Reviews

iBusou Shinki - Arnval - 1/1 - Full Set...8.33/10

Sculpting

Arnval uses the standard body for the earlier Busou Shinki figures, which gives her a long, very thin body, but she bulks up once you attach her armour, so her tiny physique is probably necessary. Her face sculpt is reasonable, but nothing special, and her hair is well detailed. The only drawback to the hair is that she has two back parts - one short and one long, but instead of them each being a whole half of her head, they each clip rather awkwardly into the back of her head via a simple ball joint. She looks fine from the front, but not so great from the back. Her hands are very small and feel a little fragile, and it can be difficult to pose her largest gun because her limbs and hands are so much smaller.

Her accessories and armour are the best part of her sculpt - each part is carefully detailed to give them a realistic mech appearance. Her wings and helmet are a striking, dynamic shape, and the rest of her armour looks great as well.

She has very visible seam lines and joints, which PVC collectors may find off-putting, but for those who enjoy mech girls, I feel they only add to her appeal, and indeed even the box artwork shows her jointed.

Painting

Arnval doesn't have all that much in the way of painting. Most of her figure is white plastic, with a few parts in darker grey plastic. The plastic is largely shiny, but it suits the robotic elements of the figure. She has various details picked out in yellow and grey, and the painting is mostly good, but with few areas that are a little wobbly. They don't spoil the overall look of the figure, though.

The face, unfortunately, is painted with the most bland and neutral expression imaginable. Arnval just sort of stares blankly. The eyes are well painted, with crisp lines, but they would have looked far better with a little personality. Her hair has a very faint highlight ring, but it's hardly noticeable, especially at a distance, and her face is shiny and would have looked a lot nicer in matte.

Posing

Arnval has lots of articulation, and her joints are sturdy, while still easy to move. Her movability is lessened slightly when she's wearing full armour, but she still has good potential for dynamic action poses. She has slightly strange double joints at the tops of her legs that allow her to move her legs higher up, but unless you want to practically fold her in half, they don't really add much extra to the figure.

Her head tends to be a little loose, and often falls off when trying to pose her, but it stays on just fine once you put her down again. None of her accessories such as her wings are jointed, although they can be altered depending on which pieces you fit into which parts.

Base

Arnval comes with a fairly large black plastic base with a jointed arm you can use to support her poses. It's a functional rather than attractive base - it's large and bulky and very noticeable. The arm has two joints, and allows for a decent range of mobility, and Arnval clips sturdily into the base through her back.

Packaging

The Shinki boxes are all really nice, and Arnval is no exception. Each of the four main sides have an illustration showcasing her with some of her accessories and a few poses, while the top and bottom are minimalist with only the Shinki logo, figure name and design credits. The front panel of the box is held down with velcro, and can be opened to see the figure inside, and a couple of photos on the inside of the front panel.

Inside the box, the pieces of the figure come on two plastic trays stacked one on top of the other - they're a little tricky to pull open without the pieces flying everywhere, but they provide good storage for the pieces you aren't using.

The box is quite large and bulky, but it's necessary for all of the pieces, and it's really well put together - both the images and the actual construction.

Enjoyment

Shinkis are so customisable that you can keep adjusting and playing with different combinations of parts almost endlessly. She looks great in her official form, of course, but there are plenty of options for whatever you want to do with her. Her armor parts use the same size pegs and holes for everything, so you can slot the pieces in where you like. She can wear as much or as little armour as you want, and she comes with two hairstyle options and several different weapons. If you own additional Shinkis, you can mix and match parts between figures as well.

Shinkis are a must for fans of action figures, and Arnval is one of the most striking and well-designed from the series. Be aware, though, that Konami have since released an updated version of her - Arnval Tranche 2 - with more hair options and accessories, a better face (and an extra face as well), and some small changes to the armour design. She's a bit more expensive than the original version, but looks even better, and may well be easier to find depending on where you live.
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Scores (8.33/10)