Original Effect 1/6 Viola

If you read my previous post you would have seen the gorgeous promotional pictures of this figure. This is one of those toys with an original story, following the trend set by 3A. I didn’t really bother with the story since it wasn’t free to read but I liked her design and threw in an order even with the insane marked up price on Amiami. After some reading I learnt that this was a new company and no one was sure how the final product would turn out. When it was released people complained about the spotty QC, and one really big problem. It’s not 1/6 scale.

So I didn’t prepare to do a proper review of this thing as I opened the package right after receiving it just to see how bad it was. Most of the pictures were taken using my phone instead.

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The box is huge, heavy and has some lovely artwork for its cover and snippets of the comic on its sides. It’s made of thick cardboard with a matte finish on the outside which means it can get scuffed up quite easily.

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After lifting the lid you’re greeted with a wax seal (which I tried to rip off before getting this picture). It’s cool and all but opening the package was a huge pain. I gave up and just cut the string to open the box.

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The figure is packaged in multiple layers of protective foam. A comic booklet is also provided, with broken English all over, and the occasional sound effect written in Chinese. Despite the child safety warnings on the side of the box telling you in broken English to read the “instrction”, there is no instruction manual.

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Everything else is packed in the layer underneath the figure. It’s not clear in the picture, but there is a hat, cigar, ridiculously oversized revolver, trench coat and belt, an extra pair of hands, a red arm band and a holster. You can equip everything here and be left with only the extra pair of slightly different hands.

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Here’s the complete figure. The first thing that strikes you is its size – this figure is well over 30 cm tall and is far too big to be 1/6 scale. Besides the scale issue another big crippling problem is that the entire body is very floppy and thanks to the horribly weak ankles it cannot stand easily on its own. I had to turn off my room fan and got it to balance long enough for this picture. I can’t tighten the ankle joints as her feet are glued into her shoes, making it impossible to remove all her clothing. The red arm band on my figure is just one red cloth band without any logo – I’m not sure whether it’s a quality issue or there was some censoring going on when the toy went to Japan. The same logo appears in the Metal Slug games too so I don’t think there was any censorship involved. Now the arm band reminds me of Haruhi’s Super Club Director armband…

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The head sculpt is really rough and her hair looks like it was fashioned out of Play Doh. An unusual but attractive addition is the eyelashes which are separately molded black blobs that unfortunately point in slightly different directions. I think the biggest difference between the final product and the prototype is the lack of eye shadow. Only her body and oversized revolver are made of rigid plastic; her hands and all the other accessories are made of some bendy, rubbery material. There is a magnet in the hat which helps it stick to the top of her head but you end up with horrible paint transfer and a black ring-shaped stain on her head where the magnet sticks to. As with many other toys with removable hats it also looks a bit too big for her head.

When you put the body in a neutral stance it looks fairly good as all the joints are well-hidden and the body itself has a much better shape compared to some other bodies like the TTL body on my other figure that doesn’t have much bodily definition. Some people may not like her black arms but I think it’s a clever way to give her some skin-tight black gloves without looking too unnatural. I think it needs more shine though. The hands are nicely sculpted and despite being gloved hands they look far more detailed compared to the drab looking flesh-coloured ones that I got with my other 1/6 bodies. I’m also impressed by the general quality of her removable clothing, especially her corset and skirt. They fit the body quite well which is a pity because the body is just one big rag doll. Unfortunately I can’t just grab a 1/6 body and head to transplant the clothing as her “gloves”, shoes and stockings aren’t removable and the body parts are not compatible. On the bright side the clothing doesn’t appear to stain readily (and has a really nice smell :P).

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There is supposed to be an emblem glued to the back of the coat but it just slides off and there is so much greasy paste everywhere I just wiped it down and didn’t bother with the emblem altogether. The whole deal is quite ridiculous as the rubbery emblem has a piece of double-sided tape and knowing it couldn’t stick well, the factory workers were probably told to simply slather some grease all over as if the oil and that piece of tape can somehow combine their sticky powers.

Assuming the figure isn’t a big rag doll, it has a fairly standard range of articulation. The head is on a double ball joint; the shoulders, elbows and wrists are single joints with an upper arm swivel; a ball joint in the chest, ball-jointed hips with thigh swivels, double knee joints that offer around 90 degrees of motion and single joints for the ankles. I’m not sure whether it’s due to the trench coat but I can’t get the arms closer to the sides of the figure as shown in the pictures. I tried to tighten the chest joint by slathering the ball in the upper torso with super glue but it’s still a bit loose – the body should have a ball joint cup but it appears to be a cylindrical hole instead, made of a different translucent material. The hip joint was also made of the translucent material and wasn’t securely fixed inside the hip. Both legs fit very close to the hip with very little space between the legs and hip parts so when I first messed with the figure one leg wasn’t fully inserted into the hip joint and fell off. When I tried to re-attach it the hip joint was moving all over the place preventing it from being installed properly. It was very frustrating as only one leg was secure. Again super glue came to the rescue as I centred the hip joint and glued it in place, allowing me to finally push both legs into the hips. I haven’t messed with the legs since so I’m not 100% sure if they are completely secured now.

I really didn’t like the glued feet as the seam on her stockings is misaligned on one leg and I can’t fix them. There is an indentation on one arm near the shoulder, and her shoes and parts of her chest have numerous scratch-like marks. I think it’s due to poor-quality injection molding or something. According to the item listing on Amiami, it seems that some accessories had been taken out in the final product. If I remember correctly, it was promised to include a second pair of feet and a stand. This is really disappointing because the makers clearly know their figure is so floppy right out the box but refuse to acknowledge the problem and at least provide a stand.

Due to the really floppy body I gave up and didn’t bother taking any more pictures. It’s still quite a good-looking figure, but only if you can get over her head sculpt, poor quality and the fact that she’s more like 1/5 scale, which kills off a lot of compatibility.

At the time of writing this, the company already has a second figure to be released soon, and they also revealed the artwork for a third character. Rumour has it that the second figure which is dressed in a kimono will have a new type of body, but the artwork for the third one also says the same thing. The third character seems appealing but the spotty QC and weird scale are putting me off right now. Whatever it is, I’d gladly take a replacement body from them that doesn’t behave like a rag doll and a way to peel off the existing footwear and legwear. If the body worked and could at least hold a pose, this would have been a much better debut figure.

★☆☆☆☆

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8 thoughts on “Original Effect 1/6 Viola”

  1. Awesome,despite flaws you describe she still really a gorgeous 1/6 figure/doll with cool concept :D,her box seal also unique 😀

  2. I’m really thinking of getting one of Endless or Clarinet but… i hope they fixed it somehow… You know how i love to take shots and floppy joints are just… no… just NO…

    1. I never kept up with their new figures until now, and despite the promises of having an updated base body, I find it quite costly to risk paying so much. Someone on some toy forums blasted them for using the exact same type of shoes for every single one of their figures it’s like they’re not even trying.

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