Finally finally finally! I have my Good Smile Company modelled Horo. Only took 9 months since my pre-order to get her, was it worth the wait? Short answer, yes, long answer, look inside, the Horo harem grows ever larger.
It was a snowy winter evening in December, tired and cold I needed something to warm and cheer me up. No no just kidding, I don’t even remember what the weather was like December 11th, 2008 when I pre-ordered Horo. It’s much too long ago, much too long. Horo was supposed to be released sometime in April of 2009, but since I was purchasing via a US located online store, Toyslogic, the item was expected to be delayed around a month, which was perfectly acceptable in my books, I was in no hurry.
May 29th I received good news that my Horo was ready to ship. I replied to the email requesting they hold her for a later ship date so that I may combine her with other items that would arrive shortly. This proposal was accepted and I carried on happily with my days. When the other items being waited for arrived and were ready to ship June 16th I received a peculiar email from Toyslogic. The email stated that my Horo was no longer in stock, they’d been shorted by their supplier. Curious I thought to myself, since I’d requested they hold one for me and it had been agreed to hmm very interesting.
I threw off an email to them wondering how this was possible, giving an incorrect date. The next day I realized I’d given the wrong information and corrected myself with another email. Many days passed, 20 in fact, with no response from Toyslogic. Tired of waiting I emailed them again, with a more harshly worded email, in an attempt to squeeze out a quicker response. The tactic worked, I received an email mere hours later. A few emails were exchanged but the only new information was a vague arrival date of “this week”. Still no explanation as to how my figure disappeared.
A few days later Toyslogic informs me that the arrival date would be July 13th and that if all went well they would ship it out that same week. Sure enough given the previous events, all did not go well, the item did not ship that week. Though during the week they requested my preferred shipping method and told me that they would pack it up right then and there. I suppose they could have done just as they said and it sat packaged for a while.
Getting more and more frustrated that things weren’t going well and perhaps never would, I sent off another email requesting if the package had shipped yet. No, no it hadn’t. Apparently the manager had yet to take it to the post office, but was on their way. My preferred method was USPS, which meant they had to deliver the package to the post office by hand, apparently. That seemed reasonable. In this email exchange they included a tracking number, which didn’t work. I tried it a few times later and later into the night, still didn’t work. A few days later I receive a shipping notification email with the tracking number again. Still it doesn’t work, curious.
By this point I’m just thinking back to another event that happened to me in the past. I went to this respected auto-shop to get my car fixed after nearly throwing a cylinder at the race track and destroying the engine. I decide to do a full Ver.7 STI swap on my car. This meant changing everything but the body essentially. All the parts would be coming from Japan on a container ship and would take a very long time. Expected and agreed to. However it was lost in shipping, things weren’t scanned properly and we received clothing. During this period of 3-4 months I was told various different stories and things were delayed more and I felt I was getting the run around. Exactly how I felt with this package, I felt like Toyslogic was never going to get my figure and they were just stalling more and more until I finally gave up and went away.
In the end, the tracking number never worked, but 13 days after receiving the Shipping Notification, I received my Good Smile Company Horo. Finally. But there was just one more annoyance to the story. They decided to use shredded paper for packing material. Opening the shipping box, paper shreddings exploded all over my floor creating a wonderful mess. Additionally, paper shreddings managed to find their way into the Good Smile Company box, along with paper dust covering the plastic windows. Thankfully none made it onto the figure itself, because they’re annoying to clean, but still what a poor choice of shipping materials.
The finished timeline… December 11th, 2008, received August 6th, 2009. 2 months after the item “arrived” in their warehouse and was ready to ship. 4 months after the release month.
812 Words and all I’ve told is ‘the story’ sorry about that!
Yuzuke Mazaki has done a good job capturing Horo’s likeness with this sculpt. She’s closer to the anime than any of the others released so far and maybe even cuter than Kotobukiya’s Horo. Koto’s Horo really grew on me so I don’t want to push her aside so quickly. That said, Good Smile Company’s Horo still isn’t perfect, as always it’s the face. While this Horo does indeed have a cute face, one I can easily forgive for it’s fault, but it still doesn’t quite match, it’s too round.
Interestingly, Yuzuke Mazaki has chosen to copy and take a few levels higher, Cospa’s Horo. You’ll notice the similarities in the pose, honestly, there’s similarities in all except Takis. They all seem to have this look as if they’re dancing or spinning around. Koto chose to use a green dress, but both Cospa and GSC chose the more normal clothing of Horos, Lawrences best clothes. I’ve often wondered why Lawrence had a skirt, but I think it’s because he’s a cross-dresser and gay, that however is a story for another time.
The figure is made out of a variety of different types of plastic, while I imagine it’s likely only PVC and ABS, some of the cast off stuff is very very flexible, while other bits are rigid and solid. For example, her left leg – the support leg – is likely ABS plastic to prevent leaning and strengthen her posture. But the right leg is much more flimsy and easily moved.
The sculpting of the hair seems detailed enough, and flows out naturally, but again follows in the foot steps of Koto and Cospa as they all have that flowing hair. Keeping with the head, her removable ears are a nice touch, but also create a nasty look from some angles where you can see the crack between the detachable ear and her head. All things considered I’ve decided to leave her ears on and have her hold her hat in her hand which she does easily with her soft fingers.
GSC’s paintwork on the figure is likely on par with my other GSC figures, it doesn’t stand out as being more well done, nor for being poorly done. There’s enough shading everywhere for her to appear correct and her skin seems a pleasant tone. Some of it does seem perhaps too shiny and could have done with a more matte finish. Her leather pants are well done, far far superior to the pants Cospa’s Horo is wearing that’s for sure. Her tails lack some shading I feel though, both are equally painted, but her hair has more shading to it than her tails. Speaking about her hair though, there’s a strange line where it changes colour, it’s blended but the top of her head is lighter than the sides and flowing bits. I’m not sure why that is.
There’s always issues isn’t there? First up, damage to Horo’s dress. Under the bow on her right side there’s a mark where paint appears to have chipped off. It’s also chipped off the bow in the same place on the back side. It’s not much of an issue since it’s covered up, but it’s still there. Next item up for complaints, the red thing with a ring that attaches to the back of her dress. It’s tricky to get held in place and I fear that it could easily break. It’s removable so it can be attached to a small portion of clothing you use when you remove her dress. It’s not flimsy, it’s made out of ABS plastic I imagine, but that also means it’s brittle. I would watch out when placing that item.
Last issue can go both ways really. Horo is composed of 15 pieces, which is quite a few. Sometimes you’ll get one piece on and have another fall off due to having no where to place your fingers when attaching components. Maybe I’m just used to simpler designs with only a few removable parts, but 15 seems bordering on excessive. All said though, it looks good when assembled. I just always wonder what to do with the spare parts. I usually leave them on the base behind the figure, but I fear one day I’ll lose them because of this, perhaps a cat will knock them off the shelf and run off with an arm. I have the same complaint with Drossel though, it’s awesome to have so many options, but where do I store the parts.
While I did compare this figure to Cospa’s Horo, it’s not really a good comparison. GSC‘s Horo turns it up to 11 with their design. It’s much more lively, clothes flowing, large tail popping out the back of the dress, more natural hair, and best of all, an adorable face. I’m really quite happy to have finally received the figure, it was worth the wait for sure. I suppose another minor complaint, the base is boring, something more fun would have been nice. But I suppose most bases tend to be that way so I’ll let that slide.