Elhayym “Elly” Van Houten Bring Arts Figurine Review

Square-Enix has a long and varied roster of IPs under their belt. Some of which were lost to the annuls of time, and have since changed hands and are very unlike their originals. One of these IPs is the Xenogears franchise. Fans had always hoped for a sequel or a remaster of this beloved RPG, but there have been many issues with this idea; instead, we have the new Xenoblade series. However, the Xenogears series has not been completely forgotten and on the 20th anniversary of the series, Bring Arts has brought about 3 figurines celebrating this franchise. The first was the main character, Fei Fong Wong. The second is the deuteragonist for the game, Elehayym Van Houten, with Weltall rounding out the roster as the third figurine yet to be released.

Bring Arts: Elhaym Van Houten
Company: Bring Arts
Release Date: January 21
Price: $69.99

Shortly after Roll Caskett arrived for my first toy/figurine review arrived, my second figurine, Elehayym “Elly” Van Houten also arrived. So we are quickly going to jump in to our second review for figurines.

I have already picked up the Fei Fong Wong Bring Arts figurine, being lucky enough to snag the last of them available, so I was extremely happy to learn that Elly and Weltall would be rounding out the series and quickly asked for both of them to be sent out.

I’m still excited that Elly has arrived and will be added to my ever growing collection, but I have some severe reservations regarding her build and durability.

Once again, I must make the following very clear for our readers:

First and foremost, this figurine was ordered through Playasia and Niche Gamer does have a partnership with them. This, and other figurines, were not paid for by Playasia, but through our partnership. Now that that is all out of the way, let us get to why you are (hopefully) here: to read about interesting collectibles!

Elly has always been one of my favorite RPG characters, to the point that years ago, I actually used a version of her name on several different forums, and as a screen name for some time. So as mentioned earlier, I was extremely excited to get her on preorder as a figurine, and even more excited once she actually came in. However, while the overall build of the figurine, as well as the coloring are extremely good, this figurine has some severe issues that are hard to overlook.

Elly herself has about 14 points of articulation; 16 if you count her hair extensions. The problem lies with the tightness of some of the joints. While I was trying to set her up to show off various poses that you can do with this figurine, her head (which is just a simple peg joint), her left arm (also a peg joint) and her right leg fell off no fewer than about 2 dozen times.

This is by no means the expectations I have of Bring Arts and their builds for different figurines. I have never had this issue with other figurine builds and is extremely troubling. Not only that, but her different heads sit loosely on their pegs and come off with almost no effort what-so-ever.

As mentioned, her right leg also came off several times during the posing, but before that even happened, I noticed a gap at that segment. Even in a neutral standing position, the gap is still really noticeable.

Other than that, as with other Bring Arts figurines, Elly comes with several different hand options (5 in total), 2 head options, a hand gun and a baton weapon to round out the accessories available.

While very nice for different action poses, I would have really liked a few more action accessories, namely something to do with her different Ether attacks from the game.

Her coloration and details, in contrast to her joint builds, are top notch. Like I said, Xenogears has always been one of my favorite games, with Elly being one of my top 3 characters from that title.

Her coloration is exactly as I remember from the original game. Right down to the emerald brooch in the center of her chest and the length of the belt/sashes that are part of her top.

While I was disappointed with the joints and build, her design is top notch and brings back a ton of nostalgia from my childhood.

As with Fei Fong Wong, Elly came with a standard stand with several different points where you can attach the arm hook, as well as 2 different hooks on which to stand her.

For most poses however, you probably won’t be placing her directly on the stand, which causes the overall figurine to take up more space than her actual dimensions would lead you to believe.

Personally, I have the stand for both her and Fei sitting a few inches back, which increases their stability while allowing for several different poses, but like I said, causes both figures to take up more space than would otherwise be needed.

I will say, I have been pleasantly surprised with the packaging for this line of figurines. One of the nicest things is that on the packaging, there is a small blurb describing the character that you have purchased.

As with most packaging, it is easy to store and the spaces for the different accessories and body parts are tight enough that there should be little fear of losing pieces if you store them correctly.

While her build has several different issues, the figurine itself is pretty much a must have for any fan of Xenogears, and I’m very glad to have added her to my collection.

However, out of all the figurines I do own, her build is by far the weakest. While her design itself doesn’t hinder nor help her poses and her design/coloration is extremely well done, the flaws in her joints and the issues with tightness on certain limbs are far too much for me to ignore.

I don’t believe the build problems come from any packaging or shipping issues, as the packaging came in with no damage and everything was where it was supposed to be.

I would still recommend this figurine to anyone who is a fan of Xenogears or to anyone who is avid figurine collector (mostly because I believe her, Fei and Weltall will be harder to find in the future), but for people just starting out with a collection or just looking for interesting figurines, this figure is probably a hard pass.

Bring Arts Xenogears Elehayym Van Houten figurine was reviewed with funds provided by Playasia and was for review purposes. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict: 6

The Good

  • Standard pricing for a figurine of this size and build
  • Great attention to detail, retaining the look and feel of the character from the game and fits in with the other figurine released from this limited set

The Bad

  • Very poor in terms of build with several loose parts and joints not meeting together correctly
  • Her loose joints and the joints for her hair severely limit the range of poses you can place her in with any certainty that the pose will stay and parts won’t be lost
Caitlin Harper

About

Born in the south but raised in military bases around the world, Caitlin has been gaming since her father first brought home an NES with Super Mario Bros. and Zelda 2. She's also a lover of all things anime, oppai and adventure.