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Tomopop Review: Nendoroid Shoukaku & Zuikaku by Good Smile Company

Oct 17 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Nendoroid Shoukaku & ZuikakuFigure Maker: Good Smile CompanyRetail Price: ¥5,556 (each)Available at: Amiami | Big Bad Toy Store | Hobby Search | HobbyLink Japan As you can see on the boxes, these are Nendoroids 621 and 622. That's an insane amount of Nendos! I wonder if anyone has collected all of them, because that would be a hell of a feat. The first thing that struck me about these Nendos was the sheer number of accessories included in the box. Both Shoukaku and Zuikaku come in the standard Nendoroid clamshell, but there's an entire second tray dedicated to optional parts. On the one hand, it allows for a wide variety of poses and scenes. But on the other hand it's quite finnicky and time consuming to play with all the small parts. Just setting up their default look required a few references to the instruction sheet. When I received the box from Amiami, I also got an item in a black plastic bag. For a moment I wondered if they had shipped an adult item by accident. Actually it was a pair of risers for their bases along with an extra part that allows them to hold hands. They're sister ships after all, so yuri subtext is obligatory! In all seriousness they are adorable together. Both figures come with small fighter planes, accessories to show their Kai 2 upgraded forms, and extra bodies to show the half-damage versions. In the official art the damaged outfits are pretty racy. In Nendoroid form they just look kind of silly. In the game, each girl can be upgraded to a Kai 2 version with heavier armaments and a different design. These Nendoroids include alternate parts for this: leg and foot armor, a second flight deck, a larger quiver in the back, and an alternate ribbon for Shoukaku. The list of accessories is extensive so I won't go on about them. I believe I used every single part in my photos, so check out the gallery to see everything! If you've played with Nendoroids before, there's nothing in this package that will throw you for a loop. The main thing to keep in mind is that despite their simple designs, you need some patience to get the most out of your poses. It's especially true with these two due to the large amount of parts. Sometimes you just need to keep tweaking each of the pieces, little by little, until you get the right pose. I recommend using the promo shots as a guide, as these pieces tend to fit best when positioned according to the promos. Zuikaku has the most flexibility because her hair consists of twin tails. Shoukaku's long hair and side fringes restrict her poses mostly to ones looking straight ahead. You can work around these limitations by adjusting her quiver and stand, but she's still not as flexible as Zuikaku. If I had to name a downside to these Nendos, it would be the expressions. They each have three expressions, but none that stand out. Shoukaku has the standard smiling expression, the half-damage one, and a yelling face. Zuikaku has a smile, half-damage, and a tsundere look. Part of the fun of getting new Nendoroids is mixing and matching the face plates, but these two don't bring anything new with their expressions. I like Zuikaku's tsundere face, though. For fans of KanColle or folks who just like cool military hardware with their Nendoroids, Shoukaku and Zuikaku are a great package. They're even better if you have Akagi and Kaga, because then you can act out their rivalry. These Nendos show Good Smile Company's increasing escalation of their Nendoroid game. It's still crazy to me that they're past 600 now, and each new one seems to be jam packed with more and more goodies.
GSC Shoukaku & Zuikaku photo
The pride of the 5th Carrier Division!
Nendoroids are hugely popular nowadays (even one of my non-collector friends has some) but it's surprising how few Nendoroid reviews we have. I don't buy a ton of them myself, but a few Kantai Collection ones have come around...

DC Comics photo
Bored of the pet sets yet?
Funko has released some images and details for an array of DC Comics-related collectibles, including a new Mystery Minis series, Batman: The Animated Series Pop!s, and Dorbz. While usually I'm the first (and loudest) to rave ...

NYCC 2016: Good Smile Company

Oct 08 // Tianxiao Ma
NYCC 2016 GSC photo
Lots of toys for gamers!
Good Smile Company's Mamitan has been hard at work revealing their upcoming figures at NYCC. There are lots of Nendoroids and figmas but I wasn't expecting this many video game figures. The full armor Megaman X Nendoroid has ...

Tomopop Review: Kagamine Rin Tony Ver. by Max Factory

Oct 06 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Kagamine Rin Tony Ver.Figure Maker: Max FactoryRetail Price: ¥12,800Available at: Amiami | Big In Japan | Big Bad Toy Store | Hobby Search | HobbyLink Japan This is a rather simplistic 1/7-scale figure so there isn't much to worry about in terms of assembly or packaging. You just unbox Rin, attach the base, and slide the microphone into her left hand. If you're like me and rotate your figure displays regularly, you'll appreciate the easy unboxing and assembly process. I didn't buy this figure out of love for the character. There's just something appealing about the design and its execution. Tony Taka's interpretations of Miku and Luka stayed close to their official designs. However Rin and Len are both aged up a bit. This gives Max Factory a more interesting body type to work with, especially around the underarms and midriff. What won me over more than anything else, though, was Rin's face. I guess it's got that "Tony face" look, but it's never bothered me and looks super cute here. As with the rest of the sculpt, Max Factory nailed it. Don't let the plainness of the design put you off. No, Rin isn't decked out in a crazy outfit nor is she doing some acrobatic, floaty pose. Yet Max Factory has still worked an ample amount of detail into this sculpt. The figure looks and feels like an illustration, which is a testament to how meticulous Max Factory was in reproducing Tony's design. Her hair is especially impressive in terms of its definition. As expected with Max Factory, the paint and decal application are also top notch. Even the tiny lettering on her left bicep looks perfect under a macro lens. The one issue I have is that yellow, white, and black don't make for the most exciting color scheme. The only thing that breaks up this rather muted palette is the aqua color from her eyes. For the most part you'll get the typically excellent Max Factory build quality. The box is thick and sturdy. The figure itself has a subtle soft-touch coating on the exposed skin areas, lending a bit of realism. It's not a new practice by Max Factory but it's still uncommon. However there is one piece I have a big problem with: the base. It's too thin and feels much cheaper than the rest of the figure. It just doesn't inspire confidence in me at all, as I felt like I might break it just trying to put the figure on. This Rin is exactly the kind of figure Max Factory has always excelled at. It doesn't have an elaborate design, but the sculpt just packs in so much subtle detail that it looks almost alive - like it's a one-off piece sculpted just for you. I'm looking at my shelf of Max Factory figures and with a few splashy exceptions, most are like this. It's safe to say this Kagamine Rin is my favorite of the Tony Taka Vocaloids so far.
Max Factory Rin photo
Pop stars aren't usually this cute
We all know that Good Smile Company really, really loves making Hatsune Miku figures. The world just can't get enough Miku. But what about the other Vocaloids? Luckily Max Factory is throwing us a bone. Over the last few year...

DST photo
Bringing the party to the party
Can't wait for NYCC? Neither can Diamond Select Toys, which has gone ahead and released photos of some the items that will be on display at NYCC! These reveals include the finished DCAU Huntress figure (which looks fantastic!...

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This Ikkitousen figure... Isn't all that bad!! And it's a Kanu?


Hell Hath Frozen Over
Oct 01
// Chris Seto
Many moons ago, Ikkitousen was pretty much the butt of many jokes among the figure community. The license was easy to get a hold of and the figure market was still relatively young so many Ikkitousen figures were basically th...
Animaniacs photo
Perfect for (almost) taking over world
What are you doing tomorrow night? How about in November? Funko has a selection of Animation Pop!s based on the hit cartoon Animaniacs on the way in November. These upcoming figures consist of the megalomaniacal mouse Brain and his stupid side-kick Pinky (Pinky & The Brain) as well as siblings Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. This only leaves one question: When can we expect Goodfeathers Pop! figures?

WWE photo
The Million Dollar Mystery Mini
A second series of Funko's WWE Mystery Minis are on the way and, despite including the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, the figures are expected to retail for the usual US$6 or so. The roster for this wave is a mix of legend...

SDCC: Diamond Select Toys panel

Aug 03 // Scarecroodle
DST photo
Yes, we were there
Diamond Select Toys' non-Minimate SDCC panel included a few announcements, a loot at some upcoming items, and a lot of excitement. Major highlights included the news that the DC Animated Universe Huntress is going to be added...

Sonic photo
Faster & bluer than the average hedgehog
Tomopop (or, more specifically, our ace reporter Tian) wasn't able to make it to every booth at SDCC and, as such, we (again, Tian) weren't able to see Kidrobot's Sonic at the event in person. However, we were assured that it...

Square Enix photo
Square Enix

SDCC 2016: Square Enix


Batman's going crazy
Aug 01
// Tianxiao Ma
You can count on the Play Arts Kai brand to bring some unique (if not overly busy) interpretations of some of your favorite comic book characters. I found a couple such figures at the Square Enix booth at SDCC. They were part...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Misc Garage Kits (part 2)


Here's where the story ends (for now!)
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
And so we reach the last Gallery for this years dealer floor coverage for Wonder Festival. And the first thing we should do is say hi to an old friend. Chainsaw girl makes another appearance after several years. She's an orig...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Game Garage Kits (part 2)


Ecchi
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
Man, there really are a lot of Fate/Grand Order and Gran Blue Fantasy kits, and I'm sure the numbers will only rise! but for me, the two most standout figures would be the one of the Fei Yen knight from Virtual On and her lar...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Anime Garage Kits (part 4)


Witchcraft abound!
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
And now, we have reached the last stretch of the garage kit coverage for Wonder Festival Summer 2016!  We end the Anime kit roundup with a better look at the Love Live! kits as well as a number of magical girls in the fo...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Misc Garage Kits (part 2)


Man in suit!!
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the Japanese Kaiju movies but even I have to put my hands up and say that this Godzilla skeleton figure is pretty damn cool! Still, it adds to the weirdness that is the miscella...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: KanColle Garage Kits (part 2)


Steady as she goes!
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
If nothing else, it's good to see the overall quality of KanColle kits to have improved over recent events. Before, it was only really the abyssal fleet figures which truly impressed but now, we have quite a few kits of the s...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Anime Garage Kits (part 3)


Enter Enter Mission!
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
For such a popular anime, you would think that One-Punch man would get more figures than it has. Well, the big companies have given us a few Tatsumakis and a couple of Geonas but that's about it. But at least we got one figur...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Misc Garage Kits (part 1)


Mystery Box
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
And here's the first of our miscellaneous kit gallery. As usual, these kits are those which I was unable to identify, are original designs or simply come from a title which doesn't really fit the previous categories.  Th...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: KaColle Garage Kits (part 1)


Queen of my Castle
Jul 31
// Chris Seto
KanColle still continues its iron grip on the dealer section of Wonder Festival but at least its dominance isn't quite on the level as previous events, where it was actually painful to sift through. Kashima is also a popular ...
Transformers photo
Transformers

Cybertron Con 2016: Even more Transformers reveals from Hasbro


Hasbro hasn't stopped to take a breath
Jul 31
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Con season is definitely in full swing right now having been kicked off by San Diego Comic Con and Wonder Festival 2016 Summer last weekend, but they're not the only events this month. Over in Shanghai, China Hasbro just held...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Anime Garage Kits (part 2)


Welcome back Vispo!
Jul 30
// Chris Seto
Back when I was a fledgling garage kit painter, one maker who always impressed me with his great works was Vispo. Initially, the most famous kits were those of the Evangelion Girls with racing motorbikes. Eventually, 3 were m...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Video Game Garage Kits (part 1)


All hail the mobage!
Jul 30
// Chris Seto
Next up, we have the first batch of video game garage kits and the first thing one will probably notice is the number of Fate/Grand Order and Gran Blue Fantasy kits. Rather unsurprisingly, the most popular games get the large...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Anime Garage Kits (part 1)


Lovin' and Live-in'
Jul 30
// Chris Seto
And, after a long haul, we've reached the dealer floor for Wonder Festival. As usual, I've split up the kits into some rough categories and we start with the first lot of anime garage kits! Love Live! seems to have had a boos...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Arcadia


One trick pony
Jul 28
// Chris Seto
Back when they were called Yamato, Arcadia had fingers in a few pots, with regular figure releases as well as other items in their catalogue but now, it looks like they have abandoned all that and, save for a number of small ...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Aoshima


MACROSS GIRL!!
Jul 28
// Chris Seto
Aoshima are better known for their scale models of historical war vehicles so there might not be so much of interest for figure collectors but there were a few on display. Rather unsurprisingly, Aoshima went heavy on the KanC...
Shiflett Bros. photo
Shiflett Bros.

SDCC 2016: Shiflett Bros.


Imaginative, original art
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
The Shiflett Brothers have made a name for themselves with their fantastical, steampunk-y sculptures. What first struck me about them was the level of detail in each sculpt. But over the years their designs have gotten more e...
Beefy & Co. photo
Beefy & Co.

SDCC 2016: Beefy & Co.


I love magnets in toys
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
Strange and adorable animal toys are the domain of Beefy & Co. Artist Menh Voong brought some new plushies to SDCC, as well as a preview for NYCC. NYCC will be seeing the release of the plush turtle and penguin (I think i...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: GoodSmile Company


And subsidaries!
Jul 28
// Chris Seto
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don't actually rate GoodSmile Company as that great a figure company. Their output is solid but very rarely truly impresses. Then again, their output, with help from umbrella companie...
Weta photo
Weta

SDCC 2016: Weta


More robots, please
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I kicked off my tour of Weta's exhibit with their 2017 Ghost in the Shell display. It contained a life-sized replica of an android that I'm assuming will appear in the film. It was reminiscent of the robots featured in Ghost ...
3A photo
3A

SDCC 2016: 3A


Grungy mecha and original creations
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
When I asked the 3A rep what was new for this year, he basically introduced me to every single thing on display. You can see that their artistic vision is still intact, but they've tackled more and more licensed properties ov...

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