There’s nothing quite like owning physical goods, but they can be expensive, and shelf space can come at a premium. Every Wednesday Hardcore Gamer picks a premium collectible from our cavernous swag vaults and tells you whether it’s worth a spot in your Collector’s Cabinet.
Christmas is a bit of a drag in Persona 3. Sure, the protagonist gets to step out for a lovely evening with the girl of his choosing – and receives a powerful healing item as a gift to sweeten the deal – but the looming end of all life on earth kind of puts a damper on things. Facing such circumstances it’s hard to enjoy the true spirit of the season: crass, unrepentant commercialism. Of course, celebrating Christmas in the real world presents its own obstacles, not the least of which is tolerating your extended family for more than five minutes. Fortunately, the second-best waifu in Persona can keep you company through your ordeal in fabulously festive style.
ques Q is known for producing character statuettes based on popular anime, but they’ve also brought characters from Hyperdimension Neptunia, Kantai Collection, and Persona to life. Their entire lineup consists of female figurines, often in sexy swimwear, but they’re not quite as sleazy as Beach Queens. They generally emphasize quality and authenticity in their sculpts, they never have issues withand their poses are always strong and dynamic. This 1/8 scale Elizabeth is probably their best figure to date, and one of the few figurines from any company that beats out its Alter counterpart. They’re clearly aware of it, too, as they’ve produced two separate alt-color variants of the figurine – a take on her most popular alternate palette from Persona 4 Arena, and the red X’mas version that we’re looking at today. All three versions look fantastic, but I picked this one because I have a fondness for the color red and I don’t hate America.
What makes this figure so special is the pose, a delicate, slightly off-balance invoking stance lifted straight from her character portrait in Persona 4 Arena. This happens to be one of my favorite images of the character – it perfectly captures her bubbly, off-kilter personality in both her playful body language and her devious smirk – and it’s amazing to behold in three dimensions. Though it was designed to be seen from a single perspective, the pose looks great at just about every angle. It’ll stand out whether you stick it on a shelf, a pedestal, or even (if you have a particularly understanding family or, more likely, none at all) on top of your Christmas tree.
It’s the details that really sell the figure. Elizabeth’s persona grimoire looks amazing with its pages flapping in the wind, and each page is covered with formatted text (too small to read, sadly) and diagrams depicting each arcana. It’s one of the best props I’ve ever seen on a statuette. It would be a little ridiculous to have every card circled around the figure (not to mention the clear plastic ring would inevitably look garish) so instead she wields only a single card. X’mas Elizabeth brandishes The Lovers, while the standard version has The Death (naturally prepared to invoke Thanatos) and her alt-palette carries The Empress. Of course, the biggest difference between X’mas Elizabeth and the other versions is her Santa hat, though she has a regular hat that she can swap for it as well. The hats attach to her head with a magnet, so swapping them is easy, and there are no pegs or holes to make her look overly ugly if you leave them both off.
ques Q being the sort of manufacturer that they are, a lot of attention has been paid to the rest of Elizabeth’s clothing. Everything from the cut of the fabric to the seam lines to the distinctive black and gold buttons is perfect, and every line, fold, and wrinkle in the fabric looks exactly as it does in the source image. The dress clings tightly to Elizabeth’s body, and the wide armholes reveal some noticeable side-boob, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing you can get a very good idea of her figure from this… figure. If you look up her dress (you pervert), you’ll find that the sculptors have accurately modeled the line of her panties under her stockings, as well as the sliver of skin where the dress falls away from her waist, despite the fact that it’s almost impossible to even see without using a camera. No matter how sad it is, you have to admire that kind of attention to detail.
Speaking purely in terms of construction this statuette is practically flawless. It’s made from PVC, so it feels solid and heavy without being brittle. The paintwork has a subtle gradient to it that stops it from being too cartoony, and there isn’t single spot of color bleed, though you really should expect nothing less from a hundred-dollar collectible. The custom base is simple but well-made, affixing to Elizabeth’s right foot with two sturdy pegs to keep her locked in place and balanced without the need for ugly, complicated stand arms. My only complaint is the obvious seam along top of her bangs, but her hat conveniently covers it almost all of the time, and even without that it’s no more noticeable than the seam on any Nendoroid. Overall, this is one of the highest-quality figurines on the market.