I’m a huge fan of the Strike Witches series, so a few weeks ago when CD Japan was holding a sale I just couldn’t resist picking up two Strike Witches figures. One of these such figures was Nendoroid #259, Gertrud Barkhorn by Good Smile Company!!
This was my first Strike Witches figure, and what better way to start off the series collection than with my favorite character Gertrud “Trude” Barkhorn!! This was the fifth character in the Strike Witches series to be released in Nendoroid form. Nendoroids have been released for six characters in the Strike Witches series which include:
- Miyafuji Yoshika
- Francesca Lucchini – manufactured by Good Smile in 2010
- Lynette Bishop
- Charlotte E. Yeager – manufactured by Good Smile in 2012
- Erica Hartmann – manufactured by Good Smile and released earlier this year in March
- And of course Gertrud Barkhorn released earlier this year in January
Pre-orders went up for Barkhorn at the end of June 2012 and she retailed for 4000 yen (around $40 USD). She was originally scheduled to release later in 2012 in November, however that release date was pushed back to January 2013.
Needless to say, I didn’t pre-order her. I hadn’t actually seen Strike Witches until earlier this year. I was originally scouring the web for a good deal on the 1/8 scale figure of Barkhorn (I WANT THIS SO BADLY!!) when I was notified of a sale on CD Japan. I was lucky enough to pick her Nendoroid up for 2286 yen (around $23 USD), which is a fantastic deal considering she was originally priced at 4000 yen!
Alright, now that I’ve covered all of that background information, let’s take a better look at the box.
Unlike the last Nendoroid I unboxed, Miku 2.0, Barkhorn comes in the standard sized Nendoroid box.
However, even though it’s the standard size, it actually comes with more pieces than I thought it would. Wrapped up tightly in plastic next to the stand come several arm and hand pieces. To give a more detailed description of what comes in the box:
- two MG42 machine guns
- three sets of arms
- three sets of hands
- three expressions
- two hair pieces (one with ears, one without)
- two sets of twin tails
- two sets of legs (with and without Strikers)
- one tail piece
- one stand
- one arm piece with two different ends (one where she can lay on her stomach and another that plugs into her back)
Unfortunately, after trying out a few poses, I noticed I didn’t get all of the correct hand pieces. Other than the hands that already come attached to her that are balled up in a fist, you get two open sets on hands. The one without a raised piece in the middle (the ones on the left below) are used for holding the two MG42 machine guns normally. There are supposed to be two hands with raised pieces in the middle for holding the guns by the barrel, but unfortunately I only got one as you can see. However, I still figured out a way for her to hold the gun by the barrel properly. I simply slipped the barrel into the hand’s grasp, and then twisted the gun, essentially wedging it into place. It may not be as sturdy compared to the other hand the uses the raised piece, but it works. See here.
Now this may be something rather small, but I thought it was a nice touch to add a design to the plastic stand. It’s a lot nicer to display than the rather plain and boring square shaped design. However, one disadvantage here is that unlike the square stands where there are multiple holes to place the stand’s arm, there is only one hole on this stand located near the back.
What’s also nice about this Nendoroid is the detail placed in sculpting the gun and the Striker Units. I think they look fantastic!! It makes sense that they placed a lot of detail upon these parts as they do garner a lot of attention, but still, I didn’t expect them to look this nice!
Now it’s on to the best part! Let’s look at some of the many poses you can make with Barkhorn!
Here’s a look at the piece that you can attach to the end of the stand arm which allows her to lie on her stomach. Although you can get some nice poses there are a few disadvantages to it.
First off, for both display purposes and taking pictures it doesn’t exactly look the greatest, but at least it looks better than the way Good Smile displayed Lucchini on their site…
Lucchini doesn’t come with those boxes, but why would
they anyone want to display her like that?
Secondly, if you own a Nendoroid you know that there is a fair bit of weight to them, especially in the head. In other words, the weight isn’t spread evenly throughout the body; they’re top-heavy. This makes it rather difficult to pose her with this arm attachment, since the head usually causes her to fall either forward or to the side if not positioned properly. This is further aided by the fact that the stand arm is bendable, as it easily gives into the shifts in weight. They should have thought this through more; balancing a top-heavy figure on an unstable single point isn’t the smartest move.
Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at the rest of the photos.
One last note, the tail piece that she comes with that attaches to her rear…. that piece is SO ANNOYING!! I’ve lost track of the number of times it has fallen out when I was changing a pose or simply moving her around. It looks cute, but it’s a real hassle.
To Buy or Not to Buy? That is the Question.
Ahh, the big question, is it worth the buy. I will try to take my bias away from this as much as possible, seeing as Trude is my favorite character from Strike Witches.
As shown above, I had three problems with this Nendoroid: one being not getting all of the correct hand parts (incorrect parts would be a rarity I would hope), the second one being the stand’s arm attachment, and the third being her tail piece. Like I said on my last review, buying always depends on how much you like the character. Honestly, if I didn’t really like Trude I would say this Nendoroid isn’t worth the investment if you see it for full price. Although you can get some really nice poses and the details on the Strikers and guns are really nice, the issues between the arm attachment and the tail constantly falling off can be somewhat frustrating to deal with.
If you find it for around the price I bought mine for, 2286 yen (around $23 USD), then I would suggest picking it up if you enjoying Nendoroids and are a Strike Witches fan. The lower price compensates for some of the problems, and she’s still a nice figure as long as you can deal with the two issues I raised.
Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully you found this review helpful and if you own a Barkhorn Nendoroid, feel free to share your own thoughts on her in the comments.
Currently, I think she’s the cheapest at CD Japan, but I’ll link a few other sites where you can get her as well!
In other news, the Hatsune Miku 2.0 figma went up for sale earlier today…. My wallet just took another hit…