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 the single most awesome thing to have ever appeared in this feature.
Soul of Chogokin GX-68 GaoGaiGar (The King of Braves GaoGaiGar)
Bandai, December, ¥30,000
Zigg: Let’s begin with one important disclaimer. The price is by all objective measure utterly insane. This is a madly overpriced fans only item and doesn’t pretend to be anything otherwise. With all that said, holy crap is this impressive. I think the bit which most astounds me is the accurate transformation sequence, which is pretty mad because in the show it was only achieved with a fair amount of anime magic. The detailing is up to the usual impressive Soul of Chogokin standard and the extensive use of metal at least means you know you’ll be getting at least part of that price back. The accessories are a little disappointing though – the absence of the Goldion Hammer suggests an expensive add-on set coming in at some point in the future. Still, it’s hard not to be impressed. And yes, I ordered one.
Jel: That is one crazy expensive and equally crazy designed robot. As steep as the price is though, it looks like you get your money’s worth with the sheer amount of detailing in the transforming options. I know very little about GaoGaiGar and Zigg is actually insane enough to buy this, so I’ll defer to his opinion if you want anything further than that.
Aqua: The one true King of Braves will forever be Daigo Kiryu to me, but this is a suitably epic incarnation of the super robot legend. No effort was wasted on making GaoGaiGar’s clunky body look as detailed as possible, and as usual with Bandai, you get a highly posable figure with lots of different parts and err, expressions. The main draw are, of course, the several fully detailed and movable parts of the mech’s transformation sequence, which with the help of some moveable parts and even a set of retractable hands can be fully replicated. Nevertheless, with its mere 26 centimeters in size, I am not sure if the absurd price tag is justified — especially not since Bandai’s own D-ARTS line is known for detailed and very movable figures at a democratic price.
Euri: At first look, this would definitely be a great centrepiece for giant robot enthusiasts, but I’ve got to question that price point. I suppose it doesn’t matter too much as there’ll be plenty of people eating this up, but hey, I quite like GaoGaiGar (and the seizures that came with it), but ¥30,000 is just completely out of the question. Now, if there was a button at the back that made Masaaki Endou scream the opening theme, the price point might be a little more justified. Great looking piece of kit, though.
Iro: I approve of this Final Fusion, but holy shit that is expensive as hell. Still, this seems to be the definitive GaoGaiGar, seeing as how it can split into every Gao Machine and even have GaiGar transform into Galeon. If you’re willing to drop the cash to own the King of Braves, you probably can’t do any better than this.
Nendoroid Sinon (Sword Art Online II)
Good Smile Company, December , ¥3,704
Zigg: Very cute, but like most ‘sexy’ designs her outfit just looks a bit idiotic on the super deformed body. It’s not exactly a feast of extras too, although the added posability is nice. Still, jsut too faces is not really on in my book. Pretty much the definition of ‘for fans only’ At least you can’t really sculpt a butt on a Nendo.
Jel: This is a pretty by the numbers nendoroid adaptation, although I like the hand with the bullets between her fingers and being able to make a nendo fire a gun from the prone position is a bigger deal than you would think. The embarrassed face seems super out of place though, and overall there’s no real surprises. Add her to your SAO collection if you must but there’s nothing here for anyone else.
Aqua: Yet another Sinon figure, and this one only has two expressions: neutral and embarrassed. Given that this is Sword Art Online, that’s probably the only two expressions she ever makes, but hey, at least she gets a sniper rifle and some other neat details, right? … What can we even say about Nendoroids at this point?
Euri: What is there to say? I haven’t seen the show, but this looks like a Nendoroid. This is what you want, right?
Iro: Those bullets between the fingers just make me want a Nendo of Colonel Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3.
Prisma Illya Anime ver. (Fate/kaleid Prisma Illya)
Phat Company, April 2015, ¥8,000
Zigg: I guess I’m grateful they didn’t make it super fanservicey? The pose is nice, but that knee mount is painful and the colour scheme is just an explosion of uninspired shades of pink. That face doesn’t look great either, getting the ‘stoner eyes’ effect that anime girl figures often have. I guess it’s neat if you’re a Illya superfan, but even then I prefer the manga version Phat produced previously.
Jel: Out of context this seems to be a decent figure that thankfully keeps Illya mostly clothed, but it does highlight how monochromatic and uninspired her magical girl form really is. I’m sorry but that is just too much pink, and other than the random crosses at the end of her cape thing there really isn’t anything to differentiate her from any other magical girl design. This is probably as nice a Prisma Illya figure as you could make so I’ll at least give them that much credit.
Aqua: Phat’s Prisma Ilya perfectly encapsulates the anime’s atrocious art style (shiny cheeks! shiny eyes!), but at least it’s a decent enough figure of a show that really doesn’t deserve one. The overwhelmingly pink colour scheme gives Phat little opportunity to show off their finishing skills, which aside from the nice glossy look of her wand, make the entire figure look like it’s covered in bubblegum. I’m not exactly fond of the pose either; it makes her legs look too short and unnaturally squeezed in, as if Ilya’s trying to fit into a box that’s clearly too small for her. A highly forgettable outing.
Euri: Again it’s from a show that I’m not familiar with, but this sure does look like a rather dull magical girl figure, as far as they go. Props for being a young girl and not super gross at the same time, but it really is completely bland. If you really want a magical girl figure, you can do a lot better even if you just scoop up one of the monthly Nanoha releases.
Iro: This is perhaps the most generic possible figure of Prisma Ilya, but at least it’s not gratuitously skeevy. Still no reason to get it unless you’re a crazed fan, though.
Nendoroid Petit Love Live! This Is Our Miracle! ver. (Love Live!)
Good Smile Company, January 2015, ¥7,410 (Box of 10)
Zigg: This is pretty much the perfect setup for Nendoroid Petit sets – a whole bunch of characters who are pretty cute but nowhere near distinct enough that you’d want to collect them all. Bundled in this attractive stage setup it’s a pretty good deal for ten mini-figures and makes for a great display piece. Not my cup of tea, but I can definitely see the merit in it.
Jel: Out of all the popular idol shows Love Live! is guilty of the most boring, “same face” designs and it really shows when you put them all together like this. At least their stage outfits are more interesting than their super dull school uniforms, and the gaudy monstrosity of a backdrop is at least a neat addition to the set. On the plus side, maybe if GSC sells enough of these they’ll have enough disposable cash to do a Locodol set featuring every Uogokoro costume in the show. That’s an idol nendoroid set I could get into.
Aqua: I’d hate to defend Love Live! here, Jel, but it has to be said that no idol anime can beat Wake Up, Girls! in the same-face department. It’s almost as if these things are made to make a crapton of money off of generically cute girls or something! Anyways, I have always liked the idea of the Petit Nendo sets as a cheap alternative for collecting all the individual figures, and Good Smile have tried their hardest to shake up the cripplingly generic Love Live! designs with a bunch of different poses and incredibly gaudy hats. I’m not sure the inclusion of a rubbish-looking cardboard set was truly necessary, but hey, this is gonna sell like hotcakes anyways, so they might as well take a page out of Ubisoft’s book and add more cheap junk to inflate that price tag.
Euri: I think it was about the time I bought the Mio and Ritsu K-On! Nendoroids that came with half of a stage set-up that I realised I’d taken figure collecting too far. Buy this, then have the same revelations I had months later.
Zigg: I always love it when old shows get new figures, and the Digimon art design is easily good enough to make these two super adorable and a must if you have any nostalgia for the show. My only complain is size – 1/10 is pretty small, especially considering they’re small characters to begin with. 1/6 please!
Jel: Hey, more fake Pokémon in our All Your Monies this week! I like the cat with the dinosaur hands high-fiving the girl, but the kid with the hamster that has bat wings on his head just looks like a dork.
Aqua: You want proof that Jel is like, SUPER OLD? Here’s your proof. Anyways, T.K. and Kari are my favourite DigiDestined — because, you know, their Digimon turn into friggin’ ANGELS — and I really love what Megahouse has done with them. Kari and Gatomon (or Tailmon, for the weeaboos) have an adorable pose and while I still don’t get what’s up with T.K.’s hat after all these years, you know you can’t hate Patamon. Great designs, great poses, lovely colouring, awesome price, what else could you want?
Euri: Colourful. Adorable. Currently figuring out if my living budget allows.
Iro: Digimon was basically my childhood, and these were my favorite two characters as a kid. If I collected figures regularly I’d probably pick these up in a heartbeat. But then I’d need the rest of the DigiDestined. Hm…