Surge Studio is well-known in the Naruto statue collector’s community for producing some of the highest quality Akatsuki pieces out there. Their first piece in the line was Pain’s Planetary Devastation, which is an incredible piece that unfortunately came out just before I started collecting resin statues. Since then, Surge has released statues of Konan, Hidan, Kisame, Itachi, Sasori, and Deidara.
Fortunately, I started collecting statues right around the time Surge announced Kisame, and it was one I couldn’t pass up. This statue is a real statement piece that stands out in a collection, and while this statue is not flawless as I’ll get into below, it is pretty close.
Before I get into this post, however, I do want to say that if you aren’t already aware, this is an unlicensed statue. I don’t want to get into the ethics that surround this, but it goes without saying that when at all possible I’ll always support a licensed studio first. And while I don’t condone what unlicensed studios are doing, every once in a while a completely original statue like the Surge Studio Kisame comes along, and I have to pick it up.
I’ll be reviewing this statue in the following areas: packaging and shipping, design and concept, and paint and sculpt. I’ve also taken some photos of my Kisame statue, so you can get a better look at the details I mention in this post. With that said, let’s get into the review!
Packaging & Shipping
Let me start off by saying that I don’t hold Surge responsible for the mangled mess of a shipping box I received. That blame falls solely on U.S. Customs for opening the shipping box, disposing of the art box, and tossing everything back in the styrofoam without a care in the world. But, while they couldn’t control what Customs did, Surge did have control of how they shipped the statue and what they shipped it with.
There are things Surge could have done better, and after receiving their Itachi statue months later, it’s clear they’ve learned from their mistakes. For a statue of Kisame’s size, this should have been shipped in two boxes. On top of that, it was shipped with batteries and the battery pack included, which prompted U.S. Customs to open and inspect the items in the box.
When Kisame finally reached me, he was quite “battle damaged” due to these chain of events. The base of the statue really took the brunt of the damage. It came really scuffed and with the LED unit completely smashed into two pieces. There were also a few other scuff and snapped pieces, most of which I was able to fix with a bit of Loctite Super Glue. Samehada’s tongue also has some scuff marks on it that are very visible. I’m only mentioning these issues, because you may notice some of these damages in the photos.
For a piece that I paid over $400 just to ship, it definitely was a little disappointing to receive it in the condition that I did. Like I said before though, what customs did with the package is really out of Surge Studio’s control, but I’m glad they took more precautions and have improved their shipping on the statues I’ve ordered from them since.
Design & Concept
The design and concept of the Surge Studio Kisame is what initially hooked me with this piece. The first images I saw were the unpainted renders and I was already sold on it. Usually I need at least a painted prototype before I can decide, but not with this one.
To explain what’s going on in the statue a little bit, this statue is depicting Kisame’s Super Shark Bomb Jutsu where he summons a giant shark to attack his opponent. The shark is honestly one of my favorite aspects of this statue. It is beautifully cast in a clear resin and is one hulking ~40lb piece.
The other part of the design that really stands out to me is the illusion that Kisame is suspended mid-air. I was a little worried when I placed the order that the floating gimmick would sag over time or become loose, but I’m happy to report after a year on display, it is just as solid as the first day I got it. The entire statue is extremely well-engineered and the overall concept of Surge Studio’s Kisame is far beyond anything I’ve seen from other studios so far, especially those that are unlicensed.
I am also really impressed with just how dynamic this statue is. The water flowing around him gives the allusion that this piece has movement. And Kisame himself is dynamic as well, floating up above the shark with his clothes flying through the air. Dynamically, this piece really shines and it is one of the main reasons this is one of my favorite Naruto Shippuden statues.
The one part of this statue I’m not a big fan of is the fact that you can only turn on the LEDs with the included Pikachu Konan that ships with the statue. It actually acts as a remote when you press the front button on the Pikachu statue. Considering my LED board came broken, I’m planning to replace the LEDs with a custom solution (I’ll write this about at a later date). I just don’t understand the line of cosplaying Pikachus being included with this line, and this is one of my only issues with this statue.
Guide to Buying Unlicensed Anime Statues
Paint & Sculpt
When I am contemplating adding a statue to my collection, the one thing that can kill any chance of me buying it is if it doesn’t capture the likeness of the character well. So, needless to say, I’m pretty critical on the sculpt quality. Surge Studio’s Kisame flawlessly captures his likeness as well as his personality.
The paint on this statue is also great. The way the water is painted coming up around the base of the shark really catches your eye. Unlike some studios, Surge paints their pieces to be anime accurate, which I appreciate. I’ve seen others that take a little too much creative liberty with the source material, but Surge Studio always stays true to the look and feel I expect from higher-end collectibles.
As far as Samehada goes, the bandages are shadowed to give them depth and the slight look of wear. I appreciate the fact that they added a glistening look to the teeth and tongue. These small, but needed details, just really go the extra mile and make this statue even more marvelous to look at.
In the waves themselves, they really do hit the mark here with the clear blue color that transforms into a foaming white at the top, which you can see in the gallery below. It really helps break up the waves and prevents them from looking one-note. More so, it showcases the grandness of the waves as if they are rising around Kisame and just about to crash down on his enemies.
Both the paint and sculpt of the Surge Studio Kisame are top-notch and are actually some of the best I’ve seen to date. They really did an amazing job all-around from capturing the look and personality of Kisame as well as Samehada; In addition to the water elements that surround them.
When all is said and done this statue was about $1000 after shipping. Is it worth that price? That’s for you to decide. What I will say is I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it if I had to do it all over again. As the first statue in my Akatsuki collection, it really sets the bar high for what’s to come.
As far as what’s coming next in my Akatsuki collection, keep an eye out for a review of Surge Studio’s Itachi. I also have a few other ⅛ scale Akatsuki pieces in transit from Clouds Studio, including their Hidan, Kakuzu, and Sasori statues. In those reviews, I’ll explain why I chose to go with Clouds Studio over Surge Studio for certain characters.
I hope this gives you an idea as to just how amazing this statue is. For a full look at the statue, you can check out the gallery below! I hope the pictures do this statue justice.
Surge Studio Kisame ⅛ Scale Statue Gallery
For statues like these, I normally like to recommend Favor GK or Figure Ace since I’ve had better customer service and experiences with them, but as of now, this statue is unfortunately sold out currently on their as well as many other sites.
If you are interested in checking out more of Surge Studio’s statues, here are more that are currently up for preorder!