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gamer toys

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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Alter


Platinum Stars!
Jul 24
// Chris Seto
Alter is one of the bigger names when it comes to figures but their output has slowed in recent years. Having said that, I feel that they have upped their game again after a number of rather bland entries... But for this year...
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Wonder Festival 2016 Summer: Aquamarine


Here Comes a new Daredevil!
Jul 24
// Chris Seto
The main problem with having SDCC and Wonder Festival on the same week is that, particularly for the more international companies, like GoodSmile Company and Kotobukiya, there are lots of overlaps between the 2 events so a lo...

SDCC 2016: NECA

Jul 24 // Scarecroodle
NECA photo
Action, action, and more action!
NECA's display featured the expected slew of movie collectibles as well as some more surprising items (like a Superman vs Muhammad Ali 2-pack!). Highlights included the amazing-looking 1/4-scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...

Kotobukiya photo
Kotobukiya

[Updated] SDCC 2016: Kotobukiya


Ikemen collection announced!
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
[Update: Added photos of the Fine Art Statue Vision] I always love seeing what Kotobukiya brings to SDCC. This year we had a few major announcements, so let's kick off with the biggest: they'll be starting a line called "Ikem...

SDCC 2016 GSC photo
SDCC 2016 GSC

SDCC 2016: Good Smile Company


Nice figures tucked into a tiny booth
Jul 21
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company doesn't usually do Comic Con as WonFes is usually the same weekend. However it seems like they're starting to stake out some territory at SDCC. Their booth was pretty small and tucked away - not what you'd ...
SEGA photo
Just call them KidHedgehog?
Kidrobot seeks to expand its array of gaming collectibles with figures based on SEGA's beloved Sonic the Hedgehog games. Set to release this Winter, Kidrobot's offerings will include a blind-boxed figure line, a blind-boxed k...

Wonder Festival 2016 photo
Saber and Yuuki are going to burn fans
If you saw Scaredroodle's report on up coming Anime Expo exclusives from Good Smile Company then you already got a preview of some of the exclusives headed to Wonder Festival 2016 Winter. Strangely enough, Nendoroid 447-b&nbs...

Uncharted photo
He's a very avid explorer
Nathan Drake, the star of Sony's Uncharted games, has been on a bit of a run lately. Not only is he receiving a 7-inch action figure (NECA) and a stylized Pop! figure, but he also has a Nendoroid on the way. Mamitan recently ...

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...
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Hot Toys revisit Resident Evil for the series 20th anniversary!


New Ada Wong, enough said!
Jun 08
// Chris Seto
Yeah, we know that Resident Evil 6 wasn't exactly a great game but it is the last (thus far) main game in the series so if a company is going to celebrate the series, this is probably going to be the one to go to, especially ...
Capcom Morrigan photo
Capcom Morrigan

Morrigan changes occupations in this new Capcom figure


Hope you don't need a shot though...
Jun 03
// Tianxiao Ma
Dark Stalkers' Morrigan Aensland has seen a few releases over the years, but I don't remember many wardrobe changes. I think since her main appeal is her sexiness, and her outfit already emphasizes that, there never was a nee...
Max Factory Link photo
Skyward Sword's Link is the latest entry
Good Smile Company's Wonderful Hobby Selection line is getting a new addition from Max Factory! This time it'll be The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's Link making the transition from artwork to PVC figure. Compared to some o...

Phoenix Wright photo
If you do object, you'd be overruled
Mamitan recently showed off some photos of Max Factory's upcoming figma based on Phoenix Wright, the eponymous star of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney video games(who also appears in at least one Ace Attorney spinoff). The figma will include an array of expressions to help recreate some of his iconic (and dramatic) poses from the games. Be sure to check out the full image in the gallery.

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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 ...

Tomopop Review: Velvet with Cornelius by Alter

May 05 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Velvet with CorneliusFigure Maker: AlterRetail Price: ¥13,800Available at: Big Bad Toy Store  I'm going to be totally honest: I really haven't been interested in Alter's releases as of late. They used to be the gold standard of the anime figure world, but have in recent years been releasing rather boring designs. Every once in a while, though, they reach for the stars. The result is a figure that ends up selling out everywhere. Velvet (and Cornelius) is the third of Alter's Odin Sphere releases. The first was Gwendolyn which came out way back in 2008. Gwendolyn came during a time when figures really were limited collectibles, and as such became a grail figure for many. Luckily she's gotten two re-releases (the latest happening just last month). Next came Mercedes in 2010, which has also gotten a recent re-release. So now, hopefully, die-hard Odin Sphere fans can have the full set of gals. Trust me when I say, you do not want to miss out on Velvet. I collect figures to keep as mementos of stories and characters that I love (or sometimes because their butts are shiny). This one is such a memento, but it's also an extraordinary piece of craftsmanship. Its design, sculpt, detailing, and paint job are all a tier above what you'd see in an average anime figure. What's crazy is that this probably isn't even the best figure Alter has ever made. But it takes you to the old days, when you knew that if you got an Alter figure you'd be getting the best. That really says a lot about its construction. It's also surprisingly user-friendly. For a figure with two bodies in leaping poses and a swinging chain, the assembly process was way easier than expected. Velvet and Cornelius attach via metal pegs to the base. Their weapons are pretty simple to attach, with Velvet's Psypher not even needing to hook or peg into anything. In the game, Velvet has a number of mid to long range attacks owing to her weapon being attached to chains. Cornelius is a more straightforward sword fighter who uses his small size and agility. Their contrasting styles are reflected in this figure, with Velvet's chains forming sweeping arcs while Cornelius is in mid-thrust with his sword. I thought Cornelius would me more of a throw-in - maybe just a cool detail on a really elaborate base. He kind of is, but you wouldn't be wrong to call him a full-fledged figure either. You're basically getting two figures for the price of, like, one and a half. You can see the same craftsmanship and attention to detail on Cornelius as you do on Velvet. His armor looks weathered. The leather parts look like leather. His Psypher is translucent just like Velvet's. Despite Velvet being the main attraction, Alter spared no effort in properly painting and detailing Cornelius. Alter has done a remarkable service for Odin Sphere fans. Yes, other manufacturers have tackled the property from time to time. But none of them ever got as ambitious or straight-up beautiful as Alter's figures. There's just something about the way they handle the translation from 2D that's uniquely pretty. It even extends to figures from other Vanillaware titles. Velvet, like her sister figures, is a centerpiece. You can put her on a shelf and even folks who are leery of anime figures will pause and admire her. It just makes me so happy that Alter didn't go with a "standard" pose. It shows that they aren't making figures just to cash in on an upcoming game. They went all out, and the result is a magnificent love letter to the fans.
Alter Velvet photo
A homeless princess and a Tiny Toon
If you're a fan of side scrolling beat-em-ups, you owe it to yourself to try out Odin Sphere. While I enjoyed the gameplay, the thing that elevates Odin Sphere far past the typical rabble of its genre is its artistry. It's kn...

Tomopop Review: Parfom Labrys by Phat Company

May 04 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Parfom LabrysFigure Maker: Phat CompanyRetail Price: ¥5,500Available at: Play-Asia | Right Stuf | Hobby Search | HobbyLink Japan Labrys is the third in Phat Company's Parfom series, following Aigis and Yuudachi. I was interested in this line because it seemed to combine the cuteness of Nendoroids with the poseability of figmas. But for reasons I can't remember right now, I didn't buy Aigis or Yuudachi. So that makes Labrys my first Parfom, and I was interested to see how good these figures are. You can see the full box shot in the gallery (it's a nice, clean design) but this weird little detail caught my eye. This is probably the first figure I've gotten with a message on the box flap. Unpacking the figure took some effort because it comes with a lot of accessories. Labrys is pretty large - measuring to the top of her ponytail she can reach up to 150mm. I don't have the figma Labrys to compare, but my figma Yu Narukami is about the same height. However due to the Parfom's proportions, it ends up being a bulkier figure overall. With these kinds of figures you have a common set of expectations in terms of how to swap parts and such. Labrys comes with four face plates and an alternate hair fringe which includes her visor. It works just like with any figma: pull off the hair fringe and you'll be able to remove her face plates. The fit of the faces felt inconsistent. Her  default face was a bit loose while some others were very tight. Speaking of her default face, it wound up surprising me in a good way. Too often with anime figures, you're locked into a boring, neutral expression for the face. Part of the appeal of Nendoroid and figma is that they offer alternative expressions that might capture the spirit of the character better. Initially, I thought Labrys would just have some boring smiling expression as her default. However, the expression on this default face can look like it changes depending on the angle you view it from. In this shot, Labrys' expression is menacing and her mouth is frowning. But look at the shots above: they're all using the same face! The expression goes from neutral to inquisitive to threatening depending on the angle. This is a rare quality in figures, and I certainly didn't expect to find it here. I love faces with some nuance to them, so this was a pleasant surprise. The package comes with several accessories revolving around Labrys' weapon. "Labrys" was the Greek word for a double-bitted axe, making her weapon her namesake as well (and there are historical examples of giant versions of such axes too). The axe head comes with a peg that lets you attach it to Labrys' back. Each blade is on a swivel, basically turning them into wings. The effects pieces you see above come in two parts and clamp around the jets on the axe. I consulted the instruction sheet to see how they should be attached, but was misled a bit. Each flame piece needs to attach to a specific spot on the axe, but the order shown in the instruction sheet seems to be reversed. It took some fiddling but eventually I figured it out. Here you can see the other accessories for the axe. You'll get a separate stand and base for it in case you want to pose it flying through the air. Unfortunately there's no way to hide that peg if the stand is attached. I guess it's not the end of the world, but it still sticks out. Other accessories include a variety of alternate hands, as well as a chain that goes between the elbow joint and forearm. It's a single, flexible piece of plastic that gives a more dynamic look than a real chain would have. Of course you'll get the shadow version of Labrys as well since it's just a face swap. I would have preferred a smirking expression over this blank one. There's also an expression for Aigis included in the package, which I found weird. Parfom Aigis already has a neutral default face, but you get another one with Labrys for some reason. I thought this figure, with its chibi aesthetic and articulation, would turn out to be like a Cu-Poche. But since I don't have any Cu-Poches, I can't really say. Having played with Labrys for a while, I do think the Parfom line is pretty close to the figma line. The articulation is more extensive than in your typical figma, and the joints are higher quality (while being less conspicuous). The fit and finish is good, though for these types of figures I don't expect perfection. Still, it held up pretty well during my photo shoot, with only one of the hair flaps falling off when I didn't expect it. Generally this is a well-designed figure with a surprising amount of articulation, but doesn't feel like it's going to break or lose its pose suddenly. The paint job's decent too, with some different finishes throughout the body and axe. Phat Company's Parfom line is fairly new, with only three figures currently in the series, and this Labrys figure already feels refined and well thought out. I'd say my experience with it has won me over to the Parfom series. It's wonderful for anyone who wants the cute chibi look but with lots of creative possibilities that you may not get with a Nendoroid or scale figure. Hopefully, Phat Company ramps up the release schedule for these. Six more have been announced, but none of them have dates set for the moment.
Parfom Labrys photo
Class president or killer robot?
Persona 4 may very well be my favorite video game of all time. Given the number of spin-offs it has received, it seems a fair amount of people out there love it too. When I first heard about Persona 4 Arena, I thought it was ...

GSC 15th anniversary photo
Nendoroid #600 hinted at
Like a typical teenager Good Smile Company wants to do everything. No longer content with just making figures, GSC is growing into quite the powerhouse these days, having their hands in TV series and video games, and even bro...

Cheerful Japan photo
Buy some figures for a good cause!
In 2011 Good Smile Company launched Cheerful Japan, a fundraising effort created to aid those effected by the Great East Japan Earthquake through the sales of specially designed figures. In a way it's now unfortunate that Che...

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kinetiquettes continues their capcom collaboration with a painted Devil may Cry Statue


SSStylish!
Mar 26
// Chris Seto
Kinetiquettes are at it again and this time, they're plying their trade on a title not called Street Fighter! They're still in bed with capcom though, but that's not a bad thing when they can give us a great diorama like this...
C2E2 2016 Diamond Select photo
C2E2 2016 Diamond Select

C2E2 2016: Diamond Select Toys part 1


Comics and animation collectibles
Mar 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Although Diamond Select Toys has roots in comic-related collectibles, their booth gets more and more diverse every year. We'll start off our coverage with the usual comic properties you'd expect, although even here there were...
C2E2 2016 Bluefin photo
C2E2 2016 Bluefin

C2E2 2016: Bluefin Distribution part 2


Anime figures and lots of Gundam
Mar 19
// Tianxiao Ma
Star Wars mash-ups aren't the only thing Tamashii Nations brought to the table; they had plenty of anime figures from their various Figuarts lines as well. Dragon Ball Z continues to have a large presence, featuring prom...
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Wonder Festival Winter 2016: Video Game Garage Kits (Part 2)


It's Faintear!! Faintear!!!
Feb 13
// Chris Seto
And we've reached the last of the video game kits for this Wonder Festival. And I can't stop staring at that great figure of Faintear from Triggerheart Exelica. Man, I loved that shmup! It's one of the few reasons I still sta...
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Wonder Festival Winter 2016: Game Garage Kits (Part 1)


Are you ready? I'm Lady!
Feb 11
// Chris Seto
Time to look into the video game garage kits now and the Idolm@ster is taking the whole thing by storm. No doubt buoyed by the recent anime series, the members of the Cinderella project have been getting a lot of exposure thi...
WonFes Union Creative photo
WonFes Union Creative

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Union Creative


All of the boys
Feb 11
// Tianxiao Ma
Union Creative is a producer partnered with several toy makers, such as Sentinel and Kaiyodo. That means they usually bring a ton of figures to WonFes, so yay for us! While most manufacturers' figures have a decided bias towa...
Prime 1 Studio photo
Prime 1 Studio

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Prime 1 Studio


More than just Transformers now
Feb 10
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Known for their giant sized and exceptionally expensive Transformers movie statues, Prime 1 Studio appeared at Wonder Festival 2016 Winter bigger than ever. Oh, sure, they're still pumping out Transformers statues at a surpri...
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Kinetiquettes teams up with Mad Catz to unleash the beast!


Just in time for Street Fighter V!
Feb 10
// Chris Seto
Well, this is one way to celebrate the end of an era and the ushering of a new one! Kinteiquettes have teamed up with Mad Catz and Capcom to create a special 1/4 scale diorama of Ryu and Evil Ryu from Street Fighter IV. ...
WonFes GSC photo
WonFes GSC

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Good Smile Company part 2 - Nendoroids


There was an actual tower of Nendos
Feb 09
// Tianxiao Ma
If there's one thing I want to know about this industry, it's how Good Smile Company picks the licenses to make Nendoroids for. At this point their Nendoroid production line must be a well-oiled machine, possibly on its way t...
WonFes GSC photo
WonFes GSC

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Good Smile Company part 1


I'm so sick of bunny outfits
Feb 09
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company's Wonderful Hobby Life For You display is like the all-you-can-eat buffet of Wonder Festival. By my quick internet research I estimate they have infinity figures. And I feel like half of that infinite numbe...
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KodyKoala is back with an interesting take on the Super Mario Powerup theory


It all makes sense now!
Feb 08
// Chris Seto
Ah, super mario. Everyone knows the basic mechanics of the game by now as well as the effects of the power ups such as the stalwart mushroom. Pick up a mushroom and it makes Mario double in size as well as provide him with an...
WonFes Aquamarine photo
WonFes Aquamarine

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Aquamarine


Persona, Guilty Gear, and more
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
I don't have much experience with Aquamarine, but the photos from their booth caught my attention. If you're a gamer - particularly if you're into Japanese games - you might recognize the gals in the header image. I picked th...

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