Review: Max Factory’s Mao

It’s time for the second installment of Max Factory’s Shining Tears sexy girls in bikinis set. Today I talk about Mao, the figure I wanted most in the set.


Mao is produced by Max Factory and was sculpted by Saito Heel in a 1/7th scale form-factor making her approximately 23 cm tall. She retailed for around ¥4,800 / $47 CAD back in June of 2007 and she, like Blanc Neige, is from the Shining Tears game released in 2004. Which is the same franchise as another figure I reviewed back in October, Kotobukiya’s Blanc Neige. And despite being a catgirl, she’s really not, I mean, where’s the tail girl?


Before purchase of Mao she was my preferred figure of the set. That sentence alone will likely tell you that after receiving her, she wasn’t anymore. The reason why is quite simple, poor paintwork. In the official pictures she has a wonderful skin tone, one that differs greatly from what I received in my opinion. And in addition to that, mine seems to fail even further, her right leg is entirely a different colour from the rest of her. How can Max Factory fail so hard? I think this is my first poor experience with them as a manufacturer.

figure-max-factory-mao-13The difference between the colour of her legs was great enough that I thought surely I must have received a bootleg, but I could find no evidence that his was true. I find it really unfortunate because she’s quite cute otherwise, I just get distracted by this dark right leg of hers. It almost feels like the leg came off another figure, it’s a major defect as far as I’m concerned, on similar level as Taki’s job on Horo. Though the rest of the figure is no where near the fail of Taki’s work.

Ignoring the defect above, the sculpt work is simple and functional. Saito has provided about as much detail as he could given the source material without pulling things out of his bottom. Her back side is quite good as well given the source material never displayed it, at least not in this pose so far as I’ve ever seen. Saito’s sculpting realizes the source material quite well, smallish breasts, nice curves, cute pose, visible collar bones, and like the other figures in this set, a very nice tummy. Oh yeah, almost forgot, if you look at her backside from the right angles, she has quite a pleasant bum as well.



I find it really unfortunate that her right leg differs so greatly from her left, she’s not going to be the top of anyone’s list regardless but that blight really stands out. If her leg was the same colour I wouldn’t have had much to complain about other than the simplicity of girls in bikinis. There’s not much I can do at this point I guess, I’m not so skilled as to be able to touch up her leg. Ignoring the defect as best I can, she’s definitely a cute one, I just wish she had a tail, what’s a catgirl without a tail?!

Anyone got a replacement leg?


Note: Sorry about the pictures in this post, some are just out of focus due to my 18-70mm sucking, and my laziness to redo them.


  • Cute pose, nice and simple
  • Pretty well sculpted, nice curves


  • Mao’s right leg is a completely different colour from the rest of her
  • A catgirl without a tail?
  • Like all the girls in this series, chunky feet



  1. Leonia says:

    I don’t like this figure, maybe because I don’t really like the character and I don’t like her face expression (I prefer Blanc Neige). This figure is sweet, and her bikini is really really cute ! You made, still, a beautiful review ^^ I’am jealous, your white background is really white ^^” I do not still master this color 🙁

    • Aka says:

      The white background took some effort but it’s simple to do now that I understand how. I use four 100 watt lamps, shine 2 of them on the white background to over-expose it, then shine the remaining two on the figure itself. It’s not perfect but it works out. I need a 5th lamp to even out the light distribution better though. As well as diffusers.

  2. Miette-chan says:

    I remember this figure from a while back, I liked it I didn’t end up getting her since it was from before I started collecting figures.

    • Aka says:

      Yeah I’d seen her around before as well, eventually picked her up off eBay while ordering a few figures from one seller.

  3. Rico-sama says:

    Ah, so you really are turning this into a series. Was wondering if you’d actually carry through on it. 😛

    I actually like this one a great deal more than Blanc. Her swimsuit is just uber cute. Better hair and more detail as well, but that swimsuit goes a long way for me. It’s a shame about her skin tones though. Reminds me of my experience with GSC Rin. >,<

    The issue with her left leg being darker might be due to a difference in material perhaps? Is her left leg more firm than the right? If so it might be another type of plastic. Sometimes companies will do that for "structural" purposes and often the color doesn't exactly match and/or the material ages differently.

    • Aka says:

      Yup! On Occasion I do follow through with my plans, but don’t hold me to it in the future!

      I agree, Mao’s swimsuit is übercute indeed, as well as her pose. But that leg drags her down for me, it’s so ugly in person, if you can’t notice it in the pictures. At least your GSC Rin has a similar skin tone all around her, even if it’s wrong, it’s uniformly wrong. Where as this has just one big wrong spot, the rest is fine, it really highlights the issue.

      I don’t believe it’s a different material though, it feels the same as her other leg.

      • Rico-sama says:

        Don’t worry, I won’t. 😉

        LOL, j/k. Man I’m being a jerk. Must be because of the holidays. 😛

        Well there goes that theory then (but maybe they just used different batches of plastic?). I guess uniformly wrong is slightly better than being wrong in one big spot. It’s still not much of a consolation prize.

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  5. […] going from the prototype to the production run.  Every company has there duds – their Rin or their Mao – but there is a palpable trend with Kotobukiya.  One of two things usually happen: a screw-up […]