I agree, the headsculpt is too cartoony for my taste as well. But everything else is exactly what I've been looking for.
I was originally going to get the deluxe version for the horse, but may consider the Mr. Z horse models now that you mentioned it. My concern is that if I went with a different company's horse, the accessories that come with it would not work with this figure. I also see that this horse does not have as much detail and the life-like hair that that Z models have. But aside from that, do you have any recommendations on a realistic horse with more bags/gear on the saddle? I am looking for more of an Asian aesthetic fyi. If you know of any recommendations, please do share. Thank you!
Edit: Still not able to locate any U.S. vendors that has it for pre-order. I may order direct from China/HK if that is the case, I suspect it may also be quicker and safer since the package does not need to travel to the U.S. distributor - > vendor - then to me. Does anyone have experience buying direct from China/HK? Any custom confiscating issues? I heard sometimes they confiscate the swords/weapons? Any issues with damaged products? Please share your experience from buying overseas to the U.S.
Also open to knowing what are everyone's top choices for ordering from the U.S. as well! Thanks!
Since I'm located in the UK I cannot advise you about US sellers or about importing figures there, but I second GF's recommendations of OneSixthKit and GianToy. If you have concerns about items being confiscated, you could even send them an email and ask them what their policies are on that, if it would help to ease your mind. Both stores have pretty good communication, in my experience.
Regarding a different horse with more Asian aesthetic gear, there is a Mr.Z 'Mongol horse', which is unfortunately now only available in the action pose, and there *was* also a horse offered by Mr.Z a while ago called the 'Ili horse' or 'Yili horse' depending on how it was spelled, but unfortunately it sold out earlier this year. I have occasionally seen people offering the saddle and bridle from that horse separately on ebay, but I just checked and don't see any at present. I'm actually still searching for this horse as I was gutted to have missed out on it myself, and if I find any leads on it, I'll let you know. : )
That being said, the Mr.Z Yili was a probably a little bit too tall for the actual horse breed and did not come in a pure black colour, so I think the black Hanoverian is still probably your best option as a more realistic-looking alternative to this one.
If I were going about this, I would probably try to create or kitbash my own tack -- this is what I'm currently doing for the Mr.Z Shire horse, as the tack it came with is not suitable for what I wanted to use it with, either.
Of course, creating custom gear and accessories is not for everyone, but just mentioning that it is 'doable'.