Ah, Figma - the eventual winner in the Figma vs Revoltech battles of the 2000's, Max Factory's series of posable figures has spanned the length and breadth of licensed properties, everything from the latest anime, to video games, pop idols and more. The latest franchise to get the articulated treatment is Frozen's Elsa, the chilling songstress from the monster 2013 hit that has grossed 1.28 billion dollars at the box office. Safe to say she has her fans then.
Figma, for the uninitiated, use a series of ball joints and hinges to make dolls (or action figures if you're manly) that have a great range of movement while retaining accurate and attractive sculpts. To this end, armoured characters usually fare the best, as the joints can be hidden within bulky clothing or mechanical detail. The series is always weakest when it comes to characters that have slender forms or minimal detail in their costumes, both of which mark Elsa down as a potential troublemaker.
The box is a generous size for this line, double the standard depth, and this is in service of her rather magnificent translucent ice-train that plugs into her back. While I'm usually of the opinion that less is more with figures, I have to admit that it certainly adds a lot more volume and, with it's 3-panel design, flows beautifully. It's a genuinely lovely piece of engineering that ensures our ice-queen will stand out on the shelf.
The train is gorgeous. Olaf not so much. Run Elsa, he’s after you!
Other items in the box include several pairs of hands, 2 extra faces (singing and smirking), some ice effects on translucent plastic and a spudger to allow you to move the eyes (yes, they actually move!). You can take the interior of the box out and use it as a background, which is what I've used in the pictures in this review. Oh, and Olaf, the irritating prick that crashes the movie.
True, there are worse sidekicks, but I've always found Olaf to be more annoying than endearing. Still, nothing a hairdryer couldn't fix, and this is an accurate representation, from his twiggy arms (that can rotate 360 degrees) to his carrot nose and gormless smile. It's all the Olaf you're going to need and then some. Plus you can always throw him back in the box when you're sick of him.
Back to Elsa, and it's true that the subtle lines of her outfit, especially the elbows and shoulders, suffer from visible joints. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it makes photography tricky as you have to do your best to minimise their exposure. The skirt area of her dress is in two pieces, allowing her legs to peak out for a bit of thigh or ankle if you want her to be alluring, though the length of the dress limits your options here. Otherwise she has all the posability you might expect from the series. The only minor niggle, and it isn't a problem unless you're careless, is that the pointy end of her sleeves are worn like bracelets, and if you're changing hands these small parts could get lost - there are no spares so be very careful when swapping things around!
One of the absolute stand-out features are those face-sculpts - they are beautifully rendered, perfectly capturing Elsa's character. The singing head is expressive without looking shouty, her standard smile is sweet as cherry pie, and best of all her little smirking face with a raised eyebrow is about as iconic an Elsa "look" as I can imagine. It is of course my face of choice, eyes positioned to be looking to the side to suggest that she is once again tolerating that silly Olaf.
Elsa’s right shoulder demonstrates how the lines of the figure can easily be distorted.
Ultimately, if you're a fan of the character there's much to enjoy here. The face is an absolute treat, the aquamarine colours just beautiful and that train add-on is just gorgeous. Every bit the Disney princess (well, Queen) this is a must-have for fans that want an Elsa that's both true to the character and fun to play with. It has it's flaws and it's not suitable for younger fans, but as a display piece, it's really... cool.