As is pretty evident from my catalog of the garage kits, I’m a big Sakura Taisen fan. The series doesn’t get much attention here in the US other than the one NIS America PS2/Wii game release that you totally should buy. They also released a lot of the anime here that is too cheap not to check out. So you can imagine when I saw this Nendoroid pop up for preorder, I squeaked and broke my finger hitting the buy button as quickly as possible.
Even in Japan where the series was popular enough to spawn a long-running insane live action musical series starring the seiyuu and its own cafe, there isn’t as much merchandising as you’d think. Personally I hope this nendoroid sells gangbusters so I can get the full cast, especially Ogami. Sakura comes with her Koubu steam-powered mecha as an added value, as she really only costs a few hundred yen more than a regular figure which makes this a great purchase even for a casual fan of the series.
I’ve bought a lot of Nendoroids but have fallen out of it recently, so I was pleased to find out that the included bases have been upgraded to be more figma style and support the character much better. My old nendoroids sit on narrow shelves so their large heads will be supported by a wall if they tip over, which they do often, so this new more stable stand is a really welcome addition, especially since the cost of Nendoroid figures hasn’t changed much over the last few years. Joints on the nendoroids haven’t changed much however, so posing Sakura holding her sword properly causes a little separation from the shoulder. Most Nendoroids work best in static poses, unlike their Figma cousins. I guess the intended main appeal is the SD factor.
The best part about the included Koubu is not only is it poseable in the eyes, arms and legs, but the top pops off to let Sakura ride inside, which requires you to disassemble the Sakura figure almost entirely, a feat which is pretty easy due to the simple joints of a Nendoroid figure.
Sakura has to sit in the cockpit a bit awkwardly because her sleeves are too bulky, but the added feature really makes for some fun to play with. I think the Koubu alone would provide several hours of amusement seeing how many characters work inside…
Finally, a comparison shot of my previous Sakura figure. Good Smile always includes plenty of ABS and rigid plastic in their figures so you don’t end up with characters doing the limbo, like my Sakura Pinky here. I have some of the first Nendoroids released that are still going strong, and Sakura here was number 235 in the series. That’s pretty impressive for figures of any type, but especially ones with a niche appeal like Nendoroids.
I’m happy to have some new Sakura Taisen representation in my curio cabinets, and it looks like she’s already made a friend in the Pon de Lion!
If you’re interested in purchasing Sakura, she’s still available at Amiami and Hobby Search at the time of this article. Act fast as Nendoroids don’t tend to get re-released often, unless they’re of Hatsune Miku!