SDCC 2007 Exclusive
Street Fighter Dan Hibiki

SOTA has produced plenty of action figures, mini-busts, and other pop culture collectibles.  But perhaps they are best known for the exceptional series of action figures based on the original Street Fighter games.

Every company has taken a shot at action figures based on video games, and almost all of them have done less than stellar in sales.  There have only been a few times when multiple series of figures have made it to market, and none have been as long running as the Street Fighter line for SOTA.

That's largely because of the exceptional quality of the figures.  From the sculpt to the articulation to the accessories, SOTA went above and beyond in creating a line that was true to the game.  It's winding down now, and the SDCC 2007 exclusive of Dan Hibiki is one of those tail enders.  But there's a few other figures that hit retail over the summer, and are worth a look if you're still interested in the series.

I'm covering Dan tonight, but what I say here pretty much applies to the final wave as well.  Dan was $20 at SDCC, but the regular figures in the latest series - like the Previews Akuma, Ken and Ryu - can be had in the $18 range.

The line is being relaunched under the name "Revolutions", with a more anime style of sculpt.  The line up will include Honda, Zangief, Dhalism, R. Mika, and are scheduled for release still sometime this year.


Packaging - ***
They've dropped the clamshells in favor of boxes.  On the plus side, these are easy to store, hold put fairly well to shelf wear, are very collector friendly, and show off the figure well.  On the minus side, they've gone with a very large package, with tons of wasted space.  In this case, I preferred the clamshells.

Sculpting - ***
Dan is done in a bit more of an anime style, if you will, than the earlier versions of Street Fighter figures.  You may or may not like the style, but I think it works pretty well.

There doesn't seem to be as much fine detail in this work though as we saw in early figures.  The hair is a less defined, and even the clothing seems less detailed.

The various hand sculpts work well with the character, including the fists and gesturing hands.  The crying head doesn't appeal to me but both heads are hurt by the thick appearance of the ponytail and curly hair piece in front.  Since these have even less detail than the hair on his head, they clash in appearance with the rest of the hair sculpt.

Dan stands fine on his own, at least in regards to his sculpt.  He stands about 6 inches tall, so he matches up well with the rest of the series.

Paint - ***
This version of Dan comes in his turquoise outfit.  The basic paint work is good, with fairly clean cut lines and consistent application.  There's a little gloppiness in the skin tone on the face, hands and feet, and it also appears a bit too flat, hiding the detail below because of it's thickness.

But the biggest issue is that much of the paint is rubbing off or on to other areas.  I ended up with black on the shoulders very quickly, and the skin tone is rubbing off around the elbows as is the turquoise color at the knees and hips.  It doesn't make a whole lot of difference if the paint job is perfect in the package if within five minutes of having it out, it's damaged in several places.

The work is solid, but very mass market to me.  It doesn't have the quality you'd really expect from this price point on the specialty market, especially for an exclusive.

Articulation - ***
One of the hallmarks of the street fighter line is the superb articulation.  Dan has most of it, but the execution isn't quite up to snuff this time.

He has a good ball jointed neck, which allows you to add some personality to the poses.  He also has ball jointed hips and shoulders, jointed on both sides of the ball.  Unfortunately, the hips are very loose, making it tough to do deep stances and even tougher for him to hold them.

He has single jointed elbows, but double jointed knees.  I had quite a bit of gapping at the elbows, but the knees worked well and were nice and tight.

Accessories - ***
Dan has two additional sets of hands, an additional head, and a blue energy ball.

The hand sculpts look great, including a set of open hands to use with the ball, and a set of fists.  The hands don't swap easily though, and I had an extremely hard time getting them on and off without destroying the pegs.

The extra head is a tad easier to swap, largely because the neck peg is made from very tough plastic.  They're still a bit harder to pop on and off than you might expect, but it seemed less likely that you'd damage the peg.

The blue energy ball is supposed to be inserted into either the left or right open hand.  The size and angle of the hole in his left hand made it almost impossible though, and it was much easier to place in the right hand.

Fun Factor - ***
The articulation makes this figure fun.  Unfortunately, the floppy hips and bad wrists take away a half star here, making him less fun than he really could have been.

Value - **1/2
At $20, this guy is usual price for a con exclusive.  If I were grading the regular release figures however, whom cost almost as much, the score would drop another half star.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Be careful with both the ponytail and the curl of hair on the front of the head.  They are made from a soft rubber, and could be torn loose pretty easily.  Likewise, take care with the pegs on the swappable hands.  I almost tore one off, and because the fit is so tight (and the pegs somewhat soft) it's easy to do.

Overall - ***
No doubt about it, SOTA is having some issues right now.  The paint ops are the most obvious, and that's not unusual.  When you're trying to cut costs, the paint always takes the hit first, since it can be altered at the last minute, and is a fairly substantial part of the unit cost.

Dan isn't a terrible figure, but compared to some of the other earlier Street Fighter releases, he's fairly mediocre.  If you're looking to complete your set, he's worth picking up.

I'm hoping that we see SOTA return to the level of quality they were known for when they release the new Revolutions figures.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value -  **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Even though SDCC is long over, you can still pick this guy up at a couple places.  They produced a 1000 of these to be split between two spots:

- SOTA themselves have it in their store for $20.

- CornerStoreComics has him for $20 as well.

Related Links -
I've been a big fan of the line, even though I've never been a big fan of the game:

- first, if you're interested in seeing the various variants (or picking them up) you can find most at SOTA's own webstore.

- Then check out the guest review of the exclusive GITD Blanka, and my review of the exclusive blue Blanka.

- I also reviewed the SDCC exclusive Cammy, Guile and Ryu/Bison two pack.

- and then there's always the regular series 1, series 2 and series 3 reviews.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour