definitely made waves being a female character that could beat
the snot out of the boys and tango with the best of men. It definitely
didn’t hurt that she was an attractive design back then that has
prevailed over these past 20 years. With numerous appearances in
various media such as Animes, manga and of course video games (less
said about the live action movies, the better…), Chun-li has become a
pop-culture icon in her own right.
Thus, when Medicom announced
that they would be honouring the First Lady of Fighting Games with the
RAH treatment, it made a long time fighting game fan like myself
ecstatic to say the least! The fact that this would be my first ever
female 1/6 figure made my anticipation for her even higher, and snapped
her up on release. Does Medicom do ol’ Chunners justice?
Wow, this is boring. I mean, really. Don’t get me wrong though, in
terms of functionality, the box definitely delivers. The cardboard is
nice, glossy and fairly sturdy, in the usual Medicom rectangular box
dimensions as well as a fifth panel, and there are absolutely no twist
ties in sight.
But boy is it boring. Just plain black with the Street Fighter logo and
Chun-li’s name on it, and the inner flap merely states the features (in
English) and that’s it. No pictures of Chun-li herself, no background,
no nothing. While I generally am not too concerned with a toy’s
packaging, I do notice a toy better when its packaging as some flair to
it. Packaging should protect the toy, as well as attract any potential
buyers to it, acting as a ‘BUY ME!’ billboard. And on that front, the
box totally drops the ball.
Thankfully, the lady herself more than delivers and makes up for the
‘meh’ box. While Medicom’s ability at doing realistic sculpts has been
very hit-or-miss, they usually do Anime/Video game character likenesses
reasonably well and here is one great example of that.
Chun-li’s face is not only very pretty, but she is what I call
appropriately pretty. She isn’t so young looking that staring at her
would get you arrested, nor is she so old looking that you’d give up
your seat on the train willingly. What we have here is a nice blend of
her original character art design, as well as some very slight
pseudo-realistic touches added to it.
It’s nice to see that Medicom avoided giving her a generic cutesy Anime
look and instead, made it seem if they ever did the other SF girls
(Sakura please!), Chun-li’s seniority is apparent. Here, we have
classic Chun-li in one of her finest representations yet – she has
enough of a glow to her that shows her strength and inner youthfulness,
yet she looks very much like the mature, seasoned fighting woman that
she should be.
The work on her body is also exceptional work from Medicom. Her body is
the standard female RAH 301 Kai, with the exception of her legs. As
this is Chun-li, Medicom had sculpted all-new leg parts for her to
recreate the ‘Thunder Thighs’ that the First Lady of Fighting Games is
so famous for, and they work beautifully. They look sleek and powerful
like how they should for a fighter who’s claim to fame are her
lighting-quick kicks, yet they don’t look so out of proportion that
they make Chun-li look Amazonian. Capturing the perfect balance of a
strong fighter and a classic beauty is what Medicom has done here with
Chun-li, and they get top marks from me in this category.
Medicom gives a fairly strong
performance with Chunners’ paint applications as well, although it
isn’t quite as perfect as her sculpting.
Her head is cast in a flesh coloured plastic as per the norm for
Medicom. Her hair has a nice, natural gradient to it at where her
hairline is, and her eyes have a gorgeous, yet determined and confident
gaze to them that’s very appropriate to the First Lady of Fighting
What strikes me the most however, are her lips. They are given a
noticeable, but ever so subdued shade of pink. This makes her lips look
nice and naturally pretty, instead of making it look as if she
frequents Lancome’s make up counter.
She has paint applications on her other accessories such as her also
famous spike bracelets, as well as her ‘ox-horns’ hair buns, all nice
and clean. What doesn’t work so well for me however, are her boots.
Her boots are cast in their classic white colour, but also have a
strange blue-ish wash on them. While my best guess is that it’s meant
to simulate wear, it just doesn’t really work for me and looks strange.
It’s a little uneven, and makes it look as if Chunners accidentally
stepped in a bucket of blue paint during a fight, rather than wear from
years of fighting. This is but a minor nitpick, but it was still enough
to bug me enough to lower the score a tiny bit.
Articualtion - ***3/4
Now if you have any experience in 1/6 figure collecting, then it’s
probably old news to you that Medicom’s RAH body is extremely well
articulated and hangs very naturally in almost any pose you can put it
in. But most of the time, how well the final product takes advantage of
that articulation is highly dependant on the clothes its wearing, as
well as brittle nature of the RAH body. These are usually the two
biggest factors that tend to hold back many an RAH figure.
Not so with Chun-li.
While I will mention more about her outfit in the appropriate section
later, it has to be said that its nature gives Chun-li almost free
range of movement. She can assume virtually any of her classic poses
one would associate her with. She can punch, she can kneel, she can
kick as high as you want her to (and yes, I know that sounds
suggestive), it’s all there. Chun-li is a woman of action, and Medicom
knew that and made sure she could articulate as well as they could
possibly let her. And it all works brilliantly, making her a RAH figure
that’s actually very playable and a ton of fun to pose and photograph.
The only hitch to this unfortunately, is that her upper torso is
covered by a layer of rubber ‘skin’ up to her neck much like a few
other of Medicom’s female figures. While this helps to give her a nice
smooth neck with no seams, it does make it a bit tricky to make her do
sharp turns with her waist. This isn’t too big of a deal, but it is
worth mentioning, so take care so as to not accidentally stress the
rubber too much.
This is probably one of the only real big strikes against the First
Lady. Not counting her spike bracelets and standard display stand,
Chun-li comes with an extra pair of open palm hands – and that’s it.
No really, that’s it.
Again, it’s not news that Medicom is generally rather ‘stingy’ when it
comes to accessories for their figures, but what we have here is
probably one of the worst examples of this. While Chun-li isn’t
affected functionality wise, as you can assume and recreate most poses
you’d want to with just the hands, that doesn’t change the fact that
Medicom got really lazy here.
Just because Chun-li doesn’t wield any weapons of any sort is no
excuse. A little extra accessory could have gone such a long way here.
A stage accessory, an extra face and hands to recreate her ‘yatta!’
winning pose or hell, just more hands - anything. There are many
possibilities for additional accessory ideas for Chun-li, although
admittedly there isn’t really any object that the casual fan would
immediately associate Chun-li with.
But just because there isn’t, doesn’t mean it’s a good excuse to just
forget about it. Companies like Sideshow and Hot Toys making it the
norm to include at least one meaningful accessory to each and every one
of their figures. Medicom needs to cut this kind of stuff out. With
their pricing being higher than the rest, and providing much less value
in return, this just doesn’t fly anymore in today’s competitive market.
Outfit - ****
Thankfully, the work on her outfit is once again, Medicom at their ‘A’
game. Chunners is clad in her classic blue qipao with her brown
leggings and her white boots.
The detail on the qipao is amazing, with the trademark gold pattern
faithfully replicated on it. As if that wasn’t enough, the front and
back ‘flaps’ of the qipao have wires in them as well, which really adds
a nice touch to all the dramatic poses you’d want to put her in. Her
sleeves appear to be stuffed as well, as they have a nice puffy look to
them and they didn’t once go out of shape for me after much posing.
Her leggings are also nicely done, in just the right shade of brown and
they hug her massive legs nicely. The stitching is probably a little
large for my taste, and they do tend to bunch up a little during
posing, but that’s nothing a little fussing can’t solve.
The surprise detailing here however, has got to be her belt. Medicom
could have easily given her a plain white belt and call it a day as
that was what we mostly saw of it in the various games Chun-li has
starred in. Instead, we get a white belt with a very meticulously
detailed dragon pattern emblazoned around it that looks absolutely
stunning. This is truly exceptional of Medicom, who tends to be the
sort of company that sticks to the basic design of a character and
rarely goes out of their way to add something ‘extra’ like this.
The outfit overall is outstanding work, with the belt being the cherry
on top this amazing metaphorical sundae.
Let’s see now. Do you like beautiful, acrobatic, butt-kicking kung-fu
women? If you have any love for fighting women or well-articulated
action figures in general, you’d have a blast with Chun-li. It’s even
better if you’re a fan of Street Fighter and Chun-li as well, but that
isn’t really necessary to appreciate how fun it is to fiddle with her.
I’ve spent hours seeing how dynamic a pose I can get her in, and she
almost always pulls it off with ease. And let’s not forget the
potential figures whose butts she can whup!
The only thing holding me back from giving this full marks is the RAH
body’s tendency to break when manipulated incorrectly, so you’d still
want to be careful and not hand her to your 5 year old cousin.
This is a tricky one. Chun-li isn’t as expensive as some of Medicom’s
other figures (their Alien and Kamen Riders come to mind). However, she
still isn’t chump-change by any stretch of the imagination, and will
run you between $160-$180. The high price, together with the almost
complete lack of accessories does hamper her value a fair bit.
|However, if you know
you’re a huge fan of good-looking figures, or
are a huge Street Fighter fan, you can easily add another star to the
score. I personally found her worth it as I fall under both categories,
but if you’re uncertain about even that, I would think very carefully.
Things to Watch Out For -
careful with the wired flaps of her outfit. They move very well, but
don’t overdo it, ‘lest you risk snapping the wires. I’ve not had any
mishaps yet, but I don’t want to risk it.
Aside from that, also
be mindful of how you move her limbs. She’s very flexible for the most
part and has more ‘give’ than most other RAHs, but you still don’t want
to overdo it, as a breakage could still happen. With Medicom not having
mass-released their female body yet (to my knowledge), a breakage is an
ugly scenario I never want to see happen to anyone.
There was a time when I was
wondering if 2D fighting games like
Street Fighter were out and down for the count. It was a pretty glum
time, as the market was flooded with shallow 3D fighting games, and I
was preparing to mourn the loss of one of my favourite franchises ever.
years later, I am happy to say I’m wrong, with the return of Street
Fighter in ‘Street Fighter 4’, and I’m doubly happy that a company has
finally produced figures worthy enough to honour these classic
characters. And of all of them, I am immensely delighted that Medicom
decided to start with the ‘strongest woman in the universe’.
the flaws which although few, are apparent, Medicom has still done a
figure that finally does justice to one of the most classic videogame
characters of our time and that truly captures her essence.
aside, Barbie. Go home, Cool Girls. Chun-li has arrived. If you have a
problem with that, you’d be on the business end of her Spinning Bird
Accessories - **
Outfit - ****
Fun factor: ***1/2