Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew 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 Zigg returns to the helm and new contributor Colons jumps on board.
Aludra (Chain Chronicle)
Alphamax, May 2015, ¥13,800
Zigg: I led with this because it’s undoubtedly the strongest figure in a somewhat weak week, but it’s also a rather lovely looking thing in its own right. The elaborate hair is a treat, there’s some lovely detailing and the outfit, and said outfit reaches ‘sexy’ without going straight into ‘super gross’ which is a big bonus. I like the purple colour too. I’ve never heard of the series and that price tag is rather hefty, but there’s no denying this looks sort of cool.
Aqua: Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, generic character design this way comes! It’s like someone put Belldandy in a witch’s costume and cut out some random patches of fabric, leaving her torso clad in what I can’t help but describe as a strapless apron. The adorably crumpled, removable hat might fit better on a different head, preferably one containing any sort of personality, because right here everything underneath is baroque pomp and circumstance cut from the same (lack of) cloth as most JRPG character designs. There’s still a huge difference between a decently made figure and a good one, and Alphamax’s outing this week definitely belongs to the latter.
Euri: I actually rather like this figure. There’s plenty going on and it doesn’t resort to being super gross either, which I suppose is a rarity when it comes to witch-related characters. I’m not entirely sure what to make of the skulls, as they look a little bit tacky in the image above. Perhaps they’ll look better in person, and hopefully the final base reflects the somewhat hefty price tag.
Colons: The hair and cape look neat, especially from behind with the staff sticking through ’em, but I can’t help but get distracted by the physics implied by that skull. I just don’t think a chain and a human skull could be adequately supported by such a wide hat brim. Also, if she’s moving enough or there’s enough wind that her cape and hair are kicked up so, surely the skull would also be slightly askew? The hat’s removable, though, so I guess that’s a solution.
Inazuma (Kantai Collection)
Pulchra, February 2015, ¥10,000
Zigg: I could definitely get behind KanColle more if we got more of this cute deformed character design than the leggy pin-ups that seem to make up most of the prominently featured cast. The major knock on this one is that aside from the obligatory guns backpack Inazuma is a little generic. Still, I like the demure pose, the outfit is cute nevertheless and Pulchra tend to produce solid fare, though I do think this might be a little overpriced.
Aqua: One of the many, many jarring things about KanColle is the fact that a lot of the character designs look completely different, and not in the right ways. Inazuma looks like she lives in a completely different universe from, say, Shimakaze, yet luckily, she looks a lot less sexualized than her war buddies. Pity she also looks a lot more generic. The pose, demure face and somewhat odd angling — how come she’s not collapsing under the weight of all that crap on her back? — don’t make this warship into one I can recommend. Too bad, because that compass base would’ve looked amazing if attached to, say, Bodacious Space Pirates’ Marika.
Euri: Hey, it’s one of the most modestly dressed schoolgirls I’ve seen in figure form. It’s an interesting figure, I’ll give it that, but I think that if I had to buy a figure from the KanColle series, it’d have to be one of the wackier characters.
Colons: Totally adorable and something I wouldn’t worry about having to explain if family came to visit. Some really nice scuffs and scrapes on the boat bits, too.
Mikoto Misaka Yukata ver. (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
FREEing, May 2015, ¥8,148
ZIgg: I actually quite like this. Sure, production quality is clearly a step down from the top brands, but I think the pose is pretty cute and the gekota bag and mask are a really great in-jokey touch. Most of all though I’m a fan of the unusual pastel-orange colour scheme, which is a really nice look that we don’t get enough of in figures. It’s not perfect then but I see enough here to recommend it to Mikoto fans.
Aqua: The Ace of Tokiwadai is my homegirl, though it’s a pity this summery incarnation of her doesn’t look exactly flattering. The amateurish seams on her hair and sleeves, clumsy looking Gekota mask and bizarre Michael Jackson footwork make this one a figure you should probably pass on. Poor Mikoto will never get a proper figure, won’t she?
Euri: Not a bad figure to snag if you’re into Biri Biri, though the strap on her bag really bugs me. Also, I bet there are more than a few people who will buy this just to figure out if she’s wearing bike shorts.
Colons: Don’t think I’m a fan of this one. The seams around the arms are super obvious, the physics of the bag strap are troubling, the sleeve on the right arm looks like it was melted on as an afterthought, and somehow her face just looks dead. I’m into the design of the actual yukata, though.
Beach Queens Chitoge Kirisaki (Nisekoi)
Wave, May 2015, ¥6,200
ZIgg: I think Chitoge has a neat character design, and that plus the funky swimsuit and the standout hair push this above the normal Beach Queens level for me. Still, the prices are getting sort of mad and 1/10 is still way too small for serious consideration, especially for that much money.
Aqua: I love how they’re trying to SHAFT-i-fy figures based on series made by Akiyuki Shinbo’s cabal of art school dropouts now, because that’s the only way I can explain those sweet bubblegum hair tips. As usual, Wave try their hardest to design cute swimsuits and nice complementary colour schemes, but you can’t polish a turd, and you can’t make Nisekoi look appealing to me. Try to look coy all you want, Chitoge, I’m sorry.
Euri: Not the best girl. Not interested.
Colons: Note that her pelvis appears to be melting, causing her torso to slowly slide into the cavernous gap between her legs. Really nice paintwork on the hair, but this is not my scene.
Inshun Hozoin (Hyakka Ryoran)
Alter, February 2015, ¥11,800
Zigg: Let’s have a bit of a talk about Alter. When we began this feature they were the undisputed kings of the figure world. But as time has gone by their production has slowed, their choices have become more esoteric, and Good Smile have moved in, seizing all the top licences and toppling them from their position on high. There’s no doubting the quality of the figure on display here, and typical Alter touches such as the beautiful movement on the scarf or the lovely flower print are right there. But, even leaving aside the gross sexualisation (and that’s tough to do when it’s in your face like this), this feels like a serious waste of the company’s considerable talent. Let’s see something truly breathtaking again huh?
Aqua: There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Samurai Girls delivering the top half of an amazing figure. Pants didn’t exist in the Sengoku period, you know?
Euri: A fantastic design that is ruined by a panty shot. I mean hell, I’ll forgive the physics marvel that is her scarf purely because it looks awesome, but the focal point of the figure has shifted because of that short skirt. What a shame.
Colons: From the front-left, this figure actually looks pretty damn cool, and the attachable mask is a nice touch, but they really want you looking at butts.