Please excuse the orange tinge to the photos; hoping to get some proper lights or maybe even a lightbox soon!
This scaled figure from Good Smile Company’s flagship Black Rock Shooter line is the -animation version- of Black Rock Shooter (BRS) herself.
Wielding the Black Rock Cannon as she leaps into action, the 1/8 scale figure sports a dynamic sculpt that is nearly true to the design of her anime counterpart.
BRS arrives in a roomy box that measures 13″ x 11″ x 7.5″. The large dimensions almost guarantee a hefty shipping fee.
The windows on the box afford a good view of the contents inside: the main figure of BRS, the Black Rock Cannon, an alternate hairpiece with flaming eye, three large-link chains, two long small-link chains, and the base. An assembly instruction sheet is also included, but since the images on the sheet are small and grayscale, the photos on the box prove to be invaluable during assembly.
The large box doesn’t promise the safe arrival of an undamaged figure, however; reports of broken twintails and broken bases are common. Purchase sight unseen at your own peril!
Assembly took about 45 minutes and included the time it took to whittle down some ill-fitting pegs.
Once assembled, the figure looks good from just about every angle. There were complaints about color accuracy with regards to the belt and shoes, but it’s consistent with the prototype and doesn’t detract from the piece at all.
The energetic running pose is made possible by the Black Rock Cannon, which helps support BRS by adding a second contact point with the base. Not only does the base have an impressive sculpt, it’s also functional.
You may’ve noticed that the blocks themselves have small contact areas, so it’s no surprise that reports of breakage are common. Assembly requires the cannon to be attached to the blocks without any other support before attaching BRS, so it’s important to put as little undue pressure on the blocks as possible.
The flowing coat and trailing hair help create a sense of movement.
The fierce and determined expression on her face show she’s ready for action.
The drawstrings on the hoodie, the zipper pull, and the bow on BRS’s bikini top are details that add to the realism of the sculpture. There are also hardly any noticeable seam lines on the figure, which is quite the impressive feat.
Even the scuffs on the cannon and the chips in the blocks help to tell the story and to enhance the overall appeal of the piece.
Besides the breakage problems mentioned earlier, one glaring gaffe was the omission of the star on the front of BRS’s jacket. Hence, she is only “nearly true” to her anime counterpart.
Good Smile sent out decals so end users could correct the error themselves. Collectors lucky enough to be in Japan could send the figure back and Good Smile would apply the decal for them.
The painters did do a wonderful job with the star on the back. Not an easy task, given the folds and creases they had to work with.
However, as with all hand-painted figures, the paintjob isn’t entirely flawless. Here, you can see a splotch of black paint on the white stripe of her sleeve.
BRS received a non-limited, non-exclusive run. Due to the afore-mentioned problems, the figure was relegated to bargain bins extremely quickly, where it was snatched up by collectors who were not as discriminating.
Black Rock Shooter -animation version- is the first in a series of 1/8 scale representations of characters from the Black Rock Shooter universe. Dead Master and Black Gold Saw will be joining her later this year. There’s also a series depicting the original versions of BRS and Dead Master. Of course, the figure will look more at home with others in the series, but this beautiful and dynamic sculpture would be a stunning addition to any collection.
Sculpt: 8/10 — Quite accurate to BRS’s in-anime appearance, save for the lack of the star on the front of the jacket and minor coloring differences. Even though the star is the character’s trademark, it’s more of a paint/detail issue and not a sculpting problem.
Pose: 10/10 — A beautiful and dynamic pose, wonderfully executed.
Cost to Value Ratio: 8/10 — 9800yen for a figure of this detail, size, and complexity is about average. Finding her for cheaper in one of the previously mentioned bargain bins would make her purchase a no-brainer.
Logistics/After-sale: 7/10 — Despite the normal wide release, this figure is becoming increasingly difficult to find now. The broken twintails and bases that have been reported helped to reduce available stock, as retailers were initially sending out replacements at no charge. Additionally, owning this figure may tempt the owner to pick up the other statues in the series. 😉
Name: Black Rock Shooter -animation version-
Company: Good Smile Company
Release Date: November 2010