#4 Lei Lei (Hsien Ko)

The Darkstalkers are 1000 yen more than the Street Fighter characters, presumably because they come with more / larger accessories. 

Lei Lei is simply mindbogglingly accessorized. They've included a good count of her signature weaponry: Her ground spikes (which can be slotted into the bottom of the base), giant claws, time bomb, weight, axe, dagger and spiked ball are all accounted for (I for one would have loved to have found a little SD Akuma statue...ah well). She also comes with the obligatory stand, an extra face, and a removable hat (w/ non-removable Lin Lin / paper charm), as well as 2 wireframes, the usage of which I shall explain later. Due to the amount of other stuff she comes with, there are no extra hands; all you get are generic holding poses. They grip the 2 small accessories nicely, however, so there's nothing to complain about.

Her costume is complex. The sleeves and trousers are one piece, and over that goes the pink tunic with embroidered lining (Very nice!!), held in place by a plastic cummerband cum ribbon. I'm very impressed by the tunic, although the blue material doesn't quite agree with me. It loks too crumply and is a little stiff, which gets in the way of doing some of the poses when you use the wireframe (later!).

Lei Lei's has 2 expressions like the rest of the Queens. One is a dazed. cute look and the other is presumably the kickbutt face. For how they swap please see the Morrigan review, as it's the same technique. The kickbutt face looks odd on its own, but putting on the hat improves it greatly. It makes Lei look posessed and/or ticked off. Not quite in character but it works. The cute face works well both with and without hat, and while it, like the rest of this line, still leaves something to be desired in terms of sculpt, it does reflect a good portrayal of the character, and is the head of choice for me.

Now for the use of the wireframe. It is essentially a long wire lopped at one end, with a peg at the other. The loop goes around Lei Lei's arm, and the other plugs into the giant Claw or the spiked ball (one of the spikes can be removed to reveal the plughole), and the whole shebang goes under the sleeves (ie, NOT like the picture on the right!).

The wire is extremely stiff, but it seems to be ever so slightly bendable. Pliers would come in handy, but aren't required. Even now I am unsure if they were meant to be left as is, or if they were meant to be bendable. Out of the box they were very oddly shaped due to the preposing of the figure in the bubble, so I assume the former. 

As expected, it doesn't quite work so perfectly. You can get some good poses from the use of the frame, but its stiffness and the relative softness of Lei Lei's arms makes it difficult to use, especially if you want to pose it outstretched. The loop keeps the wire on the arms, but it doesn't secure it in any way. A lot of what you can achieve with it depends on how well you understand gravity. The claws are extremely handy in regards to this. They're big, sturdy and tight, and they are excellent as props to support Lei Lei. With some adjustment you can get her to stand without her stand, thanks to the claws.

Apart from that, there isn't much more than I can say about Lei Lei. She doesn't have a lot of the problems plaguing the other Queens. Reasonably good head sculpts, great outfit, and I can't think of any other better accessorized figure. Mine also doesn't suffer from my Morrigan's unbendability...she's as good as Cammy in terms of how much the limbs will bend, which I assume is the standard and can't be fixed. 

Lei Lei doesn't get the figure treatment very often, what with those danged Succubi sisters hogging the spotlight all the time, so it's very rewarding to see that the one time she gets a chance the translation is very, very decent. This figure really says "Lei Lei" all over to me.

Well, there is one other minor issue...

In case you haven't realised yet, the Dollgure body and the plug on parts are different shades of blue, noticeably so. In fact, all the Queens have attachments that don't quite match up. Even Morrigan's two heads are both a different shade! It's a sign of bad quality control on the part of the toy company, but thankfully it doesn't detract that much from lei lei, since her arms are the most obviously flawed and they're covered by large sleeves.

Lei Lei is, without a doubt, the BEST OF ALL 4 Queens. This is the figure that you have to choose if you're only planning on getting one. She just makes the rest look disgraceful (well...OK, Cammy's alright too). It's not an A* WOW kinda figure, but it definately gets a recommendation from me for any Darkstalkers or Capcom fans.

Click on any of the characters for a review.

Chun Li gets an Immediate Failure for being so ugly. I almost bought one to show how bad it is but I didn't. Ranks as 2nd worst Chun Li figure ever.