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Medicom: MAFEX Star Wars Captain Phasma

Captain Phasma is a girl who toy companies, as well as staff from this site, just can’t get over. All of the major 6-inch Star Wars lines have taken a crack at the enigmatic First Order commander, with Hasbro and Bandai already tendering their offerings, but can the third time (or fourth time, depending on how you asses the model kit) be the charm for Medicom? Let’s see how the new MAFEX figure fares.

Like a lot of Star Wars fans, I was really hyped for Captain Phasma’s debut in The Force Awakens prior to the release of the movie. The Lucasfilm marketing team certainly let it fly with her badass look, but that was about all were given until the flick hit cinemas. Then … well, nothing really happened. I really enjoyed TFA, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in Phasma because, aside from looking cool, she just didn’t really do anything. There is still time, though, as she has been long-confirmed for The Last Jedi, but as we wait on December, I cannot help but notice the parallels between the on-screen characterization of Phasma and her action figure releases.

I bought the Black Series and S.H. Figuart Phasmas as soon as they were released (I skipped the Bandai Model Kit), and while I like aspects of each, I have not been wholly satisfied with either. The Black Series has a good size, but it is not proportioned well, and the sculpt is a little soft; the SHF figure has a great sculpt and articulation, but it is too small. So, being the action figure Golidlocks that I apparently am, I was hoping that the MAFEX release would be “just right,” to capture the strengths of the prior releases (including the chrome effect from the model kit) while minimizing the faults. Well, I’ll be a Wookiee’s uncle — Medicom pulled it off.

This being a MAFEX release, I was naturally VERY nervous about this figure because, as we have shown time and time again in our reviews, this line can be all over the map. Medicom can do AMAZING work, like with the two Boba Fett figures, but they can also shit the Bacta Tank, as with the first C-3PO release. Even while they have been trending up as of late, my trepidation was not unfounded, but I have been celebrating a great release for the past couple of days, rather than just breathing a sigh of relief, or worse. This Captain Phasma gets the stature, sculpt, deco, and articulation right, so I can finally be satisfied with a figure of a character that I am still waiting to be cool.

First things first, so long as the figure came through production properly, I  knew the paint applications and the chrome scheme was going to be really good with this figure. The prototype really nailed the effect, and not just in the execution, but also in the thought. I say I like the chrome paint, and that is true, but this is not simply a chrome finish. A pure chrome finish is what the model kit has, and frankly, it is too clean. Yes, this is shiny chrome, but Captain Phasma did have some dinge and imperfections to her armor. I knew Medicom was looking to capture this, and I am happy to report they carried it through to the final piece. It is subtle, and a bit tough to see in the pictures (chrome is a beast to photograph), but it is there and it goes a long way to match the “outer space is old and dirty” aesthetic Star Wars has been pushing since A New Hope. So, when it comes to the paint, MAFEX wins, and it is not even close.

Additionally, this Phasma strikes the perfect balance of sculpt and form between Figuarts and Black Series. As I said above, I LOVE the imposing height of the Black Series Phasma, but the sculpt is soft, whereas the Bandai sculpt is killer, but too short to me. This one is every bit as tall as the Hasbro figure, but the sculpt is sharp with clean lines every bit as “geometric” as the Bandai figure. When it comes to organic forms, a softer take can be acceptable, but with armor, a ship-shape sculpt is essential, and the armor on this figure is really crisp.

The extra challenge with Phasma is that, while she has armor from head to toe, her form retains much of Gwendoline Christie’s feminine build. Christie is really tall, but she is certainly not built like a male, and the Hasbro figure is shaped like a square, even more than a confirmed male trooper like Finn. The Bandai sculpt is awesome, and this figure retains that feminine shape and accuracy  (without sacrificing the height), and you can see it the best in the upper legs and waist area. I like that you KNOW Phasma is a female, and this figure carries over the effect from the movie. I realize it sounds like a contradiction to demand razor sharp lines, but also a specific form, but they did it in the movie, and Medicom did it here. So again, with the clean lines, accurate form, and imposing stature, MAFEX wins again.

Now, something that Hasbro and Bandai were BOTH good at (but admittedly, Bandai was/is better) when building their Phasma figures was the articulation design and execution. I would say that MAFEX closely resembles the Figuarts take in terms of range and overall points, so from that aspect, it is probably a wash. However, this being MAFEX, the engineering and quality of the joints has regularly been the downfall of so many figures, and to the point that the shoddiness can completely ruin an otherwise great looking piece. Well, I am happy to say that Phasma is solid, maybe not as good as the MEFEX Fetts as I have one semi-loose ankle, but she is just as good as the recent Kylo Ren. So yes, breathe that sigh of relief because at this point, we are all battered collectors just hoping that the next MAFEX release will be okay. So, you can stop worrying about Phasma and focus on Rey, who is up next … pleasebegood pleasebegood pleasebegood.

Hey! Are you unsatisfied with your current Captain Phasma figure? Are you still looking for the best option to buy? Well, friend, MAFEX is your mark, and via online comparison, it is my recommendation. This figure captures all the good of the previous releases and rolls them into one, while minimalizing, or down right eliminating the bad. Heck, even her cape has a nifty wire for some action posing, as well as a creative gun grip hand swap method to avoid cramming an accessory in a chromed hand and causing some chips. So it takes the good, rejects that bad, adds some more and there you have Phasma for life. A Phasma for life. Mrs. Garrett would be so proud. Okay, this has taken a weird turn, so get this figure, you won’t regret it – it’s the best Phasma for your space bucks.