Today, we'll be reviewing a highly anticipated (and often-delayed!) figure of the worlds most famous turquoise-haired virtual diva, namely Max Factory's "Heart Hunter" Hatsune Miku.
About the character: Everyone knows Miku, right? On to the review!
Max Factory goes with a very cute package design, with the heart-shaped front window. As we'll see, Miku's outfit has all sorts of different heart-shaped cutouts, so this is a nice nod to the figure inside.
I really like the cute font used for the lettering!
The other side panel of the box recycles that same photo of the figure.
The back panel has another heart-shaped window.
I was a little bit surprised to see that Miku's wings and tail come pre-attached, and therefore the blister and the box in general are reasonably compact given the size of the figure. The wings and tail seem sturdy enough, but I'd say having them pre-attached does present some breakage risks, particularly if your friendly postal workers don't treat your packages with the same care they would their personal collections of fine china.
Miku is not a small figure, but the box is not particularly large. However, her multi-part base does add some weight to the figure. The box measures 31 by 18 by 16 cm, and figure+box weighs just over 500 grams.
Miku's base comes in two parts. She's standing on (perhaps trampling on?) a winged heart. As you can see, the heart attaches to the base with two pegs, and then a large metal peg attaches Miku to the base.
If I was being picky, I might complain that the surface of the base itself is a little plain. It might have been nice to have some cute lettering on the base to match the lettering that was used in the box. Also, given the cute feel of the figure, the red and black color scheme seems a little harsh to me; maybe some softer colors (pink and purple maybe?) would look better?
The heart is made of a rigid plastic, but I did notice a little bit of wobble when I was moving Miku around to take photos. I don't see any risk of figure lean, but it's something of which to be aware all the same.
We'll see that Miku has a few quirks that might be a little unexpected for a Max Factory figure, but they certainly nailed it with Miku's pose. In the Project Diva games, the Heart Hunter module is the "suggested module" for the song The World is Mine. That song features a very sassy Miku making demands of a potential boyfriend, and so the pose gives off a very himedere feel.
The pose captures Miku's sassy feel, and there's plenty to look at from just about any angle, so I'd say that Max Factory did just fine with Miku's pose.
Overall, Miku's quality is pretty good, although I found a few quirks on both the sculpting and painting fronts which I'm not accustomed to seeing on a Max Factory figure. All things considered, I'd call the overall quality of the figure slightly above average.
There are certainly no complaints about the sculpt of Miku's face! Sculptor Grizzry Panda ENTRY #51842 tends to make very round and soft faces, and I think that look really serves to play up Miku's cuteness. Her eyes are extremely expressive, and note the little bit of a blush on Miku's face. The subtle gloss on her lips is another nice feature.
I also like how Miku looks from this angle, as it accentuates her little smile. Also, most every Miku figure has her bangs hanging in her face, but I like how her hair is a little bit messier looking than usual, as that also serves to play up her cuteness.
It should also be noted that Miku's hair is very, very shiny. It looks like that was an intentional design choice, and it serves to emphasize the contrast between her cool bluish-green hair and the warm red tones of her outfit, but I can't quite decide if it makes her hair look too plasticky. I'll leave that up to you to decide...
Note the little bit of paint smudging on the pink rings on Miku's microphone.
Someone really worked hard on the sculpt of Miku's headset. The flat metal caps on the earpieces and the purple accents really make it stand out!
One thing I like about the Heart Hunter module is how it mixes up Miku's look. About 90% of Miku's modules use her standard hairstyle with two long ponytails, but I always liked how this module gives her short pigtails and braided hair. You can see that the braiding effect is fairly elaborate, and the little sprig of hair at the nape of her neck is very cute.
Notice how you can clearly see Miku's ears underneath her headphones. I can't decide if this detail adds an element of realism to the figure or if it just looks a little weird...
The design of Miku's dress is quite elaborate. You've got that ribbon on the collar, the two-tone purple/pink color scheme, and presumably the gold hearts are either buttons or snaps. Interestingly, even though Miku does not have a large chest, sculptor Grizzry Panda gives her a little bit of cleavage and the way the material of the dress is stretching a little bit implies a very tight fit.
In the picture above you can see a couple spots on Miku's dress that look like scratches; they're not actually scratches, but more like little deformations in the plastic.
I think the design of Miku's outfit complements her body type very well. The tight fit of the dress makes her chest look very perky, and the fact that her midriff is exposed accentuates her trim physique.
The design of Miku's belt is also quite fancy. The huge gold heart with the butterfly wings and all the gold studs really make it stand out.
Notice that the purple trim is a little uneven in places, particularly around her stomach area, and there are several spots where bright red paint from the belt spills onto adjacent areas.
Miku's gloves have heart-shaped cutouts, and Max Factory gives her cute pink fingernails...
...although the underside of her hand is kind of a mess. Her fingers are a little misshapen, there's a smear of paint on her finger, and to me it looks like her index finger is just sort of plugged into her hand. Are these flaws dealbreakers? No, not by any means, but at the same time you'd like to see a little more attention to detail on a 1/7 scale figure listed for 13,700 yen...
I am somewhat willing to overlook the flaws on Miku's hand because Max Factory did a really good job sculpting Miku's wings. The shiny purple color really makes them stand out when the light hits her right, and the ribs are nicely sculpted. I like the talons at the tips of the wings, too. The lyrics to The World is Mine make it clear that Miku is not 100% cute and sweet, so the talons on the wings subtly reflect that fact.
Presumably, Miku's tail is attached to underside of the belt (if people were going to cosplay in this outfit, would they make the belt and tail one piece, or would they attach the tail to the dress, I wonder?). The painted pattern where the tail meets the belt is one of those little details that I didn't really notice before seeing the figure in person.
That's a pretty standard devil tail. I like me some demon girls, so Miku's devil features are certainly a big part of why this figure is so appealing.
Some excess purple paint found its way onto Miku's skirt.
From certain angles, you could almost imagine that Miku was going commando/nopan with this outfit...
...but of course Sega and Crypton Media would never allow such a thing in an official product! Rather, Miku simply wears a pair of skimpy thong panties. I didn't notice this before taking this photo, but you can see how there's a big blob of glue where Miku's garter and stocking come together. It looks like those pieces were glued together, then they separated a little bit, and the glue dried that way. I'm sure YMMV here...
I was a little surprised to see such an elaborate pattern sculpted on Miku's panties! There's a very limited range of angles from which this is visible, so this was doubly surprising.
Thighhighs are a key element of the majority of Miku's modules, and Max Factory put a lot of details into the design of the stockings on this figure. The heart cutouts appear once again, and I like how the stockings have a pink-on-purple color scheme which reverses the purple-on-pink scheme of Miku's dress. You can see how the stockings have a sparkly matte finish, which is kind of a neat look. I couldn't remember for sure, but a quick search of the Vocaloid Wikia confimed that the visible seams on the stockings do match the concept art for this module.
Also note how Miku's stockings actually end in stirrups which go over her shoes. That makes for a very interesting look, although you'd really have to wash the stockings thoroughly!
Calves are one of my moe points, and this Miku has very nice ones. The cutouts are well-placed, drawing attention to her calves as well.
Miku is established to be 5'2" (158 cm) in height. The tape measure says that Miku herself is about 8.5 inches (21.5 cm) tall, meaning the listed 1/7 scale is fairly spot-on. The way she's perched on her tiptoe plus the height of the heart on which she's standing plus the thickness of the base means that Miku will span about 10 inches (25.5 cm) at her tallest point.
Here is Miku with Good Smile's "Tell Your World" Miku ITEM #236245. I'd say the overall quality of the Good Smile figure is a little better, but I much prefer the outfit and the larger scale of Heart Hunter Miku.
I've got these two displayed side by side on one of my shelves, and they look really good together! Max Factory's Rin Kagamine ITEM #149559 is also 1/7 scale, and like Miku, her base adds quite a bit of height.
Sonico ITEM #331545 is cosplaying as Miku, so these two figures also look kind of neat together. Sonico is listed as 1/7 scale, but she's really closer to 1/6, and you see how Miku compares.
Demon girls check a lot of my moe boxes, which is why Miku was an instant pre-order. Here is Miku with one of my favorite diabolic girls, Wave's Elyse ITEM #5864. Miku and Elyse would seem to be pretty similar in build, and Elyse is 1/8 scale for comparison.
I like the way both Miku and Tomoka Minato ITEM #250831 are gesturing to the observer. Tomoka-chan is 1/7 scale, and you can see how Miku will look a little bit bigger than her listed 1/7 scale sitting on the shelf.
Miku: "I asked you to bring me some dessert two minutes ago-where is it?
Tomoka: "You're not thinking anything naughty, are you?"
Yui Yuigahama ITEM #166927 also has an interesting devil cosplay outfit. Yui is 1/7 scale and once again you can see that Miku will look a little bigger than that.
This particular Miku and Leviathan ITEM #195472 have quite a bit in common, although Miku is meant to be a himedere personality, while Leviathan is tsundere through and through. Orchid Seed's Leviathan is 1/7 scale.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9/10
Arguments for: Many. Miku's pose is full of personality, Grizzry Panda was the perfect choice of sculptor for this particular figure, lots of details on her outfit, the devil features of the outfit are very well done, and the added height of the base will really make Miku stand out on the shelf.
Arguments against: There are a few. There are a few QC issues that I didn't really expect to see (the sculpting on Miku's left hand is the worst offender, but there are also a few unexpected painting flaws), and I would have liked to see a base design that makes the figure a little more stable.
Fortunately, most of the QC issues are not that noticeable unless you're poring over the figure millimeter by millimeter, and thus I would say that Max Factory has made a winner here. If you are a little more perfectionistic (and there's nothing wrong with that in the current era of runaway figure prices!), then you might temper my recommendation somewhat. Personally, this is one of my favorite Miku modules, and I think Max Factory did a very good (if not perfect) job of realizing this Miku in figure form.
Availability (as of this writing)
Still available new.
As I write this, the "big three" shops (HLJ, AmiAmi, and Hobby Search) all have Miku in-stock, as does Amazon Japan. Since Miku was originally scheduled for November 2017, then she was delayed to February 2018, and then delayed again to March 2018, I wonder if a bunch of people bailed out on their preorders...
I'll be interested to see what happens to Miku's price once she starts showing up preowned. Of the other Grizzry Panda Mikus, ITEM #198011 usually sells preowned for about the original price, while ITEM #331518 can be found preowned for about 30% less than original retail. Any thoughts about this one?
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Good Smile 1/8 "Tell Your World" Hatsune Miku BLOG #23585
Sega Hatsune Miku "Ribbon Girl" BLOG #33733
Sega Hatsune Miku "Innocent" BLOG #38913
Max Factory 1/7 Rin Kagamine BLOG #30313
Max Factory 1/7 "Racing Miku" Super Sonico BLOG #33612
Max Factory 1/7 Yui Yuigahama (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU) BLOG #30060
Wave 1/8 Elyse (Oretama) BLOG #17530
Orchid Seed 1/7 Leviathan (The Seven Deadly Sins) BLOG #27688
Max Factory 1/6 Mikan Yuuki (To Love Ru Darkness) BLOG #35150
What will happen to the price of this Miku?