Friday 3 February 2012

1/8 Lacia (GSC)

Jenn saw perfection.
She gave it a ten.
The end.

My greatest hope is that one day all my reviews will be that succinct, but Canadians will shun hockey before I become so laconic. Perfect figures are perfect, sure, but they also make short reviews, and then where will Poke the Merch be? (Around a trash fire under a bridge probably) So in the interest of self-preservation, enjoy another round of fangirl gushing.

Do you know what I really love? Girls with big weapons. Or better yet, girls that are weapons. By that alone, logic dictates I would love Lacia, and I do. I do indubitably.

Everything about Lacia screams class. Even her box is class. Black. Sleek. Sturdy. Fingerprint heaven. Absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of Native's boxes. To keep Lacia even safer, she's packed in second box inside the outer box. Safety first, people.

I'm going to break from tradition a little and talk a lot about Lacia's base. If there's one thing I love, it's a well-executed base. When prototypes of Lacia first came out, I was sold instantly by the icy materializations behind her. I almost never decide to buy a figure before it's painted, but Lacia kicked me in the heart. Love at first sight? No. It was love at conception.

Then they painted her, and god she's beautiful. A lot of figures look better greyscale than in colour. Not Lacia. If she was incredible before her paintjob, she's exceptional after. This figure easily tops my "best releases of 2011" list, and is a strong contender in the "best figures ever" list. Everything about this figure is appealing, from her effortless elegance to her pimpin' heels.

Oh, and of course, her base.

My god (I have a feeling I'll say this a lot in this review), my heart stopped for a moment. No jib. It's rare for figure bases to be anything other than functional, and even rarer for them to be so absolutely mammoth. Lacia's base transcends into the realm of backdrop. Lacia comes with her own background, and it's amazing. I've seen artful bases before, but Lacia's is the only one that commands such an all-encompassing presence.

From a distance it's big and black, like some diving mechanical ray, but close up, it's details are stunning—the futurustic blue streaks, the hidden specks of red, the texture, the grooves—it's all good.

The base itself requires some assembly. You need to manually install four fins, which can be a bit finicky, as parts of the base are quite thin. But seriously, after dealing with Houmei a few weeks ago, this was child's play.

Lacia herself isn't too shabby either, and that's a gross understatement. Wicked elegant and pale, she's the perfect foil for her stark weapon. Like many have noticed, her bodysuit is similar to Miku Append's, but that doesn't make her any less appealing. If anything, she rocks the suit harder than Miku ever could.

Doesn't look like she'd be able to hoist a weapon so large, does it? But I guess that's a perk of being inhuman.

I can't get over her grace. Look at her fighting in heels. Beautiful, futuristic heels.

Granted, the paint on her heels are just a tad rough.

Damn woman, where you gettin' those kicks?
There's something very attractive about Lacia's overall design. It could be her streamlined appearance, or the cool refreshing feel of her outfit, or her beautiful legs. Or, in a baser sense, it could just be the tightness of her suit.

It's a bit of a mystery why I find Lacia's design so attractive, but I've figured it out. Her attire looks clean. The contrast between her spick-span suit and the grundgy texture of her crossbow accentuates aspects of both girl and weapon. Clever planning on GSC's part.

Speaking of curves, Lacia doesn't have the largest "assets", but she is designed by redjuice, and bears the same sensuality present in all his works. Her body is well toned. Her legs are impossibly long. She's fleshy where she needs to be, while maintaining a slenderness that's both feminine and pleasing.

In the words of one of my good friends, "She's so...bendy.

I've come to expect a lot from GSC, especially in the last few years. After all, they've come up with such hits as the Saber series, the Black Rock Shooter line, and exlusives such as Lacia and Love is War Miku (both which are sculpted by and demi-godly Ishinaga Sakurako). Clearly, the bar is set high.

But have I mentioned that Lacia is puny? For a 1/8 figure, Lacia is tiny, and by tiny I mean freakishly dwarf-like tiny. She measures about 17 cm in height, which translates to only 136 cm if she were a real person, or roughly the size of an eight-year-old. If I had any issue with this figure, it would be her puniness (come on GSC, learn basic scaling).

Thankfully, her weapon is what raises her to near 30 cm. To turn a negative into a positive, the tininess of Lacia makes her details all the more incredible. It's a wonder they managed to paint her nails given how small her fingers actually are. Same goes for the lines in her suit and the round clasps on her outfit. Lacia is shiny everywhere. Shiny and beautiful, that is. I'm real fond of how her suit lifts from her breasts, you know, to give her ladies some breathing room.

Collar test passed so hard!
I can't really find a flaw in Lacia anywhere. Everything about her is absolutely perfect—oh wait.

Is that a SEAM?
It looks like one of her locks was jammed in as an afterthought, but you know what, I love Lacia enough to ignore it.

While we're on the subject of her hair, let me just emphasize how stunning it is. The individual strands are sculpted. It's propely touseled. It has a wonderful floppy quality rarely found in figures. For once a figure's hair doesn't look like glorified lego hair. It's emerging from all the proper areas and reacting with the right amount of disarray. Most seam lines are hidden in the mass of bold sculpt. It's also a beautiful shade of lavender. They've reproduced redjuice's style perfectly.

Herbal like you mean it!
Now, to an area of contention: Lacia's face and expression. Some people like it. Some people don't. I belong to the former group. Nothing better than a deadpan expression of cold, hard calm.

Is it just me or has GSC tweaked her face to give it a little more life? Her gaze certainly looks sharper and more directed than in promo-shots. (Maybe it's just me)

Tweaked or not, I like her face. I've always been a fan of more mature looking figures (you probably wouldn't be able to tell from my collection though), and Lacia's face, like her hair, is sculpted to match redjuice's style.

She has some gorgeous angles, the best being from above and slightly to the right.

Something like this.
Her expression can't be explained very easily. It's restrained, but not apathetic. Her expression reminds me of Buddy's. It's calculated, cool, and tinged with determination. She's going to bring that weapon down on somebody, not because she wants to, but because it's just how she rolls, and she's going to make it look effortless.

Lacia's almost perfect, but there are a few very small things I find unnecessary. Take her blue clips for example. They don't resemble clips at all actually, and I'm not sure they're clips at all. They could be some sort of embedded energy crystal for all I know. Unshaded and a little rough, they look like foam cut-outs glued to her head.

Again, it's a little thing (literally) and doesn't take away too much from this figure. Lacia has enough perks to make her flaws obsolete.

Oooh, that gaze.
Surprise! Lacia is actually a cast-off!

Not a full cast off, of course, but a cast-off nevertheless.

Not that we're really casting off much, mind you. Just her belt, which covers so little it probably doesn't really count as a cast-off. This is accomplished by ripping out her left leg and sliding the belt off (then replacing said leg). It's only slightly disturbing.

In case you wanted to leave less to the imagination.
She looks lonely without her weapon. Lonely and even bendier (ha, a neologism!). From behind, she has a perfect 19th century swoon!

Then again, the cast-off version gives us some very "interesting" views.


What a rear! Why can't I have a butt like that? And it's shiny. The sculpt of her rear is truly a highlight of this figure (along with her weapon and her hair and her face and her overall configuration). It ranks as one of the finest behinds I've seen in a long time. Sure looks supple. I can't imagine the circulation problems she'll have in the future though. Those must be some hardcore leggings. What are they made of anyway? Polyvinyl chloride? (Oh wait...)

As though things aren't good enough, Lacia also comes with a concept art book. It's classy and sleek, just like her box. Again, it's fingerprint heaven. Just try to open it with telekinesis, I guess.

The artbook itself doesn't contain so much art as it does concepts. There is information on the characters, rough sketches, a section depicting the making of the figure using 3D models, along with some of redjuice's more well-known works on the series (the same that can be found on his Deviantart account). The book also contains the prologue to Beatless, although it's in Japanese and therefore illegible to me. I'll do a separate review of this later. For now, just hang in there.

Unfortunately, Lacia was an exclusive, which means it'll be difficult trying to get her after the fact. If you're lucky, you'll find her on Mandarake (overpriced), or in auctions (probably also overpriced).

So I misled you to a certain extent. Surely my high adulation in the intro brought you to expect a perfect figure. Unfortunately, Lacia's not perfect. She has her little slip ups here and there. The ugly clip in her hair is one. The rough paintwork on her heel is another. Her small size is another misfortune. But does that stop her from being absolutely awesome? Not at all. Does that stop her from being one of the most awesome figures I have? Far from it.

All in all, Lacia reminds me of a well-shined porsche. There's no doubt in my mind that she was a good purchase. At 11 000 yen in total (shipping included) her high quality trumps her price any day. Does she fall into my top ten favourite figures of all time? Yes. Does she fall into the top five? Maybe. What about the top three? Well, no, but competition gets pretty fierce up there.

The Run-Down
Box: 8/10 (All class, but so many fingerprints!)
Base: 10/10 (IT'S SO BIG)
Pose: 10/10 (So graceful)
Sculpt: 9.5/10 (Close, but no cigar)
Paint: 9.5/10 (So shiny and clean and almost perfect)
Overall: 9.5/10 (Good, very good)

Manufacturer: Good Smile Company
Price: 11 000 yen (all inclusive)
Purchased from: Good Smile Company Online Shop

Bottoms up!

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