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Ladies (and Bats) Night
Diamond Select Toys has an array of outstanding collectibles on the way to a comic book (or specialty) store near you. These items -- likely available right now as you're reading this -- are as follows:   (US$150 MSRP) ...

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He's crazy for you.. and also just crazy
Last month, Kotobukiya unveiled and opened pre-orders for an absolutely insane-looking ArtFX+ Carnage guaranteed to drive fans crazy. This stunning 1/10 scale figure stands over 7-inches tall and captures the villain's look i...

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Exclusives

Walgreens picked up another exclusive Marvel Minimates series


Now, not when you feel like it!
Jan 14
// Scarecroodle
Walgreens has nabbed yet another exclusive wave of Marvel Minimates, adding Marvel Minimates Series 4 to its already sizable selection of exclusives. In addition, the previously announced Marvel Animated Minimates Series 3 is...
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Oh, Kidrobot, you so cray(on) cray!
Kidrobot seems to involve itself in some unusual pairings. In fact, one of the things I love about the company is that you never seem to know what's coming next. Case-in-point? Kidrobot has teamed up with Crayola (that's righ...

Tomopop Review: DC Bishoujo Wonder Girl by Kotobukiya

Dec 24 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: DC Comics Bishoujo Wonder GirlFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: $74.99Available at: Kotobukiya Online Store  This particular Wonder Girl design (as always, created by Shunya Yamashita) is based on the Cassandra Sandsmark character of the classic DC universe - i.e. not from The New 52. Yamashita's take on the character is faithful to the design in the comics. The sculpt ages her up a bit compared to the illustration, making this a straightforward interpretation of Wonder Girl. Wonder Girl's Lasso of Lightning is included. It's made of plastic and painted in metallic gold. I don't find it very convincing close up, but it looks okay from a distance. As you might have deduced from the design of the figure, the setup process is pretty easy. The only thing you have to do is attach the lasso to the hands. The fit there isn't especially precise but hey, you only have to do it once. One feature I couldn't figure out is why she can be pulled apart at the hips. Could there perhaps be a variant edition in the works with swappable parts? The figure comes already attached to the base for even more convenience. It's painted in a metallic red to match the red star motif on her pants and bracers. I'm a huge fan of anything-but-a-circular-disc for bases, so I like the star shape here. I like this sculpt more the more I look at it. Wonder Girl has the bent spine, chest-and-butt-emphasizing pose that's common for female comic book characters. Fortunately Kotobukiya did a great job on her body overall (yes, her butt too). If you look closely you can see some muscle definition on her arms and thighs. There's a nice mix of power and sexiness, enhanced by the strategically exposed midriff. Wonder Girl's pants of choice are a pair of jeans. These have been sculpted with a bit of texture. I don't think it looks like real denim, but it looks better than a flat blue would have. The Bishoujo brand started as a line of budget-priced figures, and as such the manufacturing quality used to be just adequate. Nowadays it's tough to find anything to nitpick about it. Her face is clean, her eye decals are crisp, and her hair is finely sculpted and shaded. There were no flaws to speak of. That's pretty impressive considering these are still priced lower than comparable 1/8-scale figures, and that my macro lens tends to magnify the slightest imperfections. Though I have no attachment to the character, I did enjoy photographing and reviewing Bishoujo Wonder Girl. I find myself drawn to figures born from simple concepts that are executed well. This quality, as well as the distinctly pretty face, made me think of Max Factory's Kaori Miyazono as a comparison. Both are unassuming, yet still photogenic and would fit well on almost any shelf. I have plenty more of Wonder Girl in the gallery below. And if you dig Kotobukiya stuff, head on over to their Facebook page for more. [ Thanks to Kotobukiya for the review sample! ]
Bishoujo Wonder Girl photo
The power of Zeus compels you
In just a few short years, Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line has evolved to cover properties from all kinds of entertainment media including games and film. But the brand began with comic book characters, and here we return to its roots with Wonder Girl. I have lots and lots of Bishoujo figures in my collection, yet I couldn't resist adding one more. Read on for my thoughts and review!

Tomopop Review: Cu-poche Friends Alice by Kotobukiya

Dec 23 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Cu-poche Friends AliceFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: $49.99Available at: Kotobukiya Online Store Alice is the fourth Cu-poche Friends figure, joining Anne, Cherie, and Belle. While the others have more modern looking outfits, Alice has a dress that would be more at home in Victorian England. Here you can see all the accessories she comes with. Not pictured is a plastic baggie meant to hold extra parts. I've always appreciated this inclusion with figmas, and am glad that Kotobukiya decided to include one as well. You also get some nice general-purpose hand parts, but unfortunately no extra face parts. I don't have another Cu-poche so I won't be able to go over the face swapping, but it should work pretty much the same as with any other figure. One unique thing about the Cu-poche line is the use of real fabric for clothing. Each of the Cu-poche Friends figures have this (regular Cu-poches are plastic), and you can buy additional fabric outfits separately. This is standard in the world of ball-jointed dolls and 1/6-scale figures, but pretty rare for smaller poseable figures. For Alice, you need to put on her leggings, petticoat, apron, and shoes. None of it was super fussy; just remember to unbutton the apron in the back to get the arms in. There are two headbands included: one with a ribbon, and one with rabbit ears. I like the whimsical touch and the nods to Alice in Wonderland. Her watch pendant is of course a literary reference, but I also like to think of it as a Flavor Flav reference. You can also see in the above shot that Alice's feet have magnets on them (her bare feet and shoes are all magnetized). This feature is meant to provide extra stability if you're using her base. Due to the weight of her hair, I found that she does need to be propped up in some poses. Although you get a good amount of articulation with Cu-poches, the trade-off is that the joints are highly visible. In Alice's case her outfit covers most of them (without really impeding the movement, which is nice). As for the articulation itself, I found it very well executed. For Alice, the range of movement is reduced by her hair. The shoulder joints can rotate quite a bit, and her leg joints bend enough to where she can get into a sitting pose. The wrist and head articulation are the same as what you'd get on a Nendoroid. Speaking of Nendoroids, here's a size comparison with Nendoroid Kuroneko. Alice is significantly taller due to her body proportions. I think in most cases they'll look fine together. If not you can go the extra mile of swapping their heads. Another comparable figure line is Phat Company's Parfom brand, of which there are only a few figures released. Parfoms are much taller with more slender limbs, so they don't mesh as well with Cu-poche figures. Since this was my first Cu-poche figure, I wasn't sure what to expect. Alice did win me over in many categories. The fabric clothing is great as long as you tuck away some of the seams (and don't spill anything on them). I like the articulation and feel of the joints. Most of all, I like that they don't feel as loose and fiddly as Nendoroids do. As much as I like Nendoroids, they can be annoying in that the parts don't always fit well and can drop off easily. Still, I imagine the biggest point of contention for many will be the way they look. Cu-poches don't quite match the chibi proportions of Nendoroids, and the joints on some of them can be rather intrusive. They're not bad in Alice's case but other Cu-poches may not fare as well. I think Alice will appeal mostly to collectors like me, who enjoy using these figures to tell stories in images - or maybe to folks who just like cute stuff. Given the great build quality and competitive price, it's definitely worth looking at other figures in the line too. Be sure to click through the gallery below for the full photo set. And if you want to stay up to date on Kotobukiya's releases, give their Facebook page a like! [ Thanks to Kotobukiya for the review sample! ]
Cu-poche Alice photo
Going down the Cu-poche rabbit hole
Toy collectors have a ton of choices when it comes to small, chibi-fied collectibles. From gachapon capsules to Nendoroids, they'll always be popular due to their accessibility and affordability. It's no surprise, then, that ...

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Who doesn't want a DCAU Scarecrow bust?
Still hunting for last minute gifts? (If so, why'd you wait so long?) Diamond Select Toys has the perfect items for those of you who might be in last-second panic mode while looking for the collector in your lives. (Or gifts ...

Last minute gift ideas for the figure collector in your life

Dec 15 // Tianxiao Ma
Camera Gear If you really want someone to be poor for the rest of their life, get them into photography. Compared to camera gear, maintaining an anime figure collection costs a mere pittance. Indeed, you can set your loved one up for a lifetime of gear obsession and unnecessary spending by simply introducing them to this one hobby! But what if you want to help that special someone take better photos of his figures without having to take out a loan? You can check out some accessories designed to improve smartphone photography, such as this Photojojo lens set (pictured above). Smartphone cameras these days are already pretty capable, but accessories like this can give them an extra bit of flexibility and creative freedom. Amp up your figure photography, and your collection will feel that much more special! Lighting The art of photography goes hand in hand with the art of lighting. To really get those figure photos to the next level, you're going to need something better than the flash on your phone or camera. Luckily, this also presents the opportunity for some great stocking stuffers! Lighting can be done simply with some $10 clamp lamps from Home Depot. If you want something you could actually incorporate into your photos, check out the Slickforce Softlight (pictured above). They're not super bright, and work best with a camera with manual controls. But they look cool and can help you learn the principles of lighting. Storage Leaving figures in their boxes is no good. A real collector will want a specially designated area to keep his figures in view. This is where that old standby of collectors everywhere comes in: Ikea's Detolf display case. For good reason, these have been a go-to for figure collectors within range of an Ikea. They're reasonably priced and can blend into any kind of decor. The only drawback is that they weigh about as much as a small car, so make sure you have some buddies to help if you do buy one. Also, I guess these don't qualify as stocking stuffers... unless you're a frost giant and have enormous stockings. Dust Management You know what sucks? Leaving your figures out on display only to see them caked in dust a few months later. You know what your figures love? Being dust-free! It's a small thing but for a collector, proper dusting can mean the difference between a janky looking display and a lovingly curated one. For starters I'd get some kind of air blower, like a can of compressed air or an electric blower. Microfiber cloths are always good to have around. For the really intricate or hard to clean areas, you can try using a set of makeup brushes (or specially made anti-static brushes). Your figures will thank you for it. Display Stands Figure collections inevitably outgrow the shelves that hold them. This law holds as true as the laws of thermodynamics. When that happens, any collector will be glad to have a set of acrylic risers on hand. Full disclosure: I've never actually used these. But I wish I had, and my lack of foresight can turn into profit for you. Emotional profit, that is. With a good set of risers, you can make tiered displays that optimize your shelf space. They're especially good for smaller figures such as Nendoroids or Cu-Poches. Backdrops and Sets Want to take those figure displays to the next level? Why not add in some scenery? There are a host of options available, from 1/12-scale dollhouse furniture to purpose-built displays such as the figma PLUS line (pictured above). Max Factory has made a road set and a classroom set to help add a bit of flair to your figma collection. If Nendoroids are more your thing, Good Smile Company has recently put their Nendoroid-sized play sets up for order again. Booze Figure collecting can easily set someone on the path of financial ruin. Why not help them forget that fact with some good old liquid courage? Tomopop does not condone drinking as a response to life's problems. But a few sips here and there can't hurt, right? Pre-Orders Finally, if you can't actually get any of this in time for Christmas, you can always pre-order something. It's like a gift that's okay to give late! Make sure you stick to sites like Amiami or HobbyLink Japan, which both have great reputations and will make the whole buying process less scary. From all of us at Tomopop, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!
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They're kind of affordable!
Christmas (or your winter gift-giving holiday of choice) is almost upon us! While it's fun to give and receive gifts, it can be quite stressful doing the actual planning and shopping. So what do you buy for that special figur...

Kotobukiya Spike Spiegel photo
Kotobukiya Spike Spiegel

ARTFX J Spike Spiegel goes up for pre-order


3, 2, 1, let's jam!
Dec 12
// Tianxiao Ma
One of the most beloved anime series of all time is getting a fitting PVC tribute as Kotobukiya puts their ARTFX J Spike Spiegel up for pre-order! It really is Christmas time! Ever since I started collecting six years ago, Sp...
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Upcoming figures from Alter, MegaHouse
It's late fall so you know what that means: MegaHobby Expo time! I'm always hyped to see what kind of new stuff is coming soon (or in Alter's case, much later). Let this be a reminder for all of you to start saving up! Here's...

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A chance to save
Matty Collector started its Black Friday & Cyber Monday celebration on Wednesday, with a 40% off sale on an array of older items and -- to top it off -- free shipping on all orders. While the savings are slightly less tha...

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Who doesn't love a sale?
Long-time readers probably know that, while I'm a fan of the Marvel Legends line, the price hikes over the years have been insane. Back when Hasbro re-launched the line, the figures were about US$13 but since then the MSRP ha...

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Snow Miku 2017

Kahotan shows off the 2017 Snow Mikus


Dubbed "Twinkle Snow"
Nov 22
// Tianxiao Ma
It's that time of the year when we check out the latest Snow Miku design and melt from the cuteness! Or maybe that's just my heater cranked way up. Kahotan's blog has previews up for both the figma and Nendoroid versions of n...
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Say Alola to the Alola region
The long-anticipated release of Pokemon Sun & Moon is finally upon us! As Pokemon trainers get ready to visit the Alola region, some fans may want a less-digital version of some of the new Pokemon for their shelves. Thank...

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Zombiemonkie

Answer the Call of Cthulhu at DesignerCon this weekend


Feeling Lovecrafty
Nov 16
// Tianxiao Ma
Another Halloween has passed and artist Mikie Graham is bringing more creepy goodness to DesignerCon this year. At the show (November 19-20 in Pasadena), he'll be debuting the new Dagon Cultist figurine. Based on the works of...
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The pony doctor is in
Whether you're into cartoon ponies or cartoon versions of superheroines, Diamond Select Toys has you covered. DST recently released three new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic vinyl banks alongside a DCAU Hawkgirl resin bus...

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Kinky... I think?
Are you excited for the new Logan movie? If so, you may be happy to learn that Funko is commemorating the film with 3 new Pop! figures. If not, well... you can still look forward to 3 new Wolverine-themed Pop! figures. The li...

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Iron Giants may be less giant
November is a BIG month for Diamond Select Toys, as the company has started taking pre-orders for some very big collectibles. (Figurative big, not literal big. They're normal-sized!) This includes a DC Gallery DCAU Poison Ivy...

Funko's Pop! line is about to get Stranger.... Things

Nov 04 // Scarecroodle
Full press release: (Spoilers) Funko is bringing the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things to collectors and fans in 2017! Coming in early next year, fans of this amazing show will be able to take home Pop! vinyl versions of their favorite characters, including Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, Barb, and, of course, the terrifying Demogorgon from the Upside Down! In September, Funko posted two concept images of Eleven and Barb in an effort to gauge the interest of fans and customers. The images - which were shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - resulted in a huge amount of interest from fans around the world with everyone saying one thing: “When can we get these?!” “Bringing Stranger Things to Funko is symbolic of our connection to our customers as mutual fans of pop culture”, said Mark Robben, Funko’s Director of Marketing. “We feel grateful for the privilege to create our version of these wonderful characters, but we never forget it starts with the collectors. These figures would not have been possible without every single share, like, and comment from you. Friends don't lie.” The Stranger Things figures are available for pre-order now and should hit retail shelves in early 2017 with an MSRP of $9.99 USD. Pop! vinyl figures are sculpted vinyl collectibles, approximately 3-4” inches high and packaged in a windowed display box.
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Spoilers?
Have you seen Netflix's hit original show Stranger Things? If so, don't tell me anything because it's still on my queue! Funko, however, hasn't just seen the show, but they've also gone ahead and created a wave of Television ...

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Volks breaks away from making Idol dolls to make... a Different Idol Doll!


Music is... something...
Nov 03
// Chris Seto
Well, this was a bit of a surprise! While taking a break from bombarding us with Idolm@ster Dollfie Dreams (a lot of them don't look great but that Anastacia is really impressive!) to give people a sneak peek at what may be t...
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Are you as X-tastic as I am?
Funko has released images and details for a number of X-Men collectibles including the first-ever dedicated Mystery Minis series, additional Pop!s, and some new Dorbz. Obviously the show-stoppers here is the incredible-lookin...

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.
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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...

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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
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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...

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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...
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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?

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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...


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