Have you ever run across a figure of one of your favorite characters but you hold off on buying it because you're not too familiar with the manufacturer? Well, today we'll be reviewing such a figure, A-Plus' take on the one and only Super Pochaco. Pochaco has some cast-off features, so many of the shots below are probably NSFW. The NSFW-est shots are behind spoiler tags, so careful with those...
About the character: Super Pochaco is a character designed by Tsuji Santa, meant to serve as a sidekick to the well-known Super Sonico. Pochaco is something of a divisive character in the figure community because of her unconventional plus-sized physique, with three sizes of 107-79-94 cm (42-31-37 inches). Pochaco also makes a few cameo appearances during Super Sonico: The Animation.
Essentially, the front and side panels of the box are identical with a window and the same picture of the figure.
The back panel has a couple of different shots of Pochaco. The best translation that Google Translate and I could come up with for the text inside the star is "Super chubby long-awaited 3-D rendering", which seems an appropriate enough description of this figure.
Pochaco doesn't require a whole lot in the way of set up. Basically, attach her to the base and she's good to go.
One interesting accessory that comes with the figure is a cloth apron. The parts of the apron that go around Pochaco's arms are fairly stretchy, so it's easy to get her dressed in the apron if you want to go that route.
The bow that goes on the back of Pochaco's outfit is magnetic. I wish more manufacturers would use these kinds of magnetic parts, as it makes the figure less prone to damage and breakage.
Pochaco is a plus-sized heroine, and this is quite a large figure to boot, so the package is pretty big and heavy. The box measures 38 by 21 by 15 cm and figure+box weighs approximately 800 grams.
As you saw a minute ago, two large pegs attach Pochaco to the base. I was a little concerned about the stability of the figure, given the one-legged pose and her large size, but Pochaco seems quite stable once she's attached to the base.
The base almost looks like a coaster, which is appropriate enough given the bar/beer theme of the figure. Thus, there are no complaints about Pochaco's base.
We will see that there is no shortage of little issues with this figure, but fortunately the pose is not one of them. Pochaco is clearly in waitress mode, and her pose gives off the sort of chipper and perky vibe that I tend to associate with the character.
Let's have a look at her.
The pose is lively enough, and Pochaco looks cute from a number of different angles, so I'd say that A-Plus did just fine with the figure's pose.
Generally, A-Plus did okay with Pochaco's sculpt (particularly her body sculpt), although there are a few quirks on that front. However, this figure has a number of issues with paint work, and all told I would say the overall quality of the figure is below average.
One area where A-Plus did fine is with the design of Pochaco's face. Her cuteness is one of her best assets, and her eyes are very vibrant.
The first of many paint flaws with this figure is evident in the shot below, as you can see significant chipping of the paint where the two pieces of Pochaco's hair meet.
Some stray white paint in her hair.
On the other hand, A-Plus did a pretty good job coloring Pochaco's hair. Blonde hair often is very flat and uniform in color, but the blonde-to-orange color gradient looks really good.
One of Pochaco's key features is this star pendant that she likes to wear. The chain is actually made out of metal, and despite the fact this figure is three years old, I see no signs of corrosion or rust on the chain.
I like the subtle blue shading on Pochaco's top, but the paintwork on the rest of her dress is sort of a mess. Pretty much everywhere the blue and white parts of the dress meet, you can see overpainting, and the yellow laces on the front are quite sloppy.
More sloppy painting on Pochaco's back. In particular, note that big smear of white paint on her upper back.
On my figure, there was a little chunk missing from the edge of her skirt.
The sculpt of Pochaco's fingers is a little bit rough. Also, it's kind of funny that one of the beers she is holding has a frothy head...
...but the beer in her other hand looks like it's flat (nothing about Pochaco should be flat, right :) ). At first, I thought this was just a strange design choice, but a number of character goods featuring an illustration of Pochaco in this outfit were released right around the same time as this figure and the illustration depicts the two beers just like this. See ITEM #219698 for an example.
She has a cute butt, even if it is a little small by Pochaco standards :). On that subject, despite all the painting flaws, I think A-Plus did a fine job with Pochaco's body sculpt, as they make her slightly thick in all the right places without getting carried away.
Low-angle shot. The painting on the frill of her panties is a little messy, and you can see some more messy painting where her panties meet her inner thigh.
Pochaco is supposed to be wearing lacy garters, but you can see the finish on the edges is quite uneven. Also, there is a clear gap between where the garter ends and her stockings begin. On the plus side, I like how A-Plus sculpted Pochaco's thick thighs.
It looks like a little more sanding would have been in order before Pochaco's shoe was painted.
Pochaco has two different cast-off options, as both her top and her skirt can be removed.
Pochaco's top, like the bow on the back of her outfit, is held in place by magnets, so removing it is quite simple (it simply lifts off). No disassembly of the figure is needed to get the top removed, and the magnets provide plenty of force to keep it secured to her body, so this is really quite a clever solution.
Even though Pochaco is established to have a 107 cm (42 inch) bust, her breasts still appear quite perky!
View spoilerHide spoiler
Pochaco's top lifts her breasts up towards her body, and so as a result, when she's cast off, it looks like her breasts are sort of defying gravity. IMO, it's not a big deal, as the only alternative would have been to require a different chest piece to be swapped in, which sort of defeats the point of her easy castoffability.
View spoilerHide spoiler
One small complaint is that her breasts look a little bit awkward when she's viewed from straight ahead.
View spoilerHide spoiler
Magnets also keep Pochaco's skirt closed. Note that the skirt is meant to sit just above the bottom of her apron; when I tried to position it any lower, the skirt would not close properly.
A couple shots of Pochaco in her maximum cast-off state.
View spoilerHide spoiler
Unfortunately, I will not be displaying Pochaco without the skirt, and the reason is evident below. Her garterbelt is supposed to made from a lacy material, but as you can see it is just a painting disaster! Those big craters in her flesh don't help the matter, either :(...
Additionally, you can see how some paint transferred from her skirt from her skin. Granted, this is a non-issue for me since I will not be displaying my Pochaco without her skirt, but it's something of which to be aware if you're thinking about getting one of these figures.
The paint on the front of Pochaco's garterbelt is not *quite as* sloppy, but it's still pretty messy...
While Pochaco's top is easy to remove and it's equally easy to put back into place, it doesn't want to quite sit back far enough.
Not factoring in her rather thick base, Pochaco stands about 10.75 in (27.5 cm) in height, and the base will add about another centimeter to that. Her height is established to be 5'0" (150 cm), so while A-Plus lists Pochaco as 1/6 scale, she is more like 1/5.5 and as a result she will really stand out on any shelf!
Here is Pochaco with (at least in my opinion) the best Pochaco figure currently available, Vertex's "Condensed Milk Photo Shoot" figure of the character ITEM #235623. That figure is also listed as being 1/6 scale, but it too is probably more like 1/5.5 and you can see that Beer Girl Pochaco is similar in scale.
Pochaco and Vertex's "Cowgirl" Pochaco ITEM #183891. Cowgirl Pochaco is 1/6 scale, and you can see that the A-Plus figure is slightly larger. Also, while the Vertex figure is much better in terms of fit and finish, I think A-Plus did a better job with her facial expression!
Pochaco with a very tanned Super Sonico. Wing's Sonico ITEM #117170 is 1/6 scale, and Sonico is established to be a little taller than Pochaco, so once again you can see that Pochaco is slightly larger than her listed 1/6 scale.
View spoilerHide spoiler
Pochaco with one of my favorite Sonico figures, Orchid Seed's ITEM #198372. That Sonico is 1/5 scale, and I think that Pochaco's large scale makes these two figures pair very nicely together!
While there are sorts of tasty foods at summer festivals, do the vendors usually serve alcohol? Anyway, if Pochaco was serving beer, surely Beelzebub would want one (or two or three or four). Amakuni's Beelzebub ITEM #349076 is not a tiny figure at 1/7 scale, and you can see that Pochaco towers over her.
These two make an interesting pair! Rocket Boy's Slingshot Swimsuit Girl ITEM #464771 is 1/6 scale for comparison.
I like maid-type outfits and I like busty blonde characters, so I am willing to overlook some of Pochaco's issues; here she is with another busty blonde maid, Sega's Sena Kashiwazaki ITEM #132179. That figure is 1/7-ish in scale, and I think it might actually have *fewer* painting issues, even though it's a cheap prize figure...
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------8.5/10
Arguments for: There are really quite a few. Pochaco's very large scale makes her stand out on the shelf, A-Plus does a great job with Pochaco's face and hair coloring, lively pose, good body sculpt that makes Pochaco slightly thick and chubby in all the right places, easy castoffability that does not require spending half an hour disassembling and reassembling the figure.
Arguments against: There's also a few. The paintwork is simply a mess, particularly on some parts that are exposed when Pochaco's skirt is removed, paint transfer concerns, and Pochaco looks a little awkward from a couple of angles when she's in her cast-off state.
Despite the rather terrible paintwork, this figure does have a lot of things going for it, and I really like this Pochaco despite her many QC issues. Would I recommend this figure? That question doesn't have an easy answer...
If you only need one Pochaco figure in your life, I would probably recommend this one ITEM #235623 over A-Plus' offering, as it captures her character really well without nearly as many QC concerns. Or, all of Taito's Pochaco prize figures (ITEM #222557, ITEM #199359, and ITEM #183168) are really quite good figures at a much lower price point. On the other hand, if you would like to assemble a Pochaco army, I think this figure is a worthy addition to the ranks, QC concerns and all. For me, her perky cuteness and the huge scale made this figure a worthwhile purchase.
Availability (as of this writing)
Not too hard to find preowned.
Of the Pochaco figures out there, this is one of the ones I see the least on the various preowned sites, but it's not too terribly hard to find. Plus, the price of this figure seems to be on the decline. I paid 6000 yen for a B/C Pochaco, and while given her QC problems I probably would have been rather miffed had I shelled out 13800 yen for her new, for 6000 yen I'm satisfied that I got my money's worth.
There is a variant ITEM #266890 of this figure that gives Pochaco a slightly different facial expression and a rather neat looking black outfit, but that one is harder to find. Further, given the paint issues with this figure, I'd be a little afraid that any such problems would be magnified with the black and white color scheme. Anyone out there own that figure and want to comment?
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting (bold entries are figures pictured in this review):
Vertex 1/6 Pochaco "Condensed Milk Photo Shoot" blog/26216
Vertex 1/6 Pochaco "Cowgirl" blog/30419
Taito Pochaco "Winter" blog/30343
Taito Sonico/Pochaco "Magic Show" blog/16633
Orchid Seed 1/5 Sonico "Berry!" blog/15441
Rocket Boy 1/6 "Slingshot Swimsuit Girl" blog/38618
Sega PM Sena Kashiwazaki (Haganai) blog/9654
Toranoana 1/8 "Maid En Bikini" (Tony Taka) blog/13510
Griffon 1/7 Sasara Kusugawa "Sukumizu Maid" (To Heart 2) blog/12606
Wani Books 1/7 Ryomou Shimei (Ikki Tousen) blog/10507