To begin, I have to give a shout out and great thanks to Figmation for providing us Natsu and Gajeel figures for this review.
I have been collecting figures for quite sometime now, ranging from novelty gatchapon to high end limited run PVC and garage kits. It is my first time hearing about the company 「Tsume」 which operate out of Luxembourg, Europe. They specialize in high quality figures for the domestic European market, which might be why some of you including myself may of never heard of them before. Their focus seems to be on Shonen titles such as Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, etc. The figures we are reviewing are from the hugely successful Fairy Tail, a shonen manga penned by Mashima Hiro, author of popular 「Rave Master」and more. Fairy Tail is a great title with elements of One Piece, Naruto, Rave Master, and other titles mashed into one for an exciting adventure story of fantasy and magic.
Natsu Igneel is the main male protagonist in the story. He was adopted and raised by the mythical fire dragon, Igneel, thus gaining the ability of fire type magic. Tsume have done an outstanding job with Natsu, portrayed in his everyday outfit with his fists pumped including a fiery fist add-on for more heat. The figure itself is quite hefty, well constructed, well proportioned, and painted evenly to retain the moulded textures such as abs and the muffler.
The colours are very faithful to the original art but may feel flat to many. The face is painted very cleanly and sculpted very closely to Mashima’s style. Not sure if the eyes are painted or decal but it’s sealed with a gloss finish which gives the face a dynamic and realistic approach.
For Natsu, there are little qualms to talk about, many are related to mass production painting errors, visible mould lines in semi-visible areas, and the fist hole for the fiery insert is alittle small.
But nevertheless, it is an outstanding product and gains my approval.
Gajeel Redfox is a supporting male character in the story. He like Natsu, was adopted and raised by a mythical dragon, the dragon of metal, Metalicana. The quality of Gajeel is no different from Natsu: heavy, well constructed, and well painted. The painting again is smooth and thin enough to retain the moulded textures, especially the metal areas which really helps the model stand out.
I believe the key to Gajeel’s appeal is how simple the pose is combined with the complexity of the character. Tsume has paid good attention to detail, Gajeel’s head and expression are perfectly sculpted and includes the metal studs across his face.
Again, the same with Natsu, there are mass production errors such as painting blemishes and semi-visible mould lines but nothing too major to write them off for.
For a figure company that I have never heard of, Tsume and their figures have definitely impressed me for a non-Japanese company. Aside from mass production errors, these 2 figures respectively are limited to 3000 each.
For a limited edition product, it would have been nice to see a better base and some sort of exclusive recognition for purchasing the figure. The base is quite plain with the Fairy Tail guild emblem on top and a silver painted box on the lip for the names. The font for the names were quite hard to read and were blemished again by production errors.
I would of liked to see more attention to the exclusivity of the product such as a real metal plate with the names and limited production number stamped and riveted onto a finer base rather than a plain plastic one. Then again, production costs might have been a factor so I cant speculate much into it.
With that all said and done, they truly have made a fine figure. I hope Tsume will take in what is said here today and use that to grow and improve on their already fantastic product. And to Figmation for providing us the opportunity to help each other and grow the community.
——About the Author——
Tasche is a student and baker/pastry cook from Vancouver. When not studying for exams or in the kitchen, he can be found around town writing reviews for establishments on yelp or at home enjoying one of his many hobbies.