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figma Kat photo
figma Kat

Check out figma Kat from Gravity Rush, and see how to do a collector's edition correctly

Can't sell this one as DLC
Oct 17
// Tianxiao Ma
What do you expect from a typical video game collector's edition nowadays? Some free DLC? A season pass? Stickers? How about a figma? That's what's bundled with the Gravity Rush (Gravity Daze) collector's edition in Japan. Th...
Max Factory Atago photo
Max Factory Atago

Panpakapan! Check out Max Factory's Atago prototype

Beautiful, buxom, and blonde
Oct 17
// Tianxiao Ma
At the 55th All Japan Model Hobby Show, Max Factory put their next KanColle ship girl on display: the heavy cruiser Atago! This 1/8-scale figure is stunning, capturing Atago's lighthearted personality and beauty. I love the w...
Max Factory Sorceress photo
Max Factory Sorceress

Max Factory's Sorceress is just magical

Magically voluptuous, that is
Sep 26
// Tianxiao Ma
Good news for Dragon's Crown fans! If you've been wanting a tasteful, utterly gorgeous Sorceress figure, then the wait is over! Max Factory may be a bit late to the party, but they certainly do make an impression when they ar...
Nendoroid Kirby photo
But can you really call it a Nendoroid?
Here's a pointless question for you: what makes this Kirby figure a Nendoroid (aside from obvious branding considerations)? Would a figma Kirby or, heck, a Hot Toys Kirby look any different? These are the kinds of things I as...

Himouto Umaru-chan photo
Himouto Umaru-chan

Up your Umaru count with these blind-boxed trading figures

Get some himoutos of your own
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
If you want to spruce up your dwelling in a totally adorable way with Himouto! Umaru-chan merchandise, now's your chance! Good Smile Company will be releasing a set of eight trading figures in January 2016 featuring four vari...
Parfom Labrys photo
Parfom Labrys

Welcome Parfom Labrys to the arena

This is one steely class president
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
You know what's awesome? The Persona series. Underneath the whackiness of talking teddy bears and robot warrior maidens lie some wonderful, memorable characters. Labrys here made her debut in Persona 4 Arena, being an older g...
Max Factory Hestia photo
Max Factory Hestia

Max Factory's Hestia is looking pretty bouncy

Now up for pre-order
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I'm sure DanMachi's Hestia is a character in her own right, but the general anime-aware public might know her more for her peculiar fashion sense. Indeed Max Factory's 1/7-scale PVC rendition goes all in on the boob string. I...
Nendoroid Sanya photo
Nendoroid Sanya

Nendoroid Sanya is ready for the night sky

This Nendo is no ghost
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
Strike Witches fans can finally get their hands on a Nendoroid version of the nocturnal witch Sanya V. Litvyak! With Strike Witches 2 having aired a pretty long time ago and the Operation Victory Arrow OVAs already wrapped up...
Nendoroid Ooyodo photo
The assistant to the secretary ship!
[ Update: Pre-order info added ] Relaying orders to the fleet, handling communications, giving mission briefings, and occasionally getting glomped by Kongou - these are all part of Ooyodo's everyday life. Doesn't that make he...

WonFes Alphamax photo
WonFes Alphamax

[NSFW] Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Alphamax/Skytube

Bringing the sexy to WonFes
Jul 29
// Tianxiao Ma
Alphamax (especially with their Skytube brand) tends to be on the racier side of figure manufacturers. They also seem to really like Tony Taka, which can make identifying these figures a chore... Anyway, they brought some rea...
WonFes Kotobukiya photo
WonFes Kotobukiya

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Kotobukiya

A nice lineup of pretty ladies
Jul 29
// Tianxiao Ma
Kotobukiya was no slouch at WonFes, bringing a spate of ambitious-looking figures alongside their Cu-Poche and Bishoujo lineups. I like that Kotobukiya has produced more and more elaborate designs over the years across a wide...
WonFes 2015 photo
WonFes 2015

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: MegaHouse

I'm slightly underwhelmed
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
As I comb through all this WonFes coverage, I have to say the showing from MegaHouse feels a little uninspired. Honestly, they've never been a go-to brand for me. I'm never watching my news feeds wondering what they're up to ...
WonFes 2015 Summer photo
WonFes 2015 Summer

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Wonderful Hobby Life For You

Highlights from GSC and associates
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
[ Update: Hobby Search has even more coverage of the WHL4U booth, including more Nendoroids, figmas, and ThreeA figures! ] Wonder Festival has come and gone. While it's odd to me that such a big event is one day only (wouldn'...
Bishoujo Tali photo
Hilariously un-Shunya
Artist Shunya Yamashita's trademarks are his cute feminine faces and voluptuous bodies. So if we have someone who's hooded, robed, and masked, it makes me wonder... why put the Bishoujo label on her at all? Indeed, Kotobukiya...

Sony Journey statue photo
Sony Journey statue

Take a pilgrimmage with this Journey statue

Polystone figure also includes art print
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Thatgamecompany's Journey was a big hit, paving the way for more thoughtful, Zen-like games to enter the mainstream. The fact that it got a PS4 re-release speaks to its lasting impact. But if living the experience digitally i...
Kantai Collection photo
Kantai Collection

A whole bunch of KanColle stuff went up for pre-order

Jun 23
// Tianxiao Ma
The Kantai Collection engine is steaming along nicely with five new pre-orders appearing throughout yesterday. Anime fans may not recognize the first two, which would be the Tenryuu-class light cruiseres Tenryuu and Tatsuta. ...
GSC Orange Rouge photo
GSC Orange Rouge

Good Smile Company announces Orange Rouge, a brand for male figures

Spearheading the bishounen lineup
Jun 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company and Max Factory have announced a new brand dedicated to male figures called Orange Rouge (after the colors of their respective logos). The idea is basically the same as Altair is to Alter, except the GSC/Ma...
Good Smile Company photo
Good Smile Company

Good Smile Company announces WonFes exclusives

WHL4U 22 site is up now
Jun 19
// Tianxiao Ma
It's time to gear up for the one-two punch that is Anime Expo and Summer Wonder Festival! Good Smile Company has put up their Wonderful Hobby Life For You site with a list of "exclusives" that they'll be bringing. I use quote...
GSC Kongou Bust photo
GSC Kongou Bust

Check out this pretty - and creepy - Kongou bust from Good Smile Company

Pre-orders exclusive to GSC Online Shop
Jun 16
// Tianxiao Ma
Announced long ago at some distant WonFes, Good Smile Company's Kongou bust is now up for pre-order. This is based on a sculpt by Masaichiro Usui, who certainly has an interesting style. While it's beautifully detailed (and n...
MegaHouse Dark Elf photo
Not actually wearing a bikini, though
There's something alluring about fantasy dark elves to me... well, the sexy ones at least. MegaHouse and (who else?) Hobby Japan have teamed up to produce another media franchise consisting of under-clothed ladies and a fanta...

Nendoroid Kongou photo
Nendoroid Kongou

Kongou sisters assemble... for a relaxing tea time

Now I wish I had this Nendoroid set
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
It looks like Good Smile Company's planning/development team also has fans of the Kongou sisters as they've posted a neato gallery showing off all four of them. I only know them from the Kantai Collection anime, but that's go...
Embrace Japan Chun Li photo
Embrace Japan Chun Li

Embrace Japan's Chun-Li figure is ready to hit the streets

But where do her organs go?
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
Street Fighter is back in a big way, and Embrace Japan is celebrating that with the pre-order of their Chun-Li figure. I have to say, it's... weird. Although the header image isn't too bad, dig deeper through the product shot...
Broccoli Luxuria photo
Broccoli Luxuria

A lustful devil from Broccoli goes up for pre-order

From the card game Z/X
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
This figure, featuring Luxuria from the card game Z/X - Zillions of Enemy X-, seems pretty derivative. What I mean is, this collaboration between Broccoli and Nippon Ichi seems to be transparently cashing in on a couple of fa...
Kotobukiya Hestia photo
Kotobukiya Hestia

Kotobukiya's Hestia is stringing us all along

1/7-scale figure is up for pre-order
Jun 09
// Tianxiao Ma
I decided to start watching DanMachi (or Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - light novel titles am I right?) on the basis of a tooth brushing gif. Well, more accurately I intended to start ...
figma Panzer IV photo
figma Panzer IV

Do your figmas need a ride? How about a tank?

figma-sized Panzer IV up for pre-order
Jun 06
// Tianxiao Ma
Has Max Factory lost its mind? It's very possible with the pre-order listing of this figma tank. They've provided various modes of transportation for your figmas before, such as horses and motorcycles. But this tank is some n...
MegaHobby Expo 2015 photo
MegaHobby Expo 2015

MegaHobby Expo 2015 Spring: Hobby Japan

For those of you looking for boobs
May 31
// Tianxiao Ma
Hobby Japan often caters to the more salacious crowd, and I'm getting a bit of that from their display at MegaHobby Expo. Unfortunately a lot of these will likely be Hobby Japan exclusives, so actually buying them can be a tr...
Nakama Toys photo
Nakama Toys

Tomopop About Town: Nakama Toys retail store

A legit figure store in Chicago!
May 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I think one of the best things to inspire passion for a hobby is having a good brick and mortar retail store around. They're valuable for showing off the hobby and product, and you can get some good info from experienced coll...
2016 Snow Miku photo
2016 Snow Miku

The next Snow Miku will have a sportier design

Winner revealed on the GSC live stream
May 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Snow Miku has had many looks, going from a straightforward palette swap to a beautiful interpretation based on traditional Japanese dress to the fanciful designs of the last two years. For 2016 we're getting away from the whi...

Tomopop Review: Titanfall Stryder by Threezero

May 21 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: StryderFigure Maker: ThreezeroRetail Price: US$430Available at: Threezero store | Sideshow Collectibles | Big Bad Toy Store  This is my first review of a Threezero collectible. So if you've collected Threezero stuff before, some of this post might be old hat to you. Also, since this is a pre-production sample, a lot of the packaging and finish may not be final. My first impression was: "This is probably the craziest thing I've ever reviewed." Even getting through all the layers of bubble wrap was a saga, as I didn't want something to come loose or break off as I was pulling away the packing materials. The figure's gigantic by the way: 20" tall! That's just shy of two feet! In fact, I couldn't do this shoot on my usual tabletop space. I had to pack it into another box (wouldn't fit in my backpack) and take it outside. Fortunately, I had plenty of daylight to work with and a suitable location in mind. The first thing that struck me was the paint job - specifically the weathering. No detail was left un-weathered and it does a great job making the Titan look grungy and worn-in. I think the attention to detail goes past "devout" and enters "fanatical" territory. Despite the figure's size, there is a delicacy that makes me hesitant to play around with it too much. Part of that is from the figure's design, but the use of lightweight plastics in its construction also concerns me a bit regarding durability. Still, it survived the shipping process without any problems so maybe my fears are unfounded. Threezero shipped this with a plasma railgun, but if you order from their store you'll get a bonus XO-16 chaingun. The railgun is absolutely enormous but lightweight, and you can fit it (with some effort) into the Stryder's hands. Its ammo cylinder can revolve and be detached. Speaking of hands, this is a good time to start walking you through the articulation of the figure. The wrist and base of the thumb are on ball joints. Each individual thumb/finger segment is articulated as well! The forearm can rotate just above the elbow, and the elbow itself is on a ratcheting joint that helps it hold its pose for heavier accessories. Above all that, the shoulder joint rotates on three axes. Each leg has two joints at the hip. The first knee joint has minimal articulation to give some leeway for standing poses, but the legs overall aren't very flexible. I don't think running or crouching postures will be possible. Both ankles can swivel on two axes, and the pistons behind can be disconnected for further flexibility. You'll find a surprising amount of articulation at the torso. I'm not even sure I've fiddled with everything that can be fiddled with... The entire upper body can be rotated and swiveled about the waist with an interesting joint system consisting of pistons. The tubing you see is made of a flexible material. Around back the thrusters and exhausts are articulated, as well as its "head" and missile launcher. But that's not all! Its cockpit opens up wide enough for you to seat the included pilot. I could basically write an entire review of the pilot figure, but it's a throw-in for the Stryder. Here you can see the core with the cover removed. The aerial is detachable (a bit too easily) so make sure you don't lose it. And once again, I'd like to point out the magnificent weathering work on the figure. But that's still not all! Under the hip joint you can find a battery cover. Pop in two AAA batteries and you'll be able to turn on its LED lights. They're controlled by a button on the back; press it once for red, again for blue, and a third time to turn them off. Rounding out the package is the pilot figure, which is about the size of a bulky figma. Even this figure is amazingly detailed, with cloth and elastic materials for its uniform! Of course he's also fully articulated for a variety of poses. He comes with a C.A.R. SMG (unfortunately the stock broke off during shooting) and some alternate hand parts to hold it. As I said, I could write a whole review on just the pilot figure, but he's an extra in this package! Figure makers will sometimes produce PVC figures at a very large scale. But the ones I've seen are usually very basic, without any real increase in detail or variety in materials used. Threezero, however, has leveraged the large scale to cram in as much detail and articulation as possible. You just won't see this on even the best made action figures. With all that in mind, Threezero's pricing starts to make sense. Yes they're asking for $430, but this is a lot of figure. Like Sideshow, they use the large format to its fullest, and that's going to cost money. But how many awe-inspiring centerpieces do you really need in your collection? [ Thanks to Threezero for the review sample! ]
Threezero Strider photo
The craziest thing I've ever reviewed?
Titanfall was one of the most hyped games for the new console generation, and may have been one of the most disappointing depending on who you ask. The premise reminds me of something like the old school mech shooter Hea...

GSC Kizumonogatari photo
GSC Kizumonogatari

Good Smile Company's Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade is up for pre-order

Hope you're good with names
May 20
// Tianxiao Ma
The lovely vampire from the Monogatari series is back to her original form in this 1/8-scale figure from Good Smile Company! You might know her better as Shinobu Oshino, though her original name was Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion He...
Nendoroid Sakura Mikudayo photo
Nendoroid Sakura Mikudayo

Rue the coming of spring with Nendoroid Sakura Mikudayo

Pink is the new color of the abyss
Apr 30
// Tianxiao Ma
The fact that Good Smile Company has embraced the Mikudayo meme should tell you something about who they are as a company. If you thought Mikudayo would just be a one-off, though, you'd be wrong. She's back in force this year...
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: Jellykoe

Colorful and hazardous?
Apr 30
// Tianxiao Ma
Jellykoe continued its line of Tox City plush creations at C2E2. They're colorful characters that make me think of something you'd see in a Cartoon Network show. Maybe one day... You can get a rundown of the Tox City line fro...
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: House of Darkly

Sweet desserts
Apr 30
// Tianxiao Ma
You can find a plush for just about anything. Do you want plush dessert items? No problem. Plush weather phenomena? Got it covered. Plush... rocks? You bet! In fact House of Darkly's booth featured all of that stuff and more....
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: CKRTLAB Toys

Vintage meets vinyl
Apr 29
// Tianxiao Ma
CKRTLAB's mission is to celebrate the golden age of comics. To that end they're resurrecting some comic book heroes from as far back as the 1940s! They've added on to their lineup from C2E2 last year, as a new wave of yestery...
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: BeeFy & Co.

Lots of Poo
Apr 29
// Tianxiao Ma
BeeFy & Co. was started by Menh Voong, an aspiring graphics artist who decided to go into business for himself. I'm bad at keeping tabs on who's been where, but looking through Tomopop's history, Menh has apparently been ...
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: Diamond Select Toys

Bringing Bruce Timm's designs to 3D
Apr 29
// Tianxiao Ma
Diamond Select Toys always brings a smorgasbord of goods to each convention covering a disparate range of properties. Of course, their comic book properties always take center stage. This time it was the Batman and Superman a...
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: Bluefin

Toys from the east and west
Apr 28
// Tianxiao Ma
Bluefin distributes collectibles from a bunch of companies, so their booth is usually pretty packed at conventions. Fortunately I got there just before closing so I was able to avoid the hectic experience of photographing the...
C2E2 2015 photo
C2E2 2015

C2E2 2015: Enterbay

The Chicago Bulls aren't the only ones still making money off the dynasty
Apr 28
// Tianxiao Ma
Enterbay is a lot like Hot Toys, focusing on realistic 1/6-scale poseable figures. They've done a few movie characters, but at C2E2 focus quite a lot on NBA players. Maybe it's pandering to Chicago's collective 90s nostalgia,...
Funny Knights Kongou photo
Funny Knights Kongou

Aoshima's Kongou is almost ready for tea time

Wow! Congratulations!
Apr 23
// Tianxiao Ma
Let me tell you something about Kongou: she is the best. Period. The Kantai Collection anime cemented her as one of my favorite female characters in recent memory; her scenes are hilarious, and she's basically the Gaptain Gin...
Racing Miku 2015 photo
Is she a Valkyria?
Racing Miku is getting her yearly update. This time Good Smile Racing has gone with a clever sword and shield motif, which for me personally evokes the titular warriors of Valkyria Chronicles. I'm not the only one who thinks ...

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