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PrincipaleArticoliArticolo #17062

Benten (Max Factory) ReviewBenten (Max Factory) Review

riringoriringo3 anno/i faReview
*Image-heavy post*
*Click on images to zoom*



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Hello MFC!
Today I bring you a review of my most anticipated figure this year ever - Max Factory’s Benten. This is also infamous as one of the most expensive 1/7 PVC scales at a MSRP of 23,148 JPY. So is he worth his asking price? Read on to find out!

BUT FIRST! Let’s get some stuff out of the way.

Before you ask,
  • Yes, Benten is a guy.
  • Yes, he looks very feminine.
  • No, he’s not trying to be a girl.
  • No, he’s not gay in canon.

If you can’t deal with these facts without making queerphobic comments, please exit this article out of consideration to everyone of different interests, orientations, and identities who use MFC. Thank you.


Moving on…


INTRO: About

Benten is a secondary protagonist from the manga ZONE-00 (pronounced “zone zero-zero”) written and illustrated by Kyuujou Kiyo. The series is currently serialized in Monthly Asuka Magazine, and has so far released 10 compiled volumes.

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Benten’s “true form”.

In the story, Benten is the beautiful owner of Bar Benten… and also a yatagarasu (Japanese: 八咫烏), a three-legged crow/raven from Shinto mythology that serves as a divine messenger to the Gods. Contrary to his slim physique, he is considered one of the most powerful creatures in the series and is ranked as one of the Four Generals of creaturekind.

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The Four Generals

Together with the other central characters (most of them also demons or mythical creatures), they try to keep conflicts of the creature world (one of which is the drug ZONE-00) from leaking into the human world, in order to live peaceful lives.


REVIEW

*NOTE 1: Benten's scores will be based on his value as a $200+ figure. I will nitpick where possible. :)

*NOTE 2: I'm going to adopt STARSHIPPOOPER's system where (with the exception of Enjoyment) a score of 9 is the maximum I will give to each category as there will always be room for technical improvement.


+ Packaging (9)

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I don’t know if it was just me, but my figure arrived in a custom Benten shipping box. This is definitely the most special service I’ve ever gotten from a figure company. xD

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The figure box itself is quite large (38.2 x 37.3 x 26.3 cm, 1.8 kg, according to HLJ). My lovely assistant Nendoroid Isabelle here for size. :3

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The box is made of strong corrugated cardboard in a light murky green colour with graphics of the figure, the illustration it’s based on, and decoration and lettering in silver foil (which definitely looks quite impressive). One thing in particular I liked about the design was the inclusion of spider-lily on various parts of the box; it is a subtle nod to those who’ve read the manga, as it’s one of the more rarely seen tattoos on Benten’s back.

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The way the box opens is also quite unique (for figures). It gives hassle-free access to the contents via a “flap” style lid, so you don’t have to deal with shimmying/prying the blisters from the top like usual.

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Despite all the fragile bits sticking out of him, Benten is quite adequately protected by the two-piece blister. No styrofoam needed!

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The figure came with two bonuses: a clear postcard of the source illustration, and a (unexpected) doodle of Benten being a weirdo, both by Kyuujou Kiyo.


+ Sculpting (9)

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>> 360 GIFCLOSEhttp://s1.tsuki-board.net/image/riringo1412404638.gif <<


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vs. Orchid Seed Elf (1/7) | vs. Alter Aegis (1/6)

The figure is classified as 1/7 scale, but it’s actually closer to a 1/6 scale in size. From the bottom of the base to the tip of the highest wing, he is approximately 320mm tall.

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Details...

The intricate sculpt is identical to the prototype in almost every way. The ends of his hair and feathers are very sharp (it even hurts a little holding the feather “tails”). All the small details of his original sculpt seems to have transferred well into PVC.

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There are no visible mold seam lines, outside of a “tail” extension piece at the very back. It’s easily overlooked unless you were looking for it.

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He also doesn’t have the usual seams in the hair because his hair is made of different parts and layers, which makes concealing it completely unnecessary.

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The right wing looks comically short because it's got some tight curling going on. If only photos were 3D...

Putting in the wings was a challenge. His sculpt is so intricate, it’s difficult to get a good grip on his body without either putting pressure on his hair, his belly ring, one of the tassels on his legs, or the biwa strings. The pegs fit very well, so a little pressure is required to get them all the way in.


+ Painting (8.5)

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So on point...

First of all, this is probably the only figure I’ve seen that has no painting errors at all. Even Alter doesn't have this level of perfection. Every single line is exactly where they should be. Decals are perfect also.

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[EDIT] Missed it at first, but they even have his miniscule earrings painted to perfection!

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The painting of his wings, the biwa, and the base are excellent. They’re everything you’d expect from the prototype. The biwa has a highly reflective, lacquered body, like the real thing.

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The wings are translucent, and even have a pearl finish, which is a nice surprise (but very difficult to capture on camera ;-;).

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Painting for everything else is more lacking. Whereas the prototype pictures show shading in many small places, the actual product has very little detailed shading (except his shirt), leaving the sculpt to do most of the work…. Which is actually very effective due to the translucent quality of the PVC.

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Unfortunately, the single misstep of the figure are the chains. The prototype clearly shows the chain as hooped links, but on the actual figure these details have been completely obliterated, turning them into little silver clumps. At this point I can’t even tell if the sculpt got rougher, or the paint was just too heavy-handed. Thankfully they’re very tiny so it’s not distracting from a normal viewing distance, but it’s still quite disappointing looking at them up close.


+ Base (9)

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Water so real you can almost drink it...

The base is a mix of two shades of deep turquoise, and like the wings, the paint is slightly iridescent. What’s interesting is that while the “water” surface is glossy, the sides and the bottom of the base are completely matte. The effect of the different finishes is subtle, but effective – the matte rim acts like a “container” for the glossy water inside so the base is not too overwhelmingly shiny.

The tree trunk (and the rest of the figure) is fixed to the base by two metal rods. The trunk should click into place when properly assembled.

The only complaint I have is that the tree stump’s texture could be a bit sharper, as it kind of looks like it’s melting/rotting… although judging by the water, maybe it’s meant to look like that.


+ Posing (9)

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Benten’s pose is extravagant and highly appropriate for a figure that’s more focused on artistic aspects. His body language and facial expression are both in-character – showing the sort of effortless beauty and don’t-give-a-crap attitude that manga Benten is known for. His overall composition (including wings) looks good and balanced from every angle, and has an incredible sense of three-dimensionality. He’s definitely a figure that needs to be seen in real life for the full effect!


+ Enjoyment (9)

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While not unexpected, I still wish his eyelashes were shorter. *sigh*

Don’t let the number fool you! He’s absolutely GORGEOUS. But for a figure to have 10 in enjoyment would mean that it went ABOVE my expectations, and Benten? Benten came out exactly as I expected (and seeing as it’s my most anticipated figure ever, expectations were high). Taking into account all the technical limitations of a mass-produced PVC figure, he is every bit the Max Factory figure I expected him to be - hence the 9. If only they had gotten the chains to look like the prototype though…


CONCLUSION (8.9/10)

So is he worth that cashmoney?

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I'm so sorry Benten, one day you shall have a shelf fitting of your splendor. ;A;

To be honest, recommending very expensive products to others is quite tough since there are many more things to consider than just buy/no-buy. For me, he is absolutely worth it, and would definitely have regretted if I had missed out. But for the unvested, I can only say that his technical aspects alone would be easily worth at least 17000 JPY. This is a figure that will stand out in your collection. Seeing Benten on the table when I walk into the room is seriously impressive. If you’re in the market for an eye-catching artistic figure (and have some free cash lying around), there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give Benten a serious look. :)

Thanks so much for reading!
7,510 visite • 52 commenti

Commenti52

0pt
riringo (1 anno/i fa) #14998027It's unfortunate but he does seem to experience a little leaning. It's not actually noticeable, but the only reason I could tell is because the position of his hand on the biwa has moved to the right a couple millimetres. His wings are quite heavy so I'm not very surprised either. |D
Nothing has broken though. :)


That's good! I'm glad he hasn't broken! Too bad on the slight lean, at least it's not nearly as bad as Devil Homura! I'd take a few millimeters over laying on feathers!
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tinee-figures (1 anno/i fa) #14992664I am beyond jealous of your Benten! He is STUNNING. I wish I could own one, maybe one day soon I can get my hands on him. Though, I've heard a lot of people saying that they've had problems with leaning and/or breaking, have you noticed anything like that with yours?
It's unfortunate but he does seem to experience a little leaning. It's not actually noticeable, but the only reason I could tell is because the position of his hand on the biwa has moved to the right a couple millimetres. His wings are quite heavy so I'm not very surprised either. |D

Nothing has broken though. :)
1 anno/i fa
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I am beyond jealous of your Benten! He is STUNNING. I wish I could own one, maybe one day soon I can get my hands on him. Though, I've heard a lot of people saying that they've had problems with leaning and/or breaking, have you noticed anything like that with yours?
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Dribz (2 anno/i fa) #8285490Little late to the party, but thanks for writing up such a great review. I keep coming back to this figure because he's so gorgeous (atm I have no knowledge of the source material), but your review sealed the deal for me - I must have him! Thanks again! <3
Wow I'm surprised (in a good way) people are still reading this review after so long, but thank you! I recommend you give the manga a try too, the art is super rad!
2 anno/i fa
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Little late to the party, but thanks for writing up such a great review. I keep coming back to this figure because he's so gorgeous (atm I have no knowledge of the source material), but your review sealed the deal for me - I must have him! Thanks again! <3
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victheduck (3 anno/i fa) #2401159I actually got emotional reading this review. He's absolutely gorgeous.
Aww, thank you so much! :D
3 anno/i fa
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I actually got emotional reading this review. He's absolutely gorgeous.
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I like how you structured your review, very nice!
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Sekhmet Killing Stalking
YurikoRaine (3 anno/i fa) #2387077To me it looked like a lollipop stick at first sight because there's no brown paper around the filter, maybe that imagination helps xD

It certainly does! Can't wait to pick him up tomorrow. Will be curious to see his size next to some of my larger figures.
3 anno/i fa
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frouchie (3 anno/i fa) #2386870He's so gorgeous. I'd passed on him initially because I felt like the colors were flat for his price and the sculpt was doing most of the talking (at the time I was more enamored with his unpainted proto ^^;). I still think that's true... but I want him rather badly regardless. xD;
Anyway, thanks for such a detailed and informative review! The writing was interesting throughout and Benten repeatedly took my breath away. :]

Alas, it's true his sculpt does most of the talking (it says a lot about the sculpt when the unpainted proto is that gorgeous xD).
3 anno/i fa
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