Loading
HomeArticlesArticle #44259
Great Figures, Amazing Service, Fantastic Price!

Kousaka Tamaki - Lady Red Maid - SkyTube - REVIEW 13Kousaka Tamaki - Lady Red Maid - SkyTube - REVIEW 13

HappyakrzHappyakrz1 month agoReview
This article is not suitable for people under 18.
I'm over 18
Happy Thursday – otherwise known as ALMOST TGIF!
Rain is hitting the windowsill as I type, the soundtrack for Oblivion is playing quietly in the next room, and my coffee is piping hot. All in all, a great way to start the day!

Back Story
This backstory will be shared by three reviews – 13, 14 (BLOG #44266), and 15 (BLOG #44267) – as they were purchased at the same time from the same seller.

This transaction was/is the closest I’ve come to making a bad move in my figure purchasing, and I’m still not 100% certain that I didn’t get conned (at least a little bit). I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts (or similar experiences) once you’ve read the following short explanation.

I contacted a seller that had a large number of figures for sale, most of them listed as “New” with great prices. It appeared that the seller was going to be moving and needed to downsize her collection – thus the sacrifice of some figures at really low cost. I asked her about two figures in particular that were both priced at $35 (each usually priced in the range of $100 – 120), and she replied that while the figures were still available, they were no longer in “New – Sealed” condition due to a failed transaction with another buyer. It seems that the potential buyer didn’t want to pay the high shipping costs for three figures he wanted, so he asked her to remove the figures from the boxes, fold the boxes, and ship in a smaller box to reduce the cost. She agreed to his proposal (a little too early, in my opinion), and prepped the shipment by unpackaging the figures, folding the boxes down carefully, and getting everything packaged – BEFORE he actually made payment. And then he disappeared – no more contact with the seller, and here she sat with three figures that were for all intents and purposes still brand new, but no longer factory sealed. So she had lowered the prices of each and was hoping to find a buyer who was willing to purchase them.

We had several back-and-forth messages, including photographs of the figures and boxes, and she explained the entire situation to me. Her words felt genuine, her situation seemed honest and somewhat desperate, and I was intrigued (and more than a little nervous). I believed her story … but I wasn’t sure about the aspect of the figures having been recently opened – it was very possible that they had been a shelf for a couple of years and were now being sold as “unfortunately opened”, and that didn’t sit well with me on initial consideration.

I liked all three of the figures, though only two were actually on my wanted list, so I offered her $100 (including shipping) for the three figures and waited to see what she would do. She responded quickly and accepted the offer, being very thankful for my consideration, and offered to repackage the figures in their boxes and send them to me once I paid. The rest of the transaction went smoothly and the shipping was very fast.

I received the figures in very good packaging, and while the product boxes looked a little worn, I still chalked this up to the fact that she had broken them down to ship. I never considered how she had planned to handle the blister packaging with the first potential buyer – I’m only glad that she still had it for the shipment to me – but this is another point of curiosity for me.

The end result is this: all three figures looked great with not a mark on them. One of the figures looked like it had a little bit of “dusting” on the hair (as if it had been on a shelf for a while), but I don’t know if this might not have been dust from packaging foam and peanuts that were used in the box for shipment to her first buyer.

In any case, I don’t regret the purchase, because the figures ended up being quite nice originals, and I got them for roughly a third of their retail price. But this was definitely a purchase that had me wondering for a few days until I had the figures in hand.

Have you experienced anything similar?

The first of the three figures for review is Tamaki in her Red Maid costume …

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_04_72.jpg

Alphamax
Kousaka Tamaki – Lady Red Maid – 1/7 – Skytube -- ITEM #81270
Sculptor: 2% -- ENTRY #10639
Vendor: private MFC seller ($35 in September of 2019)


The Box
The box is a good size for the figure – not too big, but big enough that it gives a great view through the multiple windows in front, sides, and top. I like the general cover palette of the box, but it doesn’t really flow with the To Heart 2 logo – this is always an annoyance to me from a designer’s perspective. You can also see the excessive amount of wear that the box has been through (in the pictures below) – just can’t tell if this is due to a single break-down and rebuild.

The blister packaging was tight and well-sealed with all parts safe and clean.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_box_1_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_box_2_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_box_3_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_box_4_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_box_5_72.jpg

The Figure
The base for the figure is a cute and clever checkerboard in red and white, simulating a kitchen or diner floor tile. The finish on the base is decent, but it doesn’t seem very “polished” to me. It has a cheap and quick feel about it design-wise. The pegs are well placed for Tamaki’s feet, and she stands very solidly when placed atop the base.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_1_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_2_72.jpg

The broom/mop with which Tamaki is wiping the floor is a nicely crafted piece, though I wish there had been a little more detail in the mop head – more defined strands of cloth or something similar. The hanging cap at the end of the broom stick is removable, and it is in this manner that you can slide into Tamaki’s upper hand during assembly.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_3_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_4_72.jpg

Tamaki’s body and costume come as three separate parts: the legs (including the lower torso), the top of her maid’s uniform, and her upper body.

As this is the first figure I’m reviewing which contains nudity (bare breasts), I’ll include photos containing the “naughty bits” in spoiler fashion for those who are considering a purchase and want to see what they’re going to get, but for the majority of the reviews, I’ll stick to the fully dressed version of the figure (as I plan to display them).

View spoilerHide spoiler
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_5_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_6_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_7_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_8_72.jpg


The holes in the feet are a perfect fit for the base pegs.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_parts_9_72.jpg

Reviewer's Notes
Overall Sculpt
During the assembly of the figure, you can choose to present Tamaki with or without her top. This is really just the inclusion or exclusion of the chest piece before the top portion of the figure is fixed upon the lower section (shown below – the white portion going over the half-circle torso peg).

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_03_72.jpg

The placement of the broom through Tamaki’s upper hand is quite easy if you remove the black “hanging cap”. Note that I didn’t actually get the broom positioned in the lower hand for the topless shots.

View spoilerHide spoiler
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_02_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_01_72.jpg


Once the feet are positioned on the base, it’s really easy to get the broom/mop fitted to the hands and resting on the checkered surface. I love the sculpt of the shoes and pigeon-toed foot placement.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_05_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_06_72.jpg

The hand positioning is really nice, and the sculpt looks quite natural for the broom/mop in relation to her body.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_10_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_08_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_09_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_15_72.jpg

Tamaki’s top fits very nicely, and if you didn’t know that this was a castoff figure, you’d not be able to tell that there was a difference between the pieces. I also really love the attention to detail in the tied bows at her collar and sleeves.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_11_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_25_72.jpg

The dress and bow of Tamaki’s maid costume are really beautifully crafted. They have a natural flow and layering that feels very realistic to her pose.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_14_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_17_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_21_72.jpg

Tamaki’s knickers are well sculpted – just discreet enough to leave things to the imagination, but just revealing enough to appreciate her very nicely shaped behind.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_18_72.jpg

Again, the pose on Tamaki is both cute and flirtatious. Caught midway through her chore of mopping the floor, she doesn’t seem to be aware that she’s giving such a show to the viewer behind her, and it’s this innocence that I like. Sexiness without trying to be sexy is fantastic. I love the sculpt of her legs, their awkward (yet oddly realistic) angles, and the stockings complete with creases.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_19_72.jpg

Tamaki’s head and hair are well crafted. As I’ve mentioned before, I wish that the mid-range figures had more detail to the hair, but in this case, I feel like the designer has done an admirable job with Tamaki’s signature pigtails and the flow of the tresses as they fall in multiple strands.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_12_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_13_72.jpg

The top of Tamaki’s head is covered in a nice headband that matches her costume, and I think this is nice way to cover the hair seam that must be beneath. The pigtails and bangs are nicely separated by the headband, and the overall effect is strong, though I wish there was something around the pigtails to indicate how they are holding their shape (hair-ties or scrunchies or something). As it stands, the pigtails look like they’re just notched into the skull.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_23_72.jpg
http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_24_72.jpg

Painting
Overall, the painting on the figure is quite clean. I have found no smudges or bad lines, and though I wasn’t super impressed with the “printing” of the base, the coloring of the figure is really quite solid. I like that her skirt and hair are NOT the same color – the skirt is close to fresh blood, while her hair is a more subdued crimson. They compliment one another well.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_22_72.jpg

The stockings are just slightly off-white with a touch of iridescence, while the majority of the costume is closer to a bright white tone.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_20_72.jpg

I’m not sure why they chose to use the very pale blue color for the mop head, but it doesn’t detract from the overall view, or draw attention away from the main figure.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_16_72.jpg

Tamaki’s face is nicely presented with just a hint of color in the mouth. Her skin tone overall is very clean. My only complaint would be in the design and presentation of her eyes. The decal they’ve used has a matte finish to it, so the black portion doesn’t really present as black – more of a dull grey. And since her actual eye color appears to be a greenish-brown, it’s hard to get a good sense of the tone from the finish.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_display_07_72.jpg

Overall Presentation
On the shelf, Tamaki looks very cute in this pose and seems to embody the anime/manga pinup pose quite nicely. As she is a 1/7 scale figure bent at the waist, she fits in well with 1/8 scale figures who stand tall. Her coloring and duo-tone costume palette are especially nice when placed with figures of alternating colors. She is a very nice figure from a distance, as well as close up, and presents a playful and flirty-yet-innocent nature.

Comparisons
For the most part, I’m going to compare the SkyTube figures with each other, though I will throw in an alternate from time to time.

The first comparison is the other Tamaki figure purchased at the same time (REVIEW 15 – forthcoming) – To Heart 2 - Kousaka Tamaki - Skytube - 1/7 - Amorous ver. (Alphamax) -- ITEM #53518

For some reason, these two figures look a little varied in their dimensions, even though they are both 1/7 scale figures. I find it interesting that the designers have used almost the exact same tilt of the head for the figures, but I like that the people at SkyTube have obviously paid a lot of attention to detail in hands and feet – both of these figures have great fingers and toes.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_comp_1_72.jpg

The second comparison is with my only figure of Yui – Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse - Takamura Yui - Skytube - 1/6 - Off Style ver. (Alphamax) -- ITEM #128855

As Yui is a 1/6 scale figure, I like that her size while kneeling is still comparable to the Tamaki figure in her semi-bent state. Though I’m not one to seek out the more revealing or blatantly sexual figures on the market, I am really impressed with how SkyTube has the ability to produce figures that have a semi-innocent appeal, while at the same time presenting a very sensual personality (either by accident or on purpose). Both of these figures are naturally very feminine, very lovely, but also very unconcerned with the amount of sex-appeal that they’re presenting. I find them both very tasteful, and enticing at the same time.

http://www.happyakrz.com/anime/tamaki_maid/tamaki_maid_comp_2_72.jpg

Lessons Learned
I’m not sure that this particular instance is about a lesson that I learned, or if it’s more of a “Whew! That could have been a disaster” kind of moment. Since this purchase, I have been much more careful about the level of communication that I have with sellers who have any kind of “off vibe” – whether it’s the nature of the product they’re selling, the pricing, or the way they’ve described the quality/care/etc. of the product.

I’m pleased with this figure (and those that came with it), and I’m glad that I went through with the purchase, but I will definitely be more careful in the future.

As always, please feel free to reach out with questions or comments! I love hearing from you all!

Until next time!
827 hits • 0 like9 comments

Scores8/10

Sculpting
Painting
Posing
Base
Packaging
Enjoyment

Comments9

1pt
Nice review!

I love this Tamaki figure, personally. I don't have any Tamaki yet on my collection, but out of all the maid Tamakis out there, this one from SkyTube is definitely my favorite. Either the red or black versions are cool with me. I like the black variant a little bit more only because I prefer the standard maid color scheme more, but damn, both are equally great choices. Gotta love that lovely tease you can get of her beautiful, nicely-shaped behind. right there.

Also, I would have been nervous about that transaction too, not so much due to the story you were told but mostly because of "the prices are too good to be true". What a deal you got here! I would have loved to get that many excellent figures for such an amount. Happy that everything went out nicely in the end for you.
1 month ago
1pt
She is a beauty! I really want to get a figure of Tamaki someday, but it's hard to decide which ones since she has so many good ones!
1 month ago
1pt
vgadict (1 month ago) #70626081I suspect the seller's story is legit. Regardless of how the boxes got opened or folded, that's the condition they were in, so it wouldn't be necessary for them fabricate some kind of story for why that happened. If they'd done it on their own, they could have simply said they folded them to save space. Either way you'd end up getting the same figure in the same condition for the same price.
As for the figure, it looks really good, and it seems like you got a good deal, despite the condition of the boxes.


I completely agree. While I was nervous at the time, I'm now looking back at the scenario and feeling very comfortable with the communications that I had with the seller, the gut feelings I had about her situation, and moving forward with the purchase. The figures are great additions to my collection at wonderful prices, so no complaints here.
1 month ago
1pt
I suspect the seller's story is legit. Regardless of how the boxes got opened or folded, that's the condition they were in, so it wouldn't be necessary for them fabricate some kind of story for why that happened. If they'd done it on their own, they could have simply said they folded them to save space. Either way you'd end up getting the same figure in the same condition for the same price.

As for the figure, it looks really good, and it seems like you got a good deal, despite the condition of the boxes.
1 month ago
1pt
Remember when you could get a figure of this quality for less than 100 USD?
Good times, now you're playing 200+ for a figure not even as good
1 month ago
1pt
victorviper (1 month ago) #70624781This Tamaki has been one of those "maybe to get someday" figures for me. I've always liked her somewhat non-standard pose, the way she's holding the mop and looking over her shoulder.
I'll also be interested to see your review of ITEM #53518, as that is another figure I've sort of had my eye on. The yellow and brown color scheme seems a little weird at first, but I think it better suits Tamaki than the other color variant of that figure (maybe the brown swimsuit better complements her red hair).
Also, just FYI, you've got a typo in the title of the article ("Tamari").


Thanks for the heads up regarding my typo, and I’ll be doing the other Tamaki review in the next day or so.
She’s a beautiful figure as well.
1 month ago
2pt
This Tamaki has been one of those "maybe to get someday" figures for me. I've always liked her somewhat non-standard pose, the way she's holding the mop and looking over her shoulder.

I'll also be interested to see your review of ITEM #53518, as that is another figure I've sort of had my eye on. The yellow and brown color scheme seems a little weird at first, but I think it better suits Tamaki than the other color variant of that figure (maybe the brown swimsuit better complements her red hair).

Also, just FYI, you've got a typo in the title of the article ("Tamari").
1 month ago
2pt
galablue (1 month ago) #70623688you're right, if you didn't tell me she was cast off, i wouldn't have known.
i actually really like her hair. i'm not familiar with the character but i'm guessing that she doesn't have any kind of hair tie in her original art, and when viewing the figure from head on you can't even see where her hair connects to her head (well hidden by her head band). i like how it flows naturally and isn't just draped over her shoulders, but instead drops down as if she really was leaning over.
View spoilerHide spoilerregarding the potential of the seller ... well, the story seems fishy to me. i have a feeling the figures were displayed and the boxes were stored. the story about a failed transaction and doing all of that before the payment seems just weird to me, but hey, stranger things have happened.
however, i would have been really super nervous about counterfeit for that price. if they're less than half of what they're typically offered at, i would have had a big bootleg flag pop up in my brain. i'm really glad you didn't get a boot leg (well i'm hoping you didn't!). regardless of the situation, if the figures are real, you got a really good deal.


Yeah, the only reason that I felt comfortable at all about the purchase was because of the photos the seller had sent to me of the holographic stickers on the boxes, ensuring that they weren't counterfeits. Otherwise, I wouldn't have completed the purchase.
1 month ago
1pt
you're right, if you didn't tell me she was cast off, i wouldn't have known.

i actually really like her hair. i'm not familiar with the character but i'm guessing that she doesn't have any kind of hair tie in her original art, and when viewing the figure from head on you can't even see where her hair connects to her head (well hidden by her head band). i like how it flows naturally and isn't just draped over her shoulders, but instead drops down as if she really was leaning over.

View spoilerHide spoilerregarding the potential of the seller ... well, the story seems fishy to me. i have a feeling the figures were displayed and the boxes were stored. the story about a failed transaction and doing all of that before the payment seems just weird to me, but hey, stranger things have happened.

however, i would have been really super nervous about counterfeit for that price. if they're less than half of what they're typically offered at, i would have had a big bootleg flag pop up in my brain. i'm really glad you didn't get a boot leg (well i'm hoping you didn't!). regardless of the situation, if the figures are real, you got a really good deal.
1 month ago