In February I reviewed the Lucky Star Beach Queens figures and found them to be a good buy. When I saw that Wave was also doing Toradora figures in the Beach Queens series, I promptly placed my pre-orders and I now have all three girls from the popular romance comedy series.
First up is the star of the series herself, miss Taiga a.k.a. the Palmtop Tiger ;). Wearing a modest sunflower themed suit and sporting an inflatable water float, Taiga is ready for the pool. Though I don’t think she padded her suit this time as you can clearly see ^^;
Taiga comes with this tsun tsun face which I like a lot. That agitated frown combined with her disapproving pose fits perfectly with her character I must say ^^;
But if you really want a more happy Taiga, the special edition of the figure also comes with this smiling face which you can replace. I don’t like it nearly as much as the tsun tsun face though. Also, there is the optional long hair which I do like ^^b
Long wavy Tiger- er, I mean Taiga hair.
Another optional hair style. These figures feature swappable parts to change the appearance but also have neck joints which allow you to adjust each figure’s head orientation. It’s a minor addition but it’s nice to be able to have your figure look in the direction you want not just the direction the sculptor thought was best. It doesn’t seem to reduce quality and the joint seam is only noticeable if you really look for it so I wonder why more figure companies don’t try this o_O.
Still, my favorite hair style is definitely the dango/nezumi style. It just looks so cute on petite Taiga-chan. You can also remove the water float and give her the full disapproving, hands-on-hips look ^^;
Uh-oh, she caught us eying her. Back to tsun tsun mode ^^; Run away!
Next up is Kawashima Ami. She’s a model in the series and her figure version fulfills the role well, I suppose ^^; Ami is wearing a rather small white bikini with purple ribbon accessories. Quite a daring outfit but hey, that’s how Ami is.
Ami’s pose seems to reflect her self-centered attitude as she reaches back to adjust her hair. I have to admit I didn’t Ami much at first but she ended up being (mostly) good in the end. She certainly doesn’t come close to Taiga but she’s OK with me ^^;
Ami has the fewest optional accessories as she only comes with this replacement ponytail. There was a special version of her which I believe included another face but was also more expensive since it wasn’t released to retail shops and thus I skipped it. But I like the ponytail so it’s alright with me.
Our last girl is Kushieda Minori. Minori is a member of the softball team and has goals to go professional so her pose has a excited, energetic feel to it just like her personality. She wears a red and white stripped tank top (tankini?) and shorts.
The painting on Minori’s top is a bit sloppy as the red lines seem to smear into the white a bit. Of course, these are small figures at just 1/10 scale and I’m using a macro lens for close up shots. From normal viewing distances, these flaws are far less noticeable. Basically, for a budget figure like this, the quality is about what you would expect ^^;
Minori sports a replacement short ponytail and her shorts are also removable as she wears a white bikini bottom underneath. Cute ^^.
All three girls together. They look good together, don’t you agree? :)
While the quality of these figures certainly can’t compete with that of Alter, GSC, or Max Factory, keep in mind these figures are priced significantly lower than most PVC figures at about just 3,200 yen each. So if you’re looking for the highest quality paint-job with the least noticeable seams, you might want to look elsewhere ^^; But if you’re looking for a good value and some cute figures, the Beach Queens figures are definitely worth a look.
Oops, looks like Taiga is not happy with us staring at them so much. I better wrap up this review ^^;;
Wave continues to please with their Beach Queens series. I mean, who really doesn’t like to see cute girls in swimsuits? Sure, they may not be the highest quality figure in your collection, but at 1/2 to 1/3 the price of a normal PVC figure, they’re certainly more affordable. Of the three Toradora girls, I feel that Taiga was the best buy even though I got the more pricey Dengeki special version. She has the most appealing facial expression and pose to me but I’m glad I did get the whole set as they do look great displayed together. If you’re a Toradora fan, I would recommend these figures. Unfortunately, they are sold out at the major shops but could always pop up again in the future ^^.
P.S. When are the Toradora light novels coming to the US? I want them!