Year Twelve Retrospective

The president on a horse

Tentacle Armada turns twelve years old today! Obviously there’s been the expected spate of non-posting which has unfortunately become the norm here, but aside from that, the past twelve months have obviously been more notable for a global pandemic unprecedented in the lives of everyone in the United States except perhaps some centenarians who lived through the 1918 flu outbreak. As I’ve mentioned before, the last year actually has been pretty good for me; I’m doing very well in my work, nobody that I know has been infected by COVID, and I’ve mostly weaned myself off of World of Warcraft, which I’ve had a love-hate relationship with for over a decade. The extra time has given me opportunities to indulge my most recent hobby, which is collecting and shopping for wristwatches. As far as games go, lately I’ve been playing Epic Seven and also some Azur Lane, though not nearly as much as I used to. It comes to mind that I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a shipgirl figure from either Azur Lane or Kantai Collection here, which is a little strange given how dominant both franchises have been in the figure world for the last few years.

I haven’t actually received many figures in the past year; a bunch of them are stuck in Japan, victims of Japan Post’s moratorium on air-shipping parcels to the United States. I do have a couple of FREEing bunnygirl figures that were sent via surface parcel a few months ago; I have no idea where they are or if they’ll ever arrive, and that uncertainty has made me really leery of having anything else shipped by that method. It seems that I won’t be receiving many new figures, aside from PCS’s big-ass 1/3 scale Cammy statue that I don’t think I can review and Prime 1’s Reika Shimohira (White Version) statue, which I’m looking forward to but also am not sure if I will review. I definitely have no shortage of figures to photograph, though – I think the backlog is well over a hundred figures, so there are going to be a lot of seemingly-random reviews of figures both recent and not at all recent posted here in the coming months.

I’ve been deliberating the past few years about changing this site’s layout; the theme is called Twenty Ten and was originally created, as one might expect, in 2010. It’s fairly outdated – a line of code in one of the theme files that was incompatible with a recent WordPress release was the reason why comments stopped appearing a few months back – and it looks really antiquated. However, I kinda feel like my programming days are behind me – I’m very happy not to be a software developer anymore in my day job and given the diminished status that blogs seem to have these days, I don’t feel that it’s worth the effort. I’m not even sure what a contemporary blog looks like, anyway; the ones I still read also look like they date from 2010. One change I did think about was eliminating the sidebar, which takes up a good deal of room, but I looked at the site on my phone and the narrow layout – a relic from a time when many computer displays were like 1280 pixels wide – actually looks okay on a phone screen when zoomed in a bit. That said, I do think the aggregated figure gallery page has become very unwieldy and slow to scroll through; I might look for a WordPress plugin that can generate a dynamic image gallery. I also think it’s time for some different figures in the randomly-generated header image; I think I last updated that maybe eight or nine years ago.

Normally this is where I’d type some platitude about hoping to take pictures of figures more frequently but as it turns out, I’ve actually got a bunch of figures already photographed and ready for editing and writeups. Here’s some pictures of figures that ought to be posted up here soon:

Figure of Marie Rose from Dead or Alive 5
Figure of Mordred from Fate/Apocrypha
Figure of Charlize from Lineage 2: Revolution
Figure of Eileene from Seven Knights
Figure of Luna from Epic Seven
Figure of 2B from Nier: Automata
Figure of Kasumi Yoshizawa from Persona 5 Royal
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14 Responses to Year Twelve Retrospective

  1. ProbablyNotMyRealName says:

    Happy (Site) Birthday!

  2. TomTheCat says:

    Again, Happy Birthday! I’m looking forward to see the second from top (in the hot pants).

    Regarding your plans to revamp this site: You’ve got my vote for doing nothing 😛 Tell you what: my display is 1024 x 768, not quite but pretty much the lowest possible one. In my eyes (literally) it’s immensely tiresome to read “walls of text” spanning across the screen. Super wide screens may be good for 180° vision in gaming, but for reading purposes, I just can’t handle it.

    Also, I’m used to scrolling through your pictures. I like that I can slow down when I’m viewing a photo that I particularly like. I’m not sure what a “dynamic image gallery” would look like in the first place. Would that be something like a powerpoint presentation? I’m probably embarrassing myself at this point, but old dogs don’t learn new tricks, lol (‘m 53…)

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I’m probably going to do nothing; I’m lazy and it’s a lot of work, and I’m too old to really want to do a lot of work. Dynamic image gallery is just for the figure gallery page, where all the reviews are listed; it’s like two hundred rows long now and it’s kinda clunky to scroll through. I was thinking of doing something similar to MFC, with smaller headshot portraits that could be filtered and re-ordered. I dunno though, that also sounds like work so I might just leave it as it is.

  3. JustAnotherRando says:

    Happy site bday! Not gonna lie, I actually really like the simple site design. When every other blog is either just dead and gone or very in-your-face with ads, sponsors, “follow me on these other eight platforms”, or it’s just facebook/twitter/instagram … I like coming here because it feels calm. Just my two cents. Glad you’ve made it through the past twelve months in good shape. 🙂

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you feel that way; I’m really not much of a social media user. I lament the fact that Instagram has become the dominant platform for viewing pictures. It sounds like the prevailing sentiment is to leave things as they are, which I think I am more than fine with. Thanks also for the good wishes 😀

  4. JordanN says:

    Long time lurker, but I wanted to drop by and say happy birthday!
    Your figure photography lighting guide has always been a huge influence on me.

  5. wieselhead says:

    Happy Birthday senpai’s blog, good job in keeping it up for so many year.
    Even with reduced content pace, it’s still nice to read here.
    Doesn’t really matter to update the theme or not, as long as it works.

    lol Tier has a horse…

    I’m looking forward to your Marie Rose post and funny Mordred.
    Oh you got this pretty Luna figure o(〃^▽^〃)o

    After struggling in 2020 with my own blog, I decided that I will just try again harder this year.
    it’s up to everyone what they do in their freetime, maybe I could do better stuff than writing posts, but I still like figure photography as much as on the first day, the community for it became a bit more weird though lol.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks 😀 I’m gonna try to start posting a little more frequently … I was cleaning up my Lightroom catalog and it’s a little embarrassing how I went something like half a year without taking any figure pictures.

      I didn’t actually plan to get a 1/6 scale horse … I bought this doll, which came in two versions, one with a horse and a cheaper version with just the girl; I bought the latter version, but the retailer sent me the more expensive version.

      Yeah, I got Luna 😀 She’s not quite the most expensive figure in my collection but she’s up there.

      I haven’t commented on your blog as much as I should >.< I hope you keep it up! I think your site is the only figure blog I still follow. I haven't really participated in the figure collecting community in a long time but I can definitely believe it's changed over the years, especially as younger people start collecting stuff. I've been watching a lot of Twitch streams while I've been at home this past year and I've never felt so old and out of touch.

  6. David Male says:

    Hello Tier,
    Congratulations on the birthday of your site! I work at HLJ.com, we are based in Japan and are one of the largest Hobby, Toy and Figure retailers offering goods from Japan.

    We would be very interested in working with you on an affiliate program.

    If you would like to learn more please visit https://www.hlj.com/affiliate-program. Also you can email affiliate@hlj.com to contact us directly.

    Thanks for your time and we hope to hear from you soon.

    Best regards,

    • Tier says:

      Thanks very much for the kind words! I will take a look at your affiliate program. Thanks for being like the only hobby retailer that offers overseas shipping by Fedex.

  7. Alan says:

    Where did you get this figure? http://www.tentaclearmada.com/images/random_thoughts/year_twelve/luna.jpg

    On another note, you should rightly be wary of surface shipments. I have a $120k yen horror story to share…

    • Tier says:

      I got it from eBay … it is unfortunately not a mass-produced figure, which is a big shame, since Epic Seven has a lot of great character designs, though none better than Luna.

      Ouch, man that sucks … I did actually get one of my figures via surface parcel a couple of days ago, which was kind of surprising; I had the tracking notifications turned on but it just turned up at my front door that morning, so I’m feeling a little more optimistic now.

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