A special in-depth report from freelance correspondent, Mark Volk, Jr.

Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2007 5:57 PM

Maria Tachibana figure
I'm sitting here at my computer staring at a naked Tskuda Hobby Maria Tachibana figure, courtesy of HobbyLink Japan. No, she didn't come naked (and for $80 she'd better not!) but I had to check out the figure. Let me say this to begin with- she ain't 12". The HLJ website says she is, but don't you believe it. If a Dragon Adam's supposed to be 6' tall, ol' Maria's easily over 7' tall. She's more like a 14" figure.

Now, my scanner's an old legacy device, and it decided to stop working with Win '98, so I can't really show you what she looks like- but I can describe it. Starting from the ground up.

Feet/ankle: are a ball/hinge joint. Allows 360 degrees of rotation, and around a 180 degree bend- they go a little farther forward than they can bend back. Very similar to the vintage Joe style hand.
Knees: easy to describe- they're double-jointed, just like a Dragon fig's.
Hips: Ball joints, but they're recessed. Because of this, they can't rotate as well as you'd expect, and they have a limited bend range, as well. She can still do the splits, though.
Legs: are very long for her body, but that's fairly typical of an anime character.
Waist/torso: Let me say this to begin with- her torso is freaking wierd. It's like NOTHING I've ever seen before. The best way to describe it is a HOF or Barbie leg- but that's even not really accurate. Basically, the waist joint (and the hard plastic torso piece) are covered by a thin layer of rubber- completely concealing this joint. It doesn't have a huge range of motion, and you can't twist it too much without stretching the "skin", but it looks sexy as heck. :) Thanks to the fact that her breasts are hollow rubber shells, they perform similarly to the real thing- a push-up bra on her would work nicely. They have nipples, and her groin is, well.. let's just say that there's detail there. :) Those wacky Japanese.
Shoulders: pretty standard ball joints. They go up, they go down, they go forward and back. Nothing special here- range of motion is just fine.
Elbows: A weak point. These are very obvious joints, and they tend to come apart (though they easily push back together). They consist of a simple hinge with two ball joints on the end of it- one in the upper arm and one in the lower. Range of motion is excellent, however.
Wrists: ball joints, though they are restricted somewhat in bending by the lower arm.
Neck: Barbie-style headpost. Head is too large to even attempt to fit onto a smaller body. Features are typical anime (she's an anime character, so that fits) and the hair is rooted.

All in all, she's pretty neat- and has some neat ideas in her construction. It's nice to actually see another female figure with as much articulation as a Jane. If she were somewhat smaller, she'd be even better, 'cause right now she just towers over everything.

Mark Volk Jr.
Member of A.C.T.I.V. (Allied Collectors and Traders Indigenous to Virginia)