Character: Len Kagamine
Sculptors: Nendoron, Lee, and Matsumura Engineering
Manufacturer: Sunny Side Up
Release Date: September 2013
Run: Happy Kuji Exclusive
My Figure Collection Link: http://myfigurecollection.net/item/155950
My friends and family know that I have quite the history with convenience stores. I have worked at one or another for a little over 10 years. To be specific, more often than not I make the food. Filling the hotcase with various little fried goodies. Now I know this has very little to do with figure collecting, other than my means of acquisition anyway. The point being that someone out there made the Kagamine twins into nendo clerks in a convenience store.
If you have read my reviews for any amount of time then you surely know that my love for the Kagamine brother runs very deep. So what do I do when Japan once again combines two things that I love. The answer of course; Hunt it down! Today little Len came home, accompanied by his counter and hot case. It may seem a bit silly to you, but I find it fascinating to have a little nendo doing my job. It is especially awesome when it is a character that I love. We will be accompanied by the original, and append Len nendoroids for this review!
Family Mart Len is fairly interesting, as he is kind of a mix of his earlier nendos combined. I am not exactly sure what they were going for here. His style of headphones would imply that this is not append Len that we are dealing with, but instead the cute plain Jane version. The only problem with that is that he is sporting append Len’s hairstyle. Wait! What? The same hair sculpt was clearly used for both figures, but there are two differences. The first being the style of headset, and the second being the shading. Append Len’s hair is much darker. Regardless of this odd choice of “amalgam head” he is irresistibly cute.
Len comes with two faces. One new one, and one that is simply a modernization from the first version. The only major difference is the eyebrow colour. Since I like new things we will start with his new expression. The big toothy grin is so cute. I think I would feel welcome if someone that cheerful greeted me at the store. Most times I am lucky just to get a hello from the clerks. His eyes are painted on nicely. The line around his mouth, as well as the one for his teeth look fantastic.
The second expression may look familiar if you have either the original, or Cheerful Japan Len nendo. This face has been slimmed down. His features look a little less exaggerated, and the colours are less vibrant. It looks really good, but I think it is missing the charm of the giant happy face with the bright pink mouth. Whereas the first one looks genuinely excited, this remake looks a little phoned in.
I do really like the new hair sculpt. It is cute and looks even more like a bushel of bananas than its predecessor. It is however completely devoid of shading. I don’t know why, but his hair is all a flat yellow tone. odd. They kept the little white ponytail holder that was given to append Len. I am happy to see its return, though I am not surprised given the choice of hair used.
His headset is interesting. If you are privy to the original Len’s headset then you probably already know that it was prone to falling apart. For that matter this was an issue with many of the early Vocaloid nendos. To change their faces you had to remove each headphone, and then slide the bangs off. I am pleased to say that they have fixed this issue. Unfortunately with its correction there are new problems, mostly aesthetic. Now the headphones are thicker, and set further off the face. This in turn makes it easier to slide them over the ears. Since they don’t need to be removed, they just slide off with the bangs. Easy peasy.
Now about those aesthetic problems. Since they used the hair sculpt of append Len (who wears very different headphones) they had to make some strange adjustments. I am not fond at all of the bottom part of the headband. Just above either ear there is a box sticking out. That seams weird, and looks very unnatural. It is there because append Len has buckles above each headphone. There is also the area behind each headphone where they carved the general shape into his hair. This wouldn’t be bad if it matched up, but it doesn’t…Lucky for me I am not really going to be staring at the back of his head.
Nendoroids are supposed to get better as new ones come out, but I just noticed the headphones are lacking detail pretty badly. Look at this comparative shot. It is amazing how different they look. The older one is so much more defined. The paint on this one looks great, but the sculpt is lacking a bit.
Len’s Family Mart uniform is great. I have loved the style of their clothing since I first saw it on Miku’s Family Mart statue. The colours are fantastic. The shirt has plenty of detail, both sculpted and painted. The only thing missing is buttons. I am not sure why buttons are so often forgotten. They aren’t rare or anything. The blue stripes aren’t perfect, but they look ok. He does have little pockets which is a nice touch. Over his right breast pocket in shiny silver letters it says “Family Mart”. You can even clearly read it. I also thought it was cute that Len is still wearing his signature yellow necktie.
The back of his shirt looks nice. The stripes here are painted very well, and we get to see some nice sartorial seams. I kind of like the vertical stripe.
Len’s left sleeve has a logo, and a bit of text on it. I had a hard time reading this one, but with the help of my trusty camera I figured it out. The writing says “We Love Green”. I googled this just for giggles. It turns out that Family Mart puts this logo on their eco-friendly products. It is a part of their slogan now, so hence the addition to the uniforms. Pretty neat bit of trivia there.
Len’s shorts are pretty plain in design. The green stripe is painted on very well. Not sloppy at all. I do think this looks better than the Miku’s plain white skirt.
His tiny leg warmers share the same blue trim as his shorts. They are painted very well. His little black boots are painted nicely too.
Len’s accessories are really cool, though his interchangeable pieces are limited. He comes with three straight arms, two of which are connected to alternate sleeves. The third arm can be attached to one of the sleeves. All three of these hands are open. One of them has a peg on the palm to hold the Miku pastry.
His other set of arms fit closer to his body, hence the need for alternate sleeves. This way he can stand in a traditional greeting pose. I absolutely love this! The hands are not connected together they just overlap. Both arms that wear the wristbands have fairly sloppy paint.
Len also comes with one bent leg for slightly different possibilities.
He also comes with a counter, hotcase, tray, and Miku pastry. These are all pretty cool. You can remove the tray from the hotcase, or leave it in. The door to it does open. If you look in the bottom it even appears to have a heating mechanism.
The bottom also has little legs. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is a pretty fantastic accessory. The paint on the hotcase and counter are both done really well.
The little Miku head is a bit disturbing, but it is pretty well made.
This is a pretty well thought out figure that could definitely be amusing to pose, and play around with. It has its issues, but if you collect nendo playsets or are a fan of the character it wouldn’t be a bad buy. Rin is next on my list!
He comes with great accessories!
Len is adorable.
Adds a little variety to Vocaloid collections.
He has really cute faces.
The sculpt on his hair/ headphones is pretty clumsy.
The lack of shading on his hair is frustrating.
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
As an added bonus just because I cannot believe no one has talked about this yet, here is a tidbit of info regarding the new nendoroid heads. Starting at nendoroid numbered 300 the entire model for changing faceplates has been overhauled. Now you can change their face plates with far less stress on the neck joint. I must say I wholly approve of this. So here for your added trivial knowledge enhancement I will show you a bit about this change, being as Len is my first 300+nendo review!
For the older style nendo you had to entirely deconstruct the head. Remove the bangs. Remove the body of hair. Remove the head by way of the neck joint, and then reapply hair to a different face. At this point you could insert the new head-piece back into the body. This wreaked havoc on the already fragile neck joint.
The newer heads are a bit less intrusive. Now you just slide their bangs and then slide the faceplate off of the neck plate. Yes, the neckplate. Now instead of pulling each neck joint out entirely you just slide the faceplate back on. It still requires a bit of rearranging, but it is far less damaging.
Now the last bit you may be wondering is “how does this effect changing pieces between old and new nendos. This is pretty easy too. You just remove everything as normal, unfortunately including the neck plate. Once the neck piece is out of the way your newer nendos will have the exact same layout as your older ones, so you can just slide an older face right in. Same works in reverse for adding a newer face to an older model. Just slide the neckplate into the newer faceplate, and you have the exact shape to fit into the old style nendo template. Voila! I hope that may have cleared up a bit of questions for anyone that may not have experienced this new deal yet! see you next time!y