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 the latest hot new
gaming phenomenon merchandising machine finally hits AYM
Mikazuki Munechika (Touken Ranbu)
Good Smile Company, August 2016, ¥15,556
Zigg: I know next to nothing about the game but I know a gorgeous figure when I see one and this is definitely one of those. The star is undoubtedly that tremendous metallic blue paint job but you can see lovely detail all over the place. Check out those hanging tassles or the beautiful face detailing. Yes, it’s very expensive and the poe is a little static, but quality wise this is clearly a cut above your normal figures and I feel safe in saying he’ll probably be worth it.
Jel: This is a gorgeous figure. The whole thing is pretty much centered on that amazing shiny blue color of his clothes that almost looks like real silk. The details in the rest of the outfit are pretty amazing as well, and I’m always a sucker for metallic paint. About the only complaint I could make is the pose is pretty boring but whoever this guy is he seems pretty chill, so maybe that’s appropriate? Well done, GSC, well done.
Timmy: It is great to see GSC putting that Orange Rouge line to good use and while Mikazuki’s pose here is a little on the boring side I’ll give him a pass for the sheer amount of detail on display. Of course all that detail comes at a pretty hefty price but I think this is an instance where it is worth it. It isn’t every day where you see a figure with so much patterned clothing and so many intricate gold details to go with it.
figma Yami Yugi (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Max Factory, June 2016, ¥6,000
Zigg: Even after all these years Kazuki Takahashi’s designs retain plenty of punch and Max Factory have done a splendid job conveying the dramatic flair of the 2D look into 3D. The jacket cape is terrific and I love how spot on they’ve gotten the most important part of Yugi, the hair of course. There’s clearly been a lot of love put into this, but whether that warrants the ¥6,000 price tag is a personal matter. I myself feel it’s a little high, even taking into account the inflated prices of figmas these days.
Jel: I’m always a fan of bringing back older, classic franchises to the figma line, and as it turns out this is also just a great figma. I’m particularly impressed with how well they hid the knee joints in the folds of his pants. You can barely see them, I actually had to check the other promo shots to see if his knees could bend at all. They even made his weird hair work somehow in 3D, so nice work overall. Can we talk about the price though? I mean it’s fine craftsmanship and all but you pretty much just get what you see in the picture above, not sure how this ended up on the higher end of the figma price scale.
Timmy: Lets be honest here, you already know if you are buying this already. That being said Yami looks pretty great in figma form so if you are somehow on the fence you might as well just give in and order him. Props to Max Factory for minimizing the visibility of his joints, which as always been an issue I have with all poseables.
Dark Magician Girl (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Max Factory, May 2016, ¥12,778
Zigg: After two versions of Dark Magician girl that were both excellent but also had a few issues, Max Factory finally nails it this time. The pose is solid without being skeevy, the detailing is great and it walks the line between cartoonishly cute and slightly sexy I always felt the design suggested. My only issue is price – this feels like it should be a sub-10k figure, especially since it’s the company’s second go at the same character.
Jel: Speaking of Yu-Gi-Oh!, I really hope you didn’t buy Kotobukiya’s version from a few weeks ago. While that one had a really fun pose and base, this version of blows it out of the water in terms of sculpt quality and paint work. I guess that’s to be expected considering this is Max Factory, but still. At least we can now say there are TWO Dark Magician Girl figures that aren’t hyper sexualized now, so that counts for something.
Timmy: Sigh. So this isn’t a bad figure by any means, in fact I think it is really nice, but the presence of Kotobukiya’s demonstrates some issues I have with Max Factory and company. Do these two figures really need to be priced 30 bucks apart? I know Max Factory’s quality is pretty amazing but Kotobukiya isn’t THAT far behind. I personally find Koto’s pose a lot more interesting as well and this one looks to be relying on supports that never look anywhere near as good as everyone seems to think. (Check out the drilled out screw hole and visible screw in the smaller one, though that could change for the final product.) In the end you have a battle of perfection versus personality here and while I am not a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan one of these I would really love to have on my shelf. It isn’t this one, and I think that says a lot.
Dress-up Chibi Menma (Anohana)
Aquamarine, March 2016, ¥12,800
Zigg: It’s very, very adorable, which is the msot important factor when it comes to a figure of Menma, and the use of a slightly different design makes it stand out nicely. That said, we’re a little light on detailing here (is that a flower or a giant piece of bubblegum) and again, that price seems a little optimistic, especially for a figure from a non top-tier manufacturer.
Jel: I’m so glad they just made this an adorable figure and didn’t try to sexualize it. Kind of sad I have to say that… ANYWAY, I will note that I’m still not entirely sure if this is the 6 or 16 year old version of Menma (I’m guessing it’s the younger version), but that is the character designer’s fault. Working with what they got, I love how they interpreted Menma’s blue and white summer dress into something slightly more formal. It gives her a different look while still keeping the spirit of the character. If you can ignore that huge seam in her hair, this is a pretty nice figure.
Timmy: Really damn cute but part of me would like to see a little more detail. Though the lack of a stigma and anthers in that flower could be what is making me want to say that. Overall I really like her but she seems pretty pricey for such a simple, albeit colorful design. And it is also worth pointing out that the rerelease of Alter’s excellent and considerably cheaper Menma will be out in a few months.
Bishoujo Sniper Wolf (Metal Gear Solid)
Kotobukiya, May 2016, ¥7,800
Zigg: Look, I know Metal Gear Solid has a pretty bad track record with sexualising its female characters but honestly this is right up there with the worst of them. Even the should-be-adorable wolf pup instead looks quizzical and malnourished. The bishoujo line is pretty much amazing or a disaster for me, and this is definitely in the latter camp.
Jel: I am currently in the middle of playing Metal Gear Solid 5 and Sniper Wolf looks downright overdressed compared to Quiet. So I might actually overlook her open shirt, just this once. I can even chalk up the incredibly suggestive giant gun between her legs to the fact that all of these Bishoujo figures are supposed to be Shunya Yamashita cheesecake pin-ups. But with all that said, this is still pretty skeevy. Admire the puppy and those awesome combat boots, then move on.
Timmy: A really great figure killed by her boobs hanging out. If it weren’t for that I would be strongly considering getting this but my decision not to is pretty easy because of it. I am all for the sexy pose but the exposed chest just puts it too far over the top. That of course doesn’t make the crate, boots, and wolf pup any less amazing.
S.H. Figuarts Lord Baron (Kamen Rider Gaim)
Bandai,June 2016, ¥7,500 (exclusive)
Zigg: A very impressive figure for a very impressive mosnter design but man, Bandai need to stop making every single SHF you’d actually want to buy a web exclusive.
Jel: I’ll avoid the usual Bug Man jokes here as this dude doesn’t have the eyes for it. I’m assuming he’s The Villain? He looks pretty intimidating with the horns and what not. The black, red, and yellow is a little rough on the eyes and the patterns are really busy and rough to look at, so I’m not a huge fan of the design. I should probably watch Gaim one of these days though.
Timmy: I really like the flame effects in this dude’s pants, though everything above that is approaching on clutter territory with the way the colors are broken up. At least it does all look like armor, and his helmet and weapon, which seem to be the most important parts, both look great. Also gotta love how well that armor hides the joints. Not really my cup of tea personally but I still think he looks neat.
Freesia (Original Character)
Kotobukiya, November 2016, ¥12,800
Zigg: Haven’t we already talked about this?
Jel: Timmy keeps telling me this is not a palette swap of his beloved Daisy or that other one that looked exactly the same, but I’m not buying it. At least I can be amused that this one is doing the crazy Future Diary Yandere Face.
Timmy: It is going to be hard to replace Daisy as my favorite of this set but Freesia has the potential to do it with her orangeish-yellow and green contrasting color scheme, yandere expression, and asymmetrical twin tales. I really hope Kotobukiya can nail all those color gradients in the final product that they have in the prototype. And of course she is accented with bows and clovers, the latter which amusingly enough is what Koto uses to represent their 4 leaves line. Daisy being rereleased for her original price makes Freesia look comparatively expensive, but I have little doubt that she will be worth it.
Also if these were all the same then there would be no point in buying all of them so screw you guys, you know I am right.
Calne Ca (Vocaloid)
Union Creative, November 2016, ¥14,000
Zigg: I really like the ultracreepy goth/punk vibe they’re going for here and it’s a well put together figure with some really nice touches, like the massive hairpiece. Would it have killed you to just put shorts on her though? As it is i go from ‘interested’ to ‘NOPE’ almost immediately.
Jel: So is this supposed to be Miku? I’m assuming it is, otherwise Crypton Future Media has a lawsuit on their hands. I was totally on board with the dark gothic vibe going on here until I realized she is literally not wearing pants in any sense of the word. No, the belt thing doesn’t count. It certainly makes carrying those syringes around seem a lot more dangerous but whatever man, ANIME.
Timmy: Union Creative’s last Calne Ca, while satisfyingly creepy wasn’t really my style so it is great to see they went with a less robotic approach with this one while still maintaining that creepy factor. Everything looks pretty fantastic detail wise until you realize she doesn’t have anything on underneath those belts. It adds a needlessly sexual angle to the figure at least in my opinion and is a real turn off. Though I will concede and admit it makes the figure that much more creepy if that is the angle they are shooting for. I doubt she will have any detail behind that belt but still its an odd choice.