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 the crew is once again assaulted by illness but not even that can keep them from their sacred duty of disapprovingly frowning at skeevy figures.
ARTFX J Sakura Kinomoto: Sakura Card Arc (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Kotobukiya, April 2017, ¥14,800
Zigg: Sakura has gone from being under-represented in figure form to arguably oversaturated, but I still think Kotobukiya’s original version of her is the best bar none, so I’m immediately down for a nother version from them. Interestingly, a lot was made at the time of that earlier figure opting for the more elaborate, flowery manga style, whereas this later one sticks to the simpler anime look. Nevertheless I think it’s marvelous, beautifully aping the style of one of Sakura’s more beloved looks and adding all the detailing that the line has become famous for. Ordered.
Jel: This is a really nice figure but given we’ve seen a LOT of great Sakura figures in the past year or so, it’s kind of bottom tier. I feel bad saying that as the base, the pose, everything looks great. There’s only so many dollars you can spend on the same character though, and I think some of the others we’ve seen are better choices.
Iro: Every time, I gotta ask: What percentage of Sakura’s outfits haven’t been made into figures by this point? (Zigg’s Note: Still the vast majority)
Camilla (Fire Emblem: Fates)
Intelligent Systems, September 2017, ¥15,556
Zigg: Massively impressive visually but unfortunately cursed with poor character design, namely of the humongous breasts/no pants variety. It’s a shame since there’s so much good here, from the crazed hair to the highly detailed armour and weapon to the neat, slightly snooty pose. A shame.
Jel: Oh look a fantastic sculpt and an otherwise cool character design ruined by beach ball boobs. Sure sounds like an anime figure. Seriously, it’s one thing to put massive breasts on your character but those are completely unnatural spheres glued to her chest. It’s too bad because I love everything else. The armor, the color choices, that awesome base, it all looks great. This is why we can’t have nice things…
Iro: Carmilla is FE: Fates‘ answer to Awakening‘s Tharja, in that she’s the weird, gothy, over-sexualized yandere character, but she takes it up another step by also being the player character’s adoptive older sister. That anime mess aside, this would probably be a pretty good figure if not for her outrageous bolted-on chest and lack of pants; I particularly like the marble base.
Amy: Dancer Style (Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet)
Ques Q, May 2017, ¥13,500
Zigg: This hurts, because I feel like I was the one person in the world who really liked Gargantia (even taking into account the cop-out ending) and Amy was a cool, cute character. There was even potential for this weird skeevy dancing outfit to be a cool figure, given the amount of cloth flying around, but alas Ques Q have fallen short. There’s just something indefinably off about the pose, and all the weird gauzy plastic looks cheap rather than cool. I would have loved for this to work but it just doesn’t, especially at this kind of money.
Jel: To be fair, we would normally pan a figure like this for being kind of skeevy but if you’ve seen Gargantia and the scene where Amy dances it all kind of makes sense. That out of the way, I like her pose and expression but I’d say the sculpt is middle of the road. Let’s be honest, Ques Q is no Max Factory or Alter and historically do better with more stylized looks. Still looks good though and considering there’s not a whole lot of Gargantia figures out there it might be worth a look.
Iro: Gargantia was a show that was always a bit too gung-ho about its fanservice, and this weird festival dance outfit probably takes the cheesecake. I feel like that show also stopped being relevant even before it ended, but there’s bound to be someone out there who still holds it in high regard as one of their favorites. I hope they enjoy this.
Honoka Kosaka (Love Live!)
Alter, June 2017, ¥14,800
Zigg: I am normally the #1 proponent of bright colours in my figures but even I feel compelled to say that this thing is just TOO orange. It’s probably the hair that tips me over – if this was anyone other than Honoka it’d be fine but as it is it crosses the line into ‘retina searing’. The fact it’s one of the less imaginative Love Live outfits definitely doesn’t help either, even given Alter’s usual impeccable quality.
Jel: While this is a stunning work of craftsmanship and certainly way better than the boring Love Live school uniforms, it’s still a pretty standard, garish idol outfit. Again, the sculpt and paint is amazing (look at that gold trim!) but in 2016 I want to see something more creative. Speaking of which….
Iro: I don’t like orange and I don’t like idols. Do the math.
Rika Jogasaki: Charisma Chibi Girl Ver. (The iDOLM@STER)
Phat Company, June 2017, ¥15,800
Zigg: I feel that iDOLM@STER figures do a good job of overcoming idol ennui by just being huge an insane a lot of the time. Rika herself is nothing to write home about but the base and trappings are just totally bonkers and that makes this thing appealing on a purely visual level if nothing else.
Jel: Further proof that iDOLM@STER is better than Love Live. This thing is so big and stupid and colorful that I’m willing to overlook the fact that it appears to be a teenage girl laying down with her shirt open and saying TAKE ME. What can I say? She looks like she’s having fun. Point is I appreciate when a character is taken in a more creative, interesting direction and they succeeded here.
Iro: I feel like this one takes the weird
psuedo sexualization of barely pubescent girls that is the entire idol industry and brings it unpleasantly close to the forefront. At least zip up your shirt, ugh. Stig-Senpai Raimu Kawasaki Swimsuit Ver. (Bakuon!!)
Phat Company, June 2017, ¥5,800
Zigg: This is surreal enough for me to include it purely on those grounds. Also 1/10 and under ¥6,000 is the right kind of price for a weird curio like this.
Jel: Oh Bakuon, much like the original Top Gear I kind of miss you and I kind of don’t. I think this figure makes me miss it. The sheer absurdity of the helmet combined with a curvy girl in a swimsuit makes for this really weird and funny cheesecake factor that the show managed to hit from time to time. And for the record, Stig Senpai is probably at least in her 30’s. Or maybe she’s thousands of years old. No one really knows. Man, Bakuon was weird.
Iro: Swimsuit figures of immortal apparitions who exist solely to preach of the virtues of motorcycles? What will they make next?
Makkachin Tissue Case (Yuri On Ice!)
Avex Pictures, January 2017, ¥3,400
Zigg: As someone currently in the depths of a cold, this is very appealing to me. Also as of this writing, Makkachin’s life hangs in the balance so this might be a good way to remember him.
Jel: This is good, but is it better than this?
Iro: I would rub my runny, cold-addled nose all over this.