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figma Gwendolyn photo
Prettiest figma yet but it'll cost you
Good Smile Company and Max Factory have officially opened pre-orders for figma Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere! If the Parfom version didn't tickle your fancy, this figma just might. Going by the promo shots, Gwendolyn is in the r...

Tomopop Review: Velvet with Cornelius by Alter

May 05 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Velvet with CorneliusFigure Maker: AlterRetail Price: ¥13,800Available at: Big Bad Toy Store  I'm going to be totally honest: I really haven't been interested in Alter's releases as of late. They used to be the gold standard of the anime figure world, but have in recent years been releasing rather boring designs. Every once in a while, though, they reach for the stars. The result is a figure that ends up selling out everywhere. Velvet (and Cornelius) is the third of Alter's Odin Sphere releases. The first was Gwendolyn which came out way back in 2008. Gwendolyn came during a time when figures really were limited collectibles, and as such became a grail figure for many. Luckily she's gotten two re-releases (the latest happening just last month). Next came Mercedes in 2010, which has also gotten a recent re-release. So now, hopefully, die-hard Odin Sphere fans can have the full set of gals. Trust me when I say, you do not want to miss out on Velvet. I collect figures to keep as mementos of stories and characters that I love (or sometimes because their butts are shiny). This one is such a memento, but it's also an extraordinary piece of craftsmanship. Its design, sculpt, detailing, and paint job are all a tier above what you'd see in an average anime figure. What's crazy is that this probably isn't even the best figure Alter has ever made. But it takes you to the old days, when you knew that if you got an Alter figure you'd be getting the best. That really says a lot about its construction. It's also surprisingly user-friendly. For a figure with two bodies in leaping poses and a swinging chain, the assembly process was way easier than expected. Velvet and Cornelius attach via metal pegs to the base. Their weapons are pretty simple to attach, with Velvet's Psypher not even needing to hook or peg into anything. In the game, Velvet has a number of mid to long range attacks owing to her weapon being attached to chains. Cornelius is a more straightforward sword fighter who uses his small size and agility. Their contrasting styles are reflected in this figure, with Velvet's chains forming sweeping arcs while Cornelius is in mid-thrust with his sword. I thought Cornelius would me more of a throw-in - maybe just a cool detail on a really elaborate base. He kind of is, but you wouldn't be wrong to call him a full-fledged figure either. You're basically getting two figures for the price of, like, one and a half. You can see the same craftsmanship and attention to detail on Cornelius as you do on Velvet. His armor looks weathered. The leather parts look like leather. His Psypher is translucent just like Velvet's. Despite Velvet being the main attraction, Alter spared no effort in properly painting and detailing Cornelius. Alter has done a remarkable service for Odin Sphere fans. Yes, other manufacturers have tackled the property from time to time. But none of them ever got as ambitious or straight-up beautiful as Alter's figures. There's just something about the way they handle the translation from 2D that's uniquely pretty. It even extends to figures from other Vanillaware titles. Velvet, like her sister figures, is a centerpiece. You can put her on a shelf and even folks who are leery of anime figures will pause and admire her. It just makes me so happy that Alter didn't go with a "standard" pose. It shows that they aren't making figures just to cash in on an upcoming game. They went all out, and the result is a magnificent love letter to the fans.
Alter Velvet photo
A homeless princess and a Tiny Toon
If you're a fan of side scrolling beat-em-ups, you owe it to yourself to try out Odin Sphere. While I enjoyed the gameplay, the thing that elevates Odin Sphere far past the typical rabble of its genre is its artistry. It's kn...

Tomopop Review: Devil Survivor 2's Hibiki Kuze Nendoroid

Jun 19 // Rio McCarthy
Figure Name: Nendoroid Hibiki Kuze from Devil Survivor 2 The AnimationFigure Manufacturer: Good Smile CompanyRetail Price: ¥3,619Available at: HobbyLink Japan  Taking a look at the box first, as per usual, we see that it's... very boring. It's a clean box with a window showing Hibiki and his accessories, but all that the box shows is a few photos of the figure itself. Granted, it does the job that a box is supposed to do, and that's what matters. Here you can see his plastic prison that houses all of his accessories. It, too, does what it's supposed to, which is a good thing. Several pieces are wrapped in thin plastic sheets for protection, which I always welcome. Ah! Here he is out of all of that nasty plastic garbage! He seems to be enjoying himself out by the rocks. Granted... *cough* I probably would too if I were a Nendoroid and had that big of a bulge. HELLO Hibiki. Moving past that, I'm glad that they were able to get the Shin Megami Tensei style across while putting him into a chibi form. Oh, look! It's such a nice day out, he thought he'd stop and smell the roses. ...But then he put on the bunny hood and tried to sing it a death metal ballad or something. I'm not sure how the flowers felt about that, but hopefully he's having fun. As you might have noticed in the previous picture as well, his hood doesn't exactly stay pushed together that well on my copy of the figure. In fact, everything seemed really loose. The arms and legs would stay in their positions you put them in, but if you barely touched them it seemed like everything wanted to fall off. I'm really hoping that this is just mine, and not a mass release issue with everything being so loosey goosey, but who knows. My favorite thing is the fact that he comes with a white tiger, which is my favorite animal. However! This isn't just ANY white tiger, this is Byakko, one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese Constellation. You have to admit, that's pretty badass, no matter what way you look at it. He's not super detailed, but he's an adorable chibi white tiger who could kick your butt. What else could you ask for? I seriously love his angry/serious yelling face. However what I don't love is the jagged edges, and weird scratches inside and on the blue effect piece that goes on Hibiki's arm. To put it on, you pull off the hand, and put it between the hand and the arm, as if he were wearing a bracelet. Switching out his leg to look like he's running or jumping is pretty neat too, however those seam lines look like his legs were severed at the upper thigh. It's especially noticeable with how it doesn't line up at all with his right leg.  His cell phone actually looks really nice, and he, thankfully, can hold onto it relatively well. However, it IS really small, so I'd be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't come up missing. The stand does hold him up pretty well when he's not being contrary, so at least you don't have to worry about that being loose. Byakko just stands beside him on the base, or wherever you'd like to put him since he doesn't require a base to stand on. Actually you can see where I had a problem. I actually forgot to put the bunny hood back on around his neck! When you remove his head you just put the necklace-like bunny hood on before you put the head back down. After remembering to put the hood back on, this is how I'll most likely display him. I'm generally a fan of Nendoroids, but this one has had more problems than I usually find with them. I can't say it's a release-wide issue, but I know how loose the pieces were for my copy, and I can only say I hope they're not all like that. I've also seen them do much better with effect pieces, so if you get a chance, you might look at the figure in person first before purchasing if you can. If not, at least he's not the most expensive one out there, so it's at the very least worth the gamble for sure. [ A huge thank you to HobbyLink Japan for providing us with this review sample! ]
Review Hibiki Nendoroid photo
Grab your bunny hood and let's get ready for battle
"Everybody's weak. That's why we rely on others. We live by helping one another. We can say, we need one another. I've been able to survive because I have you and the others."— Hibiki Kuze, Devil Survivor 2 The Animati...

Dragon's Crown photo
Dragon's Crown

Preview gallery of Megahouse's Sorceress looks a bit sleepy

Support classes have it rough
May 13
// Pedro Cortes
After going up for pre-order in early March, we now have an extended gallery of Dragon's Crown's Sorceress, as envisioned by Megahouse. Big surprise, she's still rather busty and ridiculously proportioned. On top of that, she...

Dragon's Crown photo
Dragon's Crown

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Dragon's Crown

Arrow straight to the heart
Feb 12
// Pedro Cortes
The second I saw all the designs of Dragon's Crown, I knew that they'd make fantastic figures. The ridiculously busty Sorceress, the gloriously thighed Amazon and the lithe Elf were seemingly made from the ground up to have f...
D-Arts Elizabeth photo
D-Arts Elizabeth

D-Arts Elizabeth and chair are summoned this November

Might be worth it for just the chair
Jul 31
// Andres Cerrato
She got her first preview at WonFes this past weekend, but the wait won't be too long for D-Arts Elizabeth. The Persona 3 and P4A character November for ¥5,250. While that's more than the previous Persona D-Arts, accessor...
WonFes MegaHouse photo
WonFes MegaHouse

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: MegaHouse Dragon's Crown

Dragon's Crown ladies and Raidou Kuzunoha
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
JRPG fans, get excited! MegaHouse has shown off a trio of figures pulling from Atlus's Raidou Kuzunoha series of games (a spin off from the Shin Megami Tensei series) and also Vanillaware's Dragon's Crown. You can see the swa...
Nendoroid Etna pre-order photo
Nendoroid Etna pre-order

Nendoroids Etna & Flonne make a surprise for pre-orders

From the depths of hell comes Etna
Jul 24
// Andres Cerrato
Do you remember February of 2011? Odds are you don't, but that during that time over 2 years ago, a prototype for Nendoroid Etna from the popular RPG Disgaea was displayed along with Flonne. It took two plus years, but the tw...
Megahouse Amazon & Elf photo
Megahouse Amazon & Elf

Magazine scans preview Dragon's Crown Amazon & Elf

Well, that escalated quickly
Jul 23
// Andres Cerrato
You all definitely had your opinions on Alphamax's take on the ludicrously busty Sorceress of Dragon's Crown. The ludicrous won't stop there as Megahouse's entries into the series are featured in this month's magazine scans a...

Bandai's June releases are now available for pre-order

Raido, Blastoise, mecha, bug men and ultra men
Mar 01
// Andres Cerrato
The month of June is going to be quite busy for fans of Bandai's figure offerings. This weekend will be busy as well with the Tamashii Features event showcasing their newest figures, but first you'll need to order everything ...

Art Spirits Katherine comes available for pre-order

Jul 25
// Andres Cerrato
Some of you were hoping that the Art Spirits line would do a better job with Katherine than they did with Catherine. I can say that this is a bit better than Catherine, but that doesn't mean that this is necessarily a great f...

Art Storm's Catherine gets more shots, looks a bit tipsy

Jul 10
// Andres Cerrato
Catherine is a tease. The more times I see her though, I can't help but shake the feeling that she's trying too hard. In this latest image gallery, we get to see her from all sides. Thing is, she's just not doing it for me. A...

It's about to get chilly! Jack Frost Nendoroid gallery

Apr 09
// Rio McCarthy
I'm so excited for little Jack Frost to make his way to my place in June! This adorable Nendoroid has my favorite pose of a Nendo I've seen yet! That super cute sitting down pose just makes me squeal with ultimate delight. Ak...

Oh snap! Right away we get another two figmas that are must buys. We've got Chie Satonaka and Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4 joining Link at Wonder Festival. Even better, these gals are in full color and they're looking quite fi...

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