With fantastic animation and space battles of a scale involving millions of monster literally, Diebuster was immensely popular and it is no surprise that there is huge demand for official merchandise. So far however, there has only been one poly vinyl chloride figurine of a Diebuster character released – the protagonist, Nono. The figurine is a huge spoiler for those who have yet to see the series, as it features her in her Buster Machine Number 7 form.
This figurine, released by Bandai under its Soul of Maiden series in February 2007, costs 4000 yen (S$52) each. It is 1/8 scaled and stands 22 cm tall (not including that much of the hair).
Personally, I am a huge fan of the series and have been dying to get hold of any merchandise, particularly the ultra-cool Buster Machine 7. So I got the figurine right away!
The figurine has Nono posed in the trademark Buster Machine stance, her arms crossed and legs slightly apart. She has all her thigh laser cannons extended and armed and there is a gust effect blowing her translucent orange long hair and scarf backwards. It is a stylish and cool superhero stance fit for only, well, super heroine robots like her. Nono’s face is sculpted like she is in the midst of a shout, further adding to the already abundant aura of power. Her eyes are tampo-painted in anime-accurate colours and details, with her trademark crossed irises. And on her calves are awesomely beautiful thrusters, made with clear orange plastic.
Actually I remember that the cross iris is only when Nono is not in Buster mode. So isn’t this wrong? She gets the Gunbuster emblem in her eyes when powered up.
One very thoughtful feature that Bandai added is the ahoge (the hair antennae on the top of her head). While it looks like any normal ahoge at first, upon closer inspection, this can be freely rotated to point in any direction. Why is this significant? In the anime, Buster Machine 7 uses this to issue commands to her swarms of machine minions, much like how an orchestral conductor waves his pointer about.
Buster Corps, Attack!
Nono is armed with three special lenses which can absorb enemy beam attacks and these have been nicely replicated with clear green plastic.
I love the added features that come with the figurine; these add interesting variety to a otherwise static statue. Nono comes with an extra head, two pairs of goggles, scarf extensions, eight laser cannons, and a black base.
The alternate head has her hair blown vertically upwards and facial expression stern and stoic. To complement this upward wind effect, the scarf extensions can be switched around to point upwards.
ALIEN TOPLESS ATTACKS! Guess what my turtle’s name is? The Green Cyclone of Scaly Death.
The two pairs of orange goggles, one for each head, are made of a very soft and bendy plastic, which fits impeccably on Nono’s face. Normally toy collectors fear spectacle accessories for these have a tendency to fall off and get misplaced, but these orange ones fit far too well to drop.
The eight laser cannons are well detailed and painted in gun metal colours. They have to be manually inserted into Nono’s thigh and this allows them to be rotated 360 degrees as well. Note that in the anime, these cannons are kept inside her thighs and only spring out prior to firing, sort of like Robocop’s gun holster.
So do I love this figurine? Yes, but there are some very annoying issues to it as well. The paintwork is not the best, with a fair bit of runs and unclean areas. There are also quite a few prominent mould lines, particularly on her thigh and body. This is pretty much its critical flaw, for no matter how great every other aspect is, a figurine will never be considered a great one if its basic paintwork and moulding are shoddy. The quality of PVC used is also of an inferior grade to most other figurine companies, with a rubbery touch to it. The scarf extensions are poorly moulded, fall off very easily and they do not look anywhere as good as the ones on the box art.
The black base is very ugly and does not go with the figurine both in terms of colour and design. To make matters worse, Nono does not attach well to it and can fall off.
Overall, I have to say these was an above average figurine, considering its priced at the lower end of the PVC market. I really would have preferred paying a bit more to not have the sloppy flaws since Nono is such an awesome character and deserves a perfect representation.