Nendoroid Sakura Kyoko Review

Hello and welcome back to yet another figure review on Tiro Finale! Today, we are going to be taking a look at our very first Nendoroid review of this blog, Nendoroid Sakura Kyoko. Much has been said about Kyoko and her presentation in our earlier Preview & Unboxing segment. So, do check that out first if you are keen to know more about Nendoroid Kyoko's box and her contents. Otherwise, today's feature is exactly as its title states where we take an in-depth look at GSC's Nendoroid Sakura Kyoko. Read on as we get into the review of this Crimson Magical Girl!
  • Manufacturer: Good Smile Company
  • Series: Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Nendoroid, Magical Girl Version
  • Price: 3,333 Yen (before tax)
  • Release Date: 05/2012 (initial release), 05/2013 (re-release)
  • Scale: Non-scale
  • Material: PVC
Front View
Out of the box, we have Kyoko in her Magical Girl form standing in a fairly neutral pose. Her legs are placed close together with her hands outstretched giving a rather casual relaxed appearance. This standard Nendoroid pose does not stay this way for long for many collectors as one big aspect of Nendoroid collection lies in its posability.

Rear View
Towards the back, we see that Kyoko's long red hair that covers up much of her back. The varying layers and hair ends give the impression of a rather rough unkempt look consistent with Kyoko's presentation in the anime and movies. I rather like this part of the figure as the clever use of color toning and the bright red finish really helps it stand out. Red is often a color that is very difficult to photograph but even in these pictures, the brilliance of Kyoko's red hair is not lost.

Right View
Because her hairpiece is so large, GSC actually employed an independent joint for it giving some degree of articulation. More on that further down the review.

Left View
From the sides, the head seam present in all Nendoroid figures is fairly pronounced. This seam exists to allow for the swapping of expression and head parts. A necessary trade off when it comes to Nendoroid and something that most collectors have come to terms with.

Speaking of expressions, Kyoko comes included with three expressions to choose from that are included together with the figure. Changing these expressions require changing the head parts completely which proved to be a challenge the first time around as the joints were still far too tight! Newer Nendoroid releases have improved upon this aspect so, just a word of caution if you are planning to get Kyoko. Back to the topic at hand, the included expressions are;

The default smiling expression.
The confident smirk complete with Pocky sticking out of her mouth.

And a rather frustrated expression.
All three expressions fit Kyoko's character perfectly especially the first two. As with most Nendoroid figures, GSC has done an impeccable job with the detailing of her facial expressions paying plenty of respect to the source material. Decals are applied neatly with painting never running out of their borders. The signature Ume Aoki-styled hand-drawn eyes are also present here.

Shifting around to the back, we move onto Kyoko's hair where a large amount of care and attention has clearly been put into. The black ribbon which ties Kyoko's hair into her messy ponytail is clearly present with several hair ends sprouting freely.

As mentioned earlier, Kyoko's hair actually has a joint of its own allowing limited articulation. Above, we can see her hair in a neutral position.

But with a little pull, Kyoko's hair can be lifted further back away from herself. This may sound trivial at first but, consider the fact that it would work perfectly for action poses and you start to get the picture. 

Besides moving back and forth, Kyoko's hair can also be adjusted to move left and right. Admittedly, this task is a little bit more difficult as the weight of Kyoko's hair does tend to bear down causing the hair to revert to its original, neutral position.

Proceed downwards and we arrive at Kyoko's Magical Girl outfit. Her red outfit resembles a large sleeveless overcoat worn over a short skirt accompanied by thigh high stockings and red boots. It is a look which cleverly blends aggressiveness with its bright red color and sharp lines together with femininity with the frills and ornate patterns. 

While there are some notable paint spillages especially along the borders of the white highlights and buttons, these inconsistencies are easily passed off from a distance. In fact, the very inclusion of such minute details such as the Soul Gem are in and of itself very impressive feats.

Then, there are Kyoko's boots which also receive a health dose of white detailing. Surprisingly, the white stripes her are painted more neatly here compared to the finish on her coat. This leads me to believe that it comes down entirely to manufacturing discrepancies. As such, another copy of Nendoroid Kyoko would exhibit different levels of finishing too.

For the most part though, GSC is known for keeping a fairly high standard of quality control with their figures. If you look closely, you can even notice the buttons molded onto the cuffs of her "sleeves"!

Coloring too does not disappoint. Just like the finish for Kyoko's hair, the red used for her outfit is equally stunning. It is a few shades darker and has a glossier finish which cleverly adds tone and dimension to the material allowing it to emulate cloth. Moreover, these subtle tonal changes complement the overall look of the figure by avoiding any unwanted repetition throughout. The result is a look which is fairly pleasing on the eyes despite being such a bright color.

Moving on, we then take a look at the accessories that Kyoko comes bundled with. Being in her Magical Girl form, the inclusion of her Modular Spear was a given. Immediately, you notice how long the spear is which lends to its unwieldy nature.

As such, the use of special hand and arm parts are necessary to pose with the spear. Kyoko can either wield the spear with one hand (on her right) or with both hands. The included hands snap nicely into the body of the spear providing a good strong grip. It is very similar to that of a Lego hand in fact!

The spear itself appears to be rather simple sporting only three colors (gold, red and silver) and a simple straightforward design. 

But, there is more than meets the eye. Upon closer inspection, the spear tip is actually very well painted with the red portions having a thicker coat of paint giving it an almost jewel-like finish. Moreover, the spear tip is actually very sharp!

Being a modular spear, Kyoko's weapon has a trick up its sleeve with the ability to separate into various segment linked together by chains. This feature can prove to be both exceedingly dangerous and decisive on the battlefield and fits into Kyoko's style of fighting.

In its extended form, Kyoko's spear is comprised of three main parts. Two for the main body and one for the spear tip. Because of clever use of connection points, there is no visible joint lines between any of these three parts. A word of advice though, the spear parts fit very tightly into each other. As such, do be extra careful when taking it apart to avoid breaking the thin connectors.

Besides being extended outwards, the body of the spear can be redirected to form a circular pattern too. Coupled with Kyoko's confident expression, it makes for a very cool pose indeed!

The only downside is the weight of her spear head tends to weight the entire spear down. I am sure with some more fiddling and careful balancing, I would be able to raise the spear head once again. But, I just was not in the mood for such trial and error at that very moment.

Aside from her spear, Kyoko has one additional and final accessory, a taiyaki snack. What is a taiyaki? Well, it is a type of Japanese confectionery where a fish-shaped cake is stuffed with a sweet filling such as read bean, custard, chocolate, sweet potato and more. Considering Kyoko's love for sweets, it is no surprise she came included with a stick of Pocky and a taiyaki

And it is a really well detailed taiyaki at that!

One last additional part is the inclusion of a bent leg. While Kyoko's normal legs can bend and have some degree of articulation, this leg part is bent at the knee. As such, this can be used to simulate Kyoko running or landing from a jump on one leg.

"Here you go Sayaka, I got this fresh for you."

Reaching the end of the review, my opinion for Nendoroid Sakura Kyoko is pretty much the same as with any other Nendoroid I come across or spend an extended period of time with. That is, GSC never fails to produce an extremely high quality deformed scale figure with tonnes of options for posing all while maintaining an affordable price point. With more than 600 Nendoroid(s) released, it is no surprise GSC has garnered such fame and acclaim for the series. If you are a Kyoko fan, you owe it to yourself to get this figure!

With those final words, we come to a close for our review of Nendoroid Sakura Kyoko. It certainly has been an interesting ride for me. Now that I have an established a format for Nendoroid reviews, I am looking forward to completing more in the future. If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to hit me up in the comments section below. I would love to hear what you think. Until next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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