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Street Fighter Round 3

First, a brief reintroduction: This review continues a kind of tradition for me. I know that there are other reviewers who get their stuff before I do, and who have much more developed review sites. I like to think that because of my love of Capcom fighting games, I bring a unique perspective to the reviews I write. The articles that follow will look at how well these toys hold up in comparison to the source material. Here, I put the figures to the ultimate test: emulation. Sure, the high amount of articulation makes them fantastic toys, and they look great in generic poses. But will they be able to pose in their signature moves? Are the aesthetics in character? These are the questions I'm hoping to try and answer. So if you want to see grading on articulation and packaging, you'll have to look elsewhere. If you're a fighting fan like me, I hope this review helps you.

If you like this style of review, you can find similar ones for Round 1 & 2, also written by me, at www.action-figure.com.

SOTA Toys burst onto the scene barely a year ago, announcing that they had gotten the coveted (and once, cursed!) Street Fighter license. How times flies. Their 3rd assortment is just starting to hit worldwide, and they just unveiled Round 4 and a new Darkstalkers series at this year's SDCC. Talk about hitting the ground running!

Round 3 features a mix of characters from 3 games, if you want to get technical. Everyone's favourite fighting American from Street Fighter II, Guile, headlines this wave. He is joined by fellow II-er Balrog, the sleazy Shadaloo boxer. From the Alpha/Zero series, the enigmatic Gen, Muay Thai upstart Adon and fighting schoolgirl Sakura all made the cut from the fan polls to become immortalized in plastic. It's interesting, because Balrog, Gen and Adon are also characters from the original Street Fighter game. Pure coincidence, I assure you.

 

Round 3 strikes a few more home runs for the Street Fighter series. Once again, the production quality of the toys is beyond complaint. All joints on my set (randomly bought at the store; no funny stuff going on here!) were working great out of the box. Round 2 had a film of lubricant around most of the joints, but that is mostly gone now, with no ill results. Everything still moves and nothing breaks. I did get a very strong paint odor the second I sliced into the bubble packaging. Not too sure if that's related.

The figures are once again gifted with a lot of articulation. More so than before, as Round 3 introduces a new SHIN TWIST joint. I'll talk more about how well that works in the individual reviews.


 

I'd like to congratulate SOTA for being the second American company (IIRC) to complete the Grand Master subset! Like I said before, Street Fighter was once a cursed license, which was usually plagued by strange interpretations, or an incomplete roster. SOTA's well on its way to breaking that pattern, as they've finished the first subset. In Street Fighter II, M Bison, Sagat, Vega and Balrog were all bosses, commonly known as Grand Masters. I believe the only other American company to have successfully released all 4 is Hasbro, in their (ungh!) G I Joe line...Whatever the case, it's a joy to finally see the Fab Four like this.

Also worthy of note is that Gen, who was *this close* to being bumped out due to low expectations for sales, is not only back in the assortment, but he makes a very strong toy. It would have been a shame if he had only been an online exclusive. More on him later.

Consistency and scale has also been wonderfully maintained with this new batch of characters. They all stand at pretty accurate heights in comparison with the previous releases. You'd think that this should be a given, but with the amount of trouble other companies have had with scale. you really have to give SOTA credit. 15 Street Fighters and the only real scale-related gripe is that Sodom's head is too small. That's quite a clean record!

Speaking of clean, paints applications are of the usual high quality. There are some problem areas, like Sakura's eyes (which have intricate detail) that may need some scrutiny before buying, but generally everything is excellent, with little or no bleeds, even in really detailed parts like Adon's arm bands, Sakura's uniform lining, or Guile's army camo patterns. I did get an extra splotch on Sakura's neck, though. But it looks like the exception rather than the norm.

There still is some issue with loose joints. I had some problems with a few figures from earlier waves as well. The good news is that the severity seems to have lessened. But there are still a few joints that tend to bend to the will of gravity. For heavy and poseable figures like these, that can make the difference between a half-squat and a kneel.

I've also had a bit of problem with paint flaking. I encountered this a little in Round 1 in regards to the rivet jointed areas. In Round 2, the figures were fine. Now, after toying around with my stuff for about a week, they are starting to show slight signs of wear. A small scrape here, a tiny flake there. It isn't severe, and I think I put my stuff through a lot more than your regular collector because of these reviews, but it's something you might want to note.


Overall, it's another great series to add to the collection. I must advise that you do not let your bias towards certain characters cloud your judgment when buying! The thing about this series is that they are ALWAYS better out of the packaging. Figures that I wasn't that enthusiastic about turned out to be great once they were loose in my hands.

That's not to say that every figure is perfect. Each has their good and bad, and I'll go into more depth in the individual reviews, but on the whole, Round 3 makes for a very satisfying toy and Capcom experience. Buy a set, and open them up. They're well worth the money. I for one can't wait for Round 4 now!!

Coming up next: The individual reviews! Click on the links to read em!

Adon
Gen
Guile
Sakura
Balrog


Addendum:

Some variant news: News has surfaced about a set of colour variants available only to Japan.

They are limited to 350 pieces each, and should be packaged on Japanese cards that differ from the US-releases. They will be available at 3 "partner stores" in Japan:
- Blister Direct
- Kotobukiya Shop
- Chara-net

Price: 2,500yen each.

The only one that seems really exclusive is black Gen. The others, or at least similar versions, are available at various online retailers.


Got a question or feedback? Think I suck at this? Do let me know... -Dare

 

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All text and commentary are the opinions of the authors solely, and not to be attributed to any other parties.
All images, format, content, and design are copyright © 1999-2008 D. ”Julius Marx” Pickett unless otherwise noted. No part of these pages may be reproduced without express written consent of D. Pickett. Licensed character names and images are copyright © their respective companies. But hey, ask me; you just never know what I'll say. - Logo Design by Matt Cauley. Web Design by Jason Geyer.