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 an all female lineup with (yet more) Nanoha.
Karen Araragi (Nisemonogatari)
Good Smile Company, July, 9060JPY
Zigg: I love Karen herself, and it’s nice to see a figure of a female character who’s dressed decently, but did we really need the insane base? I’ve not seen Nisemonogatari so I can’t provide any context, but it certainly seems overkill. Having said that I love the figure itself. As anybody who’s read this column knows I realy like elaborate clothing sculpts and Karen’s big baggy shorts, sweater-cape and ruffled top tick all the boxes. Ultimately I sort of wish that GSC had offered this in two varieties, with or without the base (as they did with the much more flamboyant ‘Love is War’ Miku).
Aqua: Karen arrives on virtual shelves with most of her clothes and her infamous side ponytail still intact, and she even brings a… steamroller with her for some reason? As always with good Smile Company, the sculpt is flawless and colourful, featuring some breathtaking details on Karen’s hands and fluttering jacket. The oddly bisected steamroller is a bit of an odd design choice, seemingly adding to the prize for something that could have easily been something less… zany. Did someone at GSC just came up with the idea to throw in a random steamroller for good measure? Then again, you could also spend your nine grand on this next figure…
Jel: Karen would have looked pretty good, if a bit plain, on her own but bringing in the steamroller from the promo art is a bit of mad genius. Maybe it’s a metaphor for her personality? I’m not gonna question it too much, the figure looks great and despite being well out of my usual price limit I actually gave it serious consideration. I’m ultimately taking a pass since I anticipate there will be more great Monogatari figures on the way with the new season this year, but if you’ve got the spare cash I say go for it.
Timmy: Ah, and here I thought I was done being tempted by Monogatari figures. Karen looks lovely and that road roller base makes her look even better. Not sure if I will succumb to the temptation or not seeing as I have a lot on my plate, but she definitely turned my head regardless. If you have the monies I don’t think you can go wrong with picking her up.
Lifesong: I am not sure why Karen has a steamroller but it works. Karen looks great here and the steamroller fits her personality even if it lacks sense otherwise. This is one of the more exciting figures from the Monogatari series.
Fate Testaross Swimsuit ver. (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha THE MOVIE 1st)
Gift, June, 9670JPY
Zigg: This is a much, much better effort than Gift’s equivalent Nanoha, and actually a rather cute interpretation of Fate. I think the colour scheme was a good choice – the blue and white is worlds away from Fate’s traditional dark palette and when combined with the wrap makes for a breezy, casual look. As far as swimsuit figures go it’s a good ‘un, but all the usual caveats about this sort of thing apply, as well as the pretty hefty price tag.
Aqua: I’m glad to see they actually put some effort into this one. Fate doesn’t look as diabetes-inducingly twee as she usually does, and they even put some effort into the details. The various trinkets on her arms and legs are adorable and the towel-skirt-whatever makes her stand out amongst other swimsuit figures. She looks surprisingly mature for an elementary schooler, that Fate, but then ag-
Jel: I’m running out of glib things to say about Fate and Nanoha. The wrap is a nice touch I guess? Really though there’s nothing you can do to escape the fact this is a giant figure of an elementary school girl in a bikini, so you should know right away whether this is for you or not.
Timmy: I must admit I am a bit torn with this Fate as Gift has really done an impressive job on her. Her hair and face are both quite lovely, the flower skirt looks nice, the ornaments and ribbon on her arms and legs are a great touch, and I love how they incorporated Bardiche’s triangle shape several places in her design from her sandals to her swimsuit. The real problem here is that, well, this particular Fate isn’t very old. Sure, the pose of her either taking off her skirt for a swim or putting it back on after could be considered innocent enough but I am still not too fond of the idea of a bikini clad kid on my shelf. At the same time she is so well done and dare I admit still a little bit cute that I am not going to judge anyone who does put her on their shelf all that harshly.
Also worth noting is that despite being 1/4 scale, 270 milimeters puts this Fate at the exact same height as Alter’s 1/7th Fate and only a hair taller then Alphamax’s offering. So Gift is actually being a little bit of a dick with the price here. Yea, maybe she is going to take a little bit more PVC but come on.
Lifesong: This is cute a Fate but not overwhelmingly so. I guess the thing that really makes this Fate stand out is just how large she is. She looks great for the large scale of her figure.
Racing Miku 2012 (Vocaloid)
FREEing, June, 9830JPY
Zigg: I’ve never understood the infatuation with Racing Mikus and this one just looks a mess to me. Silly pose, ridiculous outfit, over-the-top hair, there’s no cohesiveness or clarity to the design. And then there’s the price, yeesh. Definitely not my cup of tea.
Aqua: Another Miku, but at least this one is wearing a different outfit, which allows FREEing to show off how good they are at crafting transparancy. The hair on this one is gorgeous, eschewing the traditional technique for a more watercolour-y, over the top style, which almost makes Miku’s trademark cyan pigtails look like candy. Yummy. I also really like her cheerful face, but all of this does come at a price. Literally. This 1/7th figure sells for close to 10,000 yen, which definitely sets it apart from your average singular figure. And as opposed to the Fate above, it’s regular scale. On the other hand, it is also way less likely to get you arrested, so if you buy one ridiculously expensive figure this week, go with Miku.
Jel: I know FREEing falls under Good Smile Company’s distribution umbrella, but I’m still surprised they let anyone else sculpt their precious Racing Miku. Their sculpts are kind of hit and miss but overall this one looks great. Miku’s twintails are a little all over the place but there’s a lot of life in her pose and the little transparent bits on her outfit are a nice touch. Now if only someone can explain to me why that price is so high, are we only doing figures priced OVER 9000 now?
Timmy: Ah, yay more Miku. FREEing has done a pretty good job here though. The encompassing hair is lovely and the face and pose are both nice and energetic. Transparency is also fun to see. Not exactly feeling this Miku personally but she looks real nice regardless. Not really a nice price though.
Lifesong: This is a fantastic looking Miku. I can’t say that I have any particularly desire to buy this but the silly pose and outfit are full of energy. Also, Miku’s face is above the grade for a FREEing figure.
Nadia (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water)
Max Factory, April, 12080JPY (Re-release)
Zigg: I’m pleased to see the recent revival in Nadia figures, but really this might be a step too far. Coldcast stuff is always a turn off for me because of the truly ridiculous money involved and that’s still the case here. nadia isn’t exactly a character who requires lashings of detail anyway, so I’d go with one of the smaller, cheaper options we’ve previously seen.
Aqua: Did I say 9800 yen was too much for a 1/7th figure? Sorry, I take that back. Also, look at that anorexia!
Jel: I know I should say my usual “hey it’s nice to get old characters!” deal but I feel like we’ve seen enough of Nadia recently. I guess it’s a good rendition of her, but overall it’s not a very exciting figure. Also, cold cast makes this super expensive, so unless you’re stuck on a really big nostalgia wave this is a pass.
Timmy: Apparently whoever ownes the merchandising rights to this show was short on cash because it sure seems like everyone has a Nadia in the works. This one in particular does look nice but cold cast is definitely a questionable decision. I guess someone had to do it and Max Factory felt that someone had to be them. I can’t say that the result is worth the price but I guess ultimately that is for you all to decide.
Lifesong: Expensive and boring. I know that Nadia is a major icon with anime fans and probably a great character, but I am not impressed with the figure.
Beach Queens Kanako Watanabe (Star Driver)
Wave, June, 3100JPY
Zigg: Nice to see a return to a slightly more, er, voluptuous character in the Beach Queens line. Overall, I actually like this. The pose is interesting, the swimsuit stands out and it’s relatively tasteful by the lines standards. All the usual caveats about size and quality apply, but you could do a lot worse.
Aqua: Ironically, this is the most modest outfit I have ever seen Kanako in, aside from her school uniform. The sultry high school wife has the dubious honour of being Star Driver‘s very first Beach Queen, and I think the upcoming movie might have something to do with that. The bathing suit design fits Kanako’s fabulous character rather well and the Kiraboshi pose is an awesome addition, but overall, there are better (and more realistically proportioned) Beach Queens available, if you are into that kind of thing. Now where is my fabulous Takuto static?
Jel: Ah finally something for the budget conscious! Sadly I have no experience with Star Driver so I can offer you no other insight beyond this looks surprisingly good for a Beach Queen. Is that actual sculpting and shading I see in her hair in swimsuit? Not a bad deal if Beach Queens are your thing.
Timmy: Its nice to see something a little more affordable on the list this week and even though I have little interest in the Beach Queens line overall I must say this looks to be one of the nicer ones. Nice pose, the possibility of some actual shading, and a nice price make Kanako worth at least a little consideration.
Lifesong: Kanako is a bit out of character here but then I suppose she wouldn’t be in character unless she came with a servant tending to her. Otherwise this figure is just kind of boring all around.