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’ve got schoolgirls, angels, yukatas and, er, gravure?
Sakura Kinomoto -Angel Crown- (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Plum, May, ¥12,000
Zigg: It’s pleasingly different from the other Sakura figures we’ve seen so far (finally, another costume!) and I really do like the pose, with the skirt curling round to form the stand. There’s just something indefinably bland about it though. The pale colour palette works well in the original artworks upon which it’s based, but just isn’t bold enough for a display figure. A lack of intricate surface detail combines to make it look a little cheap. Not a disaster by any means, it’s still very cute, but probably the least essential Sakura so far.
Chris: I hate to say it, given that Sakura continues to be adorable and that pose is great, but this is pretty disappointing. Perhaps this is based on a piece of concept art that I’m not familiar with, but I’m not sure exactly why this figure is so washed out. Mild yellows just makes this blend into the background. Hell, it’s hard to focus on it in the picture above. Poor colour choice has really let it down, but even then I don’t think that’s going to stop it selling out.
Aqua: Looks like everyone’s jumping on the Cardcaptor Sakura train now that Good Smile has rediscovered this classic cutie, but Plum’s version has to be the first disappointment of this Sakura renaissance. The outfit is adorable and the overall composition of the figure is nice, but the colour palette is too monotonous and the gaudy gold of her crown makes for a rather grating contrast with the bright yellow pantaloons. Even Sakura’s usually pretty brown hair gets a honey-blonde makeover here, completing a colour palette that seems to cover every shade of yellow imaginable. It’s cute, but dang, I wish they painted it better.
Timmy: Pretty cute design and I really like the presentation with Sakura floating and all, but as the others have said the colors really don’t pop on this one despite being technically accurate to the image. At any rate, buy Kotobukiya’s excellent Sakura first and give this one more consideration after she comes out and we get a much better look at those colors.
Isuzu Sento (Amagi Brilliant Park)
Kotobukiya, May, ¥9,200
Zigg: .You can always rely on Kotobukiya to crank out a sharp figure and this is a fine example, though not without problems. For one, Sento isn’t really the smiling kind of character, and the pose is one of those indefinable ‘cute/pervy’ things which I really don’t get on with. With all that said, detailing is sharp, it’s very cute and mini-Moffle is a delightful addition. Oh and I watched Amagi Brilliant Park over the Christmas holidays and had a lot of fun with it.
Chris: You know, it’s AYM that makes me realise just how many shows I’m missing. Amagi Brilliant Park is one of those, so I can’t speak for how true this stays to her character, but on first look it seems like a nice, fun pose. You can tell that they’re trying to be careful not to make this uber gross, but the, uhh, bear thing seems a little on the nose. It’s also nice to see a non-typical base, though I have to assume that butt-balancing on a cloud/soap bubbles is canon.
Aqua: I’m not entirely sure what this pose is meant to convey — Falling? Slipping? Sliding? — but I have to give Koto credit for not diverting all attention to Sento’s ample chest. In fact, I quite like this energetic, detailed figure of her cool design, and that bright smile is a giant plus… if it weren’t so darn out of character. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sento smile once during the entire show, and I’m afraid Koto failed to notice that her comically serious personality is probably what people like about her in the first place. Little Moffle is a nice addition, but he’s nowhere near the size he is in the show, so he feels kind of tacked on and strategically placed to cover up what’s under Sento’s skirt. Not a bad effort, but I’ll eat my hat if Good Smile won’t have a better one to present in the upcoming weeks.
Timmy: Definitely digging on this one despite not having any context from watching the show. Her pose is fairly unique and interesting, and her face, hair, rifle, and gold accents in her outfit all look great. And the inclusion of parody Bonta-kun (who I think is a parody himself) is certainly a fun one. A pretty great showing by Kotobukiya and no doubt worth consideration, especially if you are a fan of the show.
Chitoge Kirisaki (Nisekoi)
Max Factory, June, ¥10,926
Zigg: I don’t know anything about Nisekoi but I do think Chitoge has an extremely cute design and this is a very nice reproduction of that, from the exccellent hair to the sharp clothing detail to the high-spirited pose. You could probably knock it a little for being generically schoolgirl but I think the design and the care taken with the sculpt really make it stick out in a good way.
Chris: I don’t care what
Aqua says you say, I quite like Nisekoi. However, Onodera is the best girl confirmed, and Chitoge is a little too…mega-tsundere for my liking. However, this figure is a beauty, and I think it’s very likely I’ll pick it up sooner or later. Hopefully we get an Onodera one soon.
Aqua: I admit, I’d never care about Nisekoi in a million years, but I do quite like its art style. Similar to the style of Suzuhito Yasuda (Yozakura Quartet, Durarara!!), it’s conventional, but has a very spunky, distinct kind of edge that gives its fairly mundanely-looking characters one or two exaggerated trademarks that make them stand out. Max Factory did a great job at replicating Chitoge’s oversized bow and feisty expression, and the little dabs of pink on the tips of her hair serve as a neat reminder of the studio that brought you Nisekoi. Too bad this is still a tiny schoolgirl and Nisekoi is crap, I so would have loved to see this art style used in a manga with actual characters and original ideas.
Timmy: Chitoge certianly is not as exciting character design wise as some stuff here, but Max Factory still managed to make a quite good figure out of her. It is impressive what a nice, fun face and a very dynamic and detailed sculpt will accomplish, and her hair with its pink tips and oversized bow also add some extra oomph. Not particularly interested myself but I’ll happily give praise where it is due.
Kyoko Sakura Yukata ver. (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
FREEing, June, ¥9,074
Zigg: It’s a nice enough sculpt and I really appreciate the cheeky face and casual toffee apple, but dear lord that is a lot of red right there. It’s too much even for me and I’m the red one!
Chris: Can we do an organised march against boring yukata figures? We could probably slot one in for shortly after the boring swimsuit figure march.
Aqua: FREEing apparently missed the memo that you’re totally allowed to dress a girl in a colour other than the colour of her hair, because unlike Good Smile Company’s, their Madoka Magica line of yukata figures is about as creatively bankrupt as the franchises they usually adapt. What else is there to say? It’s FREEing, so hideous seams and unimpressive faces are the order of the day. For the love of all things holy, wait for GSC’s version and don’t give these hacks the money they don’t deserve.
Timmy: You would think Madoka Magica’s best girl in a yukata would would get a pretty easy pass from me, and indeed I don’t think she looks that terrible. She does feel a little uninspired to me, though that could be because I know a much better one is on the way.
Lucy Heartfilia Black Cat Gravure Style (Fairy Tail)
Orca, September, ¥12,800
Zigg: You know what? I’m going to say this is alright. Yes, it’s skeevy as hell but then that’s sort of the point, and at least it hasn’t crossed over into creepily distasteful The pose is cute (I particularly like the pillow behind the back), the outfit detailing is decent and I like thae face. Absolutely not my cup of tea but a sharp, good looking figure that’s bound to please plenty.
Timmy: I… Dont hate this? I certainly haven’t been shy about giving Orca praise in the past, and I think they deserve some today as well for at least making their unique take on Lucy not look horrid. Her face seems nice, the details on what little outfit there is are well done, and her pose and body sculpt seem natural enough. I am curious as to why the cat girl though as Lucy shows up in a bunny girl outfit waaay more often in the show.
Zigg: Megahouse’s Digimon efforts have been pretty solid up to this point but this definitely isn’t the most flattering angle for Izzy and Mimi just seems a little bland. I’m also still disappointed that these are only 1/10 scale and the exsclusivity makes them ridiculously priced for such small figures.
Chris: That price does not align with Izzy’s face. Hell, the build quality, face aside, just doesn’t see that great. Perhaps the size would beg to differ, but these look more like blind box figures to me. A shame, but for the record, I’d totally buy Digimon blind boxes.
Aqua: Megahouse’s recent Digimon releases have been very impressive, and while Izzy’s face makes me want to commit bloody murder, their latest Mimi is another win, with an original, bright pose and an adorable facial expression for an affordable pr– Oh God, why are the best ones always exclusives?
Timmy: Izzy’s face just seems mundane when compared to Mimi’s adorableness. That aside they both seem fun, but rather expensive for 1/10 scale figures.