Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew (and Aquagaze) 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, the triumphant return of Nanoha figures!
Nendoroid Fate Testarossa Blaze Form (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha THE MOVIE 2nd A’s)
Good Smile Company, April 2013, 3030JPY
Dragonzigg: The fact we’re leading with a Nanoha Nendoroid might tell you that it’s kind of a thin week. And yes, we’ve seen lots of Fates, but to be fair this is a pretty smart one complete with new movie exclusive tron-lined costume and white cape. Detail is as exemplary as always, that mini Zanbar Bardiche looks fantastic, and overall it’s a damn good nendo. Sure, Fate is sort of played out, but at least it isn’t another generic schoolgirl uniform.
Aqua: We haven’t had a Nanoha figure in weeks, so emergency measures had to be taken. This is the umpteenth Fate nendoroid, though admittedly, this version looks adorable, with an oversized little sword and a magical circle stand. This Fate is a lot more detailed than the one released to celebrate the first movie, with added details on her top and socks, shoulder pads, a red cape and a happier face. Her eyes-closed face looks a bit stoned and the cape a bit flimsy, but this is a Nanoha figure you could actually consider buying even if you already a have a similar one. For a Nanoha figure, that is a big achievement.
Jel: Aww and I thought we had purged Nanoha from AYM… well once again a lovely rendition of Fate, but completely indistinguishable from other Fate nendos. Not sure if any of the previous renditions had that sword, that looks pretty cool at least. Gotta love the magic circle stand as well, but please, PLEASE get us some more nendos of characters we haven’t seen before.
Lifesong:Cute, but I already have all the Fate I could ever want on my shelf.
Dragonzigg:Yui’s costume looks super weird shrunk down to nendoroid size. All the chunks and add-ons bunch up to make it looks like she’s just wearing a particularly weird suit of armour. Furthermore, the face-brace thing she’s got going on doesn’t work on the ultra wide nendo face and it just isn’t cute, which is pretty much a prerequisite for a Nendoroid. Fortunately, this is made up for by the figma, which just looks incredibly badass. The show may suck but I’m still digging the crazy outfit.
Aqua: What’s up with this girl? Why does she keep getting so many figures? The double dose of Whatserface from Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse this week proves that Japanese nerds will still gleefully consume anything that has robots and breasts in it. The nendoroid looks blocky and awkward, and even manages to pull of what no other nendoroid could ever possibly do: It is not adorable in the slightest. Who the hell came up with slapping Whatserface’s already infamous chest tumors on a nendo? Aside from the aforementioned melons and the hideous colour palette, the figma might actually be the nicest incarnation of Whatserface yet. The ever-annoying joints have been neatly covered up by her armor, and the traditional katana is a sweet addition. Nevertheless, this is still an extremely tacky design from an extremely subpar anime.
Jel: Yeah yeah, Total Eclipse is terrible and the sexy plugsuits look awkward in nendo form, but what you don’t see pictured here is the BETA alien she comes with as an accessory. Think of all the fun scenes you can re-create! The figma also looks fantastic, to the point where I almost want one as a badge of honor for these past 6 months of suffering I’ve experienced watching the show. I’d like to see how her counterpart Cryska turns out first, then I might be tempted to get them as a set.
Lifesong: I absolutely love Yui’s design, and am a bit tempted to pick up the figma; however, this anime left such a bad taste in mouth I just can’t do it. I wish I never watched the anime, and still had the capacity to appreciate this design.
Meruru (Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland)
Phat Company, May 2013, 5930JPY
Dragonzigg: Really refreshing to have a figure with such a light and breezy palette. Loving the pale yellow and the rainbow coloured cape and stars are a mini-masterpiece in their own right. The pose is great too, full of friendliness and open and welcoming. I’ve got no idea about the games she’s from, but i get a very old-school magical girl vibe from this and it’s very nice.
Aqua: Absolutely adorable. I’m a goner for pastel tints, and aside from a cute and oddly relaxing majorette-meets-magical-girl design, Meruru has countless sweet details and a cheerful pose to top it off. Her hair and cape are cheerfully blown by the wind and the magical stars and dust suit the cartoonish feel of the games. Besides, she’s wearing golden shoes. Golden shoes! And they actually look like the genuine thing! How amazing is that?
Jel: Just about every Atelier related figure I’ve seen has been gorgeous and this is one of the best. The amount of detail on her accessories like her crown and boots is fantastic. Her pose is very energetic, and the little magic stars on her stand are really nice creative touch. I don’t really have any criticism to add, I would totally buy this if I was into the game series.
Lifesong:Cute, every time I see a figure from this series I think they look great, and this is no exception.
Kaori Kanzaki (A Certain Magical Index II)
Penguin Parade, April 2013, 7380JPY
Dragonzigg: The problem is, pose aside this is actually a really smart figure, with some great detailing and seemingly an overall high level of fit and finish. Check out the individual fronds on her jean leg and cowboy boots, the wrinkled cloth of her shirt or the nicely done hair. But that pose…yeah. Even leaving the issue of personal taste aside, it’s completely out of character and really brings this one down. Also, where are her nipples?
Aqua: When I first scrolled down this blog and saw the top half of this figure, I thought Zigg had trolled us all once again and added some hideous hentai figure to the weekly lineup. Only it turned out to be Kanzaki Kaori, the badass Saint from Index! Tell me… does anyone remember Kanzaki ever pulling up her shirt and making a mildly unsettling “bang me senseless” face? No…? Does anyone remember any situation from the show where the disciplined and collected (yet admittedly, mildly tsundere) Kanzaki would ever do that? No? This is one of these figures that neglect an honourable character’s actual personality and dignity for the sake of cheap fanservice. In other words, the worst kind of figures. Blergh.
Jel: The other guys pretty much summed it up, a lovely sculpt wasted on a totally out of character pose. If you like your sexy figures that’s fine, but please don’t choose this one.
Lifesong: Oh well then, here I am reading that the rest of the Glorio cast hated this figure, and realizing that I missed the we hate this memo. Confession time: I ordered this instantly. I don’t think I even saw any sort of preview for this figure, but when I saw her go up on amiami I knew that I needed her on my shelf. It’s all about the gap moe! Sure there are figures that miss the point of a character, but this isn’t one of them in my opinion. It is exactly because this figure is out of character that it has appeal, but it’s in a way that is believable for the character. The gap moe dere switch is strong with this one!(they are going to eat me up for that line) If there is one thing I am not so hot about here it’s the hair, something about it just doesn’t look right, maybe it’s the high-gloss paint. That said the hair is not enough to ruin this one for me.
Figma Sayaka Miki School Uniform ver. (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
Max Factory, April 2013, 2420JPY
Dragonzigg: It seems super weird that Max Factory would choose to make the first two figures in this range exclusives and then put the third one on general release. They only really make sense as a set. Regardless, Sayaka is looking good here, but there’s nothing to really make this thing stand out and the included acessories are weak. A pass for all but the most serious Madoka collector.
Aqua: Dude, I don’t care if it’s just another schoolgirl figma. She comes with all the iconic, meme-ified faces Sayaka has been making over the entire run of the show, and that alone makes her worth buying for the hardcore Madoka collector. I’m willing to swear they just slapped another head on the schoolgirl Madoka body for this one, though.
Jel: Booooooooring. The school uniform Madoka set is such a blatant cash grab they’re tough to recommend (says the guy who has the exclusive Homura), although she does come with a baseball bat. That could be handy for some other figma posing hijinks, but other than that this is another completionists only figma.
Lifesong: Ordered, must catch them all.
Dollfie Dream KOS-MOS + Hand Vulcan (Xenosaga Episode III)
Volks, August 2013, 99750JPY (Hand Vulcan 11970JPY)
Dragonzigg: Look, I’m sure it’s beautiful and immaculately crafted – in fact I can see it is. And it’s nice that Volks is doing an open preorder on this rather than their normal brutal lottery draw. But at the end of the day, you are still paying more than a thousand dollars for something which a) Doesn’t look a great deal like the character art and b) is creepy as fuck. The worst bit is you have to pay extra for the gun, which is clearly the best bit.
Aqua: Zigg, what did I tell you about dollfies in All Your Monies? …Okay, screw this. I quit.
Jel: I’m trying to avoid getting all judgemental about Dolfie owners and judge this objectively, and I have to say it still is not a very good rendition of KOS-MOS. She’s just not a character design that translates well to doll form, the softer look and materials making it very difficult to recreate her more robotic features. The fact that you have to pay extra for that awesome gun is just an extra slap in the face.
Lifesong: I must confess I have never played the famous game series this girl comes from, but this is one nice doll. Put aside the fact that she is expensive as hell for a moment, and let me say that I would absolutely love to have this girl in my collection; however, that said it realistically won’t happen lovely as she is.