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.
#5. Sasara Kusugawa from To Heart 2: Dungeon Travelers
First, an explanation: I usually take an original photo for the figures in these posts but I’m using a stock photo here. The reason for that is that I originally had a different figure here but after thinking about it, I decided to place Sasara here instead. She’s a gigantic figure, which I always view as a big plus, and I like the bikini armor motif going on here, with her outfit obviously inspired by Sega’s classic arcade slasher Golden Axe. Since I don’t have my own picture of her here, I think I’ll bump her up in priority in the review queue.
In fourth place is Plum’s Scathach, which I reviewed a couple of months back. I have to admit that a large part of my fondness for this figure is because of the character design, which I really do like a lot. But this is a great adaptation and moreover, it’s the only one available.
#3. Irohahime from Sengoku Taisen
For the last few years the Tony Taka fairy girls have shown up in my favorite figures posts, so it only seems natural to include another of Kotobukiya’s 1/6 scale Tony figures here. Irohahime has a lovely design, with her skimpy traditionally- Japanese outfit and her confident expression. Hopefully Kotobukiya continues making them – or, that Alphamax does just as good a job, seeing as how they swiped sculpting privileges on the latest fairy girl.
#2. Hunter from Bikini Warriors
Here’s another example of the bikini armor motif, from the appropriately-titled series Bikini Warriors. I own a number of figures from this series – which, regrettably, have not yet been reviewed – but this one is amongst my favorites. Hunter has a dynamic action pose, a great deal of detail in her outfit (what little there is of it, anyway), and the figure is exceptionally large – a common theme here. I really need to photograph the figures from this series (and from Hobby Japan’s 7 Deadly Sins series, now that I think about it).
(Oh, and Hunter is supposed to be wearing a jacket, which would cover up that unsightly shoulder seam. I didn’t want to fiddle too much with the figures before I’m ready to review them so I left it out.)
#1. Maria Bernhardt
It should be obvious why this figure is amongst my favorite figures of all time, but if it’s not, here’s why: showy pose, sexy sculpt (from the sculptor of gangsta lean Saber, no less), large size, and a great deal of exposed skin. It’s sort of an oddity amongst figures – as far as I know, Maria is a completely original character from no series or property in particular – but I’m glad to see Daiki Kougyou manufacturing this sort of figure.
And that’s that – unless I change my mind. For another opinion on 2016’s releases, you should go check out Figyura. Let’s hope 2017 is a great year for figures (and personally, I’m really hoping the manufacturers move past Kantai Collection already).