Today, we'll be reviewing a figure of one of my favorite characters which was delayed over and over and over and over, Good Smile's 10th Anniversary (nearly "11th Anniversary" after all of the delays!) Super Sonico. Her skimpy bridal outfit means that many of the shots below will be somewhat NSFW...
About the character: I think most everyone knows Sonico, and since there's a lot to talk about with this figure, let's get right to it!
When it comes to packaging, there's quite a lot of it! The front of the "outer box" (more on that in a moment) features a large shot of Sonico.
One side panel features a lovely Tsuji Santa illustration.
The other side panel shows how that illustration translates into figure form.
The back features a number of shots of Sonico in her various possible configurations.
The reason that I said there is a lot of packaging to talk about is that Sonico is actually packaged inside not one but two boxes. The shots above are of her "exterior box", which lifts off (the box is also held together by tabs that can be taken apart) to reveal a windowed figure box.
Note the cute 10th anniversary pantsu logo in the lower left corner :).
The side panels of the "interior" box are fairly plain, but the stripes are consistent with the wedding theme of the figure.
The back is very elaborate! I also like how the Sonico logo is used at the peak of that middle window.
Sonico's blister comes in two layers. Sonico herself is packaged in one layer and the gold crescent which decorates the base as well as her alternate faceplate are packed in the other layer.
That's a big box! ITEM #219518 is about 1/8 scale to put the size of the box in perspective!
Sonico: ♫ Hey Everyone! I'm still in stock, it's not too late... ♫
Sonico is a large figure, and her dress by itself probably adds the weight of a second 1/6 scale just by itself. The double box and the multilayered blister adds more weight, and so the package is quite heavy. The box measures 37 by 28 by 22 cm and the package weighs just a hair under a whopping 2 kilograms, so shipping will definitely be expensive on this one!
Sonico's base is covered by a red velour-like material, and you can see that a single peg supports her. The way Sonico is leaning over with the dress trailing behind her, my guess is that her center of mass is right around her waist area, and I'm crossing my fingers that this single peg will be enough to support Sonico!
It doesn't really show up in a photo, but the base seems a little bit thin. Given the weight of the figure, I think I would have made the base solid and not hollow like this. It'll add some weight, but what's the difference between 2 kg and 2.2, right?
The base is about 8 inches (20 cm) deep and about 7.5 inches (19 cm) wide at its widest point, so some creative shelf arrange-ery might be needed, depending on how crowded your shelves are.
Usually, I don't include this section in a review, but getting Sonico set up definitely requires some work. To remove the plastic sheeting wrapped around the figure, or to remove Sonico's skirt, she comes apart in three pieces.
Sonico's head then can be disassembled; in fact, I'd recommend doing this *before* removing her head from her torso!
One of the trickier things about disassembling/reassembling Sonico is navigating around those flowers on her waist! It took me a couple of tries to get the torso and waist lined up just right, and I found it *really difficult* to apply sufficient force to get her torso and waist perfectly flush with one another!
Sonico's bouquet is comprised of three pieces.
The stem goes in Sonico's hand, then the bow goes on top, and the flowers on top of that. The instructions recommend assembling the bouquet with her head removed, but since her head sits at a little bit of an angle, I found it was much easier to attach her faceplate to her neck, then assemble the bouquet, then reassemble the rest of her head.
Next, the crescent/wreath and stars attach to a metal rod which attaches to the base. This will be the last appearance of this part in the review, since the star piece vibrates with the slightest movement; not a big deal when displaying the figure, but sort of annoying when trying to take still photos :).
Set up and ready!
So, if you're buying this figure, just be aware that it will take some time, effort, patience, and finesse to get Sonico properly assembled! GSC provides a detailed instruction sheet, and this is one figure where you definitely want to follow the instructions!
It looks like Sonico is either getting ready to walk down the aisle, or she already has and she's getting ready to toss her bouquet.
Let's have a look at her.
Whatever she's doing, it's a pretty lively pose, and so GSC did just fine here.
Generally, GSC did a good job with Sonico's paint and sculpt. There are a few quirks here and there, and we'll see that this issue with Sonico's upper and lower torsos not quite wanting to align properly could be distracting, but overall I'd say that the quality of the figure is above average.
One of the best things about this figure is Sonico's pretty face! Her eyes are very lively, and for some reason I really like how GSC sculpted her messy bangs :). Also, Tsuji Santa loves drawing Sonico with a slightly-worried expression, and I think in this figure the expression and her little blush suits Sonico well; everyone's like that on their wedding day, right?
The flowers in Sonico's hair are well-sculpted, the baby's breath in there is a nice small detail.
GSC did a good job sculpting all the lace pieces of trim on Sonico's dress. The lace is very uniform and I could not really find any messy/jaggy pieces.
This might be an peculiar issue to my Sonico, but it looks like there was a paint bubble in her veil that resulted in that spot of uneven painting.
I'm not sure if this is white paint, or maybe if the paint on Sonico's hair got dinged in transit. I thought about using the Magic Eraser, but since this spot is not typically visible, I opted not to.
The sculpting on the flowers in Sonico's bouquet is good. In the language of flowers, white roses represent purity and chastity (a moe ideal), and since blue roses do not grow naturally, they can represent something which is unattainable. Inclusion of the yellow roses is an interesting choice, as yellow roses can convey feelings of warmth and joy, or they can be interpreted as a symbol of jealous feelings.
In the source illustration, Soncio wears lace-topped fingerless gloves, and GSC attempts to simulate this effect with a white lace print on her arm. I'm kind of on the fence about this, as while the lace print looks nice and it is well-painted, it does look more like body painting than real lace. I might have done a frosted plastic top to the gloves, but they didn't ask me...
Sonico's top is admittedly a little silly, and I doubt she could really move around in it without falling out of it, but I like it :). Sonico is a gravure model, and the top seems like the kind of thing a model might wear as a gravure-bride, so it seems appropriate. I like all the frilled edges as well as the butterfly snaps/hooks, and note how you can see just a suggestion of Sonico's nipples through the material. Her breasts are also nicely shaped, as there's a definite sense of weight there.
Again, you can see how Sonico's upper torso just doesn't want to align quite right with the rest of her body, leaving a little gap there. It might be possible to get this just right by repeatedly separating and reassembling the parts, thereby loosening the connection point, but I'm willing to live with her as is. I did notice that one of her garters wanted to pop out place when Sonico is moved around, but this shouldn't be issue once you get her situated on display.
I like how you can see her garters tugging at her stockings. Also notice how that gap won't be quite so evident if she's displayed below eye level (the way this photo was shot).
Notice how much color variation there is on the underside of Sonico's skirt. The pink and blue color gradients really stand out when looking at her in person.
GSC gives those ribs on Sonico's stockings some lavender highlights, but painting is a little uneven in a couple spots.
I like the black trim on Sonico's shoes and the pink soles look really neat. This would an easy area to just ignore, so I appreciate GSC's attention to detail here.
Now, let's remove Sonico's skirt. Doing so requires the use of this little spacer.
Here's what Sonico will look like with the skirt removed.
I've chosen to display Sonico in this configuration, as I've got her in the front of a Detolf shelf with 5 other figures (three on risers in the back of the shelf), and the dress tends to obscure the figures behind her.
This shot is my new desktop wallpaper :). I also like how her left hand which grabs her skirt doesn't look awkward when the skirt is removed.
With the skirt removed, it's easier to see some of the nice details on Sonico's back. The lacing is well done, and I like the subtle sculpting of the small of her back.
Simply amazing. I like how you get that little peek of daylight between Sonico's thighs :).
Notice how you can clearly see how her butt cheeks begin to differentiate from her thighs.
One downside when removing the skirt is that Sonico's garters don't quite line up correctly. Also, the bottom piece of her right garter seems to be about 1 millimeter too long, yielding a little bit of a gap. It might be possible to fix this by trimming the excess off with a Xacto knife, but I'm not quite brave enough to do that...
Sonico also comes with an alternate faceplate.
Presumably, she's getting ready to kiss the groom. It's also kind of looks like her sleeping face :).
Factoring in the height of the stair base, Sonico spans about 12.5 inches (32 cm) at her highest point. If you opt to display her with the crescent and stars, that will bring that total up to about 14 inches (35.5 cm). Sonico herself would be about 10.5 inches tall (26.5 cm) if she were standing upright. At 1/6 scale, that would make her 5'3" (160 cm), and since she's established to be 5'2"/158 cm, her 1/6 scale is spot on.
Here is Sonico with a couple of cute bridesmaids :). Max Factory's Mikan ITEM #464638 and Phat's Rem ITEM #549398 are 1/6 and 1/7 scale respectively, and so you can see how Sonico will compare.
A trio of Sonicos. Max Factory's "Racing Miku" Sonico ITEM #331545 is listed as 1/7, but she's really closer to 1/6, and genie Sonico ITEM #546389 is 1/8-ish.
I like how Chiharu's black patent leather outfit contrasts with Sonico's white lingerie, but what I was trying to do here is to see if it would be possible to display other figures on top of the stair base along with Sonico. The answer is "kind of", as all the ribbons from the bouquet will tend to get in the way a little bit. Orchid Seed's Chiharu ITEM #29312 is 1/7 scale.
Overall verdict and enjoyment----------9.5/10
Arguments for: Many. Super cute face, killer body sculpt (in particular dat...you know what), the dress is immaculately detailed, multiple display options, and Sonico's size means she can't help but be a focal point of any shelf!
Arguments against: Sonico will take up a lot of space, fairly difficult and nerve-wracking setup, the base is a little flimsier than I expected, and that issue with her torso not *quite* wanting to sit perfectly flush with the rest of her body.
The hype for this figure was palpable, and despite a few flaws, I would have to conclude that Good Smile delivered. My expectations were high and ultimately Sonico met all of them. This is really quite an ambitious figure and so I am inclined to forgive some of the little issues that are present. If you are a Sonico fan, I'd say that this is a must-own figure.
Availability (as of this writing)
Still available new.
As I write this, the big three shops (AmiAmi, Hobby Search, HLJ) all still list Sonico in stock (I wonder if a number of people bailed on their preorders after all those months of delays?). Retail price is 19500 yen, but I ended up paying 15180 with AmiAmi's preorder discount. 16000 yen and some change is the lowest price I could find while writing this article for a new Sonico. Do keep in mind that because the box is gigantic and heavy, shipping *will* be expensive. It looks like EMS to North America for Sonico alone was running about 5700 yen.
In the current environment where companies are making rather bland 1/8 scales for 11000 yen, 15000 yen plus shipping is actually a pretty good price IMO for this figure. It'll be interesting to watch Sonico's price once all the shops sell out. The "big box" effect is a well-documented one, and so one wonders if this will impact Sonico's price once she begins hitting the secondhand market.
THANKS FOR READING!
If you liked this review, here are some of my other reviews you might also find interesting:
Orchid Seed 1/5 Sonico "Berry" BLOG #15441
Arcadia Sonico "Sweets and Bikini" BLOG #15772
Max Factory 1/7 "Racing Miku" Sonico BLOG #33612
GSC/Wing "After the Party" Sonico BLOG #20463
Banpresto "Campus Life" Sonico BLOG #22148
Alter 1/7 Sonico "Santa" BLOG #18598
FuRyu Sonico Mermaid BLOG #23737
Max Factory 1/6 Haruna Sairenji (To Love Ru Darkness) BLOG #25644
Max Factory 1/6 Mikan Yuuki (To Love Ru Darkness) BLOG #35150
Phat! 1/7 Rem "Wedding" (Re:ZERO) BLOG #38791
Amakuni 1/7 Chachamaru Ashikaga "Wedding" (FullMetal Daemon Muramasa) BLOG #34553
Plum 1/7 Tomoka Minato "Wedding" (Ro-Kyu-Bu!) BLOG #29687
I could see a pretty wide range of outcomes for Sonico's preowned price in the near future, so the question is...