Friday 1 February 2013

Nendoroid Petits (Tales of Series) - GSC

Hello dear readers! It’s been a long while, but I’m finally back with some figures!

It’s been a long while since I purchased any figures, but I knew my wallet sensed danger once I saw stock photos of some characters from the most recent Tales of games.  It was as though Good Smile Company knew some of my weak points: Adorable little figures plus the Tales of series.  After seeing stock photos of all the characters (Yuri, Estelle, Asbel, Sophie, Jude, and Milla), I knew I was going to immediately pre-order the Tales of series Nendoroid Petits. 

I had high expectations of Good Smile Company because the quality of their figures is generally high.  Jenn spoke well of them too, at least until recently.  I must admit I had mixed feelings about the set of figures I received. 


Each complete box set you purchase includes eight figures.  There are six characters, plus a secret character, so in the end you’ll have an extra of one of the characters.  In my case, I got an extra Sophie from Tales of Graces.  The box is nice and bright, but nothing special.

From I've seen in the past, most box sets have a silhouette of the secret character on the packaging, making it obvious who said secret character is.  This time, they didn't give us any hint of who the secret character was.  Good Smile Company kept a good secret all the way until the release date of these Nendoroid Petits.

Honestly, I expected Ludger Will Kresnik from Tales of Xillia 2 to get his own Nendoroid Petit since he was from the most recent Tales of game, but boy was I wrong.  I was actually disappointed because I didn’t get to pick up the Tales of Xillia 2 Kyun Chara pack, which included Ludger, so I was hoping to get a mini figure of him in the GSC pack.  I'm certain fans of the Tales of series were happy with the secret character though, but we'll look into that more later.

Each figure comes with a small transparent stand.  Thankfully it isn't large and filled with holes like the stands that come with some of the regular sized Nendoroids.  Otherwise it would really clash with something as small as a Nendoroid Petit!  The stick coming up from the back allows you to angle your Nendoroid Petits the way you like.  You can make anyone float or you can have them standing straight up!  The choice is yours!

Now let's take a look at these adorable little figures!

Jude (Tales of Xillia):

I’m biased towards Jude.  I loved his design before Tales of Xillia was even released, so when I learned that he was getting his own Nendoroid Petit, I was ecstatic.  Was I disappointed in his Nendoroid Petit design after receiving him?  Not at all!

He wears a nice, calm expression, which is very fitting because he isn’t exactly overflowing with confidence in the game itself.  Jude is rather young and immature in the first Xillia game, but his intentions are always good, and he always tries to be rational.  That’s why I feel the expression his Nendoroid Petit wears is perfect.  I’ve also always liked the colour scheme of his outfit because something about light blue pattern on that navy blue coat makes him look great.  It’s really eye-catching for me.

For those of you who could not afford the Kyun Chara pack for Tales of Xillia, Good Smile Company’s petit Jude is actually a fantastic substitution.  I put them side by side and immediately noticed that little Jude was much cuter, especially his face.  He’s got chubbier cheeks, which works excellently with the whole super-deformed look, and he has nicer eyes.  Kyun Chara Jude has nice, bright eyes, but I actually prefer the calm look GSC's Jude has.

Despite being smaller, the paint job is better on the Nendoroid Petit, which saddens me a bit because I paid so much more for the Kyun Chara figures.  So Tales/Jude fans, I recommend picking up GSC’s Petit Jude over Kyun Chara Jude, unless you can’t live without the school and butler uniforms that are included in the Kyun Chara Pack! 

GSC’s petit Jude is easy to put together as well, unlike some of the Nendoroid Petits.  The good thing about figures having short hair is that it really doesn’t get in your way when you're trying to piece them together.  Putting Jude together is just me literally pressing his head into his neck.  The rest is just the stand.

Little Jude definitely earns thumbs up from me.

Milla (Tales of Xillia):

Milla is incredibily adorable, and while her hair is really well done, it makes her head heavy.  If I don’t pose her correctly, she topples backwards, which I have to admit I find somewhat funny.  I laugh now, but one day I’ll regret it, I’m sure.

Milla’s sword is included and it fits into her hand nicely.  You simply have to slip the hilt between her fingers and thumb and the sword will stay in her grasp just fine.  Unlike the other swordsmen in this group, she doesn't look like she'll need to unsheathe her blade any time soon.  That's a shame.  But I suppose she could wipe out her enemies using magic anyway since she's the master of the four elemental spirits.

I personally find her costume horrifying and unfitting for someone as beautiful as Milla, but at least it doesn't look as bad on the Nendoroid Petit.  It might be because the outfit doesn't stand out as much.  Her head is naturally bigger in her super-deformed state, and her hair is just wild, so that might draw attention away from the outfit.  Speaking of hair, I felt that some of Milla's hair was messily sculpted, particularly around the bangs.  It has that newly sculpted look and feel.  Prickly pieces are sticking out just slightly, so the problem isn't noticeable from afar, but it would have been nice if GSC smoothed it down for me.

Milla is the only figure that has two holes for the stand.  You can either have the ball in her back or in her hair.  I chose back because there's just too much hair on the outside.  This fine lady has fallen backwards a few times because her head is too heavy, but it isn't something I would deem problematic.  She's currently standing my shelf just fine!
In comparison to Kyun Chara's Milla, GSC's Milla is smaller, cuter, and frankly designed better.  The straps around the Nendoroid Petit are smoother, and the pattern on her skirt is more colourful.  That detail actually stands out more because the costume is mostly white.

The Nendoroid Petit Milla's hair actually flows outward more, which gives the illusion that there's a little more movement in her compared to Kyun Chara Milla.  Her eyes are not only softer, but they're prettier as well.  Kyun Chara Milla's eyes and face appear glossy under certain lighting, which isn't very flattering.  Plus, how can you resist Nendoroid Petit Milla's chubby little face?  And look, she comes with a sword!  We like swords, right? I know I do!

I think the one thing I like about Kyun Chara Milla more is that her ahoge (that odd green strip in her hair) is prettier.  The deeper green just stands out more in my eyes.

Once again, I recommend purchasing the GSC version of these figures over the Kyun Chara ones.  They're more affordable, they're cuter, and their paint job is better.  If you can't live without Milla's school uniform and her maid outfit, then sure, I recommend you purchase the Kyun Chara pack through Yahoo Auctions.  If you're lucky, you'll find her and Jude on Mandarake as well.

Estelle (Tales of Vesperia):

Estelle's Nendoroid took me by surprise, but  in a wonderful way.  I always considered her original design okay at best, so I didn't think I was going to be in awe when I put her Nendoroid Petit together.The expression Estelle's Nendoroid Petit wears is very sweet and innocent, and with the pose she has, this little princess just looks adorable. It's funny how super-deformed characters can change your opinion so quickly.

Estelle's attire makes her look like a tiny flower, which makes her look incredibly adorable when she sits in the palm of my hand. There isn't too much to say about this particular Nendoroid Petit except maybe GSC could have given her a staff/wand/mace.  I only say that because everyone else in the set seems to be armed in some way.  Jude and Sophie count because they wear gauntlets.  Milla, Yuri, Asbel, and the secret figure all have their own swords.

On the other hand, I suppose it wouldn't be appropriate to give a peace lover like Estelle a weapon, even if it is a pretty little wand.

Estelle is also one of the easiest figures to piece together in this box set.  Much like Jude, all I have to do is attach her head to her body and everything goes together just fine.  Nothing feels like it's going to fall off and nothing feels unnaturally loose.  This lovely little lady is probably my third favourite Nendoroid Petit in this set.  It's also a nice bonus when I know she photographs well when she's near flowers!

Yuri (Tales of Vesperia) and Sophie (Tales of Graces):

Originally I encountered some issues with these two figures, such as broken and defective parts. Users on My Figure Collection shared some of the same issues as I did, so it seems defects aren’t actually uncommon with the Tales of series Nendoroid Petits, which is a big disappointment for me.  I didn’t expect perfection from the Nendoroid Petits, but I still expected quality figures from Good Smile Company.


The Yuri figure was almost perfect, with the exception of a fragile and broken sword.  Even though I was gently handling Yuri’s sword, the hilt snapped off almost instantly after I touched it.  I was appalled; my jaw dropped in shock.  I couldn’t believe a part of Yuri broke before I could even put him together!  I’m well aware that the sword is smaller and frailer than all other parts of the figure, but I just couldn’t accept how quickly and easily it fell apart.  I found myself disappointed in GSC’s quality control.  On the bright side, I also learned that they send replacement parts internationally at no extra cost, so Yuri’s was properly armed a week later!  Good Smile Company responds quickly, so if anyone has any issues, send them an e-mail!!

Setting that issue aside, I felt Yuri’s figure was well done, especially his expression.  There’s always an air of confidence around this character, and he’s actually quite a badass.  A very…beautiful badass.  Of course, in his super-deformed state, it's hard to take him seriously as he's just as cute as the rest of the figures.  

I like that his hair sticks out every so slightly from the back.  It almost seems like he could run forward and unsheathe his sword at any moment.

Slipping the sword into his hand was no easy task, and I mention that because of what happened the first time I tried giving Yuri his sword.  The replacement sword was carefully inserted into his right hand, and now that it's in a secure spot, it will not be removed for a very long time!  Admittedly I get nervous whenever my fingers accidentally brush any part of the sword.  I wouldn't want to contact Good Smile Company for another replacement part after all.


I learned that my Sophie figure was defective soon after Yuri's first sword broke.  This poor little girl only had one of her pigtails attached to her head for a while.  The other one simply refused go in and that was because there is an odd bump at the end of its stub.  I was honestly afraid of trying to force it through because the stub seemed weak and could have snapped right off.

When I received her replacement pigtail, I was ecstatic.  She looks much cuter with two pigtails than she does with one pigtail.

I'd say Sophie's Nendoroid Petit is actually very accurate to her original design.  To be frank, Sophie is my least favourite Nendoroid petit figure out of the entire set.  Even before Tales of Graces was released I couldn't stand her costume as it looked, in my opinion, absolutely tacky.  Despite understanding why she looked the way she did later in the game, I couldn't change my opinion on it.  It almost looks like her Nendoroid Petit has a slight bulge in the lower region and that doesn't impress me at all.  Sophie's hideous jumpsuit is probably quite tight on her, making her resemble a wrestler of some sort.

One thing I really like about Sophie is her stance.  Sophie's a fist fighter, which is awesome for a heroine as it can be quite rare.  She's got an adorable hair style and her eyes are soft and very pretty.  I just don't like that she has her mouth open because it makes her look a little more lost than determined.  Perhaps that's just the charm, but I personally would have preferred her with her mouth closed like everyone else in the set.

If you purchase these figures (Yuri and/or Sophie), make sure you’re extra careful with them!

Should one of your figures arrive defective, you can most certainly contact Good Smile Company for replacement parts.  They usually respond within 1 - 2 business days.  

Asbel (Tales of Graces):

It's a shame the Tales of Graces characters (Asbel and Sophie) are the only characters in the box set that aren't smiling.  Granted, the expressions they wear are very appropriate to the theme of the game.  Asbel is a knight who is utterly determined to protect those who are dear to him, and that is well reflected in his Nendoroid Petit.  I also like that he's ready to draw his sword as well.  It suits his fighting style very well.

Asbel's paint job could have been better.  White spills over gray quite often, so you'll see blotches all over the edges of his coat.  That could just be my figure though.  Good Smile Company does state on their website: "The paintwork on our figures varies between each figure as a large amount is done by hand. Unfortunately, there are cases where we will unfortunately not be able to offer a replacement for small painting errors." So it's really something we just have to learn to accept, unfortunately.

Regardless of all the odd paint spills, I still like Asbel's overall design.  It's probably one of the few Inomata designs that grew on me over a short period of time.

I'm certain Tales of Graces fans would be happy owning this figure, and most likely Sophie's as well.  Tales of Graces doesn't have any 1/8 figures or even one coin figures like the other games in the Tales of series (Symphonia, Abyss, Vesperia, etc...). Fans like me will take what we can get!

Secret Character: Leon Magnus (Also known as Lion Magnus)

I'm not surprised Leon got his own Nendoroid Petit since he's an extremely popular character in the Tales of series. I think I only expected Ludger to get his own Nendoroid Petit because all the other characters in the box set are from the latest Tales of games for the Playstation 3.

It's nice that Leon got his own Petit Nendoroid though.  His expression is perfect as he has a very stern personality.  His sword, Chaltier, has already been drawn, so it looks as though he's ready to fight.  Unlike the other characters with swords in this set, Leon's sword is pre-attached.  It cannot be removed.  I suppose it makes sense since Leon and Chaltier were very close (SPOILERS even until the very end)

Leon was a bit troublesome to put together, mainly because his cape was not fitting into the stub slot properly.  I tried applying some pressure as I was inserting it, but that seemed to have warped the stub a little.

In fear of owning yet another damaged figure, I stopped forcing it in.  Instead, I let it hang loosely from his shoulders.  It's almost funny how Leon's head is actually keeping the cape in its place.  The cape becomes incredibly loose once I remove his head, though.  Sometimes it immediately falls off his shoulders, which is really sad when I think about it...

If you look closely at the image above, you'll notice that Leon's earring droops from his ear.  It's as though there isn't even a piercing there, which is actually quite amusing.  One may consider it a minor flaw, but I couldn't help but laugh because it looks silly on him.  I suppose with that expression he wears I'm meant to take him seriously.  Not with that earring though!

On a more serious note, Leon's Nendoroid Petit design matching his official artwork really well.  You wouldn't expect a smile from this little guy, that's for sure.

Overall, I felt this Nendoroid Petit collection was very well done.  Of course, for obvious reasons, I was not initially impressed by Sophie and Yuri’s figures.  After receiving my replacement parts, I quickly changed my opinions about them.  Now Sophie definitely looks cuter with her two pigtails and Yuri doesn't look like a fool for carrying a sheathe with no sword around.

Having compared the old Vocaloid Nendoroid Petits I bought a few years ago to the current Tales of series Nendoroid Petits, I can at least happily say that Good Smile Company has improved.  The paint job this time around is far superior to the paint job the old Nendoroid Petitss received.  I believe the Tales of series Nendoroid Petits are a tad smaller as well.  As you can see in the photo above, Len's head (figure to the left) is slightly bigger than Estelle's.

Fun fact: You can swap bodies and heads of all the Tales characters!  I had Milla wear Asbel's costume and Jude wear Leon's costume, and I must say they both look quite dashing.  Well, Milla's breasts have disappeared but that's a minor detail...sort of.  In all seriousness, Milla looks really nice in Asbel's knight costume.  I'm glad that costume was a first-print DLC bonus for the Tales of Xillia 2 game because I got to see how fabulous Milla looked in Asbel's outfit before I got these little figures.

You can be immature like me and give the boys some lady parts by swapping bodies.  It's really quite entertaining until you realize there are only three ladies in this collection.  Then again, there are many other ways you can entertain yourself.

I learned something very interesting when I received replacements parts for my Sophie figure. You can remove her hair.  In fact, you can remove everyone's hair!  It honestly struck me as peculiar when I saw extremely obvious seamlines on everyone's head, but then it hit me!  Good Smile Company did that on purpose so we could customize all the characters!  Swap their wigs and give them different costumes, I say!

I tested it out on Sophie and Leon the first time and got some amusing results.  Instead of having a confused Sophie, I had an angry Sophie.  Then I gave her Leon's body and she looked like an evil conqueror!  So you can definitely play around with all the Nendoroid Petit body parts!  Props to Good Smile Company these figures thoroughly enjoyable.

Should you buy a box of Nendoroid Petits?

I'm sure huge Tales of and Nendoroid Petit fans can't resist, but for those of you who are slightly interested, but aren't sure, here's what you might want to take into consideration.  The quality of Good Smile Company's figures have dropped a bit as of late because of some changes, so if you purchase a box of these figures, bear in mind there's a possibility (perhaps higher than usual) that you will find a defect or two like I did.  I know there are a lot of buyers who didn't have any problems with any of their Nendoroid Petits, but there is also a handful of people who have defective parts as well (check out My Figure Collection).

Fortunately, Good Smile Company will send you replacements parts should you have any issues.  You simply need to contact them.  On the other hand, buyers shouldn't really have to go through this process.  I was quite excited about these figures when they arrived.  I honestly wasn't expecting to have problems, but when I found defective parts I had to take photographs and exchange a few emails.  Granted, it was a very simple process.  I took photographs, saved them onto my computer, sent an e-mail to GSC's customer service stating my issues with the figures, and they made a request for my shipping information a few days later.

It's a straightforward process, but some people may consider it a hassle.

In the end, I have to say yes, it's worth purchasing a box of these figures.  If Good Smile Company wasn't going to compensate me for defective figures then I would have said no, but GSC really came through for me, so I'm happy with my Nendoroid Petits!

I wish you the best of luck if you decide to purchase a box of these Nendoroid Petits!

Sculpt: 7/10 (I received two defective figures and one sword immediately broke.  Most of the figures are well done, but there are some parts that take some effort to piece together.)
Paint Quality: 7.5/10 (Good Smile Company has improved over the years but there are still some obvious spills here and there)
Design and Accuracy: 9/10 (They most certainly resemble their original designs)
Enjoyability 9/10 (You can swap bodies, heads, hair, and swords around, so you'll definitely have some fun with these Nendoroid Petits)

Manufacturer: Good Smile Company
Purchased from: Amiami
Price: 3210 yen

Thanks for reading!

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