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 it’s the triumphant return of the feature’s most long-tenured franchise
Fate Testarossa Blaze Form -Full Drive- (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha THE MOVIE 2nd A’s)
Alter, June, ¥14,800
Zigg: It’s been a while since we’ve had a Nanoha figure, let alone one worthy of headlining the feature. But Alter just can’t stop going back to the well so here we go again. It’d be churlish to complain too much though since this really is a rather spectacular thing. If I’ve got a criticism it’s that that cape is almost too billowy and over the top. It’s so omnipresent it actually distracts a bit. That said you have an incredible pose, great detail and a strong character design that’s a little different from Fate’s regular look. A worthy return.
Jel: Guys, this Fate is totally different! She has a sweet white cape and a giant sword thing! There’s even a little bit of white in her skin tight bodysuit! OK, it’s been awhile since we’ve had some Nanoha in AYM so I’ll ease of the sarcasm a little. Fate admittedly looks pretty rad with the powerful pose and that superb Alter quality. Going vertical even saves you some footprint space to fit in your undoubtedly massive Nanoha collection. That said, I will remind everyone it’s been over two years since the last movie and nearly eight years since the last TV series. It’s time to move on.
Timmy: Alter has produced numerous Fates at this point and while you could argue that it is time to quit each one is always impresses me enough for me to not care if they keep on going. I am pretty fond of this iteration of Fate, as Alter have, for starters, seemed to have decided to focus on more of a shelf saving vertical profile for her then an horizontal one, similar to their most recent Hayate. Her outfit looks great with the red lines and gold highlights and it also looks less like a leotard here, which anyone who had a problem with that in the past will appreciate. Her billowy cape and hair both look amazing in sculpt and paint, face looks great, and finally that giant sword is equally impressive. Overall a pretty great figure for a pretty reasonable price given the scale and craftsmanship if you have room in your life for another Fate.
Selvaria Bles (Valkyria Chronicles)
Vertex, May, ¥15,000
Zigg: Has the sculptor of this figure ever actually seen a woman? Or, for that matter, a human being?.
Jel: Exhibit A on how weird, grotesquely huge boobs can ruin a character. Selvaria’s design always felt out of place mixed in with the superb art direction of Valkyria Chronicles, and even in a vacuum it’s impossible for me to ignore her gross proportions. I guess if I have to throw out some positives I do like the detail work, particularly the gold bits at the top of her boots and end of her sleeves. Other than that, this figure is just boring when compared to the far more dynamic Alter version from awhile back. Why can’t we just get more figures of Alicia?
Timmy: I don’t think this looks particularly bad, and some of the detail work is impressive but I just don’t feel that impressed by it. Maybe it is just not caring for the face, pose, of the fact there are better figures of her out there. And I also am doubtful Vertex can pull off all that great detail work when it comes to the final product. In the end you should go buy the previously mentioned Alter version of her instead, and ask them to make an Alicia while you are at it.
Omniscience Regalia Minerva (Cardfight!! Vanguard)
Kotobukiya, June, ¥13,800
Zigg: This is fantastic right up until you reach the face, which immediately informs you it’s by Tony ‘I only have one character design’ Taka. And that jsut kills the whoole thign for me. It’s a shame because there are some wonderful touches here – the big sleeve, the little owl and the hair all look awesome. Still, I’ll pass.
Jel: So Tony is doing Cardfight!! Vanguard now, huh? I honestly wouldn’t know any better as it looks like it could be any of his other Shining series designs, but this at least have some neat accessories. The energy spear and wings are kind of different, and the owl adds some uhhh… character? I guess no matter what I say Timmy is going to buy it, so I’ll defer to him.
Timmy: I have had a weakness for Tony’s winged girls for a while now and Kotobukiya seems well aware of it at this point by digging up every winged girl of his they can find. I wasn’t even aware of Minerva’s existence until she got a figure announcement yet I am probably going to get her. The outfit looks great in both sculpt and paint with its ruffles, wrinkles, and details on the bow, and reds with pink accents respectively. and her hair, with all its adornments, and those wings both look really nice. Of course you’ve got that pretty Tony face but what definitely seals the deal is that shield and her owl companion sitting atop it. Like I said, she is going to be hard for me to resist and while some may feel the price is a tad high I think its fair enough for what you get.
TECH GIAN Cover Illustration Okuyama Kie (Original)
Daiki Kougyo, June, ¥14,000
Zigg: I included this simply because it’s so bizarre, but as a figure it’s as empty as that facial expression. Bonus points for that very large (and unusual) 1/5.5 scale but really making skeezy figures larger just makes them even more skeezy.
Jel: Is she at the beach and forgot to take off her snowboarding gear, or is she snowboarding and forgot to change out of her bikini? For the small price of 14,000 yen you can stick her on your shelf and ponder that question for hours, staring into her flat, dead eyes, devoid of human contact. Enjoy!
Timmy: Now before you all give yourselves headaches contemplating this figure its worth pointing out that people do frolic in the snow wearing as little as our lady on display here, and aside from that you get a conversation starter if nothing else. I’ll admit though I am a little charmed with Kei as I find her face to be actually quite cute, especially with the goggles and scarf. And her body sculpt isn’t terrible either if you are interested in such things. She is sizeable and very castoff able so the price seems fair enough so in the end if you love the novelty of a swimsuit snowboard girl I would say this one is a winner, and if you don’t you always have the option of taking it all of. You can’t lose!
Nendoroid Snow Miku Snow Bell ver. (Vocaloid)
Good Smile Company, February/July, ¥4,500 (Exclusive)
Zigg: This is probably my favourite Snow Miku design yet. I love the classical styled clothes, the leaf umbrella is a very cute accessory and the miniature rabbit friend is the perfect adorable companion too. The colour palette is very pleasing too, a soft, relaxing mix of reen, blues and creams. There’s a figma as well but for my money this Nendoroid is definitely the best look this year.
Jel: This is really cute actually, and possibly my second favorite Snow Miku next to the stellar 2013 version. There’s something very quaint and folky about her outfit, and her little bunny pal is adorable. The snowflakes in the hair a bit too much a la the Sakura Miku design, but other than that I really like it.
Timmy: As adorable as one would expect. I am not sure when winter got so much greenery but it does really make this year’s annual Miku stand out from previous ones. Lets be honest though, you already know if you are getting this.
Koukaku Juushin Garo (Garo: Makai No Hana)
Bandai, June, ¥11,500 (Exclusive)
Zigg: This is as over-the-top as hell, which pretty much perfectly fits into the Garo style. I’m loving the super elaborate armour and sharp detailing, and the entire thing looks like it leapt off the cover of a 70s heavy metal album. Pricey and exclusive, but a guaranteed attention grabber.
Jel: This gaudy monstrosity goes beyond being an action figure and looks like some kind of god or demon carved in the side of an ancient temple, which is to say it looks pretty cool. Maybe I should give that Garo series a try sometime.
Timmy: What in the world. I am not quite sure who this is but he sure is damn impressive. Lots of crazy details and definitly lots of flashy gold if you can dig it.