In 1990, Yoshihiro Togashi won the hearts of millions of fans all over the world with his best-selling manga (and later anime) YUYU HAKUSHO, an action-adventure epic featuring a spikey-haired protagonist with a mysterious past and a powerful father, an antisocial and vertically challenged assassin, an effeminate introvert with an affinity for whip-like weapons, and an unremarkable assisting character who ends up burying his nose in books and being left behind by the others. Less than a decade later, the famed mangaka created another bestselling series - HUNTER X HUNTER (pronounced without the "X"), an action-adventure epic featuring a spikey-haired protagonist with a mysterious past and a powerful father, an antisocial and vertically challenged assassin, an effeminate introvert with an affinity for whip-like weapons, and an unremarkable assisting character who ends up burying his nose in books and being left behind by the others.
Originality notwithstanding, both YUYU HAKUSHO and HUNTER X HUNTER found respectable levels of success and a sizable fanbase here in the Philippines (though I believe the former became much more popular than the latter). As a child, my search for a good action figure of my favorite character from YYH, Kurama (known here first as 'Denise' and then as 'Dennis' - GMA-7 apparently couldn't decide if he was supposed to be a boy or a girl, resulting in hilarious gender-swapping shenanigans) yielded exactly zero results. Sure, there were little plastic figurines and keychains, but the lackluster paint apps, unacceptable articulation count, and subpar sculpting made me decide that they weren't really worth the price tags they came with.
Of course, I knew that at some point, I'd find a way to make up for the void that the lack ofa decent Kurama action figure left in my young life. So here I am now - a full-grown adult, typing up a review of a different sexually ambiguous character's multi-jointed toy. I'm just not entirely sure if I should feel a sense of inner peace or die of embarrassment.
Anyway, here he is - Figma's 194th character, the last surviving member of the Kuruta tribe, Curarpikt.
Or Curapica/Kurapika, because "Curarpikt" makes absolutely no sense. Seriously, try saying it out loud.
PACKAGING - 5/5
(Click the thumbnails for bigger pictures!)
Curarpikt comes in a box with a window big enough to let you see the full figure, plus some of his accessories. The back of the box features the chain-slinger in various poses that show off the figure's articulation and accessories. They're great pose ideas, and if you're the kind of collector who just fiddles with the toy a bit, finds a good pose, and then leaves it semi-permanently on your shelf that way, you'll find some good pose suggestions here (not "suggestive poses", mind you - oh, and if you're into that sort of thing, I am totally not judging you, nope, not at all).
SCULPT - 4/5
It's a soft sculpt for a 'soft' character (heh), and since this is the Figma line, Curarpikt fits right in with previous releases. Looking at him, I'm reminded of the Kenshin Himura Revoltech figure (man, they dropped the ball on that one), but in a good way. I guess my only issue with this little dude is his hair - the front sort of looks like it's clumped together and plastic-y, and his rounded bangs look a bit off.
Curarpikt is also smaller than the average 6figure, but that's okay, I guess. You could always use the "he's an Asian who has large, round eyes, for some reason" excuse.
ARTICULATION - 4/5
Curarpikt clocks in at 28 points of articulation, which is about 26 points above what's necessary for somebody who pretty much just raises his hand and glares at his opponent menacingly with pinkeye. He has a neck hinge/swivel, ball shoulders, single-joint elbows, swivels and hinges in the wrists and abdomen, ball-and-swivel hips, single-joint knees, ankles that can move up, down, and sideways, and toe hinges. He's less articulated than, say, a Microman or a Toybiz-era Marvel Legend, but whatever's here is enough.
Curarpikt's skirt, er, tribal costume is also articulated at the sides, probably so he could do some funky kicks and splits.
No, Howard. JustJust no.
PAINT - 4/5
For the most part, you could tell that the paint was applied evenly and carefully on this figure. There's a (generally unnoticeable) mistake on his skirt, though - look, he may call it a tribal uniform or celebratory costume or whatever, but it's STILL a skirt - there's a sort of shaped groove where the yellow ribbon *should* actually be, and unfortunately, the yellow paint on mine was applied sliiiiightly off-center, as if the ribbon moved a bit to the right on its own. It's a minor quibble, but it's still mildly unsettling.
ACCESSORIES - 5/5
Curarpikt comes with four pairs of matching hands (fists, open palms, tiger paws, and for some reason, gripping hands), three special right hands that feature three of his special chains, an alternate angry face that shows Curarpikt at full power, and a clear stand. He also comes with a little Ziplock bag so that you won't lose the damn things (or even worse, accidentally step on them).
The alternate face's eyes are red - the Kuruta's eyes turn red when they're angry, and stay that way after death. That's basically why they were massacred: their eyes are supposedly so beautiful that they spawned an entirely new black market. Curarpikt became a hunter to track down and kill the members of the group responsible for this atrocity.
An entire tribe, poached to death because of their eyes. That's a whole new level of creepy and disturbing, right there. Children's programming in Japan, ladies and gentlemen.
The hands are easy to replace - just gently pull them out and pop the alternate hands on. As for the face, all you need to do is pull off Curarpikt's front hairpiece, carefully remove his face ("AAAAAAAAAA! THE PAIN!") and then put the replacement face on and snap the hairpiece back in place. I have no idea if my explanation made sense, so let's just assume it did.
See, that's another reason to buy this toy. Go buy it so you can try it yourself. Man, I'm so good at salestalk. (I think.)
OVERALL - 4/5
Curarpikt is a must-buy if you're a fan of the character, the manga, the anime, or overly powerful girly-boys in general. It's a fun toy with a ton of accessories and functional articulation. I just wish it didn't feel so light and flimsy in my hands. His buddies Gon and Killua are also available as Figmas - the only character missing is Leorio, but I guess you can grab a random character in a suit and stick a monkey face on him as a placeholder. Or you could go get Professor X from the Marvel Legends line and make him stand next to them for laughs, I dunno.
"I swear to God, it was an honest mistake! I thought you were Gwen with a rockin' new haircut! PLEASE LET ME LIVE!"
"Huh. That's pretty sweet. I wonder if Ghost Rider would let me borrow his chain "
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