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King of Fighters:
Mai Shiranui

Mai Shiranui action figure

King of Fighters (KOF) is a popular video game "franchise," spawning several games over the past several years. KOF is a 2-D fighting game with a twist: rather than play just one character, you play a team of characters. Although the company producing KOF (SNK Corporation) has gone out of business, another company has secured to rights to produce future King of Fighters games, including a version for the GameBoy Advance.

One of the most popular King of Fighters characters is Mai Shiranui, a female ninja who combines dance elements with her fighting moves. Mai's "weapon of choice" is the fan, although male players might note a different weapon, one which is more distracting. (For a more "graphic" explanation, please see the animated graphic at the top of the Mai Shrine.)

bbi logoToymaker bbi has created two sizes of King of Fighters 2000 action figures: 7-inch figures (Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, K', and Mai Shiranui) and 12-inch figures (Kyo Kusanagi and Mai Shiranui).

The 12-inch King of Fighters figures vary at retail, ranging from $22 to $35 USD and can be found in stores which carry bbi products and other video game action figures. They come in rounded window box packaging which shows off the entire figure. Mai's box states that she is "for ages years 14 and up."

Mai ShiranuiThe Mai action figure comes with a fan as an accessory, although the fan does not fold out. She has more articulation than it would seem at first glance: twists on her neck, hair, waist, wrists, and ankles, as well as simple cut joints for shoulders. Although Mai has very long hair, it is sculpted rather than rooted: rooted hair would be difficult to "pose" as her hair is without lots of glue or other stiffening product, so sculpted was the best choice for her hair.

Mai is posed as if readying for battle, leaning slightly forward with a subtle grin on her face. She is barely shorter than a Cy Girl, which is another of bbi's 12-inch action figures: if she could stand up straight (rather than posed leaning forward) she would likely be the same height.

Mai's outfit is cloth and is removable: the white tail portion ties around her waist, the red panties are also tied on, but the red portion of the outfit requires careful maneuvering to remove. To answer the obvious question, Mai is detailed (sculpted and painted) upstairs and very slightly (sculpted) downstairs. The tassles on the tails of Mai's outfit are long enough to give one flashbacks to high school and college graduations. (At least one RTM staffer went to a high school with red and white as the school colors.)

Click to see more pictures of the Mai action figure

Kenneth De Lucia contributed to this article.

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