This Sailor Pluto kit has by far been one of my biggest challenges since starting garage kits. Having mailed her out only a few weeks ago and looking back I know I learned a lot, but I know I’m ready for much more challenging pieces because of it.
Apologies for the lack of parts pictures. I didn’t intend on documenting this build and posting it, but here I am. Pluto is roughly the size of a 12″ doll.
The commissioner for this piece had 2 requests: That I sand down her boobs to a reasonable size (they’re rather pointy), and that I not make custom changes (I like to add eyelashes and rhinestones lol). Admittedly this made me sad, but that’s it. I DID have to custom make her brooch in the end as the piece went MIA, and her earrings didn’t fit as nicely as I had hoped, but it worked out nicely.
Pluto’s prep work and tags were a little crazy, and VERY hard to get rid of. There were quite a few pieces where I cut the tags off, and had to repair the sculpt.
Next up was Sailor Pluto’s boob job XD. I didn’t sand them down drastically. Just enough to soften those super pointy nipples.
When I removed the tag from Pluto’s body I broke off a piece of the edging that’ll eventually be a part of her skirt. To fix it I carefully cut and glued down a piece of card stock in alignment with the missing piece. Then I puttied in the missing pieces. The seam line between that piece and her body had a LOT of pinholes, so I puttied those in as well, and sanded them down.
Everything was then primed, and I started painting. The black and white primer details are all spray painted by can, but everything else is hand painted by brush.
The most important part of painting Sailor Pluto for me was getting the skin colour right. The fandom is constantly at war about what her tone should be, and to be honest… it varies across all parts of the franchise, sometimes even episode to episode of the original animation. Naoko’s manga art does nothing but contribute to the confusion, but one thing is very clear, her skin tone is darker than everyone else in the Sailor Senshi.
I like the anime skin tone, but I feel like it’s much too orange to actually look… believable, or even good on a figure. So I mixed them. The colour I came up with as a mix of the brown from the manga image, with just a small amount of orange to pull from the anime. For comparison, the leg in the left picture is for a Sailor Jupiter garage kit I have in progress.
Painting was the easy part despite numerous issues. The major one was that when I sealed the black pieces I forgot to shake the can… so it came out white lol. I got that fixed up quickly though.
The hard part was pinning. I had never had to do it on a large scale before, and Pluto is SUPER top heavy (boobs aside lol). It took me 3 years to get Pluto in a place where I could actually pin her properly. In the end I actually ended up taking 3 nails from a batch of leftovers from an Ikea set, cutting off the heads, and using them as pin for her waist. I also used them for her head/neck joint, AND to hold her on her base.
Some of the photo editing REALLY pulls out some of that orange skin tone, but overall I’m still happy with how she came out.
“Tamashii Buddies” is a new line of figures from Bandai that are meant to be affordable. Consider them a “Pop” figure from Japan. They’ll range around $10-$15, come in generic packaging, come in a generic pose that matches the rest of the character line, and come with a character/series appropriate background.
The cool part about this figure line is that they’re the first line (that I know of) that come with a stacking feature (photos below). This makes them unique, and a great option for the collector without a lot of space.
Due to the generic nature of this line I’ll be featuring these figures in 2 posts. The first (this one) will feature the Inner Senshi and be updated as they release. The second will feature the Outer Senshi as they are released (as of April 2015 they have not even been announced). Subscribe to my blog to receive a notification when that happens!
The packaging for this line is extremely generic. In fact, the other series featured in this line, Dragonball Z, has essentially the exact same packaging in a different colour. Anything to keep costs down! This is reminisent of the Funko Pop! figure line in North America.
The left features the name of the character and series, the top right features the figure number in the line (Venus 006, Moon 005), the bottom features the figure line logo, series logo, and license holders logo’s, including the TOEI sticker seen on almost every piece of Sailor Moon merchandise out there.
Here’s a closer look at that information:
Parts, Assembly, and Fit
Each figure comes with a background, 4 posts, and a “top”. The characters are firmly attached to the base in such a way that I didn’t want to try too hard to remove one of them, as I felt like it might not go back on without glue.
Pay attention to which way you insert your posts to build your frame as there IS a top and a bottom. The top has the peg on the inside of the post, the bottom has the peg on the outside of the post (inside being where the background is held.
Build your frame, and THEN slide the background card into it from the bottom.
Insert the bottom pegs into the back of the base.
To make them stackable insert the extra posts on the front of the base of the figure you wish to be on the bottom of your display, and remove the top piece on the back of the display. Place the top figure on the posts, and insert the pegs into the holes on the bottom of the top figures base.
You may also add left over posts (and the now extra top) to the top figure for a frame effect similar to the bottom figure, but it isn’t required.
Sculpting and Posing
As this line is meant to be relatively well priced for the casual collector don’t expect a lot of greatness and variety out of this line, and especially not this series. As this is only number 5 and 6 out of a brand new line by an experienced company the sculpting is not bad, but it’s definitely not up there with their more expensive figures, reasonably so.
The pose is still an appropriate one for the series, the faces are cute, and actually… the hair and bows are REALLY cute. Sailor Moon’s twin tails are probably one of my favourite versions of them out of what we’ve seen in the 20th Anniversary figures in general. They’re what I’d expect to see on her chibi-fied figure.
My only issue with these is that their proportions are a little wonky. They’re JUST in that grey area of “Well, are they chibi? Or are they poorly sculpted non-scales?” Technically I think the Tamashii Buddies line was shooting for “Super Deformed” (which is an actual term in regards to the proportions used), but I’ve always felt awkwardly about that style. It never quite has the right level of “deformed” to reach the level of cute I feel they’re striving for
I love the details put into their backs despite most display set-ups probably never allowing you to properly see them.
As with most “affordable” figures the painting DOES come with a few defects, though definitely not the way most do. I’m actually quite impressed with the paint job done on these figures, though the eyes, and Sailor Moons brooch are decals… that’s not a draw back at all for me as they look great.
I was rather sad to discover a paint chip on the boot of Sailor Moon. It’s REALLY noticeable.
The base itself is rather basic in pattern, with just a brick/tile pattern, but the base as a functioning part of the figure is WONDERFUL!
Not only does it display a wonderful background
But it helps collectors with limited space CREATE space.
So while it’s incredibly basic, it’s also incredibly useful, and if I scored things in my reviews I’d give it a 15/10, because basically all Sailor Moon collectors are crying over space issues right now. This isn’t limited to the Sailor Moon series either! This is a feature of the ENTIRE Tamashii Buddies line that’s compatible all the way through. So you can also stack these with the Dragonball Z figures.
As of April 2015 there are no bootlegs of this series. Please comment if you think you’ve found some!
I think the only thing I’m disappointed in is that I’m NOT disappointed. I was really hoping I wouldn’t want to collect these just so I could keep SOMETHING off of my wishlist! XD. These are ADORABLE and super well done for a $15 value, AND if you’re creative it’s SUPER easy to make custom backgrounds by printing out backgrounds on some cardstock. The backgrounds measure 5 1/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide btw 😉
Basically if you’re broke and want some Sailor Moon figures but can’t afford the $80+ FiguartsZERO line I HIGHLY recommend these figures for your collection.
The manga version of Sailor Moon is incredibly rare in figure form. There are figures that resemble the chibi versions of the characters as drawn by Naoko, but they’re still primarily based on the anime. This Sailor Moon, as made by Ascii Media Works and released under the Figure Maniacs magazine, is the only Sailor Moon figure directly based on manga art down to the style she is sculpted in. She stands approximately 5″ tall, which is just slightly taller than the average standing Sailor Moon gashapon, but she fits in a display just fine with them without looking out of place.
Sailor Moon was released in 2005 for 2,700 yen. When I purchased mine on Ebay in 2011 I purchased her for $80 with $20 flat rate shipping. This was pretty much the standard when you found these figures on Ebay for a very long time. No matter what the price, she + shipping would equal $100. Now-a-days (Oct. 2013) She tends to run for about $120 with shipping, sometimes more.
Is she worth $100 more than retail price? Lets find out!
The pictures above (click to view larger) show the small book that the figure comes with. It covers various series including all of the Sailor Moon gashapon, and various other series of Sailor Moon figures advertised throughout.
The box has virtually the same cover as the book, and is very strong. It’s made out of a thick cardboard, and I honestly wouldn’t even be worried about the figure being shipped in that alone.
Packaging is sturdy and beautiful. It’s just as nice to display the box with the figure as it is alone, although normally mine displays alone, while the box sits on a shelf.
Assembly and Fit
There are no fit issues with this figure. Everything holds together nicely, although you may have to adjust her on her base once every few months. While there are no leaning or warping issues in the plastic she may pull forward slowly over time.
Sculpting & Pose
If they were to pick any pose for manga Sailor Moon to stand in this HAD to be it. It’s iconic to both the anime and the manga, but the leg positions are almost manga specific, and recognizable for fans.
The sculpt is great. Besides a few hardly noticeable seam lines around her neck and legs the only real issue with the sculpt is the massive size of her hands. While it’s not particularly noticeable on display, once it’s pointed out or noticed it’s hard to stop seeing it (I’m so sorry). Don’t let it detract from the figure though. Her hands are still well sculpted, and the rest of her is still beautiful, especially for her tiny size.
A minor paint flaw at a seam line in her boot.
Some small flaws on her skirt at the waist trim.
A beautiful paint job on her face. It really gives her character.
Her collar could have been cleaner, but it’s not terribly noticeable.
Beautiful paint transitions in her hair from blonde to white.
The base is fine in general. It’s basic and cute, but the leg support DOES leave some dents in the plastic. Thankfully it hasn’t removed any paint. These marks are NOT noticeable to the regular viewer. You have to remove her from the base and view her in good light to see the ones on mine. I do recommend avoiding adjustments as much as possible if you can.
There are no bootlegs for this figure as of October 2013! Please contact me if you think you’ve identified a bootleg.
Personally this figure was a benchmark in my collection. She was a grail piece despite her common status several years ago mostly because of the price tag. As a collector she is one of my favourite pieces ever released and regularly holds a featured spot in my displays.
Sailor Mars, also known as Rei Hino, is the unexpected best friend of Sailor Moon, and a sort of center for the group outside of Usagi. Throughout the entire series Usagi and Rei bicker to the point of making the viewer wonder why they’re even friends to begin with? Their friendship starts with a strong hit to the face with an Ofuda as Rei mistakingly believes Usagi is some sort of evil entity.
Their true friendship is proven when Rei is trusted with the Crescent Moon Wand as they mock fight for leadership in order to trick the enemy. There are also various scenes and episodes where Rei is attacked or dies where, while Usagi is clearly distraught over other characters as well, she runs to Rei.
Rei is a Miko at Hikawa Shrine, owned by her Grandfather, and her specialty is in the paranormal and with fire. She is often found meditating and consulting spirits for the missing piece of the puzzle.
Packaging & Advertising
Oddly enough Sailor Mars has been given a strange colour theme on her box. Purple, green and yellow. Fans have seemingly accepted the purple as alright (although many question why not red?), but the green corner has everyone confused. On both Moon and Mercury’s boxes this corner was yellow.
Personally, I think it’s ugly, but I bought the figure for the figure, not the box.
For Sailor Mars her TOEI sticker is usually located above the 20th anniversary logo. For the international release it might be located beside or above the International logo.
Despite pictures, everything came sealed. My Mars was opened for pictures previous to my review *gasp* So the base should be wrapped in a plastic bag.
Of course, like Mercury and Moon, Mars has a casing for the faces and hands. This casing unfortunately doesn’t include the hand that holds her Ofuda though.
As with Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars did not get much advertisement. Photos were posted on the Tamashii site, and an AmiAmi review got her lots of wonderful photographs, but there were no advertisements or commercials. She did (and probably will) see lots of events from a display case though!
Parts, Assembly, & Fit
Sailor Mars comes with 21 pieces, so far the least of the 3 Senshi released. Her special parts include a hand piece that fits both arms for Fire Soul, as well as an Ofuda and hand to hold it.
Mars joints seem to hold together well. She also has 2 jointed hair pieces for effect that seem to roll smothly. Despite no issues with mine, I’ve read some complaints about loose leg joints, as well as a case of the leg snapping off at the knee upon opening and posing the figure. These should not be common issues, but contacting Bandai Japan for replacement parts would be a good first step, instead of purchasing an entirely new figure.
Mars comes with 4 different face plates that ultimately suit the character, but don’t offer much variety as 3/4 faces are angry attack faces. I guess they watched all of the episodes where she was frustrated with Usagi while picking expressions.
I edited this picture as darkly as possible to show the paint choices. 5 of her hands appear to have a pink base to them, while the other 6 are pearl white. Some of these are attack hands, so it’s possible they thought it would suit her fire attacks? Her body matches the pearl white hands, but it’s not particularly noticeable in the photos whether I’m using a pink hand or a pearl white hand.
The peg for her hand is similar to Sailor Mercury’s so it’s possible their hands will be compatible with each other.
Sculpting & Posing
After Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury there really isn’t much to be said about the sculpting. Like the last two Sailor Mars’ head leans forward just a little too much, but posing her and playing with her position allows you to find good spots where her head doesn’t look awkward.
Because of the flexibility in how the feet may be posed her joints aren’t hidden slightly in the legs, but are mostly exposed. In regards to the usual Figuarts/jointed figure design there isn’t really much they can do to hide this piece, especially on a character with bare legs and ankles. But for Mars in particular it stands out as distracting.
Unfortunately for Sailor Mars, posing her is difficult. Because Sailor Mars has long hair it is extremely difficult to pose her using the base and arm she comes with. Her hair gets in the way of the arm, and the only way to use it properly is to turn her head sideways (seen above) or lift her hair, which in turn makes her look down. To make it all the more difficult she is nearly impossible to pose standing without her base because her hair is so heavy.
Her hair is very detailed, and there are two pieces on ball joints that move. If positioned correctly they are great assets for a good pose.
The usual bad spot on these figures is the brooch. Sailor Mars is perfect! It’s super clean, the bow looks nice, the collar looks lovely, so does her choker, arms, and skirt.
The skirt isn’t all around that bad either. Where the skirt meets the white piece around the waist it’s not quite smooth, but it’s about as clean as it will get at such a small scale.
This is where my concern begins for the paint. There are 3 smudge marks on her back, as well as a mark on the collar that I am unsure about. I’ve contacted Bandai, but I haven’t heard back from them yet.
The paint on her feet feel a little messy. Visually I think the camera picks up more issues than you can see with the naked eye, but it does appear
The base for Sailor Mars resembles Sailor Mercury’s, and does not have the flexibility of Sailor Moons base arm. The claw also appears to be the same as Sailor Mercury’s.
As mentioned previously, the base is really annoying to use with Sailor Mars as her hair gets in the way of the arm and claw. Most likely you’ll have to turn her head left or right to make it work. This can be REALLY annoying when you have a display in mind, and it makes it impossible to use.
I have managed to pose Mars, and prop her up on the base with the arm instead of clamping it around her waist.
As Sailor Venus will have very similar hair, I expect this to be an issue with her as well.
I feel like from a distance and on display Sailor Mars is perfect, but playing with her might be an issue. You’ll always see more criticism than praise, but I feel like I’ve read a lot of complaints or issues ranging from the box, to actual figure defects. Issues like defective parts and paint spots will never really disappear completely as no company in their right mind will QC proof every single figure.
For the set I highly recommend Sailor Mars, but I also recommend cracking open the box and checking her for defects. The chances of getting a defected piece should be very small. Most of the complaints I’ve heard have been on MFC, but not on Tumblr, or from friends who collect. So in a place that complaints would generally be posted.
S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon comes to us as a result of the 20th anniversary revival. An event that really began and established that it could be successful first in Italy in 2010/2011, it has brought us everything from refreshed and new artwork from Italian artist Marco Albiero, to toys, figurines, clothing, and more not just in Italy, but globally.
What was the first exposure to anime for a lot of my generation is still marketable and successful 20 years later to the point where a new musical and anime have been created to celebrate it.
While I knew of the S.H.Figuarts line before Sailor Moon she is my first and I do not know much about the other figures, although I am fairly familiar with the style. Please bare with me.
Sailor Moons box is bright, colourful, bold, and manages to incorporate her associated colours without being tacky. It feels much more involved than the S.H.Figuarts boxes I’m use to seeing in my local comic shops. The dithered shading on Sailor Moon also seems to match the comic book style Bandai has been reaching for in their other 20th Anniversary merchandise.
Between Sailor Moons legs is the new Japanese 20th Anniversary logo. To the right is the usual Toei sticker. The international release box will differ here. The Toei sticker will be slightly different (assuming this signifies international release) and will be placed half an inch or so higher on the box. Below it will be the international logo which is simply a stylized “Sailor Moon” font in yellow with a white glow. I mention this because earlier during box release there were several photos depicting both Japanese and International releases and speculation was that the International box could have been a bootleg. This is not true.
The sticker on the window of the box signifies in English and Japanese that the box you have is First Edition with the extra faces. Second press will either have an alternate sticker or no sticker at all. More than likely they just won’t have a sticker.
The back of the box is spectacular in all of its space art glory. The vectored stars and design behind “Moon Tiara Magic” Sailor Moon really make the back of this box POP! and it’s a beautiful tie-in with the marketing theme that Bandai has used since they began whipping out advertisement for this figure.
Despite the tight packaging of everything, when I received my box there was a slight rattling in it, and I was afraid my base had come lose, or that there was a problem. Turns out I wasn’t the only one with this issue. Many have noticed that their boxes had been cut open and then resealed.
After opening my box my best guess is that they forgot to package the instruction slips, as those were left loose in the very back of the box, whereas normally, with other figures I’ve received, they’ve been bagged and taped to the base or another part of the inside that is hidden from sight.
Packaging on the extra parts was especially good on the faces. They were in their own plastic compartment (that I accidentally threw across the room while trying to get the hands out lol!) that could be great for storage during use.
Lets just be honest, Luna looks happy and comfortable.
This image was pretty much THE FACE of S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon advertising. It is/was everywhere. In magazines, flyers, posters, giant wall hangings, displays and basically where ever they could plaster it. Online though, a massive dumping of photos were released through the Tamashii website, Sailor Moon Channel, and the AmiAmi blog. There was even a video advertisement released online and on television.
Parts, Assembly, & Fit
Upon initial opening and playing with Sailor Moon she is very stiff, but after pieces are removed and reinserted a couple times pieces loosen up enough to use without worry. I am a little concerned about how much she might loosen up after a lot of use and posing, but I’m confident it’ll take a lot of wear to bring her to the point where her joints don’t hold position very well.
Sailor Moon comes with a total of 27 pieces. It is recommended that when initially opening this figure that extra care be taken in removing her bangs in order to change her face plate. It is a common complaint that her bangs are difficult to remove at first, and, although the pieces seem built well enough, it would be a shame to break it right out of the box.
Many people have used items like butter knifes to remove the bangs from Sailor Moons face. I recommend wearing gloves to avoid skin oil transfer and tugging on the hair piece while holding her head. Using a tool to remove it risks cutting into the plastic and damaging her forever, and it would be best to avoid it if possible.
During photographs and her time sitting posed I never had any issues with Sailor Moons hands. It was while I was changing poses or attaching new pieces that I had issues. Her left hand kept falling off while being posed (although admittedly usually I bumped her a little) but this was not an issue with the right hand at all. Apart from that her face plates held wonderfully.
^ Example of the back for compatibility with other figures.
AmiAmi.com’s blog has provided some excellent photos of the extra items and attachments:
Face 1 and 3 are the First Edition Exclusive faces. If you haven’t picked them up yet you better hurry! They’re selling out fast.
Something not depicted well here, but a little better in the collective parts shots above is that the “Moon Tiara Action” piece is actually another hand piece so it’s super easy to attach. AmiAmi’s photos actually show really well that the Ginzuishou (crystal) on the Crescent Moon Wand is actually transparent.
Sculpting & Posing
Luna is very basic… and that might be an understatement. She is also very unbalanced and somewhat difficult to stand Her head moves and her tail seems to have some pose-ability, but considering it doesn’t really do much or make much sense. Turning her head forwards makes her look down, and her tail shouldn’t really move unless for balance as it won’t make much sense.
(Please excuse the dust D=) When I originally noticed that the skirt was in 2 pieces I was extremely unsure whether I would like this figure or not, and it nearly made me cancel my order. After receiving her, posing and photographing her though it hardly notice it. In fact I nearly forgot about it.
Pieces like her front bow and brooch are beautiful, clean and accurate. Unlike some Sailor Moon figures the bow is not over the top with folds and movement, or too big (or small). They’ve made it flat, and very basic which very positively contributes to the clean look of this figure.
Some of the skirt ends seem a little untidy. Upon visual inspection it appears fine, but photographs bring forward small areas that probably could have been repaired in the mould. The issues on the skirt will probably only be issues with macro shots, but could easily be edited clean.
There are some mould seam lines and injection points that don’t seam to be cleaned or hidden very well (see behind Sailor Moon’s ear). Seam lines along her forearms are noticeable, and while avoiding a seam line entirely is not usually easily achieved I feel like these get rather intrusive. I have figures from 20 years ago that have less noticeable lines. Needless to say I’m not impressed with that, but it’s not Earth shattering in regards to a poseable figure.
Now that I’ve played with this figure quite a bit I can feel the joints that are looser than others and know her limitations. While Sailor Moon can sit down just fine, I find that in her standing positions, WITHOUT her base, there are points where her knee joints will not hold. She loses support and slips backwards. Considering the weight of her body and hair this shouldn’t be at all surprising, but the good news is that she DOES have some pose-ability without her base.
With her base she’s pretty much able to do what ever you expect within a poseable figures limits (She done the most ridiculous things yesterday lol). In regards to Sailor Moon figures released as of today, September 2013, she is THE figure for pose-ability and function. There really is nothing else for this series with this much flexibility, despite merchandise dating from the very early 90’s until mid 2000’s.
I took these photos to prove she could be posed without her base… and on an uneven surface at that! She’s standing on a blanket, and the floor beneath her is a metal sheet with holes punched in it. I’ve placed 2 pieces of paper over it to keep it looking solid white, but that’s not much for strength. It DOES take effort though. Her hair pulls her back a lot. In fact, it might be the biggest draw back for this figure. Her hair is constantly in the way.
Straight out of the box there was some slight transfer from her skirt to her gloves (and a small spot on her joint?).
Sorry about the poor picture, but the focus should be on her (our) left odango. I’m still unsure of whether this existed previously, or if it’s oil and dirt transfer from my fingers. Needless to say after I noticed it I tried and failed to clean it off, and wore plastic gloves for the rest of the review.
The stripes on her collar are SO nicely painted. They’re near perfect.
I also want to point out the joints for her arms. The only issue I have with them is their colour. They should have made them red, but I assume their concern was matching the plastic and paint colours, or that paint would wear away too fast. The skin tone is very distracting though.
I’m bringing this picture back to point out the brooch and her skirt again. The paint around the waist of her skirt appears a little messy. It’s nothing incredibly horrible though as it’s on the underside of the poof that belts around her waist. For the brooch I am 100% impressed. It’s SO tiny and SO detailed. They really done a great job.
Same goes with the painting on the accessories. There are 2 Crescent Moon Wands and both of them are spectacular.
There are some issues around the glove toppers. They’re a little messy.
The boots I am completely disappointed with. I originally took these pictures because I was impressed with the moons. I never even considered the white until I had the pictures and was editing them and thinking about what I wanted to say. The red paint is beautiful, but the white details are HORRIBLY painted. Even the gold in the moons are a little messy with red upon inspection of the close ups.
I have found that on display this isn’t as noticeable. There are a lot of Sailor Moon figures with this problem, but I honestly thought that after the beautiful paint on the collar that they would put the same effort into the boots.
I actually learned with this base that there are pieces that pop out of this base to give us more options for display. It took FAR longer than I’m willing to admit lol.
The base is small, and pretty, although I wish they had done something a little more related to the series. Despite that, I think the matching set will look nice when the others are released. Shows with Moon and Mercury show Mercury with her version of the base which is exactly the same only blue. They’ll look beautiful and very rainbow displayed together.
The joints are strong. I haven’t had any issues posing her due to limitations with the arm. The base COULD be a bit wider though. It does create some problems for iconic poses with wider stances.
This figure is the start of a beautiful future for Sailor Moon, and I think she’s a must have for serious collectors who are unsure about adding her. She’s not perfect, and some of the imperfections ARE disappointing, but most definitely aren’t detracting from my display, and I feel like she’s a great start. For $42 retail value, and her International release upcoming on October 1st I highly recommend snatching her up before she sells out. DO your research though! Since the Japanese release she HAS stayed in stock on some less popular sites and it has been possible to find her on sale. International release might just drop her price and make her easier to find.