wrists to give her a crossed arm pose, which probably couldn’t quite be reproduced with the regular arms, even given that wonderful level of articulation.

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While I’ve managed to pick up nearly all of these figures right around the $35 range, Neptune jumped up to the $45 mark, probably because they are exclusives and I pre-ordered them rather then wait for a deal. Granted, that’s quite a price increase but I honestly felt these were a really good deal at $35 and so the extra ten bucks doesn’t seem like such a premium. Considering the quality of the figures and all the stuff you get, you could do a lot worse. I have one more figure in this line to look at, and that’s Sailor Uranus, but I still need to double back and pick up Sailor Venus. Also, Bandai has been busy with brand new reveals, including Tuxedo Mask, Super Sailor Soldier, and finally Sailor Pluto, so it looks like it’ll be a little while yet before I’m free of this series.

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