Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew (and Marlin) 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 have some figures of a few classic character types including magical girls, cat girls, and… mountain climbing girls?
figma Sakura Kinomoto (Card Captor Sakura)
Max Factory, May 2015, ¥5,556
Jel: We were just saying last week when checking out Bandai’s version that you should wait for the figma, so here you go. The joints still look a little rough, but other than that this is clearly the better figure. The quality of the sculpt and the paint work really bring the character to life, plus the accessories and face options are superior even though both are the same price. A great figma for a popular character from an older series? This seems like an easy choice.
Zigg: This is unbearably adorable in every possible way and an instant purchase for me, even though I’ve pretty much checked out of figmas in general. It’s a terrific sculpt of what’s a relatively complicated design and the paint and detailing are well up to Max Factory’s usual standards. Even Kero has a way more adorable pose than the SHF version. The one qualm is this price, which continues the recent figma trend of rising dangerously high, but in this case I’ll let it go.
Marlin: I’I still haven’t gotten through more than a few episodes of CCS, but even I can acknowledge that this is a pretty good figma for her. While the arm joints are pretty obvious, I like how the white stockings seem to do a good job of hiding the knees and ankles. The figure itself has an adorable face, and that goofy poofy dress I’ve always liked is represented pretty well for a low priced figma like this.
Mefmera (Dungeon Travelers 2)
Alter, January 2015, ¥11,800
Jel: I really decided to include this to talk about how far down the otaku rabbit hole Alter seems to be going. With the exception of their Free! line, they seem to be more content making figures from Visual Novel mini-game spinoffs instead of more popular anime and game characters. I guess I can respect reaching out for more interesting, lesser known characters but for a company that was once universally praised as the best in the business I want to expect more. It doesn’t help that Mefmera here is essentially your standard white haired busty cat girl. Yes, in this crazy niche we write about, that is a normal thing. It’s a beautifully sculpted figure and I love the softer color palette, but it’s just not bringing anything exciting to the table.
Zigg: My eyes just glaze over the moment a figure looking like this pops up. How many variations on the busty white-haired girl with the utterly blank face have we seen? The costume is neat and I like the purple detailing on white, but honestly there’s nothing here that we’ve not seen a million times already, and Alter’s superior craftsmanship is no longer able to make something like this stand out.
Marlin: I’m At first I thought this was some redesign of Black Hanekawa, that’s how generic this character looks. I do like that marble base, but the character itself seems really uninspired. Absolutely no effort is taken to give any illusion that this figure exists for anything but T&A, which is a shame as I actually like the details on her clothes and high heel boots. The hair in the back also looks too milky, as if her hair is made of a solid mass of colored glass instead of real hair. The face also is incredibly boring. What kind of emotion is that supposed to be? “Oh, I have this knife wielded in my right hand but I’m also trying to channel Rei Ayanami.” Something like that.
Kagamine Rin and Kagamine Len Senbonzakura Ver. (Vocaloid)
FREEing, June 2015, ¥18,333 (set), ¥10,000 each
Jel: These look pretty cool as I love the late 19th century style outfits, but the real highlight is that you can buy them as a set. They look pretty cool together or in a collection with the earlier Miku release but they also look pretty good standing alone. The sculpt, particularly on the faces and hair, might not be as detailed as something from the top companies, but it’s a solid effort overall. As a bonus side effect, I’m now in the mood to fire up some Project Diva F.
Zigg: Very cool and a refreshingly different look for these two. They’re both great but I’m a little more down on Rin, as that sludge-brown palette doesn’t do her any favours and the haughty eyepatch look is something of a cliche at this point. On the other hand, Len has an adorable face, great hair and a way more dynamic, interesting outfit with tons of flowing cloth goodness. Plus he might be the first ever boy in thigh highs figure I’ve seen. What’s not to like?
Marlin: I’m I’ll admit I’m just not a big fan of these two characters. Setting that aside, even though these figures have some nice details, the color scheme is just so drab that it sucks the life out of them. I also don’t quite get the poses. I guess Len is doing a gunslinger pose or something, but Rin’s random pointing just seems weird. What is she grabbing at with her left hand? It almost seems like that could have been meant for Len with his spiffy officer’s hat, but on Rin it just looks weird. Not my cup of tea all around.
Yurisha Iscandar (Space Battleship Yamato 2199)
Megahouse, February 2015, ¥9,000 (random piece of paper in the background not included)
Jel: I know Megahouse’s Yamato line has been going for a not too serious, cheescake pinup look but this figure just makes Yurisha look like a total airhead. It seems to say “someone’s been fooling around with the ship’s navigational systems, you naughty girl!” and given her character’s role in the show that just seems… inappropriate. It’s also just a boring figure, as her blonde hair, white suit, and static pose from the neck down don’t do much to grab your attention. I’ll give them credit for not making her a palette swap of one of their Yuki figures and it does appear to be well sculpted like the rest of the line, but that’s about it.
Zigg: Thanks to the team’s near universal praise of Yamato I know it’s very good, but if i saw this figure I’d assume it’s was a bland piece of harem cheesecake rubbish. There’s nothing interesting or exciting about this figure, the look is lazy and the outfit sparse. Definitely not something that catches my eye.
Marlin: I’ve been fine with all the other kitschy Yamato figures that have come through the pipeline over the last year, with perhaps the exception of that horrible Lieutenant Niimi, but it looks like we have another exception to the rule with Yurisha here. Not only is the suit more exploitative than any of the other girls, the face and pose don’t even try to look sexy, instead making the whole thing seem forced in character, as if someone designed this figures solely to exploit her curvaceousness. That would never happen, right?
Nendoroid Aoi Yukimura (Encouragement of Climb)
Good Smile Company, March 2015, ¥3,889
Jel: I tried to watch this once and as the Glorio member with the highest tolerance for comedy shorts I’ve wondered if I should revisit it. The nendoroid is pretty great at least, as we can now add cute anime girl climbing a mountain to our giant pile of weird nendoroid accessory non-sequiturs. Her collection of gear and the mountainside are great, but I can’t help but think they missed an opportunity packing in the sleeping bag accessory they’ve been using Aoi to promote. Well, we can’t have everything I guess as this is still a neat nendo overall.
Zigg: This is one of those cases where the choice of character is utterly baffling but the execution is so neat that you can’t help but like it. Aoi herself is smart but bland in the way schoolgirl Nendoroids often are, but the faces and especially the mountain accessory make this clever and amusing. For fans only certainly, but at least they can be sure they’re getting something neat for their money.
Marlin: I still can’t believe that is the english translation of this show’s name. Not like that’s the first time something that dumb has happened I suppose. The nendo itself is pretty cute, and I’m sure people can think of some pretty imaginative ways of using that rock slab. Any nendo that isn’t bland school uniform already gets some bonus points in my book, so I’d say all the extras make this a must-have for anyone who’s a fan of this show.
Swim Wear Sinon (Sword Art Online)
Chara-ani, February 2015, ¥6,463
Jel: While this isn’t the worst thing ever, it does have a lot working against it. Sure it earns our “Figures posed for maximum butt appreciation” tag, but I’m much more grossed out by her unhappy, unwilling expression. Honestly if it wasn’t for that and the average at best sculpt I’d probably be OK with this, or at least as OK with a swimsuit figure as possible. Her suit itself is kinda sporty and the giant dolphin adds an interesting bit of weird to the whole thing. Those are some pretty big “ifs” though, so this is a thumbs down.
Zigg: Sinon continues her trend of figures that heavily emphasize her posterior. Honestly, bonus points for originally, but it looks like she’s trying to dry hump that dolphin and the weirdly detached look on her face is all sorts of creepy. There’s an argument to be made that the figure itself is technically solid but does that really matter when I feel bad for looking at it?
Marlin: So now that I have been reminded of what art this was based on, I can’t fathom why Sinon’s face was drawn as it is in this figure. That one detail change took what would have been a cute if still pretty weird looking swimsuit figure into this unsettling, creepy place that it is in now. I also feel this entire line would look a lot better if Chara-ani could afford that cool water effect Max Factory is able to put on some of its figures. As is, I don’t see how this figure can be anything but a complete pass.