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 we’ve got beasts of air, land, and…space sea for your perusal.
Nendoroid Link: Breath of the Wild DX ver. (The Legend of Zelda)
Good Smile Company, June, ¥5,800
Zigg: There have already been a LOT of Legend of Zelda Nendoroids, but GSC is doing a good job of keeping them distinct and individual. The big draw here is of course Nendoroid-sized Epona, another one of those delightful accessories that is sure to find use far beyond its parent figure. Aside from that there’s an impressive suite of bits and bobs, and the detailing is as exemplary as ever. I think that the price is pretty reasonable for what you’re getting but it’s worth pointing out there’s a non-DX version which forgoes Epona and some of the other add-ons for a lower price.
Jel: This is the level of quality I like to see in my nendoroids, namely the absurd amount of accessories Link comes with. Epona (it’s still Epona, right?) is the highlight naturally, but they made sure to include practically every other piece of gear in Link’s kit right down to the new magic iPad. I’m also a fan of the updated Breath of the Wild design, making this Link quite distinct from previous ones. OK, basically I just like blue more than green. The price seems a tad high at first glance but I think it’s fair considering you are almost getting a second figure to go with it. Really nice work.
Iro: Accessories! I’m not sure there’s been a bad Link nendoroid yet, and this one is packed with so much stuff that I can’t see that record changing. The horse (in cutesy nendoroid pony proportions) is the stand-out here, of course, but the various weapons and the chicken leg are a great touch.
ARTFX J Shokudaikiri Mitsutada (Touken Ranbu)
Kotobukiya, June, ¥10,800
Zigg: Given Touken Ranbu is packed full of weird, flashy character designs with a huge number of fancy accoutrements, it seems odd that you’d opt to make this design. I guess there’s a certain cool understatement to the look, and it’s as well made as you’d normally expect, but in my opinion it falls on the wrong side of the line between understated and dull.
Jel: I guess Touken Ranbu truly is the successor of KanColle, following up that series’ lazy “throw a metal backpack on a schoolgirl” design philosophy with “throw samural armor bits on a butler”. This figure seems OK at first glance but that mix of medieval armor and modern black suit and tie just doesn’t work for me. It’s also way too much black. I would have liked to see the armor at least be a different shade, or maybe have some kind of metallic or gloss finish. We’ve definitely seen better from the series.
Iro: Hot guys with swords probably has boring-character-design parity with Love Live or KanColle or something, right? I feel like this would be more interesting if it wasn’t from a series about anthropomorphized swords, because then we’d have the question of why a hot guy in a suit was wearing partial armor and a sword.
Arisu Tachibana -First Expression- (The iDOLM@STER)
Plum, May, ¥12,960
Zigg: This is beautifully made and designed, but also SUPER CREEPY in a way which can’t quite be defined. The massively oversized had certainly doesn’t help.
Jel: Uhhhh… sure? This figure seems innocent enough and the sculpt quality is decent but there’s something still kind of creepy about owning a statue of a very, very young looking girl, especially in the context of being an idol. Maybe if this was part of your collection of other iDOLM@STER figures it would seem less strange, but then having a big collection of idol figures becomes a different kind of creepy…
Iro: Is she supposed to look ten years old? The longer I look at this figure, the more uncomfortable I feel. Shut anime down.
figma Iron Fossil (Darius)
FREEing, August, ¥22,800
Zigg: One of the reasons I love the Japanese toy industry is that they’ll occasionally produce something super insane and niche like this for apparently no reason other than because they can. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Darius, it’s a Japanese shooter famous for crazy robot bosses based on fish, such as this fine fellow here. The other thing that’s crazy is the price, but considering this thing is also MASSIVE (listed length is 33cm) and the incredibly small market for this kind of thing, it’s a piece of inpired lunacy.
Jel: So is this the weirdest figma? I mean, this is the game that’s so crazy that it’s meant to be played two screens wide so maybe it’s fitting that its iconic robot fish monster boss gets a crazy figure. I love that this exists in that it opens up the possibility for figures from other classic shmups (anything from Cave please) but let’s be honest, what really is the market for this ridiculous thing?
Iro: This seems like it’d be really fucking cool if you were part of the ultra-niche market it’s being sold to. I particularly like the articulation on the scales, but I’ve also never played Darius and have no affinity for bullet-hell / shmup games. What a weird anomaly.
G.E.M Ash & Pikachu & Charizard (Pokemon)
Bandai, June, ¥7,990 (Exclusive)
Zigg: This is a pretty great sculpt, but a word of caution – it’s nowhere near as big as it looks like it should be. That means reduced detail, especially on Ash who looks a little cross-eyed to me. It’s also part of Bandai’s increasingly frustrating attempts to make everything they produce a web exclusive, to the point that I’d easily believe that there are more P-Bandai items now than stuff you could actually walk into a Japanese store and buy off the shelf.
Jel: This seems like an OK deal in that you get Ash, Charizard, and Pikachu all rolled into one package, but once again this is another good figure ruined by exclusivity. I don’t understand why you would put restrictions on something that has such mass appeal like this, I mean you’ve got to be leaving all kinds of money on the table. It’s probably some backwards, stone age reasoning about protecting the home market that hampers a lot of potential Japanese exports, but I guess that’s a conversation for another time.
Iro: This sure is another One of Those, with two of Ash’s most iconic Pokemon from the original series. It seems business as usual, being a bizarrely overpriced exclusive that really has no right being either of those, but I guess that’s just how things go. They should go for the deep cuts next time and make one with Ash and Primeape.