Welcome to “A Very GLORIO 2014″, our look back at the best of the past year. We have been featuring a different post from each of our authors everyday leading up to our top 10 shows of the year. Timmy wraps up our individual posts with a selection of his favorite (and not so favorite) figures from 2014.
This year I have decided to forgo the anime and game awards and focus solely on figures. As for the anime, everyone else has all that pretty much covered by this point and with the games just imagine I gave every game Xseed released this year an award and you pretty much have the gist of it. I should also note that this list only focuses on stuff I have actually purchased as trying to decide anything with the entirety of 2014’s catalog would have been an ordeal. So without further ado:
Super Sonico (Alter)
Kicking things off is the most important feature I look at when I am buying figures. I love a great face, but not only do I love a great face, a great face will often motivate me to get out my camera and have a lot of fun trying find the best angle to capture it. I have certainly acquired a fair number of pretty faces this year, but Alter’s take on Sonico was one I knew I had to have the moment she was revealed. She certainly isn’t the most overly expressive Sonico I own but the subtlety of her warm smile easily makes her one of my favorite Sonicos to photograph.
There was something about Homura that made me stand up, take notice and in the end shell out a whole bunch of dough for one of Aniplex’s latest exclusives, and I am pretty sure that cocky, confident pose has a lot to do with it. (The optional Kyubey abuse probably didn’t hurt.) Homura looks badass as she struts somewhere with a purpose, and the base and all the rest of her details really come together to make something that I really have felt has been missing from many of the other Homuras out there. She is a highlight in my collection for sure and worth the extra effort that her exclusive status brings to the table.
Shinobu Oshino (Good Smile Company)
It was a tough consideration looking around my room for this year’s best base, or at least until my eyes laid upon Shinobu. It would be hard to give the award to anything else when GSC has gone through great lenghts to incorporate the rest of the cast of Bakemonogatari into her base. It is all also optional to display to boot as well as being super simple to set up if you want to display her with it. There are many other complicated bases in my collection but for the size and space it takes up on the shelf, this one easily wins.
Super Sonico (Gift)
With the effort Gift put in both Sonico herself and the design of the overall packaging, it was a bit of a surprise to find the base to be a simple pink disc. There is tons of great design used in the packaging with both the outer box and the insert there is hardly any excuse to not even put Sonico’s name on the base, much less that tiger character on her shirt. If you aren’t even going to try then at least have the courtesy to make it a non distracting color.
Award for Excellence in Being Simultaneously Cute and Smutty, Figure Edition:
Cerberus (Max Factory)
Cerberus was more or less an impulse buy for me when I saw her on Crunchyroll’s Deal of the Day promotion for cheap, and after all this time I still have no regrets getting her. At the time she and her general pose reminded me a little bit of last year’s Daisy (Who would have been a strong Ero-Kawaii award contender if I had done it last year) but with really cute puppy hands and less clothes. And seriously, how can I not give a half naked girl with puppies for hands a cute and sexy award?
Best Cast Off System:
Hayate Yagami (Alter)
I own a few cast offs now, mostly in the bewbs department, but few have really excelled and making a system that is easy to manage, looks good with hidden seams, and without the material looking three layers thick when on. Alter, a company not known for castoffs, have somehow succeeded at all the above in their non nude Hayate. The seam for her shorts is cleverly hidden in the crotch and the top has them concealed behind the knot and as a normal material seam on her right side. You wouldn’t know you could take all that stuff off just by looking at her. And to go the extra mile the finishing matte coat makes Hayate feel distinctively smoother compared to Alter’s previous Nanoha and Fate and is no doubt meant to prevent paint transfer. They really did a lot of planning for this figure and it shows.
I didn’t really regret any of my purchases this year, but I did have some pretty big regrets with what I passed on. And as a Senran Kagura fan Asuka was easily the biggest. I loved the idea of my favorite company picking up the IP, and appreciated the figure in general, but her complicated expression kept me from pulling the trigger. After seeing post release pics the face would have probably grown on me and to make matters worse her price had shot up by 2k yen. Still haven’t decided if I am going to bite the bullet and track her down but it is disappointing regardless.
Character 2014 Will Be Remembered By:
Sonico was big this year with an anime way back in winter and more figure releases than I can count. And by this point I don’t think there is a company that hasn’t already produced and/or isn’t planing on making any Sonico merch. This year has already left me with a modest Sonico shrine of my own and lets be honest, when they run out of ideas and you start getting figures based off Disney properties, its officially your year. (And to clarify, yes that last one is a mermaid with a butt crack and yes I will probably buy it.)
Activity 2014 Will Be Remembered By:
I fail to recall another recent year where old properties were so hot. And while yes, we still seem to get a couple EVA figures every year and Aniplex is still busy trying to keep Madoka Magica printing money for them, it’s the big influx of Yamato, Sailor Moon, and the most recent CardCaptor Sakura goods that I am referring to. Companies have dug deep this year for better or worse and I hope it is not a sign of instability in the industry as a whole. Course that Kotobukiya figure of Sakura and those Megahouse babes in their space suits are all quite pretty so I can’t complain too much. The new Sailor Moon anime kind of sucked though…
Favorite Old Figure of 2014:
Hayate Yagami (Alter)
I also had the pleasure of picking up a number of fine preowned figures but Hayate takes the cake as both my favorite purchase and the best old figure I acquired this year. She was mislabeled with a disconnected wing in Amiami preowned section for super cheap and I bit the bullet suspecting that they were referring to the wing that was suppose to be able to be swapped with a similar one that held Reinforce, and I was right! Buying their Summer Holiday version of the pair also allowed me to compare Alter’s quality on their older figures with their new ones and save for some of the really small details, especially on the aforementioned tiny Reinforce, I have to say everything is really quite impressive.
Favorite New Figure of 2014:
Super Sonico (Orchid Seed)
Picking favorites is always difficult and this year was no exception, but after I copped out last year I wanted to buckle down and come up with something this year. So I ended up settling on the figure currently sitting on my desk next to me. Sonico has a lot going for her, as that cute, energetic pose and smile has already done its job in cheering me up a few times when things are gloomy. And her surprisingly large size is a nice bonus as well, especially considering how much Orchid Seed was asking for her. The large size also allows some pretty delicate details, namely in the hair department, and Orchid Seed brought their A game with this one and I am definitely glad to have her.