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Tony Taka

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...

Kotobukiya Freesia photo
Kotobukiya Freesia

Fressia will be Kotobukiya's next Tony heroine


Following in the footsteps of Daisy and Annabel
Feb 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I'm always happy to see nice original character designs, though it's arguable how original this Freesia design is. She's the third in a similar series of designs for Kotobukiya's Tony Heroines Collection after Daisy and Annab...
Kotobukiya Xiao Mei photo
Akiba Hobby has a preview gallery up
Got the sneaking suspicion that Kotobukiya has already made a Xiao Mei? Well you'd be correct. But why let a good design go to waste? Kotobukiya will soon be releasing another variant of Shining Blade's Xiao Mei, this time pa...

Kotobukiya Annabel photo
Kotobukiya Annabel

Tony Taka has another lovely fairy design in the works


Fairy Garden Annabel up for pre-order
Sep 25
// Tianxiao Ma
Because every brunette must have a blonde counterpart, Kotobukiya will be releasing another butterfly/fairy-themed Tony Taka heroine. "Fairy Garden" Annabel will join "Peace Keeper" Daisy, released a while ago, in Koto's Tony...

Max Factory Misty photo
Max Factory Misty

Max Factory shows they understand swimsuit figures with Misty


Also shows they understand the "sexy women" thing in general
Jul 15
// Tianxiao Ma
Max Factory has shown a proclivity for making figures of sexy ladies recently, and this swimsuit version of Misty from Shining Hearts has caught my eye. I find most swimsuit figures to be boring, but this one appeals to ...
Shining series photo
Shining series

Another month, another batch of Shining figures


Arcadia's Roselinde and Griffon's Sakuya
May 01
// Tianxiao Ma
It feels like Tony Taka's Shining series designs are everywhere, so it's only natural that they show up in this month's magazine scans as well. I haven't gotten sick of them, but I also haven't ordered any Shining figures in ...
Skytube Nozomi Watase photo
Skytube's Nozomi Watase 1/6-scale figure
Figure blogger Danny Choo is treating us to a preview of Skytube's Nozomi Watase, a Tony Taka-designed maid from the Genmukan hentai anime and game franchise. I've seen the original Genmukan's treatment of Nozomi, and let's j...

Kotobukiya Kilmaria photo
Kotobukiya Kilmaria

No Ark, only guns for Kotobukiya's Kilmaria Aideen


The dual-wielding exorcist arrives
Mar 01
// Tianxiao Ma
Kotobukiya continues churning out Tony's heroines, this time with a sculpt of Shining Ark's Kilmaria Aideen. I have to say, dresses are in this year. Are you making a figure? Put it in a sweet dress! Kilmaria looks ready for ...

Tomopop Review: Alphamax's Velvet Batrass

Feb 25 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Velvet BatrassFigure Maker: AlphamaxRetail Price: ¥9,800Available At: HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | Plamoya | Big Bad Toy Store Velvet is a character from Shining Ark, one of many games bearing Tony Taka's character designs. She's leaning toward the ecchi side of things with her skimpy, but undeniably, pirate-oriented outfit. The figure is 1/8-scale but the box is pretty huge. Most of it is empty space, though the package does come with a sizable round base. Assembly is straightforward: just match up the pegs on the base to the treasure chest, set Velvet on top, and attach her foot to its corresponding peg. The top part of the chest does detach, letting you fill it up with whatever. Although I love the softness of Velvet's face and her bright blue eyes, she does have a bit of the Alphamax vacant expression going on. Depending on the viewing angle, she can look neutral, smug, or slightly amused. I think it's all in that tilt of the head. The color cues around her face are very important as Velvet's outfit is not very colorful. The splash of blue and pink are great accents. Velvet is posed so that she's giving you a peek at her butt. Hey, I'm not complaining. For a more casual look, you can display her without the hat. She loses a bit of pirate flair though. For an even more casual look, you can cast off the skirt (which is barely there to begin with). The figure separates at the waist, and the connection is well hidden by her bikini bottom. Without the skirt, her left hand looks a bit awkward. It makes you wonder what she's doing with it... I paid particularly close attention to the fit and finish of this figure as I had never owned anything from Alphamax before. At least with Velvet, there's no cause for concern. The paint job was very clean and I didn't see any problems with the build quality. Due to the design of the skirt, it can get in the way of sitting. Velvet's right hand sometimes won't come down flush with the surface she's resting on. If this happens, her skirt piece is flexible enough to be pushed up the torso, letting her right hand come down. The base adds a lot of flavor to the set. I'm very glad it wasn't a plain circular disc. Its wood finish goes a long way to make this figure stand out, and the treasure chest is just a great prop. My one real complaint about this figure is that Velvet's foot doesn't hold to the base very securely, so there's a possibility of her falling over. I recommend caution while moving her. If you don't like the base, you can always have her sit on something else! This was a tough shot to get because she doesn't balance on figmas very well. There you have it: my first Alphamax figure! Apart from the issue with the foot peg, the build quality is reassuring. Mostly it's the design that appeals to me. Alphamax has a number of scantily clad females but Velvet has a unique look. So if you dig bikini-clad pirate girls, this figure's perfect for you!
Alphamax Velvet photo
Enticing booty
I really like the sexy pirate trope, which seems more prevalent in Japanese properties than in the West. When thinking of pirate figures, Mouretsu Pirates' Marika and Queen's Blade's Liliana spring to mind. Alphamax's Ve...

Tomopop LinkUP: Art is a blast!

Jan 16 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
New papercraft site Urban Paper Collective has now launched. They describe themselves as an "international group of friends who share a passion for the design of papertoys of all sizes." The new site will be offering exclusive, free monthly papertoys right on the site as well as paper news, tips, and collaborations between artists. You can read bios for the artists and see examples of their work at the previous link. The first free toy is the above UPC Badger which has been followed by the first monthly exclusive: 1401: Clown. Akiba Hobby has updated again with a new gallery. This time featuring Beach Queens Wakaba Saegusa from Vividred Operation. She's pretty standard as these figures go, but doesn't look bad, just feels like she's missing something. AmiAmi has posted a two part interview with popular artist and character designer Tony Taka at his Albion Works studio. You probably couldn't pick him out of a crowd, but his figures are easily recognized. He discusses quite a bit in the two interviews, but I'm more of a sucker for looking at people's collections so I'm mostly in it for the extensive gallery found at the links. Biggest surprise for me: AmiAmi makes display cases? Good Smile Company once again gathered up all of their new Wooser merch for another look. included are a variety of plushies, oversized talking pens, and the headphone jack dust plugs. What better way is there to celebrate the new season of the anime (which is awesome)? Kahotan put together a gallery for their latest Nendoroid addition to their Little Busters series: Komari Kamikita. She's an adorable looking figure with lots of added parts including sitting legs and some snacks. Kud has some stiff competition coming when it comes to cuteness. Tailgrab's Aka posted a gallery for his recently purchased Dollfie Dream Kuonji Alice. The darkness and shadows are a really great match for her pale skin and dark hair and eyes! Which artist from the designer toy scene did Smithsonian Magazine just tap for an interview? Why none other than modeler Jason Freeny of course! He calls the interview one of his greatest honors and you can tell they did their homework. Emilio Garcia's latest brain-themed designer piece is the green Brainade. This piece is being sold via a lottery system with more info at the link. Talk about mind-blowing! Kixkillradio is keeping a bunch of figures warm under their own little kotatsu (Japanese heated table). There are two galleries, one for Cu-Poche and one for Nendoroids. They sure do look toasty under there! Tentacle Armada has posted two new relatively SFW gallery reviews. First up is Mary Stuart from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II. Second up is Tony Taka's Daisy figure which looks amazing under natural light! Reflective Boundary did a really nice photo gallery for Vertex's Noel Vermilion from BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma. Sometimes all you need is pictures because words just slow you down. Lastly, our own Tian here at Tomopop helps me out a lot every week by pointing out the really cool fan galleries I post every week. He's got a 2013 year-in-review over on his website Makigumo that's worth checking out alongside his other reviews and galleries. If you like this stuff go on over there and make his hit counter move a little. That's all for this week. I look forward to seeing you come back next week for another Tomopop LinkUP!
Tomopop LinkUP photo
A good week for the creative types
Hello and welcome to the latest installment of Tomopop LinkUP! I hope people enjoyed the special Transformers edition of LinkUP I did last week, but now we're back to our regular routine. There's been a lot of stuff happening...

Preview Shannon photo
Very shiny!
It's been a little over a month since pre-orders opened for Griffon's Shannon. Much to our surprise, she was due to be released at the end of January, which is a pretty short production cycle for any figurine. Still Akibahobb...

Kotobukiya Seraphim photo
Kotobukiya Seraphim

MegaHobby Expo: Autumn - A seraphim descends upon us


Continuing the conga line of identities this character has assumed
Nov 30
// Tianxiao Ma
Shining Ark's Sakuya seems to be a busy lady, as she's assumed a wide variety of forms throughout the series. This latest prototype by Kotobukiya has her in her Seraphim form, which is just beautiful. I'm a big fan of angel g...
Preview Daisy photo
I love her eyes and her smile!
I, like many collectors wanted to buy Tony Taka's Daisy as soon as I saw the first unpainted prototype photos of her. Soon after some painted photos showed up on Kotobukiya's blog, then she became available for...

Alphamax Viola photo
Alphamax Viola

Voila, Alphamax's Viola unveiled


Seen at Miyazawa Model Exhibition
Nov 12
// Tianxiao Ma
Tony Taka's character designs have been the subject of more than a few figures lately, especially if they're from the Shining series of games. At Miyazawa Model Expo, Alphamax revealed a sculpt of Shining Ark's Viola. You mig...
Shining Hearts photo
Shining swimsuit girl is up for pre-order now
[Update: Pre-orders are ready to go!] We saw her hanging out at WonFes but now the figma blog is here to give us a much more in-depth look at Max Factory's 1/7 swimsuit version of Melty from Shining Hearts.  The big take...

Swimsuit Nellis photo
Swimsuit Nellis

New scans show off Kotobukiya's swimsuit Neris


Latest Tony Taka lady to be ready for the beach
Sep 24
// Brian Szabelski
Kotobukiya did a pretty Neris figure back in 2011, but they're back and making a splash with an upcoming swimsuit Neris figure. Swimsuit puns aside, this is yet another Tony Taka swimsuit figure from Koto, and one that featur...
Alphamax Velvet photo
Alphamax Velvet

Alphamax's Velvet is a treasure indeed


You love you lose
Aug 23
// Tianxiao Ma
The Shining series has its share of lovely Tony Taka designs, but I can't recall one quite so lovely as Shining Ark's Velvet. This is not the forest-dwelling bastard princess of Odin Sphere, but they certainly have a similar ...
 photo

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Kotobukiya Part 3


Everything else!
Jul 29
// Martin Siggers
There's still more! Kotobukiya's booth was also loaded with stuff that had been previously announced but hadn't been seen 'in the wild' before, so it's our first chance to look over some upcoming releases. For me the highligh...
Wonder Festival photo
Wonder Festival

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Kotobukiya Part 1


Monogatari, Muv-Luv and more!
Jul 29
// Martin Siggers
Kotobukiya are a company in fine fettle and that was reflected in their booth, with a vast array of figures spread out across a variety of different ranges, franchises and styles.  The biggest news out of the booth was p...
Max Factory photo
Max Factory

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Max Factory


Lots of stuff, lots of it good.
Jul 29
// Martin Siggers
Max Factory didn't bring an army of figures to WonFes this time round, but what they did bring was pretty killer. We've already seen their (highly spoileriffic) take on Kirino Kousaka, but there's a lot more to catch the eye....
Tony Taka figures photo
Tony Taka figures

Tony Taka's girls take the spotlight in latest scans


New figures from Alpha Max, Max Factory, Kotobukiya
Jun 23
// Brian Szabelski
If you like Tony Taka figures, then boy, this month's scans are a treat for you with a trio of ladies. One of the three we've seen before: Kotobukiya's Daisy-chan, joining the Tony's Heroine Collection as a 1/6-scale figure. ...
Tony Taka figures photo
Tony Taka figures

[NSFW] Alpha Max shows off a pair of Tony Taka figures


Designed by Tony, not figures of Tony himself
May 24
// Tianxiao Ma
I appreciate original character designs, and Tony Taka is pretty good at creating them. Alpha Max showed two of them in this month's magazine scans. The unpainted one is Iris Harley from the game Valhellio. Judging by the sou...
 photo
So much cuteness and a shining smile
Prototype photos recently appeared of a new figure by Kotobukiya and Tony Taka. She is based on an illustration by Tony and her name is Daisy-chan "Peace Keeper". Daisy-chan will be joining Tony's Heroine Collection. She is b...

Tony Taka swimsuits! photo
Alter, Alpha Max, Kotobukiya and Max Factory each getting characters
The folks at 4Gamer and Hobby Japan recently talked with Tony Taka in an interview, and as part of the piece, revealed Tony's next big project: the Shining series Swimsuit Series Project. The main idea of the project seems to...

 photo

Miyazawa Model Expo 31: Clayz


Clayz does cute and sexy all in one display.
Apr 10
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Clayz is slowly working their way through the Zodiac in the cutest way possible. Their original Eto Figure Series for the Resi-Carat line feature adorable SD girls in animal costumes. Back in 2011 they released the rabbit sui...
 photo
A Shining example of their work
[Update: added pre-order links -Kristina] Whatever you think of Tony Taka's work, his illustrations have been the basis for some truly stunning figures over the years, and here comes another one, this time of the ice cream th...

 photo

Kotobukiya's Elmina gets a shiny new preview


Tony face is so Tony face
Jan 15
// Tianxiao Ma
Tony Taka is well known for designing a gaggle of very similar-looking women for the Shining series. Here's Kotobukiya's take on one of his designs: Elmina Rhoderia from Shining Blade. She's glad to meet you. The figure ...
 photo

Good Smile scans has RAH Mami, swimsuit Rouna, more


Also, the next Queen's Blade Nendoroid, WORKING!! Petanko, a gorgeous Elf, and some of the same.
Oct 23
// Jonathan Tubbs
Though we've some of what Good Smile Company has to offer at the Dengeki 20th Anniversary Festival from last weekend, the latest magazine scans show that they still have some other products up their sleeve. The collaboration ...
 photo

Reserve or Regret? Import round up for May 8, 2012


May 09
// Jonathan Tubbs
After the dull day yesterday for pre-orders, today's feature brings you some worthwhile products that you'll definitely want to pre-order. Probably one to more wanted products wold have to be Good Smile Company's Nendoroid Pr...
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Good Smile displays their products for Golden Week


May 04
// Jonathan Tubbs
Golden Week has been going on now for the past week in Japan with it coming to a close this weekend. From May 3, 2012 to May 6, 2012, Good Smile Company has taken to exhibiting their current and upcoming goods at the Kotobuki...

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