MEDICOM'S FUJIKO MINE DX

Last modified: Saturday, September 28, 2002 9:25 PM

It should be obvious from the picture why I felt compelled to spend big bucks at hlj.com on this doll... ya gotta luv dem humongous anime eyeballs! Actually, I'm not a big fan of that, 'specially on dolls-- but I don't hate it either and think that Takara's Cool Girl Cutey Honey would have been better done up in anime style. (Heck, they could have stuck that orange-haired figure in a different outfit and sold her and Ebony as a hooker tag team.) I've seen "The Castle of Cagliostro" which stars the Lupin characters, but I don't count myself as a die-hard fan... In fact, I don't even remember if Fujiko Mine was in it. Who cares? It's the face, man. It was the combination of the cute anime face, the ultra zaftig bod and the hyper cleavaged skintight black patent plastic outfit that got me to spend the bucks. I really don't care much about the other two outfits and accessories (they're still in the box).

Okay, I know you're just waiting for me to say something about her hooters, but do I need to say anything? It's hard to overlook the cc's, but her voluptuous bod comes from more than just that, as you can see from these pics. Hey, I said to ignore the boobs! Awwwww... fergit it! I'll spare you my discussion of the comparative aesthetics since the pics give you a pretty good idea, and you're old enough to form your own opinions. ;) (BTW, the one on the right is BBI's Joanna Dark body, with the smaller huge boobs.)

The figure uses a lot of dense PVC-ish plastic in its limbs, which has the undesirable quality (IMO) of being flexible in areas where flex is not needed and is actually a liability. The torso, abdomen and hip sections appear to be made of hard plastic, as one would expect by the screw-assembly. The exception to this is the frontal "squishy boob" part. This isn't like Joanna Dark's rubber eraser boob plate, since the part is made of a far less flexible PVC, similar to the "Perfect Body" boobplate. It's a better match though, in coloration and fit, due to the screw assembly. In fact, I didn't realize that it was made of a different material until she took off all clothes and stretched out naked on the floor. (Errrr... actually, the torso squeaks when you move it.)

The articulation is pretty much what you'd expect, range-wise. Some of the hinges have the ratcheting affliction (click stops), but they're slightly muted because of the soft material. The neck's elevation is pretty limited and the molded hair almost limits the head's rotation. The poorest performance comes from the ankles-- even with metal rivets, the soft material doesn't hold a position well, so the figure is prone the the usual weak ankle dysfunction: Falldownitis. Boo, hiss.

In the packaging and in most pics, she's wearing the black suit. For the curious: The molded vinyl boots and gloves are slipped on over handless and feetless limbs. The hands and feet are supplied, with pegs that slip into the holes in the ends of the limbs. It's a kinda dicey operation, since it's a tight fit and the pegs are awfully flimsy. Heating the limbs a little bit might make this easier, but once they cool, twisting the hands seems a little risky.

For obvious reasons, this figure doesn't have universal appeal. Even among those who like femfigs, there have been some complaints about BBI's "Perfect Body" figure being equipped with the baffling choice of huge or humongous boobs. Well... who woulda thunk we'd see one that made those look like lil' dumplins? Medicom advertises this figure as being supplied with their "Sin Body" style-- in that, I believe that it lives up to its name, taking the distinction of "Most Voluptuous" away from Takara's Cool Girl figure. But the external stuff alone does not make for a great doll: There are a few things I'd do differently, mainly with regard to materials and the construction of the elbow hinges. Still, it's a shame that it isn't more available and affordable: Since it's a comic character and doesn't have nipples or genitals, it would be perfect for donations to the "Blue Santa" program!

--09/26/02

CUSTOMIZING POTENTIAL: (09/28/02) Despite the screw assembly, disassembly isn't recommended just to satisfy casual curiosity. I wanted to see if there was a problem with the neck's elevation joint since it had such a modest range. I discovered that taking the screws out isn't quite enough to separate the upper torso sections: Apparently, the soft front plate is glued to the hard plastic back plate along the edges. There's a hard plastic front plate under the soft one, and that's what the screws are engaging, but unless you slit the sides, you're only halfway there. I decided that I wasn't curious enough to proceed since there don't seem to be any great mysteries lurking inside.

I was able to remove the head though. It's held by a dumbell which friction fits into the neck. A little heat will soften the plastic enough to remove the dumbell-- because the neck heats easier, that end of the dumbell comes out first. Subjecting the head to heat softens that plastic enough for you to extract the other end. A Takara/BBI CG/Cy head will fit easily onto the dumbell since they have larger post holes-- some heads may be unacceptably loose though, and there's an obvious neck size mismatch. Although the skin tone match of the lightest CG figures is pretty good, it's a subtle shade yellower than the Medicom's alabaster white complexion. Personally, I didn't see that headswap as an improvement-- the Fujiko Mine anime head is distinctive and attractive with a quizzical grin, while the CGs are beginning to look increasingly Stepford Wife-ish to me... (ack! Heresy!) Artistically, the exaggerated body style really does sync well with an exaggerated, big-eyed anime head.

Beyond that and overall, this figure isn't a very good prospect for radical customization. The difficulties come from the type of plastic used: It's too soft, dense, and waxy. Fixing that would probably require a full-body overhaul. That defeats the purpose of having a "nearly there" figure, since I can do that to a "not even close" figure, with less work and without desecrating an expensive figure. From the little bit that I know about Medicom figures, they seem to be among the least amenable to customizing. Part of the reason is because their figures generally adhere to a WYSIWYG philosophy ("What You See Is What You Get")-- and that's as much potential as they're willing to design into their figures. They don't seem to care that the customer might want to put a real head under the Rocketeer helmet (for example), or repaint a Fujiko Mine figure. So that points to a sadly static role for old Fujiko-- she looks good as delivered and she makes a very nice addition to a collection. But it's a very frustrating realization for someone who likes to personalize figures through customization!