This review is a bit oddly commemorative. The original Figma Drossel was my first review for IAT waaaay back in 2009. She was also the first Japanese import I’d ever purchased. So I’m feeling a roundabout nostalgia for Figma’s newest Drossel figure.
I have a bias when it comes to the first Drossel figure. Being my introduction to the Japanese collector market, I was amazed at her articulation and detail. The more imports I bought, the more I realized these were common aspects. But I still hold her at the top of my list as one of my favorite figures. So you might imagine how surprised I was to discover that the new Charming Drossel improved upon the original in almost every way.
Charming Drossel comes from the second installment in the Fireball series, Fireball Charming, which is actually a prequel to the first. I thought this was a pretty interesting direction for the series since Fireball left off on a cliffhanger. Not only that, but they were drastically changing the design of the main character herself. The schoolgirl-esque body and double ponytail look was replaced by an odd humanoid figure with blatant mechanical bits, a long head fin, and no feet. Interesting choices to say the least.
After finally watching a subbed version of Charming, and playing with the figure for a bit, I have to say that I like her prequel look the best. Charming’s is so much more streamlined and elegant. She really makes the original Drossel look clunky. A main reason for this is that most of her white body parts are cylindrical-like shapes. Her head fin also helps by being articulated, giving it the ability to conform to the shape of her body.
One aspect that makes the Charming figure noticeably nicer over the original is the shade of white used by Good Smile. It’s difficult to capture on film, but Charming’s white is much crisper. It’s almost like she’s a high def version of the other’s color. Also, I’m not exactly sure how they did it, but Charming’s eyes have much more depth to them. This gives her blank face much more emotional inflection.
Even if you don’t like her design, the one area where you have to give Charming her props is articulation. Although most of her joints are the same swivel/hinges that you see on her neck, and that are common on most Figmas, almost all of them have been covered up by the black mechanical designs of her skeletal structure. Her elbows, knees, and even the joint in the middle of her head fin appear to be double hinges, but they’re actually all held together with these swivel/hinge joints. To increase her range of movement even more, her hips are ball joints, while her shoulders and waist are double ball joints. All of this liberal articulation gives Charming Drossel an incredible amount of life and personality. Continue to page 2…