Can Amazon’s lowest rated posable mannequin turn our reporter into a skilled artist?

Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was browsing Amazon Japan one day when he came across a posing mannequin, used to capture the human form by artists and illustrators. These adjustable figurines can be used to draw unique poses and angles that might be difficult for a real, human model to reproduce.

Masanuki is not an artist by any means, but he is something of an expert in Amazon products with worryingly low ratings, and when he saw that this posing mannequin had a measly 1.9 star rating, he knew he had to buy it right away. Much like his previous low-rated purchases, the mannequin had a simple, easy to remember title in the item listing — “Drawing Model Drawing Doll Body Manga Male Drawing Mannequin Figure Model Model Drawing Model Doll 1/12 Props with Stand Doll Type for Drawing Supplies Practice (Mens, Gray)”.

Despite the mannequin having only 20 reviews so far, almost half of them were 1 star reviews, with scathing comments like “It’s like a grade schooler made it”, “just a cheap toy”, “poorly made” and “there are unexplained brown stains on it”. Still, it only cost 1,870 yen (US$14.27), and if Masanuki could use this to improve his drawing and observational skills, and in turn become a fully fledged artist, that would be money well spent.

Just a day after Masanuki placed his order, the doll arrived on his doorstep. The doll didn’t come in any kind of outer packaging; just a plastic case surrounded in bubble wrap.

Also included were these assembly instructions, but they weren’t very clearly printed, so they were a little hard to follow.

According to the product’s description, this doll is perfect for anyone who is practicing drawing and illustration, and to study the human form. Masanuki felt like he was going to learn a lot about human physiology thanks to this doll.

The doll really looked like a tiny human body, and all its joints were moveable, allowing Masanuki to make it do a wild variety of poses. The doll also came with some changeable hands, allowing it to do things like a peace sign.

The doll also came with a transparent stand to help keep it still, as well as a number of accessories like guns and cell phones, just in case you ever needed to draw a scene where a character is in the middle of an intense shootout but decides to check Twitter mid-fight.

Unfortunately, the right shoulder joint didn’t move very well, and Masanuki remembered some of the reviews commenting about how certain areas of the figurine were too stiff or too loose to properly hold a pose.

Masanuki had been imagining a gun fight where the main character has to stop in the middle to take a phone call, but instead had to substitute it for this intriguing scene

… where the main character is attempting some sort of extreme yoga pose whilst holding a gun in one hand and a katana with an impaled hand doing a peace sign in the other — you know, the kind of scene you see in manga all the time. This was where the mannequin really came in handy; we have some pretty flexible guys working at SoraNews24, but Masanuki was pretty sure that even our most supple reporter Mr. Sato would balk at the idea of pulling off some of these poses, especially when it came to holding a katana with a human hand impaled on it.

So in that respect, Masanuki felt the doll wasn’t really deserving of its 1.9 star rating. After all, what human could pull off this kind of pose in real life and hold it still enough for someone to draw it?

So, ready to make his stunning debut into the world of art and illustration, Masanuki decided this was the perfect pose to take outside and do some sketching.

▼ Got to make sure you get those angles just right…

▼ What other product with a 1.9 star rating can make someone instantly look like a professional illustrator like this?

It was definitely much easier to draw with the model in front of him like this; rather than imagining the pose in his head, Masanuki could see the pose from all angles, and attempt to faithfully recreate it on his canvas.

Masanuki’s pencil shot across his paper, his eyes taking in every nook and cranny the figurine had on display, and soon he was done. He lowered his pencil to admire his work…

▼ …. uh ….

Well. He certainly wouldn’t be giving up his day job as a SoraNews24 reporter to start working as a full time artist, that’s for sure. But was that really the fault of the mannequin, or was that more a Masanuki issue? Sure, the figure’s shoulder joint was too stiff for it to hold up a phone, but it could brandish a gun and a hand-on-a-katana like no real-life person ever could.

In the end, Masanuki decided that the doll, while certainly not the easiest to use, wasn’t deserving of its low 1.9 star review. His art skills, on the other hand, were a solid one star, and no amount of impulsive Amazon purchases would be changing that any time soon. Maybe if he’d bought Bandai’s posable mannequins instead, he might have a better shot, but with an average rating of over 4 stars on Amazon USA, there’s no chance our low-rated product purveyor would ever put one of those in his basket.

Related: Amazon Drawing Model Drawing Doll Body Manga Male Drawing Mannequin Figure Model Model Drawing Model Doll 1/12 Props with Stand Doll Type for Drawing Supplies Practice (Mens, Gray)
Photos ©SoraNews24
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