When I pulled into the driveway today, I noticed a box sitting on my front porch. Upon closer examination, the box was from HLJ, meaning my new Saber figure was finally here! As a newcomer to the figure arena, Gift has a lot of stiff competition from companies like GSC, Max Factory, and Kotobukiya. Fortunately, it appears that they are up to the challenge, delivering one of the most detailed Saber figures to date.
This has only been my second order from HLJ, with the majority of my online orders being filled by Play Asia. The packaging was designed to make her trip from Japan a comfortable one.
Saber sits comfortably in her box
It actually took quite a bit of effort to get the product package out of the box. It turns out the box was shrink wrapped to a piece of cardboard prior to going in. This made for a tight fit and ensured the inner packaging didn’t rattle around during transport.
The cat inspects the packaging solution
I took a break for dinner, but it seems that Figma Saber decided not to wait for me to open the box up…
The strangest thing struck me about the inside packaging. The twist tie holding Saber to the plastic shell actually went all the way through both pieces. I actually had to remove it before the clamshell would open. I’ve never seen that before in any of the figures I own! The other thing that struck me as interesting was the display base. It’s actually a mirrored surface, which allows for light to reflect up and give the semitransparent dress some illumination. Another nice touch from Gift. I’ve never felt inclined to polish a display base, so this is another first.
I can read DannyChoo.com through it!
Saber out of the box. Aint she purty?
The two Sabers side by side
Enough random pictures for now, time to talk about the figure itself. Gift took a couple of artistic licenses when designing the figure. For the most part, the results came out really well. The detail on the armor is stunning, as is the flowing dress underneath. She even got an enlarged gauntlet on her left arm (presumably for defense purposes). The engraving on the sword is a bit strange though, looking more like a series of scribbles instead of actual writing. I was always under the impression that Excalibur said something there, but perhaps I was mistaken.
Now I get to perhaps the most controversial part of this figure: the heads. Gift decided to do two different heads for Saber, an “Anime style” an a “realistic style.” Most fans can’t really decide which figure to leave on the figure, as the decision comes down to which one they disliked less. I’m afraid I’m in this predicament as well, though there are features I like of each. I find myself preferring the hair of the realistic head and the face of the Anime head. Of the two, however, I think I’m more inclined to keep the realistic head.
| Realistic style
|| Anime style
I have, however, come up with a perfect solution. Don’t use the included heads at all. I present Shrunken Head Saber!
Figma head, 1/8 scale body!
Somehow, that doesn’t look quite right. I guess I’ll stick with the realistic head after all… But enough text, time to close out with some more photos.
Saber surveys the snowy landscape
What are you looking at?
Sword close up