Please… Don’t tell anyone about this… About seeing Nebby… It’s…it’s a secret, OK?
In today’s review we’ll be looking at a figure I’ve been looking forward to for a while – Kotobukiya’s Pokémon Figure Series Lillie and Cosmog. Of course, Pokémon surely needs no introduction – Nintendo’s monster catching series is, itself, a figurative monster in the video games industry. I’ve been a Pokémon fan for most of my life – Pokémon Red was the first game that I bought with my own money, way back when I was 8 years old. It’s been a constant source of enjoyment in my life, and the subject of a lot of my art over the years.
Something that always puzzled me, though, was that there never seemed to be many character figures, despite the series’ immense popularity in Japan. Of course, there were plenty of toys and action figures, and lots of collectibles and merchandise too, but this largely revolved around the Pokémon themselves, and the quality was never especially high. Recently though, things have changed. Kotobukiya has stepped in, releasing a series of figures based on Pokémon’s various protagonists (and a few side characters), and of course, there’s been a handful of Nendoroids from Good Smile Company, too.
After playing Pokémon Sun, I found myself quite the fan of Lillie and her little pal Nebby, so this figure was exciting to see. It immediately captures your attention with a charming and expressive pose – Lillie gasping in surprise as Nebby excitedly escapes from her bag, yet again. It’s a really cute figure that’s got a nice, bright palette – her vibrant green eyes certainly stand out. The art style is true to the style seen in the games, which is great for fans of Pokémon.
That said, on first glance, there is something that feels just a little bit… bare-bones about this figure. I think I’ve narrowed it down to the paint-job; while the bright colours are certainly pleasant to look at, there isn’t an awful lot of shading going on, so the figure can look somewhat bland. Of course, this might well be due to the Pokémon series’ more simple art-style. Lillie’s mouth also stands out a little, and might be offputting to some. It does look great from some angles, but there are times when it looks a bit… questionable. Still, when it works, it really works well.
PACKAGING AND ASSEMBLY
Lillie’s packaging is simple and charming, featuring a soft blue design with flowery motifs. The figure is packed securely inside, so you needn’t worry about anything rattling around or breaking in storage. There’s a couple of viewing windows on the side and top that are based on the design on her bag, as well as some photos of the figure on the back. The most attractive feature is the original illustration that the figure is based on, depicting Lillie and Cosmog in a field of sunflowers. It’s a lovely bit of work.
The figure requires no assembly at all, as Lillie comes pre-attached to her stand by a screw in the bottom. She’s as sturdy as a rock type Pokémon! Unfortunately, the stand itself isn’t very impressive. Something about the light blue plastic they used really just looks sort of cheap, and the floral decor doesn’t do much to help. The choice of blue also blends right into her shoe, which is sort of annoying. It’s functional, but not much to look at. I would have really liked to see them push the boat out a bit and given her a sculpted stand to have her surrounded by sunflowers – even if the figure would have cost a bit more, I think the presentation would be a lot better overall.
This figure features a sculpt that is rather light on the details, once again aiming to match the Pokémon art style. However, the details that have been included are largely crisp and sharp, which results in a figure that looks clean and appealing. The pose has been captured very capably, creating the illusion that Nebby really is popping out of the bag and escaping into the air. Nebby has cleverly been attached to the top handle of Lillie’s bag, which hides the trick that makes this illusion work. The bag itself is hollow, which is a nice touch, and the straps bend and twist to further help the impression of motion. Lillie’s hat isn’t stuck tight to her head, either, and her hair is visibly swishing as well – all of this makes it look like a snap-shot, a moment frozen in time.
Nebby is quite impressive, too – it would be really easy for a cloudy mass like Cosmog to turn out blobby, but the mischievous Pokémon is quite well defined. I particularly like how his mouth turned out – open mouths can be tricky! Nebby also makes good use of translucent plastic to create a nice misty effect. Lillie’s skirt also is slightly translucent, although I feel it’s perhaps too opaque to really have much of an effect, unless light is shone through it. Of course, I’m sure Lillie’s dress wasn’t chosen to show off her bloomers (although they have been sculpted nicely enough, if you really must know) – she is a modest girl, after all! Still, a more obvious effect might have been nice, as it’s perhaps too subtle.
That aside, there are some small issues with the sculpt that I should address. I just mentioned that open mouths can be a problem, and as I said earlier on, Lillie’s mouth is a bit iffy. From what I can tell, it was designed to emulate the way a slightly open mouth is drawn and shaded. When the idea works – and the shadow lands just right – it works very well. But unfortunately it can be very unflattering at times, too. Her mouth also contrasts with her rather softly defined nose, which could have done with being sharper, I think – though that might just be a taste thing. This is a figure that very much suffers from unflattering angles, perhaps a little more than others – although that’s not necessarily a big problem (since you can just display her at her best angle), it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
Aside from that, while I’m willing to forgive the overall simplicity of the sculpt (as it matches the original art style more closely), there are also some areas where the sculpt just feels a bit lacking in polish. Her hair is one such area, where the details just don’t seem quite as sharp as you might like them to be. The figure also has some very minor production flaws, such as a seam that runs along the translucent part of her dress – although these are honestly quite subtle and are very unlikely to stand out unless you look closely for them. There’s also one big seam on top of her head where her hair joins together; it’s not all that uncommon in figures, but it’s still a bit disappointing to see. Overall I think the quality is very good – but there’s still room for improvement.
There isn’t a lot to say about Lillie and Cosmog’s paint work – it is, perhaps by design, quite simple. To call it simple might be a bit off, since clearly some thought went into it. The figure uses a variety of different finishes to achieve the look of several materials. Lillie’s dress and hat have a light sheen to them that catches reflected colours well; meanwhile, the dark grey parts of Lillie’s bag look rubbery and matte. They’ve even taken the effort to highlight her finger nails with a glossy paint, despite them being such a small detail. This level of thought carries into the palette, as well. Nebby’s colours are very saturated, bold and colourful, while Lillie’s palette is softer and more subdued, leaning towards pastel tones. This contrast makes her quite interesting to look at and helps Nebby and Lillie stand out from each other, but not so much that it seems jarring.
If I have any critiques, it’s that I would have liked to see a bit more shading in the paintwork, as I think that a bit of extra definition would have helped ‘finish’ a few particular details in the sculpt. As I mentioned before, her hair feels a bit unpolished, and the details don’t always stand out (especially in her braids). I think a bit of shading could have really helped there. As it is, the figure is somewhat reliant on being put under the right lighting to really pop. That said, there’s very little to complain about on a quality level here – Lillie and Cosmog both have their decals in the right place, and there aren’t really any significant mistakes to mention. Everything seems to have been painted with care, which is always nice to see.
Oh, you! Would you not try to escape the very moment that you were told not to wander off!
While it might sound like I’m a little bit down on this figure, I actually like it a lot. Kotobukiya have managed to capture the charms of the Pokémon art style, and have created a cute and dynamic figure of one of the series most endearing duos to date. While I have some small complaints about the lack of shading and some quibbles with the detail in her sculpt, I still think this is a quality piece of work. It’s a very appealing figure, and it looks great on my shelf, which is what really matters at the end of the day.
As I mentioned at the start of this review, it always puzzled me that Pokémon didn’t have many (if any) proper figures of its widely beloved cast of characters. Having seen what Kotobukiya can do, though, it makes me excited to see more from their Pokémon Figure Series in the future. While the wait for a figure like this has been long, it seems to have been worth it – and with more figures being announced recently, it seems like they’re doing well. If you’re a fan of Lillie and Cosmog, I’d certainly suggest picking this one up – and if you’re a fan of Pokémon in general, I’d suggest keeping your eye on Kotobukiya, because I’m sure they’ll have more like this on the way.
Kotobukiya have done a great job capturing the charm of the Pokémon art style with this cute rendition of Lillie and Cosmog. While the more simplistic sculpting and painting on this figure might leave a little to be desired, there’s still a clear sense of quality and thought in the overall production. Whether you’re a fan of the duo like me, or simply a fan of Pokémon, this figure is definitely worth a look.