Horo by Tsuru no Yakata (e2046 Gathering/Knock-off)

Seven months twenty-two days, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve written a figure review post. It’s been a while, eh? So… how are ya? how have you been? That’s good to hear, I’m glad to see you’re doing alright, still in the hobby I see. Me too, in fact today I’m writing a post! Oh, you knew that already? You’re reading it and I’m doing a poor job you say, that’s a shame. How does this work again?

Alright, enough of that lets get down to business. Mai Waifu, that’s who we’ll be looking at today. She’s sculpted by a circle that goes by the name Tsuru no Yakata (鶴の館) and ripped off by e2046. I’m not really a fan of what they do, or at least what it is I think they do. That being, ripping off sculptors for their own benefit, but in this case I feel it’s benefited me quite nicely as well. You see, I’m not an artist, in fact, if I showed you anything I’ve painted beyond say, a wall, you’d thank me for not trying to assemble and paint a garage kit. This is where e2046’s rip-off skills benefit me. They have this product line called “Gathering” where they paint and assemble the knock-off products they produce and then sell them to those of us incapable of doing so ourselves! The downside (beyond supporting their rip-offs) is they tend not to put as much effort into their workmanship as a hobbyist might and so can’t quite compare. I’ll talk more on that point later however.

I have to admit, when I ordered e2046’s Gathering series Horo I fully expected her to share certain qualities with Global’s nude Horo figure. Those qualities of course being the utter lack of any quality whatsoever. But, I purchased her anyway because, well, she’s mai waifu of course. What’s interesting is that … she didn’t share those qualities, and she was cheaper by $20 CDN. I was so sure I was going to feel ripped off and maybe because of that my expectations were rock bottom but honestly, I think she looks quite good. Now, don’t get me wrong, $100 CDN is a considerable sum for a relatively simple 1/7th scale figure, but given the rarity this item is it’s not actually that bad. Consider purchasing a Native figure and using a proxy, those seem to run ~$140 CDN for a 1/7th scale, albeit they’re produced better. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is she’s of average quality and too expensive yet despite that I’m content. That’s weird.

Had I not seen the masterfully painted hobbyist productions of this figure I’d probably have been more than just content but ecstatic that I even have this figure at all given the fact it’s a garage kit. Of course, I have seen them and they are definitely superior, but in paint quality only which I do find surprising. I had this vision of e2046 producing lumpy casts, probably because in the past they did, and that she would look roughly produced. She does not however, she’s smooth and her seams pretty reasonable! But just to rub it in, here are some works by user soszoz on MyFigureCollection as well as whomever this is. I wonder what they’d charge?





One thing that would be interested to know about e2046 figures is how they stand the test of time. I don’t suspect they’ll lean/morph over time as they aren’t PVC, but how will the paint hold up? Will it fade or darken, change colour, flake off, will I need to learn how to colour match to touch her up constantly over time. I’m not sure their Gathering series has been around long enough to evaluate these possibilities.





Despite lacking the added depth in shading and paintwork of those above I’m quite happy with this Horo. She’s posed in a way that the major manufacturers seem to rarely focus on, those being any pose that looks like someone might actually make. As much as I’d like a re-release of Good Smile’s Horo, her pose does very little to interest me (even though it is canon). As I’ve said probably many times in the past since reviewing Volks’ Horo, that I think their sculpt is superior to the rest. Many people disagree because of details such as the work on her face, but the pose is by far the most natural along with Global’s A Rest in the Forest Horo, though that one really does lack some quality. I think this sculpt belongs in that mix of casual realistic poses, even if Horo would never hold an apple like that (because she’d have eaten already).

Some complaints about her though, as I always have with anything, nothing is ever perfect. Initially overall I liked Tsuru no Yakata’s sculpt but after years of desire for this figure I’ve stared and picked away at things. First off there are her ears, they’re too perky (her breasts are just the right amount of perky though ;)). I think one ear should be angled differently than the other, or more relaxed and curled. Her pose is too casual for her ears to be directed forward and so attentive. One might argue they’d be higher up on her head if she was as attentive as I describe her, but even still they don’t look very relaxed. Another complaint might be a mix of Tsuru no Yakata’s sculpt and e2046’s choice of base, but Horo seems to float on the base, being held up by her right knee, tail and a portion of her left pant leg. She’s definitely more suited to a softer base, though despite the three tiny points of contact she does feel sturdy.

The next complaints are directed solely at e2046’s handiwork. Horo’s tail, the tip of it, her pride as a wolf. They’ve ruined it (How many times have I said this same thing about Horo figures?). Sure, it does get lighter but no where near the lightness expected, it almost makes me want to learn how to use an airbrush and fix it myself but I’ll point you back to paragraph number two instead. Additionally there are some mould defects in the ankle bracelet she’s wearing as well as a bit of chipped paint on her left next to where her arm rests against her torso at around the height her pouch hangs. Also there is a chip in the sculpt where her arm meets her shoulder. Both chips are small enough however that I had to search them out in the photos to remember them.

Ending with a positive note is always nice and I’d like to draw attention to Horo’s eyes. Having collected so many PVC figures I’d become accustomed to decal eyes that perhaps had a little sheen to them but were mostly matte. Sure they looked great and still drew attention but what I’d forgotten was that eyes glisten, they’re shiny and wet, and due to this they reflect light*. Well Horo’s eyes do indeed reflect light (as does her hair a little to be honest, a pleasant sheen). I think it’s a nice touch that you can perhaps only get with hand painted eyes with a clear coat. Take a look at this picture, see that skeleton looking thing in her left (our right) eye? That’s CM’s Corporation’s Horo. Ok ok, sure I could be bullshitting you but if we CSI enhance like so, you’ll see that I’m telling the truth!

-Aka

* I”m aware that to see anything at all means light is being reflected, please save me the physics lesson.

Pros

  • It’s Horo
  • Casual pose
  • Glossy eyes
  • Better than Global
  • Well packed, though difficult to remove

Cons

  • Moulding defects
  • Failure to replicate her beautiful tail correctly
  • Price
  • Frisbee base
  • Ears too perky for the pose

Gallery

Comments

  1. Miette-chan says:

    Ah, e2046 I been curious about it for ages but I does seem a bit shady. Plus there was the quality issue, sure the uncolored stuff is not too bad but for the colored figures it does seem a bit of a risk.

    Good to hear that you had a pleasant experience, I personally find nothing wrong with the figure in and itself. Sure it does have some issues here and there but I seen that stuff happen on your typical scaled PVCs before. My only concern would be the test of time as you mentioned.

    • Aka says:

      What quality issue do you speak of? Anything specific, or just in general?

      I don’t think I’ll be taking this figure on any trips like I have with others. She’d be far too brittle.

  2. Nopy says:

    I’ve browsed through e2046’s site before and there are some figures on there that I wouldn’t mind having a knock-off of. I think as long as you’re content with the figure, there shouldn’t be a reason to dwell on how much it cost and if it was worth it.

    • Aka says:

      I disagree. There are many things I like that simply cost far too much, and doing a mental cost/benefit analysis is a completely reasonable thing to do.

      I own two knock-off figures from e2046, both garage kits that never had PVC productions. There are others I’d like, but my mental cost/benefit analysis tells me not to bother in general.

  3. Rajura says:

    I am truly torn. I want it desperately, but as you said, e2046 does knock-offs, and I feel if I started on collecting GKs, I’d try to get all of them, good and bad. And we both know there are far to many out there to even attempt.

    Oh that one of the big-time companies would take that pose and make her, even as a limited release…

    Well, I can always hope.

    You’re a lucky man Aka.

    Oh and Soszoz has mad skills, she is just top-notch when it comes to painting. Should I ever get into the GK field, she is my go-to.

    • Aka says:

      I don’t think I feel the need to collect every GK out there at all. But perhaps every GK that’s pre-painted like this figure. Not sure if there’ll be more in the future or not, no idea how well this sold or how well others will.

      I would say go for it, she was quite well done and if you bought the Globals (and you did :P) she’s much better.

      However, if you do get a copy of the garage kit (knock off or original) and a quote from Soszoz… forward it on, I’d love to know.

      • Rajura says:

        Will do… oh by the way, I do love the more mature look of the e2046 version (it ALMOST looks like anime Horo), but I love the delicate features and sweetness as well as the more accurate tail of soszoz’s version!

        I may just have to get a knock off and have Soszoz alter the tail… I may be caving. We’ll see what happens with the contest at GSC. Maybe Horo will be one of the lucky girls to get not just a re-release but a whole new figure… maybe even this one!

        • Aka says:

          The thing that stood out most on soszoz’s version (besides the tail) were the eyes, they’re not pointing straight, they’re looking to the left and the pose seems to suddenly become so much cuter. Additionally the purple stripes at he base of her pants seems more accurate, though not necessarily so. Depends on which medium you’re defining your accuracy by, LN/Manga/Anime/Official Art.

          The more I think about soszoz’s version the more I want it…

  4. Quite an interesting figure. It’s refreshing to see a normal, casual pose like this in a figure. It sort of reminds me of an old Clannad figure I have (http://myfigurecollection.net/item/26_clannad_fujibayashi_kyou_1_8_kotobukiya_key_visual).

    There is something about this Horo’s face that doesn’t seem quite right though. Maybe it’s that her smile seems genuine and not a sly, mischievous one? xD. Or maybe it’s just the angle, she seems to look much better from this angle (https://tailgrab.org/u/2012/04/figure-soszoz-horo-01-article.jpg) than from straight on. Either way, I would still love to have this figure. Quit jealous of your ever-growing collection of Horos! Congrats ^^

    • Aka says:

      I might agree that someone should make a mischievous, perhaps Volks has with this face, but Horo’s quite capable of a genuine smile too. And I think ultimately that’s the smile I’d prefer receiving.

      That angle, I agree completely. Soszoz painted her eyes different than e2046, they’re looking to the left instead of straight on and it just makes the figure feel complete. Makes me want to commission a figure from Soszoz.

  5. Thought E2046 does a lot of knock-offs with their Gathering line, I think it’s necessary evil for those of us who lack the talent to paint these garage kits. As far as I know, they do pay for the original cast, but that’s just a one time thing and the sculptors don’t get any royalty. E2046 does have pretty good customer service though, if there are issues with the figure they’ll usually send you a replacement part or exchange the figure. I have a few E2046 figures and I don’t think there’ll be any issue with the paint job, the paint work looks solid. And I mean that quite literally, it’s one thing I don’t like about E2046 figures is that the paint looks a little thick most of the time and lacks shading. The coating they use also has this weird semi-gloss look to it, which makes the skin portion look a little too reflective when taking photos.

    E2046 always advertises that their figures come with something “special”, a gift for the buyers. Sometimes they’ll modify the sculpt or include an optional piece or accessory, but usually it’s just a disc base for the figure. Wooooo hooooo. -_-

    This Horo figure has a bit of Griffon Enterprise / early-Kotobukiya quality feel to it, not bad but not great either. At least it’s not another Global… LOL

    • Aka says:

      I disagree that it’s a necessary evil. It could instead be a necessary good, recast, distribute and pay the original creator a royalty. Maybe they do, I’d just like to know for sure. I’ve always hated the concept of knock offs. Wish I’d know about their replacement or part exchange, another figure I bought from them has broken hair, nothing outrageous, it was a very thin piece that snapped off when trying to remove her from the foam packaging.

      Yay… disc base…

  6. Ion says:

    Apparently I do not like the “side looking” Horo by soszoz. She seems cute from the certain angle, but looks strange should you face her directly. The most great jobs are done by Sakura Ikumi (mentioned above) and Selenia MFC member here http://myfigurecollection.net/picture/236380&ref=user%3ASelenia

    • Aka says:

      I don’t think she looks all that strange, no more so than any other figure when looking off from the viewing angle of their eyes. But, to each their own.

  7. Leona Senshi says:

    I was hopping to find a review of some of E2046 gathering figures, first of all, even though you’re review was objective, you contradict yourself by saying “knock off this” “knock off that” for someone that doesn’t know anything about the GK world and how it’s done, those are mighty big words.

    You complaint about the price a lot because it’s a knock off, however, this is what I don’t understand about you people, you say “eewww yuck! a rip off” yet you still buy it and say “oh but it’s a good rip off”. I would have chosen different words to express myself, because at the end of the day, you are pretty much praising the thing. The price is relatively low for a GK because it’s bulk produced, they have a limited number of quotes and paint them all at the same time and that’s that, the people you mention about them painting a different version, these people will most likely buy the original kit, and if you are not aware, original kits are 3 times higher in price than a recast, in other words, if this kit costs 38 dollars (not the gathering version) the original cast is well over 100 dollars, again unpainted, if you don’t believe me, check out the price over at Yahoo Japan Auctions, so these people will pretty much charge you those 100 dollars plus painting services around 150 dollars since one is Japanese and we know that the Japanese yen is more expensive than the American or even Canadian dollar, so around 250 dollars plus shipping, and if this person is in Japan, shipping from Japan to any part of the world is very expensive, so your total sum at the end will most likely be around 300 dollars. So if you have 300 dollars, I would so recommend you buy it from them if you don’t want a “rip-off”, because at the end of the day, if you compare an original cast to a recast side by side, there is no difference, the only difference is the price you pay for the same type of resin.

    you also complain about her cons

    Moulding defects — Sorry but in my personal experience, there is not a single figure painted by a professional that doesn’t have small defects, and if you compare it to a PVC, a PVC has even more defects like seam lines and paint smudges, I’ve seen them up front.

    Failure to replicate her beautiful tail correctly — Everybody has their own way of painting, colors included, so this is purely up to the painter/artist

    Price — Sorry, but you got a real bargain.

    Frisbee base – Since 90% of GK’s don’t include a base, this is also a decision that the artist decides on, even if it’s a simple base.

    Ears too perky for the pose – you don’t really specify if they are perky due to the coloring or due to the sculpt, if it was due to the coloring, well I guess to each is own, but if it’s for the sculpt, that’s not E’s fault.

    Take it from someone that has painted GK’s for the last 7 years and has lots of experience on this and has done several commissions on kits (so I know about prices), I have also purchased several kits from E2046 since 2009 and I have never received a bad recast, all the contrary, all of them have had higher quality compared to originals, if you still don’t believe that either, I invite you to view my youtube channel where I do a review on a recast from e2046 and also a recast on an original.

    That’s all, please don’t take it personally but when I see people rant about things that they don’t know much about, I just tend to come in and provide a different point of view.

    I know of other GK’s not only in Japan but all around the world that charge much more than what you paid for that horo, and they also work with the same recasts as E.

    • Aka says:

      Sounds like you’re looking for a fight rather than a conversation with your accusatory tone. Additionally, it sounds like you focused more on the Pros/Cons list than the entire post. The Pros/Cons summarizes the post more or less, but obviously doesn’t and can’t offer much nuance. However, as I’ve read through your whole comment I see that’s not necessarily your intention so I’ll address your claims.

      Your presumption that I don’t understand the garage kit world is false. Despite not participating in it, as I lack the skills required and the time to acquire said skills, I do have an understanding of how the system works.

      E2046’s Horo is a good knock-off of the original cast and it is rather well produced, and I agree that the price for a finished garage kit is quite good. However as you also say, this isn’t your usual garage kit, it’s produced in bulk. Additionally, it’s not produced by the original “manufacturer”, it’s produced by e2046. As so far as I understand it, e2046 buys an original cast, then recast it themselves with no more monetary compensation beyond the original purchase to the original sculptor. This is the part that I call a “knock-off” and the part I disagree with.

      My reason for supporting them on this specific figure however, is my adoration for the character. As previously mentioned, I have no means to produce the figure myself, and no means to verify an original sculpt that I could get painted by a hobbiest or professional. So the dilemma becomes, do I buy off Yahoo Auctions and trust that user had an original sculpt they’re selling me and not just an e2046 recast, or do I just buy a recast and know I got a recast and do so at a substantially discounted price. I made my choice.

      Additionally, I don’t feel ripped off with what I received from e2046, the price being listed under “cons” just represents my feeling that the figure was expensive for the quality received. A PVC figure could have a better paint job or a similar paint job for less. Now as I’m predominantly a PVC figure collector as are most of those who read Tailgrab, that’s my basis for comparison. Had this figure been a PVC figure, cost the same, looked the same, it would have been expensive. Though, as figure prices continue to inflate, this becomes less so with every release, but at the time, April of 2012 that was my opinion, and it still stands currently, November of 2012.

      Just as you say, everybody has their own way of painting, I have my own preferences as well. I don’t have to agree with how the painter chose to paint her tail, I can have my own preference with how I think it should have been painted. And I do, and I stated them.

      The Frisbee base is so boring and hard looking. For the pose Horo is in, and especially with her tail dipping below her bum and thus actually supporting her, a moulded base, or a softer base would have been nice. Again, comparing this figure to traditional garage kits isn’t fair, because as you’ve already said, this isn’t a usual garage kit. As a PVC collector, I expect a base and e2046 understands this and includes one. Having included one, I’m quite within reason to comment on it.

      Ears too perky for her pose, I dedicate nearly an entire paragraph to this within the body of text above. I believe it’s in paragraph seven where I describe how I think her ears should have been, and how I think they’re too perky.

      I appreciate that because this is your craft, you feel that I’m attacking the quality of work that goes into a garage kit. I’m not and I apologize if that’s how it seems, if I’m attacking anything, it’s e2046’s business practices. As stated many times now, I know that I’m not capable of producing a quality paint job and assembly of a garage kit, I do understand the work that goes into it. A friend of mine does really intricate Gundam models, and he shows me the work he does on them and how intensive it can be. He’ll show me how he got certain effects and tiny lines and I’m amazed and they look great. Then he shows me a professionals work and I’m in awe. The only thing I have to compare it to, is the model cars I used to paint and assemble when I was younger, and wasn’t very exceptional at either.

      So what I’m saying is, you have to understand I’m coming at this from a PVC collectors perspective, and not a hobbiests perspective. So I will always comment probably almost entirely on the received product and how I envision it should be. The process rarely comes into the equation, it’s not always fair, but what I’m judging is the finished product and my opinion of it in relation to everything else I’ve experienced/purchased.

      Hopefully that helps you understand my side, if anything’s still bothering you or I’ve missed something important by all means do reply.

  8. Eefi says:

    If you compare the price to that of a PVC figure with the same complexity, of course it’s too high. But PVCs are produced in much higher volume (although the Gatherings are bulk produced the bulk is hundreds times smaller) and the companies optimize the production process. But in the end there’s a person sitting behind an airbrush painting your figure in either scenario, for minimum wage. 😐

    As someone who also paints garage kits and takes commissions, I find the price/quality comparison to PVCs unfair (and I think that’s also where LeonaSenshi is coming from). I take commissions and already work for a VERY low wage at less than 3Eur/hour. Of course at the end the price still amounts to more than they would have paid, if it was mass-produced. So some (thankfully not all) people think if they’re paying such a high price, they should receive a perfect figure, right? I try to avoid customers like this because they have too high expectations for the price they’re willing to pay. There will always be some imperfections if you’re not willing to pay for 300 hours of work. PVCs are super cheap and the prices give a wrong impression to collectors that come into the GK world. Sometimes the PVC is cheaper than the unassembled recast, it’s ridiculous…

    But you said it yourself that you won’t pursue collecting Garage Kits (or even find people paint them for you) so I guess at some point you understand all of the stuff I just talked about 😀

    • Aka says:

      I disagree somewhat, I think it’s e2046 who’s trying to compete with PVC figures with their Gathering series, so the comparison is justified in that respect. I understand that ordering a custom painted figure from an individual is going to cost considerably more than it would in larger volume. It’s true however that it is probably someone with some excellent artistic skills painting at well below the wage they should in either case. But I’m not sure how to bring that into the discussion when reviewing a figure for it’s qualities. Just because a figures is cheaper or more expensive doesn’t mean a person was paid more or less for their work, and there’s no way for me to know the overhead costs involved and who’s ripping off who. So I can only compare with what I know.

      That said, in the year since I’ve posted this I’ve started assembling a custom Dollfie Dream doll, and have paid $200 for clothes to be commissioned. Which on the face of things seems like a lot of money for clothes for a doll, and probably is. But understanding all the steps involved and the time involved as well as the expertise involved, I found the price to be more than reasonable.

      Being able to convert some photos or an illustration into a physical set of clothes that are properly scaled to your doll is a skill learned with time, sourcing the proper materials in the right colours and spending x amount of time in a fabric store doing so plus the travel expense, then actually producing the clothes and the time involved in doing that. I don’t know how to value that, because I don’t know how to do the above steps, but even so $200 seemed exceedingly reasonable.

      However when you actually bring minimum wage into the discussion things become far more difficult to compare. You have to take into account the cost of living in that country, and where minimum wage actually places them. Things I can’t do without research and a better understanding of origin country. That said, in Poland where the outfit was produced the minimum wage is $2.83 USD according to Wikipedia, which would mean I paid ~70.5 hours. Not knowing how much time they actually spent, nor the cost of materials, I can’t say what they made per hour. I also don’t know if minimum wage there is a livable amount of income… I can only hope that they made enough money, I can only assume they have as they’re the one’s quoting the costs. Additionally, I don’t think they’d appreciate me digging into their costs and understanding how much of it is time paid.

      Anyway, I digress, I think I do have an understanding of the garage kit world, it’s just e2046 who really ends up drawing the comparison to PVC on their own. Especially now that they sell legitimate? PVC figures along side their knock-off garage kits and Gathering line of figures.