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Xiao Mei by Max Factory

August 16, 2011 By: Nopy Category: Figures

It’s been a while since my last post and even longer since my last figure post, but this August has and will continue to be a busy month for me. With that said, my presence online will be significantly diminished, but you can expect one or two more posts before the end of the month.

Today lets take a look at Xiao Mei, a 1/7 scale figure by Max Factory. I don’t know much about her other than she’s a Chinese cat-girl from the game Shining Hearts. Sadly, I can’t find her name written in Chinese anywhere so I don’t know which “xiao” and which “mei” her name is comprised of. I think it’s safe to just refer to her as “Mei” though.

As with all of the Shining Hearts figures released so far, Mei was also based off of an illustration by Tony Taka.

Max Factory did a good job, with the help of sculptor Nanako, bringing Mei into the 3rd dimension. A couple of differences I could find between the illustration and the figure are the placement of her feet (right in front of left instead of left in front of right), and her face is turned more towards the front. One difference that I did like was that Max Factory decided to put Mei’s legs closer together, which I think looks more feminine.

The original illustration only show Mei from the front, so Max Factory had to assume what she looks like from all other sides. I think they did an excellent job, as you can see below.

Mei is one of the few figures I’ve seen that manages to maintain a high level of sexiness and cuteness at the same time. Her clothing helps accentuate her slim wait, perfectly-sized bust, and curvy hips. At the same time, her “nyan” pose combined with cat ears and a tail give her a sweet and innocent look. I applaud Tony for creating this combination of clothes, and I applaud Nanako for being able to sculpt a goddess-like body.

I couldn’t ask for a better overall design or sculpt for this figure, but what really determines the quality of a figure are all of the small details.

Starting from the top of the figure are Mei’s cat ears. Her ears change in colour from black to  grey as you move towards the tip. What really impressed me here was how the interface between the two colours isn’t a smooth line, but a jagged edge, just like a real cat.

The inside of Mei’s ears have some fur, something I would’ve forgotten if I were making a figure. There is some black paint on the edges of Mei’s ears that got on the inside, but it’s not visible unless you stare inside her ears.

Mei’s hair buns (I forgot the actual name for them) are nicely shaped with no clumps, but there is a small seam line that runs across the center of both of them.

Something new to me are eyes with light reflection painted in. I’m assuming this was done to make Mei’s eyes look more fluid, and I think it works.

The pink ribbon over Mei’s glove is cute, but there is a small amount of pink paint that got onto the glove.

Thankfully, the pink trim and the designs around it on the shirt were painted very precisely.

I think this picture speaks for itself, nice sculpt.

One of the more subtle details about this figure are the folds in the clothing. Not only do they match the illustration, they are both painted and sculpted in. Figures with folds that have no change in the shading around it look bland unless you shine a light on it from just the right angle. Painting shadows into Mei’s clothes really helps make them stand out and ensures they always look right.

More shading can be seen on Mei’s backside. I also like how they’ve sculpted her shoulder blades showing through her shirt.

A white bow on the side draws attention to Mei’s hips.

For those wondering about the tail, it fits snugly into a slot in the back. The slot itself is rather big so you don’t have to worry about the tail falling off.

I’ve mentioned how much I liked the overall sculpt, but here’s a look at the finer details. I see a lot of figures with horrible looking fingers and I’m glad this is not one of them. Any figure with fingers that actually have joints is fine by me.

This is more for the guys. Yes, she does have a nicely shaped bottom and wears white panties.

On the other hand, I am rather enamored with Mei’s legs, which was a major reason for purchasing her. They are long, smooth, and simply beautiful.

If you don’t like bare legs, Mei also has one leg with white stockings, quite the fashionista.

Mei’s shoes have the same design that was on her shirt. Again, the precision of the paint job here was fantastic.

The base is a simple solid white with the Shining Hearts title on it. Since Mei stands relatively straight, there was no need for a large base so Max Factory only made it slightly larger than 9cm across. This is now the smallest figure base in my collection and really helps when trying to conserve space.

Overall, Xiao Mei is a stunning figure. I absolutely love her character design and the sculpt. The paint job has some minor mishaps, like the pink ribbon over the glove, but is excellent otherwise. I will probably never sell this figure, especially considering how well she looks next to Taiga.

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19 Comments to “Xiao Mei by Max Factory”

  1. Ooh what a lovely figure! And those eyes. Super super cool with the reflection/ gloss. I really like it. Anyway, her outfits very pretty as well. Very pretty qipao, and wonderful leggings + garters. Stunning indeed.

  2. Ah good to hear that you are happy about her purchase.
    She is very pretty, a neko eared girl in a china dress is a nice charakterdesign for a figure. Her cleavage looks very pretty and also from the backside Xiao Mei leaves a good impression like in xiaomei-04.

    I also like the shiny eyes and her cat ears *nyaah*.

  3. I should have mine soon as well :)

  4. Cute nyan-cat :3

    But I’m not a very big fan of Tony Taka. He haves some nice style, but… not really my taste. I like more stuff like redjuice or Banpei Akira.

  5. From first glance Xiao Mei looks rather plain. To me she’s one of the more forgettable character designs by Tony Taka.

    But as you went in to more detail I began to take more notice of her. She really does look fantastic. The folds in her clothing is probably my favourite aspect of this figure. I also like her asymmetric outfit which helps make her more interesting to look at.

    I’m not so keen on her head though. Her face is rather generic and her hair uninspired. Then the cat ears, they don’t really add anything interesting, just something poking out her head. That’s just my opinion on the character though.

    She fits in quite nicely with Taiga as well – similar outfits and styles.

  6. Great figure purchase and review! I agree with the ribbon on the hips part, its really a nice touch. Heh I’ll see if I can find the figure as well.

  7. At first glance she doesn’t catch one’s eye. However, once you examined her closely I began to see her true appeal. She is quite nice. Though I’ve never really played Shinning Hearts before.

  8. Great choice of figure. She’s got an excellent sculpt and it’s almost dead on with the illustration which makes her that much better. Really great attention to detail and a small base is always a plus.

  9. I don’t really like cat girls but she’s gorgeous. She has that good balance of cuteness and feminine touch.

  10. Wow she follow exactly the illustration!
    I see some say its plain but i dont think it is, i think its cute or moe ^^
    and thats the whole point about it, it is nicely done, okay the paint job in the ear could have been done better but you can hardly see it from a far.

  11. Yeah, quite a nice figure we have here, its rare that I actually end up liking Nekomimi girls…:O

  12. Cute kitty. :3 You’re right, it actually does look very accurate to the illustration, shading and all. Besides the ears and tail (oh, and the glossy eyes), my favorite aspect is her stocking. They even did a fine job with the ribbon around her ankle.

  13. wow it’s been a while since i posted here XD. been busy with other stuff.

    that figure caught my eye as well. especially her legs haha. ive always been a sucker for legs :S… althought, i never played shining wind.

  14. Adorable~

    The name probably translates into something like ‘little girl’ or something like that. I don’t know.

    THAT TAIL. I don’t know why I like it.

  15. xiao mei.. depending on what character… but it could be “small tail”?

  16. A good read and nice shots. As a fellow owner of Xiao-Mei I can affirm that we’re both in good company.

  17. @Yi:
    Adding the leggings with the qipao was a really good design choice, it’s really eye-catching.

    It’s always nice to see figure manufacturers make the back side good as good as the front, especially since the art she’s based on only shows one side.

    Oh, you bought one too? I hope you enjoy her as well.

    I wasn’t a big fan of Tony’s style at first either, but after a while I just started liking it.

    There really isn’t one single thing about her that stands out, but all of the little details come together to make her an overall great-looking figure. I’m rather fond of girls with animal ears, so I didn’t find her face/head to be too bad.

    @Dreaming artemis:
    Ribbons are always a good add-on.

    I’ve never played Shining Hearts either, I got her solely for the character design.

    I was worried she might not turn out well when I preordered her, but I’m happy with the final product. A lot of people don’t appreciate small bases, but I liked it.

    It’s impressive how well they were able to keep her cute and sexy sides in balance when they created the figure.

    She’s definitely cute, I think it’s a bit like the girl next door cute, you don’t notice it until one random day.

    Really? I think nekomimi girls are cool.

    Yes, her stockings and ribbons are nice indeed. I love how they draw your attention to her smooth legs.

    Welcome back to the aniblogosphere :)
    I love perfectly shaped legs as well, which is one of the reasons I bought her.

    There are so many possibilities to what her name could mean, I wish they had written it in Chinese instead of using the alphabet.

    She’s definitely a nice figure.

  18. She looks really nice, I like the little the subtle details that add to the cuteness and sexiness. Things such as the subtle change in the pose that mentioned. I think this is the first Tony Taka figure that I find appealing.

  19. @Miette-chan:
    It’s the small things that help make a figure look great overall.


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