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Tomocast 41: Wonder Festival 2014 Winter photo
Tomocast 41: Wonder Festival 2014 Winter
by Pedro Cortes

Hark, what is that sound? Is that the wind traveling through the canyons formed by the rivers of time? Nay, it is the wondrous voices of the hosts of Tomocast!

That's right folks, after an extended hiatus, Tomocast is back. The podcast that talks toys has returned with your occasionally stalwart host Pedro Cortes. Joining me are Rio McCarthy and Andres Cerrato to talk about this year's Winter Wonder Festival. We talk about our favorite toys that came out of the huge event, as well as some of the ones that infuriated us. Well, infuriated one of us. That's all we really needed.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes, directly download the episode, or hit the jump to stream it and get the show notes. Enjoy!

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Tomopinion: Land of the Setting Sun photo
Tomopinion: Land of the Setting Sun
by Chris Seto

In the late 1950s, the then-prime minister of Britain, Harold Macmillan, gave a speech to the British people saying that “they never had it so good.” Back then, Britain was riding high on the post war economic boom so the economy was looking up, unemployment was down and generally, things were rosy (though it turned out to be a very fragile outlook). Fast forward to 2011, and some doofus adviser to the current PM used the same line to people who were in the middle of a global recession… Sufficed to say, his words didn’t go down so well.

Why am I bringing this up? Because the same line can be applied to the current state of the Japanese figure industry. The only question is whether we’re on the side of the 50s boom or the 2011 misstep? Well, you’ll be happy to know that it’s definitely closer to the 50s example but just as the boom back then was exceptionally fragile, our current situation with the Japanese figures is also very precarious. Or perhaps, we’ve already started falling down the dark path. I’m not saying that we’re going to go straight from boom to bust like many financial companies over the past few years but rather, we’re facing something far more insidious.


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Tomopop Teaches: An intro to exposure photo
Tomopop Teaches: An intro to exposure
by Tianxiao Ma

Last time we went on a crash course on the automatic shooting modes of a typical digital camera. These modes take the decision-making away from the user, letting the camera judge the best settings for the given lighting conditions. In order to take the next step as a photographer, you'll have to learn how to set the exposure yourself.

In this post we'll look at the terminology and concepts behind exposure, and in the process learn about your camera's manual shooting modes. Even if your camera doesn't have manual mode, it's still good to have a basic knowledge of how exactly light is captured by a digital camera. By learning how to shoot manually, you can take full control of your image and broaden your creative horizons.

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Your Tomopop Figure of the Year winners are... photo
Your Tomopop Figure of the Year winners are...
by Pedro Cortes

With the voting done, it's time to reveal the winners of the 2013 Figure of the Year awards. If you remember from the nominee post last week, the categories are:

  • Best Static Figure
  • Best Designer
  • Best Plush
  • Best Mini/Blind Box
  • Best Custom
  • Best Artist
  • Best Poseable (Eastern)
  • Best Poseable (Western)

Hit the jump to see who the winners are, and be prepared for a couple of surprises...

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Your Tomopop Figure of the Year Nominees are... photo
Your Tomopop Figure of the Year Nominees are...
by Pedro Cortes

As we get to the end of the year, there's one question on all of our minds:


The second question you'll probably have in mind is:

  • What figures did the editors of Tomopop adore this past year?

Well, you'll be getting the answers to the second question very soon, as we're revealing our nominees for our Figures of the Year! As the first question, I can't help you there. Good luck.

Hit the jump to see the categories and the nominees!


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Tomopop Original: The Tomopop Secret Santa photo
Tomopop Original: The Tomopop Secret Santa
by Pedro Cortes

Like many businesses, we here at Tomopop held a secret santa. At most other jobs, you might get some liquor, maybe a tie, a gift card if you're lucky. At Tomopop, we got things like:

  • costumed vigilantes
  • demon-slaying teens
  • apocalypse-canceling robots
  • a fluffy goat
  • and so much more!

Why don't you go and hit that jump and see what we got each other!

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Tomopop LinkUP: The winter is a Beach (Queens) edition photo
Tomopop LinkUP: The winter is a Beach (Queens) edition
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

Hello and welcome back once again to Tomopop LinkUP! Are you as sick of the snow as I am already? Sure it looks nice, but once I've had my white Christmas I don't mind if it all melts on December 26. There's really nothing I hate more than having to drive through the stuff. Plus there's the money sink of having to heat the house and getting the driveway plowed. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to the spring and warm weather returning once again.

Japan is definitely keeping one eye turned towards the warm weather as they show off the latest beach-going figures and tiny outfits. This week in LinkUP we've got a number of Beach Queens, a new batch of prototypes, some galleries, some custom work and more!

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Tomopop Review: Psylocke (X-Force ver.) by Kotobukiya photo
Tomopop Review: Psylocke (X-Force ver.) by Kotobukiya
by Tianxiao Ma

Psylocke has been a popular character among Marvel Comics fans, although she's probably more known for her X-Men incarnation than her original stint as a supporting character in Captain Britain. While western manufacturers have pumped out a decent amount of Psylocke figures, only Kotobukiya has tackled the character out east. I guess those appearances in Capcom games haven't really helped her cause.

Kotobukiya's latest Psylocke rendition falls under the Marvel Bishoujo brand, and depicts our psionic ninja in her black X-Force costume. Read on to see if the figure is as awesome as being a psionic mutant ninja.

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Tomopop Review: Dark Elf by Max Factory photo
Tomopop Review: Dark Elf by Max Factory
by Tianxiao Ma

Lineage II has had a surprisingly long history with figure manufacturers - Good Smile Company in particular. In 2007, GSC released an exclusive 1/8-scale Dark Elf figure that would become the first "grail figure" for many (myself included, though I gave up on it eventually). Nowadays that Dark Elf is fetching a price of US$300 or more on ebay.

In the intervening years, Orchid Seed and Good Smile Company would have a handful of releases between them. There has always been the vague promise of more Lineage II women in development (especially by Orchid Seed, who seem to like throwing out teasers more than actual products). Things went quiet for a while, but Max Factory eventually joined the fray. This year, they've released an Elf and now two variants of the Dark Elf. Essentially Max Factory has delivered what Orchid Seed has been teasing for so long. Is this Dark Elf worth the wait? Let's find out!

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Tomopop Review: DST's Femme Fatales Steam Punk Lexi photo
Tomopop Review: DST's Femme Fatales Steam Punk Lexi
by Scarecroodle

If science fiction, fantasy, and other popular media have taught us anything it's that our reality is boring; or, at the very least, boring when compared to the alternatives. One of the more enduring alternatives is steampunk, a retro "future" where technology is driven by steam power with seeming contemporary devices are retrofitted within the confines of these technical constraints.

Given the popularity of the idea, there's been a lot of merchandise produced over the years. Diamond Select Toys has made their own contribution to the subgenre with the Femme Fatales Steampunk Lexi, an apparent original creation who features a design that instantly looks to be at home in a steampunk universe while also being very attractive.

Full review after the jump.

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DO WANT: November 2013 photo
DO WANT: November 2013
by Pedro Cortes

Wow, where did the time go? November is already finished and we're beginning December. It's nearly the end of 2013! I can't believe that. Anyway, that's not why I'm here. As one month is complete and another starts anew, it's prime time for the DO WANT! This month, we've got:

  • a snow witch
  • a little fairy
  • a giant robot
  • an undead wrestler
  • and more!

Hit the jump to see what all of your Tomopeeps want on their shelves/desks/general flat surfaces!

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Tomopop Teaches: Making sense of your camera’s modes photo
Tomopop Teaches: Making sense of your camera’s modes
by Tianxiao Ma

In part one of this feature, I explored some of the creative process behind figure photography. Now that we know how to approach a photo shoot, it's time to start learning about the crucial piece of equipment behind it all: the camera.

Whether it's a cell phone, a point and shoot, or an SLR, you'll need to learn the ins and outs of your camera to get the most out of it. The first step is to get acquainted with the user manual, as it will give you the best info for your specific device. This guide will cover some of the common shooting modes and their relevance to shooting figures, as that will be the starting point for most aspiring photographers.

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