At the beginning of this year, I had a very clear goal when it came to my figure hobby: to get Good Smile Company’s Black Rock Shooter, the figure I most regretted not purchasing in 2009. This would prove to be a more challenging task than I had anticipated as the popularity of the BRS figure wildly exceeded my–and probably everybody else’s–expectations.
The figure was sold out everywhere. You couldn’t find it anywhere outside of eBay, where one could easily expect to cough up $200 (USD) or more. I scoured the web nightly for weeks trying to find an American shop that had just received their shipment (which usually trails the Japanese release by several months) or a shop in Japan that had received some more stock. This search proved largely fruitless until I chanced upon Big Bad Toy Store one night, which claimed to have the figure in stock for a more reasonable $120 (USD) plus shipping. My order was placed minutes later. The search was over.
My BRS figure arrived from BBTS within a week. Five months later, I actually got around to opening the box. 😕
- Unique visual style — GSC’s Black Rock Shooter is based on a series of doujinshi illustrations by the artist Huke. The visual style conveyed in the figure, and the greater body of work upon which it is based, differs significantly from the industry norm. It’s an odd mix of gothic (black clothing, scars, chains) and moe (twintails, bikini top, hot pants) design elements that could possibly fall under the guro lolita genre, but I’m really not an expert on such things. I appreciate that the style is not something you see every day, but at the end of the day, I just think that it looks damn cool.
- Best. Base. Ever. — And here I thought that GSC’s Saber Lily base was good… The BRS display base is a very ambitious design from Good Smile Company in that it is significantly larger and more detailed than almost anything I’ve seen them or anybody else put out. The base replicates a chunk of crumbling stone tiles that the BRS character is seen standing on in the original artwork. Naturally, the extra attention to detail shown in the oft-neglected display base area serves to enhance the overall visual appeal of the figure. Other manufacturers take note: this is exactly the type of detail that separates a AAA figure release from the rest of the pack.
- Good quality — The quality of the sculpt and paint work on the BRS figure is generally of a very high quality consistent with what one would traditionally expect from the best figure manufacturers. The only real anomalies that I noted were a couple minor blemishes in the hair area. I’ve seen some complaints from others about the scar not looking as good in the final version as it did on the prototype, but I’m not at all bothered by it, personally.
- Chain mechanics — The BRS figure comes with a glossy black chain that is intended to wrap around the character’s arms and gun. Good Smile Company includes a short set of instructions in the form of four annotated images plus text–in Japanese, of course–for wrapping the chain around the figure. Unfortunately, these instructions are practically useless as the chain is a general pain in the ass to work with. I probably spent a good half-hour mucking with the chain before I finally got it more or less correct. The problem here is that the chain is supposed to feed through one of the character’s hands and getting the chain to stay in said hand without falling out is easier said than done. Overall, I think GSC could have done a better job designing the hand and/or the chain and saved everybody some frustration.
- Purchased from: Big Bad Toy Store
- Order date: 21-Jan-2010
- Receive date: 28-Jan-2010
- Base price (USD): $119.99
- Shipping cost (USD): $10.09
- Total (USD): $130.08
- Package dimensions (width): 305 mm
- Package dimensions (height): 350 mm
- Package dimensions (depth): 160 mm
- Shipping weight (figure + base + accessories): 554 g
- Shipping weight (packaging): 571 g
- Shipping weight (shipping box): N/A
- Shipping weight (total): 1,125 g