All Your Monies: March 31st 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 Nendoroids attempt a takeover.

Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku (Kill la Kill)
Good Smile Company, August, ¥3,400

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Zigg: Magnificent, but then did you expect anything less? Mako was born to be a Nendoroid and GSC have done a great job of livening up her somewhat vanilla design with the perfect selection of poses and faces. Guts is a nice little inclusion too and this is one of the very few figures in the range I’d deem essential. Pre-ordered.

Jel: Considering Mako is basically a nendoroid to begin with, it’s no surprise her transition is perfect. GSC translated her cartoon elastic poses as well as they possible could, and I love the sleep bubble and Guts as surprise additions. Part of me was still holding out hope she would have her Fight Club President uniform but I suppose that would be asking for too much. Maybe for the figma? Either way, everyone should buy this.

Aqua: Adorable, just adorable. Mako was born to be poseable, and I love the lengths to which Good Smile Company went to to allow for as many crazy poses as possible with this Nendoroid. Mako’s design may not be very extravagant, but she sure makes up for it with all sorts of hilarious alternative facial expressions — she comes with four in stead of the usual three, plus an extra sleeping bubble –and limbs so you can have a different Mako on your shelf every day. Guts makes for a cute little addition, and if you’re in a particularly spend-happy mood, you can get this exclusive … thing from the Good Smile Company Online Store. Hallelujah!

Timmy: GSC have done a pretty good job crafting a nice package here with all the faces, Guts, and the other extra bits. And the kept the price pretty reasonable as well. Really the question you have to ask yourself is not if you are getting Mako, but if you are getting her with the bonus exclusive face or not. You have until the 23rd to decide.

Lifesong: Wrong outfit. No fight club, no buy. I do love that they included her interruption pose, just not enough to buy her.

figma Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill)
Max Factory, August, ¥3,890

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Zigg: I’m most impressed by the technical prowess here, in the way that Max Factory have made a figure that wears almost no clothes actually look great as a figma. The range’s excellent poseability and top-notch paint quality should be a given by now. I’d have liked to see a few more accessories but I’m not honestly sure what you could include. Very, very sharp looker though, and great expressions.

Jel: Assuming you don’t have Real Action Hero money, this is THE Ryuko action figure to get. It appears they managed to keep her super poseable despite Senketsu’s unwieldy… eyes? I would have been concerned that would have restricted her arm movement but it seems to be OK. The blade transformation is a nice extra but kind of expected at this point, especially considering there’s not too many other extras you could pack in here. Might also be worth checking out the delightfully bizarre Mako extra that is exclusive to the GSC shop, but either way it’s a great rendition of Ryuko in action.

Aqua: If you want Ryuko in a bunch of action-packed poses, this figma is the way to go, yet it does come with its fair share of gripes. Not entirely unpredictably, her breasts look like a peanut tucked under her suspender belt thingies, and the seam that run from her chest to her back really shouldn’t be there. This is more the character designer’s fault than Max Factory’s, though, yet it makes this figma a hard sell. I do like how the nice leather-ish finish hides the joints quite well, and how Ryuko’s pained expression doesn’t look exploitative at all. A figure rarity there.

Timmy: I keep telling myself I don’t need this since I ordered Phat!’s fancy scale, but man has this turned out pretty great. Looks to be pretty pose able despite Senketsu’s bulkyness amd I always have had reservations with this outfit since she was first announced, but I think she turned out alright. That or I just got used to seeing it in the show. Hell, they could probably release a nude figma of one of the show’s characters at this point without much fuss. Pending that though Ryuko looks to be a pretty solid buy.

Lifesong: I am looking forward to seeing how fans will pose this figure. I wish they had included both halves of the scissors, but I assume a Nue figma is probably in the works to solve that.

Holo – Renewal Package Edition (Spice & Wolf)
Kotobukiya, July, ¥6,000 (Re-release)

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Zigg: A timeless design, simple but elegant and very well painted and sculpted. That this figure is on its fourth re-release (and still sold out almost instantly) is a testimony how desired it is.

Jel: I like the general idea of this figure and the grass texture base is really clever, but it just seems kind of flat to me. Her outfit is very monochromatic and lacking detail and her face, while cute, doesn’t seem to have much life to it. Still, the price is decent and this is probably the best figure available of her light novel design, so not a bad option overall.

Aqua: Beautiful. This figure wonderfully captures Spice and Wolf‘s enchanting art style and soft colour palette. Holo’s design is gorgeous in its simplicity and her pose and smile ooze with personality without a speck of creepiness. Nice fake grass on the base too. Recommended. 

Timmy: The fact this has been released thrice should say a lot, along with the fact this sold out pretty quickly on Amiami. Holo looks lovely, which is really, really making me regret not grabbing her when she went up. She is quite reasonably priced too.

Lifesong: Holo went up for order again? This is the figure that first got me into collecting and is still one of my favorites. It’s cool to see that Kotobukiya is still supplying the demand for this figure. It’s also interesting to me that she always sells out so fast. Season 3 when? There is clearly money to be made here. Some animation studio needs to take note!

Nendoroid Rin Tohsaka (Fate/Stay Night)
Good Smile Company, July, ¥3,160

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Zigg: This is a good example of how the Nendoroid style works really well even on quite a basic design. Rin’s hair looks great, she’s sharp and well painted and there’s clearly been some thought about what to bundle with her. Not exactly going to set the world on fire, but it’s gratifying that such a major character is finally properly represented in the line. 

Jel: I’m gonna be “that” guy and point out this is actually the second Rin nendoroid. She was the fifth nendoroid ever made, back when they all had Tiger Dojo eyes. Even so, I’m shocked at how long it’s taken for her to get a proper nendo treatment, especially since she’s appeared as a petit in several different variations. Fortunately, GSC does her right by giving her all of her magical weapons and some cool magic blasts, but the real gold here is the pair of glasses and the hands down greatest tsundere face I’ve ever seen in PVC form. The mix and match possibilities are endless.

Aqua: It’s pretty disturbing there hasn’t yet been a Rin Tohsaka nendoroid yet, and Good Smile Company did about as well a job as they could have with this one. All her bizarre magical tools are there, and in small chibi form, it really shows how delightfully simple and iconic Rin’s outfit is. Less really is more. The oversized hipster glasses look a bit strange on her, but the great amount of options this figure offers more than justifies its price.

Timmy: I prooobably don’t need a Rin nendo but I might end up getting her anyways. GSC has done a really nice job on her and it damn it took them long enough.

Lifesong: More Rin is never a bad thing. She comes with a nice set of accessories. I like the magical blast in particular.

Miss Monochrome (Miss Monochrome)
Good Smile Company, August, ¥3,250

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Zigg: I know nothing about Miss Monochrome but that replica box might be the greatest extra ever and I’ll be incredibly disappointed if the actual packaging doesn’t look exactly like that.

Jel: I adored the dry satire of Miss Monochrome and I’m delighted to see she finally got her nendoroid made! Yes, there is an episode of the anime that involves her trying to get her own nendoroid, you should go watch it. Shameless plug aside, they nailed it with the accessories and I love her hard plastic armor. Ruu-chan (yes, her pet Roomba is named Ruu-chan) is a must as is the nendoroid box, but including her battery power source goes the extra mile. I just might have to pick this one up.

Aqua: I know little about Miss Monochrome, but I have to say I love the idea of a Nendoroid coming with a little version of her own box to play with. The plastic armour makes her look like a real android, and I like how her poses and accessories cover a wide variety of moods, from cute idol to bizarre deadpan robot girl. Only two facial expressions is a bit of a pity — maybe Mako stole one of hers — but it’s always nice to see characters like this get a nendo of their own. With how overpopulated it is, the line is a perfect match for properties that will probably never get a scale.

Timmy: Big thumbs down to GSC for not actually making her nendoroid number 4696, otherwise pretty cool stuff. Lots of fun accessories that were all plugged in the show. If you feel spunky you could cough up some proxy fees for her exclusive inverted colorway which was seen in the ED. (And should have been nendoroid number 9646. Again, you suck GSC.} I wish Jel hadn’t talked me into watching the show as I really didn’t need a reason to buy this. Must resist…

Lifesong: Ironically anyone who has watched the anime knows that buying this nendroid won’t help Miss Monochrome become an idol. She does make a great toy though!

Akane Isshiki (Vividred Operation)
Medicom Toy, September, ¥8,650 

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Zigg: Medicom’s second foray into static figures is in my mind a big step down from Maka. I’m pleased that they went for the battle costime and the lines and paintwork seem sharp as a tack, but that pose is awkward as hell. I appreciate they went for something more dynamic than just ‘standing’ but the arms and legs are so stiff it’s difficult to believe there’s any actual movement. Good try, but I’m hoping for better next time.

Jel: I do like the Vividred techno-magical girl outfits and Akane looks pretty cool here. The pose is unique and I like her fierce expression, although I’m not entirely sure I know which way she’s moving. The blue jets on her shoes seem like a bit of an after thought, but the detail on the rest of the outfit looks great. I really love the way seams and bolts are incorporated into the design, even if some of them are just design elements for show. The price might be prohibitive, but other than that seems like a cool figure.

Aqua: Akane looks a bit pale here, it’s rather uncanny. Nevertheless, I like the badass pose. It’s a nice change from the usual maximum butt exposure. The Vividred magical girl outfits look stylish enough, without too many garish details, and the rocket-propelled boots give the nice impression of her slinging that giant Pokéball boomerang around. The skin tone is a bit of a pity, yet for a not so top tier company as Medicom, this is a nice effort.

Timmy: Definitely not a bad rendition of Akane and I am glad to see Medicom get a few more scales under their belt. I espically like the rocket boots and the face has turned out quite nice as well. Price is somewhat reasonable as well. A solid buy, though I personally still find Aquamarine’s offering to be more interesting.

Lifesong: I’m already completely bored with figures of this character. This isn’t bad I guess, but we already have several that I like more. Is this character even all that popular in the first?

S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Zangetsu Melon Energy Arms (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Bandai, August, ¥5,000 (Tamashii Web Exclusive)

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Zigg:  I remain impressed with the amount of detail Bandai manages to get into these. The silver and gold trim on Takatora’s armour is immaculate and they’ve nailed key details like the print on his thighs and forearms and the stippled texture of his breastplate. What I’m not impressed with is the comapny making seemingly every other Kamen Rider Figuart a web exclusive. Don’t be greedy guys.

Jel: Out of all the bug guys we’ve had in this feature, this bug guy seems to be the most detailed. Seriously that bow looks amazing, especially in that scale. Maybe I should get around to watching Gaim so I can stop calling them bug guys.

Aqua: Takatora is a man of wealth, yet this is a bit expensive for a Figuarts. Still, Zangetsu’s design is pretty classy, and as usual, there is little to complain about in the details department. The gold on his greaves looks especially cool, and I love how the design on his armour actually resembles the rough exterior of a real melon, rather than being a flat print. As per usual for Figuarts, you get the bits to make every pose you can imagine, but it remains just a bit of a stinger they couldn’t make regular Melon arms and Melon Energy arms into a single figure with exchangeable parts, especially at this price. Money is the motive, of course, but it almost seems as if the real Yggdrasil Corporation is behind this.

Timmy: That is a lot of awesome detail going on there and the shiny textured greed armor with gold trim is really cool.

Lifesong: I just… this is so gaudy. I do not understand the appeal.

One thought on “All Your Monies: March 31st 2014

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