Tag Archives: site retrospective

Year Ten Retrospective

2B and a friend

Tentacle Armada turns 10 years old today! When I published this site’s very humble first post, I did not imagine that I would keep this site going for another decade. Yet here it is; not as frequently updated as I would like but with 345 figure reviews in the archives, on top of a number of dakimakura cover and doll reviews, I don’t feel that this site has ever lacked for content.

Here are the site stats for the ten years of this site’s existence. Pageviews are off by maybe a hundred thousand due to a several-month period where views were being counted twice. It’s funny; I remember obsessing over site stats for the first few years but I don’t pay a lot of attention to them now. For one, there’s not much point in doing so; also, a lot of internet activity is tied up in social media, from which I generally abstain from participation, and thus never promote this site to new visitors. I do have a Twitter account that I infrequently post to, but I stopped using my Facebook profile a dozen years ago and – perhaps strangely for someone who runs a photography-based blog – I have never had an Instagram account.

This site hasn’t changed much over the years. Sometimes I think about giving it a revamp, perhaps switching over to a more slick and contemporary WordPress theme rather than the rather dated main-box-and-sidebar blog layout that I’ve been using for this last decade, but I’m not motivated enough to do that much work, and I actually like how this site has maintained a consistent look even as self-published blogs have become less of a thing over the years.

There are some other things that date this site, both obvious and less so. A very obvious one is the ex-president doll that I have used, who has kind of become a site mascot, particularly with the more lecherous figures I review. It would certainly be more appropriate for me to incorporate a doll of the current president in my photos, but somehow, I don’t think he’d be very popular here.

A less obvious thing is a post I never actually created. One of the prevailing ideas when I started this site is that you needed an expensive camera to get good pictures. I therefore resolved to do a series of photo shoots using a very inexpensive compact camera, knowing that I could get good results with my standard lighting setup. As usual, I waffled and procrastinated on actually doing the required work, and much to my surprise, the entire compact camera industry collapsed a few years ago, extirpated by smartphones. That was certainly something I did not see coming.

I’ve seen a lot of figure sites come and go over the years. I did take down the blogroll section because almost all the figure review blogs I liked to visit are now defunct (Wieselhead is the only one that is still maintained). That’s unfortunate, I suppose, but for myself, I still enjoy running a figure review website and I have no plans to cease updates. Therefore, here’s to another ten years of figure reviewing and pillowcase photographing (still one of the more popular aspects of this site, peculiarly enough).

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Year Nine Retrospective

Simone wrapped up in tentacles

Ahem; we interrupt my void elf and lightforged draenei leveling to celebrate this website’s ninth birthday. While the dearth of recently updates here is both embarrassing and regrettable, this site is still operating, at least in a nominal sense. What’s more, I’ve probably actually bought more figures in the last year than in any year that I’ve been collecting figures, and I certainly have no shortage of material to cover. I’m not certain how long that trend will last, though, as figure prices at the 12,000 yen point and beyond are a strong deterrent to purchasing on impulse, and I’m thinking I may be more selective in my preorders this year than my financial discipline typically dictates. But we’ll see if I hold to that; SkyTube and Native are certainly intent on testing my restraint.

Site stats for the preceding 365 days show that the number of users dropped compared to last year but pageviews are up by a couple hundred thousand. I’m not sure why that might be. Total site stats are about 1.8 million visitors, 3.2 million sessions, and nearly 16 million pageviews.

Despite the lack of reviews, this last year has been the best of my professional life and 2018 appears poised to be even better. And while figure prices continue to climb, my review queue has blown past 150 unopened figures and I’ve certainly got enough stuff ready to keep this site going for at least another decade. I just need to log off Warcraft once in a while to get posts up. In that vein, reviews of Matsuri and Rei and that one tied-up Native girl whose name currently escapes me ought to be going up soon.

Oh, and incidentally, my current job devotes an inordinate amount of energy to a slavish devotion to agile development processes, which I loathe and has thus made me question the usage of the term “retrospective” for these posts. Truly a random thought.

A less random thought: this site is really going to be entering its tenth year of existence soon. It’s an auspicious event, and yet it’s frightening how fast time goes by.

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Year Eight Retrospective

Simone wrapped up in tentacles

Yay! This site is now eight years old. Admittedly there is not much to celebrate once more, since updates have been drastically curtailed. That’s not to say that I’ve stopped collecting figures – in fact, I have so many of them that the unopened boxes are piled meters high. Finding the time and motivation to shoot has been tough, mostly due to the new job, World of Warcraft grinding, and a resurgent interest in watching NBA games (I used to collect basketball cards with the same enthusiasm as I collect figures). Nonetheless the figures are here and as I don’t unbox them before I review them, I have considerable motivation to keep posting, since I’ll never get to display my figures if I don’t. (Well, unless I shut down the site, which I’m not amenable to doing, being that not only do I enjoy running it, I’ve already paid my hosting bill for the next year.)

The site stats haven’t changed much from the last year, or the year before that; the site doesn’t get many new viewers, but doesn’t lose many, either. That probably means that I’m not doing a good job of optimizing this site for web search but one beneficial by-product of not posting as much is that I don’t care about my traffic stats. Regardless, the stats aren’t too bad. For the last eight years, the site has gotten about 1.7 million visitors and 14 million pageviews, which is pretty nice, I think.

One thing that lowers posting frequency is that I don’t do any dakimakura cover reviews or doll posts anymore. The dakimakura posts weren’t personally interesting to do or to write about, but I actually got more questions about them than anything else I’ve ever written about. The doll posts were more interesting but I always had the feeling that they weren’t all that popular. I generally don’t pander too much but their large size made them kind of a pain to photograph, so it didn’t seem worth it to continue posting about them. I wonder if anybody misses those posts, as all I do these days are figure reviews and the preorder posts.

Anyway, new review should be posted soon; I really want to photograph some of these Bikini Warriors figures, and it would be pretty silly for me to not have reviewed any of my 7 Deadly Sins figures by the time the anime airs this summer.

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Year Seven Retrospective

Inori Yuzuriha wrapped up in tentacles

Ugh. It’s a customary thing to celebrate this site’s birthday on February 23, but given the dearth of updates over the last year, there does not seem to be much cause for ceremony. Regardless, tradition is what it is, and I scarcely need an excuse to take a photo of one of my big-ass dolls wrapped up in tentacles, so I will pay the proper respect to the occasion, as unseemly as it might be.
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Year Six Retrospective

Azone's Inori Yuzuriha 50cm doll

As usual on February 23, today we celebrate the anniversary of this website – Tentacle Armada is six years old today. It’s sort of an anticlimactic anniversary, as I have been far from diligent in keeping this website updated. Oh well. On the other hand, just the fact that this site has been around that long is a decent feat, I think.

Usually I try to include some sort of thematic photo up at the top of this post but I couldn’t really think of any auspicious way to denote a six year anniversary, so instead there’s an unrelated picture of Inori wrapped up in tentacles.
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Year Five Retrospective

Tentacle Armada is five years old today! Hooray! Time sure does fly right by. I don’t know of too many figure review sites that have been updated continuously for five years, and with 263 figure and doll reviews currently listed here, I don’t know of many that have been as prolific, either. I don’t often talk about the state of the site but today I indulge myself: as usual, this post is the post where I pontificate about where this website has been and where it is going.
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