Hello, and welcome to All Your Monies, where The Glorio Blog’s resident toy and figure collecting crew (and Iro) will run down the last week’s new pre-orders, turning a loving or scathing all-seeing eye over what’s been put out for you to spend your hard-earned cash on. This week, after a few weeks off for ANIMEPOCALYPSE we return with a truly stacked edition.
Soul of Chogokin GX-72 Daizyujin (Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger)
Bandai, April 2017, ¥30,000
Zigg: It’s almost redundant to critique any Soul of Chogokin release now, since they’re all so magnificent. Daizyujin here is of course more famous in the west as the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Megazord, and the sheer detail and care on display here is enough to blow away any previous rendition. Interestingly, it seems that Bandai has figured that pandering to the western market is an profitable strategy – the previous SoC was Beast King GoLion aka Voltron and both have retailed at a premium above even the incredibly high price of ‘regular’ releases. Let’s hope this isn’t a pattern.
Iro: My newfound Super Sentai knowledge gained from watching Ninninger and Zyuohger recently had me musing on this guy. It’s kind of interesting to think about how in Japan, the Zyuranger Megazord is… just another Megazord, from another one of those shows. As far as I know, Zyuranger isn’t one of the iconic Super Sentai series, but in the western world Mighty Morphin’ is by far the most iconic Power Rangers show, which means this Megazord is The Original and we always remember it as such. Kind of an odd situation.
Jel: You always have to be impressed with the Soul of Chogokin line. It’s the kind of thing that is so pricey and elaborate that I would never buy one myself, but I’m kind of happy that it is an option. I was too old for Power Rangers (or maybe not old enough?) when they first hit the U.S. so this doesn’t have the same significance to me as maybe our readers or the rest of the Glorio Crew, but I can appreciate how sweet it is to have robot dinosaurs transforming into an even bigger robot. It’s almost nice enough to make me forget the recent Power Rangers movie trailer… oh god no it isn’t make it stop!
Rise Kujikawa Arabian Armour ver. (Persona 4)
Aquamarine, May 2017, ¥14,800
Zigg: I’m split two ways on this figure. The beautiful colouring and the great cloth effects aren’t really enough to offset the general scuzziness of the whole thing. It’d be considerably more OK if the sculptors hadn’t decided to just leave her butt hanging out. Someone get that girl a belt for goodness sake. The real kicker here though is the awful face, with the faux-suggestive expression and dead empty eyes. No thanks.
Iro: I was never a fan of any of Rise’s bizarre idol getups, and this is no exception. One might say (and I am) this is particularly bad, with the mostly-exposed ass and the disturbing porn face. I suppose this figure is well-made on a technical level, though.
Jel: So is anyone going to make a joke about the title of this figure calling her outfit “armour” or is that just too obvious? Maybe if this was another character in some fantasy series or something it wouldn’t be that bad, and from another angle you could write this off as Rise the idol having to wear a dumb revealing outfit. Still, I think it’s kind of skeevy, particularly the suggestive pose. Fun fact: in the game this is from (Dancing All Night) the girls make comments about the outfits you choose and make you feel like a creep if you pick a revealing one. This is one of those outfits, so take that as you will.
Zigg: While I’m a big fan of Twilight Princess‘s gorgeous, gloomy aesthetic that doesn’t extend to its character designs. So while Zelda here is gorgeous and embellished beautifully with muted colours and terrific detailing, I’m less sold on Link, as good as the sculpt is. Still, this DX version is greatly redeemed by a bunch of awesome accessories, including the sadly undersized ball and chain. For those of you looking to pinch the pennies there’s a cheaper stripped back version, but if you’re going in why not go all out?
Iro: A left-handed Link figma! Skyward Sword has ushered in the era of Link being right-handed, and on some level that fills me with a profound sadness. He comes with a pretty impressive slate of accessories, including Twilight Princess favorite, the Ball & Chain. Zelda seems way more bare bones by comparison, almost like an afterthought. Even though she spent most of the game cooped up in a tower and thus didn’t have much in the way of action scenes, it’s pretty disappointing. I’m not even sure how much range of movement this figma has, considering that dress.
Jel: I know Twilight Princess is not everyone’s favorite Zelda but I’m kind of glad to see these designs get figmas. The average price for a figma has ballooned out of control the past couple years and frankly many of the recent ones have looked kind of cheap and barely have any accessories. These almost look like they’re worth the cost, with a fantastic level of detail work and a proper assortment of weapons… well, at least for Link, but Zelda is appropriately less expensive to compensate. Nice work.
G.E.M. May, Torchic and Skitty (Pokemon)
Megahouse, January 2017, ¥5,800
Zigg: This range continues to be great, but to me at least May is considerably less iconic than the previous entries we’ve seen, and Torchic and Skitty are no Pikachu or Charmander. yes I’m old. There’s still some serious questions to be raised about the price too, though it’s tough to imagine a better or more cute redntiion of the character than this.
Iro: May was prrrrrobably…? my favorite tag-along girl on Ash’s misadventures through the world of Pokemon, though granted I stopped watching regularly around the time they ditched her for Dawn and the Sinnoh region. This seems cute enough, but that price tag is horrendous. She’s just about as much as that Link figma above with all the cool accessories!
Jel: She costs how much?!? Is this figure super tall or something? I mean it’s a cute design and all but it basically looks like a nice prize figure.
Zigg: As ever, I’ll register my pleasure at seeing more male figures on the market, especially high quality, highly detailed ones like these. of the two I definitely prefer Mikazuki, whose more interesting pose and stockier build works better for the style. I quite like the darker, muted colour palettes too. Unlike the others, I don’t actually think these two are too expensive considering what figure prices are these days, but they’re not bargains either so you’d have to be really into the show to consider one, let alone both.
Iro: You can read all about Iron-Blooded Orphans‘ failings on our Final Thoughts post for Season 1, but suffice to say that the show’s two central characters were a big missed opportunity. Neither of them is terribly interesting, though they really could have been under the right circumstances. What’s really bugging me is Orga’s ankles in that image, which just look gross and twisted or something. What’s up with that? Also, what’s up with that outrageous price?
Jel: Hey, Iro made it through a paragraph about Iron-Blooded Orphans without singing ORPHAAAANS NAMIDAAAAAA! Also, these are way too expensive.
Nendoroid Kyo Kusanagi (The King of Fighters)
Good Smile Company, March 2017, ¥4,167
Iro: This sure looks like that guy from that fighting game franchise I’ve never played. I can appreciate the various swooshy fire effects, though.
Jel: Come on Zigg, no one really cares about King of Fighters, especially one of the most boring looking dudes in King of Fighters. Maybe if they made a King figure I’d be interested but otherwise, meh. I will say the fire effects look cool though.
Zigg: You people are all philistines with no appreciation for our rich fighting game history. I think Kyo looks great and I’m particularly keen on the face, which as so often with Nendoroids really gets a lot of the character through with just a few simple expressions. Accessories are a little light but the included fire effects look cool and are appropriate. Now where’s Benimaru?
Madoka Kaname (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
Kotobukiya, March 2017, ¥10,000
Zigg: I’m all for someone other than GSC riding the Madoka gravy train, and Kotobukiya have been cranking out some stunning figures as of late, but this is just boring. It’s technically competent but nothing more, and entirely lacking in creativity or any flourishes that might make it stand out. I guess you’d like it if you’re really into the weird moe part of Madoka?
Iro: They still make Madoka figures? Of course they do. This seems entirely unremarkable, even by cute girl figure standards. I guess the frills are well made? I dunno.
Jel: It’s been awhile since the Madoka onslaught so I’m feeling a little bit more generous than usual with this one. I appreciate they tried something a bit different, even if it’s still a bit tame and boring and that green pillow clashes horribly with the rest of the color palette. Overall it’s a cute figure that is worthy of your collection if you missed the billion of Madoka figures that have come before it.
Makoto Yuki Minato Arisato Persona 3 Protagonist (Persona 3 The Movie)
Max Factory, April 2017, ¥6,000
Zigg: I have to it’s real difficult to make a figure out of a character purposely designed to be as bland as possible. Granted, Soejima’s superlative art keeps our protagonist looking sharp and stylish but there’s just so little attachment to the character (and a dearth of accessories) that it’s hard to get excited, especially when P3 had so many other cool characters. Plus there’s that price. Link with all his accessories or this guy? Yeah I thought so.
Iro: I feel P3 Protagonist here has gotten less interesting with each iteration/adaptation of the game, and since this is based on the latest movie, even it isn’t safe from the trickle down. For the same price as Link up there, you get… the evoker gun, the S.E.E.S. armband, and one sword. Granted, I’m not sure what else you could include (maybe an extra casual clothes body…?), but it’s ridiculous this is still so expensive.
Jel: If figmas still cost around the 4,000 range like the old days I would by this instantly. I’m in the rare minority that actually liked Persona 3 a little better than 4, and movies be damned my version of the protagonist when I played the game was a smooth dude. I always liked his deceptively simple design too, with the blue hair, music player, and red SEES arm band really standing out. Sadly at that price though, I just can’t justify it.
G.E.M. Juri Katou and Leomon (Digimon Tamers)
Megahouse, May 2016, ¥11,500 (Exclusive)
Zigg: This is pretty cool and a great ‘flgship’ figure for all of the Digimon stuff that Megahouse have been putting out over the last couple of years. Detailing looks good and the scale is surprisingly generous – this thing is huge! Even the price isn’t too bad if you consider that the exclusive G.E.M. Digimon stuff has all been tiny scale and only costs about ¥2,000 less than this. Honestly, I’d love to have one but I can’t justify it. Maybe if it came with an alternate chest piece with a giant hole in it though…
Jel: Alright, I’ve toughed it out through Power Rangers and Pokemon in the same post and now more Digimon? I’m out.