With the fourth part of the Black Lagoon OVA Robert's Blood Trail recently hitting the shelves in Japan, what better time to look at the next set of Black Lagoon figures?
As with the first figure in this range these are designed to
be prizes for 'UFO catcher' arcade machines, and like the first one the quality
remains high. This time round there are two figures - the first being an
alternative colour version of the first Revy figure and the second being of the
psychotic Romanian orphan Gretel. The Revy figure is basically a re-spray
of the original one and the design appears to be unchanged. The figure
stands at around 6" (17cm) tall and requires only basic assembly to slot the two
halves of her body together and connect her to the supplied base. Gretel
is a bit more complicated though, as not only do you have to slot her body
together but also connect her outstretched arm and the two halves of her skirt. It's not
particularly difficult but is a little fiddly, and once assembled and connected
to the supplied base she stands at around 5" (14cm) tall.
After the quality of the first figure in this range I was really glad to be able to get hold of more, and thankfully the Gretel figure didn't disappoint. As with the original Revy figure the design of Gretel is spot on, and the sculpt on the facial features and clothing is damn good too. The painting is neat and tidy with some nice detail on the dress and face, but this time there's one problem - the skirt. The skirt comes in two halves that slot together around the figure's waist, and unfortunately the join between the two halves is pretty noticeable. Whilst this doesn't detract too much if you view the figure from the right angle there are places where the two halves of the skirt don't actually meet, and this is more than a little disappointing when you consider the quality of the original Revy figure.
It's also a little disappointing that the other figure in this pair is a re-issue of that original Revy figure. Whilst it's an excellent figure it's also exactly the same sculpt as the first one, but with tweaked colour scheme and a metallic paint finish for the hair. For someone collecting them it's a bit of a shame that Banpresto didn't do a figure of Gretel's brother Hansel, or if they had to do another Revy why not change the pose? They could have picked a specific pose from the anime's confrontation with Gretel, or a different costume or maybe even some superficial but noticeable changes like battle wounds or a different expression. Instead it's barely any different from what went before, and
is therefore only really worth getting if you are an avid 'got to have them all' collector or don't have the original Revy.
In the end this range is pretty good, the Revy figure is still excellent even if it is a tad lazy and its good to see a figure of Gretel - a character who is relatively minor in the Black Lagoon world. This said, the Gretel figure is let down by some imprecise moulding on the skirt which detracts from the overall look of the piece, and it is a shame that there isn't a matching Hansel figure considering they were inseparable in more ways than one in the original story. However, for a Black Lagoon fan these figures are pretty much a must buy (unless you already own the original Revy) and for those unfamiliar with the franchise they're decent enough figures to warrant a look. My main concern with the range so far is that they've only stuck to the female characters and while Black Lagoon has plenty to draw from there are some really cool male characters they could do as well. Sadly figures of Triad boss Chang, Yakuza enforcer Ginji or lead character Rock don't seem to be on the cards any time soon, but there's more than enough to like with the range as it stands.
Once again the same plain black base the first figure had, no logos, no character names, just functional.