Look what they did to fans’ best boy.

It’s becoming an increasingly true fact of otaku life that when you buy fan-oriented goods, you’re rolling the dice. Video games ship with unresolved performance issues that patches may or may not eventually address. Anime Blu-ray releases might take the time to improve on sub-par sequences from the TV broadcast version, or they might leave the scenes in their as-seen-on-TV rough-draft state.

But perhaps there’s no bigger gamble than limited-edition anime figures, which often require a pre-order based on a prototype, followed by months of waiting with your fingers crossed that the final product matches the quality of the promotional images. So when buyers put in their orders for a new figure of Attack on Titan fan-favorite character Levi, it was a crapshoot, and now many of them feel they ended up getting crap.

The figure was part of a joint campaign between Attack on Titan and mobile phone provider Docomo, and prototype pics from back in February showed the effortlessly cool Levi in the center of a whirlwind of blade slashes. When buyers started getting their figures in the mail this week, though, many were stained, scratched or otherwise damaged, some (like the one pictured above) with snapped effect pieces.

The biggest problem, though, is Levi’s face.

Levi’s fanbase is generally split into three groups: those who think he’s a badass, those that think he’s a heartthrob, and those that think he’s both. The amateurish, dopey-looking face on the figure, though, checks none of those boxes.

It’s not like the figure is some budget-priced, mass-produced knickknack, either. Not only did it cost 13,000 yen (US$119), it was only available to purchase for winners of a lottery.

▼ The prototype photos (top) and the actual figure buyers got (bottom)

In many fans’ opinion, the final product doesn’t even look like a character from Attack on Titan, but the much goofier series Gag Manga Biyori.

Hearing the collective wails of disappointment, Docomo has issued an apology through the campaign’s website and Twitter account, which includes the statement:

“We have received your concerned comments about the quality of the figures that were shipped. To those of you who were looking forward to receiving yours and waited so patiently, we deeply apologize.”

Docomo is now offering not only to replace figures that arrived in damaged condition, but also the option for buyers dissatisfied with the final design to return their figures for a full refund. However, what those fans really wanted wasn’t money in their pockets, but a cool-looking Levi figure on their shelves, and so a Change.org petition has been launched here asking Docomo to fully remake the figures and deliver on their original promise.

Source: Change.org via IT Media, Twitter/@docomo_shingeki, Docomo
Top image ©SoraNews24
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