Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review

Welcome back Yu-Gi-Oh! fans! In my last figure review we took a look at Kotobukiya’s Yami Marik, a notorious Yu-Gi-Oh! villain and the ‘darker’ half of Marik Ishtar. In this review we will check out the real McCoy, Marik Ishtar himself!




Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review


Marik Ishtar, also known as Malik Ishtar in certain fanfiction circles, is an antagonist in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. Leader of the Rare Hunters and wielder of the Millennium Rod, he was a dangerous foe during the Battle City arc. Born into a family of Tomb Keepers, Marik was forced, by his own father, to have the secrets of the Pharaoh carved into his back as a child. This intense pain and the robbery of his freedom caused Marik to form a deep hatred towards the Pharaoh. This hatred later spawned, with the help of the Millennium Rod, another ‘self’ called Yami Marik.


Sculpt and Colour


Marik Ishtar is another Yu-Gi-Oh! figure from Kotobukiya. He was released late March 2014, following soon after the initial release of Yami Marik. The Egyptian was sculpted by Tsukuru Shirahige, the same talented sculptor who created other Yu-Gi-Oh! characters such as the Dark Magician Girl, Seto Kaiba, Yami Marik, Yami Yugi and the upcoming Yami Bakura!


Let’s start from the top and take a closer look at Marik’s ever stylish hairdo. This yellow-hued hair connotes a stereotypical reading of Marik’s heritage, of sun, sand and the rays of Egypt. Its shape is shoulder length and layered, again signalling a style best suited towards fighting off heat. What stands out most is the character’s fringe, again layered but shaped into two sharp points. Rather than sloppily write-off the design as some sort of anime quirk, I would instead argue that the hairstyle makes note of Marik’s royal qualities. Not quite a crown in the sense of Yami Marik’s gravity defying, King of the Jungle mane, this headpiece is slightly more subdued, much more like a crowned prince than a crowned king. Indeed Marik’s very name, closely linked to the Arabic name Malik, which means ‘one who rules’, suggests a link to a royal theme. His full lineage doesn’t come out until Yami Marik takes over however, and then this prince becomes a king not to be reckoned with.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review



Marik’s expression is set into an intense stare. His head slightly lowered, the slight coverage of his fringe creates a menacing shadow to cast over his eyes. He stares you down through strands of sandy hair, his plots of mind control and escapades of the Rare Hunters mulling in his mind. Just like his crazed other, Marik’s eyes are highlighted with black kohl, a call back to his ties with ancient Egypt with connotations of Cleopatra. The design is again much sharper than the traditional Eye of Horus, mocking its gentler symbolism. The Tomb Keeper’s lips are moulded into an even line. There is no humour in his expression, no hint of a smile, only serious contemplation.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review


Further down Marik wears a lilac hooded tank top. The hood is left down, and even in the anime we never see Marik with this lilac hood up. The fact that this feature is never made use of is symbolic of Marik’s Rare Hunter days. When he was the leader of this devious group, Marik often wore a long dark cloak with a hood to mask his identity. This much lighter, much more revealing material, is used to separate him from his identity as leader of the Rare Hunters. The hood is always down as there is no longer a need to hide his identity. The colour is much gentler to suggest a change in direction, and indeed Marik Ishtar becomes an ally to Yami Yugi in the end. The length of how revealing the top is is because Marik no longer has to hide. This clothing also goes back to commenting on the sands of Arabia and sunny weather. Although I would argue that the midriff is largely there for a nice bit of fan service!


Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review



Adored across Marik’s top, arms, neck, ears and belt are gold jewellery and accessories. This once more inspires thoughts of Egypt and wealth, with chunky bracelets, bands, necklaces and earrings being a typical design trait in ancient Egyptian jewellery. They connote the exotic riches of Aladdin’s cave, of adventure and reward. Indeed Marik stands just as much the genie wielding ‘street rat’ as he does the commanding Pharaoh, perfectly pulling off an outfit that has a mixture of casual clothing and eye-catching gold.



Marik’s long legs are covered with a dark pair of canvas trousers, perfect for those harsher climates. All folds have been perfectly placed and accurately detailed, just like with the Yami Marik figure… Uh, exactly like the Yami Marik figure in fact. My only disappointment is that Tsukuru Shirahige used the exact same legs sculpt with both figures, rather than give Marik a slightly more original stance. This decision means that the pose Marik is set in overall is very similar to Yami Marik’s, with the only real difference being the positioning of the arms. The figure also finishes with the same pair of plain black shoes.



The bronze skin tone is accurate to the anime, and no blemishes on the skin could be seen. Shading and clever indentations in the moulding means toned muscles, and an impressive abdomen, have been successfully portrayed to give Marik that lively feeling. This is even more so important when the figure has been sculpted in a way to suggest that the muscles are being used. Indeed, this Yu-Gi-Oh! antagonist has been moulded with clenched fists that highlight those arm muscles. Likewise there are no stubby fingers with this figure, the sculptor going into such detail that even the tiny fingernails have a shiny sheen to them.


The overall paint work on this figure has been done to a very high standard. The only fault I could find was a minor blemish to one of the gold bracelets on his arms, the blemish so tiny that it is barely noticeable. The figure finishes with a carbon copy of the base Yami Marik used, again impersonating the remains of Battle City.


Alternative Parts and Bonus Items


Unlike the Yami Marik figure, the Marik Ishtar figure doesn’t come as a limited edition, meaning bonus items like keychains and artwork are not applicable to the figure. There are however a few different parts you can alternate between.


Millennium Rod – A Millennium Rod is available for your Marik figure to hold in his right hand. A gap has been created inside the fist for you to push the Rod through, so there is no need to change arm parts. It is a perfect replica of the item seen in the anime, complete with the Eye of Anubis and shiny gold paint.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review


Duel Disk – Marik couldn’t be a true Yu-Gi-Oh! character without a duel disk. Displaying 400LP and a full deck of cards, this duel disk certainly contains enough detail to look the part. If however you don’t want to display the duel disk, you can also swap to a plain arm instead.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review


Card – Rather have Marik holding a duel monsters card than a Millennium Rod? No problem! The right fist can be removed and swapped with a more open hand capable of holding a card. The card has no specific monster however, meaning the back of it is left with a blank design. The front also lacks the traditional Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters design.


Upper body – Possibly one of the most exciting features of this figure is the interchangeable torso. This torso is completely naked, showing off Marik’s impressive six-pack and even a pair of protruding nipples! Prepare yourselves fangirls! If you’re not impressed with sexy muscles, then you should at least be able to appreciate the markings of the Pharaoh’s secrets on his back. This is certainly an exceptional feature, almost a bonus item in and of itself. I do wish the markings could have been a bit more defined however. This is less a carving into the skin and more a print or tattoo, with certain parts of the ink appearing faded. In order for this torso to fit correctly, you are also provided with an interchangeable hairpiece that has hair strands fit correctly over the shoulders without the tank top.



Packaging and Box Art


The front of the box has a clear plastic screen for you to ogle the figure inside. It also displays a nice shot of Marik from the anime proudly holding up a duel monsters card. On the right side of the box is another clear opening shaped like the top of the Millennium Rod, along with the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand mark and Marik’s name spelled out in Japanese. The back displays the same text but with one final clear opening shaped like the Millennium Rod. There’re certainly plenty of angles available for you to admire your figure if you don’t want to remove it from the box. The colouring consists of red, yellow and orange, again connoting Marik’s birthplace and the setting for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters final.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik Ishtar Figure Review



‘Come Bakura, let us attain his leather pants!’


Though there are some small disappointments in respects to the repeated leg sculpt and faded markings on the figure’s back, overall I would say this figure is an impressive and accurate representation of Marik Ishtar. Any bronzeshipping Yu-Gi-Oh! fan would be happy to have this figure in their collection. I know I am! There have been a lot of re-releases of Yu-Gi-Oh! figures lately, but as Marik Ishtar is not a limited edition like the other Kotobukiya characters, I am unsure if it will receive the same treatment. Keep a look out for my next Yu-Gi-Oh! figure review featuring Yami Bakura! A must read for any thiefshipping Bakura fans!

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