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Valsione R


4 comments posted
To be continued?

What a strange journey this has been.

How did it get to this point?

Part of it was the chance to talk about something that no one else was talking about. Part of it was the desire to shed light on what was basically a ‘forgotten’ toyline, despite the relatively recent age of the Full Action Figure line. Of course, to be forgotten requires knowledge of something’s existence beforehand, and the exclusive, mail away origins of this line helped push it further into obscurity. The challenge of researching a line with very little information available, even in Japanese, was intriguing.

Beyond all of those reasons, however, it’s probably just because of a slightly masochistic streak.

When I started doing these reviews based on the few FAFs I already had, I had already reached a verdict on this line in my mind. These were among the most misguided, incompetent toys ever made. While not a directly related factor, the high aftermarket prices circa 2006 didn’t do anything to soften that opinion. Not only that, the ones I had were physically gross to handle. I assumed that my experiences held true across the board.

As I went deeper into the line, I found that it was a little more complicated than that.

To be clear: I still don’t think these are good. They aren’t however, the spawn of Satan born into a PVC casing. The major problem is that they’re bafflingly inconsistent. With most toys you can generally see that future releases build upon past releases to improve the line. For instance, during the length of the FAF lifespan Bandai would go from MSiA in all of its evolutions to the Robot Damashi line (Not that it is fair to compare Bandai to Volks). With FAF, it’s really hard to see that. Later releases have no guarantee that they’ll be better. Early innovations and improvements are removed between figures, quality control seems to mostly be up to luck of the draw, and cautious optimism after finding a FAF you like quickly turns to disappointment when the next one crumbles apart in your hands.

By the way, I have one FAF left that hasn’t seen a review. The Altairion is designed to be a transforming toy (well, it part-swaps). The problem is that its joints weren’t strong enough to handle the swapping, and now instead of a robot I have a pile of broken pieces. I’d still like to pick up another so I can do a proper review, but in case you were wondering: Don’t Buy the Altairion.

And yet, even that’s hard for me to say. Because the QC is so wildly inconsistent, I can’t claim these reviews to be anything other than my own experiences. That’s just how FAF do.

At first, my position was clear: Do not buy any of these toys, you do not want them.

But maybe…maybe you do want them? After all, some of these characters aren’t available in any other format. I can’t say that you’ll have the same QC problems, just as I can’t guarantee that the figures I liked will still be in one piece for you. At the very minimum, I hope these reviews might help you know what to possibly expect.

And if I convinced you to stay as far away as possible from these, well, I don’t feel too guilty about that either.

I’ll probably still do the occasional FAF review from time to time, at the very least, I’d like to review the final FAF release, the Fairlion twin pack. I also have dreams of redoing a lot of my early pictures so they’re not so dark and terrible. I don’t have any timeline for that though.

FAF and I need to see other people for a little while.

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 19 June, 2014 - 16:07
I am so glad

I am so glad that the very first FAFS review you link to in all the subsequent ones opens with the line, "This is mostly Veef’s fault."

Because everything always is in a way...

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 19 June, 2014 - 16:40
That retrospective at the end

That retrospective at the end was really super interesting, because your attitude towards the figures did noticeably change as the reviews went on! Hell, I'm even vaguely interested in this fig, shame the prices are still higher than she's probs worth. And it's an oddly... meditative way to resolve toy reviews in a way I don't often see. Something looked kinda metallic about her shoulder joints, btw; is any part of them metal or is that just the lighting?

Also, those gifs were utterly glorious and gave me a good chuckle, totally worth the 10000 hours in MSpaint.

Rankarana's picture
Posted by Rankarana on 20 June, 2014 - 14:28
Thanks as always

For your comments, and actually reading through all of that.

Doing these reviews was really a roller coaster, because every time I started actually feeling optimistic about the line it came back to bite me. The time between reviews got longer and longer because I really did burn out a couple times.

I'm happy to hear that there was some sort of noticeable progression through these. This was my first time writing on the same subject for an extended length of time, so hopefully that shift, while unintentional, kept things interesting, rather than too unbalanced.

It's crazy how far the prices have come down in the last few years, and even now they're still dropping, outside of only a couple which have kept their crazy prices. I've been really shocked at how low some of the prices are getting on second hand shops like Mandarake (although I've resisted the urge to order any more for the time being) Maybe in a few more years all of them will be easily available?

And no, as much as I'd wish for metal in this, it's sadly just a trick of the light.

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 21 June, 2014 - 00:27