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 Zigg is out cruising the convention scene so I am doing the honors this week. Naturally I make sure to include something that I know wouldn’t be here otherwise.
Honoka Kosaka (Love Live!)
Good Smile Company, November, ¥9,074
Timmy: Very lovely. Its great to see that GSC is now joining Kotobukiya in tempting me with beautiful Love Live figures. Face looks great, hair looks stunning with all that motion in it, and the pose in general seems dynamically fun and interesting. I also love how different this is compared to kotobukiya’s version of Kosaka, though that is probably more of a compliment for them then GSC. If I were a fan of the show and actually buying these I would no doubt be double dipping.
Jel: The official anime mascot of Nature Valley Granola Bars™ looks lovely here, at least by garish idol standards. The colors are bright and bold, the pose and outfit are fun and tasteful, and the pose adds a nice sense of motion to the affair. Just look at that hair move! There’s a part of me that wants to say it’s a little too unoriginal to be of interest outside the Love Live fan base, but that probably sums up how I feel about the series in general.
Chris: What a gorgeous figure! I have no idea what Love Live is all about aside from being an idol show, so the show itself isn’t really appealing. Not that it really matters when you’ve got something this well made, and I’m sure it’ll be worming its way into the collections of many folks who’ve not seen the show before. Personally I think it’s worth picking up for the bike gloves and braces combo.
Marlin: This does look pretty, but with no investment I can’t see why you’d get this figure over the million other idol figures out there already.
I-19 (Kantai Collection)
FunnyKnights, September, ¥8,500
Timmy: FunnyKnights’s last KanColle girl fared alright here and my biggest compliment for I-19 here is that they again did a totally different character then what everyone else is doing. Well, and that cute face I guess. I like the colorful hair as well as it adds a good amount of interest to an otherwise boring school swimsuit girl, as does those torpedoes I guess. Overall she is cute but in the end still just another girl in a school swimsuit.
Jel: I don’t know if it’s the overblown paint work or the pose that looks like it had zero thought put into it, but this looks like a decent garage kit at best, not a $90 production figure. It doesn’t help that I-19 falls into the “lazy” category of KanColle character designs, although she does have interesting hair in this particular example. Is this her powered up form or something? Basically if you plan on shelling out big dollars for your ship daughters, I don’t see any reason why you would buy something outside of Max Factory’s stellar line.
Chris: This looks like someone got so pissed that their favourite KanColle girl wasn’t getting any merchandise that they snapped the head off another and made a new one themselves. Sure, I’ve seen worse, but I just can’t get past that. It is a pretty awful character design overall, as she looks like someone took a drawing from Danbooru and stuck torpedoes all over it.
Marlin: That face is absolutely horrible. Add to that, the ridiculous boobs just make the whole figure really awkward. I suppose the hair is pretty, but it is pretty close to the borderline of just looking like a couple strings of cotton candy. The crazy thing is this is honestly not as exploitative as some of the other KanColle figures that have already started polluting the market.
Lady Venera (World Conquest Zvezda Plot)
Revolve, October, ¥11,000
Timmy: Revolve seems to be the newest company to the figure making scene and as much as I hate to admit it I really am digging their Venera here. The hair and cape thing are both well sculpted and dynamic. the pose and face also look great and match the character of our anti-hero well. The alternate face and hair parts are a nice touch, but I much prefer the masked face over them as it fits the pose far better. A great first showing for Revolve and a pretty great figure as well if you don’t mind the slightly higher price and the fact she is much too young to be showing that much skin.
Jel: Man, this is an expensive line-up this week. World Conquest certainly has some uhh “attention grabbing” character designs, particularly main character Kate here. Her outfit might just be bizarre enough to keep you from being arrested, your experience with local law enforcement may vary. That aside, I’m not too impressed with the sculpt, particularly the hair which looks like someone had an accident with a soft serve ice cream machine. The base looks pretty sweet but I don’t think there’s enough here to justify that high price tag.
Chris: Another character I don’t recognise, but I’ll go on record and say that I quite like the character design. It’s all kinds of crazy, Venera seems to be enjoying herself and while they seem to be showing as much skin as they can get away with, I don’t think this is being made with the pervert otaku in mind. I’m not sure I’d put her on my desk, but this is the kind of sculpt that I’d expect to see on an animator’s work station. Good stuff.
Marlin: If it wasn’t a loli, this would be a pretty great figure. The pose is dynamic, and it gives a lot of life to the character I also like the level of detail on the clothes. The face is energetic, I have to agree that the masked version is way better than the alternate. Probably the best part is that rockin’ base, which usually doesn’t get a whole lot of love as far as figures are concerned. However… it’s a loli.
Hikage (Senran Kagura)
Milestone, August, ¥9,800
Timmy: This is actually the second release of this, but since it looks like CM Corporation went the way of the dodo the Gutto Kuru line is under a new manufacture. It’s great to see that the line will continue hand I hope Milestone has some great fresh ideas and good quality control to add to the table. As for Hikage herself, I have always liked her design, though I wish she would zip up that fly a little. There is nothing but ninja magic keeping those pants on at this point.
Jel: I can’t believe I’m saying this but that outfit might not actually be outlandish enough to meet Senran Kagura’s vaguely ninja based character design standards. She just looks like a crazy girl in a skimpy tube top that took a knife to her skin tight jeans. I guess the pose and facial expression are all going for a “cool” vibe and I do like the color choices, but I feel like she needs something more.
Chris: Perhaps it’s just me, but I find this figure and the character design really uninspiring. The pose is really boring and very familiar, the base looks like it belongs in a British household from the 80s, and given the reputation that Senran Kagura has, I’d expect this to be way more outlandish. Instead of the crazy, boob-fuelled designs I’ve seen in passing, we get a very reserved outfit with a few straps thrown in, just because. The unbuttoned jeans is about as crazy as this figure is getting, and I just feel like it could be doing far more to grab your attention and money. To me, this is kind of like if we saw Black Lagoon‘s Remy in a clean and undamaged t-shirt and jeans.
Marlin: I suppose this might be cool if you are from the mid 2000’s. As for me, gritty knives and cut pants don’t good design make. I do get a big yandere feel from her, so I guess I understand Life’s obsession.
Cu-poche Dekomori Sanae (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions)
Kotobukiya, October, ¥4,200
Timmy: If Kotobukiya keeps making great Cu-poche with great accessories I might have to actually buy one. Those spinning twin tales and that face to accompany them is the best thing we have seen yet. I used to be quite cold to this line but great stuff like that is quickly warming my interest.
Jel: This might be the first Cu-poche that I’ve even remotely wanted. The combination of the spinning twintails and that smug troll face is pretty hard to resist, although I will never, ever be able to escape the feeling that this is a line of ugly nendoroid knock-offs. I might consider it if they make a Nibutani for her to torment, but I doubt that will ever happen.
Chris: Exactly what I want from a Dekomori Nendoroid. I just need to wait for a Nibutani so that I can kick start their inevitable romantic relationship.
Marlin: Man, normally I’m not into the small figures, but this one actually has a lot of cool stuff in it. You gotta love the Mjolnir Maul and the troll face. For such a small figure, the clothes have pretty good detail as well. The joints are a bit ugly, but these figures are already so stylized that it’s easy to forgive that minor problem.
Super Sonico (SoniAni)
A-Toys, July, ¥39,800
Timmy: Yep, you know I couldn’t resist. We have actually seen this before but with a different face and I hardly cared for it back then. This just pretty much confirmed that if you put an adorable smiling Sonico face on anything I will like it though. Of course there is still the fact that this is a massive figure and while the saying is usually bigger is better I say 1/2 scale is still way too much. Though it could be fun taking pictures of her towering over my figmas Godzilla style. Hmmmmm…
Jel: If you buy this Sonico, place it as a guard outside your door. It will act as an ever vigilant sentinel, protecting you from human interaction so long as she faithfully stands tall.
Chris: What can you even do with a 1/2 scale figure? I guess if you want to buy this, you might as well get five of them and decorate your garden.
Marlin: What is the point of figures the size of garden gnomes anyway? Jokes aside, even though I would never touch this with a ten foot pole, it at least improves on the original art. The embarrassed face just doesn’t work on Sonico, plus it’s super creepy. The art also has her arms and head be like 2/3 in proportion to the rest of her body. I’m not even making a big boobs joke, it literally just looks like her head is too small for the torso it’s connected to. Though, other than the boobs, this doesn’t really feel like Sonico. Usually she has way more curves, and her stomach is almost a bit too toned… God I know way too much about Sonico.