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What's the Difference? Let's Figure It Out!

Published on February 23, 2021

Figure Type Comparison 
Welcome to the Solaris Blog! ヾ( ʚ̴̶̷  .̫ ʚ̴̶̷ )ノ”
Get ready for a Konosuba overdose with Megumin and Aqua!
It’s the duel of fire and water as these two battle it out across a variety of different figure categories! No, we’re not trying to determine who’s the best girl…
We’re actually looking at what makes one figure category different from another! Today, we’ll be checking out five different categories: prize, Kuji, and scale figures plus Figma and a somewhat popular newcomer, Pop Up Parade. If you are new to the collecting hobby, we hope you will find this useful!
As is usual with our reviews, we didn’t edit the photos any more than necessary! Only cropping and rotating. Lighting settings for all figures were the same across the board to deliver you the best review possible! Blemishes and imperfections were not deleted or smoothed out. In fact, you will find that the camera was able to pick up even more than our own eyes sometimes (⌒_⌒;)
What are these different categories?
The world of anime figures is as vast as it is varied. Anime is such a huge part of pop culture in Japan (and the world too!) so manufacturers offer a lot of different collectible options when it comes to your favorite 2D characters. 
KonoSuba GIF
We don’t wanna get into too much detail, but here’s a quick overview of the different figure types we’re gonna be looking at today:
Prize/Kuji: While technically two different categories, we’re lumping these two types together. These figures are generally mass-produced and distributed to either arcades or konbinis since they’re meant to be won and not bought. Since they’re *arguably* less expensive to win, their quality is usually not on par with some other figure categories. 
Pop Up Parade: This lineup is still relatively recent, having launched in 2019, but has quickly become a big seller. Distributed by well-known manufacturer Good Smile Company, Pop Up Parade offers smaller, more affordable figures. It’s barely been two years since the series' launch, but there’re already over 70 figures in this lineup at the time of writing and continuing to grow. If you want to learn more about this series, check out GSC’s little writeup here
Figma: A specific line of figures from Max Factory, Figmas are articulated action figures of many popular characters from anime and games. They usually come with a bunch of accessories and faceplates, so you can pose to your heart’s content. Think of them as the Nendoroid’s non-Chibified cousins. They’re not usually too high on the cost scale — arguable considering their size — but a staple for many anime figure collectors worldwide!
Scale: Last but certainly not least is the scale figure. Considered the reigning champ for most collectors, these figures come in a variety of sizes. The poses are fixed but can feature a number of different scenes and styles, meaning you’ll probably find a scale figure to suit your needs. These figures are produced in limited runs, mostly being offered through pre-orders. This means their costs will usually start at a higher price point and continue to grow in value once production of the figure ends. 
This is some really basic background for these figures, so you’ll definitely want to check our collector’s guide if you want to find some more info about these categories. 
The last thing we should mention before starting our comparisons is that a figure’s price can vary for many reasons. While MSRP and quality can of course play a factor, there’s a lot of reasons why figures end up costing as much as they do. We’ve got some articles about this too, so make sure you check them out as well! 
Phew, the explanations are finally over... time to look at some anime figures!

My name is Megumin!

Megumin Figure Comparison Review
First up, looking like she learned Naruto’s Shadow Clone Jutsu, is one of our favorite chuunis, Megumin! We've got four different Megumins to check out: her lineup includes a prize, Kuji, Pop Up Parade, and scale figure.
You’ll surely notice that the poses aren’t quite the same since it’s hard to find exact matches across the categories, but we hope this comparison will still give you a good idea of the differences between categories!

Megumin prize figure

Megumin Prize Figure GIF
*moving mouse* Show items by price, low to high… \_ヘ(´ω`) and here we go: the Megumin prize figure! She’s encouraging you as you try to pick her up from a SEGA claw machine… or is she secretly taunting you? That smile could look like a cheeky raspberry to a frustrated player.
Megumin prize figure main
Maybe she’s encouraging you. Look, she’s even “glowing”, just like your own self after raging a couple times, wondering why, W H Y can’t you grab the box and flip it into the pit already??? Are those hooks coated in oil, because come ooon... 
But seriously now, her face is quite shiny compared to the rest of the model. It’s not something oil-blotting paper can fix. Foundation, maybe…
Prize Megumin: the Good
The pose is ambitious and the colors are intense, just like Megumin. The presence of Chomusuke, even if she’s there to hide an eyesore that we’ll get to in a bit, is a redeeming feature; out of all the figures, the only other one that features the kitty is the scale. And there are attempts at depth of detail here and there, such as on the belt shown above. From afar, the figure looks good; the design is as simple as the animation itself, but it does the job.
One of the biggest pros is her price! Aftermarket values always fluctuate but prize figures are generally a great, cheaper option when working on filling up your figure collection. 
Prize Megumin: the Bad
Megumin prize cape scuff
Don’t worry, her head didn’t just go EXPLOOOOSION on us; we just wanted to show some details. That is a little imperfection on the surface, and you can see some scuffs on the rim of her cape. The cape itself goes on nicely, though the paint job is somewhat lacking, as you can see the lines blurring and smudging here and there.
Megumin prize neck issue
Actually, once you jam — and we mean really jam — the head in, it shouldn’t go anywhere. The slot isn’t perfectly cut, so it takes force to push it in, hence the scuffs on the cape. We also noticed that despite our Hulk-inspired assembling, the head piece still didn’t sit flush with her neck, leaving a hard-to-notice but awkward gap. Maybe that’s why Chomusuke is there, to kind of hide the ill-fitting neck?
Megumin prize hat
Another area of attention is the painting on the hat — it’s uneven with some of the same issues as the cape: blurry, bleeding edges where the colors meet. Under the spotlight, we even noticed the spots of excess glue that snuck out when the band was pressed in during production. 
Megumin prize bedhead
Remove the hat and you’ll see Megumin’s bedhead (ᗒ ᗨᗕ) No, actually that’s just some very visible head seam and some less refined moulding; it looks like her hair has been made to fit the hat instead of the other way around. Just like modern-day fast fashion accessories!
Megumin prize hair scuffs
And that’s not all folks. Paint scuffs and transfers abound in this figure (´д`) : on her hair...
Megumin prize hand paint scuffs
… her hand...
Megumin prize dress scuff
… her dress… (though you could excuse that one saying it’s frog slime or something)
Megumin prize tights scuffs
… her tights… 
Megumin prize boot scuff
… and her boots. No excuse for this one; even if it were to add realism to the character, that’s just basic garment care! Always, always, rub your leather gear with the right products to keep it weather-resistant. And yes, explosion-resistant in her case.
Megumin prize staff cape placement
The pose is elaborate, but not perfect. You see, anime figures bring fractions of a second of your favorite hero’s fictional life to real life; makers should still be aware of choosing the right millisecond to immortalize. Unfortunately for this one, they chose a moment when the bottom of her staff was catching the hem of her cape. More scuffs! (>_<)
Overall, her sculpt is decent, but up close you can see the seams where all the individual parts come together.
Megumin prize hair seam
An unflattering hair line here… (and glue residue)
Megumin prize tights seams
… seams on her bandages and boots… (nice leather wrinkle though)
Megumin prize tights seams 2
… seams on her tights that make it seem like Megumin doesn’t know how to wear tights. Well, she kind of doesn’t, considering the odd pairing with bandages. Or it could be intentional. But I’m sure the seams aren’t.
Megumin prize bad hair day
By the way, Megumin needs a haircut like it’s 2020 and we’re back in lockdown. Those split ends are stirring up some high-school flashbacks of bleaching my hair into straw-textured oblivion.  ( QદQ )
Megumin prize staff
Likewise, the staff needs some sandpaper and varnish, because the splinters are showing.
They say that often when you try to hide something, it’s when people see it the most; in this case, they didn’t even try to hide the fact that the orb isn’t floating and plopped it on a bright white connector. It reminds me of my molecule play set: the orb is an oxygen atom and the white stick is a covalent bond. (,Ծ_ლ)
Megumin prize loose hand
Unlike her neck, the slot for her left hand is so loose it causes her hand to pop off. I wonder what would happen if she dropped her staff mid-incantation: does the spell fizzle out or does it fail and she self-combusts?
Prize Megumin: the Bottom Line
Megumin prize main no hat
This figure might not be for everyone; you can sense its aspiration, but it’s got a lot of shortcomings from the manufacturing process that might leave some more top-shelf collectors feeling winded. 
Prize figures are mass produced, and the quality of this Megumin is pretty standard. Keep in mind also that because it is mass produced, there is greater variability in the quality as well. It could be that the one we chose to open up to review has been particularly more scuffed than some others. The pieces are individually wrapped, which helps reduce the scuffs and transfers after production and in transportation. 
But really, these are manufactured with the idea that they stay low cost since they’re being won from a claw machine. If only these manufacturers ever played a claw machine themselves so they could know how much money We've sunk into some of our figures… 
 

Megumin Kuji

Next one up the list: Kuji Megumin. \_ヘ(´ω`) 
“Kuji” (くじ) means “lottery” in Japanese. These are another type of prize figures. Differently from the prize figures, however, the kuji figures aren’t caught in rigged claw games inside loud, seizure-inducing arcades. Instead, they’re available for a limited time at select convenience stores across Japan, along with a whole bunch of the franchise’s merch.
You can’t just walk up to the shelf and pick it up; you must buy tickets at the counter, then peel them open to reveal the type of prize you won. Hence the “lottery” aspect of it.

Megumin kuji main
At first glance, it looks very good, doesn’t it? The pose is cute, showing the sweeter side of Megumin. She’s not trying so hard here, and it’s refreshing to see.
Kuji Megumin: the Good
 Much better than the prize figure are the fabric wrinkles on her dress. When you ignore the more plastic look of the skirt’s decal, her tunic does actually look somewhat realistic with how it folds along her curves. 
Megumin kuji size
It’s also a pretty decent size, sitting close to about 1/7 scale!
Kuji Megumin: the Bad
But once we unboxed it, oh boy. The smell of nail polish. Well, if you’re into that kind of thing, maybe it counts as a bonus experience.
Megumin kuji cape paint issues
The paint on her cape looks nicely shaded from a distance, but get up close and personal and you can really make out how strange the colors come off. It’s hard to say if it’s just the blending or a combo of that with the mold, but it looks unnatural. The edges feature some shaky coloring too with some bleeding edges. 
Megumin kuji dress paint issues
The triangle design on her skirt seems more even than on the prize figure, most likely because it is a decal. But the decal-ness is apparent on how it blends together where the ends meet. (-_-;) There was also some… unpleasant crustiness to the paint. Despite being a brand new figure with no actual residue, it wasn’t very smooth: a mix of dust and grime that you get from touching old plastic surfaces.
Megumin kuji cape fit
The cape fits, but drapes in a slightly awkward way. If you try to line it up based solely on intuition and not by instructions, you may end up causing it to look like the wind is picking up.
Megumin kuji shoulder paint transfer
And despite the cape not fitting snugly, it still caused paint transfers on her shoulders. It’s very mild, you really need your nose (or camera lens) down there to see it, but it’s enough to bother a perfectionist.
Megumin kuji hat
In order to avoid scratches and scuffs on this super matte surface you’ll need to handle it like a brain surgeon: with gloves and very, very carefully.
Megumin kuji hair scuffs
Some hair scuffs were visible, though there are fewer than on the prize figure.
Megumin prize main wearing hat
Kuji Megumin: the Bottom Line 
Overall, this one is good value; it has its flaws, as it’s still mass produced, and they’re mostly noticeable up close. But when you consider you have a chance at snagging one of these for the price of one ticket (500 to 800 yen, if you decide to hunt it down across konbinis), it’s actually a fine prize! The quality may even be a little better than expected. And with this sweet pose… not even Kazuma can say no to her!

Megumin Pop Up Parade

Next up is one of our top picks when trying to get the most bang for your buck: Pop Up Parade Megumin! \_ヘ(´ω`)
Megumin Pop Up Parade main
Comparatively, her pose is the simplest of them all, just a traditional relaxed stance. Don’t be fooled, however! The simplicity of her poses is balanced well with the quality of the figure.
Greater quality at affordable prices is exactly what the Pop Up Parade series is about! It is a very good mid-range figure, for the price-conscious fans amongst us. Because only the gods know how many giant frogs we have to kill for our hard-earned Eris!
Pop Up Parade Megumin: the Good
Megumin Pop Up Parade base
The base is a plain hexagon, but the red is a nice touch. The translucent plastic adds to the “magical flame” feel.
Megumin Pop Up Parade boot
No unsightly seams visible, with only minor paint scuffs on her boot cuff and hair. As long as you have a hat on, I guess it will happen. ╮(╯∀╰)╭
Megumin Pop Up Parade hair scuff
See how there is no glue residue or cracks from the mold?
Megumin hair sculpt Pop Up Parade vs. prize
left: Pop Up Parade, right: prize figure
Look at the difference a good hairdresser makes: on the right, you have the prize figure’s split, jagged ends. It’s also looking flat and chunky, as if it hasn’t been shampooed in a while. And on the left you have LAYERS! They look bouncy and well-styled, worthy of an archwizard!
Megumin Pop Up Parade hat
The hat, however… well, it’s still quite nice, despite the paint gouge under the left button. It’s a basic manufacturing defect and fairly easy to overlook. You could excuse it by saying it’s normal wear and tear from the daily explosions.
Also: love the glossy buttons!
Megumin Pop Up Parade staff
As glossy as the orb of her staff, which looks like a coral gemstone (✿✧∪✧) and not like a playset oxygen molecule. The clear connector makes a world of difference!
The staff is also clean and polished, no splinters or jagged flashing.
It has to be smooth, otherwise Megumin would get all scratched up from loving her staff too much!
Megumin Pop Up Parade dress
They *almost* nailed the skirt design. Honestly though, if I had not said “almost”, would you have noticed where they had to go and fill out the triangle? Yeah, didn’t think so. It’s minor and compared to what we’ve seen so far, they nailed it.
The overall design is simple; the colors lack a little in depth and shading, but are well done nonetheless. Sometimes less is more!
Pop Up Parade Megumin: the Bad
Overall, because there is less to a Pop Up Parade, there is also less room for error. We couldn’t find major negatives to write about!
Megumin Pop Up Parade figma height
Maybe the only thing we could think up was that Megumin stands a little taller than a Figma, but still smaller than a normal Pop Up Parade. But, she is a shortie after all!
Megumin Pop Up Parade main no hat
Pop Up Parade Megumin: the Bottom Line
Overall, this is a model that looks good both from afar and up close! The craftsmanship/price ratio is so good that it’s even difficult to nitpick. A simple pose, simple design and paint job go a long way in increasing the quality of the figure!

Megumin scale

Finally we have the crème de la crème, scale Megumin! She is in the middle of her dramatic introduction with Chomusuke fluttering by. At her feet is written the name of the series, in case you didn’t know where this most iconic chuuni is from!
Megumin scale main
For those starting the figure collecting hobby, here’s a little more info: scales are generally the pinnacle of figures. They usually offer the most in terms of craftsmanship and poses, so their price will reflect that. Those are pieces that deserve a special, sheltered place on your display!
Their quality is usually good (and so is the care hobbyists put into keeping them pristine) that used scale figures can still look better than brand new kuji and prize figures. The one we reviewed is a used one. In order to have something to write about, we really had to nitpick. We’ll start with the cons first:
Scale Megumin: the Good
Regarding the paint job, while it may not be as vibrant as we would like, maybe they were trying to evoke the simplicity of the show. Besides, the shading more than makes up for it by adding depth to it, which helps bring the figure to life.
Megumin scale base
The base is nice, featuring the show’s name with a bright pop of color against the white plastic. Unfussy, minimally elegant and it does its job!
Megumin scale Chomusuke
This figure gets cuteness points because of Chomusuke! Here she gets to be a feature on her own, and not just as a padded bra for Megumin.
Megumin scale hat
Glossy buttons are also a plus, though the Pop Up Parade also displays this. Personally, I find that the contrast between the shiny buttons and the matte hat are done better in the scale.
Megumin hat tassel comparison
From left: prize, kuji, Pop Up Parade, scale
Megumin’s hat tassel, which on the anime is as plain as the one on the kuji figure, gains some flame-like shading on the scale. Sometimes it’s best not to stick with canon!
Scale Megumin: the Bad
Despite the box artwork showing her holding a staff, no staff was seen… anywhere. What is a mage without her staff???
Megumin scale dress paint
The paint job is not as vibrant as one would expect from such a bright character, but the lines are much cleaner if you compare with what we’ve seen in the other figures.
Megumin scale cape paint
Better, not perfect; even in the scale, the issue with yellow and black crossing lines persists albeit on a smaller scale. There was one spot on her cape that also felt a little rough.
Megumin scale nail issues
This is one of those situations where less is more: the addition of nail polish is very nice! However, it needs to be properly executed. It is even glossy, but her nail technician must have been drunk that day; her cuticles are uneven, her nails are too stumpy, and on some fingers it even looks like bubble nails (eek!) ~ᕕ(゚Д゚)ᕗ
Megumin bandage comparison
From left: prize, kuji, Pop Up Parade, scale
Likewise, her stylist must have forgotten what thickness of bandage to wrap her leg with, because it is so thin and flat one could mistake it for tights. All the other figures got this detail right, showing the bandages either through the sculpt or shading.
Megumin scale main no hat
Note: that fuzzy bit on the back of her head is just dust. (´∀`;)
Scale Megumin: the Bottom Line
Overall, the scale Megumin has a very clean design, with the quality that is expected of this tier of anime figures. With some nitpicking we may find points where it falls short on minor aspects, but it’s nothing to lose your hat over!
What’s our verdict?
We have to admit, every figure has its positives even if they are sometimes overshadowed by some other flaws. While we definitely enjoyed the scale figure’s quality, we actually fell in love with the Pop Up Parade Megumin, given its quality and lower price point!

Aqua, the crybaby goddess of water

Aqua group
Now it’s Aqua’s turn! 
My eardrums quivered when they saw the four of them. (´д`) We’ll be looking at prize Aqua, Pop Up Parade Aqua, Figma Aqua, and Scale Aqua! All sorted by price. \_ヘ(´ω`) 

Aqua prize figure

For once we could blame it on the light and the camera: Prize Aqua doesn’t look nearly as bad in the pictures as she does in person. That’s right, this one was probably the weakest out of all the eight figures we looked at. Out of all four Aquas, this is the one that looks the least like an anime figure, veering more towards the dollar-bin plastic toy aesthetic. 
Aqua prize main
Protect your ears, because the good-for-nothing goddess will definitely murder them once we deliver the harsh truth about her prize version.
Prize Aqua: the Bad
Aqua prize boots
We’re gonna switch things up a bit with Prize Aqua by starting with the not-so-great things we noticed, since this list was definitely a little longer than most. 
To start, Aqua’s thigh-highs are already a little odd as far as design goes, fitting like an odd limbo between proper leather thigh-highs and ordinary tights with an ankle boot inside. On this figure, the lack of a significant crease around the usual places give her feet a weird, noodle-like appearance.
Aqua prize mismatched paint
The paint choices didn’t make the most sense to us: her top is matte, but the skirt is glossy. Under the ill-matching skirt is a barely translucent frill. And rather pinkish. The accessories are as glossy as the skirt and not the beautiful, smooth glossy: they are more akin to some 100-yen accessories. Did she buy her shoes and boots at the same store as her “finery”? 
Aqua prize hair issues
The hair color was going places, but was still too weak in execution. The gradient looks like the painter had two minutes before they had to clock out. It’s rushed and not blended to where it makes any impact. The shininess of the paint (on everything, actually) really makes Aqua’s hair look like a slab of plastic. And unlike 90s band Aqua’s Barbie girl, it is not fantastic. 
Aqua prize hands
Her right hand suffers from the same issues as her feet: the sculpt doesn’t give it definition, and makes it look like a shapeless blob, a noodle posing as a limb.
Aqua prize fans
Good thing this figure has fans, because the morning glory decals manage to be cuter than her!
Aqua prize paint transfer
There are paint scrapes and transfers on her bow, her dress and her armpits. Looks like she’s had a wild night at the tavern! It should have come with the rainbow puke or a pile of hay as an accessory, to help justify how rough she’s looking.
Prize Aqua: the Good
Aqua prize base
The base is simple, with only the name of the show printed on it. I’m a little disappointed there isn’t the alternating pink and yellow scheme, though.
Aqua prize main front and back
The Bottom Line
I need to throw in a quick disclaimer before we sound the gavel – we were a little harsh with our review of prize Aqua. It must be the Anchoring Effect in full swing, because I’ve gotta be honest: Prize Aqua doesn’t look too abnormal for a prize figure. The things we pointed out are really not uncommon for this type of figure, but compared to some of the stronger contenders, she comes out falling by the wayside. 
 Our verdict is… well… I’m sorry Prize Aqua, but nothing in this figure seems to inspire us. Maybe the Axis Cult will find something to adore about this effigy.

Aqua Pop Up Parade

Next up: Pop Up Parade! \_ヘ(´ω`) 
As mentioned before, you can expect higher quality in the sculpt and painting of these figures. Already you can see the differences from the prize figure! 
Aqua Pop Up Parade main
The pose is simpler, but sweeter: instead of a parlor magician you have excited Aqua, who probably heard how much the quest reward will be.
Aqua Pop Up Parade closeup
Note: We didn’t push her head all the way in so that’s why her neck looks like that. Our bad (-_-)
Pop Up Parade Aqua: the Good
Aqua Pop Up Parade paint
The paint job is worthy of an archpriest, however! As expected of this type of figure, it is definitely less sophisticated than the scale. But it is still a high-quality execution, with few transfers or blurred lines!
Aqua Pop Up Parade skirt
The choice of deep purple is a good one, in keeping with the maker’s choice of upping the saturation in this figure. The vibrant color ends up taking away some of the translucency, but the outfit comes together quite well!
Pop Up Parade Aqua: the Bad
Looking closely, however, you wonder whether all that sweet excitement is genuine… or if that’s even Aqua. There’s something odd about her face that makes her look like someone else. Compared to the prize and the scale figure, it almost doesn’t look like her!
Could it be Eris trying to impersonate her? Though I don’t see any padded bras in the sculpt…
Aqua Pop Up Parade hair color
The hair color has more vibrancy to it, but it may have been too much; they could turn the saturation down a notch to avoid the clash with the blue of her outfit. It makes the figure a little heavy visually.
This is a matter of opinion, however. She has the brightest hair of all four figures reviewed; if you are into intense colors, this may be a good point!
Aqua Pop Up Parade boots
Aqua’s boots on this figure are matte, which is kind of unexpected and not in a good way. The shoe sculpt has more definition, but the details disappear in such a flat color.
Aqua Pop Up Parade boot issue
The yellow frill seems to be loosening as well, looking more like a sock than an embellishment.
Aqua Pop Up Parade neck frill
Speaking of frills, the ruffles on her neck, instead of being translucent to match her skirt, is a solid, dusty color. Maybe they avoided the translucent color since it could come off looking too cheap, but the Demon King is in the details, and that choice of color is a miss on her outfit. (´~ヾ )
Pop Up Parade Aqua: the Bottom Line
Overall, Aqua’s simple look is done wonderfully and is refreshing despite some of our nitpicks. Considering the cost of a Pop Up Parade figure on the spectrum of figures, we can definitely save a spot for Aqua on our shelves. ╰(⸝⸝⸝´꒳`⸝⸝⸝)╯

Aqua Figma

If you prefer to strike your own poses, there is a Figma for that!
Aqua figma main
The Figma is the wild card of the Aqua grouping, since this little shortie is looking great! So great we couldn’t find real negatives to nitpick. \_ヘ(´ω`) 
Aqua figma outfit paint
The paint job is simple and clean; as Da Vinci once said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Aqua’s design both in the anime and the manga is originally unfussy. The point of a Figma is action!
There is some minor jaggedness and transfer on her skirt, bow, and stockings; like the Pop Up Parade, her neck frill is also a solid color. That dusty purple is back, though with a little more shading.
Aqua figma hair
Aqua’s hair is also a solid color, but not oversaturated. Juuuust right and closer to her real hair color! It doesn’t have any attempt at gradients.
Aqua figma skirt
Out of the four figures reviewed, her skirt frill is the most translucent one; the feature comes at the cost of quality, which can be seen even in the picture: uneven and unrefined hems, with a somewhat rough surface. It may have been the reason why the maker chose to keep her collar a solid color; the material most likely could not shape such a level of detail.
It still feels very durable, like it can be handled without being easily scratched. So pose without fear!
Aqua figma parts
She comes with quite a variety of accessories, including her crybaby face, her “it’s not my fault face, many hand positions, her staff and her ultimate attack God Blow. Disappointingly, no rainbow vomit.

Aqua scale

Finally, the figure most worthy of Axel’s #1 Archpriest: the scale!
Aqua scale main
Here she strikes an excited pose that is closer to the true nature of Aqua: bright, cheerful and slightly unrefined. Her pigeon-toeing is more dramatic and less cute than the Pop Up Parade’s, like she’s trying to be cute, but she’s just too crazy and it shows!
Scale Aqua: the Good
Aqua scale hair gradient
What the hair stylist messed up in her bangs they made up for it with great flow and color. The hair sculpt has such depth to it you almost want to run your fingers through! The gradient is done beautifully, transitioning smoothly from a cloudless noon to a late afternoon sky. Divine, I would say! d(✪‿✪)
Aqua scale details
The paint job also looks good, except for some spottiness on the edges here and there. Easily forgiven. Take a look at the shimmer of her hair pin and her brooch! Her bow is the only one with a nice gradient from green to yellow. All the other figures settled for a simple teal.
Aqua scale outfit
Figma take note: translucent neck frill is doable! It matches the skirt, which is quite detailed. There is a slight iridescence to it that just adds to Aqua’s divine origins, making it all the better.
Her top wrinkles in just the right places, to show off her gifts and slim waist. There are several different shades of blue and they all come together nicely in a sensible manner.
Aqua hand comparison
From left: prize, Pop Up Parade, scale
Comparing the hands of the prize figure, the Pop Up Parade and the scale is like watching a slime morph into the likeness of a goddess. We went from blob to divinity in just a couple tiers!
Aqua boots comparison
From left: prize, Pop Up Parade, scale, Figma
Her boots too are worthy of the Pantheon: vinyl-like gloss, defined sculpt and added shading for a textured appearance. The yellow detail is properly attached to the boot and it flares out more than in the other figures. This is how thigh-highs are done!
Aqua scale main front and back
Scale Aqua: the Bad
Aqua scale scuffs
As it often is with scales, we had to nitpick to find negatives to talk about. We found out that her C-cups have some nicks and scuffs. It must have been a rough harvest season!
Aqua hair seam scale vs. Pop Up Parade
left: scale, right: Pop Up Parade
Her bangs are parted rather oddly, a bit too far up her head. Compare it with the Pop Up Parade’s hair seam: the latter is so much more natural-looking! Maybe she had the same hair stylist as prize Megumin. ¯\(º_o)/¯
Scale Aqua: the Bottom Line
Hands down, the scale is our top choice, even with the nitpicking! It has the most details, the most authentic pose, the best outfit and the best-executed gradients!

Summary

Prize figures are bottom for quality and top for price. They have their uses, however; like an impressionist painting, they’re better appreciated from afar. A more ambitious pose may fall short in many details, but if your favorite character is rare, or if this sculpt best captures the essence of the character, it may be worth getting it!
Plus, there is the thrill of the hunt, be it by scoring it from a claw machine or being graced by fortune with a lucky konbini ticket.
For those not willing to part with much coin to enter the hobby, they can be a casual and affordable entry into the world of anime figures.
Megumin all figures
What Pop Up Parades lack in detail compared to scale, they make up for it in value: they are a good combination of affordability and quality. It is a perfect choice for the moderate collector, who is price-conscious, not too particular about details but also one who can appreciate the beauty of a well-made figure.
Aqua all figures
Scales, on the other hand, thrive on the details! All of the minute features are refined to better bring your favorite character to life. The perfectionists among us can sure appreciate the investment of those pieces. They are figures that look good both from afar and up close, and should be at the center of your display!
We hope you enjoyed this post!
Until next time ヾ(^∇^)

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