Chibi Kyun Chara Tomoe Mami Review

Hello everyone and welcome back to another figure review on Tiro Finale! As promised in our Preview & Unboxing earlier in this week, we would be taking a closer look at Banpresto's Chibi Kyun Chara Tomoe Mami. Standing just 65 mm tall, this is likely one of the smallest Mami figures we have ever reviewed on Tiro Finale. As such, taking close-up photos would prove to be a little bit of a challenge. Before we get to that though, let us go through some basic information about this petite figurine.
  • Manufacturer: Banpresto
  • Series: Chibi Kyun-Chara, Ichiban Kuji Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
  • Price: 600 Yen (Kuji Ticket Price, C Prize)
  • Release Date: 10/2012
  • Scale: Non-scale (~65 mm)
  • Material: PVC
Front View
From the front, we have Mami dressed in her signature Magical Girl outfit armed with a single musket. Despite being in a Witch's Dimension, Mami still appears to be relatively calm and composed having both arms at ready on her musket with her left foot on her toes ready to spring into action at any given moment. Charlotte, the Candy Witch, is not featured in this frame as she will get her on individual coverage later along the review.

Rear View
Towards the back, we can see that all the finer details of Mami's outfit has been faithfully reproduced from the large white ribbon and yellow and white highlights throughout the corset-like part of her outfit. Complementing the whole look is Mami's signature twin tails and cap which help complete this magical gunner's look.

Right View
While the front and rear views do not illustrate the sense of scale well, it is the side views which truly highlight just how diminutive the figure is. Often with many normal sized Kyun Chara figures, they are often able to stand on their own without the aid of a stand. But with Chibi Kyun Chara figures, the weight of the head far outweighs what the considerably lighter body is able to hold up. 

Left View
Much of this comes down to the surface area of contact between the figure's feet and the base. Even with the inclusion of a peg in the base, a stand is still necessary for keeping the figure upright. Despite all of that, the Chibi Kyun Chara series does feel and look significantly different compared to a normal Kyun Chara figurine.

Rather than just being a cut down and pared back version of the mainstream Kyun Chara series, the Chibi Kyun Chara version of Mami does seem to hold its own ground fairly well. That feeling of similarity cannot be shaken yet, the figure in its minuscule scale still feels unique and of its own. Similar to how the Nendoroid Petit Series are when compared to the Nendoroids, very much the same yet distinctively different. So, now we know that the Chibi Mami holds up very well at passing glances. But, how well does she hold up under closer scrutiny? Let us find out.

Starting with her facial details and expressions, this area remains to be an absolute stand out and it easily the strongest point of the entire figure. Mami's expression has been replicated with an almost spot-on accuracy highlighting her yellow eyes and gentle smile. The look of calm composition, steady and ready for the unknown just as Mami has trained for all alone making her a veteran in the Magical Girl field. 

The decals for Mami's Ume Aoki-styled hand-drawn eyes are of a matte finish and applied well. Banpresto has opted to go for a brighter yellow in Mami's eyes which really pop and play well with her blonde hair. Speaking of hair, this is another aspect which Banpresto has nailed with this petite Mami figure. While a lighter more muted yellow is often preferred on scale/prize figures of Mami, going with a brighter yellow was the right choice for a considerably smaller deformed scale figure. 

The brighter colors do not only pull you in and command your attention, it also makes it markedly more noticeable when viewed from afar. Not to mention, the detailing and sculpting on Mami's hair is also outstanding especially in regards to her twin-tails. Back in 2012, standard conventions have yet to be established on Mami's twin tails. Here, we have Banpresto going with the now standard two-and-a-half curls finishing with a longer, more playful twist towards the end. 

Accessories include Mami's floral-shaped Soul Gem, her beret-styled hat and an adjacent floral-shaped hairpiece used to secure her other twin tail. Mami's Soul Gem is very large, by comparison to the rest of the figure, and really stands out. Banpresto has opted for a matte and glossy finish which does look fairly presentable. It would have been nice to see a clear orange plastic in place of the gem but, chances of that occurring would have been very unlikely. 

Mami's beret too is equally large with the fluffy white portion incorporating well with all the busy accessories on her head. On the opposite side, sits a lone floral-hairpiece located just above Mami's twin tail. The design is faithful to the original so, you would not be finding any complaints here. When scaled up to a prize/scale figure, these accessories become much less prominent which is another reason why I often enjoy deformed-scale Mami figures.
Aside from her twin tails, another detail of Mami's hair often overlooked is her fringe which are parted towards the right with long sides on both ends which perfectly frame her face. The carefully deliberated look designed by Ume Aoki-sensei is what gives Mami her ojou (princess/lady-like) look and is essential to capture Mami's aura. Fortunately, Banpresto has delivered on all ends here.

Moving on, we now shift our attention towards Mami's Magical Girl outfit. With many finer details and highlights, expecting a perfect presentation on a figure of this scale would have been extremely unrealistic. Nevertheless, Banpresto has done a fairly good job in replicating Mami's intricate Magical Girl outfit to the best of their abilities. Even when viewed from up-close, we can see that all the essential details are present from her yellow ribbon and the slight gap in her sleeves to the pinstripes on her stockings and boots. 

One crucial part of the rear of Mami's outfit is the large white ribbon which drops a hint at Mami's true power, the ability to manipulate ribbons. As such, Mami has various ribbons and stripes running throughout her outfit. Fortunately, the ribbon has been lovingly retained and sporting an appropriate size. But, this is where we can start to spot the flaws in the painting. Note the yellow and white pin-striping on her top are inconsistent while, the black trim at the edge of her skirt frequently runs out of its border.

These inconsistencies are present towards the front as well with the black trim following a similarly uneven pattern throughout the edge of Mami's skirt. The musket may obscure a good portion of it but, the yellow and white highlights on the front side of Mami's outfit is equally inconsistent. 

Despite all of that, Mami's outfit is not without its saving grace. For starters, the outfit is very well sculpted and detailed. While painting may be sub-par, Banpresto has been careful to recreate all the little details in Mami's outfit down to the belt and buckles at the front of her corset. Take a closer look and you will notice the brown and silver bits which make up these finer detailing. Sculpting has also been given much consideration with Mami still retaining her prominent bust despite being such a small figure. Moreover, the folds and creases in Mami's "floating" skirt are also a nice touch. 

By far, the most impressive portion of Mami's outfit is her musket. This silver rifle is not only well painted but, it is also incredibly detailed. The silver metallic base is shiny and smooth and the intricate details surrounding the stock and barrel of the musket have all been reproduced in impeccable fashion. Then, there are the orange jeweled portion of the flint and pan which produce the spark required to fire the firearm. The fact that such tiny portions of the musket has been detailed and painted is simply beyond me.

Mami's boots and stockings are a similar affair to the rest of her outfit. Well detailed and sculpted, only to be let down by painting deficiencies. We can observe that in the white pinstripes on her stockings and the bleeding white paint from the upper edge of her boots. 

Mami is standing upright thanks to two modes of stabilization. The first, involves a peg which mounts her flimsily into the base via a slot in her right foot. Having securely mounted that, it makes the second portion of holding Mami up a little easier.

Then, we come to the second and the most important part of standing Mami upright, the stand. The stand holds up against Mami's head with the two ends of it being specifically molded to fit a certain portion of Mami's twin tail. Finding the initial fit can be very difficult and frustrating but, once you get it, the entire figure is held up strongly and securely. We would strongly recommend you use the above picture as a guide to getting the fitment right. 

The base itself is very simple. A clear round base with Mami's name written on it. Nothing special but, it does the trick and allows for one to view the design of the diorama's base beneath it.

All throughout the review, I have been focusing solely on Mami. Have you realized one other character missing perhaps?

That would be Charlotte who is included together with this Chibi Mami figure. Just like in the anime, the Candy Witch is seated in a tall stool looking more akin to a plush toy rather than a scary witch.

The stool may hold up very well in pictures but, in actuality, it is incredibly flimsy and unstable. Any slight provocation is enough to cause the stool to topple over and the legs of the chair itself are incredibly malleable. As such, I practice caution and excluded Charlotte from the initial portion of the photo shoot. 

The Candy Witch herself, Charlotte, is actually very well detailed and painted especially when compared to the likes of Mami's outfit. Even under closer scrutiny, we can see that every color is painted within its border and extremely fine details such as the buttons and polka dots have all been faithfully reproduced. Casual observers may not be able to spot the differences between Charlotte and Bebe. But, there are indeed an abundant amount of changes which helps immediately identify this sneaky character as Charlotte. 

Together, they make up Mami and Charlotte stuck together in the Candy Witch's Dimension. The whole figure package came as part of 2012's Ichiban Kuji Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Released later in 2012, this was one of the earliest Ichiban Kuji lotteries for the Madoka Magica series. With Mami as the C Prize, there were all members of the Magica Quartet (including Goddess Madoka) in Chibi Kyun Chara form. Each and everyone, with the exception of Goddess Madoka, had interlocking dioramas which encouraged collectors to collect them all (Prize B to F).

Other prizes in the lottery included Soul Gems, Tarot Cards and Rubber Straps. Additional details about the exact prizes can be found on the Kuji's official web-page. Unfortunately, five year on since its release, these lottery prizes have become almost unheard of in today's re-sellers market. 

Especially for the Chibi Kyun Chara figures which have become incredibly rare regardless of the character in question. Finding used ones are tough enough while, finding new and unused ones are increasingly becoming a fool's errand. 

Still, if you do find one of these Chibi Kyun Chara figures from the Madoka Magica series, I would strongly recommend you add these little gems to your collection. This is true not just for Mami but, any other member of the Magica Quartet as well. Especially if she happens to be your favorite Magical Girl from the series. Because slowly but surely, these figures will eventually disappear from the market.

Like many Madoka Magica figures from the 20111-2012 time period, they often act like a time machine of sorts. Bringing you back to a time when the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series had just started and everyone was uncertain of the future direction of the series. This was long before the legend that Madoka Magica has since cemented itself to be and figures like these offer a small snapshot at just how merchandising was targeted back then. Like listening to a famous band before they made it big, this is one for the collectors. 

With that, we come to an end for this week's figure review. This week has certainly been full or surprises with this particular figure pulling the biggest one of them all. We certainly enjoyed bringing you that in-depth review of Banpresto's Chibi Kyun Chara Tomoe Mami and we would love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave all your impressions and questions in the comments section below. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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