girls with guns

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Treasure Festa in Ariake 9: Girls und Panzer


Moe with armor appeal
May 05
// Andres Cerrato
For every one of these events, there's always the glut of characters flooding the tables. Miku, Saber, Tamaki, Nanoha, etc. It just goes on and on. While those girls are here too, I've noticed that one new show has begun to d...
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MegaHouse preorder roundup


MegaHouse strikes again
Jan 31
// Yami Casas
Recently, MegaHouse updated their web-page announcing the upcoming figures that will be available for pre-orders in February. So, prepare your wallets and get ready for the February edition of the MegaHouse roundup. Up first,...

Tomopop Review: Good Smile Company's Tomoe Mami

Aug 07 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Tomoe MamiFigure Maker: Good Smile CompanyRetail/List Price: ¥7,500Available at: Plamoya  First things first, let's take a quick look at the box that encases our lovely lady. The front is adorned with two half-circle patterns that add a subtle decor along the green roses that weave around the large circular plastic window. The back of the box has Mami pictured in her default pose with a backdrop reminiscent of the labyrinth from episode three when she battled against Charlotte the Dessert Witch. I'll stop right there, in lieu of moving into spoiler territory. Packing wise, Mami comes with her base, an extra set of hands, and two muskets. I was secretly wishing that Good Smile would have included five additional muskets to decorate around her base. What can I say; I'm a geek that way. Enough about her packaging lets finally take this lovely mahou shoujo out into the world. Once she is out of her plastic prison you simply just place her into the pegs on the base, and you're set. I was a little concerned about the figure possibly having some future leaning issues, but Good Smile instantly put all those fears to rest with an additional metal pin on the base. The metal pin is inserted along the ball of her foot for that extra support. There are two ways in which you can display Mami: happy-go-lucky default look or armed with her two muskets. Regardless, of what you may choose, Mami is truly breathtaking. From her curly cork screw twin tails to her cowboy inspired boots, she truly is a sight to hold. The sculpting is very faithful to the original illustration art by Aoki Ume. It probably sounds as if I'm jumping the gun with all these praises; so, let's take a closer look at Mami-senpai. Let’s begin with Mami's beautiful face; her smile immediately draws you in. Her placid eyes have a slight crease that is accentuated by a brown line over her eyelashes. The blush marks along her cheek line heighten that gentle angelic look. Of course, I have to mention her bangs that frame perfectly around her round face. Simply put, she is gorgeous! Mami has some cute hair accessories which emphasizes her moe hair style, along with her brown hat. Above her right twin-tail, she has a small flower hair pin, which is painted in a metallic gold color. Along the golden floral hair pin, there are etched hair creases, a very nice detailed touch. Her most important accouterment, her soul gem, is over the left twin-tail. It is elegantly done with the soul gem itself made out of an orange transparent plastic. The outside flower petals are painted in the same metallic gold as the hair pin. Behind her jewel, you can catch a glimpse of bouncy feathers that are attached to her brown hat. From these profile shots, you can easily spot the dreaded seam line. However, once you place Mami on your shelf, you won't take notice. As we move along to the bell sleeved blouse, it's safe to say that Mami is certainly the most well-endowed out of all the Puella girls. As for the top, it has a mandarin collar with yellow trim down the center of the blouse, along with three small flat-back buttons. A yellow bow is nicely tied around her neckline. I love the fact that the bow isn't simply pasted flat onto the blouse; it playfully pops out to coincide with the movement of the figure. Looking at the sleeve, there is a small button etched onto the center fold. I always love spotting those tiny details. The seam and folds along the side of her blouse is a very realistic touch. Her arm warmer has a small paint spill that runs onto her arm, but it’s nothing that you can detect with the naked eye. I only took notice of it once I saw the pictures. Her fingerless gloves also have detailed folds along the palm her hand, which accentuates the position of her hand. The corset is painted in a dark brown hue with three belt buckles that decorate the front. The belt buckles themselves are painted in a lighter shade of brown which make a quite a nice contrast. The yellow trim from her blouse seamlessly continues onto the corset. Here, again we have a minor paint run from the yellow trim into the brown corset. But this is a case of the micro lens catching the tiniest of detail. The corset is also decorated by two white trims along the top and the bottom of the corset which are embellished with a nice pattern design. As we reach her skirt, the pleats are well sculpted and give it a lively look. There is some nice shading in between the fold of the skirt. It's subtly done and well blended with the matte mustard color. No complaints here. At last, we arrive to her phenomenal legs. Her striped brown thigh highs are painted in a matte color just as her skirt. Usually, I really don't particularly care if the stocking has a glossy or a matte finish, but in this instance, it would have made a huge difference. The western inspired boots are well molded to her legs. There's a slight crease along the top of her left ankle. Finally, Mami is ready to battle any witches with her two trusted muskets. Placing the muskets onto her alternate hands was very easy. I actually placed them in her alternate hands before I switched them out. She looks absolutely impressive holding her weapons. The muskets are very well detailed. The stock and barrel bands of the musket is painted in a glossy, pearl finish while the frame around the butt, trigger, barrel and muzzle are in a silver paint. A black and silver design is blanketed over of the barrel. An orange plastic enhances the lock and breech area, another great detail. You can also see from the pictures that Mami's nails are also painted in a light pink tone as she clutches the stock of the musket. You probably thought that I would forget the most important pantsu shot, but rest assure here it is. I think the picture speaks for itself. Mami has quite the nice butt! So, was the wait worth it? Absolutely! Even if you aren’t a Madoka Magica fan there's no denying that this figure isn’t breath taking. Out of all the Puella girls released thus far, Mami wins hands down. The figure is not without its slight imperfections, but it doesn’t take away from the overall beauty of the sculpt. I can't recommend her enough. Besides, wouldn't you want to make a contract with this lovely mahou shoujo? Don't forget to check out the gallery for some pictures that didn't make the review.
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Without a doubt, my most anticipated figure in my May box of goodies was Good Smile Company's Tomoe Mami from the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Since her early preview back in November, my excitement for this magical gi...

Tomopop Review: Marvel x Bishoujo Mystique

Jan 09 // Kristina Pino
Figure Name: Marvel x Bishoujo MystiqueFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Value: US$59.99Available at: Koto US (release in March) The first thing that stood out when I opened up the shipping box with miss Mystique inside is that her box is so small! It's no wonder, since she's got the kneeling pose, but I appreciate that the box isn't any bigger than it needs to be either way. It's a little thing with the usual information and Shunya Yamashita design on the front and sides. Once you take her out, it's just a matter of setting her on the base and you're all set! The base itself was at first, unimpressive (just a round, clear base), and she didn't fit quite flush. It might be due to my current lack of mobility as one of my arms is in a cast, and I may not have been able to set her in properly. Upon further inspection, as it turns out I rather like the base, because it creates a wonderful mirror image under Mystique! She doesn't technically require the base, since she's kneeling, but then you end up with the pegs showing. Now that we're looking at the turn around, you get to see the details around her body. Her skin tight clothing, the skull belt, sexy boots, clear PVC hair (and another skull on her head seen in the frontal image), and a gun in one hand. The design is simple, but attractive. The skulls are nicely detailed. They look all boney and all that. The belt itself is loose around her waist, and if you're feeling silly like I was, you'll see a picture in the gallery where I lift up the belt around her bust. In the above image you also start to see more of the clear PVC detail with her hair. I also particularly love the way the torso (her body in general) is molded. There's a great "feel" to her when I look at this figure, like there is some beef under that outfit but she's got very attractive musculature to her, too. Here we see some of the detail with her boots squeezed over her legs (I love those awesome legs), and the ends of her dress. The boots themselves have a good "material" feel to them, like vinyl or satin with the pearly finish, and goes well with the rest of the figure which has no "stiffness" to it whatsoever. In case you're wondering, her left hand isn't really molded, since it's meant to be "in" her hair, so it ends at her wrist. It isn't too disturbing though, since the hair maintains enough volume for this to be believable! The hair has some minor seaming issues, and you could see it on the dress as well, but I wouldn't consider them a dealbreaker at all. All the seams are complimented/partially hidden by other details in the molding (except in the case of some seaming on her arm, partially visible above). Going down, let's get to her boots. No details were spared here: she's got lots of those fold and stretch marks and detail on the insides of the boots (zipper). More on the zippers in the gallery and in the required panty shot below: Alright, we had to do it. We just didn't know she'd be so willing! Anywho, you've got the white bottoms to match the rest of her outfit, and a great view of those zippers I was talking about, some great calf molding and even a little butt fold peeking out from the back.. Ahem. Let's go back up a bit... since there are more details to talk about.. Mystique comes with a gun that she's holding casually in her arm while posing sexily. It drops into her hand easily but doesn't fall off at the slightest gust of wind, and while one might think a sexy figure with a blue and white palette (besides the red hair) would look strange with a black weapon just sticking on there, it actually adds a sense of "danger" to the character. A woman not to be messed with! I love girls with guns. Of course, this review wouldn't be complete without a look at her upper torso and face. Everything is in focus here, so we're getting a good view of her face (the bit that isn't cast in shadow, anyway), hair and hand holding the gun. Oh right, and I guess breasts. They are also attractive! Her eyes are the usual yellow, and I love how her face and mouth are molded. I usually have issues with these Shunya faces, simply because they look fabulous in the drawings but then the molded ones don't turn out to be well complimented by the make-up application. Mystique doesn't have much caked on her face, so she doesn't have any clowny issues. I also really like how this picture came out - it has a nice glow to it. This shoot is a bit different from my usual work because I wanted to work with some new lights I got for Christmas, and I was sure I'd be able to get a decent set with a blue background on her. I think it turned out alright! Of course, if you want to see more of these, I'd like to hear your feedback. That's it for my review of Marvel x Bishoujo Mystique! She's a gorgeous figure and a must-buy for comic lovers, especially X-Men fans! I don't really have any complaints about the figure, and neither would the average collector besides the most nit-picky about seams. Since she's in a kneeling position, even with the pegs she'd be easy to pose just about anywhere, so I can't think of any more drawbacks. I'll just leave you with one last shot before we go: Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample! I also have to thank Pedro for helping me out with this review set up, because I wouldn't have been able to do this without him. Getting all these pictures with just two lights and several reflectors is not something I would have been able to do with just one hand, after all! Once again, leave your feedback in the comments section and be sure to check out the gallery for more images that weren't included in the main body of the post.
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Like others, I was pleasantly surprised when Mystique was announced as an upcoming Marvel x Bishoujo figure. Not only is she a great character, I've mentioned enough times before that blue is just such a pleasing color to the...







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