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Vault Review: Figma’s
Charming Drossel

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…

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8 comments to Vault Review: Figma’s
Charming Drossel

  • manekochan

    Fireball is a fun series and Fireball Charming continues that. I didn’t really like the design for this Drossel until I got to play with her and watched a bit of Charming. Now, like Vault, I’ve warmed up to her. She’s almost as much fun to pose as Aegis!
    The feathers on her mask do move but I broke one pretty much out of the box so be careful. :p

    That cape is hilarious and I love that you’re finally using that desk and chair. 🙂 I didn’t know she had extra wheels… (After breaking Vault’s Drossel’s mask within a few minutes of Vault opening his figure, I decided to bow out and leave the toy posing to the experts. Afraid of breaking more things, I haven’t gone through the whole box yet.)

    • Beedo Sookcool

      That’s one of the main reasons I tend to stay away from high-end Japanese imports (apart from perhaps Masterpiece TransFormers) — beautiful, intricate, and minutely detailed, but ludicrously expensive and prone to easy breakage.

      Neat figure and great review, though.

      • manekochan

        Once they’ve been loosened up, they seem to do fine. I just shouldn’t be the person to loosen them…

  • Where may I ask is that School desk and chair from?

    • Got them from Amiami.

      There’s three desks and chairs in each box. You have to asemble them, but it’s pretty easy. Pretty great deal for under $10

  • Fire King Xi

    This one is an easy pass. That giant ghetto booty and them thunder thighs are the exact opposite of “streamlined and elegant”. Every time I see her I just think of the women I see around New Orleans. The ones with a caboose that spans from one horizon to the other. Charming definitely sports the unfinished prototype look while the original Drossel looks like the finished v2.0 product.

    However I really dig the ceremonial headdress/mask accessory.

  • Silvery

    I agree, the old Drossel looks clunky in comparison (although the old design is a lot less dividing). Drossel Charming looks like a desktop gadget for one of those minimalistic designers.

    I’ve got a few complaints, though. I don’t like it that the “lens” in her waist is just a cheap metallic paint, instead of being done the way her eyes are (it’s also scratched on mine), the issue with the “feathers” seems to be a general one (you too, manekochan?), her reading unit (that is, that “flower hair” with the glasses) tends to fall apart, she’s got a bit of sloppy paint job – well, sloppy in terms of Max Factory’s quality – and I was really hoping they would give her that blue rose. Instead she’s got a stupid robot. Oh well. I also fear for the staff, as it seems to be made of a quite brittle kind of plastic.
    /rant

    But overall she’s amazing. One of the best – if not THE best – figures this year.
    I fell in love with her design as soon as I saw the first mention of the prequel. She’s so strange and inhuman… just the way a robot should look like. And cute to boot.
    And with her mask and staff she looks like Seven from that great “9” animated movie.
    Plus she’s stunningly posable, and she’s made from a rubber-like plastic, including her hands, so she should be quite sturdy for a figma.
    What’s not to like?

    Oh, by the way, if one of her hips suddenly loses half of its range of movement, you have to gently pull the ball joint apart – the socket is made from plastic, but there’s a poly cap inside – sometimes it moves a bit and the joint gets half stuck. You just have to push it back to place.

    As to the broken mask – Good Smile Company is known for being customer-friendly, and most of the time they will send a replacement part. One just has to supply them with some photos of the damaged part.

    On a side note, Vault, that’s yet another robot girl figure we both fancy. 😉