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 pre-orders, 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 the turn of some of the smaller companies to shine as the big boys (mostly) take the week off.
Hatsune Miku Senbonzakura ver (Vocaloid)
FREEing July, ¥7,960
Zigg: A sharp, enjoyably different look for Miku. I love the tandem of long hair and long sleeves flying about her like crazy, and the purple and green colour scheme is interesting to look at and stays jsuto n the right side of garish. FREEing are never going to be A-listers in terms of quality but this is a solid, distinctive offering that looks well worth the price tag.
Jel: Proving that the Miku Figure Machine still has some life left in it, I really like this figure. I love the classy, deceptively simple outfit and the pose practically looks like she’s still moving. On closer inspection some of the finer details might not be on par with offerings from better figure companies, including the face which looks a bit flat. Still a cool figure though, even if you’re tired of looking at Miku.
Lifesong: Another day, another Miku. I think that Freeing did a good job of capturing the feel and personality of this design overall. I especially like the shading on her sleeves and socks. This figure stands to prove that Freeing can make a decent figure when they try, but I’m also underwhelmed at the same time. It may simply be that I am tired of Miku.
Aqua: Miku, is that you? Either the saturation on this picture is a little off, or Miku’s hair is a lot greener here than I remember. Paired with the nifty outfit, she’s almost a completely different character altogether. The implications that statement raises about the originality in anime designs aside, I very much like the spunky getup, some sort of strange mishmash of all sorts of periods in Japanese history, which is a far cry from the rest of Miku’s usually very futuristic wardrobe. The real show-stealer, however, is the energetic, optimistic pose. I just hope she doesn’t fall over like that. Whatever your opinion on the character may be, it’s hard to deny this figure being another addition to the ever-expanding roster of quality Miku figurines.
Yaya (Unbreakable Machine Doll)
Kotobukiya, June, ¥8,650
Zigg: Kotobukiya continue to find really interesting and cool ways to display figures. I love the ‘falling’ motif, which gives the company a chance to go to town on all the hair, cloth and ribbons flying about. It’s a cool, outstanding look for the figure which displays that nice booted feet/thigh highs combo to great effect. Killer base too. A very impressive effort.
Jel: I’m sure everyone is going to rave about the base and rightfully so, but I’m also impressed with the sculpt of Yaya herself. I love the way her hair tumbles and the folds in her sleeves almost look photo realistic. The boots make for an interesting anachronism when compared to her vaguely medieval outfit, and a few swirling ribbons add a nice final touch. Timmy, get your order in!
Lifesong: Yes the base is cool, but that isn’t what has me so impressed by Yaya. What does have me so impressed then? Many things actually. For starters I love the sense of motion, her whole body feels like it is falling in the same direction. As someone who loves Yaya’s character design I also great appreciate the attention to detail on her outfit. The way Yaya’s sleeves and bunched up as they hang off her shoulders make it look like fabric and I love the way the ribbons on her socks get in on the falling motion of the figure. Her boots are also fantastic. Kotobukiya may not be the best figure company on the market yet, but when it comes to feet and footwear they are second to none. One final thing that I personally like is how well they captured her doll like appearance. I can tell at a glance that this Yaya is supposed to look like a doll. That is an impressive feat I think.
Aqua: Has Timmy pre-ordered this already? Can’t really blame him, what with the gorgeous base, eye for detail and sweet boots. Seriously, look at these boots. They’re lovely. I’ll forgive the fact that you can look straight up her skirt, as the unique pose certainly sort of justifies it, and even the face looks beautifully made. Another winner for Kotobukiya.
Yukikaze (Kantai Collection)
FunnyKnights, June, ¥7,250
Zigg: I really do wish they’d been able to resist the lure of the transparent skirt here because otherwise this is actually rather adorable. It takes several of the things I like about the Shimakaze design – the sailor suit motif, the rudder feet – and integrates them into a design that’s much cuter and way less skeevy. I really like the face and the simple yet energetic pose. On thing i will say though – I’ve not heard of FunnyKnights before and so I’ve got no handle on their quality. Might be worth waiting to see.
Jel: Hey, it’s a KanColle girl I haven’t seen before! I’m not sure how I feel about Yukikaze’s battleship enhancements being a bit more subdued than some of her other counterparts, if you can call having two cannons on your purse subdued. I guess subtlety is the theme here as I didn’t notice her dress is semi-transparent at first glance. Is she supposed to be soaking wet? That seems to be a really bad trait for a battleship. ANYWAY, I’ll give this figure credit for being something different than Shimakaze, but on it’s own it’s kind of boring.
Lifesong: I can’t be the only one who thinks this design is incredibly boring can I? If I were going to go all in and buy a bunch of Kantai Collection figures I might grab this one, but I already did that for Touhou and my wallet won’t forgive another expense like that. On her own? I find this figure lame.
Aqua: You know, guys, it’s really cool and all, that you can make cloth look transparent, but that doesn’t make this figure any less creepy. The appeal of KanColle is still lost on me — am I the only one who finds it really disturbing to sexualize tools of war and rampant militarism? — but at the very least figure companies know where the money is. Yukikaze looks a lot less iconic than Shimakaze, whom we featured a few weeks ago, and the face is all kinds of dopey, but I do like those fin heels. It’s a fine enough effort for fans of the character — if we can call her that — but rather underwhelming for people with less time on their hands.
Levi (Attack On Titan)
PULCHRA, August, ¥9,570
Zigg: Gee, Levi sure gets a lot of figures, doesn’t he? It’s almost as if his cold, jerkish personality is catnip to fanboys and fangirls whose criteria for good characterisation is how hard you can ship it. Regardless, this is an impressive looking figure, with killer detail on the 3DMG and great paint and sculpting elsewhere. It’s just…boring though. Like, where’s my dynamic, mid-air Attack On Titan figures? Count this in the technically excellent but I have zero interest camp. Nice base though.
Jel: I feel like Attack on Titan and KanColle are competing to the be the new Nanoha of this feature. I’m getting kind of tired of those brown jackets and green capes. That aside, Levi looks pretty cool here with some particularly impressive wear and tear on his gear. My biggest issue is the pose, which I think is supposed to look calm and cool but instead just looks listless. Otherwise a pretty impressive offering for Titan fans, if you can afford it.
Lifesong: You can count me impressed with this one. I’m not a fan of the series, but I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship here. I do question the choice of facial expression. I can’t tell what it is trying to express. Maybe it makes more sense to fans of the series? To me he kinds of looks like a cosplayer at a photo shoot who is bored and can’t wait to go home.
Aqua: No Attack on Titan figure will pass through here without a remark about all the characters wearing the exact same outfit, but I have to say this is by far the most beautiful sculpt of the uniform up to now. The 3D Maneuver Gear looks positively stunning, with strong attention to detail and a pretty metallic finish, and the watercolour like finishing on the jacket and cape is an absolute hit. Paired with Levi’s perpetually bored expression, the pose looks more as if the man is stumbling and about to fall over rather than menacing, and the price tag reeks of PULCHRA charging people more because they can, but if you’re a fan of Levi, now is your chance.
Purple Heart (Hyperdimension Neptunia)
WING, June, ¥15,340
Zigg: I sort of hat the whole mecha-musume thing. No matter how many fancy fins and and wings you giver her, at the end of a day this is still a girl in leaotard with comedy breasts. Granted, those wings and fins are well put together and the purple motif is sort of cool, but chalk this one up as uninspired. Except for that price, which is pretty comedic.
Jel: I am kind of a sucker for the mecha-musume look. The big black sword, tech wings, floating robo-tassets… I love it all. I’ve also always been a fan of Purple Hearts’s color scheme, with just the slightest touch of blue to contrast the black and lavender. I would give it an unconditional thumbs up if wasn’t for that price tag. That is a lot of yen to ask for, even for something as elaborate as this.
Lifesong: I feel like this figure should have some feeling of motion, instead it just looks like her whole body has gone stiff. Overall this figure looks lifeless to me. I can’t sense any personality whatsoever. She is just… there, in her outfit, posing. I wouldn’t be so hard on her if not for how much she costs, but her pricetag is way higher than she is actually worth I think.
Aqua: Too bad you can’t buy an actual Playstation 3 for that price.
Neris (Shining Whatever)
Kotobukiya, June, ¥7,400
Zigg: This is basically just here because Timmy would have been mad if she wasn’t. But then he didn’t contribute this week, so now I just feel like I wasted a slot.
Jel: At this point there’s so many Shining girls that I need to see some kind of wings or giant weapon or something crazy to even give it the time of day. In other words, I need to see more than a shiny beach ball. PASS.
Lifesong: Another lovely Tony Taka figure. Kotobukiya have worked their magic again and Neris manages to look cute and sexy all at the same time. I do wonder why she is wearing heals on the beach, but then look at the quality craftsmanship of those heals! Did I mention Kotobukiya are really good at shoes? Because they are.
Aqua: Oh jolly, it’s another Tony Taka girl in a swimsuit. Why is she wearing high heels when she’s going swimming? Why does her face look as if she has just stared into the vortex of despair and her expression has been permanently twisted into a hollow smile? Do beach balls even exist in magical medieval bread land? And most importantly, why do people keep buying this Shining crap?