Soul Caliber - Taki
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Jeff Parker is back tonight
with another cool sixth scale review. It looks like he needs to turn
the thermostat up for his next photo shoot though...take it away, Jeff!
Thanks as always to the one man, reviewing machine that is Mr Michael
Honestly, you don’t review a figure from a video game for years then
two come along at once. No sooner have I finished my low-down on Chris
Redfield from Resident Evil 5 than Taki from SoulCalibur 4
lands in my lap (c’mon, tell me you wouldn’t want THIS
sitting on top of you).
Like Chris, she has been in her game (in this case the arcade classic SoulCalibur),
since it’s very first outing, and along the way she even got the chance
to take on Lord
Vader and give him a bloody nose… if you had the skills to
She’s one of the most enduring characters and is one of the few to have
been a warrior choice in every single version of SoulCalibur released
So if you’ve played the game, worn the T-shirt and… played the game
again, will you want a 1/6th version of this buxom, nubile lovely
staring down at you from your shelf… do I have to ask?
This is my third Triad figure so far, I’ve reviewed Lola and Josh Randall and both
were very solid figures that incorporated nice compact boxes, and that
trend continues here. This is a nice sturdy cardboard that feels like
it could handle quite a bit of punishment if it were to take a smack
down at any point, it’s the classic 5 panel, flap fronted design and
bares a large SoulCalibur logo on its front above her character name
set on a deep pink/red background, the back has another logo above a
small synopsis of her role in the game and a brief bio of her
Being a licensed product this box benefits from some branding but still
sits very comfortably with the other boxes from Triad. The front panel
lifts open to show the fully assembled figure through a window on the
right, whilst opposite a tray holds her twin swords and scabbards.
Inside she lies in a clear plastic vac formed tray.
Like a lot of game characters she seems pretty open to interpretation,
she’s often depicted in a variety of styles, but she is always a woman
of an incredible
physique, so the artists at Triad, who sculpted this mega
babe must have had a whale of a time bringing her to life.
In 2007 Toms Game’s http://www.tomsgames.com/ voted Taki as one of the
top 50 female characters in video game history, so with a devout
following, it was important not to let the fans down. That said there
is no denying that this is an attractive sculpt bringing to mind some
of the early Cool/Cy-girls from Bbi, but the features do perhaps look a
little too soft and generic to me.
Having tracked down a few good
screenshots I think her eyes should have been a little
larger and her skin tone darker around them. I’d have also
preferred a slightly more determined expression, though having said
that her face is far from bland. But I do feel a bit more of a frown
would have helped get more of her character across. Apart from those
few slight misgivings this is a nice piece of work that certainly stays
true to the essential look of Taki, while also managing to incorporate
that very distinct Triad style.
Her hair is rooted rather than sculpted, and for many that will be the
instant clincher as to whether they will buy this or not. But as I’ve
stated many times before, variety is the spice of life, well for me
anyway. I like to see as diverse a selection of styles and unique
interpretations of characters as can be done. That said her hair is a
difficult cut to pull off with rooted hair at this scale, as her fringe
(sorry, ‘bangs’ in the US), are often shown in a very pointy Manga
style. However when you look at pics like this
you can actually see that though not perfect, this is a fair
interpretation of the way it hangs. I do however think this is one
occasion where the distinct nature of the way Taki’s hair looks could
have been done more convincingly with a sculpted hairstyle instead. So
I guess a few purists might be getting out the scissors and hair gel to
do a little restyling… not me though, I can live with it!
This is a nice clean job, though by recent standards it lacks a certain
wow factor whilst still managing to look clean and precise. I was
especially impressed by the eyes which achieve a much more natural look
than on Lola, all the division lines are crisp and precise, and both
the lips and eyebrows show some delicate hand painting where fine
details have been flicked in.
My only problem is that the opaque paint does seem to float a bit on
the translucent plastic that has been used to represent the flesh
beneath. I liked the way this worked on Lola, but here on Taki it does
seem like the base plastic has just a little too much transparency,
especially when a strong light source is behind it.
However when it comes down to the actual quality of the paint
application, then this is solid work, especially on the armoured
elements of her outfit where the purples, silvers and gold show a great
depth of colour and absolutely no slop what so ever. My only real
problem is that the face looks too uniform in it’s colouration, I know
the base plastic is supposed to do the work in this case, but it’s just
not as convincing as I found it on Lola.
Lola came on an Otaku 1.0 base body, whereas Taki comes on an Otaku
1.2, and from what I can make out the only difference is the way the
hips are constructed meaning Taki here has metal joints hidden away
inside. This is, as I say not visible, but should give the figure a lot
more intrinsic strength when posing her. Sadly the newly developed
Alpha and EVA bodies
still aren’t available yet, and knowing what an action girl Taki is,
she could have benefited from a much more articulated base body.
However, that’s not to say that you wont get her in some good action
poses, but the lack of mobility at the waist coupled with no double
knee joints and limited movement at the hips means you might struggle
to get any really deep stances or ‘Ninja’ squats.
Michael already gave a good low-down on the full range of this figures
joints here and as
you can see it’s a good looking base body, ideal for any number of
bashes where the character is semi dressed, or dare I say it even
naked, because the underlying body sculpt has all of her primary sexual
characteristics sculpted to quite a high degree of detail.
And I have to warn you, this is all still very visible, as her skin
tight, and I really mean SKIN TIGHT body suit leaves nothing to the
imagination. If you’ve ever wondered what a 1/6th starter button for a
JCB looks like, now you’ll know.
And down below… well, lets just say I’m going to have to be careful
with my photography, knowing this is a ‘family friendly’ web site, but
she’s definitely got all the requisite peaks and troughs, which does
lead me nicely onto…
Like a lot of video game heroines, especially ones from ‘beat’em ups’
the female characters often seem to live by the idiom that less is more
when it comes to clothing.
But lets face it, if you’re going into an arena to fight for your life
you’re not going want to be too bogged down in layers of restrictive
clothing. Ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a gladiator in a
three-piece suit… exactly!
But it’s also worth remembering that just about the biggest demographic
for these types of games are… you guessed it, adolescent males. So, if
their character of choice isn’t a vaguely homoerotic muscle bound
macho-man, you can bet they’ll choose a heavily armed, semi clothed,
nubile Lolita in little more than a swimsuit, it ain’t rocket science!
So Taki comes in her trademark outfit from SoulCalibur 4, consisting of
a cerise/red latex body-glove with fishnet side panels, well, I say
fishnet, but Triad have actually constructed these panels of a soft
rubbery plastic material that is stitched along its edge to the base
leotard. This works surprisingly well, it doesn’t look exactly like
‘fabric’ fishnet, but the approximation is convincing for a ‘fantasy
female’ if you catch my drift. Her arms are covered with real fishnet
sleeves, these go from her bicep down to underneath the gauntlets on
her forearms. That’s pretty much it for the fabric parts of her outfit
as everything else is sculpted amour. She has layered armoured panels
on her shins and forearms, there are some very nicely executed horned
Chinese demons on her knees and shoulders, I needed to re-glue one of
the horns on her knee guards and one of the shoulder guards had also
come loose in transit. Both were an easy fix with a spot of super-glue.
She even has small armoured panels to cover her hands and feet, the
ones on her feet are attached to her Japanese style split toed sandals,
which incorporate two metal magnetic panels set into the soles of each
sandal. These are designed to work like the panels on Lola’s boots for
those ‘bullet time’ poses, and whilst they are effective in helping
maintain some stances on a magnetic/metallic surface, they don’t work
quite as well as Lola’s did. But as hers were bigger and on fully
supported knee high laced up boots as opposed to thin soled sandals
held on by a few strategic sculpted strings that is hardly surprising.
This meant that the magnets weren’t strong enough for any acute leaning
angles, but they certainly helped for general standing poses. She also
wears a sculpted belt that helps to lift and separate those imposing
breasts; it sweeps around her back where it is laced to a steel
coloured back panel. This has two pegs protruding from its reverse side
that slot into metal rivets set into the back of her leotard. This
helps hold the whole rig up and aids the fact that both the scabbards
for her twin swords hang from it. One of the scabbards (the one without
the leather collar) is tied to the two cords that hang from the bottom,
whilst the one that does have the collar just slots over the top of the
point on this steel coloured panel.
So, all in all a very nicely executed outfit that represents the
character well in that inimitable Triad style. It’s a style that really
fills it’s own space in 1/6th collecting, and you’ll probably either
love it or hate it… I have to say that I like it a lot, and I’m
impressed by the fact that you ‘know’ when you have a Triad product in
your hand, it’s that distinctive!
Taki comes armed with-
- Rekki-Maru- (her original weapon, a short sword/dagger)
- Mekki-Maru- (her bonus sword)
- Alternate hand.
Sometimes it may seem like you’re not getting much, but as Mick Jagger
sang… ‘you get what you need’.
Taki’s weapons of choice are her twin daggers Rekki-Maru and Mekki-Maru,
these are ninja weapons that look like small Katana’s, both come with
scabbards that can be attached to her back. However, although two
swords with scabbards might not seem like much it’s worth pointing out
that both the blades are made of chromed metal, and both the sword grip
hands hold them tightly. The extra hand is for when she is fighting in
her single blade style, and is in the classic Taki pose of two forefingers
So you could hardly describe her as being laden with extras, but what
little she does have are the essentials you need for this particular
character, and they are put together very well.
I do however think a metal stand, just something like a die cut disk
would have been cool to help utilise those magnetic feet, there is
however one available to purchase separately.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention you also get a circular SoulCalibur
window sticker in the vac formed tray behind the figure, not that
useful for the figure I know, but still a cute little extra. It
reminded me of the time I found the hidden posters and stickers in my
old gatefold sleeve for my ‘Dark Side Of the Moon’ vinyl LP… those were
the days (said in nostalgic, crusty old man voice as I stare off into
the middle distance!).
for money - ***
You can pick her up directly from the Triad site for $99.99, that’s $25
more than Lola was, which at first I found a little puzzling.
However, this is obviously a licensed product, they’ve improve the base
figure by strengthening the hips with metal, she comes with two real
metal swords and her outfit is much more complex than Lola’s so I guess
you can see where that extra money is being spent, but she still kind
of feels more like an $70 to $80 figure, I guess it’s down to how much
you’re into the character. But in a world where $100 to $150 is
increasingly the norm, then the price is more understandable,
particularly from a smaller company.
Factor - ***
There’s no denying Taki looks good, but that limited articulation does
mean you’ll have to be a little creative in your posing, but after
familiarising yourself with it’s range you’ll coax some great action
poses out of her just fine. But for obvious reasons this is most
definitely not a figure for kids, not only is she overtly sexualized in
her appearance, but those armoured spikes and twin metal swords would
be a health and safety nightmare… I have the scars to prove it.
I like Taki a lot and she’s grown on me more as I’ve played around with
her during this review (no not like that, get your mind out of the
gutter) and if she had been the same price as Lola I’d say she was a
bargain. Hell, even if she had been $80 I’d have given her a full
score. But a cool $100 does seem just a little high!
Perhaps if the head sculpt had screamed ‘Taki’ at me a little louder,
and if the paint apps had blown me away just a little more I’d be
pushing that final score up even higher, but as she stands, for the
price she is, then she’s perfectly serviceable whilst being a little
short of actually perfect.
My biggest gripe is with the base body, don’t get me wrong it’s a great
base body… just not for Taki, she needs to be posed in some extreme
fighting poses, and sadly the Otaku 1.2 just doesn’t let her do that.
However, I think the diehard Taki fans out there, who have been
patiently waiting for a 1/6th representation of their curvaceous
heroine will be pretty happy!
You can get her direct from Triad for $99 or
Big Bad Toy Store
did offer her for $89.99 but have sold out. Other than that it’s
time to hit
eBay, where most are the same price as direct from Triad, but
I’ve seen a few go for around $80, whilst other traders are really
chancing their arm … can’t blame them for trying!
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.