I know what you want to know. Yes, her underwear’s red. You sicko.
As per usual, I’ll tell you what you want to know straight off the bat. Is Sakura good? Yes, she is. Is she worth whatever her retail was? Probably not. Unless you really need a Sakura in your collection, or you have the disposable income, you may choose to skip her.
But to be fair, pricing for toys have inevitably gone up. I’m probably too used to the old bang for buck ratio. And let’s face it, chances are, you don’t have a really great Sakura figure. At best you’d have the SOTA version, which by now, should have yellowed. So yeah, if you can find her for a price you find acceptable, she’s a good toy and your best bet for a 1/12 representation of the character as of this writing.
Funny thing about her is that like her wave mate Ken, she’s obviously not the SFV version of the character. Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts and Storm Collectibles both came out with Chun Li and Ryu at about the same time. Which inevitably drew comparisons between the two. Especially since people wanted to know which version they should spend their cash on. Of particular contention was the Chun Li, which sparked a “console war” type of situation. Basically, the Storm Collectibles Chun Li had a bit of a “haggard whore” look on her face in the promo pics. I heard it’s much better in person but it got the SC collectors quite defensive, which resulted in them “retaliating” by speaking ill of the Figuarts version. Including that the Figuarts version didn’t look like the SFV design. Which was true; as SFV’s proportions are more exaggerated, so SC’s Chun Li has man-hands and meme-sized thunder thighs, whereas Figuarts Chun Li is closer to the original SFII proportions.
This is relevant to this Sakura review because I’m pretty sure Bandai is just using the SFV license to make “definitively” Street Fighters. Not Street Fighter 5 figures. This is further enforced, in my mind at least, by Sakura’s costume not being her “minimum wage slave” costume from SFV. I’m not sure if she’s any particular version of Sakura, but she is definitively Sakura. Just as Figuarts Chun Li is definitively a Chun Li, who’ll fit in just about any collection. So yeah, in my mind, this is Rival Schools Sakura.
Bringing things back to Sakura, there’s not too much to say. Sculpt is sort of talked about above, basically, she looks like Sakura. At 5.5 inches, she’ll be in-scale with your 1/12 figures. Articulation is okay but not great. The range of motion could be better. She does have the same type of hips as Chun Li though, so that’s good. And it gives her that hint of a nice ass.
Accessories-wise, she only comes with a pair of opened hands, a grinning face, a yelling face and a Hadouken with its own stand. There’s also a cardboard background. And that’s pretty much it. Pretty slim pickings for her price point, which was around 5400 yen before shipping, when I pre-ordered her. I believe her actual MSRP is around 7000 yen though.
Overall, she’s good and I would recommend her to Street Fighter buffs who want a Sakura on their 1/12 shelf. Don’t expect a SFV Sakura because she’s not. She simply isn’t and I don’t think Bandai is even doing SFV outside of character selection. If you’re not necessarily a Sakura fan, or you’re all about SFV, and you’re on a budget, you can probably skip her. She’s a good toy, but not great. Get her for the character, not the figure.