Review: Nendoroid Red

Knocking out the reviews! I’m very happy to be reviewing this figure because it is from one of my favorite series ever. Presenting…nendoroid Red by Good Smile Company!

Red is the protagonist of the Generation I Pokemon games. As Red, the player begins a journey in Pallet town and can choose Charmander, Bulbasaur, or Squirtle as a starter Pokemon. Red eventually disbands Team Rocket, collects eight badges, and becomes the Kanto Champion making him among the most accomplished of ten year olds. Red also makes an appearance in Generation II where he can be battled atop Mt. Silver and in Generation V as a champion at the Pokemon World Tournament. In the anime, Red’s counterpart is the far less accomplished and talented Satoshi/Ash Ketchum. However, Red did appear in the Pokemon Origins anime special which more closely followed the storyline of the game. Red is also in the Pokemon Adventures manga. In short, he’s everywhere.

Pokemon is what began my interest in Japan(that sounds so sad), and while I’ve collected many figures of Pokemon over the years, I’ve never found many good figures of the human characters. There wasn’t much hope for good ones either. Then Good Smile Company announced a nendoroid of Red! Unfortunately, nendoroid Red was limited to Japan as a Pokemon Center exclusive. It was possible to get him via proxy or a forwarding service, but I decided not to. I ended up regretting that decision as Red’s aftermarket price soared to $150. Then the USA Pokemon Center came to my rescue with a special US release. Red sold out quickly, but I bought him as soon as I found out making him finally mine!

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The box is a simple design with Red’s name on it. But what is fun about this being a US release is that the box is in English! *gasp*

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I don’t usually include full box shots, but I will this time since it’s cool the be able to read the box.

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Although I obviously would have liked a figma, the super deformed proportions resemble the sprites from the game which is very fitting.

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This figure is based on Red’s redesign from the Fire Red and Leaf Green rereleases. He originally had black hair and resembled Ash a lot more.

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His bright red hat with an abstracted pokeball. Hats are so important in Pokemon. You can’t even take them off in X and Y. So important!

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I suppose that if I had to trek an entire region on foot, I’d want a hat too.

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Super spiky hair with airbrushed shading.

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He wears a simple vest and shirt combo. When you think about it, this is not a cool look at all, but Red pulls it off.

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This is back when trainers wore jeans and not capris or shorts with…leggings.

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It’s important to keep your wrists warm.

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As much as I say I like games, Pokemon is really the only series I’ve played or know anything about(since the time of writing, Yami Usagi has played one Fire Emblem game). It’s quite sad, but at least I make a good poser.

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Little back pockets!

Like any nendoroid, Red has swappable expressions.
red faces
neutral, shouting commands, and the face of victory

Within the game, Red never speaks or indicates emotion, so I’d say these basic expressions are suitable. From what I remember, they also fit his Pokemon Origins persona.

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Since Red’s nendoroid number is past 200, he uses the newer face swap system. This is my first time owning a nendoroid with faces like this, and it is much more convenient with lower chances of breaking a joint.

He also has many arms, legs, and hands!
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Nendoroids might not have joints like figmas, but a healthy supply of parts can make their poses very versatile albeit in a more subtle way.

Red has shoulder parts allowing his arms to point down or forward, arms that are bent or straight along with one in his pocket, hands for holding accessories and neutral hands, and straight and bent legs.

Note that he has two straight arms, but only one is pictured here.

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Now for accessories!
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You can’t go on an adventure without a bag! The bag is very important in Pokemon because it holds everything you find on your journey! From berries and potions, to a bike, a meteorite, fossils, and the orbs which prevent a region from succumbing to primal chaos, the bag holds it all!

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Red’s bag is very simple.

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The VS Seeker which lets you challenge trainers for a rematch is on the strap.
There is a peg in the center which plugs into the hole in Red’s back so he can wear the backpack. A hole in the back of the backpack plugs into the stand so Red can be supported while wearing the backpack.

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The straps separate which makes putting the backpack on Red easier.

Another accessory mentioned earlier is the hand in pocket arm.
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He means business.

There’s also the Pokedex! The Pokedex is an encyclopedia that records information on every Pokemon Red finds. I’ve never completed the Pokedex…
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It comes attached to his hand and cannot be closed.

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The inside is quite detailed!

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And what’s a trainer without pokeballs? The pokeball can be used to capture and house wild Pokemon.
Included is the standard pokeball and a Master Ball which catches any Pokemon without fail.
Depending on the game, there is only one or two Master Balls, so it represents two stages of life. There’s the “Use it as soon as you get it to catch the legendary” stage, and the more mature mindset of, “I know I can catch a legendary is any ball, so I’ll just save the Master Ball for the shiny roaming Pokemon I have a 1% chance of running into” stage. I have many unused Master Balls.

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There are two holes on each ball which plug into corresponding hands.

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Red can hold either ball in his palm or a battle ready pose.

So far we’ve seen a bag, a pokedex, and pokeballs, but not that which is most important…Pokemon! And what would Kanto’s Champion be without the Kanto starters?

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We have the fire type Charmander/Hitokage, grass type Bulbasaur/Fushigidane, and water type Squirtle/Zenigame!

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“I see! Bulbasaur is your choice. It’s very easy to raise.”

Of the three sculpts, Bulbasaur is my favorite!
He has an adorable grin and side glance which makes him very photogenic!

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He has all of his little spots and a big green bulb on his back!

But Usagi, why are you saying “he”? Pokemon can be girls too!
Well, you try breeding starters, and get back to me on that.

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The little feet! So cute~

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Finding plastic Pokemon figures is one of the easiest things in the world(they were the first thing I ever collected), but these are nice to have because they’re great quality!

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“Hm! Squirtle is your choice. It’s one worth raising.

One thing I noticed on both my Squirtle and Charmander is that one of their eyes appears crooked. I’m not sure if this is because their heads are round, but it is rather noticeable in up close shots.

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One of my favorite things about Squirtle is his tail~

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“Ah! Charmander is your choice. You should raise it patiently.

Charmander is most people’s favorite starter for understandable reasons like evolving into a super awesome giant five foot winged lizard. Like the non shallow person I am, I’ve always picked my starter based on cuteness, and Charmander is my choice as well. But now it’s become to common to like Charmander that sometimes I go hipster and pick Bublasaur. Never been a huge Squirtle fan. Sorry Squirtle.

From dead on, Charmander’s crooked eye doesn’t look bad.

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His tail flame is glossy which I like very much!

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Who could bear to leave you alone on a rock in the rain, Charmander?!
Damien.

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Charmander also has a very cute toothy smile.

Now is the time when I share my photo shoot of Red, but this time we’re doing something a little different. I’ll let Red tell you. Take it away, Red!

Red: …..

Oh uh never mind then. I’ll explain.

I was recently inspired by the Barbie Style Instagram account which is from a Barbie doll’s perspective. The photos are very well done and make it feel like you’re looking at the life of a real person rather than a doll. I liked the idea of using a toy’s perspective which is something I have explored, but never committed to. I also liked that with the exception of Barbie’s friends, the account is just about Barbie. I have so many figures now(first world problem) that it’s nice to concentrate on just one for a change. And thus, Red’s Adventure was born!

I created my own Instagram account for Red, and it’s all about his Pokemon journey! The adventure is something I’ve always liked about Pokemon, and I thought it would be fun to chronicle the highs and lows of one.

The account is called Reds_Adventure, and has been intermittently being posted to for a few months now. My intention is to have daily photos from Red’s adventure! I prefer to keep the pictures on Instagram, but may share some of my favorites here on the blog or my other accounts every now and then. This review will showcase my current favorites from the account, and a few which have not yet been posted. To see all of Red’s Adventure and follow it, you can go here.

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This is from back during the ice storm! I still have unpublished photos from then…

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Not every battle ends well.

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Roasting marshmallows!

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Can’t wait to catch a Magikarp.

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I think this photo is my favorite~

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Selfie!

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Red also came with me to the beach on our Savannah trip!

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Final Words

Seeing a Pokemon nendoroid is a dream come true, and Red really captures the spirit of the game. The three expressions are appropriate for his character, he has plenty of trainer items to play with, and even some Pokemon! I’m tempted to say that other fun things like a bike could have made the package better, but that is true of most any figure, and Red is not disappointing as is. I suppose the only downside to this figure is how difficult it is to obtain for a decent price. Thankfully, Red is not the only Pokemon nendoroid on the horizon as Shirona/Cynthia is goint to be released soon as well. Hopefully, the combined success of these two will make Pokemon nendoroids both more abundant and easier to obtain.

And don’t forget to check out Red’s Adventure!

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