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Tomopop Review: Cu-poche Friends Alice by Kotobukiya

Dec 23 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Cu-poche Friends AliceFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: $49.99Available at: Kotobukiya Online Store Alice is the fourth Cu-poche Friends figure, joining Anne, Cherie, and Belle. While the others have more modern looking outfits, Alice has a dress that would be more at home in Victorian England. Here you can see all the accessories she comes with. Not pictured is a plastic baggie meant to hold extra parts. I've always appreciated this inclusion with figmas, and am glad that Kotobukiya decided to include one as well. You also get some nice general-purpose hand parts, but unfortunately no extra face parts. I don't have another Cu-poche so I won't be able to go over the face swapping, but it should work pretty much the same as with any other figure. One unique thing about the Cu-poche line is the use of real fabric for clothing. Each of the Cu-poche Friends figures have this (regular Cu-poches are plastic), and you can buy additional fabric outfits separately. This is standard in the world of ball-jointed dolls and 1/6-scale figures, but pretty rare for smaller poseable figures. For Alice, you need to put on her leggings, petticoat, apron, and shoes. None of it was super fussy; just remember to unbutton the apron in the back to get the arms in. There are two headbands included: one with a ribbon, and one with rabbit ears. I like the whimsical touch and the nods to Alice in Wonderland. Her watch pendant is of course a literary reference, but I also like to think of it as a Flavor Flav reference. You can also see in the above shot that Alice's feet have magnets on them (her bare feet and shoes are all magnetized). This feature is meant to provide extra stability if you're using her base. Due to the weight of her hair, I found that she does need to be propped up in some poses. Although you get a good amount of articulation with Cu-poches, the trade-off is that the joints are highly visible. In Alice's case her outfit covers most of them (without really impeding the movement, which is nice). As for the articulation itself, I found it very well executed. For Alice, the range of movement is reduced by her hair. The shoulder joints can rotate quite a bit, and her leg joints bend enough to where she can get into a sitting pose. The wrist and head articulation are the same as what you'd get on a Nendoroid. Speaking of Nendoroids, here's a size comparison with Nendoroid Kuroneko. Alice is significantly taller due to her body proportions. I think in most cases they'll look fine together. If not you can go the extra mile of swapping their heads. Another comparable figure line is Phat Company's Parfom brand, of which there are only a few figures released. Parfoms are much taller with more slender limbs, so they don't mesh as well with Cu-poche figures. Since this was my first Cu-poche figure, I wasn't sure what to expect. Alice did win me over in many categories. The fabric clothing is great as long as you tuck away some of the seams (and don't spill anything on them). I like the articulation and feel of the joints. Most of all, I like that they don't feel as loose and fiddly as Nendoroids do. As much as I like Nendoroids, they can be annoying in that the parts don't always fit well and can drop off easily. Still, I imagine the biggest point of contention for many will be the way they look. Cu-poches don't quite match the chibi proportions of Nendoroids, and the joints on some of them can be rather intrusive. They're not bad in Alice's case but other Cu-poches may not fare as well. I think Alice will appeal mostly to collectors like me, who enjoy using these figures to tell stories in images - or maybe to folks who just like cute stuff. Given the great build quality and competitive price, it's definitely worth looking at other figures in the line too. Be sure to click through the gallery below for the full photo set. And if you want to stay up to date on Kotobukiya's releases, give their Facebook page a like! [ Thanks to Kotobukiya for the review sample! ]
Cu-poche Alice photo
Going down the Cu-poche rabbit hole
Toy collectors have a ton of choices when it comes to small, chibi-fied collectibles. From gachapon capsules to Nendoroids, they'll always be popular due to their accessibility and affordability. It's no surprise, then, that ...

MegaHobby Expo Koto photo
MegaHobby Expo Koto

MegaHobby Expo 2014 Autumn: Kotobukiya

My, that's a mighty nice chainsaw you have there ...
Dec 03
// Brian Szabelski
Kotobukiya's MegaHobby Expo 2014 Autumn offerings weren't too big on the new announcement side of things, but fans of Black Butler ~Book of Circus~ should be pleased. Not only were Sebastien and Ciel there, but so w...
NYCC 2014: Kotobukiya photo
NYCC 2014: Kotobukiya

NYCC 2014: Kotobukiya

The perfect accompaniment to Kotobukiya's panel
Oct 11
// Natalie Kipper
After reading all about Kotobukiya's future products in Tian's overview of their panel at this year's New York Comic-Con, I am sure you are chomping at the bit to feast your optical nerves on the company's booth from the...
Cu-Poche photo
Now with even more outfits?
[ UPDATE: Additional close-ups added to the gallery ] Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche display at Summer WonFes included more outfits for the girls (come to think of it, we haven't had one male Cu-Poche yet...) and a placard showing tha...

Cu-Poche photo

Cu-Poche Extra gym body up for pre-order

Would have made an exercise pun because it's a gym outfit but that could only have unintended, dirty connotations
Jun 20
// Scarecroodle
Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Extra Short Sleeved Gym Uniform Body is now available for pre-order. Like the Swim Suit Body, this release only comes with the body itself (ie, no head) and is cheaper than a normal Cu-Poche. While I pre...
Cu-Poche Dekomori photo
Bring down the hammer
After Kotobukiya added Rikka Takanashi to their Cu-Poche line, it was surely only a matter of time before her erstwhile sidekick Sanae Dekomori showed up in the range. Sure enough, the deranged schoolgirl is now available for...

Cu-Poche photo
The AmiAmi Blog has released a preview for Kotobukiya's upcoming Cu-poche Extra School Swim Wear Body. Don't expect to see these photos in Sports-Figure Illustrated, however, because swimsuits seen here are based on the tradi...

Cu-Poche photo

A smathering of upcoming Cu-Poche and Cu-Poche accessories on display

Exactly how many (or much) is a smathering anyway?
May 05
// Scarecroodle
Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche line seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Not the kinds of leaps and bounds that catapult over objects like skyscrapers, mind you, but instead more sensible jumps. In short, there's a good amount of ...
GodHand Tools Nipa-ko photo
Let's add flush-cut nippers to the list of weird things turned into girls
Yay for random and unexpected figures of questionable origin! GodHand Tools, makers of a popular line of flush-cut nippers used for model building, is showing off photos of a Cu-Poche of their mascot character Nipa-ko. The fi...

Cu-Pochi photo

Miyazawa Model Exhibition Spring 2014: Cu-Poche Rikka Takanashi

Vanishment this World!
Apr 09
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Another season of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions has come to an end, but the characters still continue to be a hot commodity. Too bad companies are being painfully slow in catching on to this otaku cash cow. Well at lea...
Cu-poche Akemi Homura photo
Cu-poche Akemi Homura

Cu-poche Akemi Homura packs a lot of firepower

Exactly how many guns and explosives does a girl need?
Apr 01
// Natalie Kipper
Way back in last October, Kotobukiya teased a Cu-Poche version of Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Akemi Homura. Providing a only silhouette, fans were left guessing what the magical girl would look like and come packaged with. We...
Cu-Poche Mikoto Misaka photo
No Touma to pick on, unfortunately
It's been a while since we heard about Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Mikoto Misaka, but Akiba Hobby has a grand gallery up for your viewing. The articulation of the Cu-Poche design should lead to dynamic poses, which will make up som...

Tomopop LinkUP: From viewers like you

Feb 20 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Pinkcheeks has been having a lot of fun with Mayoi Hachikuji. Here's figma Mayoi enjoying some fresh air in the great outdoors on a mountain hike... ...and here's Nendoroid Hachikuji looking platinum cute in a pink bunny costume! Right in our very own Tomopop C-Blogs, CrowMaiden did a wonderful photo review of Megahouse's G.E.M. series Yamato "Matt" Ishida from Digimon. I really need to get myself one of these and Tai. [embed]33698:37257:0[/embed] Kenneth Bolido did a great video review for the 2014 Snow Miku. Lots of nice visuals in this review. I'm sure this isn't the last time we'll see her in LinkUP. Reflective Boundary did a gallery for the very sexy Alphamax 1/8 Velvet from Shining Ark. Quite the treasure. Kixkillradio made Kaiyodo's Capsule Fortune Saber figrues look pretty darn irresistible. She also spent some quality time with Cu-Poche Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi from HenNeko. This figure needs a neko mask in the worst way! Former Tomopop staffer Chag posted on his blog Hobby Hovel about his engagement this past weekend and how love effects our hobby (and vise versa). Congrats! Don't forget to check out the Tomopop Tumblr for great stuff being shared all the time like these amazing Star Wars figure photos from Avanaut shared by Archie McPhee. That's it for this week. See you next week right here on Tomopop LinkUP!
Tomopop LinkUP photo
Take a moment to enjoy other people playing with toys
Hello and welcome back to Tomopop LinkUP! This week we're doing something entirely different from the normal LinkUP. Last week we took no prisoners when reporting on Wonder Festival 2014 [Winter] which doesn't leave much for ...

WonFes Cu-poche photo
An adorable gallery of old and new
Ah yes, the Cu-poche; what some might call Kotobukiya's answer to Good Smile Company's popular Nendoroid line. Whatever your take on the chibi-fied figures, Wonder Festival's Cu-poche display is sure to draw more than a few e...

Tomopop LinkUP: Art is a blast!

Jan 16 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
New papercraft site Urban Paper Collective has now launched. They describe themselves as an "international group of friends who share a passion for the design of papertoys of all sizes." The new site will be offering exclusive, free monthly papertoys right on the site as well as paper news, tips, and collaborations between artists. You can read bios for the artists and see examples of their work at the previous link. The first free toy is the above UPC Badger which has been followed by the first monthly exclusive: 1401: Clown. Akiba Hobby has updated again with a new gallery. This time featuring Beach Queens Wakaba Saegusa from Vividred Operation. She's pretty standard as these figures go, but doesn't look bad, just feels like she's missing something. AmiAmi has posted a two part interview with popular artist and character designer Tony Taka at his Albion Works studio. You probably couldn't pick him out of a crowd, but his figures are easily recognized. He discusses quite a bit in the two interviews, but I'm more of a sucker for looking at people's collections so I'm mostly in it for the extensive gallery found at the links. Biggest surprise for me: AmiAmi makes display cases? Good Smile Company once again gathered up all of their new Wooser merch for another look. included are a variety of plushies, oversized talking pens, and the headphone jack dust plugs. What better way is there to celebrate the new season of the anime (which is awesome)? Kahotan put together a gallery for their latest Nendoroid addition to their Little Busters series: Komari Kamikita. She's an adorable looking figure with lots of added parts including sitting legs and some snacks. Kud has some stiff competition coming when it comes to cuteness. Tailgrab's Aka posted a gallery for his recently purchased Dollfie Dream Kuonji Alice. The darkness and shadows are a really great match for her pale skin and dark hair and eyes! Which artist from the designer toy scene did Smithsonian Magazine just tap for an interview? Why none other than modeler Jason Freeny of course! He calls the interview one of his greatest honors and you can tell they did their homework. Emilio Garcia's latest brain-themed designer piece is the green Brainade. This piece is being sold via a lottery system with more info at the link. Talk about mind-blowing! Kixkillradio is keeping a bunch of figures warm under their own little kotatsu (Japanese heated table). There are two galleries, one for Cu-Poche and one for Nendoroids. They sure do look toasty under there! Tentacle Armada has posted two new relatively SFW gallery reviews. First up is Mary Stuart from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II. Second up is Tony Taka's Daisy figure which looks amazing under natural light! Reflective Boundary did a really nice photo gallery for Vertex's Noel Vermilion from BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma. Sometimes all you need is pictures because words just slow you down. Lastly, our own Tian here at Tomopop helps me out a lot every week by pointing out the really cool fan galleries I post every week. He's got a 2013 year-in-review over on his website Makigumo that's worth checking out alongside his other reviews and galleries. If you like this stuff go on over there and make his hit counter move a little. That's all for this week. I look forward to seeing you come back next week for another Tomopop LinkUP!
Tomopop LinkUP photo
A good week for the creative types
Hello and welcome to the latest installment of Tomopop LinkUP! I hope people enjoyed the special Transformers edition of LinkUP I did last week, but now we're back to our regular routine. There's been a lot of stuff happening...

Cu-Poche Mikoto photo
Cu-Poche Mikoto

Cu-Poche Mikoto Misaka bolts to pre-orders

Surely Kuroko can't be far behind?
Jan 16
// Martin Siggers
I wasn't initially a huge fan of Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche line, but they've done a great job of winning me over and I'm totally on board now. Their latest release is a looking great too as the company takes on the ever popular l...
Kotobukiya Cu-Poche photo
Kotobukiya Cu-Poche

Ever wonder how Cu-Poche figure are made?

Two parts of a multi-part blog series are up
Dec 08
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company's Mikatan gave us some insight about how Nendoroids (and PVC figures in general) are manufactured. Kotobukiya's Japanese blog is now running a similar series showing off the journey of a Cu-Poche figure fro...
Cu-Poche Yukiho Hagiwara photo
Sing (or dig) along with Yukiho!
Yesterday, Kotobukiya announced the next figure coming to their lovable Cu-Poche figure line, Idol M@ster's Yukiho Hagiwara. The aspiring pop singer will be shrunk down to chibi proportions, standing at a mere 4 and a half in...

Tomopop LinkUP: the Nendoroid rage edition

Dec 05 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Kahotan has a gallery previewing Nendoroid Yoshika Miyafuji: Shinden Ver. from Strike Witches. She's already been put up for pre-order, but if you wanted to know how this version has changed from the original here's how. Crunchyroll posted a report on a Dokidoki! PreCure event that took place in Japan in November. The big draw for the show was life-size statutes of the characters as well plush versions of the fairies. They also had a number of other statues from previous events on display. French site Ogaman has posted a gallery for Tsume's Gemini Saga figure from Saint Seiya. It's 1/6 scale and cast in polyresin so it should be a pretty solid piece. Fantastic Plastic Toys has revealed three new colorways in their Mystical Warriors of the Ring mini figure line. Their online store has three-packs of Pearlescent Blue for US$9 and Glow in the Dark for US$10. Plus they're doing their first retailer exclusive, Pearlescent Black, for Jay's CD & Hobby. Kahotan did a release gallery for Nendoroid Tohka Yatogami from Date A Live. There's also a preview of Nendoroid Yoshino as well. If it's male figures you're looking for then has a prototype preview of Kotobukiya's upcoming ARTFX J Yukimura Seiichi figure from Prince of Tennis. No real details to go by at this time aside from it being 1/8 scale. GSC held one of their live broadcasts last week and figsoku has posted screen caps. It's mostly stuff we've seen before, but we do get our first good look at figma Yukari Akiyama from Girls und Panzer. Plus there's a new look at Nendoroid Akagi and some of her accessories from Kantai Collection. Pinkcheeks posted a great gallery featuring some Nendoroids exchanging gifts for Christmas. Cute stuff! Tokyo Otaku Mode is reporting on a number of new exclusive Gundam kits coming to Gundam Front Tokyo. The four sets, all with pretty long names include HGUC RX-0 Unicorn Gundam Unit 3 Phoenix (Destroy Mode) Ver. GFT ( Limited Gold Coating), HGUC 1/144 Unicorn Gundam Unit 2 Banshee (Destroy Mode) Ver. GFT, MG 1/100 RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. 3.0 Ver. GFT, and BB Warrior Gogg & Acguy & Zock Ver. GFT Tricolor Paint. Disney posted new images of Pixar Vinylmation series 2 on their blog. They added word bubbles to each pic so give them a look. Hot Toys is showing off the latest hero to join their 1/6 Avengers movie line: Bruce Banner! You can either get him alone or in a regional exclusive two-pack with Hulk. Kixkillradio did two festive galleries featuring Cu-Poche girls celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those Thanksgiving costumes are such a great idea! That's all for this week! Hope you call come back next week for another Tomopop LinkUP!
Tomopop LinkUP photo
Maybe not 'rage', but wow, there's a lot of Nendoroid stuff this week
Hello and welcome back to another week of Tomopop LinkUP! It's been pretty crazy this past week, what with everyone trying to extend Black Friday and Cyber Monday into more than just a single day. If you looked around there w...

Preview Kuroneko photo
Preview Kuroneko

Preview Kotobukiya's Kuroneko Cu-Poche

She makes a good Cu-Poche
Nov 30
// Jon Wills
Back in October pre-orders became available for Cu-Poche Kuroneko. Many of us were pleased with the stock factory images of her, but AmiAmi's English blog did a review of their own with some pretty nice photos to compliment t...
Cu-Poche Homura teaser photo
Cu-Poche Homura teaser

Cu-poche Akemi Homura is teased

The time-traveling magical girl will join Kotobukiya's mini figure line
Oct 28
// Natalie Kipper
The Madoka Magica train is picking up steam once again. We recently posted the upcoming figma and Nendoroid of the series' newest magical girl, Momoe Nagisa, and now Kotobukiya has decided to join the party with a teaser...
Cu-Poche Kuroneko photo
Cu-Poche Kuroneko

Surprise! Cu-Poche Kuroneko up for pre-order

Kirino was lonely!
Oct 22
// Kristina Pino
The adorable Cu-Poche Kirino Kousaka will be seeing her partner in crime soon! Per-orders have just surfaced for Kuroneko, and she's slated for release in April of next year. It looks like this figure flew completely under ou...
Cu-Poche Mikoto photo
Cu-Poche Mikoto

Cu-Poche Mikoto is a level 5 (in cuteness)

Still only the third-ranked level 5, though
Aug 23
// Tianxiao Ma
A Certain Scientific Railgun S is a heck of a show, and it's about time we saw more Mikoto figures. This month's magazine scans have a Cu-Poche version on display, set for 2014. You can see a pretty good range of accessories:...
Cu-Poche Tsukiko photo
Cu-Poche Tsukiko

Cu-Poche Tsukiko tries to spook us in her preview

But she just looks adorable, instead, doesn't she?
Aug 20
// Brian Szabelski
Akiba Hobby's preview of the Cu-Poche Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko has arrived, giving us a little chance to look up close at her accessories and faces. I think the most interesting one is her oni mask, which does feature a lit...
Cu-Poche Sayaka Miki photo
Madoka Magica's blue-haired fighter is looking awfully cute!
A blog post from Kotobukiya previewed the latest in their Cu-Poche line of figures: Sayaka Miki of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Her accessories, which include three facial expressions and her four swords, look sparse compared t...


Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Kotobukiya Part 3

Everything else!
Jul 29
// Martin Siggers
There's still more! Kotobukiya's booth was also loaded with stuff that had been previously announced but hadn't been seen 'in the wild' before, so it's our first chance to look over some upcoming releases. For me the highligh...
WonFes: Koto's Cu-Poche photo
WonFes: Koto's Cu-Poche

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche

Another chance to look at Sayaka Miki, Tsutsukakushi Tsukiko
Jul 27
// Brian Szabelski
So far, outside of the previously teased Misaka Mikoto, there's no big surprises with Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche line at Wonder Festival 2013 Summer. However, their booth does have another chance to check out two releases near the...
Cu-Poche DMG gallery photo
Editor wonders if DMG story will ever run that doesn't include "magic", "magical", or "cast" in its headline
Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Dark Magician Girl (DMG) may be shipping at this very moment (if it hasn't already arrived), but the company has released another quick preview gallery to tide over anybody still eagerly watching their m...

Cu-Poche Saber photo
Cu-Poche Saber

The adventures of Cu-Poche Saber

Oh, the places she will go
Jun 25
// Scarecroodle
Kotobukiya has apparently taken their Cu-Poche Saber on quite a few adventures, if their blog is of any indication. See Saber in a suitcase, Saber on a train, Saber holding a fork, and more in their blog entry. Where's the cr...
Cu-Poche Saber photo
Cu-Poche Saber

Preview Kotobukiya's Cu-poche Saber

Saber is ready for action!
Jun 12
// Jon Wills
Kotobukiya recently updated their official blog and gave us a new preview of their about to released Cu-poche Saber. They have photos of Saber posed with her invisible sword, wind barrier special effect pieces, and of co...
Cu-Poche Mami photo
Cu-Poche Mami

Cu-Poche Mami is up for pre-order

Might not want to get too headstrong
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
Madoka Magica's Mami Tomoe has made for some great figures thanks to her charming character design (and guns). Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche version continues that grand tradition, and is now available for pre-order. Compared to the ...

Megahobby Expo 2013 Spring: Kotobukiya

All bow before the mighty power of Marik Ishtar!
May 25
// Vanessa Cubillo
At the spring Megahobby Expo, Kotobukiya unveiled some very nice new figures. For me, the biggest news was seeing a new addition to their Yu-Gi-Oh! ArtFx line. Yes, among the previously released Yu-Gi-Oh! figures, there was ...
Cupoche DMG preview photo
She's magically high resolution
Danny Choo's Culture Japan has released a preview gallery for Kotobukiya's Cupoche Dark Magician Girl (Yu-Gi-Oh!) and, if you thought she was cute before, prepare to be overcutewhelmed (and if you didn't, maybe this will chan...

Cu-poche Mami revealed! photo
Cu-poche Mami revealed!

Have a magazine scan of Cu-poche Mami from Madoka Magika

Mini Charlotte is, of course, included
May 23
// Natalie Kipper
Mami Tomoe, the well-mannered and gentle magical girl from the hit series Puella Magi Madoka Magika, has been spotted in recent magazine scans taking the form of a Cu-poche figure. She is the second character in the series to...

C2E2 2013: Kotobukiya

Bringing with them their haul of DC, Marvel, and more.
Apr 30
// Vanessa Cubillo
Kotobukiya was in full force at C2E2, and while they didn't have anything exclusive for the event, they still brought along their big releases for the upcoming months. In full display were ArtFX's DC New 52 line that include...

Get an early look at Cu-Poche Madoka!

There are quite a lot of pictures in here
Apr 22
// Natalie Kipper
Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Kaname Madoka Cu-Poche is be set to release later this month but Danny Choo of Culture Japan got a hold of an early copy. Lucky for us, he is sharing the wealth by posting up some really fantastic ...
She can sing to me all day long
The first release in Kotobukiya's new Cu-poche line of super-deformed figures is finally almost here! Haruka Amami from The Idolm@ster is looking as cute as ever, and Danny Choo has a nice gallery up of the figure.  He t...

The Yu-Gi-Oh! mainstay joins the Cu-Poche line
I always thought the card designs in Yu-Gi-Oh! to be something more of a monstrous nature, what with your Kuriboh and your Blue-Eyes White Dragon.  Along comes Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Black Magician Girl, however, and I'm ...


Wonder Festival 2013 Winter: Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche line

Say hello to Hoshii Miki and Tomoe Mami
Feb 12
// Brian Szabelski
We posted about Kotobukiya's scaled figures last night, but it wouldn't be complete coverage without mentioning their Cu-Poche figures! First, we must dive into the two new Cu-Poche on display: Idolm@ster's Hoshii Miki, who c...

Cu-Poche Saber wants to join your collection

Won't you take her hand?
Dec 07
// Scarecroodle
Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche Saber is now available for pre-order. This hotly heroine of Fate/stay night will be among the first characters to grace Kotobukiya's Cu-Poche line. As previously mentioned, Saber comes with two versions ...

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