Category Archives: Figure Review

Iris Hartley from Lorelei; Sea of Stars (NSFW)

Iris Hartley from Lorelei; Sea of Stars

Another day, another Tony Taka figure. Not long ago, seeing so many Tony figures would’ve prompted a collective sigh of exasperation but these days, the way Alphamax does them, I’m very happy to see them. We looked at Velvet a few weeks ago and today, we’ll be looking at Iris Hartley. Iris is grouped under the Skytube label, which means that she has some significant differences from Velvet, particularly in ero content, which I’m sure will make some collectors happy.
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Thalia from ORI Infinity

ORI Thalia figure

Ostensibly, one of the best things about reviewing stuff is getting free figures from manufacturers. Not that I would know for myself; in the first five years of this website I’ve never gotten a review sample. Personally, I think I prefer it that way; as nice as it is to get free stuff, they tend to come with strings attached, whether explicitly defined or merely suggested. I run this website purely as a hobby and as such I don’t like taking on unnecessary work or responsibilities.

A few months ago, a representative of E2046 asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their figure of Thalia. I was a little hesitant to accept, being that I take great pride that this site is completely independent and is, at least in my perception, detached from the larger figure-collecting community, which is how I like it. However, I find it difficult to turn down free stuff, even if strings are attached, and in this case, the only obligation I would undertake would be to photograph and review the figure, which I’ve been doing for years, anyway. Therefore, I agreed that I would review Thalia; they shipped me the figure and here she is.
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Velvet Batrass from Shining Ark

Velvet from Shining Ark

In the anime figure world, Tony Taka is clearly the man of the moment, with Kotobukiya’s Daisy having generally received positive acclaim and with Native having recently put Touko on the Can up for preorder. Recently, however, it has been Alphamax who has shown the most enthusiasm for bringing Tony’s artwork into the three-dimensional world. In the last few months they’ve released not one, not two, but three figures based on his illustrations, including Iris, Rikka Himegami, and Velvet, the figure we’re looking at today. Velvet stands out a bit from her Skytube counterparts in that she is not an ero figure – unsurprising, being that she comes from a PSP game – and that she’s nominally a bit smaller than her catalog cousins. Nonetheless, I’m a big fan of Alphamax’s recent work, and I had high expectations for Velvet; happily, her quality is well in keeping with the standards set by her forebears.
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Cyril Brooklyn from Pieces 2 (NSFW)

Cyril Brooklyn from Pieces 2

And it’s back to figure reviews – delayed due to an annoyingly persistent case of the flu. Winter’s end cannot come too soon. Today we’ll be looking at Cyril Brooklyn, a character that comes from the artwork of renowned artist Masamune Shirow. Shirow is best-known for creating the series Ghost in the Shell, and his style is perhaps most closely associated with that of the 1980s and 1990s. It seems appropriate, then, that this figure is manufactured by Arcadia – the reincarnation of Yamato Toys, who were well-known for their Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Macross Plus, and Macross 7 toys. Figures based on his illustrations are not all that common, but fans of his art now have this one, the previously-released Iris Hallett, and the upcoming Daiki Kougyou figure of Nanal Grahambury. It’s not exactly an embarrassment of riches, but it’s nice to see his work get some love from the figure makers.
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Konoe Tsuruma from Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!

Konoe Tsuruma from Nakaimo - My Sister is Among Them

Today we’ll take a look at another figure by FREEing. That’s three figures in a row; their overall level of quality might be equivocal but no one can cast aspersions on their profligacy. This character is Konoe Tsuruma and she is the lead heroine of yet another incest anime. She’s all wrapped up and showing everything off, so let’s oblige her and take a look.
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Mu-12 from BlazBlue: Chronophantasma

Mu-12 from BlazBlue

Arc System Works’s BlazBlue is the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear, and on the whole both series are quite similar. Both are fast-paced 2D fighting games; both feature a colorful cast of eclectic and memorable characters; both feature awesome instrumental rock and heavy metal soundtracks. However, there is one area where BlazBlue diverges from its forebear and that’s in how it has been marketed. Guilty Gear is by no means an obscure series but it has always been something of a niche game; furthermore, its popularity has always been keyed by the game itself. With BlazBlue, however, Arc System Works is evidently trying to expand its appeal beyond its core fanbase. The most obvious attempt is its recently-concluded anime adaptation, titled BlazBlue: Alter Memory. BlazBlue has also been the subject of a heavy merchandising effort, including the usual telephone cases, telephone cards (often depicting Noel being molested by Rachel, or vice versa), soundtrack collections, and dakimakura covers – Arc System Works released the first dakimakura cover of Noel Vermillion way back at Comiket 76 in summer of 2009, and apparently she’s getting another one next month, and several other characters (including Jin Kisaragi, which surely made the ladies happy) have gotten or will be getting immortalized on a pillowcase. And of course, BlazBlue has gotten a variety of figures, including one of protagonist-turned-antagonist-turned-protagonist-again Mu-12, which is what we’ll be looking at here.
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Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie? (Bunny Version)

Eucliwood Hellscythe from Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?

I always like receiving FREEing’s bunnygirl figures. Sure, none of them are exemplars of precision craftsmanship and they are invariably a colossal pain in the ass to photograph, being that all of my backdrops are constructed for smaller figures, but their titanic size commands attention. Their outfits – generally a leotard and fishnet pantyhose ensemble – are also attractive, and even the bunny ears are kinda growing on me. This particular figure features its own unique cachet in that it’s one of only a couple figures – that I am familiar with, anyway – of Eucliwood Hellscythe, the quiet necromancer from Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?, or Is This a Zombie? The other one is some midget Beach Queens figure so it doesn’t count. Arguably this one shouldn’t count either, being that neither her sunny disposition nor her outfit really fit her, but it’s not like Eu has many more figures to pick from, and so beggars can hardly be choosers.
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Mary Stuart from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II

Mary Stuart from Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere II

Despite its impressive array of attractive characters, there still aren’t that many figures from Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. What few there are are distributed by a wide variety of companies, and that means that those few figures comprise a myriad of looks, styles, poses, and sizes. Further, for some reason or another many of those figures were not sold through normal retail channels. Such was the case for Mary Stuart; she was supposed to be a Dengeki Fan Shop exclusive or somesuch, but HLJ stocked this figure and that’s where I bought her from. That was a fortunate thing, as I wasn’t inclined to get this figure if I needed to put in a special order, but since I have her, let’s take a look at her.
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Peace Keeper Daisy from Tony’s Heroine Collection

Daisy from Tony's Heroine Collection

Many figure companies have made figures of Tony’s artwork. In recent times, many of those figures were based off of characters designed for existing properties; Sega’s Shining series, the Vocaloid image character lineup, and eroge like Fault!!, for instance. This figure is a bit unusual in that, although she comes from a very big toy company known for making figures of well-known characters from popular game and anime franchises, Daisy is, as far as I can tell, an original character whose sole earlier appearance was on the cover of the artbook Girls! Girls Girls! 9 ~Decoration Girls~. That title might suggest that the book is full of naughty pictures but it’s actually quite tame, with illustrations contributed by artists like Kantoku, Hiro Suzuhira, Oyari Ashito, and of course, Tony Taka. I’m not sure what “peace keeper” denotes – Daisy looks neither aggressive enough nor adequately dressed to conduct peacekeeping operations – but I’ll assume there’s some meaning to the title. In the meantime, let’s take a look at our heroine.
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Kuroyukihime from Accel World (Death by Embracing Version)

Kuroyukihime from Accel World

Sometimes, I buy figures because I like the character, or because I like the series or game that she comes from. Those figures tend to be the most meaningful to me, but that’s not to say that familiarity automatically elevates a figure in my esteem. As an example in counterpoint, I know a bit about Saber, I’m a fan of Saber’s personality and I have a ton of Saber figures, but while I like them, I wouldn’t really describe any of them as treasures of my collection, aside maybe from gangsta lean Saber, and that’s mainly because she looks so damn peculiar. (Speaking of Saber figures, I’ve got that one with the motorbike still boxed up in my closet, where it’s been sitting for around 17 or 18 months.) Also, that’s not to say that not knowing much about a character means that I view it with less warmth than would otherwise be the case – even if I loathe the game or show that she stars in. Indeed, if the figure looks really cool, unfamiliarity is no impediment to appreciation. Which brings us to this figure of Kuroyukihime, a cute girl from a show I disliked so much that I dropped it fifteen minutes into its first episode. Despite my contempt for Accel World – or at least, its anime adaptation – I was very much looking forward to this figure. It’s not hard to see why.
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