I usually like to space out my preorder posts every few months, but I spent several hours last night shooting pictures, all of which I am going to throw out. That means I have no figure review ready and you know what that means: that’s right, it’s filler time! On the positive side, there have been a number of nice new figures that have been announced in the last couple of months. As usual, pictures are taken from Hobby Search, my favorite place to buy figures.
Ibuki Ikaruga from Asu no Yoichi!
This figure is really cute and the combination of skimpy swimsuit and giant bow tie is very appealing, but the price tag really dampens my enthusiasm for Ibuki. I’m not certain why there’s such a disparity in pricing in Alphamax’s product line, but it’s tough to justify the cost when I’m unfamiliar with the company’s quality and reputation. Still, though, I really like how this figure looks. Maybe she’ll be a possibility if I find some skrills under the couch cushions or something.
Black Rock Shooter (Animation Version)
In an ideal world, I’d hock my existing Black Rock Shooter figure on eBay, make back near what I paid for it, buy this one and come out ahead in the bargain. Or alternatively, Good Smile Company would have done this figure in a different scale, or given it something to distinguish it stylistically from their other BRS figures. Unfortunately they did not, and even more unfortunately they’ve decided to reissue their first BRS figure, removing the option of selling the original figure for an inflated price. I don’t really like buying multiple figures of the same character unless I’m very fond of that character or unless there’s something to set them apart – different scale, different sculptor, different theme, something different. I’m not sure that this figure is sufficiently distinct from the one I’ve got for me to want it, but it’s a nice-looking figure, I can’t deny that.
Buddy from Kimi ga Yobu, Megiddo no Oka de
Out of all the scythe girls that have been announced recently, I like how Buddy looks the most. It’s great how Alter plucks characters from random h-games for PVC adaptation, since some of my favorite anime-style character designs come from eroge. Now, how about a figure of Subaru from Beat Blades Haruka? Okay, I’ve come to terms that that’s never going to happen. How about figures of the two girls from Majutai 2? Even the small-boobed girl would be fine. Okay, that’s never going to happen, either.
Klan Klang from Macross Frontier
Klan Klang is looking great and I have this figure preordered. I like mecha girls and mecha girls don’t come much more badass than this. It’s funny how Amiami lists her as being 1/72 scale; hopefully she doesn’t look too far out of scale with my 1/48 Yamato VF-1s.
Kagari from Ninja Girls
I have no clue who this is, but this figure caught my eye nonetheless and I put in a preorder without thinking too hard about it. Here’s a funny thing I noticed about the manga: the image at RightStuf uses the original cover art without significant modification. However, there’s a version of the cover that censors Kagari’s backside by giving her a more conservative pair of shorts, and if you go to the publisher’s website, you get the cover for volume 3 rather than either of those images. I went to the local comic store to pick up the first volume but they didn’t have it, so I’m not certain what the US cover actually looks like. I did pick up volume 2 and flipping through it really quickly, there isn’t quite as much fanservice as I was hoping for. It still looks like a fun read, however.
Nodoka Haramura from Saki
I thought about ordering this figure, but I don’t think I like her stiff pose. I can think of one thing I do very much like about this figure, and I’m crass enough to admit that it’s a very persuasive argument in favor of this figure’s merits, but ultimately, I think I’m going to pass. Those wings look real bad, too; perhaps the promo pictures aren’t as flattering as they could be, we shall see.
Asuka Langley Soryu
There was an opportunity to make a really great adaptation of Asuka here, but Yamato and REFLECT blew it by giving Asuka no backside at all. I mean, look at this, she’s flirtatiously thrusting her butt out except she has no butt to thrust. This is perhaps the biggest disappointment on this list, but regardless I’ve preordered this figure because I’m a shallow moron. I’ll just have to keep her turned towards the front.
Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
I have to admire Alter’s ambition and willingness to manufacture figures that many manufacturers couldn’t even prototype, but I think their second version of Fate looks a little off. It’s the size of her head; her head looks wider than her shoulders and hips and longer than her thighs. Maybe it’s just me, I dunno. I’m not really one for lolis, though I admit that I do very much like Alter’s first Fate figure.
Xecty from Shining Wind
After waffling for a while between Max Factory’s and Kotobukiya’s version, I decided to roll with this one. I much prefer 1/6 scale to 1/7 but Kotobukiya’s looks too similar to their Elwing figure. And besides, this one looks very nice in its own right, with Xecty sporting an enigmatic expression that should be a lot of fun to photograph. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Xecty when she was announced but now I’m quite looking forward to her.
Dead Master from Black Rock Shooter
I think I am the only figure collector in the universe who is not in the least excited by this figure.
Fate Testarossa from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Alter’s version of Fate is kinetic, dynamic, and alive; you can almost hear her screaming strangely-named battle moves in mangled English with magic circles and pyrotechnics detonating all around her. Cospa’s version is, hmm, way more chill in comparison. Staid, even. Not that staid is bad – boring would be bad but Cospa’s figure is interesting enough, with her shy smile and confident pose. Oh, and those killer abs; you could bounce a silver dollar off of those. It’s a good-looking, laid-back figure.
But that price! Man, that price is crazy. I went back through my e-mail archive and found my invoice for Alter’s first Fate figure from early 2007. She cost $64.98, and that’s from a store that is one of the more expensive mail order retailers on the web. Furthermore, I padded out the order with a bunch of Zone of the Enders DVDs to get free shipping. Considering the way the exchange rate has cratered in the last few years, both of these recently-announced Fate figures are around twice as expensive as Alter’s original, and that figure is barely more than three years old. Insane, I tell you.
I think I’m skipping both of these Fate figures, though I reserve the right to change my mind. That said, I’m keeping an eye on a couple of Fate figures, both of which exist only in kit form for now.
This figure is from Cobra Kai and is not in a chump’s 1/8 scale, not a nice 1/6 scale, but a godly 1/4 scale. 1/4 scale! That sword’s gotta be nearly two feet long. Moeyo‘s got more pictures. Both Yamato and Daiki Kougyou have adapted Cobra Kai’s work into PVC form, but a post on the sculpting circle’s message board indicates that they haven’t gotten much interest, which is a real tragedy.
This version of fate is from BUBBA, a well-known sculptor in the figure hobby. I really hope one of the big manufacturers picks this one up, because I prefer it over Alter’s and Cospa’s and would preorder it in a heartbeat. Yamato perhaps? Or maybe Max Factory? I can only hope.