Wonderfestival is behind us, so before I find myself sidetracked by something else, I absolutely must review the long neglected figma Miku Hatsune 2.0 by Max Factory!
Miku Hatsune began as Crypton’s humble voice synthesizing software, but has since skyrocketed into fame and fortune to become Japan’s digital darling. At the forefront of this maelstrom of fame is Goodsmile Company and friends who hold a large chunk of the rights to Miku and do not waste them. I have no problem with this since many a masterpiece figure has been crafted in Miku’s image. In spite of this, the figma line was lacking in the Miku department for quite some time with a single hard to find figma. This began to change with the release of Append Miku as figma #100 and the debut of the Racing Queen Miku sponsorship packages as well as Cheerful Japan’s Miku. Still, proprietors of Miku’s first look were seemingly out of luck until Max Factory announced that the figma joint system would be receiving a revamp, and the first figma to feature these new joints would be none other than Miku. With this new addition christened as Miku 2.0, a new age of figmas began.
When 2.0 was revealed, I was happy to see the improvements made, but found myself underwhelmed by her accessories, and in the midst of trying to cut back on figures, decided not to preorder Miku 2.0. But Miku is not so easily defeated. In time I became eager to try out the new joints, and soon gave in. Miku 2.0 is now with me as my fourth Miku figma, but was it worth the purchase? Let’s find out!
And since there are a lot of new things to look at, we’ll be spending more time on each aspect of Miku 2.0–including the box!
Figma boxes were originally simple and white and eventually evolved to incorporate various patterns and motifs central to the character’s respective series. The new boxes tone down what could be considered a busy design and make use of merely black and a single color representative of the character inside.
In an instance of brutal honesty, I have to say that I’ve disliked this box design since the moment I saw it. As far as I see, there was nothing wrong with the old figma boxes, and I was rather fond of some of them(Aya Shameimaru), so this feels like a change made just for the sake of change. Even the collage on the back looks like something I could make on Picmonkey. Acknowledging my heavy bias, I even showed the box to my neutral mom who called it hideous.
Still, I try to stay positive especially since the box does not ruin what’s inside, and I suppose that like the new nendoroid boxes(which I oddly like) these are more international friendly as easier to spot on a store shelf. Perhaps this is merely a resistance to change, and I should give the new boxes a change by waiting for my next figma with one to arrive *checks preorders* …in April.
As previously mentioned, this is Miku in her original outfit from the Vocaloid box art.
There are minor changes from the original figma Miku which I will address as they come up.
Another thing to note is the stand which in spite of being no different from the usual figma stand, has a lavender hue when placed on my table. So the stand is clear as always, but mine happens to look a little purple in both photos and real life. Good thing purple matches Miku!
As we progress to the finer details, I’d recommend those looking to compare Miku 2.0 to the original Miku sculpt to visit Live Stage Miku’s review.
There’s also Racing Miku 2011 if you’re hungry for more Miku.
Miku’s head which is by far my favorite part of the figure. This time the sculpt strays from Crypton’s box art in favor of a more gentle and less robotic Miku. It’s quite like the models used in Project Diva.
Not only are her eyes a stunning and detailed blue, but her hair is given texture through sculpt.
Of course, one of the most identifiable traits of our adorable Miku is her long blue pigtails which have been improved since her first figma incarnation.
The entirety of Miku’s hair is transparent plastic with the tips being see through. Since Append Miku, this has been common on Miku figmas. The pigtails are also given a windswept appearance.
As usual, care should be taken when dealing with delicate strands, but Miku’s hair feels very secure.
Here we see the beginning of the figma joint revamp. Whereas pigtails were usually supported with standard figma joints(slightly flat on the sides), Miku 2.0’s hair swivels on two round joints. Whether it be entirely thanks to these different joints or not, the hair moves much more smoothly and with less limitation. I am also free to swivel the joints in a full circle without worry of break(be as careful as always though). I never thought I’d describe figure joints as buttery, but now is the time.
Miku’s top is painted using a solver paint with a muted shine.
Supporting colors are the turquoise details which are painted impeccably. Not once does the blue paint bleed into the shirt, and if that’s not already impressive, remember just how tiny each blue triangle is.
Max Factory made a huge improvement to the tie my crafting it from soft flexible PVC rather than the hard plastic of the original Miku. This causes the tie to be infinitely more durable and prevents it from hindering precious articulation. The black clips are also painted perfectly.
Miku’s arm bears a red “01” tattoo and her sleeves are painted a rich black. The colorful markings stand out bravely because of this.
The sculpted wrinkles and shine also help to make the sleeve look like latex or any other shiny fabric that the sleeves would be made of in real life.
I am not one for up skirts, but sometimes there are just things you have to mention, and in this case it’s that for an action figure, Miku’s thighs and rear area were sculpted very well!
Usually the figma leg ends abruptly at the top of the thigh which is out of view. This makes the inner joints visible and frankly is not very attractive.
At this point, I would usually move on to Miku’s accessories, but seeing that the changes made beginning with Miku 2.0 are more than aesthetic, I want to take some time to review just how flexible Miku now is.
This is not a new feature, but Miku’s shoulders are double jointed which gives them an extra pop of movement up and down. The entire shoulder is also extremely articulate allowing her to move in inhuman ways. Go Miku!
Miku 2.0’s articulation is on a different level than the original Miku’s. But just having me tell you something is neither fun nor convincing, so I’ll let you see the differences for yourself!
Announcing…the first ever Never Outgrew Toys pose off!
Let’s meet our contestants:
On the left corner we have our challenger: the vivacious and flexible girl with a heart of gold: Miku 2.0!
He dream was to become a world famous diva, but she’s already done that. Now Miku 2.0’s goal is to contort her way to victory.
Miku 2.0’s father may have been a caterpillar, and her mother a circus performer, but can she beat our reigning champion?
On the right corner is our champ: Live Stage Miku! With one review already under her belt, Live Stage Miku has dominated the premises for years, and she means business. Live Stage Miku is known for her brilliant pigtails which weigh an estimated twenty pounds each, but does our champion have enough to defeat this spirited newcomer, or will she buckle under the pressure of improved articulation? We’re about to find out!
*announcer mode off* You can also see from this picture that Miku 2.0 is indeed larger than original Miku.
Miku 2.0 owes the majority of her success in the starfish to her soft PVC skirt which is split not on the sides, but straight down the middle! This may seem like a poor choice aesthetically, but the split is hidden quite well, and who would be upset seeing a pose like that?
But Live Stage Miku won’t be put down so easily!
Our next test is kicking. Who can swing their leg up the highest?
I think there’s a clear winner this round as well!
Miku 2.0’s leg soars high into the air with a graceful line at the thigh while her opponent’s comes not nearly as high.
Next on the agenda is sitting!
Can Miku 2.0 do any better?
But if these girls want to be figma posing stars, they’ll have to look at the sky. Who can look up better?
And another win for Miku 2.0! She’s on fire!
This match is heating up in time for our final round: Cheesecake poses!
We’ve brought out the rug, but can your pose take the cake?
This challenge decimated our champion, but can Miku 2.0 do any better?
This concludes the first Never Outgrew Toys pose off!
So as you can see, Miku 2.0 dominates the competition in the area of posing. She was also bestowed with a superior sculpt to original Miku.
However, it is not all trophies and prize money, for Miku 2.0’s body has its share of flaws.
Upon opening the box, the most blaring of the problems that I was both surprised and disappointed to discover was that several of the problems which plagued original Miku still exist.
Most notable is the slouch crotch thrust combination.
No matter how much I reorient Miku’s body, I can not free her back from slouching and pelvic area from appearing as if pushed forward. It would appear that the neck being too far forward on her body(figma Madoka Kaname shares this problem) is causing the slouch.
And although wildly pose able, her shoulder joints are very noticeable. Being a long time figma lover, this is not so much of a problem for me, but I imagine that those not accustomed to visible joints would disagree. The shoulders also appear boxy and smaller than they should be.
Speaking of proportions, I never thought I’d see myself chiding Max Factory for them, but something about Miku’s legs is unappealing.
When looked at with the rest of her body, the legs are fine, but separate them, and that changes. Female legs are often shapely, but Miku’s lack that and appear rather stubby and blocky.
And looking at Miku 2.0’s body overall, there’s just something off about it.
Figma bodies often have the appearance of being sculpted and then having joints added or not in order to accommodate the sculpt. But in this case, it’s as if the body was sculpted around the joints.
Miku’s body is adequate, but on a critical level, I feel that many of the subtle charms of the female figure were lost.
The selection of faces is not only a huge improvement, but adorable. Miku’s default face provides all the standard cuteness needed for typical poses while the other two give bursts of personality.
The inclusion of these faces really show how much Miku’s image has changed over the years, and I love the gentle blush on the second two.
Another thing that makes me love these faces? Sideways glancing! Yes!
Giving flavor to this standard arrangement is none other than a change in figma hand joints. That’s right, figma wrist joints have changed for the third time.
The first figma joints were balls attached to the hand peg. Then after receiving complaints of the pegs breaking off inside the arms, Max Factory changed to long slender pegs with no ball at the end. And now, with the new joints, we have transitioned into a new age.
For those familiar with Dollfie Dreams, this is pretty much the same system!
With each figma, you receive two small wrist joints which are used with all other hands.
I hate to be a downer, but I can already see several problems with this new system.
First is that the wrist joints are
Now, I have small hands and live in a warm climate, so it is not so bad for me, but what happens if you break a joint? Or lose one? There are only two, so what do you do then?
You also now have the added stress of needing to change the joint every time you want your figma to have a different hand.
I don’t want to scare anybody, but I really see no point in the new change made to figma hands. With worry about losing or breaking something now added to the mix, I feel that any small improvements made to articulation do little to compensate.
With the necessities behind us, let’s wrap off with Miku’s character specific accessories!
To play the guitar, Miku utilizes her bright blue pick and hand shaped for a guitar neck. Sadly, I had a lot of trouble making the neck holding hand stay in place.
They’re a cute accessory if not a little random. The only thing I’m sad to not see with Miku anymore is leeks. Apparently Miku reached angel status, but lost her leeks on the way up.
Now that we’ve seen Miku and everything she comes with, let’s take her out for her photo shoot!
For Miku 2.0, I was once again limited by lack of daylight.
I found myself uninspired for photos in general for quite a while, but soon perked up the resolve by playing with paint. I used some flower molds to make a colorful background.
I wanted to show off Miku’s advanced sitting poses by having her lean on a chair. Sadly, I don’t think the school chair I had was quite suitable.
Initially I found myself disappointed by problems with Miku’s body sculpt, but after observing her faces, posing, and accessories, clearly the good outweighs the bad. If you want a Miku figma, I’d say this is an excellent choice.