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 we’ve got a partial return to form, but quality is still definitely a little all over the place
Miki Hoshii (The iDOLM@STER)
Phat Company, February 2015, ¥7,400
Zigg: This is just really really great. We’ve got an awesome, very unusual pose, completely with an utterly delightful expression. The glasses add a very individual feel to the whole face, and the gorgeous hair is a great offset to the predominantly green colour palette. I love the outfit too – it’s low key enough that you’d totally believe it’s something a trendy young lady would wear in real life, but still ‘anime’ enough to have some flair to it. Top notch
Jel: Phat Company’s Idolm@ster lines have showcased their best work and Miki is one of the best of the best. There’s so much to like here, from the amazing sculpted hair, the warm green color palette, and the incredibly detailed accessories. I particularly like the glasses and the cowboy boots, which seem to be just the right kind of overkill. The pose and her expression are perfect for the character as well, making this another must have for the legions of fans out there.
Aquagaze: It’s saying something about anime figures when the ones based on the show about the bloody Japanese idol industry generally score the lowest on the creepiness scale. Miki here is no different, and as expected at this point, she boasts a playful pose that I rather like. The semi-translucent flowers in her hair are a nice detail, but it’s the hair itself that steals the show, crafted with so much baroque verve and detail it almost feels out of place. Fashion police’s gonna want to have a word with you about these cowboy boots, though, missy.
Timmy: Miki was my favorite girl when I watched the Idolm@ster anime, so I have been looking forward to seeing what Phat Company does with her. And did they ever deliver, packing as much detail and color into her as they could. The hair, face, and boots stand out to me especially with all the folds in the hair, details in the boots, and the accurate expression on her face. The rest of the package is great as well with no flaws as far as I can tell. I don’t buy Idolm@ster figures, but if I did I would pick up Miki in a heart beat.
Amatsukaze (Kantai Collection)
Funny Knights, December 2015, ¥9,200
Zigg: I actually think there’s some cool elements to this design – the mecha garters, the cool hair – but she’s so blatantly an ersatz Shimakaze that it’s difficult to get too excited. Plus she looks way too young to be in a skirt that short. And really, there are so many KanColle girls at this point it’s difficult to care about any particular one. Surprising to see Funny Knights are still a thing though.
Jel: Another week another KanColle girl… Amatsukaze is at least a bit more interesting than some of her peers with her mechanical garters and little gun bot similar to Shimakaze but the flat colors and boring pose aren’t doing this figure any favors.
Aquagaze: Is this a Strike Witches character? No? Are you absolutely sure? Yes? I think you’re lying.
Timmy: I like what I see here with the hair and some of the smaller details, and I can dig the pose they put her in here. I guess the main problems I have are with the girl herself, and how she really fails to stand out from the rest of the Kancolle crowd. I suppose if you are looking for a less naked Shimakaze this girl might work for you.
Nendoroid Hiei (Kantai Collection)
Good Smile Company, November, ¥4,444
Zigg: Now you see, here’s how you get me interested in a character I don’t care about – by making a really neat figure. Loving all of those effects parts (which remain a surprisingly rare accessory for Nendos) but the tea set is the real star of the show here. I can see that thing being repurposed en masse for amusing scenes between other figures.
Jel: Speaking of boring character designs, Hiei is not much to look at by herself but this nendo makes up for it with amazing accessories. I’m sure the other guys will bring up the water ripple and blazing guns but does she also come with that awesome dessert table? It’s probably not worth shelling out that much cash for the table alone, but that could come in handy with so many other nendos.
Aquagaze: Now this is a Kantai Collection figure I can get behind. No creepy “battle damaged” outfit, no skeevy pose, just one hundred percent wacky aircraft action and Nendoroid adorableness. The Kancolle franchise offers lots of potential accessories, so it’s only good Good Smile Company bring their A-game for a figure that will undoubtedly sell like war bonds. I especially like the water surfing effect, which will most certainly help people in creating many a three-dimensional take on the already infamous meme. Sometimes, the simplest reasons for liking something are the best.
Timmy: As usual GSC packs the best accessories with the Nendoroids that are going to fly off the shelves anyways. Digging the water and cannon fire effects but the tea set is the clear winner here. Though I guess all this stuff really does help separate her from her nearly identical sister enough to warrant buying both. And like most characters, they are admittedly pretty cute as Nendoroids.
Figuarts ZERO Sailor Mars (Sailor Moon)
Bandai, February 2015, ¥10,500 (Exclusive)
Zigg:I’m still totally onboard with the basic idea of this range – cool static figures of the Sailor Moon girls with awesome effects parts is a great concept after all. It’s just that the execution continues to be lacking. The fire here is goopy and poorly laid out and the detail on Rei herself is lacking to say the least. As I’ve said of the range before, these would be fine as trading figures at like maybe a third of the price, but charging this kind of money for this kind of quality (and fencing it as an exclusive to boot) is jsut taking the piss.
Jel: Rei looks better than the Ami we featured a while back as at least her face seems on model and she’s striking a great action pose. It’s still not great though as that fire looks pretty rough and the overall level of detail leans toward prize figure territory. Considering it’s priced very much in full scale figure range, it’s probably best to pass this one up.
Aquagaze: Rei looks better here than she’ll ever look in Sailor Moon Crystal, that’s for sure. Too bad you’ll have to cough up twice the budget that show has in order to own her, though. The fire’s not looking too dandy either, especially not when it’s gushing out of her knee like that. She never struck me as particularly hot-blooded.
… I’ll see myself out.
Timmy: An interesting presentation to be sure, but the fire needs a good bit of work to take it from its current goopy state to something better. (See Kotobukiya’s Sakuya for a good example.) And it should not be as obvious as it is that that that flame in the front is propping her up. Everything else looks OK, but for what you are getting you are paying quite a bit.
Sinon (Sword Art Online II)
Embrace, February 2015, ¥16,450 (Exclusive)
Zigg: What a teriffic example of how to make a super detailed, really well crafted figure and then completely ruin it because you have to turn your craft into making a pandering sex object.
Jel: There’s a reason we have a “figures posed for maximum butt appreciation” tag for this feature and this is one of them. That aside I’m actually quite impressed with the level of detail on her clothing, but coupled with her face it seems like they’re going for a quasi-photo-realistic look that just seems kind of creepy. It’s almost entering into doll territory and dolls get a big NOPE from me. It’s an impressive bit of work from a technical standpoint and I’ll leave it at that.
Aquagaze: Oh, I get it now! If Leafa is supposed to be the boobs girl, then Sinon is the butt girl, right? Gee, I almost didn’t notice. It’s a pity though, as for all intends and purposes, the detailing on this figure is quite astonishing, with highly detailed creases in her clothing and a really military feel. If they weren’t so ridiculous, I’d almost say these duds look like the clothes on an actual human being! It’s such a shame about the pose, though. And the creepy porcelain doll face. And the blatant violation of the laws of anatomy. And the price. My God. The price. It’s gotta be so hard to be a Sword Art Online fan.
Timmy: I actually kind of like this, mostly on account of the crazy amount of detailing in the sculpt. Her hair, wrinkled jacket and sleeves, stretched hot pants, and of course that gun all look great. And I can dig a sexy pose like this, as it affectionally reminds me of all those Yoko figures from past years, one of which I need to buy one of these days. My only offense is that horrid price partly as a result of the exclusive status.