If you pay attention to any of the posts I write, you'll be able to pick up that I'm a huge fan of One Piece. On top of that, I absolutely adore Megahouse's Portrait of Pirates line. They're seriously my favorite series of toys amongst the many that I buy. They're worth the stress that goes into stalking Amiami, Hobby Search and HobbyLink Japan to make sure that I can order them.
So how does one get into a habit that puts illicit substances to shame? Well, that's a story that involves a Japanese DS game, a sexy chick with black hair and a pusher who gave me my first taste for free ... sort of. Let me spin you a yarn while I show you photos of one my favorite P.O.P.s, Strong Edition Nico Robin, as she appeared in the Strong World feature film, reviewed by Jonathan Tubbs last August.
Hit the jump to see the pics and read my tale.
Here's a wide shot of Strong Edition Robin, just to jog your memory. I like to keep her with the pony tail instead of her long hair and I like her with glasses. It adds to the whole "hot librarian" look that I'm so fond of. Well, that is if hot librarians wear ankle-length coats and carry huge flintlock cannons. It's a simple getup, but very effective at what it pulls off. With that in mind, let me take you five years back to a more innocent (and lucrative) time of my life.
November of 2006 is when Jump Ultimate Stars, the Shonen Jump cross-over fighting game, came out for the DS. It featured literally dozens of characters from a multitude of series that made their appearance in the legendary weekly manga collection. After playing it for a while, I decided to start reading some of the series that made an appearance in the game. I started with One Piece, and nine days and almost 400 chapters later, I caught up with the manga and knew that I need some sweet merch from this amazing series.
I knew that there were many smaller gashapon and blind-box figures, but I wanted something bigger. After a bit of research, I discovered the first line of Portrait of Pirates that came out in 2004 and that they were long sold out. Needless to say, I was quite bummed. The following year I found out the great news that Megahouse was re-releasing the originals as well as adding new characters every couple of months. My friend Cristian Alvernaz (who you might remember as a Tomopop contributor) also decided to buy these new P.O.P.s, so he helped find out when the various characters would go for sale. This leads up to when I joined Tomopop in 2008.
The first review I wrote for Tomopop was P.O.P. Sogeking and Nico Robin, that Robin being a re-release of her original P.O.P. from 2004. Although the figures in the review belonged to Cristian, I ended up picking up both through various sales soon after. At that point, I knew that I would be buying as many of these things as possible. Since then, I've managed to get a hold of 15 different P.O.P.s, with another two currently on pre-order. Despite the horrible exchange rate and the price increases that have occurred since I began collecting them, I won't be stopping any time soon.
Which brings me to Strong Edition Robin here. She was a gift from Cristian and a band of friends who got together and bought her for my birthday last year. This version of Robin ranks quite high amongst the other P.O.P.s for the reasons I listed earlier. That's not to say that I'm not fond of my original Robin, just that I like the get up she's rocking above. For comparison's sake, here's what the original looks like.
Besides the obvious costume and hair changes, you'll see that Strong Robin's eyes are brown as opposed to blue. The anime has her blue eyes while the manga and Strong World have her with brown. Her face has also become less angular in the time since she was first introduced and put into PVC. These slight alterations appeal to me, hence why I hold Strong Robin to such high regard. She also has a bit more substance to her than the original release, as made apparent by the following photo.
I think Robin took my advice and ate a couple of sandwiches before the release of Strong World. Her arms are still waif-like, but she's got a nice pair of gams and somewhat bigger waist. I tossed in young Robin because I thought it'd be nice to have the trio together.
So that's it for my Show and Tell. If you're interested in finding Strong World Robin, I wish you good luck. Her re-release came up a couple of weeks back, but her reservations were snapped up in about five minutes across most major sites. However, you can still get her at Toyslogic.
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