Three days after unveiling a sizable new figurine based on the popular League of Legends character, Riot Games decided to cancel the statue’s release in the face of strong criticism from fans. The problem? People were upset by the statue’s face, which barely resembles the character it’s meant to portray.
Ahri is one of the foremost “sexy MOBA ladies” in League of Legends, her conceit being that she’s a nine-tail fox who partially transformed into a human at some point in her backstory. She’s meant to look seductive, wearing lots of makeup and revealing outfits in her splash art and other promotional League materials:
The Ahri statue, which Riot had named “Lethal Charm”, was supposed to go on sale yesterday on the League of Legends merchandise store. But shortly after it went on sale, Riot pulled Lethal Charm from the store, saying in a statement that they’re not releasing the Ahri statue, and are going to rethink “the design and construction of her face”.
There aren’t any images of the Lethal Charm statue available on Riot’s website anymore, but here are a few photos of it that were posted on the company’s merchandising Facebook page yesterday:
There’s also a short “making of” video on the Riot Games Merch YouTube channel:
…which shows the least flattering angle for the statue, demonstrating how its neck looks sort of…oblong:
While some fans poked fun at the Ahri statue’s oddly elongated neck with memed-up images like the one seen below, the biggest issue people had with the figurine was its facial features. Her eye makeup was so heavy that one fan writing on Twitter joked that she looked like “an insomniac” with huge bags under her eyes. Others simply observed that it doesn’t really look like Ahri’s face. They have a point; her cheeks are far too round and her chin isn’t pointy enough to stand up to close scrutiny.
In its statement on not releasing the Ahri statue, Riot said that the face’s lacklustre quality was an unfortunate result of cost-cutting measures they’d made to try to make the figure cheaper than a high-end $US250 ($344) one they’d previously released for another League champion:
We want our statues to be accessible to as many players as possible and are constantly evaluating techniques that will allow us to deliver awesome art at lower price points. For Ahri, the goal was to deliver an epic statue at a retail price significantly below our polyresin Twisted Fate piece — despite Ahri being similar in size and featuring greater sculpt complexity. To do this, we elected to make her body and face out of another material called PVC, which we used for the Thresh statue.
This decision and its associated production processes yielded a loss of resolution in the finer details and structure of Ahri’s face. We also applied Ahri’s eye makeup too heavily in production. All of this resulted in a final product that failed to fully capture Ahri’s unique look.
Riot’s statement ended by saying that they hope to re-release the Ahri statue at some point in the future, but they have to figure out how to make it look better without significantly increasing its cost first.
“We’re going to work with our manufacturing partners to find a solution that will delight Ahri fans while simultaneously meeting our goal of keeping statue prices contained,” Riot’s statement said. “This will involve sending Ahri back to the factory and rethinking the design and construction of her face.”