Ahem; we interrupt my void elf and lightforged draenei leveling to celebrate this website’s ninth birthday. While the dearth of recently updates here is both embarrassing and regrettable, this site is still operating, at least in a nominal sense. What’s more, I’ve probably actually bought more figures in the last year than in any year that I’ve been collecting figures, and I certainly have no shortage of material to cover. I’m not certain how long that trend will last, though, as figure prices at the 12,000 yen point and beyond are a strong deterrent to purchasing on impulse, and I’m thinking I may be more selective in my preorders this year than my financial discipline typically dictates. But we’ll see if I hold to that; SkyTube and Native are certainly intent on testing my restraint.
Site stats for the preceding 365 days show that the number of users dropped compared to last year but pageviews are up by a couple hundred thousand. I’m not sure why that might be. Total site stats are about 1.8 million visitors, 3.2 million sessions, and nearly 16 million pageviews.
Despite the lack of reviews, this last year has been the best of my professional life and 2018 appears poised to be even better. And while figure prices continue to climb, my review queue has blown past 150 unopened figures and I’ve certainly got enough stuff ready to keep this site going for at least another decade. I just need to log off Warcraft once in a while to get posts up. In that vein, reviews of Matsuri and Rei and that one tied-up Native girl whose name currently escapes me ought to be going up soon.
Oh, and incidentally, my current job devotes an inordinate amount of energy to a slavish devotion to agile development processes, which I loathe and has thus made me question the usage of the term “retrospective” for these posts. Truly a random thought.
A less random thought: this site is really going to be entering its tenth year of existence soon. It’s an auspicious event, and yet it’s frightening how fast time goes by.
Yay! This site is now eight years old. Admittedly there is not much to celebrate once more, since updates have been drastically curtailed. That’s not to say that I’ve stopped collecting figures – in fact, I have so many of them that the unopened boxes are piled meters high. Finding the time and motivation to shoot has been tough, mostly due to the new job, World of Warcraft grinding, and a resurgent interest in watching NBA games (I used to collect basketball cards with the same enthusiasm as I collect figures). Nonetheless the figures are here and as I don’t unbox them before I review them, I have considerable motivation to keep posting, since I’ll never get to display my figures if I don’t. (Well, unless I shut down the site, which I’m not amenable to doing, being that not only do I enjoy running it, I’ve already paid my hosting bill for the next year.)
The site stats haven’t changed much from the last year, or the year before that; the site doesn’t get many new viewers, but doesn’t lose many, either. That probably means that I’m not doing a good job of optimizing this site for web search but one beneficial by-product of not posting as much is that I don’t care about my traffic stats. Regardless, the stats aren’t too bad. For the last eight years, the site has gotten about 1.7 million visitors and 14 million pageviews, which is pretty nice, I think.
One thing that lowers posting frequency is that I don’t do any dakimakura cover reviews or doll posts anymore. The dakimakura posts weren’t personally interesting to do or to write about, but I actually got more questions about them than anything else I’ve ever written about. The doll posts were more interesting but I always had the feeling that they weren’t all that popular. I generally don’t pander too much but their large size made them kind of a pain to photograph, so it didn’t seem worth it to continue posting about them. I wonder if anybody misses those posts, as all I do these days are figure reviews and the preorder posts.
Anyway, new review should be posted soon; I really want to photograph some of these Bikini Warriors figures, and it would be pretty silly for me to not have reviewed any of my 7 Deadly Sins figures by the time the anime airs this summer.
And here is the much-belated list of my five most favorite figures of 2016. I have to admit that I was less moved by the selection this year than I have been in previous years, likely for two reasons. One, it’s because I’m not much of a fan of Kantai Collection, Love Live, or The Idolmaster, and it seems like there were a ton of figures from those series. And two, I don’t open my figures until I’m ready to photograph them, and I haven’t done nearly as much of that as I would have liked, which means I haven’t actually seen a lot of the figures I own. Doubtless this list will change as I open up figures; I could see that one Dragon Toy tentacle figure jumping on this list once I see it in person. But there’s no reason to wait until then, as this post has already been delayed more than enough.
Ugh. It’s a customary thing to celebrate this site’s birthday on February 23, but given the dearth of updates over the last year, there does not seem to be much cause for ceremony. Regardless, tradition is what it is, and I scarcely need an excuse to take a photo of one of my big-ass dolls wrapped up in tentacles, so I will pay the proper respect to the occasion, as unseemly as it might be.
The week after New Year’s is the saddest week of the year: the lights go out, the trees get thrown in the garbage trucks and hauled away, the sales go quiet, and it’s months before the next fun holiday. Nonetheless, 2015 has dispersed into the ether of yesterday but before we look forward, I will observe my annual ritual of decreeing which five figures I liked the best from this past year (only a week and a day late). As I always say, the ranking here is based solely on my own preferences, with absolutely zero regard for whether a figure was popular with the masses or came from a popular show or was made by a popular manufacturer. Popular opinion does not move me much.
As usual on February 23, today we celebrate the anniversary of this website – Tentacle Armada is six years old today. It’s sort of an anticlimactic anniversary, as I have been far from diligent in keeping this website updated. Oh well. On the other hand, just the fact that this site has been around that long is a decent feat, I think.
Usually I try to include some sort of thematic photo up at the top of this post but I couldn’t really think of any auspicious way to denote a six year anniversary, so instead there’s an unrelated picture of Inori wrapped up in tentacles.
Here are my five favorite figures of the previous year, fashionably late. The tardiness is only partially due to laziness; I don’t think I felt as excited about many of last year’s figures as I did in prior years. Maybe I’m just getting old or something. I did see a number of figures that I liked in all the Wonder Festival (also known as KanColleFest) coverage this past weekend, so that’s a good thing (most of those figures were from Alphamax/SkyTube, curiously). As usual, the ranking presented here does not reflect the popularity of the figures or the characters they represent, it doesn’t reflect preorder hype or community consensus, and it doesn’t mean that I think the number one figure was the very best figure released in the last year. This list solely expresses my own thoughts and preferences.
Tentacle Armada is five years old today! Hooray! Time sure does fly right by. I don’t know of too many figure review sites that have been updated continuously for five years, and with 263 figure and doll reviews currently listed here, I don’t know of many that have been as prolific, either. I don’t often talk about the state of the site but today I indulge myself: as usual, this post is the post where I pontificate about where this website has been and where it is going.
2013 is on the verge of twerking its way into memory and of course, that means it’s time for a customary year-end list. Such lists often purport to rank the best things of the nearly-departed year, but that’s not the case for this particular list. Rather, this list contains my favorite figures, which means I speak for nobody but myself and I rate solely by a single criterion: how much I liked the figure. Hype, popularity amongst the collecting community, and manufacturer reputation count for nothing here. We’ll also talk a little bit about the year that was in figure collecting; without further ado, let’s jump in.
Tentacle Armada is four years old today. That’s 232 figure and doll reviews, 38 dakimakura cover reviews, and one tentacle stand review. I’m pretty amazed that this site is still around, and that I’ve managed to stick to a fairly consistent posting pattern (six posts per month for the last twelve months). As I provide every 23rd of February, here is the usual anniversary wrapup post where I write about my thoughts regarding the past year and what my plans are going forward.