I find myself once again dipping into the fast-growing list of Pop Up Parade characters flying at us from Goodsmile Company. It seems that by upping the quality from typical prize-figures and keeping the price at a bare minimum, they've hit a sweet spot that's only really contested by France's ABYstyle Studio.
I'm a sucker for anything Street Fighter related - whether it's artbooks, £500+ statues, action figures or Udon's comics, it's become an evergreen franchise with an iconic roster of characters. While my favourites often fluctuate, there's no denying that the first lady of fighting is Chun Li, the Chinese martial artist in the unforgettable blue dress, spikey bracelets and white boots. No matter how they update her look (and there have been some great ones), she'll never be more recognisable than how she's portrayed here - it's a look that never goes out of style.
She looks good from every angle
So how had the budget treatment left our hard-kicking pugilist? Well, the sculpt is fantastic for one - the flowing curves of the dress, the puffy-princess sleeves and that gold embroidered design are all exactly as they should be. Particular detail has been lavished on her boots, hair and muscle-tone to create a sharp aesthetic for a smaller (16cm) figure. While the paint is fairly flat for the most part, allowing natural shadows to provide the depth, Good Smile has gone all in on the wash used on her legs. Adorned in tights, they're a lovely chestnut brown, with a little extra paint used to bring out the muscular details of the sculpt. It's the most-eye catching part of the piece, and the rest of the design almost just sits around them.
I'll reserve some of my praise for the face-sculpt too, which is absolutely perfect. Determined without being angry, it's a very focused and disciplined look, perfect for a tournament martial-artist. The sculpted detail on her hair and bun accessories helps to sell the look, and the flow of her ribbons works well, even if those on the right side of her head look a little mushed together if I'm being super-critical. I could also point out that the paintwork on the gold embroidery isn't quite as sharp as it could be, but again you're working in the margins of a very low budget here, so it's well within tolerable levels.
I knew I kept those graffiti photos around for a reason!
The base is plain semi-transparent black, which is a nice contrast to the single white boot that holds her in place. The fact that she can pull off the pose without the aid of any plastic supports really sells the figure nicely, and I'm hoping the same feat can be pulled off by the imminent Cammie White release.
While this certainly won't be giving the Bishoujo release anything to worry about, this is a smashing effort for a figure coming in at under £30. Well worth adding to your collection.