Tonight's review covers the latest wave of SOTA Toy's Street Fighter line. While I am far from the largest fan of the
Street fighter franchise, the last two series have gotten me quite excited even for characters I don't recognize. That's
good because of the figures included in series three which includes Gen, Adon, Sakura, Balrog and Guile, I only know
about the latter two. But just because I may not recognize the characters, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some very
Packaging - 6/10The packagin design from series two returns once again. The figures are packed in clear plastic clamshell style packaging. The fact that the entire package in enclosed in plastic including the figure, insert and backer means that there is less chance of damage. But the plastic used is thinner than what most companies use. As a result it can be prone to damage. It should be less of a concern for lighter figures like Sakura, but Balrog's package was split open. The hook on the top are also be in danger of bending under the weight of some of the larger figures. Or at least they would be if the figures actually stayed on the pegs for very long. The figures are neatly displayed amongst their accessories. The inserts at the bottom have a head shot of each character, their name and a few of their special moves from the video games. The backer, which is printed on high gloss paper rather than the usual card stock, is identical for all five figures. Other than a change to a green background instead of the blue of series two, it remains unchanged with the SF logo and an image of Ryu at the top and each of the figures from the series and a map showing their home country on the back. The packaging is reasonably attractive. And the use of separate colors for each figure for the insert helps to set them apart and would make them easier to find on a peg, if crowded pegs full of Street Fighter figures were really an issue. But I do hope that Sota finds a way to start including some background on the characters. It was less of an issue for the previous two series since they mostly featured characters from the Street Fighter II games and the height of the property's popularity. But now as they start to incorporate more characters which the casual fan may not recognize, some background information would be a nice touch.
Sculpting - Gen 7/10, others 8/10Given my ignorance, I won't attempt to knit pick the figures as to their accuracy. But across the board, these are very solid offerings. Each figure has a unique sculpt. The detail work on all of them is excellent. I will say that both Guile and Balrog seem a bit bulkier than I recall them being in SFII. The only complaint I have with the figures is with the folds in his clothing. They are too angular, as if someone starched and then ironed all the wrinkles into his outfit.
Paint - 9/10The paint work is excellent on all five of my figures. The paint applications are clean and consistent. While they aren't quite perfect, the problem areas are extremely minor such as slight bleeding onto the back of Gen's skirt. Adon is particularly impressive as Sota manages to walk the thin line between well executed shadowing on the figures and figures that just look dirty.
I realized after completing my reviews for the last two series that I completely neglected to mention the paint variations. And boy are there ever some variants. I purchased a set of the figures in their default, player one colors. But each figure is also available in several other color schemes. Guile is available in tan, blue and brown as well as in a red, white and blue variant. Sakura is available in at least five additional color schemes: green, orange, red, black and Dark Sakura's paint scheme. Adon is available in red, black and purple. Balrog is available in black, yellow and red. and Gen is available in tan, red and blue. With over twenty different versions of the figures available there should be one to fit anyone's home decor.
Articulation - 8/10Adon and Sakura are the most articulated of the five with thirty six points of articulation each.
Accessories - Balrog 5/10, Adon & Gen 6/10, Guile 7/10 Sakura 8/10Guile comes with three extra hands, a second head, his dog tags and a pair of blue energy balls. The hands allow the figure to be posed in several of his finishing poses including a salute, giving a thumbs up and combing his hair. The spare head has Guile yelling. It is a nice idea, but something about it is just off. I think it is the exaggerated mouth which keeps reminding me of Jim Carey from his In Living Color days.
Balrog has a second set of hands and a second head. The hands offer the option of either his usual boxing gloves or a pair of fists wrapped in athletic tape. While the default head has a pretty wicked looking smile, the second head has a nasty sneer.
Adon has three extra hands and a second head. The extra hands which replace the fists include a pair of grasping hands and an extra right hand sculpted with a thumbs up pose. The extra head has Adon with shorter, spiked hair which I'm guessing is suppose to represent his Street Fighter Alpha look.
Gen comes with a second head and two extra sets of hands. The hands are nice. In addition to the pair of fists that come attached to the figure, there is a pair of open hands and a pair with the thumbs, index and fore fingers brought together to a point. It is the second head that has me confused. It is a different sculpt and appears to have the right eyebrow raised, but the difference is so slight that I had to look closely just to make sure my figure wasn't accidentally packed with two of the same heads.
Sakura is easily the best of the bunch in terms of the number of accessories. She has three extra hands, a second head, a book bag, two books, a camera and a shoe. The second head sculpt has an open mouth that seems to be a combination of a smile, yell and laugh. But it looks good. The hands include a pair of grasping hands and an extra left hand which is sculpted in a pointing pose. The back pack is the nicest accessory of the first three series. Not only does it look good, but it is functional as well. It can hold both the books and the camera and still close. The strap allows it to be slung over the figure's shoulder. I still can't figure out why Sakura has an extra shoe. But if you know why she would need a third shoe, you'll be pleased to know it is there.
Value - 8/10The price on the Street Fighter Figures varies quite a bit. If you are lucky and or shop around, you can find them for as little as $10 apiece. But other stores may charge upwards of $15 or more. That certainly isn't cheap, especially if you are used to buying mass market figures like myself. But given that each figure is a unique sculpt and the level of detail, finding these for $10 or $11 is a terrific deal. Of course, as the price creeps up depending on the retailer, it value goes down. In a worst case scenario, you could end up paying as much as $20 apiece. And even that price wouldn't be completely unreasonable.
Happy Hunting:Series three has been available for some time at Hot Topic stores. But at $15 each, you pay a premium to be the first one to have them. They just recently started arriving in larger numbers elsewhere. I order a set from Big Bad Toy Store.com. They still have sets available for $55 each and most of the variants in stock as well. Little Plastic Men.com has sets available for that price as well as individual figures. If you have more money than time, you can also order any of the variant paint schemes from Sota's web site: SotaToys.com.