All Your Monies: July 8th

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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 there’s a worrying amount of stuff by Griffon.

Peace Keeper Daisy (Original)
Kotobukiya, December, 7900JPY

FIGURE-000899_01

Zigg: Tony Taka’s artstyle is cute as always and Kotobukiya have done some really great work here, with lots of translucent plastic and cool greens and blues really making this one stand out. I’d prefer it if she could bput some trousers on, but it’s still a fine figure nonetheless.

Jel: As lovely as this is, I just can’t get into original design figures. Without some kind of source to attach her to, it’s just another cute girl lingerie and this one happened to steal Sena Kashiwazaki’s butterfly wings. I can’t deny it’s some of the best sculpting and detail work I’ve seen from the myriad of Kotobukiya/Tony Taka collaborations out there, but it makes me feel nothing.

Aqua: Guess who we have here? As if there are not enough figures based on anime/games/dating sims/picture books/sadomasochistic porn/instruction manuals (scratch out what does not apply) with Tony Taka art, the man has now started drawing original (well, “original”) characters for Kotobukiya to cash in on as well. As often with Tony, the design is pretty and has some neat touches, but is nevertheless incredibly trite. It also seems to suffer from what I like to call “Samurai Girls Syndrome”, in which the design just seems to end at the waist. Can’t fight evil without wearing your lucky panties! As often with Kotobukiya, the sculpt is decent, however, so if you are Lifesong a fan of Tony Taka, take this one into consideration.

Lifesong: Kotobukiya are veterans at turning Tony Taka art into figures. This is a particularly cute choice. I especially love the transparent plastic around her navel.

Timmy: I was pretty enamored with Daisy back when she was known simply as the April girl in my Tony Calendar so I was pretty ecstatic when Koto announced a figure of her. And thankfully unlike that Clays figure from the same calendar she turned out quite lovely. Very cute pose and expression and I am a huge sucker for transparent PVC, which she has loads of. Also worth noting is that base. Some bases you are pretty much forced to modify or replace so they compliment the figure (See Griffon below) whereas Koto has not only given Daisy a nice base, but has made it easy to flip over and throw some flowers in and get creative with yourself if you feel inspired to do so. Its a really nice thought and a great touch to an already great looking figure.

Yui (Sword Art Online)
Griffon, August, 7720JPY

FIGURE-000893_01

Zigg: This is actually a 1/1 scale, as Yui is reduced to pocket size in the second arc of SAO. It’s a cool gimmick to hang a figure on but otherwise this is pretty typical Griffon work. That is to say, nice idea, some cool flourishes, but an overall rather flat presentation. The face is off too, they never seem able to get that right.

Jel: The 1/1 scale is kind of a neat novelty, and Griffon manage to make a very competent rendition of the character. The wings are a little plain, but more importantly they got the face and hair right. Yui might also make for an interesting cosplay accessory if someone out there really wanted to get creative. 

Aqua: Kirito and Asuna’s daughter — excuse me, pfahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *deep breath* — comes with a pretty nice, dynamic pose here. The 1/1 scale is a pretty novel thing to brag about, until you realize she was about as tall as a figure in the show. In the end, it’s nothing more than a neat coat of paint to cover up a rather bland figure with a face that looks like it will one day give birth to Mikudayo. Now if you’ll excuse me… *cough* ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Lifesong: I am totally okay with the face. It’s the hair that I don’t really like. The sculpt is a bit cheap, but otherwise alright. The paint job is a bit lacking. I wouldn’t be surprised if the final product looks better than the prototype, but I’m not that impressed either way. She is probably the best of Griffon’s SAO line.

Timmy: Surprisingly cute. Her face is pretty nice and while everything else seems less detailed then it could be, and at that price should be, I still like how she turned out. I look forward to seeing her strapped to some cosplayer’s shoulder.

Asuna Camisole ver. (Sword Art Online)
Griffon, August, 7220JPY

FIGURE-000837_01

Zigg:  See my above point about Griffon not being very good at faces. They’re not very good at cloth either, and since this figure is all about one piece of clothing that’s pretty vital. The camisole here is unconvincing and some of that paintwork looks nasty. pass.

Jel: Did Asuna age a couple years? I’d like to give Griffon credit for making an older, more mature Asuna but I think that is more a result of them messing up the face and body and making them too long. Also any SAO design that doesn’t have Swords or Arts or Onlines seems like a waste to me, but I suppose people do love their Asuna. Pretty boring and a little pricey, but I’m sure this will find some buyers.

Aqua: What’s the sole thing Mikoto Misaka and Asuna Yuuki have in common? Both get turned into figures at about a weekly basis and none of these figures seem to look anything like the character at all for some reason. Griffon’s umpteenth Asuna looks more like her mum than like the girl in person, and the camisole is just a lazy excuse to twist her into a boobs-and-butt-pose and charge the same amount of money you can get a fully armored version for. Let alone the fact that it looks more like a drape than a camisole. Pass.

Lifesong: This is probably Griffon’s best looking Asuna. She never does look quite right in any of their figures. This time her face is just a bit off. Her skin tone could use some work as well.

Timmy: Eh, I am not feeling this one quite as much as that Titania version of her a few weeks ago. Most likely because the face here just isn’t doing it for me as well as the other one. I like the fact she has a  faint smile but things just seem a little off. Everything else looks ok, not all that great but ok, so you got an ok figure with a crappy base for a not too stellar price.

Saber Maid ver. (Fate/Hollow Ataraxia)
Plum, September, 8520JPY

FIGURE-000934_01

Zigg: Never understood the perpetual appeal of characters dressed up as maids, but this is a pretty cool figure otherwise. Saber herself looks super sharp, with some nice work done on those frills, and the elaborate base really helps the overall look, as well as offering huge possibilities for poses with other figures. Plum continue to be one of the most underrated in the business.

Jel: DOS STAIRS. You know that’s a fancy house when they have those things that hold the carpet down on the steps. Seriously though, that’s a pretty cool base and nice way to separate this from all the other Saber figures. Saber looks pretty great herself, although she looks way too pleased to be wearing that outfit. Come on Plum, if Saber Maid isn’t scowling then that defeats half the point.

Aqua: … Why is Saber happy to be a maid? Isn’t she supposed to be all business? Isn’t she supposed to be the king? Shouldn’t she be the one being served? Where is my maid Shirou?

Lifesong: I love the cute maid look, but I have one major issue with this figure. Her skin looks all sickly. She looks like she has sort of deathly plague. Come on Plum… you can do better than this.

Timmy: Very nice. Saber her self looks great and that base is equally as lovely. My only complaint is that her smile seems a tad overly expressive. Still a great, and slightly unique, addition to the ever growing army of Saber figures.

Himawari Shinomiya Swimsuit ver. (Vividred Operation)
Griffon, August, 7140JPY

FIGURE-000892_01

Zigg: This is actually surprisingly decent, especially the hair which is traditionally a Griffon weakness. The face isn’t too bad either, although I don’t really understand the appeal of characters looking bored or passive like this. I’m not a huge fan of the source material, she has ridiculous breasts (which the pose doesn’t help) and ye gods that price.

Jel: If no one told me this was from Vividred Operation, I would have just assumed this was another animu babe in a bikini. Needless to say this is pretty boring, and it doesn’t help that she has some severe cases of Griffon Face and Basketball Boobs. I will say I’m pretty impressed with the hair sporting a surprising amount of shading and detail, but I suppose they didn’t have much else to work with.

Aqua: I have to say, I kind of like what they did with Himawari’s hair here. It looks like almost rococo-esque crafted wood. Her pouty face is also a step up from the usual emotionless Griffon fare, but the pose just looks a bit awkward. I’m not a big fan of swimsuit figures that look embarrassed or uncomfortable, especially not when their, uhm, assets are so explicitly placed front and center. The craft is far from bad, but overall, this figure looks almost painful.

Lifesong: Himawari looks great. I am tempted to pick her up, but that price is a killer for a swimsuit figure. This figure captures her personality well, but I would much prefer that personality in magical girl garb than beach wear.

Timmy: Griffon has been doing a surprisingly good job on these Vividred swimsuit figures. Himawari turned out really nice and they seemed to capture her personality nicely with both her awkwardly placed arms and that expression on her face. It’s exactly the kind of expression she would give someone after getting her attention. The hair also looks fantastic and I only hope all that shading shows up in the production run. It is a little unfortunate Griffon wants to charge an arm and a leg for everything though.

S.H. Figuarts Kyoryu Red (Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger)
Bandai, October, 2670JPY

FIGURE-000799_04

Zigg: …

…looks left…

…looks right…

Now THAT’s brave!

Jel: It’s a red one! And he’s a dinosaur! I guess that’s cool he’s got scales on his arm???

Aqua: Let the one King rule! The joints on Daigo are extremely jarring, especially in comparaison to their Riders, but they do allow for some great poseability. The Kyoryugers’ silly design first the nutso vibe of the show and they have quite grown on me. As usual, Bandai delivers a serviceable craft for a great price, and of course a bunch of accessories as well. If you can look past the joints (it’s hard, I know), you should probably get this one.

Lifesong: The appeal is just entirely lost on me. I don’t think I ever will “get” it with this stuff.

Timmy: Man, those crotch joints. I know he probably looks fine in a static, legs together pose but still, I know you can do joints better then that. Other the the obvious complaints he looks pretty cool I guess.

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