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, a limited selection gives Zigg the opportunity to chuck in a bunch of Rozen Maiden figures
Sinon – Phantom Bullet – (Sword Art Online II)
Kotobukiya, December, ¥9,800
Zigg: Kotobukiya continue their run of excellent Sword Art Online figures, although this one is compromised somewhat by a very odd pose. Is she leaping forward? Tripping backwards? Or is she jsut doing the weird figure thing where they sit in mid-air? My other major issue is that I’m just not very into Sinon’s design – the shorts and leg garters combo is ludicrous when you could just wear proper trousers and while I appreciate green is an interesting choice for an outfit like this, it’s ultimately kind of cartoony for my liking. Still, it’s hard to deny the lovely details here – the gorgeous hair colour, the smoking ejected cartridge and the ragged flapping scarf are all notable highlights. Not my thing then, but a fine figure nevertheless.
Jel: This is a really nice figure dragged down by an odd pose. I guess Sinon is supposed to be leaping over the rubble or something but it ends up looking like she’s casually falling backwards. I do love Sinon’s design though and the actual sculpt is perfect. The base looks awesome and I like the bit of smoke coming out of her rifle as neat extra detail. Had this been a figure of an obscure character with no hope of getting any other figures I’d say this is a must buy, but I have a feeling it might be worth waiting to see if something better comes along.
Timmy: I definitely adore my Asuna and regret not picking up Leafa, so it is reasonable to say this SAO line Kotobukiya is putting out has a lot of my attention. Shinon looks just as stunning as the other two, with a very dynamic pose as she chambers another round. Its a somewhat awkward looking one though, as it appears they wanted her jumping out of cover. It seems like having her right hand planted on some tall rubble would have been ideal, but then you lose out on that chambering action. Everything else looks great though from the rubble base to her cool and collected expression. The paint is all well done, especially the green, and the little details like the gun and the burnt scarf wrap up a pretty nice package.
Aqua: The latest addition to Kirito’s ever-expanding harem of satellites gets a top-tier figure before she’s even been properly introduced, though as per usual for Sword Art Online, at least Sinon looks unique enough to justify this. Bizarre, random patches of uncovered skin aside, her nicely detailed jacket looks pretty cool and the burn marks on her scarf are especially striking. Sinon’s pose is a bit odd, however. She’s clearly mentioned to be hopping out of cover, but having her do it while recharging her admittedly rather plain-looking rifle just makes her look like she suddenly fell over. A more neutral pose would have been the more favourable option, and given the fact that this is Sword Art Online, I wouldn’t be surprised if a better version comes along further down the line.
Saber Extra (Fate/Extra)
Good Smile Company, January 2015, ¥10,926
Zigg: I’ve never understood the love for Saber Extra, and there’s something about this figure which just looks…cheap. I know that can’t be the case, considering that GSC branded figures have been excellent for years now, but it’s jsut an impression which lingers. It’s probably the large amount of translucent plastic used, something which has always looked tacky to me. The face is terrible too, and while there’s abundant detail elsewhere, it’s not enough to make me feel this figure at all.
Jel: I love almost everything about this from the sculpt of her sword and dress to the swirling magic base, and yet I can’t get over how blank her face looks. Saber Extra is supposed to be a very expressive character and yet her face is completely neutral. I would have loved to see some anger or a grin or maybe some mixture of both. It’s a shame because they really did get everything else right, like her trademark translucent skirt and lovely gold paint work. It might be worth it if you can get over that face.
Timmy: A pretty great showing by GSC as they have nailed saber’s outfit and sword pretty well here.. Loving that translucent skirt with the gold and especially appreciate the way you can kind of see whats underneath, but not to the point of blatancy. I like the face and hair but I have been told that it is not really a Nero face. To each his own though I guess as I like what GSC has produced here.
Aqua: Saber Extra’s breast-smothering, pseudo-exhibitionist design remains campy as ever, though Good Smile Company do a good job at hiding the fanservice behind a more matte-looking skirt and a badass pose. The luxurious look of the figure, with luscious reds, metallic gold and a gracefully crafted base fit the character well, and while the face mostly invokes the horrors of a Dolfie to me, fans really cannot go wrong with this version of red Saber.
figma Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)
Max Factory, December, ¥4,444
Zigg: I am totally onboard with the trend of older characters getting shiny up to date figures, and this is a really rather excellent representation of Major Kusanagi. With that said, I’m also one of those heretics who thinks GitS is sort of overrated and this figure is pretty light on accessories (even though it’s towards the bottom of the now wide ranging figma price hierarchy) so I’ll have to say pass unless you’re a big fan.
Jel: I love when we get random figures of older series popping up out of nowhere. The Major’s simple but iconic design looks pretty great in figma form, but this is definitely more for nostalgia than buying something pretty to put on your shelf. Aside from her guns and a few simple expression changes, there’s not too much to see here.
Timmy: It is neat to see some of these older shows getting representation, and Mokoto here seems technically sound and a pretty good deal for those who don’t mind the joints. She has some pretty neat faces to boot, though I would say having just two guns is a little skimpy as far as accessories go.
Aqua: The advantages of figmas are widely known, so as usual, the question that sets the merely good ones apart from the ones worth getting usually comes down to whether or not the joints mar the overall look of the figure or not. The Major looks awesome, even with them, however, and aside from the rather odd-looking outlining of the breasts — which is necessary for allowing her to turn her upper body — this figure has little sacrifices to make for its poseability. She doesn’t come packed with a lot of accessories, but sometimes, less is more, so fans of Ghost in the Shell should have no qualms about picking Motoko up.
Nendoroid Suigintou (Rozen Maiden)
Good Smile Company, November, ¥3,889
Zigg: Dramatic goth dresses always suffer in the shrink to Nendoroid form and Suigintou is no exception here. While the faces are good and the crossed leg sitting pose is really in character, I don’t feel she’s distinctive enough to stand out, nor does she have Shinku’s killer range of bonus parts. If you have the aforementioned rival then it’s a no brainer, otherwise I’d wait for a sale.
Jel: Aside from the black wings, Suigintou is indistinguishable from any of the other all black goth loli anime designs out there. The lack of accessories and fairly dull face options don’t help either. The floating while sitting pose looks kind of cool though, and I guess her colors (or lack of) contrast well with Shinku, assuming you’re going to be posing them together.
Timmy: This seems pretty generic gothic girl at first glance, but the wings and various poses you can make do seem to add some personality to her. I am especially fond of the sitting while floating pose, and would no doubt display her like that if I cared enough about the character to buy her.
Aqua: Good Smile Company doesn’t need to prove their aptitude at sculpting surprisingly detailed nendoroids anymore, but if you need yet another example of a perfect deformation of a complex design, look no further. Sadly enough, Suigintou comes with little to no accessories — not even a chair, making her sitting pose look like she’s gravitating in mid-air — and three relatively boring facial expressions, continuing the ever-worrying trend of nendoroids becoming more vanilla over time. Still, if you have a Kuroneko nendo as well, I wouldn’t be able to imagine the possibilities, so if gothic girls are your thing, go for it.
Zigg: I’ve still got a few doubts about Wave as a manufacturer of anything other than tiny bikini girls, and this zoomed out picture does the pair no favours, but I will say I’m psyched to see the twins get actual nice figures. Souseiseki’s weid Victorian page boy look was always one of the more distinctive character designs in the show and
desu Suiseiseki’s hair is wonderfully reproduced in all of it’s ridiculously drill shaped glory. The inclusion of the tools is an excellent touch which adds a distinctive flourish to them. The prices are a little high but these two look to be a great pairing.
Jel: I guess we’re going in hard with Rozen Maiden this week. These almost look like prize figures in the above picture so you may want to click the links to get a better idea of the quality. They actually look really nice, with Suiseiseki’s hair being particularly impressive. The ornate gold accessories and heterochromia make for a nice visual pairing between the two, assuming you can shell out the enormous amount of cash to buy the set.
Timmy: Really digging these two, as the gold motif they have going on with the tools looks fantastic. The hair, especially on Suiseiseki, and the outfits both look well crafted as well. Some simple, but very nice faces and expressions wrap up the package here. It is great to see Wave can still make something besides Beach Queens.
Aqua: God, these Rozen Maiden designs are chuuni as fuck, but who really cares, when it results in beauties like these? The golden accessories really make these two stand out, and they’re a nice way of making them fit alongside each other, apart from the obvious. Especially Suiseiseki’s long hair and beautiful lace hairband look stunning, while Souseiseki knows that top hats make everything better. Elegant and well crafted, Wave’s Rozen Maiden line brings the craftsmanship of their infamous Beach Queens to the battlefield of regular-scale statics, and from the looks of it, they might be able to play alongside Alter, Kotobukiya and GSC if they keep this up.