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“Your greatest gift to me, and I’m killing him. I must already be dead.” *DISCLAIMER*: This review is not sponsored. I’m a massive fan of Castlevania. My dad introduced me to Symphony of the Night on the original PlayStation when I was 3, and I’ve played multiple entries since; from Circle of the Moon to Lords of Shadow 2 — hell, I even played the most recent mobile release, Grimoire of Souls. It’s the game series of my childhood. When I heard there was an anime being picked up by Netflix, I damn near cried nerd tears of joy — having waited seven years since first finding out of an initial live-action movie adaptation. And once I saw it and found out it was actually good, I was massively thrilled. It was so good, in one hell of a peak Reddit moment, I personally messaged the showrunner, Adi Shankar; asking if a figure line was coming out, to which he replied: “it’s coming”. Suffice it to say, I was very excited when this figure line was formally announced by Diamond Select Toys almost a year later. I had some understandably high hopes because, finally, we were gonna get some decent Castlevania figures that were advertised to be more poseable than the NECA figures of yore (which I also have lol). The prototype figures all looked great, and proudly boasted 20 points of articulation. And now that I have the set of three; Trevor, Sypha, and Alucard — I can only say these figures fell out of a bull’s ass. Once again, Castlevania gets crapped on by the toy industry. These figures are so disappointing that I held off on this review for so long. To put into perspective just how long, I got these figures about three weeks before I got my Dante. It was too depressing to even think of, that I couldn't bring myself to take photos of these figures til JUST recently. I’ll explain exactly why in this review. I’ll start off with the only good things these figures got going for them: the sculpt and paint job. They’re really nice. But because of the figures having embellishments (coattails and robe detail) made of hard-but-pliable plastic, the sculpt gets in the way of a lot of the articulation. Just as well, the paints are decent, but Sypha’s got a rat mouth thing going, and Trevor’s eyes look a bit lazily done rather than just lazy. However, in certain lighting, the paint jobs are perfect. Anyways, going back to the articulation: these figures are articulated like trash. They were all advertised to sport double jointed elbows (except Sypha), but for some reason, DST had gone cheapo and went back on that; giving us single-jointed elbows that’re also sleeved. I can’t put Alucard into his trademark en-garde pose from the anime because the elbows can’t bend further than 45 degrees. FORTY-FIVE FRIGGIN DEGREES. Sypha’s robes all get in the way of her poseability as well, so she can’t really look like she’s casting spells. Trevor’s the best articulated out of all of them, but that really ain’t saying much because his arms also suffer the 45-degree syndrome. These figures come with way too many accessories than they can pose with. Granted, most of them are hands, but these accessories won’t do any good if the figures can’t be posed nicely with them. Alucard doesn’t come with any form of hand to hold the sheathe of his sword. Additionally, I had to RIP off a throwing knife from one of Trevor’s throwing knife hands just so he can hold his whip. You read that correctly, Trevor didn’t come with ANY hands to hold his weapons until I unwillingly (and forcefully) damaged one of them after exasperatedly exclaiming out loud “are you actually serious?”. Exhibited in this photo is is said hand holding the morning star whip, with the scar the knife I ripped off left on his thumb. It looks like peanut butter. Good thing that throwing knife was just soft plastic. Imagine if it wasn’t — we’d be having an angrier conversation right now, possibly with more expletives. Their excuse for this as I quote on the comment section of one of their posts is it’s a factory error. I guess the elbows are a factory elbow too, huh? I digress; he also comes with two swords and sheathes that can NOT be placed anywhere on him, and his whips can’t be stowed on his person either — which sucks because the figure itself has loops on its belt as though to store them. To top it all off, Trevor was also advertised to come with his cloak — but just like the elbow articulation, DST went back on that and replaced it with something stupider: a bland medieval bucket that doesn’t even have holy water or salt sculpted into it, or even a goddamn handle for Trevor to hold. Was this also a factory error? We consumers didn’t even get news for ANY of these changes during production. It’s borderline criminal. Honestly, the only good thing I can say for these figures is that they look very nice. Other than that, I can’t recommend anyone buy these figures for the $25 price point. McFarlane is making a Wonder Woman figure for WW1984 in the same scale that’s going for $19, and it’s even MORE poseable than this tragedy of a toy line. This is exactly what happens when you give a mature license to a manufacturer whose audience is veered more toward younger ages. It’s very evident they didn’t know if they wanted to cater to kids or adults with these figures. There are so many accessories — small enough that a kid can choke on them, yet the figures can’t be posed worth a damn. There’s a very obvious lack of passion that went into the figures. The abundance of accessories does NOT make up for the lack of articulation. As I said earlier, accessories aren’t worth it if the figures can’t be posed with them. There has to be a justified BALANCE. If there isn’t, what’s the point? DST should stick to statues, plain and simple. Do not give DST your hard earnings for this. You as fans and consumers deserve better. This line should’ve gone to Bandai’s FiguArts or Max Factory’s Figma, or hell — even McFarlane; people who actually care about the products they’re releasing, who have actually made good anime figures. I can’t even sell these if I wanted to because of the box design (which is un-reusable) and the damage I had to cause to Trevor. If they come out with 2.0 versions of these figures that are closer to what was advertised, I’m actually gonna be pissed. In the album, I’ll provide prototype images so you know what I’m mad about. It sucks because with Castlevania, fans have come to the mindset that crappy figures are better than nothing — something I’ve personally fallen victim for as well. Only difference is a good number of them go on to praise these things because of that mindset. Thing is, Castlevania’s only ever gotten crappy figures (besides that amazing F4F statue, but that’s a statue). This franchise deserves a bone. + good sculpts + decent paint apps - heavily hindered articulation way more accessories than the figures deserve - figures were falsely advertised - Trevor’s lack of designated weapon holding hands - Also his cloak got switched to a generic medieval bucket - Bucket don’t even have a handle -Sypha’s somehow got even less articulation than the other two figures I’m really salty about those elbows. They’re the sole reason these figures can’t look good while posed. I got these figures at BigBadToyStore, but I’m not providing link to them specifically like normal because consumers deserve better than this garbage. Your money would actually be better spent on something else. Here’s the homepage instead: https://www.bigbadtoystore.com/ Here's a link to my Facebook page for more reviews and photos! https://www.facebook.com/FranksFigurePage/