All Your Monies: February 24th 2014

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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 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 a huge bonus edition full of preposterously priced stuff. Enjoy!

Real Action Heroes Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill)
Medicom Toy, November, ¥19,360

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Zigg: While this looks easily up to the usual standards of RAH, I’m a little puzzled why it exists. The whole point of RAHs is you get all the cool clothing and playability of a doll without the head-exploding prices and latent creepiness. But Ryuko’s battle gear is known for its dinstinctive lack of clothing, and as a result although she looks great it’s not necessarily something that couldn’t be achieved in a much smaller scale. Accessories are mighty stingy too – you only get the scissor blade, with the extended version being a bonus for first-run orders. That big seam line on her legs is not exactly top-notch either. A nice figure then, but at this price an easy pass.

Jel: You know, I saw the headlines for this but did not look at it until now because I knew it exactly what it was going to be. Having now actually seen it, I was right! It is kind of interesting in that I never really thought about what Senketsu would look like in real life, nor can I recall a RAH figure with so little clothing. I’m also not liking the continuing RAH trend of having little to no accessories. Isn’t having ridiculous extras part of the excuse for the high price tag? I’m going to recommend sticking with the figma for your poseable Ryuko needs.

Lifesong: Big, expensive and not really my thing. It is neat that someone has poseable figures that don’t have all the nasty joints. I am impressed by how good the figure looks considering that Ryuko doesn’t wear very much.

Aqua: One of the selling points of the Real Action Heroes line is their use of actual cloth, something Ryuko’s design is rather lacking in. That aside, the figure itself is well enough made, despite the fact that everything looks a bit too much like a plastic toy. Especially on the scissor blade and the hair this is rather grating. Combine that with the latter looking a bit too fluttery to fit still poses like the one in the picture, and you’re going to start wondering if it’s worth the price. The lack of accessories is disappointing, especially in comparison with the other RAH figure we’ll be featuring today. If you’re a big fan of Ryuko, I’d suggest you think twice before picking this one over Phat’s version. Or a replica of her sweet bomber jacket, for that matter.

Timmy: Impressive at first glance but when you get a closer look this pretty much is an over sized figma thanks to the lack of cloth. Not really any accessories and a really hefty price tag make her way out of my ballpark.

Hitagi Senjougahara Koimonogatari ver. (Monogatari Second Season)
Kotobukiya, July, ¥7,400

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Zigg: Gorgeous. That baby blue coat is just the best thing – check out the beatiful sculpting and texturing done to make it look ‘puffy’ – and together with the scarf and boots form a really nice contrast to the traditional Monogatari uniform. I love the expression too, it’s nice to see Senjougahara not looking sly or sadistic for a change. Little detailsl ike the icicles on the rail and the blush on her cheeks show off the excellent detailing. Simply irresistible.

Jel: AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! I already freaked out about this in our recent Winter Wonder Festival post, but in a nutshell this is one of my favorite character designs and one of my handful of dream figures. I will be pre-ordering this as soon as I finish writing this post.

Lifesong: Never before has Hitagi looked so cute. I love the way you can almost see the wind blowing her scarf, jacket and tie. The snow covered guard rail helps add to the overall coldness. Overall a wonderful figure that feels alive and in motion.

Aqua: Senjougahara with short hair? Looks neat. Senjougahara blushing like a shy wallflower? Not so sure about that. In any case, Kotobukiya’s latest incarnation of your favourite tsun-/kuu-/yandere is nothing short of beautiful, with a masterfully painted and shaded coat, fluttering scarf, detailed uniform and last but not least, a unique base. While I am not a big fan of the profusely blushing waif-face, if you’re into that sort of thing, you can’t go wrong with this one. Then again, if you are into profusely blushing waifs, I’m wondering why you even like Senjougahara in the first place.

Timmy: Truly a lovely incarnation of Hitagi. I love they motion given to her clothing as if hit with a cold breeze. The expression and short hair are also really wonderful and as seems to be becoming the norm, Koto presents us with a stellar base. Very tempting, and in the end me getting this will probably depend on how well Koto’s other Hitagi turns out.

Frau Kojiro (Robotics;Notes)
Good Smile Company, July, ¥8,770

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Zigg: Hey, remember Robotics;Notes? I kid, I kid, but man, that show sure passed by. This figure won’t though, since it’s really cool and interesting looking. The sharp face and snide expression won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I like the look they lend Frau a lot. GSC have really gone to town on the incidental detailing this time round, with both the abundant Pocky packets and mini-Gunvarrel really delightful examples of going the extra mile too. I really like the half-shucked sock too. Details, details.

Jel: This is a really unique looking figure enhanced by a fantastic sculpt. The level of detail on Frau’s uniform, the robot, and the couch thing she’s sitting on are almost photo-realistic. Between that and the pocky boxes, this is pretty much otaku fantasy fuel and while that turns me off personally it is a rather classy way to go that route. It almost makes me regret not finishing Robotics;Notes. Almost.

Lifesong: Girls, robots and pocky! If I liked the anime, this figure would have been a must buy, I think. Sadly I got bored half way through and never finished it, leaving me to feel uninspired toward its merchandise. That said, Frau does look lovely.

Aqua: Let’s get two gripes out of the way: One, is this character a German lady, or did her parents seriously call their daughter “Miss”? Two, no one sits like that, Mary Jane. Unless that’s some sort of weird meditational pose designed to make you sit as uncomfortable as humanly possible. Nitpicking aside, Frau looks wonderful, with the craft of the figure matching the slightly edgy style of the show surprisingly well. I love the toy robots, candy boxes scattered about and the crazily detailed half-off sock. The sofa she’s sitting on looks like actual classy leather and the price is surprisingly affordable for a static of this quality. Good job, Good Smile.

Timmy: There is so much going on here it really is quite impressive. The pocky boxes and seat look great but Frau herself and her little robot are what really shine. Very impressive.

Akane Isshiki Ignition ver. (Vividred Operation)
Aquamarine, June, ¥9,470

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Zigg: I’m thrilled we finally got an action girl version of Akane, and very pleased this much praised garage kit by Grizzry Panda got turned into an official product. Great pose and impressive detail, especially the fluttering top and skirt. Still, those plastic effects parts look awfully tacky and crotches do not work like that, especially if you’re female.

Jel: If we are going to get more Vividred figures I am all for more of these. The girls’ magical robot whatever forms are far more interesting than their normal maximum butt appreciation uniforms. This particular figure looks kind of weird in the face, almost like it’s going for a different art style, and personally I don’t care for that. The little techno bits are pretty cool though, and it’s otherwise a pretty nice looking figure.

Lifesong: More like this only yellow please.

Aqua: What is this, a VividRed figure wearing something that can actually pass as pants? A VividRed figure not posed for maximum butt exposure? Sure, she’s posed for maximum crotch exposure in stead, but hey, at least they’re shaking things up!

Timmy: If they can pull it off in the production department, Aquamarine’s Akane will rank among the most impressive Vividred figures on the market. I was impressed when I first saw this sculpt in garage kit form and that hasn’t changed with the jump to PVC. Now I just need to convince myself that I don’t need to buy any Vividred figures.

Asuna – Fairy Dance- (Sword Art Online)
Kotobukiya, July, ¥9,700

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Zigg: Not quite as impressive as their Aincrad version, this is still a lovely looking figure that maintains Kotobukiya’s hot run on Sword Art Online figures. I’m not entirely sure what they’re going for with the broken cage base but it’s an impressive visual nevertheless and the company has done very well in capturing the gossamer look of her ALO outfit. Love the fading hair tips too, that’s just a really cool touch. Definitely a winner.

Jel: Out of all the “Asuna in a cage” figures I think I like this one best if only because the poor girl escapes with a modicum of dignity. My immediate thought is it looks like she’s breaking free of the cage rather being bound by it. Interesting use of transparency as well, giving her a creative, other worldly feel that actually makes more sense considering she’s in a video game. Asuna’s actual design seems less accurate to the anime and more like something Tony Taka drew up, but that also seems appropriate in this case.

Lifesong: Asuna is ready to leave her cage and is holding out her hand to be taken away. I like the way this figure captures the appeal of this design without playing up it’s creepier side. The broken cage base is a nice touch. It’s clear that Asuna is ready to fly away and that makes for a lovely figure I think.

Aqua: What’s that pose supposed to be? Is she squatting? Is she hovering? Is she stepping off the platform? Then why is she doing that “come hither, my saviour” pose with her arms? Oh well, the white cloth on Asuna’s very much non-action outfit looks beautiful here,. though I’m a bit bummed they didn’t manage to make her wings look different from her clothes. You can barely tell them apart! I do love the colouring on the hair, though. Asuna has gone from blonde to brunette to ginger in her various figure incarnations, but I think this colour suits her best, and the fading, translucent ends are a gorgeous addition, even though I’m not sure what they’re supposed to represent. The gold of the base is a bit tacky, but the broken framework does a good job at representing a cage without becoming tasteless. Speaking of which…

Timmy: I was really looking forward to Asuna’s reveal at Wonfest but with me being so used to her anime design that not-orange hair and those really round eyes through me for a bit of a loop. In the end though, I think they work pretty well and add some variety to the otherwise pretty crowded Asuna market. This is also one of the more tasteful spins of her design from the second half of the show, and the way she is posed “breaking out” helps me forget how litttle I enjoyed that arc. Don’t be too surprised if this Asuna finds a way into my collection, I just have to find her somewhere for a good price.

Asuna -Captured Titania- (Sword Art Online)
Max Factory, July, ¥9,590

FIGURE-004826_01

Zigg: I think this is one of those occasions where’s I’m perfectly OK with judging people who buy this figure. That said, it’s technically impressive. Just tasteless.

Jel: Continuing the Max Factory tradition of gorgeously sculpted figures I would never ever want, this figure is creepy in context, let alone out if it. I can understand if you like Asuna’s Titania design, but why would you want to celebrate her at her lowest moment? As a more general question, why would you want a figure of a woman tied up and helpless? I know those are rhetorical questions, but the answers still make me a little sick. Get the Kotobukiya version instead.

Lifesong: Max Factory’s tied up Asuna looks great technically and manages to portray her at her weakest moment from the story. I am honestly tempted to pick this up just because of how well it captures her part in the second half of the SAO anime, but I’ve decided that I don’t really need a tied up Asuna.

Aqua: Oh Sword Art Online, whenever I am prepared to go easy on you, you just have to strike back with something gruesomely tasteless, don’t you? Disgusting.

Timmy: Despite figures sporting poses and expressions of desperation not really being my thing, I still find a lot to like with this Asuna. Her clothing looks well detailed and the bindings on her arms and legs are really well done. What I like the most though is how her hair is going all over the place with some of it draping on her wings. It looks fantastic. Unfortunately the aforementioned expression and pose hold this one back for me, but that is just my personal opinion. From a technical standpoint she looks wonderful.

Eru Chitanda (Hyouka)
Clayz, April, ¥9,150

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Zigg: You can’t spell ‘Clayz’ without ‘lazy’.

Jel: No Chitanda, why??? What did they do to you??? Let’s be honest: the Hyouka designs are too boring in themselves to make good figures, and if you couple that with a poor sculpt and a high price there is ZERO incentive to buy this. I am now kind of regretting I never picked up Alter’s version, which managed to deftly avoid all three of those issues. I’d say go track down one of those and burn this with fire.

Lifesong: Boring and will probably look worse than the prototype.

Aqua: I love Hyouka, and while I’m glad to see it’s not been forgotten by an industry with an average long-term memory of six months, I’m not really sure if it was worth bothering. Chitanda looks freaky, lanky and awkward, and while there is nothing wrong with the figure per se, it looks too uncanny and amateurish to be sold at this price. The face invokes all sorts of horrors and the pose lacks the bubbliness we’ve come to expect from the character. Also, that skirt is way too frilly and fluttery for a pose that I fathom is supposed to be serene. A curious figure, but not in the meaning it should have here.

Timmy: I am pretty sure there are prize figures out there that look better then this will, and I don’t see anything here to justify that high price tag.

Sena Kashiwazaki (Haganai)
Gift, June, ¥10,580

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Zigg: I’ve always thought Sena’s character design was sort of gross and this doesn’t do anything to change my opinion. It looks to be well made and that’s not actually a bad price considering this is a pretty colossal 1/4 scale but man, there’s so much better stuff out there.

Jel: I have to say this is one of the best looking 1/4 scale figures I’ve ever seen. Normally figures this large suffer from a lack of detail, but not here. Everything looks dead on, be it her face, her bikini, or her ridiculous body portions, to the point where it looks like a normal 1/8 or 1/7 figure. The price is actually quite reasonable as well, so if for some reason you need a massive Sena statue in your life your ship has come in.

Lifesong: This might be the best Sena in a bikini figure yet. Not something I want, but this captures her personality well with her casual bombshell look while she chats with someone, unaware of how pretty she is. Not something I want personally, but if I did want a Sena figure this is the one I would get.

Aqua: 

Timmy: This is one Sena swimsuit figure I don’t mind looking at, and (mostly) not because of the swimsuit part. That face and hair combo is quite possibly one of the best examples of Sena I have seen. The hair looks fantastic, the expression is very cute, and both capture her personality really well. If it weren’t for the creepy 1/4 scale part I would probably be more interested in actually getting this, but as it stands she is still a really nice Sena. Not a bad price either considering the scale.

Real Action Heroes Levi (Attack On Titan)
Medicom Toy, November, ¥20,780

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Zigg: Now this is what RAH figures are all about – insanely detailed costume and accessory pieces. It’s such an impressive rendition of Levi it’s even enough to overcome my massive fatigue of the character. Those bonus costume bits are amazing too, although it’s worth noting they’re limited to first run orders only. Unbelieveably, if you’re looking to sink this kind of money into a figure, I’d easily recommend Levi over Ryuko.

Jel: Attack on Titan and RAH are a perfect marriage and Levi is no exception. Having just complained about recent RAH’s lack of accessories, Levi has enough extras to at least temporarily disprove my theory. I’m still pretty sick of the brown and green Recon Corps jackets, but when it comes to Titan figures the RAH’s are the best of the best.

Lifesong: Attack on memes?

Aqua: What’s this? Attack on Titan stops taking itself so damn seriously? Colour me surprised. Anyways, the iconic Titan Fighter Guys Military Dudes™ uniform looks pretty great in Real Action Heroes flavour, and I like how Levi comes with some alternate outfits of sorts. You can have him soaring through the skies with his cape and 3D Maneuver Gear, or stay on the ground mopping the floor. Flexibility is the name of the game for the RAH line, so standard Attack on Titan figure complaints aside — They all wear the same, you could just as much just swap their heads, etc. — particularly wealthy fans have something to look forward to.

Timmy: Basically copy all the nice things I had to say about Mikasa and paste them here. The 3D maneuver gear looks great in RAH format. I do also appreciate that they are trying to mix things up a little by throwing in some extra stuff.

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