Of late, I have had something of an issue controlling myself when it comes to purchasing Japanese figurines. It started at the beginning of the year, when I realized that having a job meant having much more disposable income to spend on stupid shit. I intend to go more into detail on this kind of problem in a later article, but today I want to talk about a related sub-issue: poseable figures.

In theory, these dynamic toys should be superior to their more statuesque scale counterparts. They tend to be slightly lower quality though, which is made up for by their relative cheapness and poseability. (I’ve decided that’s a word now. Don’t question it.) The problem arises when you actually start trying to pose the damn things. The joints never move they way you want or expect them to and swapping out interchangeable parts is never as easy as it appears to be. The line of poseable figures that I’ve had the most experience with are Figmas (or is it Figma?), from Max Factory. Let’s take a look at a couple that I received recently: Homura and Mami from Madoka Magica. Oh, and I’m going to spoil part of the show for a stupid joke. Fair warning.

Before we take a look at the figures, I’d like to address the boxes. They are beautiful. In addition to their lovely aesthetic design, they have helpful images of the figures with example poses for you to try and recreate. 90% of the time this is a trap though, and the poses will be extremely aggravating to set up. Case in point…

It’s kind of unnerving to disassemble them like this, I have to say.

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Right out of the gate I started having trouble with Homura. I obviously wanted to equip her timepiece, er, shield thing right away, since its pretty central to her character design. I did not think this would be the hard part, but I was proven wrong as I tried to detach her default arm in order to replace it. I was able to detach her forearm with some difficulty, but it came off at the wrong end of the joint. I absolutely could not remove this joint the way I needed to. I suspect the only way would be to use pliers and risk damage to the figure. Instead I elected to forgo the timepiece and move on.

Next, I wanted her to hold her gun. Mercifully that was easy enough to do, I just had to swap out one of her hands for the one in the proper position. She seemed a little lopsided using only one of her hands though, so I thought I’d have her hold her stun grenade in her other hand. Problem is, the only hand pieces that are capable of holding either of these weapons are right hands. I guess that’s reasonable considering she comes with four different weapons that all require different hand pieces to use, but I was disappointed nonetheless. On top of everything, I couldn’t get her to hold the gun at eye level. Oh well, at least I can have her threatening Charlotte.

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Mami was up next. As if destined to perfectly illustrate the opposite end of the frustration spectrum, she was incredibly easy to pose. All the pieces did what they needed to do, and I got her into a cute, dynamic position. Not before reenacting part of the show of course…

Yeah I apologize for this one. I still find it very funny, but I am sorry.

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Figmas really are great figures, but man they can be obnoxious to work with. In the end that makes them more enjoyable to display though, since you have to put in so much effort to set them up. Now all that’s left to do is to wait for the rest of the Madoka crew to come in. Here’s hoping they all play as nice as Mami.