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.