Yes, I did. After heavy consideration based on what I have read in reviews and , Figma's Mari Illustrious Makinami is indeed now in my possession. I guess I can really pay tribute to me noticing that newthat Figma put out for future female toys! I really did notice Mari then and with that Asuka is not too far away(I hope).
The Figma box for Mari is what I would expect from your usual import toys. It remind me a lot of Revoltech; and from what I know, they are rivals(more or less) so certain things would be similar to each other when trying to catch their customers' eyes. It's a good looking enough box with enough art and advertisement of the figure on the back and on the side of the box. Wish there was an official art from the anime of Mari, but that's just me being super picky. And because of the Eva cockpit, the box itself is bigger than 'it should be' to fit the figure. I'll elaborate on that in a bit.
Speaking of accessories, here they are with the standard method of import supplies. Interchangeable faces to capture some of the character's more signature anime expressions, a plethora of hands, and a Mari exclusive 'beast mode' interchangeable plugsuit 'lights'. Again, I'll go more in depth with that in a bit.
Then we have this Evangelion exclusive accessory! The Eva unit cockpit. I have to say, this is pretty impressive. Not only does it give the figures a bit more of the 'Evangelion' feel that we lack when purchasing Revoltech figures, but it also has a few range of motions and articulation that REALLY allows the owner to get some anime scenes somewhat reenacted! That and it really serves as a cool stand to make display far more visually pleasing than having the said figure just stand or whatever in one's(in my case) shelf. Not to take anything away from the stands that Mari comes with since it is a pretty durable and well articulated stand, it's just that the Eva unit pilot seat really brings a new and fresh aesthetic to displaying. Having said all that about the cockpit, the Figma stands is probably one of the better display stands I have come across with. While still a bit more Figma exclusive and other figures might not adhere as well(speaking of Marvel Legends and the such), it does its job well enough for the intended figures that I am not going to gripe about it.
As a stand alone figure, Figma did an enamoring job on Mari. As the newest addition to the Eva pilots, she does have her standing within the Evangelion community and anyone who is a fan of the anime would give praise to what this figure can offer. Hell, if anyone is a Mari fan and do any sort of collecting, this one is a must for a plethora of reasons. Accuracy should be a good incentive when it comes to adding her to the collection. The paint job is down right amazing and the little details that makes the plugsuit stand out is pretty much in Figma's version. From the 'unit 5' logo, to the red glasses, and overall, it is just an alluring figure the way it is made. I could delve more into the details of this product but I'm sure the figure can speak for itself. So now to jump in to the articulation and so on.
Articulation has become a main ingredient for a successful toy. The stark irony of this is that while I cared about articulation so I could bend them more into 'throwing/action/strike' position when I was young, nowadays, they're just for dynamic and far more alluring display. I mean, rightfully so, these figures alone pops at a good decent price. Imagine throwing this one around and not care about the scathes and distortions! So moving on from my younger days of toy abuse, I will say that the articulation from the head to the arms and diaphragm are standard. Some people do have qualms with the 'floating breasts' which I would have a gripe over them through certain angles, but I just don't let it get to me THAT much. The legs have a bit of a hindered articulation and it's'difficult' to get Mari in a high kicking stance. But then again, it's very rare to see these gals in hand to hand combat so one can't have qualms with that sort of hinderance. Besides, there are more than enough pose that Mari can be put in; the Display stand is more than adequate to help out with more than a few things I can come up in my mind.
And if the articulation doesn't do it, it's the alternate faces and the hair piece that can pitch in to a much more vibrant piece for one's collection. And the above picture is indeed her 'beast face'. And yes, that is a rather astute observation! You can take out her glasses(though with how miniscule the said accessory is, it's quite a strenuous task! Let me tell you, which is why I won't be showing each and every one of her expression with and without the glasses. Just use your imagination. The alternate hair piece does serve to add a few more flavor to her expressions and/or her body language, however it's more or less just intended for the piloting position. Well, speaking of that piloting position, let's get into that, shall we? After all, it is one of the main ingredient that really makes Figma's adaptation of the Eva gals a bit more zestful!
Let's pretend that the Eva Unit she is piloting is transparent, thus why you can see everything around her!
Okay! Oh so ready to pilot this!!!
Activate "Beast Mode"! It's time to get serious! Okay, for those who aren't well equipped with knowledge with Mari's piloting the Eva Unit 2 in the Eva 2.22, basically, she tapped into Asuka's Eveangelion's berserk mode willingly. Controlled berserker barrage for a lack of a better term(kind of an 'insult' to Asuka with the first version of the series). The 'change' is rather small(literally) to see but aside from that crazy face, it's the 'lights' in her plug suit that shifts from red to green. Akin to the glasses, changing the light in her solar-plexus is a pain as well. Likementioned, the first chance these accessories get to get lost, they will!
Now with the "Beast Mode" activated, Mari can go buck wild insane with Asuka's trademark Evangelion! Or from my understanding with Evangelion 3.33, she will have her own Eva unit which also sticks with her trademark plugsuit color... 'pink'. Okay, for a gal who isn't as girly girly as her 'pony/pigtails' and beauty conveys, she sure does like to concur with the stereotype of a girly girl. Okay before I digress, let's add in the fact that her pilot seat has articulation far more than one would expect from such an accessory! But with that in mind, it does allow for a myriad of dynamic pose to recreate some of her onscreen endeavors with almost an immaculate rendition. Almost is pretty damn close if you ask me! Which I'm almost positive that the pilot seats themselves don't have this movement in the anime, but then again I never did scrutinize it that much.
This girl can get downright crazy with this!!! I can only fathom just how insane Asuka can get! Okay I think it's time to calm down a bit!
And..... (this picture shows off the different shade of plugsuit light).
There you go! Much calmer! So all in all this figure is a good addition to the Evangelion(Or should I say "Asuka") collection. I'm more than positive that Asuka will be in my possession(all variations of her that Figma decides to dish out) since this figure more than gave me the 'go'. As an Evangelion fan, Figma did its job. They are a good competitor against Revoltech and if nothing else it does give everyone that option to finally have a good adaptation of the Evangelion pilot seats. I highly recommend this to anyone collecting in this genre and especially to collectors who are a big fan of the series. As a norm, imports come with a hefty price tag; Asuka seems to hold more weight on the wallet than Mari does, but it's for obvious reasons.
Other than that! Til next time indeed!!!