Preorder Outlook XXXII

A couple months back, I mentioned how the improving JPY/USD exchange rate was making figures more affordable, at least to American customers. However, figure companies seem intent on spoiling that happy situation by affixing insane prices to their products. I remember when gangsta lean Saber caused a stir due to her 26,000 yen price tag (she also sparked some controversy due to her idiosyncratic sculpt, but we’ll talk more about that in the future), but at least she partially justified her cost by being 1/4 scale. Now, it’s not a rare thing for 1/7 scale and even 1/8 scale figures to come in at around 15,000 yen, which is, well, insane. Nonetheless, that is the reality we are faced with, so instead of complaining, we’ll take a look at some figures I’m thinking about ordering.

April

Kuroyukihime from Accel World
Leading off is a figure from a company we don’t talk much about here. I hate to term Griffon a “bad” figure manufacturer; that’s an overly general and pointlessly simplified description. I own a number of figures from companies like Yamato, FREEing, and Kotobukiya, all companies that have been called “bad” (and other similarly caustic comments) by figure collectors at one time or another. That said, I haven’t bought a Griffon figure in nearly five years, partly because they haven’t made many figures of characters that I am interested in, partly because they haven’t made many figures that I like, but mainly because I did buy a number of their figures back when I started collecting and none of them are very impressive. However, this figure of Kuroyukihime does catch my eye. I couldn’t care less about this particular character or the show that she comes from, but there are several things that I like about her; in particular, I like her pose, which nicely highlights her body, and I like her nonplussed expression. I’ll call this one a maybe.

May

Tamaki Kousaka from To Heart 2 Dungeon Travellers
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a figure from To Heart 2 Dungeon Travellers; I remember quite a few came out a few years ago, and it even got an OVA, though I don’t remember if it ever got a second episode or not. Kotobukiya made a figure of samurai Tamaki a while back, and it was nice, though a bit small. This figure, however, is an impressive 1/6 scale, which is very nice. It’s sculpted by Ken Yokota, who is probably best known amongst figure collectors for sculpting Rin Tohsaka some time back. Since then he’s done a number of figures for Kaitendoh, which is a little odd – with that Rin figure in his portfolio, it feels a bit like LeBron James stepping down to D-League – though he also sculpted Good Smile Company’s upcoming figure of Asuna from that light novel anime. It’s been a while since I’ve bought a Tamaki figure, and I think I’m going to order this one, though two things give me pause: the first is the high price, and the second is Orca Toys’s own figure of samurai Tamaki, which features much the same pose. If theirs is good, perhaps I should just get both.

June

Cerberus from Rage of Bahamut
Even considering my dislike of animal ears on anime girls, the combination of shiny thighighs, winning smile, and panties is too much to resist. The puppy dog puppets are a little silly, I suppose, but Cerberus is supposed to have multiple heads, so I guess it makes sense. (If Max Factory ever makes a figure of Dizzy, Sora Kake Girl’s Itsuki, or Beat Blade Haruka’s Subaru, I might start calling them my favorite figure company rather than Alter.)

Purple Heart from Hyper Dimensonal Game Neptune
The funny thing is, I own all three of the Neptune games on the PlayStation 3 but I’ve never played them, mainly because I didn’t buy a PS3 until Black Friday last November, and the console box is still sitting in my living room, unopened. I also own the earlier figure of Purple Heart made by … uhh, Ques Q, I think? Or maybe it was Q-six? It’s in my closet somewhere and I don’t think I’ve looked at it in over a year (not entirely unusual for me; I’ve had that motorbike Saber figure sitting in my closet for almost two years now, along with that one Love Is War Miku Hatsune figure, which has never been removed from its box, either). I like the character designs from the Neptune games a lot, though, and they’re really the only reason I have any interest in the title. (An aside: I occasionally check Siliconera for news on Japanese video games and it’s amusing how whenever some game company releases illustrations of game characters, vast numbers of commenters immediately start screaming for English-language localization without even considering whether the game itself is going to be any good. It’s an odd reversal from not very long ago; it used to be that JRPG fans dismissed graphics as being secondary to gameplay, but now, illustration is what many JRPG players care most about, it seems.) This figure looks very nice, and I’m tempted to get it, but the price is exorbitant and I’m not sure I feel comfortable putting out that kind of money given that I have no familiarity at all with the manufacturer. But then, Alter’s Exelica figure was priced similarly and even has quite a similar pose to Purple Heart, so perhaps the price might be easier to handle with that thought in mind.

Another aside: Green Heart really needs more love than she gets.

Sena Kashiwazaki from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
I bought Alphamax’s swimsuit Sena figure a while back, thinking that it met all of my criteria for a Sena figure. And so it did; Alphamax’s Sena looks sexy, she has a lovely smile, her swimsuit is agreeably brief, and the figure is quite large, being 1/7 scale. But then Gift showed off this figure, which satisfies all those requirements and then presents them in a colossal 1/4 scale package. And though she ain’t cheap, her price is relatively reasonable for a 1/4 scale figure. Ordering this figure is an easy call.

July

Last Order from To Aru Majutsu no Index
I don’t know much at all about Railgun or the Index series, having only watched the first episode of the former and none at all of the latter (one of the few things I do know about it is that Misaki Shokuhou’s surname has a certain peculiar translation in Chinese). Certainly I didn’t know that the show had half-naked lolis, or at least, that’s what I’m led to believe by this figure. Being neither a fan of Railgun nor an ardent loli partisan, this figure shouldn’t pique my interest but it does, if only due to its sheer wrongness. I’ll be thinking some more about it but I’ll probably be keeping this in the category of “maybe, but likely not.”

Nanal Grahambury from Canopri Comic
Masamune Shirow is a titan in anime culture, though he seems to have become less relevant over the last decade or so, and I suppose that’s not too surprising since it seems like he’s drawn nothing but hentai since then. That’s where this figure comes from; it appears to be based off an illustration in Canopri Comic, in which Nanal is surrounded by burly, eager men in purple underwear. It’s a great-looking figure, one that I’m quite looking forward to.

Nozomi Watase from Genmukan
The next Tony Taka figure from Alphamax is Nozomi Watase. She’s billed as being from “T2 Art Girls,” which is the series name Tony is using for his raunchier work, but she’s originally from a hentai OVA and eroge called Genmukan. This isn’t the first figure of Nozomi; one of Native’s earliest figures was one of her (actually two; they produced one figure of her wearing black and another in red). I very much like Alphamax’s Tony figures, though I have to admit, Nozomi’s face looks a helluva lot like Maya’s. I’m not sure if that’s more a statement on Tony’s style or the sculptor’s.

August

Medaka Kurokami from Medaka Box
FREEing’s next bunny girl is Medaka and unlike many of their previous figures, she’s showing some energy rather than standing straight up. Hopefully she’s well-balanced on that base, as she looks a bit front-heavy. The pose looks somewhat awkward, but then again, it lets us see her face, breasts, and buttocks all at once, so that’s something. Given my fondness for FREEing’s bunnysuit stuff, it seems natural to get this figure as well.

Mikan Yuuki from To Love-Ru
The sole entry in this list from Alter is of Mikan, the dependable little sister of To Love-Ru. It’s a lovely figure, and I think I’m going to get it, but I do wish she were standing up instead of lying down, as it’s a lot harder for me to display a figure that’s lying down. It’s also harder to photograph such a figure, but I suppose I can just consider that a challenge rather than an obstacle.

This entry was posted in Preorder Outlook and tagged , , .

22 Responses to Preorder Outlook XXXII

  1. Asa says:

    Kuroyuki tempts me. I have plenty of Griffon figures and can forgive their faults, but I already have a Kuroyuki I prefer (Koto’s version) so I’ll do without this sexy one.

    Cerberus also verily tempted me, however in the end I couldn’t get over the hands. If they were optional parts, that’d be great, but they look too ridiculous for me to invest that sort of money in to. High price for a figure I don’t absolutely love.

    Mikan also tempts, because it is a gorgeous figure, and I like the character, but the pose is too awkward for me to display. I don’t have enough space to add such a long girl. Woe is me.

    I’ve not ordered anything for a few months. Once my remaining pre-orders are in, I’m probably done with figure collecting aside from exceptional figures of characters I really love. If AU had the aftermarket for me to sell some figures to make space, it’d be different, but the market here is too dismal for me to move anything on. Even at half the original price or less, not even hoping for any appreciation.

    Sad times.

    • Tier says:

      Sad indeed, though I suppose everyone gets to the point where money, space, or life changes makes it harder to keep accumulating stuff. I still want to sell some figures but I have the sense that they’re going to be pretty hard to move, being that they aren’t in very high demand. Some part of me tells me that I probably ought to shorten the review queue before stockpiling additional figures.

      Swappable hands on Cerberus would’ve been a nice idea; the puppy puppets are cute, but they’re also really weird-looking without knowing some context, and the only context I know of is her name. The price is also pretty high; I can overlook it for a figure of this quality but I really hope that this is not going to be the norm, particularly since Max Factory’s stuff often hits the bargain bin.

  2. sienar3 says:

    There were tons of beautiful pre-paints and planned figures in wf2014w, so with tears I had to drop and skip a lot from this list. Well, I’m sure a couple of upcoming T2 girls survived through, including Nozomi. I think her style mostly comes from EGG the sculptor, who did most of Tony’s lineup from Skytube.

    As for Neptune and Japanese games : True. They have world-best illustrators, top-notch voice actors, and then.. ingame graphics falling behind a decade. Just like recent Drakengard 3 (DOD3). Oh, the heroine Zero could use some sculpting, definitely.

    Wait a min… a PS3 still unopened since November? That’s.. quite a.. I don’t even….

    • Tier says:

      Ah, that is too bad about Drakengard; I was interested in it (and still am, since I recall it got some decent Famitsu scores) but that was very much one of the games I was thinking of in that its concept art is possibly the best thing about it. A Zero figure would be lovely; I would kinda hope Alter would do it, since her character design kinda fits with what they’ve done in the past.

      Yeah, it’s still sitting where I left it back in November. I haven’t turned on my Xbox 360 in a while, either; in fact, I haven’t turned on my television in a month, ever since football season concluded. I don’t have the slightest interest in either of the new consoles, either. (Admittedly, this is in large part because I got sucked back into World of Warcraft, which also plays a large part in reviews getting done somewhat sporadically.)

  3. Steve Chen says:

    Mikan should be familiar with you Tier. Same sculptor but different company which you recently showcased. Hot hot hot!

  4. Wieselhead says:

    I already ordered a few from this listing ^^

    Well, a few months earlier I felt bad for getting figures at such a low price, but now the Companies got greedy. With the strong € it’s still more than affordable, although I have to think twice before placing an order, shrinking space is another reason for this behaviour. I sold 7 figs recently, no bad deals.

    Cerberus is a great demon girl, a really great design, I lover her height and proportions and this dress. Not sure about the pitbull eyes, on one card she looked a bit more like a cute girl, but however she will be stunning.I kind of assume that she will also have human hands.

    Sena is lovely, looks like a fun loving busty beach girl. Really big boobs ( ̄▽+ ̄*). Many 1/4 figures have subtle appealing facial details, but Gift hammered a lot of personality in her face, it’s enchanting how she smiles, a second face would have been cool, maybe a crying face.

    Medaka is great. As I watched the anime for the first time, I was super surprised that a really busty girl was chosen as main character, but Medaka was no dumb fanservice girl,
    she actually was eccentric and really cool. The figure resembles Medaka’s bold personality surprisingly well and man this bunnysuits suits her ^^ Maybe I should…

    Sometimes I also show my biased side towards certain manufacturers, but Im always annoyed when people label every non GSC figure as bad in a smartass way, they just don’t understand that 90% quality isn’t the only factor that makes a figure nice.

    • Tier says:

      As I recall, the Japanese sales tax also went up, so I’m guessing this hits Japanese collectors even harder. It’s a curious thing to do; if I’m paying twice the money for a figure, I’m expecting to somehow get twice the value.

      Human hands for Cerberus would be a neat addition, though I don’t think I saw any on the GSC blog. Sena looks great; I love Gift’s Tamaki figure, and I’m expecting Sena to be just as good. I’m somewhat less hopeful about Medaka, since I have a ton of their bunnygirl figures and they all kinda look the same, quality-wise, but I’m still expecting to like her a lot, even though her sculpting probably won’t be that impressive. If you haven’t gotten a FREEing bunnygirl, Medaka seems to be a good choice for a first impression.

      Haha, yeah; the funny thing is, I’ve sometimes seen people say the same thing about GSC themselves (though admittedly, this happened more a couple years ago, when they had those problems like forgetting to put the star on Black Rock Shooter’s jacket, or whatever it was). Me, I thought it was pretty annoying when everyone bashed Yamato, particularly since a lot of that stemmed from herd mentality and a certain website.

  5. Tian says:

    I choose to believe Cerberus has actual DOG HANDS!

    Anyway, ordered that and I’m strongly considering ordering Sena. I don’t usually go for swimsuit figures but something about Sena is appealing. 1/4 scale doesn’t hurt either.

    • Tier says:

      ! I’m calling those puppy puppets, no matter what they really are.

      If you really are male – and you can never make assumptions on the internets – I think that “something” you refer to can be defined in a very straightforward way. The fact that that something is sculpted in God’s scale makes the decision all the easier.

  6. Dvalinn says:

    I don’t blame people for regarding Griffon as a bad manufacturer nowadays, considering hog horrible some of their figures come out. I mean, just look at the Sena & Yozora in gym uniforms pair. Yech. They do have nice sculpts, but the difference between prototype and actual product is generally huge, so I avoid them, personally. Kuro’s prototype looks interesting as well, but I’m fearful about how she’ll come out. But then, I already have a Kuro and I’m satisfied with just that one, so I’m skipping this anyway.

    As for Sena, while she is tempting, she’s also huge and expensive. I’ll probably be lacking for space, since I’m running out. Not to mention I managed to pick up the Alphamax version for cheap not too long ago, and she’s similar enough that buying this one is not really necessary.

    I’m kind of weirded out by that Last Order figure. It’s way more fanservicy than most figures of this show (the show itself has occasional bouts of fanservice, but not too much) and they picked the loli character to boot. I’m all for the ribbon ensemble, but I wish they’d picked a different character (Saten!).

    Finally, Mikan looks quite alluring, but her pose (that will take up a large amount of room), price and most of all her face are kind of putting me off. Because, I dunno, something just looks off about her face when you look at it from up close. Those things bother me enough that I’ll be relegating this figure to a ‘wait for user pics’ status. Mandarake will probably get a bunch of her in anyway, so I can always pick her up later. Oh, and I technically already have a pre-order that month too (Katou Marika) but this is Alter so I’m not expecting Mikan to come out until November anyway.

    • Tier says:

      I think I vaguely remember those figures. Heh, I kinda thought the Sena looked neat, though that’s probably just because there aren’t that many figures of characters in gym uniforms. But yeah, their past product portfolio speaks for itself and they only have themselves to blame for that (unlike Kotobukiya, Daiki Kougyou, and Yamato, for example; they’ve made some poor figures but they’ve also made some really excellent ones, too).

      Yeah, I have that Alphamax one, and now I’m wondering if I should try to sell it off … I had an idea for a photoshoot for it but I don’t feel too enthusiastic about it, so maybe I should just save it for big Sena instead.

      I was really surprised when I saw that one, since I didn’t think it came from Railgun (as mentioned, I hardly know anything about Railgun; I knew about the clones with the Virtual Boy visors, but I didn’t know about Last Order). I was also surprised since she looks so blatantly young; one would think that I (and most anime fans) would be used to that sort of thing by now, but it still surprises me, at least when I see it in a figure.

      A good plan, and I might do the same with Mikan. A while ago, I thought to myself that given my dwindling space and my desire to save some money, I ought to not buy a figure if I had any sort of issue with it. I might invoke that guideline here; there’s still a lot of time since, as you say, this figure ain’t coming out for a really, really long time.

  7. BostonBrandon says:

    Purple Heart looks a lot like Sukumizu nurse girl Nana. Which really isn’t a bad thing, but I’m seeing an uncanny resemblance between the two. What scale is she?
    Also, it looks like Freeing has finally gone for a fluffy tail to match their fishnets. I don’t have a ton of their bunny girls but this is the first time I’m seeing that addition.
    And good God does Nozomi look fantastic! I’ve been after her Native release for years and can (possibly but doubtfully) finally put that search to rest thanks to Alphamax.

    • Tier says:

      She’s 1/7 scale; she’s listed as 32 centimeters tall, which I’m sure includes her wings, but that’s still a decently large size. I didn’t notice the fluffier bunny tail, but I’m still kinda hoping it’s solid plastic, since it’d be a lot easier to clean than something made of cotton or plastic fibers. I really need to clean off all my figures since most of them are caked in dust and I’ve been having respiratory problems lately. Nozomi does look great indeed. I wonder where Alphamax was at Wonder Festival? I don’t recall seeing their stuff there.

  8. I’m only going to say this once… NOIRE/BLACK HEART IS LOVE!!!

    Good thing alter have stated that they will be doing one of her in the near future!
    I would go for the Purple heart figure regardless of the price (hell, my average figure cost exceeds her price) but that face looks freaking awful!!

    I’m surprised to see the 1/4 Bunny Medaka having such a dynamic pose. Usually 1/4 was a 1-way ticket to boring-ville due to limitations in the manufacturing so maybe this will be the next step up for larger scale figures.

    • Tier says:

      They should do a Green Heart too. Someone should also make a Green Heart training VN for Microsoft Surface. As for Neptune, I think I’ll wait for Moeyo or Akibahobby to get a sample figure; I don’t think I’ve seen any sample photos aside from the promo pictures. I would definitely like to see some more exciting 1/4 scale figures; I’m happy with the bunnysuit ones I have, but Medaka certainly has more presence. Speaking of 1/4 scale, I always think of Volks’s Sengoku Rance figures when I think of that size, and lately when I think of Volks, I’m reminded I need to look into their color resin stuff. I’m not too skilled at model building but I think I could get by if most of the color work is done for me, even if I do need to buy an airbrush to do touch-up work.

      • Ah, the volks Charagumin line. You need to be careful with those. Some of the simpler kits will look fine but others require far more than a little colour work. Selvaria is a good example. Her swimsuit version will be easy enough but her uniform version requires a full paintjob to look good.

        But volks are still kings of 1/4. Even if their output has dropped to next to nothing. T-ELOS was the last one they did…

  9. Adam says:

    A couple years ago, I calculated the average MSRP for a sampling of figures I had either ordered or wishlisted; that number was about ¥8,500. I repeated that calculation this year and found that the number had ballooned to ¥10,600. I’m sure my methods are not fully scientific, but I feel those numbers are a sign of the times as far as scale figure pricing is concerned.

    Cerberus is the only figure from your list that I’m definitely getting. I don’t love the little dog-muff things, but everything else about the figure is a delight for the eyes and I feel pretty good any time Max Factory is handling the production.

    I would be interested in Purple Heart if not for her face, which looks very off to me for some reason. I’m hoping they improve it between now and release, though, as I like everything else about the figure.

    • Tier says:

      Looking at my old receipts, I paid 4571 yen for Alter’s original KOS-MOS, and about 6500 yen apiece for their old, 1/5 scale Rei Ayanami and Asuka figures, way back in 2005 and 2006. The exchange rate was a lot better back then, too. I agree that this is probably a sign of the times; I suppose I could also see it as additional justification for rolling back spending, being that I’m already strapped for display space as it is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *