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, OUR POWER IS MAXIMUM.
S.H. Figuarts Broly (Dragon Ball Z)
Bandai, November, ¥7,490 (Tamashii Web exclusive)
Zigg: This is just so insane I had to lead with it. Sure, the whole chest and shoulder think looks super clunky, but I want to commend Bandai for actually amanging to make a figure of Broly, having it be posable and still at least vaguely human looking. That’s no mean feat.
Jel: The Dragon Ball Figuarts line has actually looked pretty solid up until now, but that streak ends here. Without any means to mask their joints, shirtless people just do not work as poseable figures. Instead of looking impossibly muscled and intimidating, Broly looks like he’s had some kind of horrible accident. Add in the price tag and exclusivity and this is definite pass.
Timmy: Man, joints and muscles just don’t work very well together, and who the heck is this anyways? He looks like Vegeta on steroids.
Lifesong: Is he supposed to be human? His biceps are more than three times the size of his head. I wonder if he is from the same species as Cattleya from Queen’s Blade.
Aqua: Holy fucking shit, what is wrong with his shoulders?
Ao Nanami (Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~)
Kotobukiya, November, ¥9,800
Zigg: This figure is a super weird mish-mash of elements – it’s not really very ‘sexy’ for a swimsuit figure, the pose is bizarre (if energetic) and why is she holding her dress yet wearing a scarf? Yet somehow all the odd stuff combines to make this a very charming figure. The decision to go white with the swimsuit is a nice one which contrasts well with the dark blue dress, the scarf adds some nice breadth to the pose and the face is as cute as a button. I’d prefer something less fanservice-y of course but I can’t deny I really quite like this.
Jel: Knowing nothing about the series, this figure is interesting but mostly confusing without context. Why is she sitting on a mop? Why is she holding her dress while her swimsuit seems to be falling off? These are questions I just can’t answer. I am at least familiar with Suzuhito Yasuda’s art style, so I can say this a pleasant, softer approach to his design. Other than that though, this seems to be a fans only affair.
Timmy: There are a lot of what is she doing and what is she wearing questions here but otherwise I think she is alright. Quality wise I see nothing alarming here, and a cute face always wins in my book. That little cow on the mop handle is also a really nice touch.
Lifesong: Why is she wearing Hime’s scarf? I thought this was Hime for a moment and was very confused. It’s a playful figure that fits the character well enough. The detail on the swimsuit is fantastic to an almost eerie degree. I don’t really care for the design, but if you want Ao on your shelf you could probably do worse. Call me back when they make a figure of Juri or Kotoha. I would be far more interested to see Kotobukiya do either of those girls.
Aqua: This is about what I expected a Yozakura Quartet figure too look like, sadly enough, yet at the very least it could have been much worse given how Suzuhito Yasuda has been treating his heroines as of late. It’s certainly not a bad figure overall, with a nice finish on the swimsuit especially, and Hime’s scarf being a nice addition. Still, that mop is a rather obvious example of awkwardly-placed accessories for stability, and Ao’s swimsuit coming off at the top is just tasteless. With Ao’s actual dress being a part of the statue, I can’t help but feel like Kotobukiya should’ve come up with a way to make her actually wear it. Can we have a cool Hime next, please?
figma Racing Miku 2013: EV MIRAI ver. (Vocaloid)
Max Factory, October, ¥4,444
Zigg: Just going to say it – this is the best looking Miku figma ever, and maybe one of the best Mikus ever period. The outfit is fantastic and strike a really nice contrast between the smart white racesuit and the more casual silver crop top. The hair is awesome and there’s some little detailing that really makes the figure sing, like the nose plaster or the way her clothing bunches up in the waist tie. Also in all seriousness it’s sort of nice Miku is allowed to have boobs for once. I’m actually interested in a Miku figure for the first time in forever, which is a testament to how smart this is.
Jel: Is it wrong that the first thing I thought here was “when did Miku get boobs?”… that aside, I love that this latest version of Racing Miku has her ready to join the action and not just posing as one of the eye candy girls on the sideline. There’s some really nice details too, like the bandage on her nose and the transparent effect on the tips of her hair. This may ultimately be a play to sell the matching ex:ride motorcycle, but even on its own its a refreshing take on a tired annual line.
Timmy: Its nice to see GSC has started to actually have to put some work into Miku’s design to keep selling these every year. Lots of neat stuff going on with the transparent hair, the almost EVA inspired pants, that shiny top, and last but not least some nice faceplates. I adore that band aid on her nose, as it adds a whole lot of cute back into her slightly sexy race girl look. A refreshing addition to a tired line.
Lifesong: This Miku looks like she is ready to join the race herself instead of just cheering from the sidelines. I guess that’s a neat change of pace. It’s so hard to summon words for Miku figmas at this point. Her top hides her midsection joint pretty well. It’s good to see Max factory finding creative ways to show some skin without causing nasty joints. Her elbows are awful, but there is only so much we can except I suppose.
Aqua: Though racing version Mikus start looking more and more like they’re piloting Eva units rather than driving cars, I do kind of dig this design. Joints on naked skin are always a bit egregious, but the energetic posability of this figure more than makes up for it. The lack of accessories, however, is a bit glaring, with most of the centered around a bike that you have to buy separately. As with any other Miku figure, this one’s as inoffensive as it is insignificant.
Nanoha Takamachi Yukata ver. (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
FREEing, October, ¥8,148
Zigg: As much as we joke about it, it’s actually been a fair while since Nanoha last popped up in All Your Monies. This Yukata version isn’t as dramatic as some of her showings here, but I really like the colour scheme – the baby blue contrasts really nicely with her shock of red hair, and the pose is demure and cute too. Big seam lines put a damper on the look but there are certainly worse examples out there and it’s priced pretty fairly. Qualified thumbs up.
Jel: What’s more boring than getting ANOTHER Nanoha figure? How about taking away all her cool weapons and armor and putting her in a plain blue yukata? There’s nothing technically bad here, in fact compared to some of FREEing’s other yukata figures she looks great. It’s just hard to get too excited over such a simple figure of a character we’ve seen a billion times.
Timmy: Freeing gets a lot of crap on their Yukata line, and a lot of it is justified, but as much as I hate to admit it Nanoha actually looks pretty great here. They nailed her hair and face, and everything else looks alright as well. Its about time they start getting decent at making these and If I wasn’t already swimming in Nanoha figures I might consider getting her.
Lifesong: Nasty seam lines everywhere I look. If we ignore those Nanoha is cute and the Yukata that Freeing chose for her is pretty. I can’t get past those seams. Her shoulders are bad enough, but the worst offender is the seam on her left leg. The seam on her right leg is also ugly, but it at least makes a degree of sense. Come on Freeing, you can do better than this. I hope their Sonico won’t have issues on this level.
Aquagaze: FREEing is known for three things: bunny girls, swimsuits and yukatas, and the latter is the only line of theirs out of these three I am willing to waste any words on. The soft baby blue of Nanoha’s yukata contrasts nicely with her hair, but her footing is rather silly and the golden chain around her obi just looks cheap. In fact, the whole sculpting around the sash seems a bit iffy, with the outstandingly dreadful seams on her shoulder being a standout detraction. Top quality, this isn’t, and given the fact that this is Nanoha, there can’t not be anything better on the market.
Rikka Takanashi (Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions)
Amakuni, December, ¥10,300 (Hobby Japan exclusive)
Zigg: I’m actually sort of down with the much more restrained version of Rikka Amakuni has produced here. The relaxed pose and simple style emphasise her natural cuteness and the sharp character design details. I like the bitten bandage too, but the hand across the body is a little distracting. What I will say is that while subtle is good for normal figures, for a high priced exclusive you want a bit more flair, and on those grounds it’s a little hard to recommend.
Jel: How has it taken this long to get more figures of Rikka? Amakuni’s take is a lovely but subdued version, with really only the bandages and a slight tilt of her skirt providing any energy to what should be a very energetic character. This probably would have been a must buy for Chunibyo fans a couple months ago but with Kotobukiya finally working on their own rendition it just might be too little too late.
Timmy: Eh, I already killed my wallet getting Kyoani’s exclusive Rikka so I hardly feel like doing it again. That aside I think this version of her does look nice and I think the ribbon is an interesting touch. As others have said though with Koto having a figure of her in the works, the price and exclusivity of this one is a bit hard to justify.
Lifesong: This Rikka is cute, but expensive for what it is. With Kotobukiya’s version right around the corner this figure becomes far less desirable. I will commend Amakuni for their attention to detail at least. If you look carefully you can see that Rikka’s shoes have one of the roller blades in them. That won’t be enough to get me to purchase her, but it is a nice touch.
Aqua: The combination of a rather down-to-earth pose with baroque swooping bandages just doesn’t really work on Amakuni’s Rikka. The character is simply much better suited to complete, balls-to-the-wall over-the-topness, which, combined with the hefty price tag, simply doesn’t justify picking this Rikka over the one Kotobukiya have in the pipeline.
Utsutsu (Gatchaman Crowds)
Amakuni, December, ¥12,190 (Hobby Japan exclusive)
Zigg: Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that after choosing to make a Gatchaman Crowds figure they chose to do the girl who wears only her underwear. I still actually think the character design is pretty striking, and unlike theo thers I’m not too concerned with the hair, which is pretty clearly a deliberate design thing and pretty striking too. But what’s with those weird hip dimples? The whole thing is just a little too blatantly ‘sexy’ for me and add to that the exclusive price tag and it’s a relatively easy no.
Jel: Coming from the “Figures You Never Ever Expected to See” category, I’m pleasantly surprised to see ANYTHING come out of Crowds. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they picked the weird loli in her underwear over the main character though. This would be a decent rendition if not for the hair, which looks like some kind of pasta gone horribly wrong. They also may have gone overboard on making Utsutsu look painfully skinny, particularly her hip bones that don’t make any sense. I guess on the bright side, getting this out of the way slightly increases our chances of getting a Hajime figure… slightly.
Timmy: There are a fare amount of interesting things going on here, though how much you are going to appreciate them depends on how much you mind the fact this girl is in noting but her skimpy unmentionables. The thing that really stands out for me though is her green color scheme, how her hair is all dark green and there are splashes of lime green in her ribbons and eyes. And all this against her skin tones of course. I think its a neat composition. Sculpt is alright, though they could have split the hair up a bit more to avoid it resembling noodles. Face shines though, as its a look I would expect of someone not giving a crap about being mostly naked. A pretty unique and interesting figure with all that color, though in the end she is still going to cost an arm and a leg.
Lifesong: This is everything I could hope to expect from the criminally under dressed Utsutsu. Amakuni nailed her pouty can’t be bothered to get fully dressed look for better or worse. I even like what they did with her hair despite the way it resembles cooked pasta. Where Amakuni’s craftsmanship really shines is the detail of her skin. Utsutsu’s ribs and hips are captured with an eerie level of detail that makes her live up to her 12k price tag. I’ve always found Utsutsu’s design to be a weird juxtaposition on several levels. She walks around wearing a black bikini, heals, and a garter strap and that just seems to be how she dresses to be comfortable. The design becomes interesting because if it were just a bikini it wouldn’t be so strange, add a garter belt and heals and the whole outfit becomes mismatched an odd, but clearly intentional way. The other oddity with Utsutsu is the way her choice of clothing, or rather lack of clothing, contrasts with her shy personality. Utsutsu’s personality is one of the less pronounced in cast of eccentric characters, but it isn’t hard to find the eccentricity in her design if you look for it.
Aqua: Yeah, I don’t care how extravagant you make her hair, this is still a tiny and far too exaggeratedly skinny girl in minuscule lingerie. By the way, if you’re really going to charge twelve thousand yen for a figure with more hair than clothes, Amakuni, at least try to not make the hair look like Play-Doh either.
Bishoujo Nina Williams (Tekken)
Kotobukiya, November, ¥7,200
Jel: While that may not be the intended angle to display this figure, this is certainly not the best the Bishoujo line has to offer. I don’t care if that’s how it looks in the game, her outfit is hideous and her pose just doesn’t work unless you’re viewing her from the perfect angle. Seriously, unless you’re in a Saints Row game you should avoid purple camouflage at all costs.
Timmy: I tend to not be a hard ass on these boob and butt posed figure as most of the time given the context of the character being in the middle of a dynamic running, turning jump they still remain possible in my mind for that split second that the figure captures, albeit its still a little on the extreme side. This pose though is so far over the top that even I don’t want to try to defend it. Sorry Koto, you are on your own with this one.
Lifesong: This figure is hilarious. I imagine that grin to mean “look at me and my purple camouflage boobs. My silver covered crotch is the last thing you will ever see before I kick you like a horse from an angle so ridiculous Rob Liefeld won’t believe it.” What else is there to say about this figure? Usually I like ridiculous figures to a degree. They amuse me in a way that I find hard to explain. Everything about this design is the exact sort of thing I would normally want to defend on paper, but I just can’t bring myself to do it in this case. She looks too stupid without being ridiculous enough to justify it for me.
Aqua: My God, where do I start? The ridiculous boob sockets? The butt that seems to have shifted out of place? The rather protruding camel toe? The fractured spine? It’s like someone put this figure’s bottom half on the other way around. The complete disregard for human anatomy and female dignity on this figure is so grating I actually went through the effort of submitting it to Escher Girls. Sounds about right, huh?