The postman brought me a present today. Yay! The kind folks at E2046 decided to send me their latest creation, 1/6 Dark Magician, for me to review. Apparently they really liked my review of their pre-painted recast of BUBBA’s Haruhi bunny.

Dark Magician

It’s not the kind of moé stuff that I usually review, but it’s still pretty cool. And free stuff is always good in my book (unless they are bad).

It’s somewhat NSFW so make sure no one is looking over your shoulders…

EDIT: Picture links are dead. Visit the gallery for larger versions.

E2046 is a company based in Hong Kong that deals with resin kits. Here’s an example of a resin kit from them.

Dark Magician

The quality of E2046’s kits is pretty high. It’s not perfect, but since you have to assemble and paint the figure anyway, most flaws can be fixed or covered up. But for lazy people like me who have a whole bunch of half-done Gunpla and resin kits lying around, it’s quite useless to collect a bunch of unpainted resin pieces.

And that’s why E2046 introduced a new line of product called “Gathering” last year. Basically, they offer high-quality pre-painted versions of selected products, possibly painted by a team of underfed slaves in E2046’s headquarters basement. Haruhi bunny was one of the first few finished figures offered by the series and it received a lot of positive reviews.

E2046 then decided that they were not contented to just paint, so they started to make their own sculpts and releasing them under the “Ori” (short for “original” I presume) series. Their first creation was a 1/7 Gothic Lolita Haruhi, which doesn’t look as awesome as BUBBA’s but is still a pretty good attempt.

Dark Magician is an original design from E2046, partially inspired by this Dark Elf figure.

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

I had to take these pictures with my ancient Sony Cybershot DSC-W1 because I don’t have a macro lens for my DSLR. Terrible vignetting. Grrr. I suck at photography. Also, I need to get a new bulb for my desk lamp. “Cool daylight” sucks. But I digress.

The figure’s build quality is on par with what I have seen from E2046 so far, that is to say that it’s good but not the best ever. Still, you probably can’t find anything better for anywhere close to the same price, unless you do it yourself.

Dark Magician

The box design should be familiar to anyone who has ordered items in the Gathering series before. The EMS package was labelled as fragile and the box was padded with enough bubble wraps to kill two small orcas and a baby seal. Al Gore weeps.

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Besides the twenty dozen layers of bubble wraps, the interior of the box is also well-padded with soft polyfoam. The figure parts fit into the slots quite securely and there is no room for them to move about during transportation, thus minimizing the possibility of physical trauma. Although I did accidentally drop the figure onto my room’s carpeted floor just five seconds after removing it from its safe housing. Ops. At least nothing broke.

Dark Magician

On a completely unrelated note, why do female characters in fantasy anime even bother wearing armour? It’s just slowing them down! One of life’s many mysteries.

Dark Magician

She’s holding a staff. It looks like it can possibly be used as a spear, but probably not a very effective one. Like many other handheld accessories common to scaled figures, the staff does not like to stay in our heroine’s hand. It keeps sliding backwards, making it quite impossible to achieve the pose shown in my pictures and the box cover without the aid of some kind of adhesive. I had been previously warned of this by an E2046 staff, and it’s not a deal-breaking flaw. But it’s annoying.

Dark Magician

For the purpose of my photos, I employed a temporary MacGyver solution: tape. As you can see, I stuck a tiny bit of it on the base so that it prevents the bottom of the staff from sliding across. This problem wouldn’t have existed if E2046 made a little groove/protrusion on the base. Hopefully they will improve on future shipments.

Dark Magician

Speaking of the base, it’s supposed to be a mirror (I think). There’s a piece of protective film on it that you are supposed to remove in order to reveal the shiny surface below, but I decided to keep it this way.

Dark Magician

It will probably look cooler if I remove the plastic film, but I can’t bear to think of the smudges that will surely follow. This is why I don’t think I can ever own an iPhone.

Dark Magician

The armour is quite shiny too! Shiny! But it’s actually not that shiny under natural light.

And of course, you can choose to display the figure with or without the cloak (skirt?).

Dark Magician
With

Dark Magician
Without

I like the armour design (practicalities aside). All in all a very nice figure. More pictures for your visual enjoyment:

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

It’s a good thing that she can’t sue me for sexual harassment. You can also view the photos in my gallery.

E2046

Tempted to buy one for yourself? The next delivery is on 24 October 2007. It’s still not too late to preorder one from E2046 from their website. US$135 excluding shipping.

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