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, in an effort to avoid just filling this feature with bunny girls, Zigg loads up on weird exclusives.
Nozomi Tojo: (Love Live!)
Alter, June, ¥15,800
Zigg: We’ve talked in the last few columns they’ve been featured in about how Alter seem to be consciously making an effort to regain their crown as the best of all the anime figure makers, and this is another encouraging step towards that. Terrific colours (love that deep imperial purple), immaculate detailing and an unorthodox yet interesting pose all combine to make for a very attractive figure. The only thing I’d question would be that face, which makes her look like a bit of a space cadet, but then that may actually be reflective of Nozomi’s character. Regardless, it’s another more than solid effort from Alter.
Jel: I will have to continue to give credit to Alter for not phoning in their Love Live series and sculpting far more interesting designs than their base school uniforms. Nozomi here is all about the patterned paint work, or at least that’s what I’m assuming it is. The ribbon on her right hand looks so textured it’s hard to tell. I also like the purple color scheme and fun pose, both of which are very eye-catching. As with most of the other figures in the line I do wish they were wearing more clothes, otherwise it’s a nice looking figure.
Timmy: Stunning, as I have come to expect of Alter and their Love Live line. This is probably one of the most ambitious paint schemes I have seen attempted in a good while and there is little doubt in my mind that they will pull it off. The detail work is amazing and I love the touches of asymmetry thrown into the outfit with her garter-kneesock thing and head ribbon. I can’t really unsee that it looks like she is trying to magically summon something with a pose like that though and the little card isn’t helping. Still she looks great, though she is a tad expensive.
Dark Dragoon Forte (Rage of Bahamut)
Kotobukiya, June, ¥13,800
Zigg: I love the crazy Soul Calibur-esque gothic medieval design sensibility that the Rage of Bahamut brings to the figure world and though I’ve got some slight issues with the possiblity of a bland facial sculpt here, that’s easily offset by the sheer scale and detail of what’s on display. Got to love that intricate gold piping. Keeps up the series’ very impressive figure history.
Jel: OK the twin lance thing is really dumb but I love it anyway. It takes what would otherwise be a straightforward anime girl in armor and elevates it to the next level. The armor itself may also be some of the most detailed, best looking armor I’ve ever seen on a figure. About the only complaint you could make is how much space it will take up on your shelf, but a figure this nice is probably worth being the center of your collection.
Timmy: Kotobukiya once again brings their A game as well with their newest Bahamut offering and while the dual lance thing is indeed silly it looks great here. That red pair of torn ribbon also looks great I haven’t begun to even touch on Dragoon herself. Her outfit and armor is splendid with some great detail work and her hair and horns both look nice as well. As someone who loves my Olivia I am really tempted, but I am not sure I have the space for another large Bahamut figure.
Saber/Souji Okita (Fate/Grand Order aka That Mobile Card Game Iro Tells Us He Hates Even Though He Keeps Playing It)
Aquamarine, April, ¥12,900
Zigg: Pretty plain in figure terms but I really really like the strong bold colour palette, particularly the use of Aquamarine (pun not intended) to offset the white and the black. Pose is nice and dynamic and overall this is a considerable step up from a lot of the Sabers we’ve seen recently, though I’d put a lot of that down to the fresh character design.
Jel: Yeah I know it’s another Saber etc etc but I like this. The design is clean and simple but the splash cool sea green and great detail work on the sword add some unique flavor. Probably my biggest hang up is the fact that she just reminds me of a poor man’s version of Alter’s classic Momohime, but I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to hold that against it.
Timmy: We have had more then plenty of Sabers but this one manages to feel fresh. Perhaps is the nice simple but detailed design coupled with a nice shade of bluish green we have never seen on a Saber before. I particularly love the dynamic windswept pose and the hair sculpt. I know she is 1/7th but she still seems a tad expensive in the price department.
Iro: Actually, she first showed up in the 2012 April Fool’s Koha-Ace comic. They were hyping everybody up by saying they were going to announce a new Servant designed and drawn by original F/SN artist Takeshi Takeuchi, and then… it was another Saber clone. Cue slide whistle, laugh track. That said, she showed up alongside genderswapped Nobunaga in That Dumbass Fate Mobile Game (yes that is its official title now) a while back and a bunch of people on my friend list use her, meaning she is available to me as a support character. She’s probably one of the better Servants in that game.
White Odette & Black Odile (
Original The Swan Lake, you fucking barbarians)
SkyTube, August, ¥27,800
Zigg: It’s Tony Taka, therefore
Jel: TIMMYYYYYY, this is all your fault. I really don’t have much to say about cast-off dead eyed Tony girls at this point, and these seem especially generic to me. Where are the arbitrary wings (and no I’m not counting their headgear) or giant weapons? I guess I like the paint work on the dark dress but other than, boooooooo.
Timmy: Haters gonna hate I guess but as the resident Tony fanboy I couldn’t resist grabbing these two. I really like their simple, yet elegant design as well as the white and purple contrast between them. I am also a huge sucker for the joint base, which is a bonus for buying them as a set instead of separately. Some complaints I have is the castoff feels like a waste, especially if they aren’t going all the way with it like their other Tony figures, and serves to jack up the price. It would have also been neat to have a second set of cutoff legs to match the image they are based off of. (like that Nadeko GSC put out ages ago) Still I think they turned out pretty nice and they aren’t too cost prohibitive given the scale.
S.H. Figuarts Golden Knight GARO Leon ver. (Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames)
Bandai, June, ¥7,700 (Exclusive)
Zigg: I’m really happy that we’re getting some quality merchandise out of the GARO anime since it’s probably actually the best media the franchise has produced, and Leon’s Golden Knight form is definitely one of the cooler ones. This looks to be an outstanding rendition too, really reproducing all the tiny little lines and ornaments on the armour. On the other hand, why on earth is this an exclusive? He’s the main character for crying out loud.
Jel: This is one of the Garos from our #4 anime of 2015 right? And no, I’m totally not masking my ignorance or indifference with a shameless plug for another post, honest! Joking aside, this is a really cool action figure. I am always a fan of shiny metallic paint, or at least until I see this is a super pricey exclusive. Ouch.
Timmy: Shiny. He definitely looks good and I love the metallic look along with those ribbon things to add some contrast to it. Still, that is a lot of bloody money for a poseable, even if he is gold.
S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Kuuga Ultimate Form (Kamen Rider Kuuga)
Bandai, July, ¥7,500 (Exclusive)
Zigg: Ok this is just getting silly now. It’s Kuuga, one of the most beloved Kamen Riders ever, in his badass looking Ultimate form (the one which was meant to be able to destroy the earth with a Rider Kick) and you’re still making it an exclusive? Way to kick the fans in the balls Bandai. What’s even more galling was that the awful Rising Ultimate form from Kamen Rider Decade was released as a regular figure but this is fenced away behind a premium cost.
Jel: I know I make a bug joke every time a Kamen Rider shows up in AYM and I want to improve and write something more interesting but COME ON, look at him! The black makes him very clearly look like a beetle. It also kind of drains the fun out of what are usually colorful and interesting designs that we get with other riders so unless someone can tell me this guy is a really awesome character worth having, I’m not feeling it.
Timmy: Sorry, I just can’t unsee the fact he looks like a bug, thanks a lot jel. also what is up with all this expensive exclusive business?
Figuarts ZERO Taichi ‘Tai’ Yagami & Agumon (Digimon Adventure Tri)
Bandai, July, ¥5,800 (Exclusive)
Zigg: The Figuarts ZERO line already has a shaky reputation but man, this might be the worst yet. Look at that cheesy grin, so artificial that you can see it in these zoomed out preview shots. Look at how anorexic Agumon looks. It’s hard to capture Atsuya Uki’s unique art in plastic, but they could have at least tried harder than this. Oh and that price is mad, as per usual.
Jel: I can’t think of any other figure off the top of my head that tried to adapt Atsuya Uki’s art style to three dimensions, and if this is any indication my fears that it’s not really possible may be true. I’m not really impressed with the sculpt at all, and other than the Digimon franchise milking the nostalgia angle I don’t think it has anything going for it. Granted, I should probably not be expecting much from a Figuarts but it’s also a pricey exclusive so step up your game, Bandai!
Timmy: The sculpt here feels like it is severely lacking and man is that a cheesy grin. I really don’t think we are going to see a shortage of Digimon merch going forward so I would say you are better off waiting for something better. Especially with the hoops they are asking you to jump through to get him.
Figuarts ZERO Cyborg 009 vs. Devilman (Cyborg 009)
Bandai, June, ¥12,000 (Exclusive)
Zigg: I love everything about this. I love that an older show is getting a figure, especially one as iconic and important as Cyborg 009. I love the cartoony 80’s art style. I love the bright, garish colours, the action packed sculpts, the cool effect bases. In fact, pretty much the only thing I don’t like is the price, but you already knew that. For the people who want this, that won’t be an object.
Jel: What’s your favorite anime? DEVILMAN. NEXT. Oh, this is also really cool. I love to see old style anime characters made with modern quality figure sculpts, but Zigg you need to pick some things people can actually get their hands on next week.
Timmy: I guess I should catch up on some of these older franchises but that aside this looks pretty cool. It would be nice to see these sold separately and non exclusively but Bandai’s decisions never made sense before so I don’t see why they would start now. I nice set of figures for fans who I am sure won’t mind the hoops being thrown at them to get these. I just hope the quality of the final product is good. With Bandai I sometimes have my doubts…