Not long ago marked the 12th anniversary of Hatsune Miku and so today, we'll be reviewing a figure that has been in my review queue for too long, and one which features Miku in one of my favorite modules, Max Factory's "Mikuzukin".
About the character/figure: Surely, everyone knows Hatsune Miku, right?
This figure depicts Miku in her well known "Mikuzukin" module (which literally translates to "Miku Hood", but is more of a portmanteau of her name and "Akazukin", the Japanese name for Little Red Riding Hood). This particular module is most commonly associated with the song Clover♣Club by Yuuyu-P even though the lyrics of the song make no direct reference to Red Riding Hood. Come to think about it, given the nonsense lyrics of that song, I'm not sure exactly what that song is about, but it's catchy...
Now, on to the figure.
I really like the bold green and black color scheme of the box! You just don't see that combination of colors too often on figure boxes.
One side panel features a bust up shot of Miku. That small window with a tree branch in the middle is kind of an odd design choice, but I'm not judging.
The other side panel features a montage of shots of Miku.
Interestingly, the back panel also features a large window.
If you keep your figures in the box, this is quite an impressive looking package.
Miku is not a small figure, but the box is neither excessively large nor heavy. The box measures 31 by 15 by 15 cm and figure plus box weigh just under 600 grams.
Miku is supported by a metal peg, which is a good design choice since she stands on one foot. As you can see, the flower parts must be attached to the base, and this too was a good design choice since if those parts were pre-attached, it seems like they might be prone to breakage in transit.
The base is well made, but I'm a little torn on its design. The very plain and flat color of the base is, well, kind of plain. Having some more color on the base would have made for a much more attractive design, or even having the base mirror the bold green and black color scheme of the figure box would have also been much more interesting.
It's a lively pose to be sure, the way Miku is standing on one leg and the way she's holding her arms. It does remind me a little bit of her body language during the song Clover♣Club.
Let's have a look at her.
The way all the various ribbons and frills of her outfit splay around make this a very energetic and lively pose. The one complaint is that the hood of her outfit obscures her face from certain angles.
I've found that Max Factory is one of the companies where I can always be assured of a quality product, and this Miku is no exception. Overall, the quality of the paint and sculpt is very good, but there are a couple of small quality control issues of which to be aware.
I really like the design of Miku's face! In the figure world, one huge appeal of Vocaloid characters is their fluidity - their personalities and some elements of their appearance are not set in stone, and so artists and sculptors have great freedom to put their own touches on the character. The well-known Grizzry Panda ENTRY #51842 did the sculpt for this Miku, and so not surprisingly she skews very cute as a result.
It's also interesting to see a Miku where she is not sporting her usual long twin ponytails, and I like to see her look get mixed up every now and then, as that avoids "figure fatigue" where new items all start to feel one and the same.
The wolf on Miku's head is a key feature of this outfit's design. I like how the wolf's eyes are actually sculpted as opposed to being simply painted on there.
The sculpting on the huge bow is very good, and note how the yellow "stitching" is slightly raised and the yellow parts have a slightly shiny finish which makes them stand out against the more matte finish of the red parts of her outfit. The stitching is quite thick, but that is faithful to the concept art as well as the way this outfit looks on screen in the various Project Diva games.
I like the fleur-de-lis pattern sculpted into the trim, but you can see a little bit of paint bleed from the white trim onto the body of the dress.
The various folds and creases in the hood are a nice feature. The lazy sculpting approach would make the hood look like a helmet, so such details are always appreciated.
The design of this particular module is quite busy, but in a good way. The positioning of the huge ribbons give a sense of movement, and when Miku dances in this outfit, you typically see the skirt jutting dramatically to the side, so I was pleased to see this feature make it into this figure.
If I were picky, I would note that the lacing is a little bit chunkier that it should be.
Even though the apron is plain white, I like how you still can clearly see various little folds and wrinkles in the material. All the flair on the apron (the printed pattern and the bows) continue the very busy overall look of this outfit.
Miku's fingernails are painted with her signature color. Also, Miku's arm is nicely sculpted. Her wristbone is clearly defined as is her forearm - no "stick arms" on this figure!
That seam on her bracelet is very obvious.
Sometimes, problems with paint and sculpt will show up on the underside or on the edges of these sorts of trim parts, but I could find no such issues on this figure.
Pantsu check behind the spoiler tag. You could skip this if you want...
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Plain white is the order of the day.
This is a very red figure, and so I like how the bows and ribbons on her stockings are yellow. If they were red, then I think the figure would be a little *too* red, so mixing up the color palette like this was a good design choice.
I'm not sure what happened there on the top of Miku's stocking. I've seen no indication that this defect was a widespread one, so maybe the factory was having a bad day and I got unlucky. That's the way this hobby goes sometimes...
I suppose everyone has their little moe quirks; one of mine is that I appreciate nice calves, and the sculpt of Miku's calves is very good!
The finish on her shoes is very shiny, and note how the sole is a slightly darker shade of red compared to the rest of her shoe.
Miku is established to be 5'2" (158 cm) in height. At its highest point, this figure measures just a hair over 10 inches (25.5 cm). Setting aside the way she's positioned on the base and the height added by the floppy hood and the wolf on her head, Miku herself is just over 9 inches (23 cm) tall. So, Miku's 1/7 scale is pretty accurate, but the extra height added by the base design and the wolf will make her look more like a 1/6 figure on your shelf.
Here is Miku with another Max Factory figure also sculpted by Grizzry Panda, ITEM #464629. Much like Mikuzukin, Heart Hunter Miku looks a little larger than her advertised 1/7 scale. Also, IMO Grizzry Panda does some of the best Miku sculpts in terms of fully realizing her cuteness.
The two figures below depict Miku in two of my favorite modules. Sega's Ribbon Girl Miku ITEM #514087 (in addition to being an excellent prize figure) falls somewhere between 1/7 and 1/6 scale, and you can see how Mikuzukin compares.
There are countless variants of the Little Red Riding Hood story, but in most of them a hunter or woodcutter rescues Red Riding Hood from the wolf. Thus, you could easily imagine Sasara Kusugawa ITEM #333165 coming to the rescue with her trusty axe. Kotobukiya's Sasara is 1/6 scale, and you can see how Miku does in fact look a little larger than her listed 1/7 scale.
Speaking of the big, bad wolf, here we have Miku with Kadokawa's Holo the Wise Wolf ITEM #630948. Holo is 1/7 scale, and you can again see that Miku will definitely look slightly larger than the typical 1/7 figure.
I just love the way Miku and Holo look together :).
The bold red color schemes of their outfits means that Miku and Velvet ITEM #9886 also look good together. Yamato doesn't list a scale for Velvet, but she falls somewhere in that 1/6 to 1/7 range.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9.5/10
Arguments for: Personally, this is one of my favorite Miku modules, the figure accurately recreates the Mikuzukin module, overall good quality, lively pose, the short hair mixes up Miku's look, and Grizzry Panda does a great job emphasizing Miku's natural cuteness.
Arguments against: Not many really. The main offender here is that the flat color of the base makes it look rather blah.
Hatsune Miku is obviously one of the most popular figure subjects, and so I appreciate figures like this one that mix up her look. Grizzry Panda does a great job of bringing this particular Miku design into 3D, and so therefore this is one of my favorite Miku figures, and I highly recommend this figure to Miku fans.
Availability (as of this writing)
Fairly easy to find pre-owned.
This is a pretty popular figure, and so finding one secondhand should not be difficult. I paid 9900 yen for a pre-owned one, and as I write this Mandarake has several listed at prices between 8000-10500 yen. Right now, AmiAmi has three of these graded "C" for around 6000 yen (reason for the C grade is damage to the flower parts on the base). Now that I think about it, it would not be impossible to damage that part of the figure if the flower parts were to get tangled up with another item on a crowded shelf...
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Max Factory 1/7 Hatsune Miku "Heart Hunter" BLOG #39740
Sega Hatsune Miku "Ribbon Girl" BLOG #33733
Good Smile 1/8 "Tell Your World" Hatsune Miku BLOG #23585
Sega Hatsune Miku "Innocent" BLOG #38913
Max Factory 1/7 Rin Kagamine BLOG #30313
Kadokawa 1/7 Holo (Spice and Wolf) BLOG #42642
Kotobukiya 1/6 Sasara Kusugawa "Fighter" (To Heart Dungeon Travelers) BLOG #30654
Kotobukiya 1/7 Sakura Kinomoto "Platinum" BLOG #33179
Max Factory 1/7 "Racing Miku" Super Sonico BLOG #33612
Ques Q 1/7 Taiga Aisaka "Tiger Costume" (Toradora!) BLOG #39258