Figure Review: Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Drawing from that ever-fertile reservoir of scantily-clad, busty women, today I review a figure from American comics. Kotobukiya has been collaborating with Shunya Yamashita and Marvel Comics on their Marvel Bishoujo figure line. Last month their combined talents created Ms. Marvel, a character normally associated with The Avengers.

Your brief character history: Ms. Marvel started out like a female Superman, but lost her powers to Rogue. Eventually she regained her powers, along with the ability to fire off energy blasts. Otherwise she is notable for having a totally sweet outfit.

When I say “outfit” I mean sash. The rest kind of looks like S&M wear but the sash makes the outfit. Just look at the way it accentuates her hips, with the trailing part adding a bit of grace to her movements. Crime fighters don’t usually accessorize, but Ms. Marvel definitely made a smart choice.

Kotobukiya’s production of the figure is mostly good. Unlike the Emma Frost figure I reviewed a while back, Ms. Marvel is quite huge. Although the figure is 10.5″ tall, Ms. Marvel is only around 1/8 scale (still a larger scale than Emma Frost). She looks bigger than her scale would suggest for several reasons: her pose is more stretched out, her proportions are broad, and she represents a taller woman to begin with. So the figure looks comparable to a 1/6 scale one, but it’s actually a bit of an illusion.

The paint job is remarkably clean considering how their latest Rei turned out. I like the combination of gloss and satin finishes on her main outfit, while the translucent hair has been painted for some depth and shading. The concrete look on the base is pretty convincing too.

I only have one real concern about this figure – I say “concern” because it hasn’t shown to be a problem yet. As you can see, Ms. Marvel is posed in a leaping position, supported by one leg. In actuality it’s just the tip of her foot holding the figure to the base. That’s a fair amount of weight to put on such a small joint, especially as the center of gravity is so far forward. The ankle area doesn’t seem to be especially reinforced, so I’m afraid she’ll either droop down over time, or straight up break.

Aside from the one concern, I’m very satisfied with the figure. It’s still priced at $50 if you buy in the US (putting it in line with previous Marvel Bishoujo releases) but you get a lot more figure for the money. The finish is fair: great in most spots but with a few problem areas. I’ll be nitpicking those in the captions below. These things don’t really bother me, but if you’re a prospective consumer, you should be aware.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
For the first three shots I had the idea of throwing an all-white background on my monitor, and capturing the light as it passed through the translucent pieces. I used a circular polarizer to block out the direct illumination from the screen, though you can see it doesn't work perfectly. You can combine circular polarizers and LCDs for some interesting effects, as the light coming from an LCD is already strongly polarized. Just be aware that it will make dust on the screen conspicuous. I did some extensive spot healing in Photoshop to get rid of it.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
The rest of these shots used a cross-lit setup. I set up a softbox to the left, and a flash to the right to illuminate the fire pieces. The first few shots had too much light spilling onto the backdrop, so I fitted the second flash with a snoot to get a more focused beam.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
Here you can see a little weirdness with her mouth. Her lower lip is basically a blob, as if Kotobukiya gave up sculpting when they hit that point.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
There are casting imperfections on the hair, such as grains and mould lines. It looks worse up close than it does in person, but most figures are that way.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
Of course, we have to look at her butt. Unlike most of the Shunya Yamashita-designed figures I have, this one gets the butt exactly right. I like her thicker proportions in general. Unfortunately, there's a mould line on part of it.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

 

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
The base is as dynamic as the pose, but it's not quite wide enough, meaning...
Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
... your figure could end up doing a lot of this (tipping over). Coupled with my ankle joint concern, and you'll see why I'm especially careful when handling this figure.
Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
You can snap off the flame effect pieces by separating their top and bottom halves. The pieces are flexible, and form a clamshell-type mould around her fists.

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya

Marvel Bishoujo Ms. Marvel by Kotobukiya
These figures were the same price, but you get a big scale upgrade with Ms. Marvel.