Zero to Kig in under a week

      Zero to Kig in under a week

      (Or "a review of the Muni Muni masks")


      There are not many kigs in Scotland, and since getting my mask from Charming Kitsune last year I've had many friends shown interest, including one who wanted to kig with me occasionally. Her requirements were:
      • smaller and easier to travel with. Yui's minimum dimension is 25cm which makes her just on the edge of being able to be stuffed into carry-on
      • allows her to experiment with changing eyes, hair, makeup. As a cosplayer she's used to making her own outfits and costumes, so to be able to make modifications herself.
      • less expensive; so no worries if it gets dropped or mishandled, or messed up, and to see if Kig is her thing.
      • available quickly
      That last requirement is really hard. Unless you happen to find someone selling a second-hand mask, it's going to take some time to get one commissioned from a maker. Even generic masks take time.

      Recently we'd seen "Muni Muni" appear on facebook and twitter a lot, and figured we'd give one of their masks a go as it seemed to meet many of the requirements above. So here's a review.

      Delivery

      We placed the order on the Muni Muni website on Sunday night. It took a bit longer than expected to order as we had to make sure we were going through all the options correctly: you choose all the parts separately and we didn't want to miss something important. We made use of their English ordering help page, and the Chrome "translation" option.

      She ordered:
      • Mask MA02-01
      • Two sets of eyes EY01-D01 and EY01-D02
      • Stickers for around the eyes ST04
      • Wig WI02-01
      • Plastic moulded Cat Ears EA02-02
      This came to a total of 22,636 Yen, about £157.

      Muni Muni say they will add on the actual postage costs once they send it, so it was a bit of a gamble to guess what that would end up as. The shipping fee came to a reasonable 4100 Yen, making the total, including postage (and card currency conversion charges) of £177. My credit card company flagged up the transaction as it was more than they had originally authorised online, but a call to the bank and it was all set.

      The items were shipped on the Tuesday from Tokyo, and Muni Muni gave us an EMS tracking number. The parcel entered customs in the UK on Thursday and was flagged for import VAT. Rather than wait for the letter (which would have added a few days delay), we called Parcelforce on Friday and was told a charge of £49.10 (thats £35.60 for the 20% VAT and the Parceforce fee). We paid it over the phone by credit card and was told it would be delivered on Monday, or we could pick it up. So a 10 minute drive to the Depot on Saturday and we had the parcel in our hands.

      From ordering the mask on Sunday night we had it in our hands in less than a week, for a total cost on the credit card of £226. Speedy!

      Skinsuit

      The mask is one part of being a Kigurumi that takes time, but the other is getting a skinsuit (hadatai). She'd picked up one from Amazon which she thought might be a temporary suit, but the "Flesh" colour was not even close (fortunately with a free return).

      I've ordered custom skinsuits before and they've taken many many months. So, for speed, she went with an in-stock, standard size, GPZ-01 from GKO. They also shipped by EMS, from Taiwan, and from ordering to delivery was also under a week, coming to £77 including delivery and currency exchange.

      Unboxing and Assembly



      Everything was packaged really nice, in retail boxes and bags.



      You need to do a few steps, they're outlined on the site (in Japanese) and in a tutorial video. Heat up the eye sockets, add the eyes, apply the stickers, connect the mask, add some velcro for the wig. Took an hour or two to get this right.

      In order to connect the back plastic to the front mask they suggest you use their wide high adhesive foam tape. But we just didn't see it on the site when ordering, it wasn't obvious it was a separate purchase, it was on the second page of the masks section. Not sure why they don't include it in the mask price, it's only a few hundred Yen. Not a big deal, but you do need something really sticky -- she went with some extra strength white velcro we already had, which would also come in handy for attaching the wig to later.



      Impressions

      Our thoughts so far:
      • The mask is small for European sizes. It doesn't look great on someone of my size (over 6 foot, 13 stone) for example. We bought the largest of their masks at time of ordering, check their site for full measurements. We wondered if it would be flexible, but it's a pretty solid plastic, the colour goes right through.
      • The mask colour is very very pale, far too pale for the usual pink skinsuits. The site states that you can apply make-up and use alcohol to remove it, and that worked really well. She ended up just applying a foundation with a more pinky tone as seen in the final pics. She'll probably airbrush the mask in the future
      • The eye stickers are fine for something temporary, but she'll replace them with a slightly thicker crafting foam.
      • The eyes are solid, made by a sticker stuck to what is like a sunglasses lens. This, and the positioning of the view ports gives really quite excellent vision. You don't get ventilation this way, and you need to be even more careful in photographs as the view port reflects light. She'll probably work more on the eyes in the future.
      • The off-the-shelf GPZ-01 skinsuit is okay for a start suit, but doesn't compare to the custom suits I own. Apart from the custom sizing and cleavage options, the custom suits have better tailored fingers, a zip with pull rings and a better zip colour, and individual toes.
      However if the mask size and styles suit you and you want a quick and inexpensive entry into the hobby, or don't think it's something you'll do often, we'd certainly recommend giving them a try.


      Post was edited 1 time, last by “yuiizmori” ().