Nendoroid 531 Eclair Martinozzi unboxing and review

Bought this 狗货 (English equivalent: “mutt”) Nendoroid 531 Eclair Martinozzi at 70% off, brand new, plus I used a store voucher. So she cost only about 22% of the original retail price.

I know nothing about the “Dog Days” anime that she’s from, I just bought because she was on discount and her design looks nice.

After opening the box, I am very glad that I didn’t pay more than I had to!

Box contents, without plastic wrapping

Everything in the box is shown in the above photo. All protective plastic wrapping has been removed to show the parts clearly.

My first reaction was that the designer got lazy. There’s very little variety in the package:

  • Two of her faceplates have very similar expressions: open mouth and V-angle eyebrows.
  • All of her hand parts are clenched fists. There are no open hands.

The faces are from separate molds, the mouths are different sizes and slightly recessed. So they can definitely give a more distinct expression at the same cost. It’s not as if Eclair doesn’t have a variety of expressions. Just a quick online search turns up 4 screenshots taken from a single episode, with visibly different expressions!

Hands are all separate molds too, the sword hands are indeed thicker, not the same fists with holes. So I believe they can give open hands at the same production cost. The designer just got lazy and didn’t design/sculpt open hands.

GSC is also skimping on the parts and accessories in general, as this other reviewer says. There is no spare leg at all! Usually there is a bent leg to show jumping/running, especially for fighter characters. Eclair has very simple bare legs with silver boots, meaning only 1 colour needs to be painted on. Adding one bent leg won’t increase the cost and complexity by much.

The design of the swords and the back sheath doesn’t allow for a sheathed-sword display either. This could have been solved by making each sword in 2 parts, blade and hilt, and letting the hilts slot into the back sheath.

The very few pros of this Nendoroid:

  • Removable waist and shoulder belts that can be used on other Nendoroids. I’m probably going to store them off the main body to avoid paint transfer.
  • Movable ahoge (hair antenna). However, it’s very thin, fragile and breakable so you must be very careful when adjusting it. This also means I probably won’t be taking her on photo outings.
  • Movable tail, but it only rotates (side-to-side wagging) and can’t be raised, because it’s just a pin joint, not a ball joint.

Comparing with other Nendoroids announced/released in 2015, I wonder if this blatant reduction in content is due to a smaller production run. Dog Days is quite a minor/obscure series so the demand and production quantity will be less than other popular series and characters.

If I compare 531 Eclair with 508 Laura Bodewig and 511 Mikazuki Munechika, all priced at ¥3,889 and released in 2015, 508 & 511 obviously have better content for the same price.

  • Other reviewers’ photos of the box contents: 508 and 511.
  • More varied expressions for both. 508 might appear to have 2 identical faces, but the eyebrows are completely different: V-angle and raised.
  • Larger number of arm & hand parts for 508, plus a bent leg and removable eyepatch.
  • 511 has no extra legs and few arm and hand parts, but given that his costume is the most complex, that can be forgiven. His katana can be displayed drawn or sheathed.

In conclusion, I’ll do my research and look for unboxing photos and reviews before buying next time!

A few additional notes on the lifespan of Nendoroids and figures in general:

This Eclair is around 5 years old (released 2015, bought 2020), unopened, brand new from importer.

There was a bit of yellowish mold on the plastic tray and the cardboard sleeve insert inside the box, but fortunately not on the Nendoroid or any spare parts. I wiped it off as best as I could with isopropanol, but I’ll probably have to open it to check every now and then.

So we can see that leaving it completely untouched in a shop or warehouse DOES NOT guarantee “mint condition”. Things like mould growth, paint transfer, yellowing of white parts and surfaces becoming sticky are all going to happen as time passes.

So if you own any Nendoroids or figures, take them out and enjoy playing with them for a bit. Their pristine condition won’t last forever. They are simply going to deteriorate inside their boxes if you leave them there.

Also, never pay high prices for old figures. No matter how well-kept, their condition will have worsened over time.

BONUS: Eclair Nendoroid with Obitsu11 body, taken at home since her ahoge makes her unsuitable for outings.

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