In June 2021, AmiAmi announced a pair of exclusive Macross 7 figures depicting Mylene Flare Jenius (daughter of Max and Myria) and Nekki Basara, the two lead vocalists of the band Fire Bomber. I remember the arrival of the show in 1994, and while I wasn't overly enamoured by the story (which took forever to really go anywhere) there was no denying that the character designs and the music were utterly captivating. Fire Bomber's signature sound was classic rock, replete with anthemic tunes like Diamond Calling, blaring hi-tempo mosh-pit fodder a'la Holy Lonely Light and chill out ballads such as Submarine Street. I lived on a diet of Macross 7 music in the 90's, and it was glorious.
Missing in Action
Despite the success of the show, one thing we never saw were figurines of the main cast. Sure, we had gashapons, keychains and even some basic 4" figures, but nothing of a scale that could dominate a shelf. Sure, Mylene was released as a model kit, only available with tickets to the Macross Plus film premiere in Japan, and I might even be a big enough fan to actually have one of those fully painted in my office, but a decent scale, ready assembled figure with modern sculpting? Well, we've had a 28 year wait on that. That's a hell of a lot of warm-up acts to sit through.
I opted only for Mylene, as while I loved the music, Nekki Basara is a bit of a self-obsessed git. Should you feel differently, the bases will connect to bring the two leads together seamlessly, and it's not obvious that anything is "missing" from the sculpt, so it works fine as a standalone item. Since Basara often failed to show up for concerts in the show, I feel Mylene being on her own is not only better for my wallet, but ironically show accurate too.
Packaging and First Impressions
As per usual, the box is about twice the size it really needs to be, with a 13" tall package protecting a 9" figure. Better safe than sorry I suppose, but it's yet another massive box to store if, like me, you keep them around. The box itself is actually very nice, the graphic design actually being more than just some nice pictures of the figure. The sides of the box depict Mylene on one panel, and the character broken up on silhouettes of a Valkyrie in each of the 3 modes on the other. It's nice that they had some fun with it, and it makes the box worth keeping in my view.
Once removed and connected, you have Mylene striking a pose, hair swooshing majestically and her guitar raised in the air. She connects securely to the Macross 7 logo with both feet, which in turn is connected to a simple black base. Her hairy sidekick Gubaba is attached to the stand by a white rod, which is a slight shame as it's really blatant and I would have preferred him sculpted in mid-air attached subtly to the guitar or a strand of hair. Even a transparent rod would have made it look better, as it is, the connection cheapens the overall look, and this is a massive shame for something we've been waiting on for so long.
That white plastic stick up Gubaba's butt is somewhat inelegant.
That aside, the sculpt is everything you'd want for the character - the outfit has plenty of detail in terms of fabric wrinkles, painted in a deep and luscious red that works perfectly with her pink hair and signature white accessories. Paint is well applied and there's enough wash to make skin tones and flatter surfaces interesting.
Headliner or Warm Up Act?
So the figure is a fine representation of a character that has, to be fair, been lost a little to time. There's no doubt that Macross 7 has it's place in the overall canon, but Macross Frontier arguably eclipses it as the best sequel series to the original show, and even Delta has its moments, mostly thanks to moving us on from the idols of Frontier to the idol group dynamic that's so popular across the globe. While old rockers like me will always love Macross 7 for its rock sensibilities, it really is hard to see it sustaining much love for the quality of the show itself. As such it's sadly understandable why merchandise has been thin on the ground.
As always, we have to look at what we're getting for the money. £140 (or 22,000 yen) is quite inexpensive by today's standards. This is reflected in the simple base and basic connecting pieces. And while I'm not blown away by the offering, I am very satisfied that my itch has been scratched by a figure with an excellent sculpt, great paintwork and a lovely pose. Yes, it would be nice with a proper stadium floor to stand on, perhaps some lights to emulate that concert feeling or even a smarter way of incorporating Gubaba, but the result is worth the money being asked. With the exclusive nature of the distribution and a re-release unlikely, it's probably going to be a while before we see a Mylene statue to beat this one.
If you can find one, bag her!