Hoo, boy. This one’s gonna be interesting.
This time we’re checking out Fate/Grand Order’s Jeanne d’Arc (Avenger), also known as Jeanne Alter or simply Jalter for short. She’s the evil, edgy and tsundere version of vanilla Jeanne – the Shadow to her Sonic, if you will. This is, as we all know, a recipe for Massive Popularity, and Jeanne Alter is one of the most popular debutantes from Fate/Grand Order.
So, vital stats time. Jeanne d’Arc (Avenger) is a 1/7 scale ABS/PVC figure, standing 430mm tall (a little under 17 inches). Manufactured by Alter, she carries a hefty ¥26,800 RRP (tax excluded), but has rocketed up on the aftermarket to prices in the ¥55,000 to ¥60,000 range. This is one of those figures.
Now, here’s the interesting bit. At some point shortly after taking photos for this review, my figure broke. I’m not sure when, or how. The peg that supports her (rather heavy) flag just fell apart, it seems – the inside of the peg feels sort of soft and almost looks like it crumbled.
Of course, with a figure this expensive, I’d been handling it with the utmost care. I’m almost certain this is some sort of defect. But from what I’ve seen, I can’t say it’s a common issue. There’s a good chance I was just unlucky.
I’ll admit that the flag always felt risky to me. It’s a large, solid piece with a bit of weight to it and there’s only one peg to support it. There’s a good chance that much support just wasn’t enough on it’s own – especially if the peg isn’t very strong.
As you can imagine, I’m sorely disappointed that this gorgeous, showcase figure fell apart. It really is an impressive piece of work – the sort that gets a whole shelf to itself, and not just because of it’s size. The sculpting is detailed and sharp, the pose is assertive and striking and the paintwork brings everything together. It’s a treat for the eyes, for sure.
At this point, I’ve got a confession to make. Somewhere along the line, I mistakenly got the idea that this figure was distributed by Good Smile Company. This is – it turns out – not the case. Unaware of this, I sent an email to Good Smile’s customer support requesting new parts. However, they told me that I had owned the figure for a “reasonable amount of time” and that figures degrade over time – therefore, no new parts for you, mister.
You can see the problem, I’m sure. Despite asking for a lot of information (including several photos of the figure and it’s packaging), Good Smile support evidently didn’t check any of it. If they had, then they should have replied with a message more along the lines of, “hey bud, this ain’t our figure”.
Obviously I can’t fault them for refusing to replace parts for a figure they didn’t make – that would be absurd – but I can absolutely fault them for not even checking in the first place. This isn’t the first time Good Smile has dropped the ball, either – their handling of issues with Bismarck Kai was similarly useless. We’ll have to see how Alter’s customer support fares, but I’m sure it can’t be much worse.
Embarassing anecdote aside, there is a bright side; Jeanne is impressive enough to look good without her flag, and this is how some prefer to display her. The flag makes up a lot of the figure’s profile, and that can make her difficult to display. With flag in hand, she only just barely fits inside a Detolf. She’s still quite big without it, but it opens up a bit of room if you wanted to display her with other figures.
As mentioned before, Jeanne looks great. The sculpting is high quality, with Jeanne’s cloak and skirt swept up in the wind. Tattered fabric stained in crimson hues breaks up the dark tone of the figure with splashes of colour. Her finely detailed armour is painted with an excellent weathered, metallic finish.
Ultimately, this is a hard figure to review. It’s very high quality and very attractive – these qualities are a part of it’s rapid rise in price, no doubt. Normally this is where I’d say, “yeah, this is a must have”. But I can’t recommend it for two obvious, but significant, reasons.
The first is that the figure has ballooned in price so quickly that I don’t feel it’s worth the amount people are asking for it. Unless you’re an absolute die-hard fan of Jeanne Alter, and you need this figure for your collection, it’s simply not worth $500. Very few figures are. If you can find it for a more sensible price, then I’d go for it, but otherwise? Nah.
The second is that my figure fell apart in less than a year, and there’s a chance that replacement parts aren’t available. This may be an isolated example – a rare defect in an otherwise healthy product. Perhaps I just got unlucky. But because I can’t say that for sure, I have to advise caution.
When you put those two factors together – high price and uncertain reliability – it’s a pretty tough sell. Unless you’ve got an intense personal attachment or a lot of spare cash, I would sadly suggest passing this one up.
Alter’s rendition of Jeanne d’Arc (Avenger) is an outstanding figure, and certainly one of the best pieces I’ve owned. There’s a lot to like about this one.
Unfortunately, a combination of high aftermarket prices and bad luck with broken parts makes it difficult to recommend actually buying. You don’t want to spend $400+ on a figure to have it break on it’s own.
If you’re a diehard Jeanne Alter fan with a lot of spare cash, then it could be worth checking out – if you don’t mind taking a risk. Otherwise, I’d steer clear and hope for a reprint down the line.