I quickly learned in the world of figures…that prototype pictures often lie, more often then not the lie makes the figure look better then it actually is. Either the quality of the figure seems a lot better, or there are bases and stand pegs that are omitted in the prototype images. Occasionally I have had situations where the figure actually looked far better in person then the prototype pictures gave them credit for.
So first off BEWARE THE COLOR OF THE BASE! Often times prototype images don’t show the actual bases that come with the figure, but usually this isn’t a problem and the companies choose bases that compliment the figure well. Other times they choose harsh bright colors that make me die a little inside. My first experience with this situation is with the Disgaea: Hour of Darkness trading figures by Toys Works…a bright and solid green? Really? I think the bright green is too distracting and draws attention away from the figure itself. I sympathize that it’s difficult to choose a color that goes best with all the girls but I’m sure they could have done better then what they ended up choosing. After all the work to sculpt and paint these figures they gave it such an unforgivable flaw in my eyes. Even if a company chooses a color I don’t agree with, they usually at least make it a clear color so that when I put the figure on my shelf and it doesn’t show as much because it blends into the color of the shelf a bit, either that or the figure can stand/sit without the base at all.
Secondly BEWARE THE SIZE OF THE BASE!! I just don’t understand why some figure companies use bases that are distinctly larger than the figure that is on top of them. If you ask me it makes even the most lovely figure look awful and unimpressive. It looks more like the figure is on a big platter rather then a base!
My first figure with an absurdly large base was Cocona from Movic. But luckily she can be displayed without the base, her base was so huge it wouldn’t even fit on my shelf. But the WORST case of big base is probably the Haruna by Shueisha because she is SCREWED INTO her base and the fact that it has a nameplate really makes the fact that the base is so huge pop. Also if you’re ever entertaining the idea of getting a figure by Griffon keep in mind all of their figures are on bases with nameplates (see thumbnails if Talho and Saya above). I personally love how a nameplate looks on what I consider to be an exceptionally lovely figure with a base that isn’t too big. But many people hate this feature of Griffon and they don’t show their bases in the prototype images.
Thirdly BEWARE OF SUPPORT STAND PIECES! I fell in love with and bought Kino from Good Smile Company. But when she arrived I realized that she wasn’t portrayed EXACTLY how she really was in the prototype picture! They had purposely left out that extra stand piece!! I felt like I had been lied to and since that day I try to find other pictures (besides the prototype ones) before I order a figure. A good place to find pictures of the actual figure is Hobby Search, although they don’t always have additional pictures for every figure. I was really saddened by that because the smoke from her gun looked far less cool being supported by that piece. I loved her so much I wanted to display her on my best shelf…but in that spot the smoke support stand was right in my face.
Some common sense should be applied when looking at prototype pictures. If it looks the figure REALLY needs another pole to achieve the dynamic pose shown in the prototype images, assume it will be there. The above is an example of where it should be obvious that further support would be needed, she is Nadie by Alter. I knew and expected that stand under her left foot but I dislike that it wasn’t present in the prototype images. The worst is when they don’t show the support pole and when it arrives not only is there a support pole but it’s a ridiculously noticeable color. I was pretty mad at my Tabitha by Kotobukiya and tried to use the stand but it looked so ugly to me that I now risk displaying her without the pole.
Have you ever gotten a figure and been disappointed at how the prototype image lied to you about a few things?