Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around


Square Enix photo
Square Enix

SDCC 2016: Square Enix


Batman's going crazy
Aug 01
// Tianxiao Ma
You can count on the Play Arts Kai brand to bring some unique (if not overly busy) interpretations of some of your favorite comic book characters. I found a couple such figures at the Square Enix booth at SDCC. They were part...
Shiflett Bros. photo
Shiflett Bros.

SDCC 2016: Shiflett Bros.


Imaginative, original art
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
The Shiflett Brothers have made a name for themselves with their fantastical, steampunk-y sculptures. What first struck me about them was the level of detail in each sculpt. But over the years their designs have gotten more e...
Beefy & Co. photo
Beefy & Co.

SDCC 2016: Beefy & Co.


I love magnets in toys
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
Strange and adorable animal toys are the domain of Beefy & Co. Artist Menh Voong brought some new plushies to SDCC, as well as a preview for NYCC. NYCC will be seeing the release of the plush turtle and penguin (I think i...
Weta photo
Weta

SDCC 2016: Weta


More robots, please
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I kicked off my tour of Weta's exhibit with their 2017 Ghost in the Shell display. It contained a life-sized replica of an android that I'm assuming will appear in the film. It was reminiscent of the robots featured in Ghost ...

3A photo
3A

SDCC 2016: 3A


Grungy mecha and original creations
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
When I asked the 3A rep what was new for this year, he basically introduced me to every single thing on display. You can see that their artistic vision is still intact, but they've tackled more and more licensed properties ov...
Gecco photo
Gecco

SDCC 2016: Gecco


Video game figures and zombie models
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I wasn't expecting to see many Japanese manufacturers at SDCC due to WonFes, but Gecco was able to attend the show. They had flown under my radar until last year when they announced the Venom Snake and Quiet statues for Metal...
Yamato USA photo
Yamato USA

[NSFW] SDCC 2016: Yamato USA


Reimagining Greek mythology
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
Yamato has long collaborated with fantasy artists and illustrators for their PVC and resin Fantasy Figure Gallery line. Since the last year they've been working on a series of figures inspired by Greek mythology, based on the...
Tamashii Nations photo
Tamashii Nations

SDCC 2016: Tamashii Nations


Debuting a bizarre new Toy Story set
Jul 24
// Tianxiao Ma
Have you ever wished your Toy Story figures could also be Transformers? Well Tamashii Nations has you covered with a line they're calling Cho Gattai Toy Story. These figures can transform and even combine together to form a s...
Bluefin photo
Bluefin

SDCC 2016: Bluefin


I think I found my favorite thing
Jul 24
// Tianxiao Ma
Bluefin distributes figures from a variety of Japanese companies, so their booth featured toys catering to all corners of fandom. Their most elaborate display was for the classic Ghostbusters, featuring two scenes from the en...
Kotobukiya Kylo Ren photo
He stabbed first
Kotobukiya announced a new Kylo Ren figure at Friday's Star Wars collectibles panel, and shortly after it appeared in their booth. Although Koto has taken on Kylo Ren in the past, this one's the most dynamic yet. The figure i...

Hot Toys photo
Hot Toys

SDCC 2016: Hot Toys


Shocker: lots of Star Wars
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Without looking you can probably get the gist of what Hot Toys had on display: Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Civil War, and Star Wars. That's not due to a lack of originality on their part; that's simply the zeitgeist of ...
Sideshow Collectibles photo
Sideshow Collectibles

SDCC 2016: Sideshow Collectibles


Another grand spectacle
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
To give you an idea of the expanse of Sideshow's exhibit, I spent about an hour rushing through the photo coverage and still only managed to get half of it. The other half was dedicated to Hot Toys, which we'll cover in a sep...
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...
DC Collectibles photo
DC Collectibles

SDCC 2016: DC Collectibles


Con of Justice
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
With movie and TV universes to build, it's no surprise that DC featured Suicide Squad and their TV shows heavily in their merchandising. They'll be adding to their selection of articulated figures with characters from Arrow, ...
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 ...
Nendoroid Naruto photo
The first Naruto merch from GSC!
Naruto is, like, one of the most popular things ever. Strangely enough this is, to my knowledge, the first time Good Smile Company has produced merchandise of it. Mamitan tweeted out from Anime Expo this momentous (?) announc...

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...
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...

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 ...

C2E2 2016 CreatuReplica photo
C2E2 2016 CreatuReplica

C2E2 2016: CreatuReplica


Highly detailed cryptid figures
Mar 24
// Tianxiao Ma
If Fox Mulder collected action figures, I think he'd love the CreatuReplica collection. CreatuReplica is a new (as in, just months old) outfit featuring toy designs by Jean St. Jean - a sculptor who also works with Diamond Se...
C2E2 2016 Metalsouls photo
C2E2 2016 Metalsouls

C2E2 2016: Metalsouls


Pretty freaking metal
Mar 23
// Tianxiao Ma
Some toys were meant to be made of metal: Iron Man, Transformers, toy cars, etc. And then you have madmen like the folks at Metalsouls, who just make everything out of metal. Despite largely working with recycled scrap metal,...
C2E2 2016 Beefy & Co photo
C2E2 2016 Beefy & Co

C2E2 2016: Beefy & Co.


Original plush creations
Mar 23
// Tianxiao Ma
It felt like there was a lot less plush at this year's C2E2 than in previous years. The most notable booth I found was Beefy & Co. with a colorful display of somewhat sleepy looking plush animals. Two plushies were new fo...
C2E2 2016 Diamond Select photo
C2E2 2016 Diamond Select

C2E2 2016: Diamond Select Toys part 2


Live action TV and movie collectibles
Mar 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Diamond Select Toys has tapped some notable live action properties in the past, and they're continuing to pick up momentum in this area for 2016. The Alien and Predator franchises will see Vinimates coming out. They're figure...
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 Chibi Essence photo
C2E2 2016 Chibi Essence

C2E2 2016: Chibi Essence


Polystone bobble heads and alpacas
Mar 22
// Tianxiao Ma
One of my favorite things about cons is finding stuff that's off the beaten path of my fandom, and that's where Chibi Essence comes in. I'm not very engaged in the indie/designer toy scene, but every once in a while I'll stum...
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...
C2E2 2016 Bluefin photo
C2E2 2016 Bluefin

C2E2 2016: Bluefin Distribution part 1


Film and comic collectibles
Mar 19
// Tianxiao Ma
Sometimes you just want to see a smorgasbord of figures from all over the place. That's when you head to Bluefin Distribution. Sentinel, which is usually geared toward anime figures, has picked up the Iron Man license. And ma...
C2E2 2016 Enterbay photo
C2E2 2016 Enterbay

C2E2 2016: Enterbay


Legends everywhere
Mar 19
// Tianxiao Ma
Enterbay is known for their realistic 1/6-scale figures, often featuring movie and sports stars. Their booth at C2E2 was mostly NBA-oriented this year. The presentation, I felt, was really cool and well-executed. If you're no...
C2E2 2016 Weta photo
C2E2 2016 Weta

C2E2 2016: Weta Workshop


Orcs, dragons, and a giant robot
Mar 19
// Tianxiao Ma
I kicked off day one of the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo with a whirlwind tour of the exhibitor hall about an hour before closing. Weta Workshop had a large display near the entrance, showing off their requisite Lord...
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...
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...
WonFes X-Plus photo
WonFes X-Plus

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: X-Plus


Dragon Ball Z, kaiju, and Harry Potter
Feb 09
// Tianxiao Ma
X-Plus hit WonFes with some big name properties. Right off the bat you have their Godzilla figures, sure to please you kaiju fans out there. If classic anime is more to your taste, they also showed a selection of Dragon Ball ...
WonFes Embrace Japan photo
WonFes Embrace Japan

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Embrace Japan/Milestone


Some great stuff for Street Fighter fans
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
Man, Embrace Japan has really put out some lovely designs as of late. They're looking to continue that roll with the Diabolus Angelite figure shown at WonFes. Fun fact: this line of original designs has been titled Black Arts...
WonFes Alphamax photo
WonFes Alphamax

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Alphamax


T2 Art Girls and... Transformers?
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
Alphamax is usually all about girls with clothes falling off their bodies. Well they took it to a literal extent this WonFes with some of the figures from their SkyTube label. I won't focus on the NSFW stuff but Amiami a...
WonFes Arcadia photo
WonFes Arcadia

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Arcadia


A big dose of Katanagatari
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
Arcadia's showing at Wonder Festival featured a whole lot of Katanagatari. If you've waited this long for Katanagatari figures, hopefully you like what you see. These look like 3D printed prototypes, with the grainy finish 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...
WonFes Aoshima photo
WonFes Aoshima

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Aoshima


Going all-in on Kantai Collection
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
It looks like more Kantai Collection stuff is coming from Aoshima, who showed off a few prototypes at Wonder Festival. The biggest crowd pleasers will probably be Shoukaku and her tsundere sister ship Zuikaku. Although it's t...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...