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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 ...

figma Samus Aran photo
figma Samus Aran

Samus Aran sheds her suit for her newest figma

Now up for pre-order
Jun 14
// Tianxiao Ma
The ever-popular Samus Aran has already gotten the figma treatment, but this time around she'll be shedding that bulky suit. This is the Metroid: Other M version of Samus. I haven't played the game but it seems like we're tra...

First 4 Figures returns to basics with their next foray into the Metroid Series

With a price tag to match its size!
May 10
// Chris Seto
First 4 Figures have released some pretty amazing figures of Samus Aran from Metroid over the past 8 years. Their first being the Varia Suit release back in 2008. and now, they have decided to revisit the iconic powered suit ...
Amiibo photo

Amiibo gets its first crazy auction buy with US$2,500 Samus

Time to sell that figure with two left feet you hate
Dec 05
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Some people say factory error figures are worthless. Be it a figure with screwy paint apps, the wrong backer card, or only one leg, the general consensus is that they're a nice novelty, but worth less than a normal carded fig...

SDCC 2014: J*RYU talks about the Hatchling

Aug 07 // Pedro Cortes
Photo credits VampyBitMe's Zero Suit Samus cosplay photo: Elysium EntertainmentFull-sized Hatchling: Brian's NYCC 2013 story 
SDCC photo
Now in handy pendant size!
At the end of last year, the Tomopop editors voted VampyBitMe and J*RYU's Hatchling as best designer figure of 2013. No surprise, as it still is an amazing work of art that just about any game would love to have on their she...

figma Samus photo
figma Samus

Who's got one thumb and getting her third figma release?

This Samus Aran, that's who
Jun 06
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Still haven't gotten your hands on Max Factory's figma Samus Aran even after it was reissued last year? Maybe you're feeling a little regretful that you don't have one to go with all of the great Nintendo figures coming out o...
WonFes 2014 Winter photo
WonFes 2014 Winter

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Planned figma and Nendoroids

You just have to identify them all
Feb 08
// Andres Cerrato
If you're tuned in here, you just want to know what Good Smile Company and its army of subsidiaries have ready for you to start pre-ordering and drooling over. They've decided to make things a bit easier and just gone ahead a...
J*RYU's Metroid photo
Is there anything he can't do?
J*RYU has outdone himself. The guy's a master at sculpting, and his artwork is almost always beautiful ... but this is a new piece called The Baby that's obviously a Metroid. I mean, what else can it be? Done in collaboration...

GSC Delays photo
GSC Delays

GSC announces a raft of delays for September

Isn't this like the millionth time Bayonetta has been delayed?
Sep 17
// Martin Siggers
By now, Good Smile Company's monthly release schedule post has become a regular source of frustration as the firm announces which figures will miss their shipping dates. This month is no different, except maybe for a higher t...
#re-release photo

figma Link and figma Samus now available everywhere

Snag them from your store of choice
May 24
// Martin Siggers
Ever since Link and Samus popped up for pre-orders at Big Bad Toy Store we've been wondering why they haven't appeared on other sites. Wonder no more however as all the big hitters now have the pair up for pre-order. We've go...

[UPDATED] Max Factory's Zero Suit Samus may be back, too

Re-release may be coming this winter
May 06
// Brian Szabelski
[Update: Pre-orders have also opened at Anime Island, making it look pretty likely this re-issue is legitimate. Link added below] Martin already posted about the figma Link and Samus news earlier today, but they're ...
You can pick it up from eBay if you have the money
You probably remember seeing Chris' review of figma Samus Aran, and if you did, you probably were wondering what could have been done to make her a bit better. Well, Jin Saotome has you covered; he's put together a new f...


Pixel Samus is ready for your cuddles

Check out this awesome handmade Samus on sale now
Nov 28
// Kristina Pino
The lovely folks at Geeks Are Sexy are great at spotting (or in this case, receiving from rad readers) cool stuff I want to throw my money at. The latest in such things is this adorable handmade Samus mini amigurumi (4 inches...

Tomopop Review: figma Samus Aran

Nov 07 // Chris Seto
Figure Name: Figma Samus AranFigure Maker: Max FactoryRetail Value: ¥3,600Available at: Big Bad Toy Store | ToyWiz Given that the whole metroid series revolves around one character who doesn't really change much in appearance throughout the game, it's perhaps no surprise that the release of figma Samus is a somewhat bare bones release, with almost everything in the box easily visible from the box window with space to spare! Samus herself actually comes off as rather large for a figma and she stands over almost all other releases. On the back, we get an assortment of shots which detail the figure and some of the poses she is capable of. As expected, Max Factory decided to go with the Varia Suit design, which is the closest thing the Metroid series has to an iconic design for its main character, being present in almost every game to feature our bounty hunter since Super Metroid (and you could make a convincing argument that it was also the suit in the first two Metroid games as well). I would have preferred the basic armour, but that may have been more difficult due to little details in the design, such as Samus' logo on her chest. It's also not quite as recognizable for people not familiar with the core series. And here's her back. The red thruster pack actually pokes out quite a bit but you never notice it from the front because the shoulders are so broad, they mask the parts. Speaking of broad shoulders, I still have yet to figure out how Samus actually fits into this suit of hers! With the arms positioned where they are, she must have a ridiculously large chest with dainty hips to get the figure required for this armour to make sense!! One of those mysteries of the game ... Back to the figma: there's plenty of give and movement in the joints to do a number of dynamic poses with little effort, especially where the hips and shoulders are involved. Also, as something inherited from Metroid: Other M (which is where the main design choices for this figma and the Zero Suit Samus come from), there's a really strong metallic gloss look to the whole thing. Personally, I'm not a fan, but I'm sure people out there will prefer the look just as others may agree with me. The release also gives a very small number of interchangeable hands along with the closed fist which is on Samus as standard, including one very peculiar entry ... One of the hands leaves an opening which one would expect to be used to hold some kind of accessory but there's nothing for this particular figma to hold onto. The larger hand size also means that many accessories from other figmas won't fit into it either, leaving this part as a bit of a lame duck. Unless there are plans to release a separate set of accessories, possibly Super Smash Bros. related, but that's all speculation at this point. It'll be interesting to see if figma Link uses the same size holes for his accessories. Another accessory provided with the figma is an expanded barrel for her gun arm, which represents the missile launcher mode in the games. You simply pull the gun barrel tip off and replace it with the missile one. Pretty seamless and the parts stay in really well too! The wide range of movement enabled by the joints allow you to recreate a variety of poses from the various powerups in the game, like the horizontal space jump here! Or the pose which everyone probably remembers as the pose used for the poster for the first Iron Man film! The remaining two accessories provided are for the gun. Effect parts for firing the gun in either a single shot ... Or double shot configuration. Curiously, although you can also put the effect parts on the missile barrel, there's no extra part for firing a missile. A bit of a missed opportunity there ... One last addition is a copy of the Morph Ball, arguably the most famous powerup in the metroid series. A small hole is placed around the indented area to allow you to connect the morph ball to a figma stand as seen above. It's not essential, as the ball will remain stationary on its own, but if you knock it, it will roll about. The base connection will prevent that. Having said that, I don't think many people will have the morph ball on display on its own anyway. And finally, although it's not included with the figma, the baby Metroid which was provided with the Zero Suit Samus figure can be used with the figma. In fact, as I stated in the Zero Suit Samus review, the Metroid seems to fit the figma better, scale-wise at least. For the most part, there are no real issues with figma Samus, although there is one thing which a little off-putting ... In order to fit the huge shoulderpads and maintain a decent level of poseability, there are massive gaps between the arms and the main body. You can hide them pretty well if you're aware of them from the start but, on occasion, they really do show and it leaves it almost looking like the arms are detached from the body. Overall, there's not much to say about this figma release. It does everything you would expect it to. Nothing more, nothing less. The dearth of accessories is a bit of a shame but not a dealbreaker. Metroid fans are sure to appreciate an easily obtained figure of the heroine from their beloved series and she comes easy to recommend. Buyers won't find themselves short changed in the slightest, but at the same time I can't help but feel that Samus won't be on the top of the more casual buyers list. If you're not a fan of Metroid or a die-hard figma collector, there's not really anything in this package which will make it stand out from the plethora of other figmas out there or soon to be released. And remember, Metroid is nowhere near as popular as, say, The Legend of Zelda! However, if you belong in one of the groups above, then it's an easy sale! Mission accomplished. See you next mission!!
Suited and booted
Kept you waiting, huh? If you're like me, the original announcement of figures from Nintendo series caught you off-guard. It's more common now, since we're waiting on the release of Link from the Legend of Zelda and we've rec...

Tomopop Review: Max Factory's Zero Suit Samus Aran

Sep 11 // Chris Seto
Figure Name: Zero Suit Samus AranFigure Maker: Max FactoryRetail Value: ¥7,429Available at: Amiami Aside from the lack of popularity in Japan, there's another issue regarding any figure of the star bounty hunter. Aside from her armour, which has stayed very similar in it's base state and her Varia Suit, which is pretty much how everyone recognises her, there's no solid design on how Samus looks without her armour! Her look changes with each game, which makes it a little hard to decide on her design. In the end Max Factory went with the design which appears the most, the Zero Suit. First introduced in the GBA game Metroid: Zero Mission, it has appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and also the most recent addition in the series, Metroid: Other M. It's from this game where most of the cues are taken. The box is pretty much designed to show off the figure as much as possible without actually needing to take her out of the box! There's an obligatory window to view inside for those curious, but there are plenty of shots on the front and sides showing off Samus in her blue glory! As for the back, we get a few other angles, including an all important back shot and a bit of the extra item provided with the figure, a Metroid! Almost makes you wonder if one needs to take her out of the box! Once you do, you can get down to business. The pose chosen for this rendition of Samus is one which exudes sexuality and confidence, which is rather ironic in both cases as we mostly see Samus in her armour and in that form, she's as asexual as they come. Just try to make the figma look feminine!! No wonder the reveal at the end of the first game was such a shock!! As for the confidence side, remember that this figure is based off her design in Metroid: Other M, a game which reduced Samus to a screaming wreck when she encountered an enemy which she has defeated THREE times in previous games, and at least twice canonically!! You'd think that she'd be able to stand up to said enemy by now! But I digress ... The Zero Suit design itself is very simple and leaves little to the imagination. It's a skintight metallic blue jumpsuit with no visible seams and has her armour appear over it when called for. That doesn't leave much leeway for any additional details, but the figure does well with what it has to work with. For the face, Other M moved away from the more western look which Samus has sported in older games (Metroid Prime, for example) and moved it more towards a more Japanese/anime look. Her bangs have also been shortened, and the beauty mark is a recent addition to her design. Her expression is one of an ice queen. Giving away pretty much nothing and showing little emotion, kind of what you would expect from the main character of the Metroid games! Even though her hair is tightly bundled, her sculpt does allow for a little bit of movement. Her ponytail looks like it's being blown in a breeze, which compliments the pose rather well! One nifty little thing about the facial design is that, provided you're facing her directly, Samus will always look at you, even if you're looking down. It gives her quite the cool scowl, don't you think? Time for the chauvinistic pig in me to come out for a bit, but given that Team Ninja was involved with the development of Metroid: Other M, You'd think that Samus would be better ... endowed, considering their track record. Here, she seems positively modest! Guess they focused on her behind more ... What do you guys think? In her Zero Suit, Samus only has access to a single weapon, her paralyser gun. The gun itself reminds me of a cross between the original GunCon controller for the PS1 light gun games and the Lawgiver pistol seen in the 1995 Judge Dredd film. This one only comes with non-lethal ordinance though. It looks sufficiently robust and simple yet retains a certain sci-fi feel to it. Looking at her back, we can see the distinct pink markings which have something to do with her armour. At least that's what the cutscenes in the game imply. You can also see the holster for the paralyser gun. Where did she hide that anyway? Surely it can't fit inside her Varia Suit? The markings also appear on her left hand and breast. I can only assume that the right hand doesn't get a mark because that's where the gun goes! That, and a lot of the technology in Metroid is never explained. How does that morph ball actually work?? One other thing of note when you look at the figure is that Samus has really REALLY long legs!! Like, Bayonetta long! You don't notice it so much when you look at her from the front but from the side, those proportions don't quite look right! And, if you ever forget, the base gives you a prominent reminder as to which game the design is based from. But Samus isn't the only occupant of the package; you also get a mature larval Metroid! These are the most common ones you encounter in the game and make for a nice little addition to the package. The design sticks very closely to what one expects to see from a Metroid. There are 3 nuclei at the top which are surrounded by a translucent membrane. Max Factory did a good job of making the membrane and they also gave it a little green tinge to give it a more organic feel. If you look closely, you can also see some veins painted on the membrane as well! And, of course, they put in the accursed mandibles which latch onto Samus tightly while it proceeds to suck your life away! Overall, the Metroid is a very impressive addition but there's one thing which stands out ... Despite the fact that the metroid comes with Zero Suit Samus, the size of the Metroid seems to fit the figma more! You can see that it quite comfortably wraps around the figma head similar to what you'd expect in the game ... But it doesn't work so well with Zero Suit Samus! As it stands, Zero Suit Samus is a figure which isn't really a must buy, yet would be a welcome addition to fans of the series, assuming you can get past any stigma you might hold against Metroid: Other M. Samus lacks a dynamic pose, or lots of little details, but she is very well made and even without her armour, you can still see the elements of her character which have made her so endearing. It's pretty hard to design a figure when the base model has fluctuated as much as Samus has over the years, but Max Factory did pretty well! The really hardcore fans might lament how the figure seems to be adding more sexuality into her character design, but Nintendo has been doing that for ages now. Max Factory is simply towing the line. In any case, she's still the stoic, (mostly) silent, power suit wearing, kick-ass bounty hunter she has been since I first controlled her in Super Metroid (I played the first 2 games much later) and the fact that she even has a figure to call her own is a small miracle in itself. We'll just have to wait and see if this is a one-off or if the trend will continue. Acquisition rate: 100% See you next mission!
Aran what you'd expect
Hurrah for globalisation! With figure companies now noticing the size of the markets outside of Japan, we have started to get figures which are distinctly aimed for western buyers. The Bishoujo figures from Kotobukiya are a g...


Figma Samus is out, there's already a custom Gravity Suit

Jul 09
// Andres Cerrato
Japan saw the much-anticipated release of figma Samus Aran over the weekend and they work rather quick when it comes to customs. This was a rather simple custom as it's just a quick paint job, but it's only been two days. Thi...

Ok, I'm not going to lie. I may not be any good at the Metroid games, you know, like, at all, but I still just absolutely love Samus Aran. When I was little, it was nice to have an awesome blonde girl, who was not only a frea...


Here's more on Samus' figures at Comiket 81

Dec 29
// Andres Cerrato
2012 is going to be an exciting year for us. We let the cat out of the bag with the pair of new Metroid releases, Max Factory bringing us a figma of Samus Aran in the Other M armor while Good Smile is putting their sculptors ...

Max Factory and Gift preview their Comiket 81 products

Dec 29
// Jonathan Tubbs
With the end of the year coming, a lot of businesses are posting their last entry for 2011 with either a good bye message or just a simple notice of being closed. The Max Factory blog decided to do something better. After a b...

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