All Your Monies: August 4th 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, spindly sweethearts, solid snakes and siblings in swimsuits. Sweet!

Nendoroid Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
Good Smile Company, November, ¥4,167 

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Zigg: It’s a great recreation of Snake, but really this thing is dominated by two amazing accesories – that inspired ‘original game’ pixel head and the cardboard box, which is an exact replica of the box he’ll actually ship in. They’re both brilliant examples of the kind of whimsical touch we sometimes don’t see too much of in figures. Combined with the overall great look, this gets a bump up all the way to must have status.

Timmy: GSC has done a pretty good job with Snake here, and I really dig all the poses they have shown off. Between the cigarrette and the polygon face I am not sure which is the best accessory though, as they are both pretty great.

Jel: I’m really impressed how they’ve managed to re-create so many classic Solid Snake moments in Nendoroid form. I find the cigarette to be a small but particularly nice touch, but let’s be honest here… the real show stealer is the alternate head. You would think the low polygon look would clash with the more realistic body but somehow it still works. More nendos of classic game characters, please!

Aqua: The rugged Snake from MG2, with his mullet and five ‘o clock shadow, will always remain the definitive version of the character to me, but GSC decides to roll with the old school, properly shaven version of the world’s greatest soldier. Snake isn’t exactly lacking in accessories in the games, so it’s good to see this Nendoroid version coming with a ton of them, from a cigarette to his trademark cardboard box. Combined with the wacky alternate head, you get what is definitely one of the more off-kilter and original nendoroids in recent history.

Shinji Ikari X Kaworu Nagisa (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Vertex, November, ¥7,800 

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Zigg: While I know the Evangelion character designs have always been ridiculously slinky, these guys look just a little bit too noodle people for my tastes. I do like the decision to go with the dark plugsuits though, which adds a nicely subdued air to the entire display. Kaworu’s face seems dead on while Shinji’s veers a little towards gormless, but they’re both pretty sharp recreations. A double figure for this price, especially of characters not produced too often, is a good deal in my book.

Timmy: These two seem a little slanky to me but otherwise everything else looks good. And it seems like you are getting a two for one deal here so that is also pretty neat. If you care about this pair or Evangelion in general they seem like a pretty good buy.

Jel: Just from a completely pragmatic point of view this is a sweet deal, essentially two figures for the price of one and a low price at that. The figures themselves are competently made and its certainly an interesting pose, but I do think the dark color scheme and identical plugsuits dampen some of the visual pop. Personally I could care less about Shinji or Kaworu or the new Evangelion movies in general but this seems like a pretty good buy if they’re your thing.

Aqua: Getting some serious Madoka Magica vibes from that pose there, even though any such analogies should probably be made the other way around. Anyways, no one seems to get the anatomy on these Evangelion 3.33 figures right, as Shinji and Kaworu look more like stick figures than like a sad human boy and his magical Angel buddy. It’s all a bit melodramatic — check Shinji’s positively baroque expression of near-divine enlightenment — though two figures for the price of one certainly is neat, even if they both seem to have a rather conspicuous metal bar drilled into the back of their spines. If anything, the idea behind it makes for a nice product, especially for fanatic shipper. Then again, is it still shipping if it’s basically canon?

S.H. Figuarts Luigi (Super Mario Bros.)
Bandai, December, ¥3,300

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Zigg: Luigi’s taller, lankier look better suits the poseable action figure design, and as a result I think Luigi here looks even better than Mario, who already looked pretty great. I’m still not a fan of Bandai selling the accessories separately in packs, but at least it meas you get a good price on the base figure. By all accounts the move from D-Arts to S.H. Figuarts has improved the quality level on gaming toys too, so this one is a pretty safe thumbs up from me.

Timmy: As with his brother, Luigi here seems pretty nice if you don’t mind all the joints. Really though, at this point you know if you are going to buy this or not. Did you get Mario? Yes? Then of course Green Mario is a thing you need.

Jel: I don’t know if it’s his longer body and deeper shaded overalls or what, but for some reason Luigi seems to look better in Figuarts form than his little brother. It’s still not the most amazing rendition considering those horrible joints, but that’s to be expected with this particular line. The combined accessories of both Mario Bros. would make for a pretty neat display should you spring for both and the price is very palatable, so this could be a solid buy.

Aqua: Did you think we’d get no more Luigi figures in this, the year after the Year of Luigi? Fool! The Year of Luigi never ends!

Swim Wear Leafa (Sword Art Online)
Chara-Ani, November, ¥6,463

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Zigg: As ever I’m not a big fan of swimsuit figures, but at least this is way more imaginative than just a standing figure. It’s nice that she’s (gasp) allowed to actually have some body fat to her too. Still, it’s a lot of money to pay for a 1/10 scale, and do you really need this when far better Leafa figures are out there?

Timmy: Actually pretty damn cute. Chara-ani already has a put out two reasonably nice figures as they work through this image, (they’re also the only ones to make a figure of Lisbeth, which I appreciate) and with Leafa here they have a solid third. The pose and expression are really cute, and I love the fact she has some curvyness to her and isn’t as skinny as a stick. Its a nice figure alone but probably even better as part of the set, and while these are a little pricier then Beach Queens while being the same size, I think it is fair.

Jel: I guess if you HAVE to have a Leafa swimsuit figure in your collection this is pretty solid. It’s a very fun and playful pose and expression and I appreciate that they made her curvy without getting grossly exaggerated à la Sonico. The detail work is a bit plain but the price is also pretty sweet, so it’s not a bad production all around.

Aqua: If swimsuit figures are your thing, for the love of everything holy, at least go for one displaying the character chilling out and having fun on the beach. For those criteria, this one certainly applies. While Leafa is by far and away the lamest-looking Sword Art Online character, this figure still looks pretty cute, with a soft pastel colour palette and a relaxed pose that doesn’t draw too much attention to her exaggerated assets. As Jel and Timmy pointed out, the somewhat more realistic curves are at least appreciated, so as far as swimsuit girls go, you could do a whole lot worse. Of course, you could also just not buy anything Sword Art Online-related and do even better, but hey, I know I’m not stopping you.

Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)
Amakuni/Hobby Japan, February 2015, ¥11,190 (Exclusive)

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Zigg: I like Lucy, but I don’t like this figure. For a start I vastly prefer her original outfit to this tired and generic bit of fanservice fashion, and the pose is pretty generic and tame. The paint looks awfully flat to my eyes too and it just lacks the verve and life of the fantastic GSC version. That and the exclusive price/inconvenience bump make this an easy pass.

Timmy: I had previously been less enthused with this Lucy because I much prefer her original hairstyle and outfit over her pigtails here, but with her old hairstyle being an option I am back on board. Her outfit has enough going on for me to appreciate, especially with that awesome whip, and the face looks nice enough. Not sure if all this is enough to justify me having another Lucy next to my superb one by GSC, but if you dig her new design and can stomach that price, I say go for it,

Jel: The rest of these guys are the Fairy Tail experts so I’ll defer to their opinions on how this stacks up with the character. I do know what her normal clothes look like though and I kind of like them better than the sexy harlequin thing or whatever it they’re attempting here. Not sure how it will translate to production but I’m also not a fan of the flat paint work, it all just looks kind of dull.

Aqua: I vastly prefer Lucy’s old outfit for reasons I may presume to be fairly obvious, but I gotta give the girl credit for constantly wearing the most impractical fanservice bait with pride. With a nice, pastel paint job, two hair styles and perky pose, she’s a valid alternative for GSC’s earlier and equally energetic incarnation, so it all comes down to which outfit you prefer your Lucy in. By the way, does she ever use that whip? Like, really?

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