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 marks Zigg’s glorious return to the helm of this post, which means more figures that you’d actually spend money on and less porny abominations. Er, mostly.
Mitsuru Kirijou (Persona 4 Arena)
Vertex, August, 10500 JPY
Zigg: Very, very impressive, perhaps to the point of being over-impressive. My main issue of contention here is the coat, which looks great from some angles but super rough from others. Fur is a very, very difficult thing to get right so credit has to be given for effr, even if it doesn’t come off. Otherwise, great detail, fantastic sculpt, beautiful hair, the works. It’s very expensive, but given the size (this is a 1/7) and the complexity, it’s a pretty fair cop.
Jel: Mitsuru’s Arena design is unquestionably attention grabbing, with skin tight combat gear and inexplicable fur coat and what not. Vertex has managed to interpret her concept art with an impressive amount of detail, most notably the fur texture on the coat. This would be a no brainer for Persona fans if it wasn’t for that price. I guess making those individual tufts of fur must be pretty expensive.
Aqua: Maybe it is possible for a design to simply be too much. Mitsuru’s combat attire in Persona 4 Arena is pretty spiffy, but in figure form it tends to lean a bit towards the grotesque. The fur coat, though removable, cannot be nicely cast into plastic, looking more than a cheap toy rather than a state-of-the-art figure worth ten thousand yen. Most strikingly, the wind seems to blow towards the hair and the coat from entirely opposite directions. Rather than grace, it gives the figure a rather silted, baroque sort of bombast. Mitsuru is all about class, but this figure plays the aloof beauty card with so much youthful enthusiasm it rips it in the process. For such a hefty price tag, only the very best is good enough.
Lifesong: I love just about everything here. Mitsuru’s tight fitting outfit and the attention to detail on the outfit, hair and coat are all fantastic. I don’t like the seams on her head. If you look at her from the right above view angle her head looks like a big red volleyball.
Timmy: Great sculpt and a great paint job. I do love how that flowy fur coat contradicts that tight combat gear. I don’t love that price though.
figma Kurisu Makise White Coat ver. (Steins;Punctuation)
Max Factory, November, 3030JPY
Zigg: It looks smart and well crafted as figmas always do but I’m getting really, really tired of Max Factory’s tendency to crank out multiple variations on single characters. It’s where the money is I guess but they really could have been doing something more productive with their time.
Jel: It’s a good week for redhead fans, huh? The only reason to get this is and not the regular Kurisu figma is to pose her back to back with the upcoming Okabe figma. The lab coat is pretty dull by itself and there’s no real accessories to speak of, so not even that MAD SCIENTIST pose is enough to sway me.
Aqua: To me, some of the most memorable character designs are the ones that stand out my adding a single extravagant detail to an overall simple design. Celty Sturluson from Durarara!! is a great example of this, but Kurisu also thrived on it. Only once in the entire show, Kristina took off her iconic half-on half-off brown cardigan to don a traditional lab coat, but the fact that this figure does not come with the gloriously laughing mad facial expression she had in that scene rips it of its sole raison d’être. In stead, it shows just how bland Kurisu really looks under that silly jacket. To stick with the pompous French, you could say this figure has been sculpted à la française, lazily in other words. Kurisu’s hair looks like it has been made out of chocolate glued to her head, the lab coat looks way too banal without some copious application of random dramatic wind and her shorts and pantyhose can barely be distinguished from one another. I award you no points, Max Factory, and may SERN have mercy on your soul.
Lifesong: Now with lab coat and pose.
Timmy: Everything is better with a lab coat. Especially an unbuttoned lab coat.
Totori 19 year old ver. (Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland)
Koei Tecmo, November, 6700 JPY
Zigg: Really beautiful. This line of Aterlier Meruru figures has been an unexpected delight, thanks to the combination of gaudy yet pretty character design, good crafting and strong posing. Totori is attractive without being skeevy and her outfit is a great bit of costuming. I’m particularly fond of the strong blue top constrasting with the navy boots and scarf, and the gold fringing all around. The little chibi is just the icing on the cake. highly recommended.
Jel: This is a great figure, mostly because of the lovely character design, but also from the weird little mini figure standing on the chair. Is that an SD version of the character or does she really have a tiny little girl with giant sleeves following her around? I just don’t know. Totori looks great with really pretty color choices, sweet gold paint highlights, and impeccable detail all around. If I knew anything about Atelier, I might consider this.
Aqua: I have literally spent ten minutes trying to wrap my mind around the fact that that dress does not just slip off, being so loose around the chest and having no support whatsoever, but hey, I’m not a fashion designer. Totori looks sweet for what they charge for her, with nicely flowing hair, a well-sculpted frilly skirt and some gold paint that does not look completely fake. I love it when sculpters and painters manage to make the clothing on a figure look as if it has been made out of very different materials, and it certainly shows here. The boots look like leather, while the shirt looks like actual translucent cotton, or whatever they make those ballet tutus out. I am not a fan of the randomly slapped on little figurine, though. Totori can do just fine on her own.
Lifesong: Totori is incredibly cute. I love the color choice and pose. I’ve been a fan of Atelier designs for a long time despite the fact I’ve never played any of the games. This is my new favorite.
Timmy: Very nice. Totori has a really lovely pose, outfit, and she has a decent amount of that translucent material that I love to see. The chibi on the chair is also a nice addition.
GUMI (Virtual Vocalist)
Kotobukiya, November, 6280JPY
Zigg: Not really into Gumi, but this is a really, really nice figure regardless. The pose is exciting, that colour scheme really pops and the base is a delightful example of how a little effort can really add to the overall look of a figure. Kotobukiya’s work continues to be top-notch and in my mind they now have to be counted in the premier tier of figure makes alongside Alter and GSC.
Jel: There’s been a couple Gumi figures here and there but I don’t think there’s any question this is THE one to buy. The pose, expression, outfit, hair, it’s all spot on, but it’s the base that steals the show. Who wouldn’t want their figure to stand on a bunch of magical gelatin stars?
Aqua: I will probably never get virtual singers or why people want expensive plastic figures of them on their shelves. “Aqua, you Pulitzer-Prize-deserving paragon of journalistic objectivity, what is there to get?”, you might ask, and guess what, you are probably right. Just this once. In any case, Gumi will probably never as famous as Hatsune Miku, the Kagamine Twins and some others of the dozens of fabricated rent-an-idols, but at least this figure can serve as her claim to fame. It rests comfortably right between too little and too much, with a vibrant colour palette and an energetic pose. Just like any idol, however, this Gumi gets straight A’s all over as far as the checklist of popular appeal is concerned, but severely lacks in the departments that require guts or originality. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to my corner and wait for Pitchfork to hire me.
Lifesong: I love Gumi. Of all the digital idols to come out of Japan Gumi’s always had my favorite design. Kotobukiya capture her design really well and the pose is just about perfect. The base is also a really nice touch.
Timmy: From the star themed base all the way up to he nice expression on her face, it all is lovely. Koto did a great job.
Beach Queens Noumi Kudryavka (Little Busters!)
Wave, October, 3320JPY
Zigg: I strongly considered excluding this on grounds of sheer bad taste, but it’s here as an example of how pandering to gross fetishes can thoroughly fuck up an otherwise nice figure. It’s a cute pose and the hair is osme of the most elaborate and best we’ve yet seen on a BeachQueen. But…fuck, just look at it. Or rather, please don’t. Gross.
Jel: Why are all the Kud figures so downright salacious? That was a rhetorical question — don’t answer that. It’s a shame too, because that is some of the best hair sculpting I’ve ever seen on a Beach Queen.
Aqua: Just how bad is this figure? Well, let us say that even if it were dressed in an actual swimsuit, rather than whatever cheap brand of bandaids this get-up is supposed to be, it would still be begging for a way one trip to the recycling bin with a face like that. Sadly enough, reality is not that merciful, and poor AmiAmi is now forced to con nerds with a questionable attitude towards children not yet of legal age into buying what is essentially the equivalent of Wave eating their own vomit, puking it out again, and then trying to put it up for sale. I feel like a lesser person for having lavished one of the most stupendously sensitive and poignant analogies my genius-level adroitness for balladry could conjure up on this piece of fucking shit.
Lifesong: I am kind of amused by the reactions to this figure. Personally I think she looks cute and I’m glad they went with her canon swimsuit from Kud Wafter instead of sticking her in a school swimsuit. What we have here is a petite girl in an equally petite swimsuit enjoying her time on the beach. Stop seeing fetish fuel you sick fucks.
Timmy: There are a lot of nice things I like here, them being that lovely sculpted hair and hat, along with those cute expressions. Its really too bad her swimsuit top is so skimpy as it pretty much ruins an otherwise nice Beach Queen for me.
Robot Soldier (Laputa: Castle in the Sky)
Bandai, October, 3200 JPY (exclusive)
Zigg: I’m always on the lookout for different stuff we can chuck in here and this certainly fits the bill. I love Laputa and the distinctively long-limbed Guardian robots are one of the most memorable images. This is a beautiful small scale sculpt with a really great base and is classy enough that I’d be happy to pop it on my desk. the fact that it’s an exclusive means the price isn’t quite as nice as it first appears but it’s nevertheless a lovely little piece.
Jel: Oh hey, something Ghibli related has found its way into AYM. I’m not the biggest Ghibli fan to begin with, and Castle In The Sky was definitely not my favorite of their work, so I’m not particularly interested in this. Can’t deny it looks really cool though, and assuming you can get your hands on one that’s an attractive price.
Aqua: A robot soldier from Castle In The Sky on your shelf just like that looks a bit silly, but there is no denying that this figure looks fantastic for its price. The colour palette is a bit dreary and you are not fooling anyone with these obviously plastic rocks, but with a nicely dynamic pose and the ever important factor of nostalgia, let alone the fact that Castle In The Sky is a damn fine film, this robotic serviceman will certainly find an audience.
Lifesong: Well this is different. I’ve never seen the movie so I’ve no idea how accurate this is, but it has a cool steampunk look to it. I can appreciate that even though I don’t really care about steampunk much.