“A hidden treasure. A murder. And a village full of secrets. Pit your wits against the puzzles of St. Mystere. Can you crack the case?” These are the words that the trailer for Professor Layton and the Curious Village tempted me with. A puzzle solving murder mystery, with a unique animation style and a playful yet elusive soundtrack. I was sold instantly. If you’re not familiar with Professor Layton, I encourage you to check his DS Game’s homepage.
Three years later, Japan is about to enjoy their fifth installment of the Layton franchise, with an animated movie soon to follow. So far the United States just got the second game, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, last year. I am jealous to say the least. Lucky for me though, I can satiate some of my Layton cravings with the brand new Professor Layton figure from Japan’s highly popular Revoltech line.
First off, what struck me immediately was that this figure looks just like Professor Layton. If Layton actually stood up and got out of the game, this is what he would be. I’m really impressed that the designer was able to take a two dimensional animation style and turn it into a perfect 3D likeness.
The Professor has a great poseability thanks to the patented Revoltech joints. If you’ve never seen one, a Revoltech joint is like a super ball joint. It allows the figure to move its joints like a swivel and a hinge at the same time. Layton has thirteen of them: two in the neck, the shoulders, elbows, waist, thighs, knees, and ankles. The only place he uses pin joints are in the wrists. These joints still allow for swivel and limited hinge movement. The only thing to watch out for, and this is common in Revoltechs, is that some joints like the wrists can be slightly loose while other joints like the shoulders can be way too tight.
Another impressive thing about this figure is how many accessories he comes loaded with. We’ll start with the extra body parts. Layton has two faces, which are swappable, one happy and one with a concerned look. Both faces are accurate yet generic, allowing Layton to be saying many things with just two expressions.
Layton also comes with a slew of different hands. Two left hands, and five right hands. This is probably one of the reasons he can pull of so many expressions with two faces, since his hands can add emotion through the various gestures. One of which is his most important gesture of all from the game, where he points directly at the screen towards you and says you’ve solved a puzzle correctly. One of his hands comes with his tea cup molded to it, with the tea in the cup about to pour over the side to simulate drinking.
Then there are the real accessories, which are incredibly detailed. There is a normal tea cup, with a dollop of tea in it. There’s also a matching saucer to place the cup onto. The impressive thing about these two is that the tea looks like real tea, and the cup and saucer are given a very realistic glassy shine. Layton also comes with his diary, which you can use in the game to review the story. The cover has a golden crest and title, and the book is hinged, so you can open it up to find scribbled words. And no diary is complete without a classic looking fountain pen to write with. Layton can hold his pen in a couple different positions. Also, I tried to make it as noticeable as possible in the pictures, but the tip of the pen’s nib has the detail of that black relief that real pens have.
Last, but not least, is Layton’s base, or bases depending how you look at it. He comes with a section of stone street/sidewalk that has been painted to look textured. It’s pretty impressive, and I’m hoping it will connect to Luke’s base when they make him. He also comes with a clear pole that plugs into the base, just in case you wanted to give the Prof. an action pose. But if action doesn’t quite seem right, then you can seat him at the chair and table he comes with. Both pieces are very simple yet sleek, they are even detailed on top with a wood pattern for more realism. Layton is able to sit perfectly on the chair without those strange looking, half dead half drunk leaning poses that some figures sit with.
All around, this figure is a perfect representation of Professor Layton, and if you loved the games you should pick him up. You can expect to see him priced between twenty to thirty dollars, but keep in mind they are probably going to make a Luke figure in the future, so there’s a little more money down the road. In my opinion, he’s worth the price. He’s got great movement, paint job is perfect, nice accessories, and his likeness is dead on.