Toy collecting can be a fun hobby. It can also be a frustrating hobby. It has been well over a year since the last wave
of Street Fighter figures was released by Sota Toys. In that time there have been several problems that have pushed
round five back further and further. The line is slated to continue, though with a new title: Street Fighter Revolution.
The new title is suppose to mark a change in style with the focus shifting to matching the style of the anime. While the
first wave of figures is still a few months off, Sota has attempted to fill the void and give fans a taste of what's to come
with several Preview figures including Ken, Ryu, Evil Ryu, Akuma, and Shin Akuma. While I passed on most of the Preview
figures since I already owned the original versions of those characters, when they added a new character to the line in the
form of Dan Hibiki, they had my interest even if I didn't know who the character was. (A quick trip to Wikipedia.org brought me up to speed on his background.) So
lets see if this new style is going to be worth the wait.
Packaging - 4/10The preview figures feature a radical change in packaging from the previous Street Fighter figures. The clamshell style blister cards are gone in favor of a large window box to fully show off the figure. The figure is sandwiched between two halves of a plastic tray in the middle of the box with the accessories along side of it. The box is open in the front, top and back to allow plenty of light and provide multiple views of the figure. But if that is not enough they also included multiple photos of the figure in different poses on the side panel. Overall the packaging is fairly light on graphics with a plain white background. It seems that they wanted to make sure that the focus is on the figure itself. It does accomplish this. The downside is that the packaging is huge. I pity anyone who wants to keep the figure mint in box, especially since the box isn't made of very think material either.
Sculpting - 5/10Dan is usually portrayed as a fairly weak character in the games. So it is kind of humorous that his figure reuses the Akuma body from Round Four. There are a few changes made. The wrist guards are larger, the belt is different and he has bare feet. But otherwise this is an Akuma figure with a new head. That isn't a horrible problem in terms of the sculpting. But it does Make the figure quite a bit taller and bulkier than it should be. I don't really mind the repaint. But if they were going to do that, it would have made a lot more sense to reuse either Ryu or Ken's molds.
Paint - 7/10The paint work on Dan is good, but not great. There are no serious issues with the painting. But there are a few small marks here or there. And the edges are not as straight as they could be. One area you should watch out for is the collar of his shirt. Since there is no sculpted edge there to guide the painters, the edge is a bit uneven.
Articulation - 8/10Dan has thirty four points of articulation:
Accessories - 6/10Dan is packaged with a spare head, two extra sets of hands and an energy ball. The second head features Dan crying with tears streaming down from his eyes. The hands include a pair of regular fists and a pair with holes in the palms to hold the energy ball. These are in addition to his thumbs up right hand and a left hand with an open palm and slightly bent fingers that can be used for taunting poses. The energy ball is a small, spiralling ball of green "energy" which can be plugged into the palms of Dan's hands.
Value - 6/10Sota's Street Fighter figures have always been more expensive than your usual mass market figures. But they have usually been well worth the price. Unfortunately since Dan is an exclusive, he carries an even higher price tag than usual, $18. While Dan certainly isn't a bad figure, it is hard to say that paying extra for a figure that isn't in scale with the rest of the line and will likely be replaced before too long in the regular line is a good idea.
Happy Hunting:Dan's pink, Player 1 color scheme is exclusive to Wizard Universe while his turquoise Player 2 variant was an exclusive at the San Diego Comic Convention. But both figures are available right now from Wizard's web site. I actually bought mine from the Wizard Booth at Wizard World Chicago. If you are in the Philidelpia area or plan to attend Wizard World Philly next month that might be an option as well.