Monday, September 28, 2015

Corner Bites Issue 2-B: The Japanese Articulated War -MAFEX Edition-

Continuing the discussion on the 4 major 6-inch lines from Japanese figure companies, I now head on to my second discussion which is all about the rather "fresh" MAFEX line from Medicom Toy!

Medicom has always been known for their 12 inch (1/6 scaled) RAH line for as far as I can remember, though sometime back in 2013, they seemed to have expanded their target market by introducing a new 6 inch line in the name of MAFEX. The line started off with Spider-Man (TASM version) and Batman (TDKR) and they were technically released on the same month too. And while their first two releases weren't highly commendable for me (Batman being a good figure but has a lot of problems and then Spiderman seemingly having weird proportions for my tastes), the line technically is pretty much okay but also slow in releases as #3 and #4 literally came more than a year after the release of Spidey and Bats; as of this writing, we have only less than 10 figures that's been released into the market with MAFEX #6 Darth Vader being delayed for almost a year now and #10 Storm Trooper delayed for around half a year already.

Official photos from Medicom's website.

MAFEX's articulation and frame can be easily be at par with that of S.H.Figuarts, meaning they have a great frame for articulation and that is actually one of the charms of the TASM1 Spidey for me as he was truly capable of doing Spider-man poses in many many ways. While I did say #2 Batman had a lot of problems, Medicom did a renewal on him 2 years after and there certainly were a lot of satisfying improvements to the first Batman and when they released TASM2 Spidey, the proportions were actually a lot better to look at and I took it as a good sign that future MAFEX releases will get even better.

One of MAFEX's strengths for me is that they're clearly trying to make realistic faces and while it clearly failed on their first try, which is Peter Parker(Andrew Garfield)'s head for #4 TASM2 Spider-Man DX set.
Official photo from Medicom's website.

They've clearly improved in my book as this year's The Dark Knight Trilogy releases have been quite satisfying for me in terms of capturing the actor's/actress's likeness. I do admit they're not perfect but they certainly do look good enough for me especially when compared to how other companies have been doing in capturing human faces in their final products. 

 Photo from MAFEX Joker's review.

MAFEX is technically the most promising line for me when it comes to capturing real-life faces and this has actually got me excited when I found out that they were doing Age of Ultron which starts with Iron Man Mk 43 next year; I really am crossing my fingers that they would make that much needed MCU Hawkeye and Black Widow which Japanese companies seems to be ignoring. :/

 Official photo from Medicom's website.

While I originally thought that MAFEX was only a line for Western movie characters, I was completely wrong when they announced Meliodas to be part of the MAFEX line a few months ago; from prototypes alone, it totally looks good for an anime character rendition, quite easily looking like a mini RAH IMO and can definitely be a possible rival to figma in the future but we'll see.

 Official photo from Medicom's website.

One last thing worth noting on MAFEX is that they actually have 1 vehicle released to date which is Batman's Batpod as seen in the The Dark Knight Trilogy. I don't have one myself but from the looks of it, I think it was a pretty solid release and this also gives that sign that we might be seeing more vehicles in the future for some of their releases.

Official photo from Medicom's website.

My favorite from the line so far is definitely The Joker as the accessory count, the face and overall articulation is great making it a release that's definitely worth how much I payed for it. But yeah, while the line started back in 2013, the number of actual releases is still a pretty low count to have a general opinion on the line but I do know that it's definitely leaving a great impression on me so far. At the moment though, if a human figure (based on an actor/actress) actually gets a MAFEX release as well as another on a different line, do pick MAFEX if you want a more accurate head sculpt. 

With that previous paragraph, I end my article on MAFEX as a line and definitely check out my Revoltech Edition post if you still haven't. Next up on my coverage would be Max Factory's figma line!

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