A Short History of Racing Mikus (so far)

Hatsune Miku 1/8 Scale Painted Figure - Good Smile Company

If you can call since 2009 a long history, then you can say that Racing Miku has had a fairly long history. Prior to 2009, Miku wore her normal attire as the racing queen, but it's only been since 2009 that she's started to appear in more elaborate outfits.

Let's have a brief looksie, shall we?

2009: 2000 and what?

2009 Good Smile Racing

There's not much art around for the 2009 Racing Miku, but if you search around, you can find the 2009 Good Smile Racing Nendroid Petite set. A fairly subtle change to her outfit and the outfits of her fellow Vocaloids as a whole when you consider the intricate details in her most recent outfit.

How far we've come.

2010: Rake thin

2010 Racing Miku

I might have liked 2010's Racing Miku, however the singlemost reason I didn't like her was that her hair was much too thin. As a figure collector who really likes how hair is sculpted — this is a problem! Look at any other version of Miku with her long, generously flowing locks and when you return to this one, you are met with disappointment. I certainly believe this figure would have been more popular with some explanation of how her hair thinned so drastically.

Another issue I have is interestingly with her bust. Although Miku indeed does have a bust on the smaller size and is not generous by any measure, this version of Miku allows her bust to look like it's sagging through sheer virtue of the way the top has been designed. W-who's idea was that?

Otherwise, however, I do love the detail rippling fabric of her outfit as well as the shoes, hose and tools in the building pockets of her tracksuit. I like her face and the pose, as well as the colours. Sometimes it's refreshing to see Miku's hair in a slightly different shade of aqua blue.

It's quite different to see Miku in orange clothing. Although she has appeared often in other outfits in all shades of the rainbow for many other Vocaloid themed things, this outfit really gives a 'track' feel, as one of the many hands ready to race out and begin their repair work — if need be. Miku getting down and dirty!

No queen of the race track though, but not bad for a first try.

2011: Windswept and alluring

Testing shots

This is the one I refer to as cream of the crop! Mainly because it's been my favurite one so far. She has amazing, if fragile hair, and her post is seductive and alluring, everything 2010 was not. She exudes the feeling here of a queen as she beckons with one hand, her outfit definitely not one made for work, but rather as one who simply rules the track. She may have no crown, but she doesn't need one.

Buying this Miku, I was first and foremost worried about how durable her hair was, I admit. It was beautiful in the way it swirled around the figure, in the way that has not been matched since. At the same time though, I did feel it was a tad excessive.

The main catch for me in this figure is her face though. I admit again, I'm a sucker for mature faces like hers.

Feel free to read my review if you want to know more about this figure, but the simple colour palette of Miku's traditional colours of blue, black and white as well as the subtle red for Good Smile Racing serve her excellently.

Her hair does appear too blue on occasion and I do feel her hair takes up too much space while being too close to her body as a whole. Sadly I had to admit I like the figma version of this figure a lot. You can position her hair slightly further away, and the slight reduction of detail in the hair makes it less overwhelming.

If it were not for the joints, I would likely happily have purchased it.

2012: Less is more

2012 Racing Miku

Which brings me to 2012, the year of the dud. Or that's what I'm going to call it anyway. Despite the great amount of Racing Miku figs and figmas produced that year, they simply were not a hit for me.

The pastel palette was too washed out for that year, and it lacked more of the deep blacks that the fig desperately needed. In a sense it felt naked without the extra black, the figure was just too light without that perfect contrast. The effect just made her look washed out, and did not carry that necessary impact for you to love her.

2012 Racing Miku

After 2011 Racing Miku, I was also not impressed with her hair. It felt that after they had let themselves go so much in the previous year, they had restricted her hair again this time to strict bunches that did not feel properly dynamic. To be fair, I do like the figure just above (1/7 scale) for 2012 than I do the one futher up (1/8 scale). But perhaps that's because of the face and eyes as well.

Suffice to say, again I think the figmas did a better job in this year, as the hair was the same shade of blue with translucency as the 2011 version, and felt much more natural. The washed out colours were also stronger here, with less of an attempt to carry out that 'pastel' effect. Who says more is better?

With the introduction of a subtle crown to adorn her head, Racing Miku was truly a queen of the track now, but the pose as well as her outfit for the year exuded more of a 'little girl' quality, pushing her down to merely a princess of the track.

Despite her bust being almost bigger than it usually looks.

Glorious 2013

2013 Racing Miku

I've already written about it and so has Ruben, but as I said in my previous post, why I think this one and the 2011 version work, is because of their more even spread of dark and light colours. There is a wonderful contrast of vibrant aqua blue and black with a fairly minimal mix of white, and the hair of both is translucent at the tips.

But overall, we are simply used to her sleeves and boots being black, with everything inbetween any colour you like.

The crown is more pronounced this year, announcing her as a racing queen once and for all, though it does look rather dangerous. In this sense this figure looks much less fragile than 2011, without going overboard in the hair department. The collar is a nice throwback to the original Hatsune Miku outfit.

They managed to distill all that worked in the previous versions and fit her into the one figure, while — in my opinion — giving her an additional Snow Queen-like feel due to the fingertips. But perhaps that's because I'm thinking of Blue Rose from Tiger and Bunny. Additionally they include the Miku Append tie people are so enthralled with.

There seems to be many layers to this figure, and there is much to love about her — your mileage may vary. All I can say is, let's see what kind of figure 2014 brings us if Good Smile Company keep pushing out such lovely figures. Will they buck the trend of hate love hate and love?