All Your Monies: January 14th

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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 a whole new year! Bandai respond by bringing their A-game, while several other manufacturers don’t exactly cover themselves in glory.

S.H. Figuarts Lelouch Lamperouge/Zero (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2)
Bandai, April, 2790JPY

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Zigg: Lelouch remains a super distinctive design, and while CLAMP’s taste for ‘noodle people’ may not be to everyone’s liking, it certainly helps him stand out from most other figures. I’m stoked to see a poseable version back on shelves, and with a decen array of accessories too. That massive cape is looking awesome and there’s no reason why any fan of Code Geass shouldn’t snap this up pronto.

Aqua: Fabulous! While I do admit I have never actually watched Code Geass, it must be said that Lulu simply deserves the figma treatment for maximum over the top posing potential. Sadly enough, Bandai’s overal quality fails to come up to scratch with the high standards of the modern market. There is not enough distinction between matte or glossy finish, and the paint is not always neatly between lines. His trademark smirk also looks like someone had their way on his face with a surgical knife, so overall, this figure is more of a toy than an actual figure. Because apparently, there is a difference.

Jel: DON’T LOOK IN HIS EYES, HE’LL MAKE YOU BUY HIM AND HIS FABULOUS CAPE!

Lifesong: There is something off with his face. I am not sure exactly what it is but it bothers me. Otherwise this is good representation of the character, cheap too.

S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Son Goku (Dragon Ball Kai)
Bandai, April, 2350JPY (Re-issue)

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Zigg: Very glad to see this one go up for order again. Yes, Goku is a pretty simple design, but as always Bandai do great work, with the fantastic cloth folds on his trousers, bright vivid colours and good capture of Toriyama’s trademark super-buff look. Most importantly, the hair is amazing! If you have to nail one thing on a Super Saiyan figure, that’s the thing you want.

Aqua: Giant gorilla bulky! Giant gorilla angry! Giant gorilla got 1,000$ haircut! Puny human spend many monies on giant spikey-haired gorilla? Yeah, sorry, I just have a thing against Akira Toriyama designs. Still, I can’t deny Dragonball‘s importance. While the joints — here we go again — look extra clunky on Goku’s impossibly muscular arms, his costume and hair have been expertly handled. Now if only they’d be able to not make him look glued together form bits and pieces.

Jel: That is a classic looking figure if I ever saw one, too bad he’s already sold out! I’ve always kind of wanted the Dragonball Figuarts line for nostalgia’s sake, especially Future Trunks. Maybe I should go hunt that down.

Lifesong: Very Dragon Ball. I’ve never watched the series but there is a temptation to pick this up just to sit him near my Duke Nukem bust. The testosterone of my collection would triple.

D-ARTS Charizard (Pokemon Red, the version of Pokemon for losers)
Bandai, April, 2790JPY

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Zigg: Outstanding. Bandai have gone three for three with our top figure orders this week, and this might just be the best of the lot. Nice chunky construction, very poseable and perfectly capturing the look of cartoon Charizard. I’ll hold out for Blastoise myself, but there’s no way I could begrudge anyone going for this. Red is still the inferior version though.

Aqua: People still like Charizard? Dude, Stealth Rock totally knocked that guy into the UU tier post Generation IV- *shot*

Jel: I’m kind of torn on Charizard because he’s traditionally my favorite Pokémon and overall this is a pretty cool, versatile figure but… that neck is just so odd looking. I’m not going to say I have a better solution for a possible dragon neck, but surely someone could come up with something better than that segmented mess. Even with that though, I’m still tempted to pick him up.

Lifesong: This is one ugly pokemon figure anyway I look at it. I probably wouldn’t care much either way but the joints ruin this one for me.

Figma Asuna (Sword Art Online)
Max Factory, June, 2910JPY

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Zigg: Asuna here basically follows the depressing path we’ve seen in most recent figmas – gorgeous sculpt, top notch paint, basically no acessories. It’s pretty depressing, especially considering how nice this figure looks. max Factory have really managed to capture all the tiny little details and designs that make Asuna’s look so distinctive, like the piping on her top or the unique design on her sword hilt.  It’s a fine figure, just be aware that that’s pretty much all you’re getting

Aqua: Sword Art Online has been getting a tremendous lineup of figures lately and, of course, an Asuna figma cannot be left out. She still suffers a bit from the same generic, uncanny face design her boyfriend suffered from, but in any other regard, this is about as high quality as poseable figures can possibly get. Her breast plate looks like actual, high quality metal and her gorgeously moulded saber stands out. Sadly enough, though, aside from a mildly amusing — if not horribly depressing — “tsundere” face and a cheap, cheesy “special attack” similar to the one Kirito had, she is completely void of any accessories. No game menu? No health potion? No sandwich?

Jel: Asuna has a lovely design and I’m really impressed with the level of detail on her sword and breastplate. Unfortunately she’s a little light on accessories, which seems to be a disturbing trend with figmas these days. The conspiracy theorist in me says it’s a ploy to get you to buy both the figma AND the nendoroid, since those always get the cool extras. But hey, it’s not like these companies like to make money, right?

Lifesong: Asuna is looking brilliant here. She is perhaps a bit low on accessories but this is one that I doubt has any trouble finding its way onto many shelves regardless.

Nendoroid Rin and Nendoroid Len Append vers. (Vocaloid)
Good Smile Company, June, 2680JPY each

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Zigg: I think Rin and Len might actually be my favourite Vocaloids, but even so Vocaloid Nendoroid fatigue has set in hard, and as a result it’s a little difficult to get worked up about these. The Append design is pretty meh in my opinion, and GSC has taken the understandable but still annoying step of selling these two separately so they can double their money. There’s nothing wrong with these, but at the same time I find myself supremely indifferent.

Aqua: Only buy these two cuties if you don;t already have Lin and Ren nendos. And if you give two sods about Vocaloids, you already have Lin and Ren nendos. And a horrible taste in music, just sayin’.

Jel: SPEAKING OF MAKING MONEY, does anyone really want the Append versions of Rin and Len? I know the backgrounds are supposed to go along with the concept art, but I think they get a little lost in translation here, especially since you have to buy both of them to display them properly. Definitely not as cool as Miku Append’s light up base, but hey if you’re a total vocaloid nut (and I know you’re out there) this is yet another fine addition for your massive collection.

Lifesong: More Vocaloids, at least they are kind of cute.

Kuroneko/Ruri Gokou (Oreimo)
A+, February, 11030JPY

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Zigg: I think the creepy and unsettling nature of this thing speaks for itself, so I’ll just say that that face is an utterly appalling bit of sculpting, and I’ve seen better detailing on 1/8 prize figures, let alone something of this scale and this cost.

Aqua: What am I even doing here? I don’t even collect figures! What is my motivation, aside from some unrelenting masochism to see the few anime characters I care about getting prostituted to make some money? Seriously, what could possibly be worse than this?

Jel: The only thing that distinguishes Kuroneko’s design from any other black hair hime cut girl is her Masquerade Queen of Darkness dress. Without that she’s just… well, any other black hair hime cut girl. The school swimsuit always adds an extra layer of creepy, but put that on a questionably sculpted, giant 1/4.5 scale figure and we’ve got a real winner with this one!

Lifesong: Why does this exist? The appeal is completely lost on me.

Mikoto Misaka Bunny ver. (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
FREEing, June, 14430JPY

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ZiggOh boy, it’s been a while since we’ve had one this bad. Terrible face, bad hair, awful pose and so excruciatingly creepy I can barely look at it. Pass, pass, a thousand times pass.

Aqua: I hate my life.

Jel: We all knew this was coming after covering the incredibly awkward Kuroko but unlike her psycho lesbian roommate, Mikoto wouldn’t be caught dead in this. Putting the characters aside, FREEing does a fine job sculpting the body, but the face looks like hardly any effort went into it. You can always chalk up a lack of detail to the large scale of the figure, but that looks like a ball of plastic with eyes painted on. As I say with just about every Mikoto figure, would have been cool to see some electric effects too. None of that really matters though as I wouldn’t go anywhere near this, both for the creep factor and the price tag.

Lifesong: At least she is not as ridiculous as Kuroko. That said I think that Kuroko actually made a better figure. Miskaka’s face just looks.. wrong. The expression is out of character but beyond that this is frankly an ugly face. It’s a shame as the rest of the figure is pretty cute for what it is.

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