All Your Monies: October 8th

Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew will run down the last week’s new preorders, turning a loving or scathing eye over what’s been put out for you to spend your hard earned cash on. This week, it’s a super-ultra giant sized MANLY WEEK FOR MANLY MEN. Also girls. Also SPECIAL BONUS FIGURES.

Super Robot Chogokin Gurren Lagann and Manly Drill Set (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
Bandai, January 2013, 4040JPY (Gurren Lagann) and 1910JPY (Manly Drills)

Dragonzigg: If there’s any robot that deserves the Super Robot Chgokin treatment, it’s this one. It’s an impressive effort too, although there’s something funky going on with those legs.  It’s also sort of bullshit that you need to buy the drills separately, but at least you do get the Gurren Wing included in the package. This would be an instant buy for me if it weren’t for the fact I own more than half a dozen Gurren Lagann’s already.

Jel: I’ve been wanting to get a quality Gurren Lagann and this seems to fit the bill. Not wild about paying extra for the MANLY DRILLS but the total price still seems reasonable. I will definitely be thinking about grabbing this.

Aqua: I’m usually that guy who complains about joints all the time, but of course, as Gurren Lagann is a mech, they look fantastic on him (Yes, Gurren Lagann is a him, not an it, shut up!). A hyper-poseable, detailed version of this awesome robot, with a manly drills upgrade to boot? If you get one mech to add to your collection, go with this one.

Timmy: Not really a mech collector but I must say GL here is looking pretty good. I can’t decide if the drills being separate is a clever marketing ploy or just a dick move. They are bound to sell more GLs with the lower price point sure but the drills themselves seem a tad overpriced.

Super Robot Chogokin Gunbuster (Gunbuster: Aim for the Top!)
Bandai, February 2013, 4260JPY

Dragonzigg:  Gunbuster has been criminally starved of figures for years, with only Bandai’s ridiculously rare and expensive Soul of Chogokin and Kaiyodo’s ridiculously shitty and flimsy Revoltech to choose from. Finally though it looks like we’re getting a great looking, reasonably priced version. Fantastic accessories (those Buster Collider parts!) are combined with a great looking sculpt. Wisely, Bandai have not attempted to make a transformable version – it’s part of the reason the Revoltech versions was so terrible. Despite the fact I own both of the aforementioned iterations I’m still strongly considering this.

Jel: Unlike the Gurren Lagann above, something about the finish on the paint just looks cheap. Like an unpainted model kit or something. A lot of really cool poses and what not possible here though at a reasonable price.

Aqua: The Bustgunner is a relic of an age way past, and it is starting to show a bit. Its bulky design looks obsolete in a genre currently infested by Gurren Laganns and Unit 01s, but that does not take away the fact that the machine itself looks like a boss. The plastic-y look implies that this one is more of a mid-range toy rather than a real figure, but sadly enough, it costs actually more than the Gurren Lagann we just discussed. Also, where is the cape?

Timmy: Pretty sweet as well and its nice to see Gunbuster getting a bit more love lately.

Rider (Fate/Zero)
Megahouse, January 2013, 7860JPY

Dragonzigg: The detail on this thing is absolutely stunning, and it seems Megahouse really raised there game here. I particularly love the great shading on his skin and muscles and the detail in his hair. My major issue is that the pose is kind of boring – it’d be much better to see the King of Conquerors in a pose more befitting of his gung-ho personality.

Jel: Love the amount of detail but something just seems a little bit off about his face. He almost doesn’t look human. I would have preferred to see his expressions closer to his anime design. Gotta agree with Zigg on the pose too, I can’t imagine Rider ever standing still like that for too long.

Aqua: Rider looks incredibly detailed, but his bishonen look is a tad bit over the top. This version of Alexander looks like a yaoi protagonist, rather than the cool old guy we know and love, so I think a more worn-out look would have suited him better. This incarnation looks around 20 years younger than the one from the anime. Nevertheless, it is still a greatly detailed version Rider fans should consider… That is until someone comes up with a version of him raising his sword in his chariot. Hey, a man can dream.

Timmy: Looking pretty good paint wise but as others have said the pose is pretty boring. That alternate face is great though.

Lifesong: Rider is looking pretty derpy here. I would love to see an awesome figure of Rider on his Chariot doing his thing, but this just isn’t it. The alternate face does look a little better, but for a character with so much personality the pose here is really boring. As much as I would like to have a Rider on my shelf; this is not the Rider I want.

Persona 4 Half Age Characters (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4)
Bandai, January 2013, 4110JPY (For a pack of 8 boxes)

Dragonzigg: It’s worth pointing out these are not really ‘half-age’ – it’s just an excuse to make adorably chibified versions of the Persona 4 characters. I like these, particularly my perennial favourite Chie, but they’re pretty basic and it’s a lot of money to pay for a small selection.

Jel: That Nanako with the Junes bag almost makes this set worth it. Almost. Not really impressed too much with the other girls, and with the recent surge of Persona figures there are plenty of better options out there.

Aqua: … D’awww…!

Timmy: Daww, pretty cute. Rise is probably my fave here but I have always loved that hair of hers. It should also be noted that you are getting 8 of these, the set above and a set with different expressions or glasses. Probably something to get and give the half you don’t want to a friend.

Lifesong: That Yukiko kind of creeps me out. They do the whole half age thing and put her in a pose that looks like it belongs in a hentai with purple berry juice on her face? No, just no. The rest of these are moderately cute, but I cannot unsee that Yukiko.

Nadeko Sengoku (Bakemonogatari)
Alter, February 2013, 6200JPY

Dragonzigg: This has shown up at so many trade shows and previews that it sort of feels it’s been out forever, but that doesn’t diminish how lovely it is. I’ve remarked many times on Alter’s uncanny ability to sculpt clothing, and it’s on show again in Nadeko’s lovely coat here. I love her expression as well, it’s cute and adorable without any of the negative creepiness that figures described as that normally have. In fact, that pretty much goes for the entire figure, she’s just lovely.

Jel: I was almost certain this was a re-release but I guess not. It may be a little late in the game, but this is probably THE definitive Nadeko figure. It perfectly captures her look from the anime and even has a little bit of the Ren’ai Circulation charm in there. There might be more detailed or elaborate versions out there that I may like better, but this may be the most accurate depiction of her.

Aqua: Jailbait alert! Okay, seriously, this is an astonishing figurine of one of the most confusing characters in recent anime history. What we get here is the Bakemonogatri incarnation of Nadeko, with head and coat, which I consider to be the superior one. Her hat and coat can be removed, and her altenative face is just as adorable as this one. The only downside? It doesn’t rap.

Timmy: It feels like this should be out already. Hell, I bet GSC is cooking up some Nisemonogatari figures at this point. Alter isn’t known for their speed though I guess. Nadeko looks great and its nice to have her not in a swimsuit. The removable coat, hat, and alternate face are also really nice touches.

Lifesong: This hadn’t come out yet? Step up your game Alter! This character hasn’t been memorable for a long time now.

Kongiku (Muramasa: The Demon Blade)
Alter, February 2013, 7320JPY

Dragonzigg: JESUS CHRIST SHE HAS MONSTER CHEST TUMOURS. Look, the rest of the figure has the lovely detailing you’d expect from Alter, but it’s sort of like trying to appreciate the Mona Lisa when somebody has drawn a swastika on it.

Jel: After that comment can we officially call Zigg the Boob Nazi? Granted her uhhhhh cup overfloweth far more than I prefer, but that is what you are dealing with this particular artist. From that perspective, it’s a fantastic re-creation of the character, with a similar attention to detail as Alter’s incredibly popular Momohime. Still wouldn’t buy it though!

Aqua: Damn you, Vanillaware. Damn you.

Timmy: Yep, totally getting this. I loved Muramasa and Momohime was where this whole figure thing started with me. I can’t fault Alter one bit for making her as busty as they did as that is exactly how she looks in the game. Hopefully Alter keeps churning out figures from the game. Torahime, Kisuke, and Yuzuruha would all be great to see in figure form.

Lifesong: There are a lot of really good things going on here. I love her overall design, and ever her face which quite a few other collectors seem to find issue with looks pretty to me; however, there is an elephant in the room here. I’ve seen the original artwork for this, and yes it’s ridiculous, but it is ridiculous in a way that still looks artistic. Those flotation devices simply do not belong; the slight difference between being pulled up by her dress in the original, and the way she fills out her outfit here just ruins this otherwise beautiful figure.

Sayaka Miki Movie ver. (Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie)
Good Smile Company, February 2013, 5850JPY

Dragonzigg: This thing is only the ‘movie version’ by dint of a slightly different hair acessory. I think Sayaka is one of the more sucessful of the GSC Madoka line – there’s a rather pretty simplicity to her pose – and this should cure the ridiculous aftermarket values, but I still don’t feel incredibly compelled to buy her.

Jel: Never was impressed with GSC’s Madoka line. They’re way too plain to really grab my attention, although Sayaka is one of the better ones. Tacking on a hairpin and calling it the “Movie Version” reeks of a cash grab, and I’m sure we’ll see the rest of the girls soon enough. So unless you’re really desperate to grab all the figures in the line, probably best to pass on this one.

Aqua: Oh great, now Madoka is turning into the new Nanoha. I, for one, do like this figure, though. The pose is nice and floaty, and as always, the detail is amazing. Though, will anyone please make a Madoka figure that is a bit… darker?

Timmy: To me this figure feels a bit unnecessary especially considering everyone who wants a Sayaka already has one. This should have probably been exclusive at least to give people some value. Ah well, Sayaka is one of the better ones in this line even if I have the same pose of her in petit form.

Lifesong: I love Sayaka, but GSC managed to make the girls of Madoka pretty boring; I see nothing here to make me think that has changed.

Jubei Yagyu (Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls)
Q-Six, January 2013, 13920 JPY

Dragonzigg: This is gross to me in every conceivable way, and cold-cast figures are far too expensive. That’s all the words I’ll waste.

Jel: NOPE. She doesn’t even look human at this point.

Aqua: What in the name of all that is holy is going on here?

Timmy: I can’t decide if this pose is magnificent or a magnificent mess. From some angles she looks pretty good but some not so much, although her overblown proportions are REALLY not helping. Cold-cast puts this out of my price range anyways even if I wanted to consider this.

Lifesong: Spines don’t do that, but I am okay with the way this figure looks regardless. There is a line where artistic exaggeration becomes inconsistently gross, but due to her entire body being ridiculous I don’t think this Jubei is over that line. All of that said there is one major reason not to buy this: she cost too much, and this character already has better figures.

Nendoroid Leonmitchelli Galette des Rois (Dog Days)
Good Smile Company, March 2013, 3400JPY

Dragonzigg: The lion’s share of attention will probably go to the giant chocobo mount, but I jut wanted to point out how awesome Leonmitchelli herself is. Her spiky, elaborate design makes for an awesome looking Nendo and that big mane of hair is perfect for the super deformed look.

Jel: First, go ahead and play this while you’re reading, it will make things more fun. I find it hilarious that the other chocobo color is black, seeing as that is also their alternate color in Final Fantasy. It’s like they’re not even trying to hide it, and I’m OK with that. It certainly is one of the coolest Nendo accessories to have, and Leo herself is pretty sharp in case you’re actually interested as a Dog Days’ fan.

Aqua: I don’t know the Dog Days franchise, but this is one of the most stunning Nendos I have ever seen. The expressive hair, stunning details on the clothing (check the belt), the tiny sword, and of course the funny (yet slightly frightening) bird buddy, … If you liked Dog Days, this is about as great a Nendoroid as you could ever get.

Timmy: Aww yea, Great faces, awesome weapons sweet outfit, epic mount. Leo has everything. Even if I didn’t already have Millhiore I would still be tempted by this. Ordered in a heartbeat.

Lifesong:So happy to see that she has a bird; I do not care if that drove her price way up. I didn’t even finish the second season of the anime, but I still love these characters and their designs. I can’t wait to have all of them up on my shelf.

Nendoroid Wakana Sakai (Tari Tari)
Good Smile Company, March 2013, 2650JPY

Dragonzigg: Good Smile seem to have recently got into the business of making Nendoroids solely to pack in amazing accessories with them. Wakana looks fine, but she’s plain and bland. No, what really seals this is that baby grand piano. Imagine the posing possibilities!

Jel: This one is clearly all about the piano, and possibly the cat not pictured in our shot above. Pretty much all the Tari Tari character designs lean towards realistic (a.k.a. “boring”) so unless you’re really a fan there’s not much to see with the Nendo itself. But hey, piano!

Aqua: You’re just getting this for the piano.

Timmy: Man, GSC really knows how to sell these things. Take a cute but ultimately generic girl, throw in a piano and a pussy cat and BAM instant monies. So very tempting.

Lifesong: Hey look a piano! That’s cool I guess. I didn’t watch this anime, but I guess this character is pretty popular? Personally I think the design is pretty boring, and I’ve already got Alter Mugi’s amazing keyboard; everything about this just kind of pales in comparison.

Bonus Figures!

Beach Queens Mikoto Misaka/ Taiga Aisaka
Wave, October, 3800JPY each (Dengeki 20th Annivesary festival exclusives)

Dragonzigg’s Thoughts: I should probably lay out a few things about these two…

1) They are Dengeki Festical exclusives, only to be sold at the actual event, so you’ll need a (good) proxy
2) Mikoto is an all new sculpt, Taiga is a repaint and update of a previous Beach Queen
3) Taiga comes with both happy and angry faces and, in what must be a figure first, replaceable boobs (to emulate a scene in the anime)
4) I really like both of these, but particularly Mikoto, who is the best Beach Queen I’ve seen in forever. Cute, wonderful and unique pose and top notch detail for her size.

Jel: I know Mikoto is supposed to be young but she almost looks Last Order young with this particular figure (Aqua’s Note – She is 13-14 years old. That looks actually pretty accurate.) . That being said, these are probably two of the better Beach Queens out there. The line has kind of become known for covering all the less known characters that may not get any other figures, so it’s kind of interesting when some of the super popular ones finally make the rounds. At the end of the day though, no lolis in swimsuits for me, especially if I have to shell out more cash for exclusives.

Aqua: Oh my science, I love Mikoto’s boyish look on this one. Her hair looks a considerable bit messier and a bit shorter than usual and if you take the hairpin away, the result is adorable. Her pose looks confident and cheerful, just like the character, and I love the Gekota on her tube. Oh, and that other girl? She’s fine, I guess.

Timmy: These two look surprisingly good and considering the event only exclusivity their value is bound to shoot through the roof. I don’t buy beach queens figures but I am honestly giving these a second thought. There are also a bunch more exclusives of Taiga and Mikoto now announced for the event so if you like either of these characters you may want to get your favorite proxy on the phone. Also my Kanu figma had replaceable boobs first so Taiga is treading through old territory. Still an amusing feature for fans of the show though.

Lifesong: Hey look, it’s two characters I love in outfits I would never want to see them in on my shelf. These don’t look bad, but eh, I just don’t care.

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