It’s time once again for a rare fixture on Never Outgrew Toys: a scaled figure review!
The scale we’ll be observing this time is the 1/8 scale Morgiana by Megahouse! This figure represents many firsts since she is not just the first and only scale of this character, she is also my first scale this year and my first figure by Megahouse.
I always begin my scaled figure reviews by mentioning how rare it is for me to buy such a figure. Lately more have caught my eye, but after the disappointment that was GSC’s Inori (and let’s not forget the financial dedication required for scaled figures), I prefer to wait until after release so that I may be assured of the figure’s quality and hopefully purchase it at a lesser price. However this time, I could not resist preordering.
I first became acquainted with this figure when she was shown sculpted at Wonderfestival. In spite of knowing nothing about Morgiana or her origin, her light flowery costume instantly added her to my “keep an eye on” list and made me decide to learn more about Mor. Once I had, the figure’s preorders eventually began, and unbridled excitement lead me to secure my own in spite of my rule. When the bill came in, I was unsure about my decision, but it ended up not being a bad idea as Morgiana sold out fairly quickly.
But it was not just Morgiana’s design that made me want her, my new love for her series also influenced my decision.
Morgiana comes from the shounen series Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. What began as a manga has since received two seasons of anime adaptions the first of which shares the manga’s title while the second is under the name “Kingdom of Magic”.
Magi follows the young magician Aladdin as he explores the world for the first time. But this is no ordinary world as it is filled with people of all kinds and most notably mysterious dungeons which are overflowing with treasure and bestow fantastic abilities to those who are brave and powerful enough to explore and conquer one. Aladdin soon meets Alibaba who seeks fortune of his own, and the two become fast friends and eventually travel companions. Joining the two soon after is Morgiana.
Morgiana is a member of the powerful Fanalis clan. The Fanalis are feared inhabitants of Katarg which is also known as the Dark Continent. The Fanalis can be distinguished by their bright red hair and eyes, but what is most notable about them is their heightened senses of smell, hearing, and sight along with fearsome superhuman strength. Morgiana has utilized these abilities to do everything from mimic echolocation, scale walls, and crush stone with ease. However, due to this monstrous power, the Fanalis have been purged from their homeland and sold into slavery. Aladdin and Alibaba first encounter Morgiana as a slave under a heartless and selfish master. After Alibaba leads her to attain freedom, Morgiana permanently joins the group. A large portion of Morgiana’s character development centers on her transition from a slave to a free person which is interesting to watch as we see that not only does Morgiana need to think about her life for the first time, she needs to begin thinking about herself as an individual. Growing up in a environment where her value as a person was purely utilitarian , Morgiana struggles with seeing herself as an equal to Aladdin and Alibaba and first worries about whether or not she is of use to them. However, as the two assure Morgiana that she is her own person and encourage her to do what makes her happy, she dedicates herself to becoming stronger to continue traveling with her friends. Still, Morgiana’s slave upbringing has a lasting effect on her personality as she is rather reserved and is more focused on honing her strength than on what most girls typically find interesting.
This catapults us into the small controversy concerning what this figure of Mor is wearing. As you may have guessed from the description of her character, this is not Morgiana’s typical attire. Being unconcerned with frivolities, Mor’s outfit if choice is a simple beige dress with leg bindings. This figure is taken from the group’s visit to Sindria where Morgiana, along with every other girl on the island, donned this costume for a festival(for a quick glimpse of the outfit in action, you can check out the first season’s second opening). The dress is very unlike Morgiana which is why many would surely prefer to have a figure of her as she usually appears. However, I would say that the outfit is not unlike Morgiana in that she would never wear it, but in that she would never think to wear it. Recalling Morgiana’s lingering notes of slave mentality, it is easy to see that she does not think of herself as a normal girl who wants to wear pretty dresses, and a scene with Hakuryuu in the second season and someone else later in the manga prove that Mor has difficulty embracing other aspects of her femininity. For this reason, I find that even if the figure does not depict Morgiana using her strength to best a tiger(which she is certainly capable of doing), remembering a scene where she dances her heart out because someone she cares about said she was beautiful is not bad either. Of course, whether or not you like seeing Morgiana this way boils down to opinion, but seeing that this is the figure we have, let’s embrace it for the review.
Thanks to its intricate and well written story which offers not just action and magic, but is not afraid to explore politics and the depths of the human mind, Magi has become one of my favorite series. I rarely read manga(not that I don’t like to), but after watching the first season, I immediately began reading and am happy to say that in spite of errors in the first season anime adaption, the second is excellent, and both are worth watching. I am in awe of just how much not only the characters, but the world of Magi has grown since those first chapters of dungeon hunting, and the growing complexity of the manga has kept me riveted for months. I dearly hope for the anime to continue so that we may see the Alma Toran arc and my favorite character, Sheba, animated.
I wanted to take some time to talk about Magi and how much I like it, not just to recommend the series to others, but because it is an example of something I am a big fan of, but never get to talk about because of the lack of figures from it that fall into the boundaries of what I collect.
I’ve talked long enough, let’s look at Morgiana!
Mor is from Megahouse’s G.E.M line which is aimed towards female collectors. Most characters in the line are of course male, but there are a few females like Morgiana as well. However Mor can certainly be enjoyed by both genders.
Her box features sunset colors and falling petals. The box’s windows have shapes that are very in line with the Arabian-esque motif of the series.
Two metal pegs in the center serve as Mor’s support.
The flowers have a simple spiky sculpt and are painted in flat bright colors. I would probably find their details to be underwhelming were the figure from a company like Goodsmile or Alter, but for Megahouse I have no complaints.
A better look at the gilded pine cones which I am happy to see are a rich gold color. Gold is a color which is often lost in the transition from prototype to finished product, so I am happy to see that Morgiana’s outfit is accented by gold and not brown.
Morgiana’s hair has a blocky sculpt with minimal shading. In fact, there is barely any shading on the whole figure.
Also notice that while the manga depicts Mor’s hair and eyes as red, they are pink in the anime, and the figure interprets them the same way. Having begun with the anime, I do not mind this or blame Megahouse for choosing this route.
The veil adheres well to her head and flutters outwards. It looks nice, but I feel that the plastic is a little too thick for the desired effect. Instead, Morgiana straddles the line between a light airy outfit and being draped in a white fruit roll-up.
Boob enthusiasts may find the seam line jarring, but I do not mind.
Underneath her skirt, Morgiana is wearing a thong.
Now that we’ve seen Morgiana and all she comes with, let’s take her out for a review!
I am happy to have received Morgiana in the dead of summer which is fitting for her attire.
I’ve found that since scaled figures are stuck in a single pose, I often need a “special event” to be able to take great photos of them. For instance, my favorite Beach Queen Saber figures were taken at the beach while my favorite Nessa photos come with fresh flowers. Because of this, I only have a few pictures of Mor. Hopefully I’ll be able to take her somewhere more fitting one day.
Thankfully mini Mor came to the rescue and gave me some cute shots!
Being from a lower tier company, Morgiana lacks expert sculpting and paint work. Also, execution issues like the thickness of the plastic used for her dress impact the feel of the figure. However characters like her rarely receive figures, so I am happy just to have her and love the concept of the figure enough to overlook what are minor and frankly expected issues. For me, the good far outweighs the bad, and she is a figure I am easily happy with.