Character: Athrun Zala
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
Release Date: October 2012
My Figure Collection Link: http://myfigurecollection.net/item/109624
One of the most exciting announcements of 2012 for me was Megahouse’s big reveal of the Athrun Zala G.E.M. figure. Athrun is easily one of favourite anime characters of all time. I have collected many figures of him already, including but not limited too, the previous Megahouse statue of him. Did that weaken my excitement for this one? You can bet not. Will this one replace it’s predecessor on my shelf? Probably not. Let’s take a closer look.
For a G.E.M. I was a little bit disappointed with his lack of alternate pieces. I think I’ve been spoiled by figures like Rin Okumura, and Kotetsu T. Kaburagi whom both have a lot of really cool exchangeable bits. Athrun’s accessories do put Barnaby Brooks Jr. to shame however. He has one alternate expression, and two Haro Balls. I was a big fan of the Haros in the show, so this was a pretty neat addition.
One of the very first things I noticed upon closer inspection was the shimmering paint applied to his bangs. It gradually fades to a darker blue. I don’t think I have ever seen shading quite like this, but it looks very nice. Athrun’s hair is also sculpted very nicely. It appears to be blowing in a breeze. His bangs shadow his eyes just a bit, and frame his face very well. I really love the little strands that stand above his head. This particular expression is the happier of the two. His eyes are absolutely gorgeous.
The second expression Athrun comes with is a more angry, or at least it would appear so. He is frowning, but his eyes are shaped almost the exact same. Maybe if they had narrowed them a bit it would have been more convincing. It looks good and serves its purpose, but the happy face seems to emote better.
The back of his hair looks as if it is blowing. Though it isn’t shimmery, the sculpt is very nice. It does look a bit funny close up. Athrun’s head rests on a ball joint, so it is completely posable. I hope Megahouse keeps that up. It is fun figuring out exactly how he looks best.
The Zaft logos on either side of his collar are symmetrical, and painted very nicely. The white trim around his neck is straight, and neat.For the most part it is spot on! Even the edges of the black parts are all very smooth. Another job well done goes out to ATTM for the lovely sculpt of this jacket. I absolutely adore the sartorial wrinkles around his shoulder, as well as the way the fabric pulls against his chest. The way the fabric bunches a bit around his belt is also a nice touch.
Athrun’s outstretched arm is fairly interesting. There are a few folds near his elbow. The black cuff looks pretty neat, but what stands out is the first alternative option we are going to cover. Athrun’s right hand is removable so it can be flipped. Nope. Not exchanged. I said flipped and I meant it.
I much more fond of the first choice, as it looks very welcoming, It makes me think he reaching out to someone. The second looks more serious, like he’s reaching out to someone, but not with the same feeling. I find it amusing that the mood of the figure changes by flipping one hand. Definitely an interesting choice for alternate poses, albeit a bit lazy. The hand itself looks great. His fingers are proportioned well, and each one is tipped with a glossy fingernail. I am so glad that unlike Rin Okumura, Athrun’s nails didn’t turn out pink.
His left arm is also sculpted very well. Just inside his elbow there are some wrinkles near the black cuff. This hand is balled into a tight fist, but that doesn’t mean it is lacking in detail. Each digit is sculpted clearly with knuckles, and fingernails. It is kind of funny because this figure is clearly from Gundam Seed, but it makes me think a lot of the scene in Destiny where Athrun tries to convince Meer to leave with him…..Stupid girl.
There is just as much attention to detail on his back. You can clearly see his shoulder blades through the fabric. I think they look a little off, but at least they tried. I am not even sure what is wrong here, just something about it doesn’t look quite right. The wrinkles around his arms, and waist look great though.
Athrun’s belt looks really good. I like the way the jacket actually looks as though the belt is pressing into it. The paint here is a pearly white with a little bit of brown detailing. Again, great job with the paint job.
The bottom portion of the Zaft jacket is also caught up in the breeze surrounding him. There are far less embellishments on this portion of the outfit, but it makes up for that in the amazing sculpt. The way it billows out around him is fantastic. I just love the folds here.
The back of the jacket’s bottom is the only place I could find a paint flaw. The black trim along the bottom is a little bit sloppy. His pants look great too. It looks like they are really tucked into his boots.
Speaking of Athrun’s boots, they look pretty great. The black is painted on well. There are no smudges or crooked borders between the two colours. The wrinkles around his ankles are a great touch. They are a nice detail added to a rather simple design.
His base is pretty neat. It is made from a transparent black plastic, with edges cut like a gem stone. The top of the base has foot pegs that support the figure as well as a slightly raised Zaft insignia accompanied by his name. It looks very nice.
I can’t forget his two little friends. They are like the before, and after Lacus versions! The first of the two is Haro in his ball form. All the little compartments are closed. The second version is Haro after Lacus painted a mustache on him. Super cute. His little flaps that cover his arms are open, and you can see his tiny hands inside. The detailing is really great on this one. Even the more basic of the two has little seems showing where he opens up. The Haros are not magnetized or anything, and do have a tendency to roll out of Athrun’s hand. With careful balancing he can hold them though.
The box that he came in has a pretty cool design. It matches Athrun’s character well, sporting various shades of red, black, and white. The front window is big enough to get a nice view of him, and there is a long rectangular window on either side. The back of the box has pictures of the figure from various angles.
The top has a window shaped like the Zaft insignia. Awesome!
Inside the box was a surprise treat. The cardboard insert behind him was a very subtle starry outer space design, but on the reverse side was this! A super nifty Haro Ball backdrop!
This is a great figure of a wonderful character.
His happy face looks very nice.
The Haro Balls are great accessories.
Athrun’s paint job looks great.
He has a very nice sculpt.
The angry face could have been a little more different from the happy one.
For a line of figures that usually have a ton of options, he is fairly limited.
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10