Figure Review: Boring Old Saber Gets a Huge Overhaul!

For the past two years, no female anime or game character has come within a whisker of even matching Fate Stay Night’s Saber in terms of popularity, especially among the hardcore Japanese “otaku”. The star of the adult visual novel Fate, Saber has since been seen in the Fate anime, mangas and several fighting games. There is huge demand for figurines of this armoured beauty but quite a few sculpts have been sorely disappointing and substandard.


You are my Master.

Ebcraft’s HyperFate Collection Saber is just about the twentieth PVC mass-produced figurine of her to be released but it still caused quite a stir upon its release in March.


 


I love shots where the eyes are obscured. Looks mysterious and emo!

Sporting 17 points of articulation, this is a 18-cm tall action figure. Sculpted by Andoh Kenji who is famed for his detailed work on Bandai’s Super Imaginary Chogokin (action figures of Sentai Heroes mainly), HyperFate Collection Saber is markedly different from her competition. Her face is completely redesigned, for a grittier, more realistic feel. By keeping her eyes closer to real-life proportions and sculpting her cheeks, nose and lips the way humans actually look like, Andoh succeeded in making his creation stand out. She also gets a dusty gold colour for her hair. The hardcore purist fans of Saber may protest vehemently, but personally, I was hooked the moment I saw the new facial sculpt. I got huge Joan of Arc vibes from Andoh’s vision of Saber, and it is a breath of fresh air from the run-of-the-mill big-eyed anime designs. She also resembles the characters from the new anime Claymore, but with a lot more bulk. However, It takes a bit of getting used to, and some angles make her look fat. Oh yeah, she also reminds me a lot of Chris Lightfellow from Suikoden 3.


 

Part of the reason this overhaul is so refreshing is because of the sheer number of Saber figures already out on the market. But to appease those who prefer the more orthodox anime face, Ebcraft included an extra anime-styled head in. This extra head is really ugly and bears no resemblance to the original character. The weird smile on her face also made it difficult to match any aggressive poses with this head and I promptly put it back into the box.



From the side and at any angle, the realistic head looks far far better


But straight on, the realistic head looks a bit like Sader.


A bit manly I guess.

Her two swords, the Excalibur and the Caliburn, are faithfully replicated along with their scabbards. This is rare, for the other versions of Saber normally came with either one but never both. The Excalibur is the larger blade while the Caliburn’s scabbard is intricately detailed. One area of disappointment is the lack of neatness on the swords’ more complicated paint patterns. My Caliburn was also a bit bent for some reason. Nevertheless, the ability to put Saber in dual-sword poses is awesome and sets this action figure apart from the others. There’s an extra open right hand palm part as well, but why would anyone use it?


Leonardo.


But the best feature of this new Saber is no doubt the souped-up armour. Both in the game and the anime, Saber had plate armour bereft of any fanciful designs. Andoh takes her outfit to a whole new level with elegant patterns on her armour and dress, all amazingly detailed. The metallic silver armour and regal blue and gold dress are all expertly painted.

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect and this Saber does have its flaws. The level of articulation is pretty poor, especially for her legs as they are constricted by the long dress. She does not come with any base or support, so Saber is pretty much stuck in a wide-legged stance to keep her balance. Her head joint is also quite loose and falls off easily. And strangely enough, the elbow pivot joints are black, which makes them very out of place. But these are minor issues.

Retailing at a massive 7800 yen (100 Singapore dollars), HyperFate Collection Saber is quite expensive. Especially since similar-sized and armoured action figures like Final Fantasy Playarts’ Judge Gabranth are retailing for almost half the price. But don’t let the price deter you, for this is probably one of the best versions of Saber on the market. Get it now!


Nope, no pantsu.


30 Responses to “Figure Review: Boring Old Saber Gets a Huge Overhaul!”


  • It’s as if it came from a Hollywood rendition of F/sn. Or even from Advent Children…

  • Omg ~~ I wonder whats the deal behind the angmolised face

  • Realism is always good but at times where it is borne out from fantasy, interesting comparison….

    But yea, this Saber figurine is pretty good

  • Totally cool.

  • This figurine looks like tj han cosplaying as Saber.

  • A good looking figure here and lol at the two heads. The realistic one looks more man than other Sabers I have seen.

  • The armor looks great — I like the added details to it, but hate both heads. I guess I’m just not a fan of poseable figures, because they always seem to be a letdown when it comes to the face, head, and hair.

  • rats: The armour is indeed magnificent. The realistic head was a great idea but pity it didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped it would. Nevertheless, frm certain angles it does look great.

    Adun: Yes King Arthur was a male lol.

    Kippei: Wtf “angmohnised”?

    She does look like from the same mould as a typically recent Final Fantasy action figure.

  • The realistic version looks like a 20 year old dude while the large eyed version looks like a 10 year old girl.

  • Wow thats just amazing. Advent Saber rocks. The only way it could be any cooler was if the armor and swords were actually metal. Now all we need is for Square and Type Moon to give us FS/N Advent Servants, featuring 90 minutes of beautifully CG rendered hardcore battle scenes.

  • The armor is hot. I’ve always preferred full armored Saber. Those faces, though, are the creation of nightmares.

  • Hmmm,
    Not sure about the face – either of the faces.

  • Not a fan of this Saber

    1) the redesigned armor makes Saber looks phat

    2) the anime face is too fugly

    3) the ang moh face is more ok then the anime face, the biggest flaw of that face is the eyes, they shldnt have heavy outlined the eyes for a realistic look … phail

  • Forgot to add, this ebcraft articulated Saber looks pretty alot better with the head of the Kotobukiya “uniform” Saber, some Hongkies and Japanese did that by culling the head of the Koto Saber and used it on the EbArtSaber

  • Asteroth: Pictures? That sounds interesting.

    Maverick: I suspect that may actually be a good idea but not commercially viable lol. Since FSN is still a niche product compared to FF7. I would like so hot Rider action though.

  • I found some images related to Asteroth comments. Some pictures of it can be found here…

    [www.geocities.jp/lifezoids/figure_219A.htm]

    I posted them earlier, but my post was deleted…dont know why….hope this pass now.

  • It’s been a while since you got a new figure. Wow, it looks alot better with the Koto head, but I wouldn’t waste a good figure for that. I had this saber preordered for a while but decided to cancal it the day just before hlj got it in stock. There were a couple bad points that just made me give up on it.

    1) As you mentioned, the legs will not perform a kneeling pose. It’s the same reason why I decided not to purchase any of the Kingdom Hearts Sora Playarts.

    2) Elbow joints stand out too much.

    3) There is suppose to be two other saber action figures that are coming out (Not the revotech). Danny got pictures from the festival a few months ago. They seem to be much more posable(?).

    So I save the US $75 and had azone’s Saber doll shipped instead. Much taller, softer, and 3 times as expensive. To be truthful, Saber is irresistible. When I saw the doll, I knew that I just had to have it even though I don’t collect dolls. Saber is so…charming.

  • it doesn;t have that anime feel…but nvm that…the moment i saw it, i was thinking: is this made by some american comic modeller?

  • The realistic looking head just doesn’t appeal to me, i’d rather it have a more anime looking head than this. ^^ (Not like the other head that came with it is any good)

  • beautiful. a nice change from the usual anime faces with eyes that are half the size of the head!

  • I love the one in toonleap post http://www.geocities.jp/lifezoids/figure_219A.htm. That’s how Saber should look like!!! I don’t like the realist face nor the anime one that was provided with this figure. It just doesn’t look like Saber at all.

  • Leonardo? dun get it XD…

  • Leo is a double wielding swordie from TMNT.

    The anime face don’t just cut it. They should have taken a mold from koto with permission.

  • I bought this saber because it is very unique. It will be one of the the kinds in the market right now. Without this, my fate/stay night collection feel incomplete. And i agree that the anime head is badly done. However, i will not get the hyperfate archer because i dun wanna spend too much on male figurines unless its very very cool. *Sense colour wolf*

  • Very nice review, TJ. I luv the double saber action. :D

    Baka> the Azone doll is very tempting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it b/c it got sold out quickly. T_T Not a doll person myself, but I totally understand the attraction to it. And maybe down the line, I’ll feel my Saber collection will be incomplete w/o the Azone doll. Time will tell. . .

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