Having sealed its place as one of my all-time favourite anime series during its Japanese broadcast in 2009 (to the point where I've already made plaintive pleas as to it getting license for release outside of Japan) the series has continued to pester, or more specifically my wallet, by churning out what seems like a countless number of gorgeous figures featuring the show's menagerie of wonderful characters.
While most of these figures have been filed away in my head under either "this is too expensive" or "I really don't have room for this", come this May's MCM London Expo a moment of weakness of mind and fullness of wallet caught me unawares, as I found myself gazing lovingly at not one, but two of the three sets of Nendoroid Petit figures created for the series. While temptation caused me to toy with the thought of picking up both sets, some Twitter chatter with fellow Bakemonogatari fans heading to the event and my own proclivities caused me to simply pick up what is dubbed "set two" of these figures, leaving the other set on the shelf for a friend to eventually snap up the following day. Rather shamefully, it's taken me quite a while to find the time and space to unbox said figure collection, but now here I am ready to run the rule over them properly.
For those who aren't familiar with the Nendoroid Petit range, these figures (normally released in sets with multiple figures per box) are smaller than regular Nendoroids and closer in size to a lot of "gashapon" figures, but with the kind of detail and replaceable parts that tend to make Nendoroids so much fun.
In the case of this particular set of Bakemonogatari Nendoroid Petit figures, a peek inside the box greets us with three characters from the series - little lost girl Mayoi Hachikuji, sports star with a dark secret Suruga Kanbaru and timid but adorable childhood friend Nadeko Sengoku. As is usually the case with Good Smile products, all of these characters are lovingly reproduced and look just right despite their diminutive size, with plenty of attention to detail with both facial expressions and clothing - certainly, little has been lost in this respect compared to the company's full-size Nendoroid products.
Just as impressive in terms of attention to detail are the extras and additions bundled with these three figures. Hachikuji in particular can be posed both with and without her trademark bag stuffed full of heaven knows what while she's also provided with a map she can hold (although it admittedly took a moment or two to figure out that's what it was), while Nadeko sports a decidedly cute hat and a jacket you can drape over her shoulders and Kanbaru can pose with her "monkey's paw" either bandaged or on full display while she is also equipped with a basketball to hold if you so wish. All three figures also come with a couple of sets of arms in different poses and heads can be moved and posed to suit on each figure to boot, giving you plenty of opportunity to capture said characters as you most want to see them.
While switching arms and adding accessories can be a little fiddly on account of the small size of the figures, everything slots together nicely and firmly at the end of the day, while each figure comes with its own base and adjustable stand (two stands in Hachikuji's case to accommodate her rucksack) which proves to be suitably sturdy to stand the figures on, even if Nadeko proves to be a little top-heavy at times when wearing her hat, making her the least stable of trio.
Overall, there really isn't much we can fault about this trio of Nendoroid Petit figures - the paintwork isn't quite as good as normal Nendoroid pieces, but that's arguably to be expected given their smaller size and it certainly doesn't detract from the fact that these figures are a colourful and fun trio that capture the characters from which they are derived beautifully. As a cheaper, smaller and cuter way of expressing your love for Bakemonogatari compared to the more expensive and hefty figures on the market, they simply can't be beaten.
Even if the characters in this set don't take your fancy then the other two Nendoroid Petit sets featuring the show's other main players as well as Arararagi's (oops, I stuttered) sisters, who I'm not sure count as major characters in the series, may well tempt fans of the show, making them equally worthy of your attention.
You can currently find this set of Bakemonogatari Nendoroid Petit figures available to purchase at Eye on Asia.
Good Smile Company