To Aru series

Yukata Misaka photo
Yukata Misaka

Hop to it for FREEing's Yukata Mikoto Misaka.

Electric Orange
Nov 19
// Martin Siggers
FREEing has found big success in their recent forays into Yukata figures, and A Certain Scientific Railgun remains a perennial merchandise favourite. It's hardly surprising therefore that the two have crossed paths, with...
FREEing photo

Wonder Festival 2014 Summer: FREEing

Summer Festival at Wonder Festival
Jul 27
// Martin Siggers
FREEing definitely know a good thing when they see it, as their booth was packed with their popular range of yukata-clad ladies. It seems like paired sets are the new hotness in FREEing's world. For me the highlight here is d...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Beach Side Mikoto Misaka

Mar 19 // Martin Siggers
Figure Name: 4-Leaves Mikoto Misaka -beach side-Figure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: ¥7,600Available at: Entertainment Earth Mikoto is part of Kotobukiya's 4-Leaves line, which seems to have no connecting theme other than all the figures are pretty anime girls; hardly a standout feature. What this means is that we get this standard form box, in a rather pleasing shade of pale green. Otherwise though it's quite bland, with nothing but a logo on the sides and a single picture on the back. Maybe they're going for minimalist look, but the fact we've got so many letters and logos slapped across the front sort of kills that. Oddly enough, we're going to kick off this review by looking at Mikoto's base, as it's an unusually major part of the whole package. Out of the box, the base looks like this. It's unusually thick and heavy, and comes with this gorgeous clear plastic water effect top. The way the ripples have been moulded really makes it look like real water, and there's a big splash at the front for reasons we'll see in a bit. The party trick here is that this is actually two bases in one. The entire clear plastic section lifts away (it's the main contributor to the greater than normal weight) to reveal a sandy beach tucked away underneath. You can see here that rather than a traditional mount, Kotobukiya have opted to make Mikoto's entire supporting foot one big peg, helping with stability. Enough faffing about with the base though, let's get on to the main attraction. My first impression of Mikoto is surprise at how big she is, probably because I don't have too many figures who match the 1/7 scale on display here. She's 235mm from head to base and has a reassuringly weighty, solid feel. Plastic quality is excellent, all soft touch and smooth, and the entire thing feels like a high quality product. Kotobukiya have opted for a very unusual pose for Mikoto, leaning back with her leg 'kicking' out in front of her. I didn't have the wherewithal to photoshop in a football here but please, all submissions welcome. In all seriousness though, they pull of what might have been a very awkward look with considerable aplomb. There's a very charming (deliberate) klutziness to the pose, what with her outstretched arms and slightly wobbly stance. There's also a proper reason for this pose, which we'll go into later. Figure makers go for the 'happy but embarrassed' face all the time, and normally end up with some variation on 'creepy and entirely inappropriate'. This is one which absolutely nails it though. Mikoto looks a little sheepish sure, but she's clearly happy and enjoying herself at the same time, despite her reservations. It's a rare example of a figure face being able to convey more than just one feeling. I think Mikoto's super-cute swimsuit is a big part of the reason I like this figure as much as I do. The ruffled design helps make her look a lot more substantial than a straight bikini would, and it's also much less revealing, the slightly childish design well in keeping with her personality. It's a great colour scheme too, the white keeping things simple and clean while the polka-dots are an unusual design that adds a splash of colour, and the pink fringing is subtle but meshes well. You can also see some great hair detail. It's tough to render short-haired characters without turning their hair into big lumps of plastic. While Mikoto doesn't quite have a bob cut, her hair is short enough you can't hide behind flashy curls or twintails. Kotobukiya have done a good job layering strands and adding some depth, while also including smart little details like her hairclip. Note the beautifully painted nails on the far hand as well. The great detail continues with an adorable (and expertly painted) little bow on the swimsuit skirt. You can see here how well the frills have been modeled - they're attention grabbing and stand out, but don't look overblown or unnatural. There's some nice definition on Mikoto's stomach and overall her physique is very realistic and appropriate, without some of the gross exaggerations that pop up on scantily-clad figures. You can however see some paint transfer on her top just under her arm. One of my favourite details can be found down on the base. If you look closely, you can see the vague imprint where Mikoto's foot would have been resting before she started kicking out. It's a tiny thing, but little details like this really add charm, and a feeling of care and attention to detail to a figure. You can also see the very well hidden integration of foot, peg and base, along with some more sharp nail paint and the rough, stippled base texture which helps it resemble sand. More hair detail, this time from directly behind. I've seen versions of Mikoto that 'cheat' by giving her way less individual hair strands than this, so it's nice Kotobukiya made the effort. There's a few less than stellar details on display in this shot though - there's a noticeable 'run' through part of her hair and the bikini line around the right shoulder isn't as tight as it should be. As this rather alarming picture shows, Mikoto actually splits at the waist, though you'd never know it at first blush since the 'skirt' of her swimsuit hides any hint of a seam line. This probably varies from example to example, but on my Mikoto this joint was extremely tight and I had to use an uncomfortable level of force to separate her two halves. There's not really any good place to grip and it made disassembling her extremely awkward. This allows the removal of the skirt part of her swimsuit, which is a loose part that sits on her hips and just lifts off easily to reveal a more traditional bikini bottom in the same polka-dot pattern. It's a cool little bonus I suppose, but it's way more boring than her regular look and since she's still got the ruffles up top there's a bad clash of styles. I can't imagine why anyone would... ...oh yeah, right. Whatever floats your boat I guess. Without the skirt the seamline at the waist becomes much more apparent, although I still don't think it's particularly obvious or jarring. Let's move back to that elaborate base. The water effect part actually goes over Mikoto's foot, so you have to pass her foot through the gap in the effect, attach her to the base and then lower the effect part down on top. This is incredibly fiddly and you've got to take great care not to scratch up her leg while trying to line everything up. The payoff is this extremely cool looking illusion that her foot is actually 'submerged' in the water. I had a little trouble fitting the base snugly in with Mikoto attached, as you can tell by the slight overflow on the left hand side here. The final part supplied with Mikoto is this water jet, which plugs into the ripple on the front side of the base with three extremely well hidden friction pegs. The effect part goes along with her pose to make it look like she's kicking up the water with her feet. It's a wonderful little combination that brings a real sense of dynamic movement to the figure, and adds that final touch that really brings it to life. I had my doubts going in, but Mikoto was good enough to blow all of them away. This isn't just a great swimsuit figure, it's a great figure period, packed with care and attention to detail, beautiful and clever design and excellent craftsmanship. Kotobukiya deserve credit for managing to make a girl in a bikini not only tasteful but essential, and if she can overcome my objections, the rest of you really have no excuse not to get her. [Thanks to the guys and girls over at Entertainment Earth, who made a big splash by providing Mikoto for review]
Beach Side Mikoto photo
Making a splash
I've never particularly liked swimsuit figures.  Now, before everyone gets up in arms, this is not intended as a judgement call on those who *do* like them. That's cool! But personally, they've always made me a little un...

WonFes Cu-poche photo
An adorable gallery of old and new
Ah yes, the Cu-poche; what some might call Kotobukiya's answer to Good Smile Company's popular Nendoroid line. Whatever your take on the chibi-fied figures, Wonder Festival's Cu-poche display is sure to draw more than a few e...

Cu-Poche Mikoto photo
Cu-Poche Mikoto

Cu-Poche Mikoto Misaka bolts to pre-orders

Surely Kuroko can't be far behind?
Jan 16
// Martin Siggers
I wasn't initially a huge fan of Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche line, but they've done a great job of winning me over and I'm totally on board now. Their latest release is a looking great too as the company takes on the ever popular l...
Pre-order Last Order! photo
Pre-order Last Order!

[NSFW] Pre-order Orca Toy's 1/6th scale Last Order

Wow Japan... Never change.
Jan 09
// Jon Wills
Japan can be kind of crazy sometimes. No matter how many years pass, what they make never ceases to amuse and occasionally disturb me. Such is the case with Orca Seed's 1/6th scale Last Order, from the To-Aru series who is no...
Misaka Imouto photo
Misaka Imouto

Grab a clone of your own with Nendoroid Misaka Imouto

No Radio Noise on this announcement
Sep 18
// Martin Siggers
Good Smile has been on a roll with their A Certain Scientific Railgun Nendoroids recently, with both Mikoto Misaka and Kuroko Shirai being smart, good looking and well accessorised releases. You'd think the obvious step ...
Preview Kuroko photo
Just when I think I'm started to get bored of seeing Nendoroids looking cute and doing cute things Kahotan posted some very squee-worthy photos of Nendoroid Kuroko (last seen at Wonder Festival) messing with a Nendoroid Misak...


Nendoroid Mikoto Misaka pre-orders are live

Get that currency flowing
Jul 11
// Martin Siggers
We saw her just a few days ago, but now Tokiwadai's electric princess, Mikoto Misaka, is available for pre-ordering in painfully adorable Nendoroid form. For your ¥3,334 you'll be getting some cool effects parts and not o...
As revealed this morning by Mikatan, Good Smile Company are going back to the schoolgirl well for their next major Nendoroid release. Fear not however since it's a good one, as A Certain Scientific Railgun's Mikoto Misaka wil...

Chara-Ani Mikoto Misaka photo
Chara-Ani Mikoto Misaka

Skirts off and pre-orders on for new Mikoto Misaka figure

Don't get caught with your pants down, she's up for order now!
Jun 25
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Chara-ani is back again with a second figure from the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S anime series, this time featuring title character Mikoto Misaka in a rather compromised position. The first figure was a rather unabashed ve...
Dengeki Exclusive photo
Still exclusive though, so proxies only
Last week we got a glimpse of the latest Dengeki exclusive, a new swimsuit version of everyone's favourite electric-powered tsundere Mikoto Misaka. Details were frustratingly thin on the ground at the time but now a few more ...

But who's making it?
Dengeki gets a bunch of great exclusives and it looks like they've captured another one, as shots have leaked out showing the magazine has a new version of A Certain Scientific Railgun heroine Mikoto Misaka waiting in th...


Treasure Festa in Ariake 9: Griffon

Tons of announcements here!
May 05
// Natalie Kipper
Some big news came out of the Griffon booth at Treasure Festa in Ariake 9. The biggest of which, at least for anime fans who like to wax nostalgic, is the announcement of two Silent Möbius figures, one of Katsumi in a sw...

Griffon's Mikoto Misaka is ready for pre-orders

There's no spark here though
May 02
// Martin Siggers
Well that was fast. Barely more than a week after we confirmed her existence through scans, Griffon's version of the Certain Scientific Railgun is complete, painted and up for pre-order! Kudos to Griffon for th...
That silhouette looks sort of familiar...
With the second season of A Certain Scientific Railgun now in full swing more figures of heroine Mikoto Misaka were an inevitability and the latest scans have shown that it's going to be Griffon first off the mark. Shots...

She's ready to make a splash
She's been available for pre-orders for a while, but today Danny Choo was able to give us a much closer look at Kotobukiya's upcoming beach version of Mikoto Misaka and I dare anybody to not be absolutely charmed by what we s...

To Aru Index chibis photo
To Aru Index chibis

Chara-Ani piles on the Index with two re-releases

All the adorably shrunken Misaka you can handle
Mar 15
// Martin Siggers
With the To Aru Majutsu no Index movie packing out cinemas, it's good times for the franchise and the perfect opportunity for Chara-Ani to release an upgraded set of its Toy's Works' super deformed trading figures.  ...

Pick up this shockingly tiny Misaka

Wing - Non-scale
Mar 08
// Emily Smalara
Wing's fantastically adorable S.K. Series is expanding again with this super cute Misaka from the To Aru franchise. I'm fairly certain I've mentioned in the past that the S.K. Series line is one of my favorites when it comes ...

Scans give us another glance at AGP Misaka Imouto

I like big guns and I cannot lie
Feb 25
// Brian Szabelski
The newest batch of scans have popped up with some more photos of the upcoming Armor Projects Girl Misaka Imouto. Sporting a huge railgun, Misaka (who hails from To Aru Majutsu no Index) looks to be a static figure, as I...

Don't be embarrassed to pick up this new Bunny Misaka

FREEing - 1/4 Scale
Jan 15
// Emily Smalara
FREEing's dominance of all things bunnygirl continues with this latest from To Aru Majutsu no Index's Misaka Mikoto. While you've got a couple face options here, I've got to say I'm more fond of the slightly disconcerted vers...

Comiket 83: Gift plushes

More variety than I was expecting
Dec 30
// Natalie Kipper
Over at Comiket 83, Gift had quite a few of their poseable plushes to showcase. Some of them (Golden Darkness from To Love-ru, To Aru's Shirai Kuroko and Misaka Mikoto, and several of the Vocaloids) weren't so new a...

Index's Kaori Kanzaki bares all in this new pre-order

Penguin Parade - 1/8 Scale
Nov 28
// Emily Smalara
One of the few series in my massive backlog that I've actually managed to complete lately was the rather popular To Aru Majutsu no Index. I'd seen the first bits as they aired, but never caught up to the story until just rece...

The Toaru girls are encapsulated into the CapsuleQ series

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun gets capsule figures from Kaiyodo
Nov 20
// Jonathan Tubbs
Did you know Kaiyodo is in the capsule figure making business? Why yes! They do more than just Revoltech figures! The company has a series of Figures called the CapsuleQ Fraulein which is relatively still new with only four r...

Miyazawa Model Exhibition: Wing

Border Break, Sword Art Online, and Kangoku Gakuen are next for products distributed by Good Smile Company.
Nov 05
// Jonathan Tubbs
It seems like Wing is starting to ramp things up every ever since being taken under Good Smile Company's, well, wing. Though Sonico has had their attention a few times already, Wing is expanding into more titles for their PVC...

Furyu has more for you than the usual at Dengeki Festival

Toradora, Angel Beats!, anim.o.v.e, and Little Busters are covered by Furyu for prize figures.
Oct 22
// Jonathan Tubbs
I know you're happy to get your fill of Sword Art Online and Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb figures but certainly you're reaching your limit? If you are, luckily Furyu displayed prize figures at the Dengeki 2...

Dengeki Festival 2012: Banpresto

Oct 20 // Natalie Kipper
Presenting figures from Kyousogiga, the To Aru series, and Tales series
As you might have gathered from other posts today, another toy event is going on in Japan! This time, the event in question is Dengeki 20th Anniversary Festival. Banpresto had a display there and, while it only showed figures...


Aki no Saiten 2012: Dengeki 20th Anniversary exclusives

New versions of Aisaka Taiga and Misaka Mikoto from Kotobukiya and Wave to be at event
Oct 08
// Brian Szabelski
This weekend saw Dengeki Aki no Saiten 2012, and the fall festival had its fair share of figures. Among those in attendance were some of the exclusives Dengeki 20th Anniversary from Kotobukiya and Wave. From Kotobuk...

GSC Racing, Fate/stay Night and other Nendos in new scans

Jul 23
// Natalie Kipper
Wow, was the scan jam-packed with info or what? I mean, just look at it! Well, I guess you'd have to go to the gallery to do the whole thing, so maybe wait until after the article. Good Smile Company's Nendoroids are in focus...

Pre-order To Aru's Accelerator but you should stay clear

May 30
// Jonathan Tubbs
Accelerator from To Aru no Majutsu no Index II is an unexpected release from ALTAiR, the male line of figures by the amazing ALTER, but the more males, the better. However, let's not beat around the bush on this one. Unf...

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