The Australian dollar has its ups and downs - a strong relationship between the currency and commodity exports makes it volatile in its reactions to global economic shifts - but for most of my buying lifetime, 75¢ US has been about as good as it's gotten. For the middle of 2008 - until the rest of the world caught America's proverbial cold - it was near as dammit equal to the greenback. Why is this relevant to a toy review? Because a lot of smaller stores - like my local comic store - calculate merchandise prices based on the US exchange rate on the day they put their weekly shipments on the shelves, so for a couple of months, all kinds of expensive stuff was suddenly cheap as chips. Exhibit A:
Rainbow Mika's real name is Mika Nanakawa, a Japanese girl planning to make her debut as a professional wrestler and become "Star of the Ring." To this end she travels the world, fighting various street fighters to promote herself, meeting her idol Zangief along the way.
Like everyone else, I played Street Fighter II consoles a bit, and got the Super Nintendo version. But I was never a big arcade gamer, so I never followed the series beyond that - I think I've played a game once where Cammy was an available character - and thus Mika and her ilk are utter mysteries to me, so it's not like I was ready to lay down a huge wad of cash to own her (like I inevitably will with the upcoming Tarot statue). Bring in a sub-par loans crisis, though, and look what happens to those normally-expensive PVC statues. God bless America, eh?
Rainbow Mika, of the "Capcom Maniax" statue line - no idea why, though anyone whose first pick out of the Street Fighter guys is Zangief has probably got a few screws loose - stands 8" tall, including the height of her base and those weird pigtail things she's got her hair in, and she's posed in a manner normally reserved for porn stars during photo shoots, just before the clothes come off
and the butt plug goes in. Her costume is preposterous even by professional wrestler standards - it's kind of a swimsuit, but with holes cut out all over it, frills added on, and then some more holes cut out. She's got suitable wrestling boots, though - I don't know what league she's hoping to compete in, but those boots look like the only bit of the costume that's meant to still be on her once the bout starts.
She does have one quality common to many anime women that I like - besides the ability to make me giggle whenever I look at her - and that's not being a stick insect with fake boobs. Her hips are ripe and rounded, her thighs bulge slightly at the edges of the costume straps around them, her torso, while fit, is nice and curvy, and her breasts practically jiggle on their own, which is an impressive feat on a solid statue. I guess if you're a big anime/manga/whatever fan you might get as used to it as comic book readers are to supermodels with self-supporting globes stuck to their chests, but for me it's still a refreshing change of pace to see an action figure or statue with proper curves.
I've examined the statue closely (shut up), and the worst paint error I can find is a couple of tiny spots of blue just beyond the edges of the blue straps holding her pigtails together. Everything else, perfect - the definition between the metallic blue costume and its white edging, the sky-blue-silver frills, the skin/hair divide on her scalp, the ink carefully applied to the sculpted recesses in her boots, even the glossy pink nail varnish on her fingers.
Her face, sad to say, lets the side down just a little, with the lack of a gloss finish on her eyes - with the high standard of paint elsewhere, and the general cartoony feel of the character, glossy eyes would have looked perfect. Still, the eyes and the two-tone lips are good work anyway. The sculpt gives her a childlike chubbiness around her cheeks, and prominent ears - the left moreso, so that it's visible beyond the edge of her fringe when seen from directly in front of her.
Articulation is non-existent, of course -
her pose is silly and slightly awkward-looking, and if you don't like that, don't buy her. She's based on a plain disc of clear plastic 5" across, with one peg for her left foot and two for her right; she can stand on her own, but she's pretty top-heavy so she'll topple if given even the slightest bump, and you risk damaging the pigtails if she falls.
Sadly, as the financial crisis started to gather steam in earnest the Aussie dollar took a nasty whack from jittery speculators, and fell sharply - far further than it really should have, given circumstances, but the world's stock markets are after all controlled by highly-strung gamblers with no real idea what they're doing. So the good times are over, and future statues like this one will be once more the province of high-salary geeks, of whom I'm most definitely not one. At her "proper" price, I'm not sure I could recommend Rainbow Mika to anyone but devoted fans of hers - you'll get a top-class product, but unless you catch a lucky break like I did, you'll be paying accordingly.