All Your Monies: March 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 the boys are back in town with a pair of headlining figures.

Eren Yaeger (Attack On Titan)
Kotobukiya, August, ¥9,700

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Zigg: I honestly cannot see how anyone could make a better Attack On Titan figure than this. You’ve got everything you could want – incredible base, dynamic pose, beautiful clothing work, a fantastic face and more detail than you can shake a stick at. There’s the all important sense of soaring movement that so many figures from the series have missed, and combined with Kotobukiya’s top-notch craftsmanship this is one of the most unreserved recommendations I’ve made in quite some while.

Jel: Shut it down folks, this is THE Attack on Titan figure to own,. We don’t need anymore. I’ve seen the ARTFX line in person and I would probably describe them more as “statues” than figures – works of art well worth the price tag, Eren looks flawless whether it’s the sculpt, the paint or the details on his gear. I guess the only problem is no one really cares about Eren. Most of the demand seems to be for Mikasa or Levi, but I’m sure there will still be plenty of fans willing to pick this up.

Aqua: Remember how last week I said Ques Q’s Mikasa was the Attack on Titan figure you were looking for? Yeah, I take that back. It’s too bad no one gives a damn about Eren, because everything here just works, from his face to the creases on his jacket and the leather of his boots. The tree trunk looks amazing, but I’m not really a fan of how it’s rather unsubtly stuck to Eren’s 3D Maneuver Gear in order to keep the whole thing standing. It probably looks better when viewed from a different angle, and at the very least it makes this whole cool pose possible in the first place.

Nendoroid Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill)
Good Smile Company, August, ¥3,170

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Zigg: It’s about as basic as a Nendoroid could possibly be, but that doesn’t stop it being very adorable, and her striking look is a testament to Trigger’s original design. The faces are sharp and true to the character, all the requisite poses are here and GSC have wisely kept the price low. Not an essential certainly, but I put money down for one.

Jel: Yep. It’s a Ryuko nendoroid. While it is a flawless rendition of the character, I’m finding myself a little underwhelmed. There’s no special accessories or extras to make it really stand out. I do like the translucent dash of red hair that makes zero practical sense, and the metallic paint on her scissor blade is a nice touch. But unless you’re specifically a nendoroid collector I think there are better options in the pipeline to get your Kill la Kill figure fix.

Aqua: I don’t agree with Jel – there have been gorgeous Kill la Kill figures already, but this is kind of my favourite because it is the only Kill la Kill figure in which Ryuko wears her badass regular clothes in stead of her creepy bondage battle outfit. Besides, doesn’t she look adorable in tiny form? I love the highly expressive alternate faces and poses, and the cool big box she drags her Sword Scissors along in in the first few episodes. No bonus bomber jacket sadly enough, but until they make a sweet bike Ryuko static, this one’s my way to go.

Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)
Good Smile Company, September, ¥7,980

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Zigg: My main issue here is the pose, which is a little boring and mundane despite the presence of the gigantic gob of fire. But if you’re OK with that this is a sharp looking figure that’s very true to the original character design, though that head is perhaps a little small. The cast-off jacket and the removable fireball add nice customisable touches and with a GSC branded figure you’ll never be wanting for quality.

Jel: I’ll leave this one to my colleagues that know a lot more about Fairy Tail than I do, but I will say the colorful cast is going to look great together once their all completed. We’ve already seen Lucy and now Natsu looks just as great, and the option to remove his vest and/or fireball hand thing are nice extras. Now if we can just get Erza please.

Aqua: Natsu looks a lot more tanned here than he usually does, because the figure is clearly based on the edgier, more strongly coloured manga art. That does lead to him not mixing very well with GSC’s earlier Lucy, but it certainly makes for an interesting aesthetic. The shit-eating grin looks true to life, but sadly enough, the pose is a bit underwhelming for such a hammy character as Natsu. The fire on his hand looks about as crappy as the CGI in the show does, and his iconic scarf is a bit lacking in detail. Not a perfect figure, but there isn’t exactly a fat lot of other options.

Nendoroid Tsubasa Hanekawa (Bakemonogatari)
Good Smile Company, July, ¥3,190

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Zigg: Very cute, very well designed and very, very boring. The additional cats are cute but also have basically no connection to the character, which tells you how hard they’re scrabbling really.

Jel: How has this not happened already? Are we really just now getting a Hanekawa nendo, and her Bakemonogatari design no less? I suppose she really just needed a short hair option to get up to speed, but still a little late to the party here. That out of the way, Hanekawa does look adorable with her little cat hair ties and the black and white kitties are a really thoughtful addition, going the extra mile to interpret her character and not just giving her items we saw in the show. I am continuing my ban on Monogatari nendos or figmas for fear of coming down with “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” syndrome, but every release does a good job of tempting me.

Aqua: The only feeling this raises in me is ‘eh’. The tiny cats are a nice bonus, I guess?

Tsurugi Yagami (Sasami-san@Ganbaranai)
Max Factory, July, ¥9,620

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Zigg: Great looking figure, with a real sense of energy to it, something I always demand from figures. The pose is interesting to look at and unique, and the supplied acessories help create a cool looking scene. The problem is that giant base probably adds a chunk to the cost, and anything based on Sasami-san is already a tough sell. And given that the scene portrayed is so ordinary, the bright execution falls a little flatter than you’d hope. I somehow suspect this will end up gracing bargain bins, though that’s not the fault of what looks to be a good figure.

Jel: Oh yeah, remember this show? Honestly if you didn’t remind me what show Tsurugi was from I probably wouldn’t recognize her. I would have been more interested in seeing her with her lab coat and sword, but I suppose this is pretty cute as it is. The game controller, boxes, and bean bag chair are unique touches and it’s all rendered in the top notch quality we’ve come to expect from Max Factory. Might be tempting if it wasn’t for the high price tag and the fact I could care less about the character, but for more serious collectors this seems like a good buy.

Aqua: I know this feature isn’t for riffing on characters, but on figures, but seriously, who’d want to buy this? One, who actually thought Sasami-san@Ganbaranai was a good show? I sure didn’t. Two, out of all the dumb, unlikeable characters in that show, who actually thought Tsurugi was the most interesting one? And even then, this figure barely even looks like her. Her hair is the wrong colour, and where did her lab coat go? What the hell is that face even supposed to express? I love the effort you guys put into this, Max Factory, but seriously … who cares?

Saber (Fate/Zero)
Aniplex, August, ¥8,796 (Aniplex Store exclusive)

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Zigg: Honestly, I’m not that against this. Sure, it’s super out of character but then ‘sexy’ figures almost invariably are, and this is at least a relatively classy and different take on the idea. No, my main issue with the figure is critical quality – that face looks a little flat and the hair isn’t the best ever. The shirt and coat both look solid though, and Aniplex has traditionally outsourced their exclusive figures to reputable companies (most notably GSC). The exclusive status also means +++difficulty and cost in acquiring this though, so it’s tough to outright recommend.

Jel: There’s no way I would even consider having this on my shelf but man I must admit… it sure is nice to look at. Hey, I can’t help it I have a weakness for the “woman in a suit” thing. Saber still looks strong and confident and technically isn’t showing much, which makes it much more sexy than most of the tackier bikini babes we see every week. As with anything Aniplex related, Saber is a bit pricey and I’m a little worried about the quality of the final product, but I can’t help but like it anyway.

Aqua: This has to be one of the most out-of-character figures I have ever seen. Sure, it would be sexy if it weren’t for the rather uncanny face, but what’s wrong with just making Saber look badass and suave in her awesome suit? If anything, she’d be embarrassed about looking like this, not… whatever the hell expression that’s even supposed to be? It doesn’t even look like the piece of art it’s based on. And most of all, really, why would you buy this when you can buy THIS?

Guts (Kill la Kill)
Movic, May, ¥3,480

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Zigg: GUTS GUTS

Jel: Not to be a downer, but has Guts ever actually done ANYTHING in Kill la Kill? I vaguely remember him popping up in earlier episodes but he’s pretty low on the depth chart of cute mascot characters I would want a plush toy of. Still looks great though, and if you want some KLK merchandise that isn’t a half naked teenage girl this seems like a decent option.

Aqua: Figure of the fucking year.

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