Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew (and Aqua) 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 have cool dogs, cool robots and desperately uncool anime girls.
Play Arts Kai D-D (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)
Diamond Dogs, December 1984, ¥12,000
Zigg: I am a very big advocate of the extremely stupid side of Metal Gear Solid and this is a perfct encapsulation. He has an eyepatch! I’ve never been a particularly big fan of the cery contrasty, strong lined art style the PAK line tends to use, but it works better here than it tends to on the human figures. That said, the asking price is pretty steep for what’s essentially a joke character, well crafted as it is.
Aqua: Play Arts figures often aren’t worth their high price tags, but D.D. here is a different story. While the shaping of his fur still isn’t anything to write home about, especially on the tail, D.D.’s design is simply so outlandish it more than warrants a place on your shelf. Call it dishonesty, but I always like it when figures can exist on their own, when the context of whatever hopelessly nerdy property they hail from isn’t required to appreciate them. D.D. definitely fits that bill, though it’s not as easy of a sell as a figure of a dog with an eyepatch should be.
Timmy: I am certainly far from caught up on my MGS lore so this is my first time seeing a cannie in combat gear wearing an eyepatch. And, well, I am certainly not dissapointed. From a technical standpoint the fur is OK but could be better and the outfit looks fine as well. The joints seem to blend in decently well as well which is always nice. Seriously though, it is a do with an eyepatch. The absurdity of that alone makes this worth getting.
Hestia (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)
Max Factory, April 2016, ¥11,852
Zigg: Great expression and great pose, although I would have preferred it if they’d managed to work into in a more natural surrounding rather than just having her floating in mid-air. Max Factory have by now easily matched the quality of their ‘parent’ company GSC and as a result I have no doubt that this will be a figure of outstanding craft. Still, I actively dislike the character and it’s a rather minamalist take. With Hestia looking to be the current ‘it’ girl of figures I’d probably opt for Kotobukiya’s version or wait for another one to ocme along I liked more.
Aqua: I’ve always been a fan of Suzuhito Yasuda. His angular art style and fashionable character designs — often consisting of subdued contemporary clothing with a single extravagant detail — lifted Durarara!!, Yozakura Quartet and Devil Survivor to a visual grade of excellence. Nevertheless, the man has been letting his hormones get the best of him for a while now, and Hestia is the memetic nadir of his continued descent into perversion. This character design sucks, no need to sugarcoat it, and no skilled figure-making is gonna distract anyone from the various anatomical crimes on display here. Sorry, Yasuda, but that boob ribbon is never gonna catch on, man.
Timmy: I was probably the only one here who actually bothered to watch Dungeon to completion and I actually found Hestia pretty cute throughout. With the amount of figures of her floating around now I suspect I am probably not alone in that and I am certainly happy to see Max Factory take a stab at her. I really like how her face turned out, and her cover art inspired pose along with the included alternate are interesting enough to set their version of her apart from the rest of the pack. The latter does add to the price of what is a fairly simple figure but despite that Max Factory has made me seriously consider double dipping on Hestia figures.
Golden Darkness Yukata ver. (To Love-Ru Darkness)
FREEing, March 2016, ¥11,852
Zigg: Sure, it’s in service of the franchises’s seemingly never-ending suply of juvenile lewdness, but at least the slipping yukata does add a nice bit of movement and variety to this figure, as does the over-the-shoulder pose. That hair’s not bad either. The FREEing yukata figures are a known quantity at this point but I do feel there’s a bi more dynamism in this one that warranted its inclusion.
Aqua: Geez, guys, at least give the poor girl some time to put the bloody yukata on properly before you take the picture!
Timmy: I have admittedly had an odd affection for Golden here ever since seeing that nendo with the punching hair so I always like seeing her get more figures. As for this partucular one she looks nice enough, and that blue ribbon wrapped around her and her golden hair help add a lot of interest and make her stand out a little bit from Freeing’s other yukata clad offerings. It would be nice if she was properly wearing the thing though.
Bandai, January 2016, ¥4,400 (Exclusive)
Zigg: Those angry eyes are everything. I’m super thrilled that bandai are continuing down this stylized retro vein, and were it not for the exclusive price it’d be a marvelously kitsch trinket at a keen price. Alas, that exclusive status and the subsequent markup means that you’ll definitely need to think about sinking money into what’s essentially a claw machine toy.
Aqua: I’m not one for blatant nostalgia-baiting, but man, this figure just takes me back to how cool Pokémon looked back when it first hit it big. It was the first time I saw the anime art style, and everything else just looked lame in comparison. So yeah, it’s a bikini girl, but eh– Misty did spend most of her days in the water. I love how Bandai decided to stick with the exaggerated 90’s art style of the original Pokémon Gameboy games in stead of updating the character design to fit “modern sensibilities” (read: sexualizing her). The simplistic design allowed them to make a figure without any glaring flaws at a very reasonable price, so here’s hoping they have the other Gen I gym leaders waiting in the pipeline.
Timmy: I don’t have nostalgia glasses for Pokemon so this isn’t doing anything personally for me, but I still think it is pretty neat to dig up old characters and use their classic designs and art styles, even if it is for a swimsuit figure. She seems pretty small though, like they were going after the Amiibo crowd, and if they were doing that they should have just gotten Nintendo to let them go the whole nine yards.
S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Chase (Kamen Rider Drive)
Bandai, January 2016, ¥6,900 (Exclusive)
Zigg: No driving licence? No badass shades? No sale. Seriously though, this is amazing and I’d love to have it. There’s no justification for making this an exclusive though Bandai – Chase is a core rider, not an obscure variant or ultimate form. Very disappointing.
Aqua: He’s here to pop up out of nowhere, kick ass and woo your girl with his dreamboat “beep boop what is love” charms. Chase is one of the coolest-looking Kamen Riders in recent history, with his simplistic design and badass colour palette, and as usual, Bandai packs in all the poseability and accessories they can think of. The regular Figuarts clumsiness caveat still applies — don’t believe the pics, you will not be able to make him stand up holding that axe — and the lack of a Break Gunner, Chase’s far superior secondary weapon, is sorely felt but admit it, you’ll want this guy on your shelf
to gaze longingly at him and dream about how he holds you in his handsome robot arms while he asks you what this fluttering feeling in his chest is because he’s just that cool.
Timmy: So lets see if I have this right. His axe has an assumingly triggerable via that button do not chop, chop sign? That is really pretty awesome.