Review: Sega’s Maria (Cosplay Ver.)

Buying Maria was a test of SEGA’s quality and what could be had at such a low price point. At a cost of $17 CAD I was able to pick up this figure, but what was one to expect at this price?

Maria is from the Manga and Anime series titled Hayate no Gotoku, or Hayate the Combat Butler. She along side Ayasaki Hayate work to take care of Sanzenin Nagi, the only heir to the Sanzenin fortune. Maria has no last name in the series, due to her backstory and spoiler spoiler spoiler. Maria’s probably the most normal character in the series, or at least has the most common sense, she’s very intelligent and has a more womanly appearance than most characters, though she’s only 17 years old. She often acts like a surrogate older sister or mother to Nagi as her real mother passed away. But all that aside, Maria is my favourite character in the series.

SEGA has produced the 2nd only Maria PVC figure, after Jun Planning’s. This forced me into a bit of a corner, both companies aren’t great quality, but who’s do I buy, since I wanted a Maria figure. I recalled Rico from PolyVinyl Crush mentioning that SEGA wasn’t terrible but not to expect Alter or Good Smile Company quality of course. Given the price point of both I decided to gamble on SEGAs because she was cheaper, and I could throw her in with another shipment from Hobby Link Japan, saving additional money on shipping. Maria’s about 18cm tall which probably puts this in around the 1/9th scale, but she’s a non-scale figure.

I must say SEGA’s quality has surprised me, it’s surprisingly good. At first I was telling myself that it’s nearly Kotobukiya quality for 20% of the price, but that’s a bit much. She doesn’t have the fit and finish of Kotobukiya and not even the paint quality which I always find mediocre. But for the $17 she’s excellent quality.

The sculpt is fairly simple admittedly, but represents Maria quite well. I love the way her hips are thrown to her right exaggerating her figure and giving her a certain sexiness. Her hair is cutely sculpted with it clipped up at the back and the tilt of her head is quite cute. The detail is fairly uniform all around the figure, enough there to be happy with, but could of course use more. Her cat ears and tail are quite cute as well, but those are nearly always cute, no matter how they’re sculpted.

Having the price point she does, it’s fully expected she wont be perfect, but the list of faults is quite short really, all things considered. There’s some paint in areas where it really shouldn’t be, such as the right side of her apron on her hips, there’s a blue colour there that really shouldn’t be there. Same with the left side. She’s also got some shiny marks here and there, but they’re really not that noticeable. And lastly there’s what looks like a bristle from a brush under the paint on her left side in the tie hugging the apron around her.

All things considered I’m quite impressed with her. She’s sculpted enough to be Maria and painted well enough to be Maria, she’s cute enough to be Maria. And all at 20% of the cost of all the top Manufacturers. It’s really making me reconsider some items I’ve got on order and their costs. Are they really worth so much more than SEGAs efforts, or am I getting ripped off on them. But I think in the end what matters is more that I enjoy what I’m receiving, and if I can enjoy an item I spent $100 on or an item I spent $20 on, so be it.

MMmmmm Maria

-Aka

Pros

  • Extremely good value for money
  • Simple but cute sculpt

Cons

  • Some paint issues here and there
  • Unfortunate that she’s a non-scale figure

Gallery

Comments

  1. Rico-sama says:

    I would actually go as far as saying that Sega is better at painting then Kotobukiya. Yeah, Kotobukiya does a lot more in the finishing department and Sega definitely lacks depth but the tones themselves are always 100% accurate on Sega. None of the greenish/brownish tint. Yes it is more difficult to do good finishing so you got to give Kotobukiya props for that, but in my mind being able to do something so basic in tones consistently well really elevates Sega.

    For Maria herself I love the character and like the figure, but would’ve liked her more without the cat ears in this instance. Still, for 17 bucks I can see this being an easy convention purchase.

    Out of curiosity, how is the construction/materiality on Maria? I have a few Sega figures (all a couple years old) and they are by far the most malleable figures I own. Just wondering if it’s a “generational” thing (ie between the years of ’98 and ’02), if it’s due to how old my figures are, or if it’s just in the materials Sega uses.

    Your last paragraph has me a little worried though, ha. Sega isn’t THAT good. I think I see where you’re coming from though. For me a Sega figure of Maria is all I really need (though I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing what Alter could do). So in a way it depends on how much you really like the character/franchise. Which figures are you considering “trading down” for?

    • Aka says:

      I couldn’t go so far as to say SEGA is better than Kotobukiya at painting. They got the tones right but there were what I thought to be more mistakes, like the colours on her otherwise white apron. Kotobukiya tends not to have this sort of fail, but they do fail on toning for sure. Taiga would have been so much better if they just matched their tones to their promo pics.

      I’m still keeping my eye out for a non-cosplay figure, and Jun Plannings isn’t the one for me. But I’ve got a softspot for catgirls (and wolfgirls.. and doggirls like Eruru).

      Maria actually feels quite sturdy and well built. That’s what inititally started my comparison with Kotobukiya. When I pulled her out of the box and felt the sturdiness of her I was rather surprised. I expected her to be like my Yuzuki figure from Toynami, bought at a convention because I could see up her skirt (a joke with some friends). But Maria’s far superior to the now leaning Yuzuki. Additionally Maria is held into her base with 3 screws, 2 in her right foot and one in her left.

      It’s not that SEGA is that good, it’s the opposite, it’s that Kotobukiya and the others aren’t that much better. A good example might be the Alfin figure I have on order from Kotobukiya, her MSRP is $89, she sells for $72 at AmiAmi, but Maria was $17. Does Kotobukiya make a product that is $55 better? I don’t think they do. Now, Alfin does have a somewhat fancy base, something I’d never expect SEGA to have, but is it worth $55? Not that base.

      I understand that the relationship between price and quality doesn’t follow a linear path. So I expect that for n more quality to pay an disproportional amount of money for it. That’s how everything is. However when I take the industry as a whole and apply that logic to it, Kotobukiya’s price points don’t fit in, they’re far too high. I base this assumption off the fact that Good Smile Company, Alter, and Max Factory can supply superior products at marginally higher cost.

      All that said, I’m not really planning on trading down any figures, or cancelling any orders as of yet. It was more just a realization of the cost of the hobby and what I was getting for my dollar. I’d like to think I’ll be more frugal from this point onwards, but I highly doubt that. I’m going to IKEA at the end of the week to pick up some things. Out of space.

      • Ashlotte says:

        Meh while I do wish Koto got their QC under more control if it impacted their ability to produce such a large diversity of figures with no delays like the others you listed I’d have to pass…

        With that said they may vary all over the place in quality when they get it right their every bit as good as Alter/GSC/MF as far as I’m concerned. :p

  2. Ashlotte says:

    Aye I’ve been impressed with some of the Sega figures myself lately…Considering the price they seem to be doing some rather good solid work lately.

    I feel bad for dropping Hayate just because I miss Maria, but the show was just a little too zany for my tastes sadly… T_T

    • Aka says:

      It too me a while to finish Hayate, months and months after it stopped airing I finally finished it. It’s not that it was too zany or anything, it just got boring at times and I lost interest.

  3. mikiwank says:

    I made the same attempt with Sega. And it is true that for the price, why not buy a figurine of a character that we like? Especially because Sega offers a wide range of characters. So I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of their production.

    Unfortunately, I have not seen the series Hayate no gotoku, I do not know the character. Your shooting makes me want to watch the tv series ^ ^. I advise you to fully assess the figure of Maria?

    • Aka says:

      Hayate no Gotoku’s not a bad series, it’s quite fun. But it can be long and tedious depending on your mood or taste.

      I’d love to fully assess Maria if you know what I mean. Though I don’t know what you mean…

      • mikiwank says:

        I’ll watch a few episodes to see how I feel the series. I think if the series is fun, it should please me. I want to see a series who relaxes me. ^^

  4. lovelyduckie says:

    When SEGA wants to, they can do an amazing job on their prize figures. I haven’t been disappointed in a prize figure in a long time. My most recent prize figures are the Lucky Star x Mavross ones and they’re REALLY good in my opinion (although they’re by Banpresto, not SEGA).

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