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, IT’S CHRIIIIIIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAASSSS
Asuna – Aincrad ver. (Sword Art Online)
Kotobukiya, May 2013, 6230JPY
Dragonzigg: This is pretty much everything you could hope for in an Asuna figure. I’ve always loved her design, from the flowing longcoat to the obligatory kneesocks and Kotobukiya deliver a really fine rendition here. As I’ve said often, I’m very fond of figures with a sense of motion, and though this pose is a little unorthodox, it really delivers on that. The hair spilling around her brings the entire thing to life, and little touches like the wrinkles in the fabric and the excellent base really make it a cut above. Exceptional work.
Aqua: In all honesty, there is very little to complain about as far as Asuna here is concerned. This version deviates a bit from the forehead-heavy character design from the anime, but Kotobukiya did an amazing job giving her a lively, adorable face. Miss Kirito’s pose bristles with energy and it has to be said — if I didn’t know what the actual show was like, this figure would very much invite me to give Sword Art Online a go. Asuna’s templar-like longcoat has always looked amazing, and Kotobukiya’s finish gives it an awesome leather look. The eye for detail is breathtaking, and the futuristic stand design is an awesome bonus. This is the figure Sword Art Online quite obviously needs, but sadly enough not the one it deserves.
Jel: Asuna is a hot property (she sold out instantly) and Koto really made sure to get this one right. The sculpt looks beautiful, down to the smallest creases in her sleaves and the flourishes on her sword. Her pose is also very unique and full of energy, and I don’t know what those metal rings are but they look cool too. I’d recommend SAO fans run out and grab this but that seems impossible now. All you can do now is hope Koto will see the demand and make more.
Timmy: Kotobukiya did a wonderful job on their Asuna and it will definitely be tough to top. As of right now this is the Asuna to get, and seeing as she is sold out almost everywhere there isn’t going to be enough of her to go around. I was considering getting her prior to preorders opening up but was taken by total surprise of how fast she did sell out. Luckily I was able to snag her from a US store and for a real good price too!
Figma Kirito (Sword Art Online)
Max Factory, May 2013, 2910JPY
Dragonzigg: Better than last week’s Nendoroid Kirito, this nevertheless remains kind of bland. The all black colour scheme means an uncomfortably large part of this figure (the trousers for example) is just swathes of rather cheap looking plastic. There’s something off about all of the faces too, which seem to make him look a lot more babyfaced than his regular character design. The lack of accessories (what, no interface panel?) means that overall this is a pretty hard one to recommend
Aqua: Heavens help us, I think we may have finally found something Kirito isn’t perfect at. While his coat looks sleek as usual and is actually movable so you can make it flutter in the virtual wind, the three faces he comes with (smiling, angry and what I like to call ‘dense male protagonist’) all look startlingly uncanny. This honestly proves to be more than enough to ruin the entire figure. The ‘slashing’ effect accessory looks cheesy and pointless and overall, this whole figure just looks as if not that much effort has been put into it. For such a popular franchise, this certainly is strange.
Jel: I pretty much feel the same way about this as I did with the Nendoroid: Kirito’s design just makes me think of a dude cosplaying at a convention. It looks kind of cool I guess but he’s basically a guy in a long black coat. Still, if you’re an SAO fan this is exactly what you would want and expect from a Kirito figma, so have at it.
Timmy: Eh, I mean this Kirito is allright but it seems like they didn’t put very much effort into him. The sword effect, especially when compared to the one that came with link, looks very cheap. His faces aren’t bad but the derp one could be a bit better and he really could use some more stuff. Just not really feeling Kirito’s figma. I am sure that won’t stop all the rabid fan girls from getting him though.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood (Trigun: Badlands Rumble)
Kotobukiya, May 2013, 7560JPY
Dragonzigg: Supremely badass. As with the matching Vash figure, I’m not entirely sure about the face, and the pose certainly leans toward the ‘hyper-exagerrated’ school of design, but it’s still an awesome looking piece, with great detail on the suit and a killer rendition of the Punisher, all bullet holes and trailing strips of cloth. It’s really nice to see slightly older characters like this get the treatment they deserve.
Aqua: How do you make a slightly generic-looking character look extremely badass? Do the exact opposite as what the Kirito figma suffered from and go all out with sculpt quality and motion. Despite his unicoloured ensemble, Wolfwood looks extremely stylish in this gritty rendition that perfectly brings to live the chiseled art style of the recent Badlands Rumble movie. Definitely a no-brainer for Trigun fans.
Jel: You too can pretend it’s the late 90’s/early 00’s (recent Trigun movie notwithstanding) for less than 8000 yen! I have only the faintest memories of the series, but this is a pretty cool looking figure. It’s really the giant cross and the clever use of the base that makes this work, and maybe a little bit of nostalgia. Otherwise he’d just be a dude in a suit with a gun.
Timmy: As ashamed as I am to admit it, I have yet to see any Trigun. So I have no idea who Wolfwood is. The character design dose look a bit generic but Kotobukiya gave him an great sculpt and a nice dramatic pose to make up for it. He looks pretty good a great acquisition for any fan of the series.
Scanty (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt)
Alter, May 2013, 6230JPY
Dragonzigg: Typical Alter quality, which is to say absolutely impeccable, but very much not my kind of thing. Also that huge mane of green plastic hair just makes me think she’s dressed up like Gurren Lagann.
Aqua: This seems like the kind of figure you’d give to a friend just to troll the poor guy. Scanty, while a wholly original character, feels a bit too boring and too outlandishly provocative in this plastic incarnation. While the latex (cough) looks lifelike, the overall figure just makes me hope for a version of her (and her sister) in the way more unique actual art style of the show — with weapons and a cooler pose, too, please.
Jel: I’m more of a kneesocks man personally. Like most people, I also like the character Kneesocks from P&S better than her curvier sister. Alter does their thing by masterfully recreating the character and pose from the series, but I imagine you would really only pick up Scanty to complete the set.
Timmy: Alter is up to their usual shenanigans with Scanty and she turned out quite nice even if she looks to be the weakest figure of this line.
Sena Kashiwazaki -Monster Hunter ver. (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
Griffon, February 2013, 6520JPY
Dragonzigg: I have to say I really, really dig the colour scheme on this, all those pinks and purples along with the butterfly wings give it a lovely soft look. Gotta love that ridiculously oversized…weapon as well. Detail seems very good, but there is the lurking fear of Griffon still in the back of my mind. I’m also just not a big fan of Sena’s character design in general – she veers perilously close to looking like she’s just been pulled from an H-game. Pretty, but pass.
Those breasts are illegal.
Jel: Part of me really wanted to get this set but something still seems a bit off to me. I know Griffon has improved their quality tremendously over the past couple of years but for some reason they still look a little flat to me. I don’t know if it’s in the face or the pose or what, it’s hard to explain. I will say I’m more impressed with Sena than Yozora, if only because her weapon looks solid and not like Yozora’s melted plastic bow. They still look cool but I guess I wish GSC or Alter had picked them up.
Timmy: Yozora ended up being “what you see is what you get” and since Sena’s weapon here looks a lot better then the plastically looking one that Yozora came with I am pretty excited. Sena herself also looks great and as long as Griffon can do as good QC wise as they did Yozora I will be quite pleased to have added her to my collection.
Dragonzigg: Max Factory made the right choice here to go for the cartoony look, and as a result these two have a nice chunkiness to them that accentuates their cartoonish qualities and distracts from the obvious limb joints. I’m a big fan of the modern Pit redesign and am digging these consequently, though the lack of accessories seems miserly (a recurring figma trend recently it seems) and doing Dark Pit smacks of a cheap cash-in. Still, always nice to see more high quality Nintendo stuff. No where the hell is my Captain Falcon?
Aqua: Oh dear, where do I start? First off, the joints on these Pits here are just horrifying. Their hands and feet look chunky and lack detail, the wings look like cheap afterthoughts and lastly… where the heck are their noses? This is the sort of quality I would expect for a bonus figure with the Collector’s Edition of Kid Icarus: Uprising, but not for a great company like Max Factory. Back to the start, guys.
Jel: Even though he’s been around just as long as most Nintendo characters, Pit just doesn’t have the same iconic appeal as a Link or a Samus. I hear the 3DS Kid Icarus is pretty cool so I guess it makes sense to give him the figma treatment, and I do like to see more unique figmas (cartoony hamfists!) that go beyond the usual anime schoolgirl designs. But did they really have to make an alternate color? Ah well, I will not begrudge the Nintendo fanboys and girls their moment, enjoy your figmas.
Timmy: I am not sure what I think of pit. On one hand he isn’t going to match any other figmas I have at all with that cartoony oversized look of his but on the other hand he looks to be a pretty sound figma. Maybe they made two versions to give him something to fight and not look totally goofy while doing it. He looks alright though but I will probably end up passing on him.
Nendoroid Miku Hatsune Ver 2.0 (Vocaloid)
Good Smile Company, June 2013, 3080JPY
Dragonzigg: You’re Good Smile Company, veritable kings of the figure world. You can have pretty much any character you want. So for your grand 300th nendoroid naturally you’ll produce a character you’ve already produced a billion variants of. This is about as special as your morning cereal, and I don’t care if it’s the best version yet – by this point it SHOULD be. You even announced this alongside a bunch of other nendos, pretty much all of which would have been better choices for this slot (Cardcaptor Sakura, anyone?). Deeply unimpressive.
Aqua: You know how your grandma always makes the same dish whenever you come over, but just this once it’s a lot tastier than usual? Of course the 300th nendoroid would be a Miku one, and of course no one would give a damn, but this is most certainly the definitive Miku nendo on the market. Yay? Her hair and futuristic headgear look stunning, but the real deal-breakers here are the accessories. Miku 2.0 (to be honest I see no difference with the old Miku) comes with three adorable faces, a guitar, a keyboard and two speakers, so you can make your delusions of Miku actually performing live even more lucid now!
Jel: When you need to make a comparison shot to show how your nendoroid is different than a previous version and you STILL can’t really tell the difference, I hope you understand some people’s lack of enthusiasm for your figure. This is cool if you did not get a chance to grab any of the original nendo’s multiple releases and I’m sure it will still sell well, but I’d much rather see them mix things up more.
Timmy: Apparently I should feel bad for ordering this. I mean come on guys, you get three new faces, TWO leeks, a sitting pose, a guitar, keyboard, mic, AND speakers? I don’t remember the original coming with hardly anything notable at all, so I would consider this a very welcome addition. She has two runs that are both sold out already so there is obviously a lot of people out there that still want a Miku nendo.