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Tomopop Review: Ques Q's Taiga Aisaka Swimsuit ver.

Oct 28 // Brian Szabelski
Plush Name: Taiga Aisaka Swimsuit ver.Plush Maker: Ques QPrice: ¥7,600Available at: HobbyLink Japan So as always, box time, right? Right. Taiga's box is a rather bright affair, with a window on the front to show off the figure and lots of bright, beach-toned colors (think sky blues and a little bit of bright yellow) on a white backdrop. I kind of like that, as it makes the box feel like an extension of the figure's beach theme without resorting to painting the whole thing like a tropical island backdrop. The sides and the back of the box are just more shots of the figure, so you're not missing a whole lot there. Let's get her out and take a closer look: Out of the box, is a fairly nice figure. She's got a pretty simple pose, just standing there with a smile on her face. She's not flirty or anything else that really deviates too much from what you'd expect to see from a character of her personality. But at the same time, that simpleness works a bit against her, because she's got no real hook for non-Taiga or non-Toradora! fans to get hyped over. This really feels like a figure that's been made for a specific group of collectors ... but that's not always a bad thing. At first glance? She looks great; her body is proportioned correctly and her measurements are exactly as they should be (her tiny bust that became a plot point for an entire episode included), and the design of her swimsuit feels like something you'd see Taiga in. It's not too revealing or sexy, yet it's got a nice bit of definition to it because of the ribbons and frill.  Taiga's face looks quite alright at a glance. The hair is sculpted just right, down to the individual bangs, and she has a clean, blemish-free appearance. Her smile seems off to me, though ... not because it's too big or poorly painted, but because it's on Taiga. How often are we used to seeing her not pouting or living out her tsundere archetype? I'm just not used to it at all, but at least it makes her look pretty. Her hairline has a seam in it ... other than for production and assembly purposes, it seems unnecessary. It also stands out quite a bit when it's in your line of sight, and it's one of my biggest complaints about the figure in general. The base is a plain white affair, with two metal pegs that slot into Taiga's feet. It's a little rough to fit them in at first, but once they're in, they feel secure and she doesn't feel like much of a leaner. Also of note is that Ques Q have sculpted out Taiga's toenails; they probably couldn't have skipped doing that since she's barefoot, but there's enough work done on them that you can make them out even when she's sitting on a shelf a few feet away. From the back, Taiga's hair is tied back at the bottom in a small ribbon, looking similar to Wave's Beach Queen. It does lack a bit in detail, feeling more like a solid blob of plastic, but even that doesn't detract too much from the overall figure. It also helps that there aren't any scuff marks, paint splotches or other defects present. Taiga's arms are well sculpted and her individual fingers are well defined; they feel proportionate to her smaller, thinner body, and her hands don't look like she's wearing flesh-colored gloves. The bracelets also hide a seamline on Taiga's left wrist ... which is probably there because the left hand had to be a separate part so the bracelets could be fitted onto her forearm. So, it's kind of a catch-22.  Taiga's head comes off, revealing an interesting peg underneath. The reason for the head being removable, though ... ... is so you can fit her translucent PVC jacket over her shoulders. That's how it sits on her; no pegs or anything, but the good news? I never felt as though the jacket would fall from her shoulders, as the fit is pretty snug. The jacket is made from a translucent plastic, giving it the appearance of a sheer fabric. While the individual folds sculpted into it look nice, it does look a bit odd for one reason: the jacket looks like it's in motion, but the figure as a whole does not. If you can imagine that Taiga's just flung this over her shoulder, then I guess it makes a little more sense. It's also worth noting that Taiga's right hand doesn't quite touch the jacket to make it look like she's holding onto it; however, that's only really a problem if you're observing her from her right side. This is the first time I've ventured out into the world of Ques Q's figures, and I leave satisfied. Not overwhelmingly hyper-satisfied, but their swimsuit Taiga is a good 1/7-scale figure. It's not Kotobukiya's Taiga, which is still the best of all her figures, but there are no issues with scratches and scuffs, paint marks, or anything that looks out of place. I don't quite know if she offers enough for non-Toradora! fans to rush out and buy her, but if you do, you should be getting a pretty solid figure all-around. And of course, if you are a Toradora! fan, you should be getting yourself this little lady for your collection! [Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for sending Taiga along for review!]
Ques Q's Swimsuit Taiga photo
Making a big splash ... or just a belly flop?
Of the many companies we cover on Tomopop, Ques Q is the one that's been eluding my collection the longest. That is, up until earlier this month, I didn't happen to own a single collectible from them (and they've made some fi...

Taiga Aisaka photo
Taiga Aisaka

Kotobukiya's Taiga returns for a second last episode

Will you take the chance to tame the tiger?
Oct 01
// Martin Siggers
I'm always thrilled when older figures get re-releases, particularly when the figures themselves are excellent. That's certainly the case here, as Kotobukiya have revealed they'll be giving collectors a second chance to grab ...

Miyazawa Model Expo 31: Vertex and Ques Q

Apr 11
// Brian Szabelski
For smaller companies, Miyazawa Model Exhibition serves as a good place to remind us what they're coming out with. Both Ques Q and Vertex did that, with Ques Q bringing its swimsuit Aisaka Taiga and school uniform Aegis....
Ques Q swimsuit Taiga photo
Ques Q swimsuit Taiga

Ques Q's Taiga proves small can be beautiful

I mean height-wise of course
Mar 15
// Martin Siggers
Like any right thinking human being I love Toradora! and it's been gratifying to see a mini-revival of Taiga figures over the past six months or so. Now it's Ques Q's turn to release this rather fetching bikini clad vers...


Wonder Festival 2013 Winter: Ques Q

This Persona and Toradora! fan is pleased
Feb 10
// Brian Szabelski
Ques Q's line-up for WonFes was in part already announced, so it wasn't surprising to see Aisaka Taiga and Aegis at their booth. What was a surprise, though, is that Persona 4's Elizabeth is joining them! The prototype sculpt...

Ques Q teases more WonFes 2013 Winter pieces

Lots of old familiar faces will return
Feb 05
// Brian Szabelski
Ques Q has put a teaser on their event blog, featuring three more figures they'll be bringing to Wonder Festival 2013 Winter this year. Though the teasers don't reveal too much, the answers are pretty darn obvious. Wait, you ...

Chibi Toro does Fate/Zero figma customs MF probably wont

figma customizer extraordinaire Chibi Toro reveals one-of-a-kind custom figures of Lancer and Berserker.
Jan 22
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
When it comes to figma customs there's nobody better at it than Japanese figma master Chibi Toro. We're talking about someone that's so dedicated to perfecting super articulated figures at this scale ...
Not surprisingly, its colorways of past releases
Ques Q have set up a website showing off their Wonder Festival 2013 Winter releases, and perhaps no surprise, they are bringing a lot of variants of past releases. First, they have grayscaled versions of their Ueda Hajime var...


Miyazawa Model Exhibition: Ques Q and others

Small lineup of collectibles
Nov 08
// Tianxiao Ma
For the sake of everybody's sanity we're grouping some of these smaller displays together. Ques Q's display included their 1/8-scale Menma, Nanoha Takamachi in a swimsuit, Taiga Aisaka in bunny outfit, and the Hajime Ueda-sty...

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...

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...

Dengeki's 20th Anniversary festival has Beach Queens

Limited edition but SO CUTE
Oct 03
// Tianxiao Ma
Wave has done a lot of Beach Queens, but these two limited edition ones for Dengeki Hobby's 20th Anniversary Festival may be my favorite ones thus far. They are, fittingly, two of ASCII Media Works' iconic characters: Toaru K...

Clayz's Palmtop Tiger is back on hand

Aug 28
// Emily Smalara
Way back in 2010 when Toradora was all the rage, Clayz jumped on the chance to capitalize on lead loli Taiga's popularity. At least, in the form of her "palmtop tiger" nickname, bringing us an angry little kitty that fits, as...

Sentinel, Ques Q and Alphamax in hobby scans

Jul 23
// Kristina Pino
Since these three companies only showed off one figure each, I decided to just lump them into one update. You know, so they wouldn't be lonely. Sentinel has come out with a prototype of their Teekee from Ex Troopers. It's goi...

Last night's pre-orders don't care if you're at SDCC

Jul 13
// Kristina Pino
The world keeps turning even though most of us are paying attention to the big event at San Diego, so here's a quick post on last night's pre-order highlights! Wave added two Beach Queens figures to their arsenal, Muginami fr...

Get your tsuntsun deredere quota with a new Taiga figure

Jul 12
// Yami Casas
Oh my goodness, this is just too adorable. It’s Tora~dorable! What can I say; I am a sucker for Taiga especially when she’s dressed in a bunny girl outfit. This tsuntsun bunny girl version of Toradora!'s leading...

Clayz's Tenori Tiger is back for more pre-ordering

Jun 15
// Brian Szabelski
Any other Toradora! fans out there might remember this tiny Tenori Tiger figure from Clayz, but they might not know he's now getting a general re-release. Originally released in 2010 as a Clayz exclusive, the re-release is op...

Tomopop Review: Nendoroid Aisaka Taiga

Feb 27 // Brian Szabelski
Figure name: Nendoroid Aisaka TaigaFigure maker: ASCII Media WorksRetail price: ¥3,334Available at: HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | ToysLogic | Otacute | Plamoya So, to begin with, Taiga's box. It's pretty much your standard Nendoroid box with some Toradora! decorations on it: front window, small side windows, photos of the figure on the back. Nothing fancy, but if you notice, she's 185a. That's because there are two alternate versions of her; one is the Dengeki limited ver. which has the smiling face and was an exclusive (185b), and there's the Last Episode ver. of her in the school uniform she was seen in at the end of the series (185c), along with an embarrassed face. You won't see either here because they were limited run exclusives and super-expensive. I might love Tagia, but she's not worth the US$100-plus I'd be paying for each of those Nendoroids. So why don't we pop her out of that box? And we have ... a Nendoroid. Nothing too spectacular about Taiga at first glance: she's about as average as any other Nendoroid, matching up in proportion. She's dressed in her regular school uniform, complete with the high socks and flat chest. Oh, and of course, she looks a bit irritated to see you. Taiga comes on the square base many new Nendoroids come on (which is apparently going to be phased out for a newer base, if Wonder Festival 2012 Winter taught us anything) and it does its basic job well. I can say that the one issue I have is the wedge part in the back doesn't quite line up with her dress, so it can sometimes feel a little loose. Taiga's face is ... well, rather pouty. She has that little frown and her eyebrows are scrunched down a little bit, giving her the look of not being pleased. It fits very well, given that she's supposed to be tsundere and all, and I don't really have any complaints, either with the sculpt or with any imperfections showing up here. As you can also see, she's got her usual bangs, sculpted to frame her face. Though you can't see it here, the usual seamline in the hair where the bangs come off for face switching is there. Taiga's uniform is a Nendo-sized version of the one seen in the anime. There's no paint issues present, and while it's not super-detailed, there's enough here to suffice. Super detailing has never really been the Nendoroid style, anyways. I also like how the bow is a separate piece not a part of the body itself, but attached. It makes the whole figure look nicer. Taiga's long, flowing hair has the usual Nendoroid sculpting in the back, with enough detailing to not seem like a giant plastic blob. It gets the job done, and I can't really complain about it, as there aren't any spots of flash or paint markings on it. Compared to most of the other Nendoroids I've played around with for reviews, Taiga is pretty poseable. She has also the normal Nendoroid joints (wrists, shoulders, waist, neck, and legs) but her hair doesn't really get in the way like with some of my other Nendoroids. That being said ... most of Taiga's accessories and her expressions don't necessarily lend themselves to being expressive with her poses. One of those accessories is her extra set of arms that has her hands resting on her hips. Combined with the default pouty face, it's an awfully tsundere look (and given Taiga is supposed to be tsundere ... it's a good thing). The arms did move a little forward as they settled while I took the pictures, but it's fixable thing. Her other set of extra arms is a set that are crossed in front of her chest, for that super-extra bit of tsundere hostility. It's a nice, cute look with a neat little trick: As you can see, her right hand is actually part of her left arm. The whole thing seals together with a little tab and slot set-up, and when placed together, everything fits together perfectly.  The final accessories are Taiga's bouken, her super hostile face and a little fellow who should look familiar, the Tenori Tiger mascot. Yes, if you never knew where my avatar came from, that's it. Taiga's extra face features the same pout, but her eyes are a bit more angry looking. Clearly, she means business, and like the other face, it does capture her personality well. It also works well with the bouken to let you know she really means business. Speaking of which ... The bouken itself is black with a wrapped handle. It sits inside a special left hand that comes with Taiga, though it's a separate piece can come free in case you wanted to try and fit something else in Taiga's holding hand. But really, why would you? The little Tenori Tiger has what looks like some rub spots on parts of him, but otherwise, it looks pretty good. I like how it's always roaring! ASCII Media Works made a good call in including the little tiger, in part because the other accessories were just too few for a Nendoroid. However, if I could have given up the Tenori Tiger for that Dengeki limited edition smiling face ... actually, no, I wouldn't consider trading for it. This little guy's gonna get a lot more use than another Nendo face. Even the tail on the back has a little pivot so you can move it around! Fun! So what would I say are my overall thoughts on Taiga? She's about what you'd expect from a Nendoroid in style, and the fact that she only comes with two faces (pouty and "poutier," so to speak) is an interesting choice, but for the normally tsundere Taiga, I think it's a choice that works. She's definitely not for every collector out there, but fans of Toradora! like myself should be rather satisfied with the regular, basic Nendoroid.  Hey, put that down. Don't pull that tsundere stuff on me, little lady- OW! ... Don't look at me like that. *rubs bump on head*

I really don't hide very well that Toradora! is one of my favorite series of the past few years. I think it's the collection of figures of Aisaka Taiga that probably give that away to folks, but what can I say? She made me la...


Wonder Festival 2012 Winter: Miscellaneous figures

Feb 15
// Brian Szabelski
Despite all our coverage of Wonder Festival 2012 Winter, there's a lot of other companies who and some figures that haven't been posted yet for one reason or another, so we're rounding some of them up right here! Notably, CM'...

Nendoroid Aisaka Taiga open for pre-order

Aug 02
// Brian Szabelski
Finally, Nendoroid Aisaka Taiga is open for pre-order! Well, at least it's the general release Taiga (because there's three of them). This Taiga comes packing her bouken, the Tenori Tiger, her normal tsundere face, an angrier...

Good Smile gives us more Nendos to choke our cash flow

Jul 23
// Pedro Cortes
There's nothing quite like new scans to make my Saturday all the brighter, especially when they are Nendoroids that I have some interest in! First up is Hoshino Ruri from Nadesico getting a rather adorable Petit. I don't real...

Here's a look at Wave's Kawashima Ami China Dress ver. figure

Jun 24
// Brian Szabelski
A few months back, I reviewed Wave/ASCII Media's China Dress Aisaka Taiga figure, and now, in the latest batch of scans, we're getting a look at a new Kawashima Ami China Dress figure! Ami's a Figure Maniacs magazine, Dengeki...

New scans show off Nendoroid Aisaka Taiga

Jun 20
// Brian Szabelski
The scans are a little bit behind this month, but while we're waiting for them to pop up, here's a little taste of what's to come. One of them has revealed the existence of a Aisaka Taiga Nendoroid! Or at least the back of he...

Kotobukiya re-releases a Taiga into the wild

Apr 14
// Hiroko Yamamura
You worked the whole season to being her tsundere demeanor down to earth. Did you think something like being sold out would keep you apart from your Taiga? Kotobukiya is re-releasing last's year's hit Toradora! figure in all ...

QuesQ's cosplaying Taiga is just purrfect

Mar 29
// Emily Smalara
I hope you'll forgive yet another pun, but can you blame me? While Toradora's Taiga might not look as tsundere as she often does throughout the show, she does look absolutely adorable in this new cosplay version figure from Q...

Wave's Beach Queen Ami Kawashima back in stock at Hobby Search

Mar 23
// Brian Szabelski
What is it with figures getting silently re-released and restocked today? Seems like there's a ton of them. But in any case, I am happy to let you guys know that Wave's Ami Kawashima Beach Queen figure (reviewed) is back in s...

Tomopop Review: Wave/ASCII Media Works' Aisaka Taiga China Dress ver.

Mar 07 // Brian Szabelski
Figure Name: Aisaka Taiga China Dress ver.Figure Maker: Wave/ASCII Media WorksRetail: ¥6,500 (US$79)Available at Dengeki Hobby exclusive To begin with, here's her box. It's got the lucky Chinese red color scheme to it, along with a Chinese-themed print on either side of the window. On the inside of the box, this pattern is mirrored in pink and white. The back of the box also shows off the figure and a few detail shots. But enough of that! Let's get her out! Here she is out of the box, standing 1/8 scale. That's automatically bigger than almost everything Wave's put out in the past, I don't know, year or so? It's also different in that it's based off an illustration (which is conveniently in the gallery for your enjoyment) instead of being a.) from the show itself or b.) just Taiga in a swimsuit or bunny costume. I do love the sculpt and pose. The pose itself is very natural and is incredibly cute, while the sculpt features everything will within proportion. My piece didn't suffer from any noticeable flaws, either, which I'm happy to report. Now the facial expression ... yes, it's not Taiga's normally tsundere and grumpy look, but for this piece, it works, especially since that's how she looks in the original illustration. The one change they did make was to remove the lipstick she was wearing, and frankly, it's a good choice. She actually looks a LOT better without it, plus it removes a potential tripping point. Detail is a word you'll see me repeat throughout this review, and that's because there's a lot of it. Even here on smaller parts like her earrings and hair ribbons, there's enough detail to keep checking out. For example, did you notice how the ribbons fade from pink to purple? The chair is nicely decorated as well, given a false painted-wood look to it. Kind of like my end tabe in my living room. But what's really nice about it are the decorations added to the back of the chair that make it look a little more authentically Chinese and ... not just a chair. And as you can see, it's very tall! The chair itself is to attached to the base, so do be careful sliding it into place! Speaking of the base, it's rather plain, really. There's a nice pattern ringing the edges of it, but besides that, it's simply there to hold the chair and Taiga into place with a peg on her right shoe. It's incredibly stable, even when I knocked the chair out from under her when I was moving her. The dress itself is white, featuring designs that appear to be painted on in pink. While, yes, on other figures, this might be cause for alarm, it kind of makes her dress look a bit like an old Chinese vase, and well ... that's actually not a terrible thing for this figure. I liked it, though you may think otherwise, and that's ok. She's also got a cool little wrist accessory on her left wrist that has a lot of detail and is eye-catching. I do have to commend Wave for not getting paint onto other parts in such a tight space, too. The same could be said for the nail polish that's on her fingers. No hair seams! In fact, her hair's pretty well sculpted. Maybe a little less on top, but you won't be noticing it since it's out of sight. As you might see a little bit, though, the buns are not part of the head and are removable because there's a part you can swap out. They're in two parts: the ribbon underneath and the bun top itself, which come off without much hassle but might be a little sticky the first time you try to remove it, so be careful! Yep, it's just her actual hair instead of the ribbons, but gosh, it's pretty. I love the way it kind of flows out like ribbons, just wrapping around her and adding a lot of life to the figure. So, final verdict? The Wave-manufactured Taiga is ... well, it's the best one anyone's actually made. Or at worst, it's tied with the Kotobukiya Last Episode ver. Taiga, though I feel like this one captures her look a tiny bit better than that one, which captures more of her personality than Wave's. The quality of the sculpt and the paint job is fantastic, and in comparing it to the source image, it looks spot on. As we mentioned, though, the bad news comes in the form of this being a Dengeki Hobby exclusive. It explains both why it took so long for me to get one (going through a proxy) and why try as you might, you can't find her on any stores right now. At eBay, Yahoo Japan! Auctions and other places they're being sold by third parties and are your best bet right now, but don't discount the idea of a separate release down the line. It's happened before, and if it happens again, you might want to get up on it.

"UGH!" I can hear you exclaim. "Another one of these? REALLY? What's gotten into you?" But it's not my fault all these Toradora! figures got here around the same time, after all. And besides, this one is different in that it'...

Tomopop Review: Wave's Beach Queens Minori Kushieda and Ami Kawashima

Mar 03 // Brian Szabelski
Figure Name: Toradora Beach Queens Minori Kushieda and Ami KawashimaFigure Maker: WaveRetail Price: ¥3,800 (US$46)Available at: Hobby Search | Otacute (back order) (Minori); Amazon (Ami) So let's start off with Minori: The box is pretty much the same as Taiga's, but with changes on it to suit Minori. It's nothing spectacular, so let's pop her out of the box, shall we? Compared to pouty Taiga, and to many of the other Beach Queens figures, Minori has a very lively pose. One would almost say it's sporty and aggressive, which given that Minori is heavily involved in sports and that she's pretty much intense in everything she seems to do (sometimes ridiculously so), is entirely appropriate. The only thing that's kind of weird with it is a problem I've seen on other figures before, too: her ankle kind of seems to be bending outward at an angle that's unnatural. Not the first tine it's ever happened and doubt it'll ever be the last time I see it, either. YEAH! To the unknowing collector, it might seem odd for a Beach Queen to have such an ... intense face, but if you've ever seen Toradora!, then you should know how energetic Minori can be. It's insane, and really, the facial expression on Minori captures it very, very well. Props to Wave for getting this completely right. You can also see that her hair is sculpted quite well, looking like it's in motion a little bit. The detail on here is fine and there's no real "blobs" or anything else to worry about! Her base is also the standard Beach Queen base, with her right leg being the only thing holding it in. There weren't any leaning problems out of the box, but with no other support, I am worried how this might turn out in the future. Like the other Beach Queens, Minori does have a few alternate pieces for her alternate look. Or really, just one: That, of course, is her ponytail, while her shorts are removable to show off her swimsuit bottoms. The actual part that comes off is her legs, believe it or not, which allow the shorts to come off rather easily. It's not a bad look, though much different than I'm used to, but it's not one without flaws ... First, that's a massive, massive seam issue on the side of her head with the ponytail. Getting it to fit just right is a bit of a problem and I haven't been able to get it right just yet. Similarly, there's a seam issue here on her leg, in that it doesn't fit quite right with the bottom of her swimsuit. This is only noticeable when Minori's not in her shorts, so I've chosen to keep her in them for now until I figure out for sure if it's a general flaw design or if it's just a production issue with my specific figure. I'm assuming its the later, but if you have similar issues, let me know for sure! Final verdict: Minori has a few flaws and her hair accessory gives her a slightly different look than what we're used to seeing her, but the pose is perfectly her personality. If you can live with leaving Minori as is (with shorts and her original hair), then this is a really nice figure. And with Minori out of the way, let's move on to Ami: Same deal as before with the box, so nothing new here besides cosmetic changes. But I will take this time to note the following: Ami sold out quick. Very, very quick. She is going to be very hard to find at the moment if you need to complete your collection, but it is doable. First thing that pops out at you? That pose, for sure. Ami's a very flirty and eye-grabbing character, and yeah, the pose sure does that. She's almost looking straight at you, wanting your attention, knowing you'll give it to her. As for the back, there's some nice detailing, especially around the swimsuit bottom there. And as you can see, standard Beach Queens base here. Now, Ami's face isn't bad, and the sculpting of her hair is good ... but neither are truly great. Her bangs do feel a little blobish, and something still feels off about her face, though she's better in person than I originally presumed. I'm not sure what it is, but of the three Toradora! girls, she's the one who looks a little less like her anime counterpart than the other two. Notice anything odd about that picture, though? No, it didn't come like that, but it didn't take a whole hell of a lot to break, either. Like, I don't know, opening up the package and putting ANY amount of force on the plastic wrapping the strap was packaged in? Yeah, I was not too happy about it, either, but tanks to the wonders of glue and paint, it's all fixed up for display. Still, I have to wonder why Wave chose this as an accessory that could be removed. The only thing it does is make her swimsuit top strapless, but it's a pain to get on and easily pops off (as it did at least once during the shoot while I was changing Ami's hair pieces in and out. It would have been better to go another route, but we've got to live with what we've got. As for the rest of Ami, one word describes her: curvy. She's a model after all (and a bit of a crazy one at that), but her body and swimsuit sure show it off. There's a little less detailing on some of the bows than I might like, but she's a small and rather inexpensive figure, so one shouldn't expect US$450 level quality on a US$45 1/10-scale figure. But her other details are great, too. Her hair is finely sculpted (nothing special about it) but the ittle details like her wrist bands and painted nails, are great touches. I also love how her hands are posed very naturally alongside her head here. You won't be looking at this figure from behind much, but it's nice to see no stone's been left unturned. One nice feature is how Ami's hair seam does fit so well with her figure that it's invisible unless you're looking at her from the top. And you're probably not doing that. And speaking of the seam, the reason it's even there is so you can swap her hair out for a ponytail that looks very, very cute and is very well sculpted! On the downside, getting this into place is a pain in the butt beyond anything I've dealt with concerning other Beach Queens. The reason why? Her hands are so close to her head in that pose that sliding her new hair piece in and even getting the old one out becomes a game of cat and mouse. And it's not one I'm inclined to play too often. Final verdict: Ami's got less flaws than Minori does, but that swimsuit strap one is utterly killer and really ends up being a big design flaw. Still, she's a pretty nice figure; just be super careful taking her out of the box and putting her together! And since you'd ask for it anyways ... Here's all three together! Taiga is indeed noticeably shorter than the other two, though they're all 1/10-scale, which is a very good thing considering how tiny she's supposed to be. All in all, even with some of the flaws, it's a very good series and these three figures are three no Toradora! fan should be without!

Last week, we took a look at Wave's Beach Queen Taiga Aisaka, and for the most part, we liked what we saw. But Taiga wasn't the only one from Toradora! to get the Beach Queens treatment: surprisingly, Wave's also made figures...

Tomopop Review: Wave's Beach Queens Aisaka Taiga

Feb 25 // Brian Szabelski
Figure Name: Beach Queen Aisaka TaigaFigure Maker: WaveRetail: ¥3,800 (US$46)Available at Hobby Search | Amiami (back ordered) | Otacute   So let's begin with the box, as per usual. It's nothing too fancy: on the front, you have the plain looking window, which shows everything inside the box off, along with Taiga's name. On the back is some more shots of the figure and her accessories, and each side of the box has a picture of Taiga as well. It's simple but falls in line with what we've seen on other Beach Queens before. And here she is out of the box! Taiga is rather small, and not just in general: she's 1/10-scale and only about 15 cm tall. But that's perfect scale, as Taiga only stands 146.3 cm (4' 8.5") tall in the manga and anime, so this is correctly proportioned. And as you can see, she's got her hands on her hips, that pout on her face, correctly fulfilling her tsundere personality. From the back side, we get a look mostly at her hair, pulled back into a short ponytail tied at the end. The sculptwork on the knot itself is a little bit rough, but on the hair, the sculpting looks good. Here's a nice, close-up shot of Taiga's face. I do like how her eyes are looking off to the left like that, as it adds a bit of personality to the figure. What could she be staring at with that look of scorn? Who knows. There is an imperfection hear the edge of her mouth you can see, and yeah, it's a bit annoying, but I noticed the promotional shots didn't have it, so my guess is that this is an isolated incident. Again, another shot of the back of Taiga's head to show of the sculpting on her hair. Looks very nice and fits the style used in the anime. The base is a standard Beach Queens base, nothing unlike the ones I've seen before. Similar texture, exact same shape, etc. Nothing new to write about here. However, do note the level of detail on Taiga's sandals and that her toenails are painted. It's great to see such detail on such a small-scale figure. There is a seam on the side of her head, but like the other Beach Queens, there's a reason for that: her hair is interchangeable between two styles. Oh my, I don't think Taiga likes being bald like this. And yes, as you noticed, her head does have a joint in it for some poseability. While this look is good for showing off the plug that holds her hair pieces in place ... let's fix this up before I get a fist in my face, okay? Much better. She's still pouty, but that's just Taiga. What can you do? As you might have noticed, her second style features her long hair in a more familiar look, flowing down her back as it normally is seen. The sculpting on the hair isn't bad for a figure of this size, and there's no noticeable problems with it that I can see. Can you see something here? No? Well, that's good, because there's a second part that's interchangeable, her right arm. Wave's done a good job hiding the seam here on her arm, which can be changed out for something a little different ... Ah yes, her swimming ring and the arm that holds it in place! As you can see, the ring balances itself between the arm and body, fitting very well, though if you have her untied hair, the ring might bump up against it. It also has a tiny scratch on the outer paint surface, but this is really negligible in my eyes. All in all, Taiga's a very nice little figure, much as Tsumugi was when I got her months ago. She's not the biggest or even the best figure on the market, but this Taiga's got good quality, few flaws and really does capture her personality pretty well. Pick her up if you're a fan of the series, and stay tuned for reviews of her two Toradora! Beach Queens counter-parts soon!

Sometimes, two good things just seem to come together in an unexpected way. For example, there's Wave's Beach Queens line, which we've reviewed figures from before (but not in a while) and enjoyed. Then, there's the figures o...


Here's Good Smile's new exclusive Nendoroid Petit Aisaka Taiga

Dec 23
// Brian Szabelski
Hey, Toradora! fans: there's a new Nendoroid Petit on the way that just happens to feature Aisaka Taiga. Yes, the days is finally upon us, and it is great. It appears to be the same design as Kotobukiya's figure, and it'll sa...

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