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 we return from hiatus (all those awards posts don’t write themselves you know!) with girls on film, girls on diamonds and girls on a pillow.
Nendoroid Tomoyo Daidouji (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Good Smile Company, June, ¥4,444
Zigg: Tomoyo is pretty bare-bones compared to Sakura, but this is one of those cases where the figure itself is so utterly delightful that it’s difficult to begrudge that. The three included faces are divine and the accessories for modifying the body for use with Sakura are a smart inclusion that reflect what a lot of owners were bound to do anyway. Probably not the best value proposition but hell, I don’t care. Also the Good Smile Online Shope exclusive sassy Kero is a must have.
Jel: Having not seen Card Captor Sakura, I have no context for this. So Tomoyo here just looks like an average school girl with a camera to me. Granted the camera is a cool accessory and that sparkly eye face is fantastic, but I’ll leave any more insightful commentary to the rest of the crew.
Chris: I’m just going to sit here and squeal at anything Card Captor Sakura and remind you of how adorable they all are, nendoroid included. Is there a figma coming? I want to see the awful photos involving her filming Revoltech Woody and his comic hijinks.
Aqua: What a cutie. The original best-friend-with-a-mildly-obsessive-crush is finally getting a Nendoroid, and the result looks adorable. Compared to Sakura, Tomoyo is a bit lacking in nuts and bolts – packing only her hat and camera, but her adorable expressions make her a pretty essential addition to any picture featuring her frilly soulmate. Characters like Tomoyo are what Nendoroids are for.
Hatsune Miku: Risa Ebata Ver. (Vocaloid)
Max Factory, July, ¥18,333
Zigg: Something about this rubs me the wrong way, despite the fact I normally love crazy over-the-top figures. It’s just so busy and unorganized. The colour palette is uninspired, with Miku’s standard black and green clashing badly with the pink. PLus, that face is really a no go, There are neat touches (the music patterned socks are great) but overall this is a bust.
Jel: How crazy is too crazy when it comes to your figure design? Whatever the threshold is, this Miku certainly pushes it. Let’s see, she’s got giant bells, sheet music on her thigh highs, what appear to be ice hockey skates, she’s sitting on a giant gemstone… it’s just a total grab bag of features and not really sure they come together. Add on the kind of weird face and pose and I think they’ve officially run out of ideas. That hair certainly looks awesome though, I love when they go for that stylized translucent look.
Chris: I’m really stumped – I totally don’t know how I feel about this. I don’t really like the face, though perhaps that’s the angle, and the giant pink diamond is a bit out of place. The hair looks really cool, but I wonder if it’s as brittle as it looks. Her costume is fun and bonus points for the music-themed leggings. That price is also part of the whole crazy package.
Aqua: The first Miku of the year is certainly impressive, with her gothic frills and impressive diamond seat, though I can’t help but feel the overly rococo design is a bit too much of a good thing. The gorgeously-adorned stockings are neat, but the large ribbon-coat tail clumsily draped all over the figure’s right half takes up far too much space, and with a face like that, Miku looks as if she’s going to kill me. The options for Miku figures aren’t exactly limited, so I’d pass on this one.
Miki Hoshii Yukata ver. (The iDOLM@STER)
FREEing, May, ¥9,074
Zigg: Miki tends to be pretty striking in figures what with her shock of blonde hair and liking for green. They’ve toned that down to a lovely pale mint green here and paired it with a nicely different pose. It’s almost awkward but the sculpt just manages to pull it off and the result is a nicely dynamic scene. There are obvious quality worries with all of the FREEing yukata figures (check out those seam lines) but there’s no denying this is a sharp looker.
Jel: This is a really nice interpretation of Miki’s personality and her usual image color. The green yukata makes the pink flowers pop and that pose with the one sandal off is really fun. The sculpt looks nice too, although those are some really horrible seems on her arms and the point where her dress bends. She does look nice as part of the set, which will no doubt eventually cover the rest of the girls, so you crazy Idolm@ster fans get on that.
Chris: I’m honestly getting a bit bored of ‘cute anime girl in a yukata’ figures, and I’m kinda just shovelling them into the same category as swimsuit figures these days unless they’re doing something a bit different. That’s not the case this time though, and this one in particular looks a little rough around the edges. The seam behind her knees is not great, and the strap on her sandle looks like it’s about to break off. I’d hope that the wedge under her foot will get better when we see the base, but given there are more than a few figures that do that, I’m not holding my breath. Not good enough for people with only a passing interest of Miki/the show.
Aqua: Miki’s not an assault on the senses like some other yukata figures, featuring a nice, subdued minty green that fits the relaxed atmosphere yukatas usually invoke as a welcome alternative for the usual screaming primary colours. The pose is neatly energetic for a yukata figure as well, though the fact remains that these things are starting to get damn bloody boring to look at. Throw in a nasty seam at the point where her knees bend and that same old vapid Idolm@ster face, and you get yet another figure where the generic outweighs the good.
figma Kirito: GGO ver. (Sword Art Online II)
Max Factory, June, ¥5,370
Zigg: This is a big more interesting than Kirito’s standard figma due to the long-haired design but otherwise this is still a flat and generic design. The slightly-too-short trousers look pretty odd too.
Jel: I’m so tired of calling out Sword Art Online at this point that I’m just going to focus on the positive: the lightsaber, particularly the swinging effect, looks really cool. Other than that, the long hair makes him look one step closer to Anime Jesus. Anime Jesus after his Jedi Knight training. Have fun with that, moving on.
Chris: Only worth it if you’re going to have him make out with his other figma.
Aqua: Kirito has reached generic anime protagonist singularity, he has now added himself to his harem of generic anime girls. Aside from its idiotic design, and the even more ridiculous in-canon reasoning behind it, this figma is mostly just boring, though. I do have to raise an eyebrow at that beat katana/lightsaber: it doesn’t really give off the impression of lighting up at all. It’s a lousy effort for a lousy character.
Roberta Bloody ver. (Black Lagoon)
New Line, May, ¥17,800
Zigg: This is pretty unique and it’s certainly striking. They almost hit the right mix of trashy and interesting but that disastrous base looks like something out of the 90s and I continue to despise anything madeo ut of polystone. I’ve no familiariaty with New Line either so quality may be an unknown.
Jel: This would certainly make for an interesting conversation piece on your coffee table. I wonder if they actually paint that blood or do they just splash it on a finished figure? That would be pretty cool actually, they would all be unique. I’m going to overlook the splattered blood, the maid outfit, and her grossly oversized breasts and call out that logo on the base. Now that is just tacky.
Chris: It’s weird to say it, but yeah, that logo does totally devalue the whole piece. It makes it seem like a freebie that’s bundled in with a blu-ray rather than the pricey figure it is. Good to see more Black Lagoon love though, but I don’t care enough about Roberta to have an interest in this. The face also doesn’t seem to go with her pose.
Aqua: Black Lagoon is pretty great in its ability to be senselessly pulpy with a self-awareness most anime can’t even hope to achieve… but even then, who the hell would want this? Who even cares about Roberta as a character, let alone an over-priced, blood-splattered version of her? Her face looks like one of these hentai figures, and that maid outfit was old as the streets back when Black Lagoon actually aired. Call me back when you have a Revy, or a Dutch, New Line, or really, just anything anyone would actually want to put on their shelf.
Lingerie Style Saber Premium Edition (Fate/Stay Night)|
Wave, June, ¥45,000
Zigg: This may be the very epitome of figure collecting – huge, ludicrously expensive, super niche and really, really creepy.
Jel: We have truly reached the pinnacle of figure collecting. What could possibly be more classy than a white satin pillow? Did you say “LED light base” because that’s also part of the deal! Sadly all these Sabers kind of look like over glorified Beach Queens (this is Wave after all) and still break down to around 10,000 each if you want to factor in the cost of the display. That’s just way too much, even for something this ridiculous. Still, can’t argue with the appeal of one stop shopping, right?
Chris: It’s hard enough explaining this hobby as it is.
Aqua: With every Saber lingerie figure that comes out, I raise the same criticism — Saber would never coyly simper at anyone in fancy underwear. She’s too boring for that. Oh, and of course Saber Alter forgot to put a bra on because she’s the evil one. Remember, girls, sexuality makes you evil!