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 weSEIZON SENRYAKUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
Princess of the Crystal and Penguins (Mawaru Penguindrum)
Alter, May 2013, 9380JPY
Aqua: I’m glad to see so many versions of this awesome character being made. She deserves it, and I’m surprised that Mawaru Penguindrum turned out to be a success. Isn’t it electrifying? You had better initiate some sort of survival strategy to get through the month if you decide to spend your money on this version of the sassy Princess, though, but she’s definitely worth the 9,000 yen. This version has the snootiest expression and pose, and the addition of the adorable penguins is the cherry on top of the cake. No one beats Alter in making gorgeous statics, so I hope for you you can still cancel any per-order you placed for any earlier announced figures of Himari, you fools who never amount to anything.
Jel: Leave it to Alter to bring us the definitive version of the Princess. It’s a gorgeous figure for sure, but part of me wishes it was modeled more closely to the anime design. I also find it strange they made the penguins look so… squishy, but those are really minor matters of preference on my part. I have a general price limit of $75 on any single figure so I’m passing on this one, but I definitely had to talk myself out of it.
Waver Velvet (Fate/Zero)
Alter (Altair), April 2013, 6360JPY
Dragonzigg: This looks to be a beautifully made figure, right up to Alter’s normal high standards. The major problem is the subject matter. Waver isn’t exactly the most interesting design in the world and while Alter have done their best with an interesting pose and excellent face sculpt, there’s just not enough here. The mini Rider seems sort of an acknowledgement of that, a bit of a ‘hey guys, we know there’s isn’t much to go on, so have this as well’. Personally I would have liked to see them cut Rider and offer this at a lower price, which would have been a winner all round.
Aqua: Waver doesn’t exactly have the most exquisite of designs, but it’s nice to see a high-budget figure of a male character for once, especially if they’re as lanky, nerdy and non-badass as Waver is. His pose is a bit odd — Seriously, who sits like that? — but Alter’s crazy standards shine through once again. His nuanced, fitting facial expression brings a whole own breed of cuteness to the table and the classiness of his clothing is reflected in the wonderful sculpt. My main issue does lie with the rather unsettling mini-Rider he comes with. What exactly is that… thing supposed to be? A stuffed toy? A rendition of his imagination? A statue? It’s rather freaky proportions make the small Iskander a bit of an unwelcome extra that seems to serve no real purpose aside form cranking up the price tag a notch. Odd decision, Alter.
Jel: Waver sucks. This figure is an accurate recreation of him however, so if you’re into that kind of thing be my guest. I actually like the little Rider addition personally, he would be dreadfully boring without it. Maybe that’s a hint you should just grab Megahouse’s Rider instead?
Rintarou Okabe (Steins;Gate)
Plum, March 2013, 5450JPY
Dragonzigg: Terrific pose, full of life and energy. That sort of offsets the dull, kind of boring palette, which conspires to make this figure somewhat anonymous, especially when shot against pale backgrounds like these official photos are. It’s a quality sculpt by Plum though, another feather in their rapidly growing cap, and the inclusion of a full extra arms/bonus head set for a second pose is a very nice touch. At this price it looks to be a solid buy for series fans.
Aqua: Speaking of male characters…
Okarin HOUOUOUOUOUOUIN KYOUMA comes close to being my favourite anime protagonist of all time. His vivid imagination, hamminess, unconventional looks and attitude, general dorkiness, dedication, determination and unwavering courage set an admirable standard for strong male protagonists (rather ironic that “strong male protagonist” is a thing now; I should have that trademarked) in a world of dense slabs of standard wish-fulfilment tropes. More than enough reason to immortalize him in a figure, of course, and what better pose to mould him into than this one? While his facial expressions may lack just that one spark that would make them completely lifelike, and the flowing of his coat tail is rather simplistic, this static does come with two heads and sets of arms, which allows you to set him up in two different poses. A nice extra, and for the relatively affordable prize of 5450 yen, you shouldn’t have to think twice about making room on your shelf for this mad scientist. El Psy Congroo!
Jel: Okabe’s a great character but he doesn’t make for a very exciting figure. I had to look at the close up shots to even appreciate they did get his face correct, it looks cheaply done from far away. Save for his green shoes (I never noticed that before), he’s pretty much a murky sea of white and brown. Okabe is reasonably priced though, so this could be a pretty sold fan purchase.
Nendoroid Frau Koujiro (Robotics;Notes)
Good Smile Company, April 2013, 2640JPY
Dragonzigg: Eeeehhh…it’s becoming really hard to say stuff about these nendos. Frau is a much tougher sell than Akiho to me as she lacks the natural cuteness essential to the best Nendoroids. neither of the two additional faces are anything special, although I do like the hair down option provided. Mostly a dud though.
Aqua: Hey, look! It’s a nendoroid of a girl in a school uniform! Never seen that before! A bit of an unfortunate shot too, as the short length of her skirt seems to unveil some nasty joints slicing her thighs in half. While the bored expression shown here seems to be so bored it makes being bored look boring and the sleepy face looks more like a constipated face, Frau’s mischievous smile is a definite fit. She also come with an alternate hairstyle and a robot plushie with a second set of arms, so as usual, we can’t accuse GSC of slacking off. I like how they always try their best to make the products the customer demands — as evidently, only the most popular characters from the most popular franchises (and Linkin Park) get nendoroids — as creative and abundant with extras as possible, but in the end, a schoolgirl is still a schoolgirl.
Jel: Much like Akiho before her, Frau is tough sell unless you are a fan of the series. The robot is a nice touch and the extra hair options are cool, but otherwise it’s another school girl nendo.
Ichiko Sakura & Momiji (Binbougami ga!)
Megahouse, April 2013, 6070JPY
Dragonzigg: That’s not how breasts work and even if it were, that’s not how cloth works. Othwerwise though a good looking figure. I like the abundant spalshes of blue, and the bonus spirit really helps enliven what might otherwise be a relatively generic pose.
Aqua: Panties are so noughties, nowadays figures bring the naughties. The ignoble art of making anime characters appear to be wearing no or very little panties — or nopan for the weeaboos — is just the latest in a line of creepy fetishes otaku want to spend money on, but I guess for a character like Tittyko it is at least kind of justified. Ichiko’s entire shtick is that she is supposed to be a horrible, skanky rich bitch you still end up liking for some reason, and if there is anything shouting-and-calling-people-perverts-is-funny comedy Binbougami ga! did succeed at, it was just that. Despite the rather prominent curves, Ichiko looks really nice here, with a quirky pose and detailed clothes. The spirit Momiji is a really nice addition (and also a massive callback to Shaman King), so Bimbougami ga! fans can prepare to be pampered. Come on. I know you exist.
Jel: I’m starting to realize Megahouse should only make figures of guys, I’m not sure they understand how the female body works. Ichiko’s torso is totally too long and contorted, and her breasts, while appropriately huge, are just not shaped correctly. If you hold up your hand to the screen and block out her mid section however, she looks pretty good. Her face is well sculpted, I love the bright blue skirt, and addition of the creepy floating Momiji head adds a unique touch to a potential uninteresting figure. I’m a big fan of the series and would love to pick up a figure from it, I just don’t think this is going to be the one. Here’s hoping someone does a Ranmaru figure next… maybe? anyone?
Kuroko Shirai (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
FREEing, May 2013, 14250JPY
Dragonzigg: This conspires to be both the worst thing ever and totally in character. I appreciate this hobby sometimes requires an open mind, but if anybody buys this, I will judge you and it will not be favourably.
Aqua: If I could freely choose one building to be blown up by terrorists, the FREEing headquarters would be second only to these bumbling morons responsible for publishing Persona 4 Arena in Europe. You could make a very easy plea for Kuroko’s Beach Queen (based on that absolutely terrifying barely-there bikini she wore in the ridiculous swimsuit episode of Railgun) being the single most horrible thing on the figure market, but now everyone’s favourite lesbian stalker has outdone herself again. Look, I like Kuroko, but if you want to spend 170 dollars on a plastic figure of a twelve-year-old girl in a Playboy bunny costume, there is literally not an insult I could come up with that would be horrible enough to cover the vicious crimes against humanity you are committing. Heck, with that money, you could possibly afford actual sex. Did I cross some line there? You asked for i- OH GOD THEY MADE A MIKOTO ONE TOO? (Zigg’s note – to be featured on a future installment!)
Jel: Strangely enough this is something Kuroko would totally wear for her beloved onee-sama, but does that mean you really need a giant, crazy expensive version of it on your shelf? I’m usually not the type to judge, but if you want a quick way to condemn yourself to a lifetime alone, here you go!
Dragonzigg: On an analytic level this is a large scale figure of a costume of a nendoroid and therefore one of the most redundant things ever made. On a personal level AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Aqua: Miku just reached all new levels of uncanny valley. I would prefer to not have my soul eaten, thank you very much.
Jel: AAAAHHHHH! AHHHHHHH! AHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHH…………… AH!