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Angela Balzac - Expelled from Paradise - Alphamax - REVIEW 07Angela Balzac - Expelled from Paradise - Alphamax - REVIEW 07Review

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HappyakrzHappyakrz11 meses atrás
I'm over 18
A very happy autumn Tuesday to you all!
I’m exhausted from a very busy weekend of helping at a halftime performance during our Friday night football game and an all-day high school marching band competition on Saturday in which my daughter performed. I truly love these moments with my kids and their friends as they explore their strengths in music and performance, but it makes the first two days of the new week an absolute blur for me as I try to recuperate (MUCH slower than my 16-year-old daughter!). LOL
Another cup of coffee .. perhaps another slice (or two) of banana bread, and I’ll eventually wake up!

Back Story
After having watched the film, Expelled from Paradise, and purchasing my first figure of the leading lady, Angela Balzac (you can see my review here: BLOG #44033), I did a bit of searching to find other figures that I might be able to add to my collection. I thought that since she was such a powerful, energetic, and sexy character, there must be dozens of different figures from which to choose. But it was quite a surprise to learn that in the prepainted figure arena, fans were pretty much limited to five different products (plus one cute neandroid). At the time, I guess I thought that the film was more popular, but upon the reading of many reviews and articles about the “pop-culture” of anime/manga, I’m learning that there are definite niches into which characters can fall, and unless they reach and appeal to a HUGE number of fans/collectors, the cost of putting a figure on the market can be pretty astronomical.

After reading a couple of articles about the Japanese marketing conventions, in particular, I was amazed at the amount of hype that is generated by the manufacturers of these figures when even a single new design is released to the public, not to mention when a new series might be released. This is a massive corner of the collectible world, as powerful in scale and scope as Barbie, or any of the other doll/action-figure product lines. And just because it’s headquartered in Japan doesn’t mean that it hasn’t created and maintained a powerful group of followers world-wide.

So, I have to take a lot of factors into consideration when contemplating why certain characters and figures sell on a large scale when others are lower in number. Angela and her story appeal to a specific group of people, but it’s obvious that she’s not nearly as popular as some of her other counterparts. And that’s just fine with me – I appreciate the fact that someone saw the value in creating ANY figures of her – just as I’m glad that so many other primary and secondary characters from less well-known productions are represented in the MFC archives.

A good portion of the fun for me, in any collection, is finding the gems that may have slipped past the notice of the mass market. For me, this particular figure is one of those hidden diamonds.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/angela_stride/angela_stride_display_01_72.jpg

Alphamax
Angela Balzac - 1/8 – Expelled from Paradise - ITEM #279274
Sculptor: Moon - ENTRY #25864
Vendor: private MFC seller ($82 in August of 2019)


The Box
In contrast to the first Angela Balzac figure’s box that I purchased, this box has a black base, and while it uses a lot of great design elements to show off the figure, it doesn’t have the same “shelf appeal” to me as its lighter, more colorful counterpart. I do like that the interior of the box matches the color scheme of Angela’s assorted transparent bodysuit attachments.

The photographs of the figure on the box are large and full of color, but they tend to be floating in an outer-space grid of dark blue and black that really doesn’t highlight the figure well. There are some good windows on the front, sides, and top, and I especially like that the side and front windows are shaped similarly to the pigtail ties that Angela wears in her costume.

Though I feel that this figure is priced in the upper-middle range of most collectible figures, I feel like they skimped a bit on the box design. I knew in advance that the figure I purchased had some damage (bends and dents) to the box, so it was no surprise to me when it arrived – the seals were still in place, the figure looked fantastic, and I was completely satisfied!

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The Figure
NOTE: As with the previous figure of Angela, there is so much to look at when viewing the figure that you almost have to break her sculpt into sub-categories, so a good deal of the photography in this review might feel like duplicates when in reality I’m focusing on different sections of the figure from the same vantage-point.

The base is a cool concept that I feel just wasn’t accomplished 100%. I like the dark tone, I like the use of font reversal to showcase the name of the show in both Japanese and English, but the size of the fonts and the clarity of the print doesn’t really allow the viewer to get the full feel of the “depth” inherent in the design.

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The slot for the figure’s “foot post” is well-defined and shaped in such a way that there is only one correct method for assembly. It’s a very clean and tight fit, enabling the figure to pose with great stability.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/angela_stride/angela_stride_parts_2_72.jpg

Angela’s pigtails are massive, with tons of off-shoot strands of hair on one end of each and her signature star hair-ties on the other ends. The clear green plastic ties have a distinctly shaped connector, and the direction of the curves of hair pretty much dictate how the hair is supposed to be assembled, but I won’t lie – it took me a few minutes to figure out which went in which side of the head.

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Angela’s body is a single piece, and again, her right foot ends with the shaped peg that mounts into the base.

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Reviewer's Notes
Overall Sculpt
There’s so much to talk about with this figure that it might just be easier to go from the bottom to the top and cover everything in between.

As stated above, the fit of the foot peg to the base is really solid and feels strong. With such a drastic angle on the pose of the figure, I was curious about whether there was metal involved in some way for stability, but it appears that only the large plastic peg in the right foot does just fine.

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I’m still not sure about the reason for the shape and design of Angela’s feet. I watched the film again the other day, and though the character describes that she intentionally kept her “physical generation” shorter than normal, the implication is that this is why she is “younger” than her actual digital self – not physically incomplete. Regardless, the designer and sculptor have done an amazing job of turning the art into a physical reality.

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Even though they don’t end in the typically shaped feet, Angela’s long legs are gorgeous in their smooth texture – even more so as they are adorned by technical, aerodynamic, and design-element accessories that embolden her feminine stride and power/speed at the same time.

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I have no idea what purpose the hoops on her hips hold, but I absolutely love them!

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One of the things I love about this figure (as well as the other Angela figure in my display) is not only the sculpt of her behind, but the manner in which it is presented without a great deal of lasciviousness. The character of Angela is pretty much single-minded on the mission within the storyline of the movie – there is no time, comment, or implication about her “sexiness” or sensuality. She’s simply wearing a bodysuit that covers what it needs to cover, and she does her job. In reality, this is a common aspect of both manga and western comic books – throwing the female (and sometimes male) characters into outfits that “create inner stirrings” in the young men and women who read them without creating an explicitly sexual connection. From my perspective, Angela is mildly unaware of how her figure might attract notice, as this isn’t something connected to her goals within the storyline, and in my book, unselfconscious confidence and sensuality are far more exciting than cocky, ego-centric, overt flirtation.

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With the thinnest waist imaginable, and a chest that doesn’t seem to know how to stop, Angela’s torso is a myriad of strips and panels of black and silver (the first figure reviewed was black and white). On her back are the characteristic sculpts of the more functional aspects of her bodysuit – those which contain the tech and gear her character uses within the movie.

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From her shoulders to her black-gloved fingers, Angela’s arms are sculpted beautifully, with intricate detail in both PVC and clear green plastic. There is so much detail to look at, that I sometimes forget the complexity of her creation as a figure, but she really has a tremendous amount of 3D detail that adds to her overall appearance.

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Angela’s hair is simply fantastic. The twin arches of falling tresses are beautifully sculpted, and while they may look quite delicate, they’re actually pretty strong – not that I’ve tested their strength with any rough handling – but even in the assembly process, I noticed that they weren’t super fragile. Her bangs are pretty awesome, as they have more detail than the first figure reviewed, and neatly frame her beautiful face. The seam at the top of the head is clean and straight, but I still wish that it could have been hidden a little more creatively.

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Painting
While the figure is so intricate, the painting is pretty straight-forward in black, silver, and her skin-tone. My copy of the figure has incredibly clean lines throughout, and I haven’t found a single smudge or transfer. The use of the transparent green plastic is masterful, and it is solidly attached at all points to the figure.

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Angela’s face is quite simple in design and there really isn’t any special painting done in the way of texturing or makeup – very consistent with the character, as she would have no time or patience for the application of any “glam”. Her eyes are a stunning blue that really sets the greens of her uniform into bold relief.

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Overall Presentation
From both the sculpt and painting perspective, there isn’t a single thing that I can find wrong with this figure. She is pretty much the perfect representation of the character, and near-flawlessly developed. From the angle of her entire body, precariously posed on a single foot, to the attention to detail of the scanner she holds, and the reserved yet obvious attention to her actual body, she is a figure that I could study for days! My only “con” is the size of her chest (as I’m just not a huge-chest-fascination kinda guy), but it’s consistent with her character, and so this criticism is more about her design development and not so much about the figure.

In a nutshell … if you’re contemplating purchasing this figure – DO IT! You will NOT be disappointed in the quality or presentation!

Comparisons
The first comparison is with Bunny Takao – Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio - Takao - 1/8 - Bunny Style, Black Elegance (Ques Q) -- ITEM #485235

I like this pair because they’re both 1/8 figures, they both have ridiculously long legs, their torsos and waists are completely unrealistic in narrow-ness, and they both have hair that just won’t stop. I especially like that they both have a unique style to their depiction – Takao seems a little more “manga” to me, while Angela looks a lot like her 3D movie CG character – but they also have realistic aspects that make them very feminine and exciting. I’m definitely a leg man, and both of these have fantastic sculpts – though neither are exactly realistic in many (obvious) areas of the body.

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The second comparison is with Racing Miku 2011 -- GOOD SMILE Racing - Vocaloid - Hatsune Miku - 1/8 - Racing 2011 (Good Smile Company) -- ITEM #98976

Another cool pairing of 1/8 figures who both have crazy hair, bold and feminine outfits, and a certain sex-appeal that is both innocent and adventurous at the same time. I think the biggest difference between these two figures is the amount of glossy paint used on the Miku figure, where the majority of Angela’s figure is a matte finish – though the metallic silver bodysuit does come off as somewhat glossy. In this case, Angela looks a bit bigger in most body segments than Miku, so I again find that scales are somewhat subjective to the manufacturer – unless, of course, Miku is just a shorter gal than Angela, which is also completely possible.

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The third comparison is fully intended to showcase size difference -- Kantai Collection ~Kan Colle~ - Mutsu - 1/7 (Amakuni, Hobby Japan) -- ITEM #194851

The thing that I love about both of these gals is how confident they both are in their abilities to kick butt! They are ultra-feminine in their poses and body positioning, and they both have incredible figures, but at the same time, there is an unspoken power to both that immediately takes command in anything but a helpless leading lady manner. Mutsu is a very large 1/7 scale, and she completely towers over Angela, but I find the intensity of their gazes to be equally intimidating. In any fight, I’d definitely want either (or both) on my team!

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Lessons Learned
This lesson really has nothing to do with this specific figure, although the timing of this purchase forced me into a growing awareness.

Collecting these figures is ADDICTING, and you will very soon find yourself without a single square inch of free space on any flat surface in your room!!

With the purchase of this figure, I decided to begin making serious plans for the purchase of a display case in which I could showcase my collection – I didn’t want them out in the open air any longer than was absolutely necessary. While these are a collection of the heart (my love of anime/manga), they are also a serious investment of financial resources, and as such, I knew that I needed to develop a plan for their safety and care. That “review” will be forthcoming in the near future.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please feel free to reach out with questions or comments! I love hearing from you all!

Until next time!
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Pontuações9/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

How are my reviews going so far? Am I covering what you want to know about the figures?

11%Meh. I could take them or leave them.
0%Interesting, but you talk too much!
0%More pictures please.
0%More technical details please.
89%I think it's a good blend of description and photos.
9 votosVotos são públicos

Comentários2

galablue10 meses atrás#69621893It's hard not to compare the two figures you have of Angela with each other -- I'm surprised you didn't! Is there a third Angela lurking somewhere and you're waiting for an Angela party picture? (。-∀-)
I think I have to go out on a limb here and say I prefer Alphamax's Angela figure, if I had to pick favorites. I really like Phat's figure, and I love the edition of her little chibi box self and how it's incorporated into the posing, but there's just something about this figure here ... perhaps it is her impressive and enviable derriere, but her posing flows very well and is sexy without being overtly provocative. She seems much more confident in her job rather than posing for the camera in this figure.
Awesome review as always and a joy to read!


You know, I stood looking at the display case for a long time trying to decide if I should put the two Angelas together for a comparison shot, and ultimately, I don't really know why I chose to use other figures. It DOES seem like it would have made more sense to show them side-by-side (upon retrospect), so perhaps I'll post something later this afternoon. :)

And for as much as I like the Phat figure, I would recommend the Alphamax first.
10 meses atrás
It's hard not to compare the two figures you have of Angela with each other -- I'm surprised you didn't! Is there a third Angela lurking somewhere and you're waiting for an Angela party picture? (。-∀-)

I think I have to go out on a limb here and say I prefer Alphamax's Angela figure, if I had to pick favorites. I really like Phat's figure, and I love the edition of her little chibi box self and how it's incorporated into the posing, but there's just something about this figure here ... perhaps it is her impressive and enviable derriere, but her posing flows very well and is sexy without being overtly provocative. She seems much more confident in her job rather than posing for the camera in this figure.

Awesome review as always and a joy to read!
10 meses atrás