Happy Christmas to everybody. Nominally this is a time to celebrate with one’s friends and family but we all know it’s also a time to buy lots of really cool stuff. And since this site is all about figures, let’s take a look at some figures that look pretty cool and are worth some money.
Fio from Metal Slug
A rather surprising choice to make a figure of, Fio is from the somewhat obscure but fan-favorite run-and-gun shooter Metal Slug. Despite not being a high-profile title, and despite the comatose state of the Contra genre, the Metal Slug franchise has at times received unlooked-for boosts, such as when Metal Slug 3 came out on the original Xbox. I bought that game and enjoyed it, though I was pretty bad at it. I liked to play as Eri; I don’t think I ever used Fio. However, I’m thinking about ordering this figure, since it looks pretty cool, I liked Metal Slug 3, and maybe they’ll make an Eri figure sometime in the future.
Yui Takamura from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse
Another figure of the heroine from Total Eclipse, this one comes hot on the heels of Alphamax’s figure. That figure dressed her up in stockings and her underpants. This figure dresses her up in a kimono and her underpants. That one gave her a gun to hold, so at least she looked like a military girl – sort of – but this one makes Yui look like a traditional Japanese woman, which I suppose she is. Aside from driving a gigantic mech during her day job, anyway. I’ve got this one preordered, but I’m hoping that someone will make figures of the Total Eclipse characters in their pilot suits. I’m also really hoping that Yui doesn’t turn out to be a snotty bossy type in the upcoming anime adaptation. I’ve got a bad feeling I’m going to be disappointed.
White Cat from Planet of the Cats
I’m on the record as disliking animal ears and tails on anime characters. And I do, but I’ve preordered this figure anyway. There’s always a set of tradeoffs when it comes to things that appeal to me. I like cute anime girls that wear tiny swimsuits. I don’t like animal ears. In this case, what I like supersedes what I don’t like. It’s sort of like when the Lakers play the Heat. I hate both teams. But I like seeing the Lakers lose so when they play, I’ma cheer for the Heat. Actually, what I really cheer for is for an asteroid to obliterate both teams but in lieu of that, I’m going to cheer for the Heat to win. And for LeBron to blow out his Achilles.
Selvaria from Valkyria Chronicles
This is Alter’s second figure of the character from Valkyria Chronicles. This one puts her in a swimsuit, albeit with sword and dagger and showerhead at the ready. I’m not sure if I’m going to order this figure, mainly because she’s got an elongated physique that I find a bit off-putting, and she’s also got sort of an odd face. On the other hand, I dig that chest. And the underboob. And those nipples. And I’m not averse to strange faces and unusual proportions, since I have gangsta lean Saber and she’s got a fairly odd face herself. I’m going to have to think about this one a bit harder; she’s currently the only figure I’m interested in scheduled for April, so that’s a plus in her favor. And so is that chest. Man, in the last thirty seconds, my opinion of this figure has improved dramatically.
Alina Bosconovitch from Tekken
At first glance, I like this figure a lot – colorful, gots that mecha girl thing going on, really nice panties. But man, those eyes. The promo shots stay away from close ups but the Moeyo preview gets in close and man, those eyes! They look like they’re about to start shooting lasers out of them. Which they could, I mean, since she’s a robot and all, but still, that doesn’t mean that’s what I want to see on a figure. So I’m thinking about it. She’s got a lot of good stuff but lately I’ve been thinking that if I don’t like a figure’s face, I ought to not buy it, no matter how good the rest of it is.
Incidentally, has anyone ever seen a Japanese figure blog review one of the Bishoujo figures? I kinda wonder how well these sell in Japan versus the rest of the world.
Nanoha Takamchi from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS
Another swimsuit girl from Alter. And another Nanoha figure from Alter. It looks very good. I like the hoodie. Cute, sporty bikini and nice legs. I don’t really have much more to say about it, even in a single paragraph. I’ve got it preordered and I really like it but even so, I’ve got the feeling that post will be the shortest review I’ll write next year.
Panty from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
It took a little longer than I expected for a major figure maker to produce a quality version of the Panty & Stocking characters, but this one looks great. I’ve preordered it though I’ll be honest, it’s sort of a conservative figure of Panty given the kind of show she comes from. And not a single pantyshot to be found among the promo photos? C’mon, man. I guess I’ll have to build the stage and pole myself.
Saber Extra from Fate/extra
Another Saber! But this one isn’t the usual Saber – she’s brash, cocky, and holds a jagged sword. And she’s not even British, she’s … well, from the continent. I bought the game recently and it doesn’t feature the most polished gameplay mechanics, but I still enjoyed it. I picked Saber to be my servant and liked her character, much more than I like the better-known blue dress Saber. But I’m not sure if this is the figure I want of her. It looks great – I like it a lot, particularly the face, but it’s listed at 18 centimeters tall, which seems really short. I might wait and see what else comes out. Hopefully someone makes a figure of good, larged-sized version of Saber Bride, too; her outfit is absolutely awesome.
Saber from Fate/zero
This one is blue dress Saber, though she’s not wearing a blue dress and as far as I can tell, nothing separates Saber and Saber Extra visually aside from their choice of outfits. I’m going to get this figure, along with a very large fraction of figure collectors worldwide, since, well, it looks nice. I wish it were 1/7 scale to keep it in line with Good Smile Company’s other Fate figures, though. Yeah, it’d be more expensive and it would take up more shelf space, but let’s be honest, for a figure like this, you’d save up your money and you’d clear out all the room that it needs.
Super Sonico from Nitroplus
One of the things I enjoy about writing these preorder outlook posts is that I get to talk about a wide variety of characters. Lately, though, it seems like I’ve been writing a lot about Nanoha and Super Sonico. I guess I can’t complain because I keep buying their figures. I’ve got one Super Sonico figure on the shelf, Yamato’s figure still boxed up and waiting for a review, a big-ass doll, Gift’s lewd one on preorder, and I’ve got this one already paid for. It’s really cute. But man, you know, it’s Sonico, so chances are, you already know how you feel about her.
Hotori Yoshii from Native Creator’s Collection
Ah, now here’s a neat figure. Native’s used a few existing properties as a source of figures – like Nana to Kaoru, Genmukan, and Nitroplus’s mascot – but many of their figures have been based off of artwork. This one looks great. I like just about everything about it. Maybe the only thing I’d change would be to make it 1/6 scale instead of 1/7. But it still looks great. Biker Saber is the figure everyone is looking forward to but me, this one might be the one I’m most excited for.
Ignis from Jingai Makyou
Yamato’s a really eclectic manufacturer – they do PVC figures, polystone figures, figures from Western artwork, mecha toys, giant-sized dolls, and now they’re doing 1/7 scale action figures. Actually, they’re covering old ground – they released a series of 23-centimeter tall action figures under their Variable Motion Figure series a few years back. I don’t remember them being a huge success, though, and they appropriated the name for their vmf50 doll lineup. But here they go again, and this time, I might buy this one. Ignis looks pretty good here, and maybe her poseability will be useful in staging photo shoots. I wish she were a bit larger, though; I’m still trying to find a good running mate for the President. (I was thinking of maybe getting Azone’s Erio Touwa for that role, but she kinda lacks the intimidation factor that I’m looking for.)
Nagisa from Phantasy Star Portable 2
Certainly one of the most eye-catching figures to be shown off in a while, Nagisa is a great-looking figure that I’ve already ordered. But let me make an aside here and ask, does anybody do a better job of ruining their franchises than Sega? Back during my childhood, I was a huge Nintendo fanboy – up until I played Phantasy Star II on my cousin’s Genesis. Then I became a huge Sega fanboy, and I’d still say that I am, even though Sega makes it really hard to be one. They took my favorite series of tactical RPGs and turned them into harem-centric games with generic Tony Taka art. And baking, or so I’ve heard. They re-launched Golden Axe with a game that was, by most accounts, an atrocity. They completely abandoned Streets of Rage, Panzer Dragoon, Jet Set Radio, and Skies of Arcadia. They keep trying to bring Sonic the Hedgehog into the 21st century – even though it’s 2011. God, this makes me hate the video game industry.
And of course, as I write this, that terrible Modern Warfare 3 commercial comes on television and I hate the game industry even more. It’s a good thing I don’t really buy many of them anymore – not just because the industry sucks, but also because I’d have to buy fewer figures.