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Mega Man Zero photo
Cyber-Elves and elemental chips sold separately?
Remember Capcom's little April Fool's stunt last year where one of the four characters shown was going to be made into a D-Arts figure? You know, the teaser which involved the Mega Man Zero-series Zero, classic-series Roll, a...

Tomopop Review: D-Arts Elizabeth

Feb 06 // Andres Cerrato
Figure Name: D-Arts ElizabethFigure Maker: Tamashii NationsRetail Price: $50.99Available At: Amazon | Big Bad Toy Store | Entertainment Earth Yes, this Elizabeth is the one you know from Persona 3, but since we have a game to promote, this is her version from Persona 4 The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena. Boxart for Bandai has traditionally followed a format, but they've allowed for the D-Arts line to take its own styling for each release. Persona's figures have had very vibrant box art, so it's pleasing to say the least. As it's a box, you get a window view, some pictures of how you can pose it, and other assorted information. Taking her out of the box, I immediately noticed that she is very light. It's not to say that it feels low quality, but there's not a real heft to it. The reason for this though is her dress. Its made of a rubber-like material, allowing you to get some good posing with her, not to mention ease of changing with another accessory, but more on that later. Looking close-up, the faces are done quite well for Elizabeth. The eyes mirror exactly what they should be. Her hair is done in silver, which leads it to having a more grayish look than white. I wish they would have gone with a gradient like her artwork suggests, but we didn't get that here. What we do get are some good accessories for her. The alternate hands feature small pegs to attach the Persona Compendium, which is available either open or closed. Elizabeth is a very stable figure. I was expecting due to the choice of footwear that she may have some problems standing, but no problems whatsoever. The dress somewhat limits how far she can move her legs, but it's nothing that isn't truly compromising. She won't be doing high kicks or anything crazy from P4A, but I don't think you would expect that given the clothing. Also, you can remove her hat! It's held in place by a peg, so if you do remove it there'll be a hole in the top of her head. If you don't mind that, go capless. Here, you can see her other two accessories, the closed Persona Compendium and card, not to mention her second face option. It's almost to say, "Life just dealt you the wrong card." Since she's already seated, let's talk about this option. With Elizabeth, she comes with an extra dress part to allow her to sit in the chair. The seated dress, like the other, is made of the same flexible plastic. What you'll need to do is gently pull out the torso at the chest joint. From there, remove the dress, pop the legs into the seated version, and pop back in. It was a bit troublesome to get in, but it's rather stable and I'm not worried about the joints themselves cracking from pressure. Let me be honest here. What drew me to this release was the chair. It's a fairly nice chair as you see, with ample detail for each rivet and button. I actually had a chair like this in my house (same color at that), so it's a bit creepy, but cool, to have a toy version of it. If you're on the fence about Elizabeth, it's probably because she's already on your radar. She's a great figure with the usual articulation and features you expect from Bandai, but unless you're a Persona fan, she's kind of there. There's a reason why you see her paired up with previous release of D-Arts Thanatos. I like her design and the figure, not to mention the glorious chair, but it's a bit much for me when I've played very little of the games. Until I actually decide to play it again, Elizabeth will be a figure that is nice, but I don't fully appreciate. Maybe I just need to add Thanatos. [ Thanks to Bluefin Distribution for providing this sample for review. ]
Review - D-Arts Elizabeth photo
Step into the Velvet Room
So, there was a little game called Persona 4 Arena last year. Since Persona has become all of the genres, they started to merchandise the series. After several releases of the cast from the fourth entry, the release of Arena ...

Tamashii Nations photo
Tamashii Nations

Tamashii announces integration of SH Figuarts and D-Arts

So long D-Arts!
Feb 06
// Vanessa Cubillo
Tamashii Nations announced on their Facebook today that the S.H. Figuarts and D-Arts line will be merging into one line. Soon, figures from popular series like Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Mega Man will be released under S.H. F...

Tomopop Review: Bandai's D-Arts Black Zero

Jan 29 // Scarecroodle
Figure Name: D-Arts Black ZeroFigure Maker: Bandai/Tamashii NationsRetail: US$38Available at: Entertainment Earth | Big Bad Toy Store | Amazon Black Zero features the same sort of cool-busy packaging that we've seen with previous D-Arts Mega Man X figures, such as X himself (reviewed). The amount of decoration is especially impressive since it doesn't have an overly cluttered feel despite using virtually every millimeter of the package. The most eye-catching detail is probably the giant "X" that jumps across the massive window. The other three sides feature product images. The back shows off all three alternate face-plates (meaning Black Zero has a total of four possible faces rather than the three (?) included with the Zero Type-2). Black Zero comes with a pretty solid array of accessories which includes the option of his Zero Buster Cannon (works with either arm), the choice of two nozzles for said cannon, three hand sets (open, fists, and saber-holding), two versions of the Z-Saber, and an attacking version of the Z-Saber. Additionally, he has the option of four face-plates but more on that later. The sculpting work is still incredibly solid, capturing Zero's likeness remarkably well. Basically everything on the figure except the face has a tendency to reflect light although the black armored bits have the highest sheen, as they're able to reflect in low lighting settings. The crystals on his helmet and armor are pieces of translucent, colored plastic with what looks to be a painted silver area underneath which helps give them more of a shine. As in the games, Zero can store his Z-Saber on his back. The beam portions of the swords can disconnect from the hilt, which allows one of the smaller hilts to plug into a peghole. It's a neat touch. The default face features the sort of stoic expression I so often associate with the character. It's a decent enough looking face, although it seems out of place with action poses (as seen above) so it won't pop up much during the rest of the review. The second face you won't be seeing much of in the review is this smiling and winking one, which strikes me as being totally out of character. It's been a decade or so since I last played any of the Mega Man X games (I'm certainly tempted to replay them now...), but I don't recall Zero ever being that expressive. Then again, I'm also more used to his moody Mega Man Zero-series counterpart, which could have given me an entirely different impression of the character. All the same, I enjoy the humor in seeing a quiet badass acting a bit out of character. (I also wonder if the faceplate works with the previously released X figures, since it seems like a face that I would associate with either X or Copy-X). Here we have the "shouting" face, great for things like leaping poses. The pupils in the eyes are facing to the right (apparently the normal one face differently? I guess that makes for a neat perk). It's awesomely action-y. Finally, we have the teeth-gritting face, perfect for sword parries, looking injured, or just plain being angry. As mentioned, Black Zero comes with three swords. The first two are variations on the normal Z-Saber. I imagine they reflect different game styles but it's not something that I remember from the series, assuming I noticed a difference at all. The blades themselves are purple (rather than the usual light blue), which reflects their powered up state. The "blades" have pegholes in them which attach to the top of the hilt. The bottom of the hilt (the silver ring with the black spike) can also unpeg from the hilt, which allows you to just slide the weapon into Zero's hand. Another convenience is the fact that these two hilts are identical so you don't need to switch them out if you want to change blades (the third Z-Saber, the action one, features a larger peg which renders it functionally incompatible with the others). The sword coloring is pretty neat. The alternating lighter and darker shades give it more of a video game appearance, looking as if it were part of an animation. The swinging-animation Z-Saber is probably the most eye-catching of the bunch. Given the size and heft of the blade, it makes use of a larger peg to keep it in place and balances better than I thought it would. It's good for any number of poses which look great from certain angles, but said angles don't always photograph well. I also can't seem to get a perfect swinging all the way down to the ground pose, as is seen in the games. Although Zero is most often associated with his swordplay, the character has had his Z-Cannon as a back-up weapon (or primary weapon) in most of the games. The cannon looks fantastic. The green "crystal" features the same effect as the other crystals on his body while the two smaller green circles on the side of the cannon use a shiny metallic paint. Black Zero comes with the choice of two optional parts for the cannon's nozzle. The default is a reddish crystal (seen right) while the alternate has an empty space in the center. Although no buster shot parts were included, I imagine it's probably compatible with the buster shot accessories that came with the various D-Arts Mega Man X releases and Zero Type-1. The overall articulation is very strong. The jointing works a lot better than what we saw on the D-Arts Classic Mega Man that came out not that long ago. The jointing is remarkably smooth and has a good range in most areas. The only real issue (besides that hair...) may be that the feet/calves/boots don't have much weight to them, which can affect the balance at times. This mostly impacts Matrix-style posing where the character is leaning a bit backwards. The surface area on the soles (or treads?) on his boots and the ankle joint otherwise compensate for the issue. Zero's hair can also be somewhat problematic, as it's only really jointed for side to side movement. It can't even rotate to simulate a falling pose, let alone move up to allow extra clearance at the head/neck. Finally, for the all-important question of whether Black Zero can play soccer with D-Arts Classic Mega Man, the answer is yes; yes, he can. They might want to find a soccer ball first, though (maybe it's something that Bandai can include in a future Mega Man-themed D-Arts release!). All in all, D-Arts Black Zero is a pretty cool redeco of an already great figure with a perk or two over the previous version. Although it may be a colorway, it's something canonical to the games and represents a recurring secret feature (or a palette-swap in other games). It's not something I imagine you'd necessarily buy instead of the standard version, but it's certainly something that might tempt you if you already have the D-Arts Zero Type-2. [Big thanks to Bluefin Distribution for providing this review sample]
Review: Black Zero photo
Once you go Black Zero, you can't go back... to your normal armor if you're playing Mega Man X 4, 5, or 6
The Mega Man franchise is all about upgrades (often in the form of new abilities taken from defeated opponents) and, when Mega Man X swung around, Mega Man (now called X) got a few fancy new armors ... two of which were made ...

Pokemon photo

S.H. Figuarts Lucario pops up in scans

Real Steel Pokemon... errr, probably real PVC
Jan 22
// Scarecroodle
Bandai's upcoming Lucario figure has appeared in some magazine scans in which the Aura Pokemon is listed as being part of the S.H. Figuarts line rather than the D-Arts line as we had expected. Lucario himself looks fantastic;...
Digimon photo

D-Arts Omnimon's / Omegamon's photo gallery pierces evil

D-Arts Omni/Omegamon returns for a Western-release sequel
Jan 13
// Scarecroodle
Bandai's D-Arts Omegamon (or Omnimon, as he's known in the English adaptation) has returned thanks to valiant efforts of Bluefin Tamashii Nations. The company has not only decided to give the figure its first ever Western rel...

Tomopop Review: Bandai's D-Arts Venusaur

Nov 08 // Scarecroodle
Figure Name: D-Arts VenusaurFigure Maker: BandaiRetail: ¥3,420Available at: HobbyLink Japan D-Arts Venusaur comes in an overly large box reminiscent of D-Arts Mewtwo's (reviewed) despite the actual contents only taking up a relatively small portion. It's nice enough packaging, featuring a window that wraps around a side of the box (and a small window on the top), a character-specific cut out on the front, and a color deco evoking the Pokemon's type. Less impressive is the back of the box which clumps character photos together while leaving a good amount of white space (or black space, as it were). When the tray is removed from the box, we see that Venusaur doesn't come with much; just some interchangeable optional vine bits and a stand/base. The stand (or just base) is completely unnecessary and serves no purpose between providing a symmetry with previous D-Arts Pokemon releases which received a more functional stand. You'll notice that there's a lot of empty space in that box. It's a reminder that Bandai could have included more but, given that it's Venusaur, I think we're just lucky to get him at all so I won't quibble when it comes to accessories (or lack thereof). Bandai's D-Arts Venusaur is beautifully sculpted but the more exciting aspect might be the heavy amount of jointing that the figure received. When the possibility of a D-Arts Venusaur was tossed out there, some questioned whether he would be a good fit for the line. The mammoth level of articulation on him certainly suggests that there was some merit in doing a fully articulated version although I wouldn't say that such criticisms entirely off the mark. One of the first things you might notice is the articulation given to Venusaur's flower and palm fronds. Each petal of the flower is individually articulated and can either fold in or be extended reasonably far out. The petals fold in more than that. Check out the packaging images for a reference point. You can extend the petals outward further but it can be a little difficult arranging things since the palm tree (or tree trunk?) can move as well. It appears to be on a physical ball and can be shifted forward (to the sides, back, etc) a fair bit. The result is that things can sometimes look a little off-kilter, as seen in the shot above. That particular (ball?) joint can be annoying but it provides an additional level of customization that outweighs the aggravation. Those not distracted by the lizard money shot just now (do those warts make you randy, baby?) may have noticed that his feet appear to be somewhat hovering above the ground. It's not entirely a balance issue (as evidenced by the previous side-view) and it's not visible from other angles anyway. That's certainly not to say that the figure has real balance issues. In fact, the quadruped ironically stands better on two legs than D-Arts Metwo (which often requires the tail for balance). Hell, Venusaur doesn't even need both of those legs... The underside of the figure affords a better look at the crazy level of jointing. Many of the joints seem to exist to facilitate the movement of another joint and, as such, do relatively little on their own. Venusaur's articulation includes: an opening jaw (not a pin-joint either) multiple neck joints allowing the head to tilt to the side as well as go up and down a good ways ball-jointed hips and ankles in the legs, with a rotating segment in between which seems to cover the actual joint a mid-section joint with limited up/down a ball-joint at the "base" of the tree-flower tiny ball-joints at the stems of each palm frond and petal Although it's technically possible to rotate the petals and fronds all the way around, I'm a little worried that they may snap. By adjusting the petals (and body) a little you can kind of get a Solar Beam pose. Of course, there's no Solar Beam accessory included (or a Razor Leaf accessory, or a Leech Seed accessory, or a Sleep Powder accessory). However, Bandai has seen fit to include some vines which, as far as accessories go, are a lot cooler than a Solar Beam anyway. The vines are an optional piece which attaches into pegholes on Venusaur's sides. The vine bits are mostly interchangeable, allowing you to peg the different portions together for longer and shorter vine whips. The only parts that can't connect into a single Vine Whip are the tip and the part that stems into the body. As such, you can have one really long vine if you want. The vines are surprisingly stable at times, functioning far better than I would have expected. Sure, a segment can pop off depending on the angle and/or how many pieces are attached but I'm still amazed that they work as well as they do without some sort of support. I imagine that part of it has to do with the way that they snap into the shoulder (only allowing rotation). The fact that we can have a vine several times longer than Venusaur himself is an absolutely fantastic touch. For logistical reasons, though, they're incapable of supporting anything other than their own weight. Although Bandai's D-Arts Vensaur has a LOT going for him (far more than one might have assumed) there is one "tiny" drawback: namely that the figure is nowhere near in scale with the other characters. Venusaur is listed as being 6-foot 7-inches in the games and looks huge when he appears in the anime. However, the figure seems to be half the size of Mewtwo despite the two having the same listed game height. I know that they probably have to scale back for cost reasons, but it's still something of a disappointment. (Also photographed are Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Nami and Ace because Bandai hasn't released a Pokemon Trainer figure yet) Generation 1 is still often referred to as the Greatest Generation (making Gen 2 the Baby Boomers?) in the franchise and Bandai seemingly banked on a sure thing by starting its use of the Pokemon license with some of Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow's heaviest hitters. Venusaur and his pre-evolutions are still my favorite starter set and, as of gen six, the only grass starter Pokemon that I've ever really cared about (although I used a Torterra in Gen 4). At the risk of going wholly off-topic, I'd also say that Bulbasaur/Venusaur is the *best* starter Pokemon in Generation 1 since he has more advantages over the other gyms than his counterparts due to his typing (only having issues with Blaine's gym in Cinnibar City and Sabrina's in Saffron) and for having Razor Leaf which almost always critical hit under Gen 1 rules (bypassing both stat changes and dealing double damage as a result) as well as Sleep Powder (especially since, under Gen 1 rules, a Pokemon wasn't able to attack the same turn it woke up). While Venusaur may never be as popular as Charizard (grumble), it's great that Bandai has given the grass type some proper recognition and done a fairly great job at that. The figure has a few drawbacks (most notably the size), it's a solid effort overall that goes well beyond what may have been expected of a Venusaur figure and is likely the best Venusaur figure that we'll ever see. [Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing this review sample]
Pokemon photo
Tomopop Green version
Some of the most surprising announcements in recent history have come from Bandai's corner, one of which being that the company would be producing Pokemon characters in its D-Arts line. The subset certainly started strong, co...

D-Arts Lucario photo
D-Arts Lucario

Tamashii Nation 2013: D-Arts Lucario

Who's that Pokemon
Nov 02
// Andres Cerrato
Tamashii Nation 2013 is underway this weekend and Martin already brought the exciting news of the return of the Soul of Chogokin line with GaoGaiGar. While it's felt like it's been forgotten, the folks at Bandai have not, as ...
D-Arts Noel photo
D-Arts Noel

D-Arts Noel Vermillion blazes her way to pre-orders

It's the hat version, so all is right with the world
Oct 31
// Martin Siggers
We recently saw her at NYCC but now the D-Arts version of Blazblue's female lead Noel Vermillion is up for pre-order from all good stores. Noel's a little accessory light but you'll get her two trademark pistols along wi...
NYCC '13: D-Arts photo
NYCC '13: D-Arts

NYCC 2013: Tamashii Nations - D-Arts

That's a whole lot of Megaman
Oct 11
// Natalie Kipper
New York Comic Con 2013 is officially in full swing and our very own Andres Cerrato is walking the floor! One of the booths he visited on the first day was Tamashii Nations, where, among other wonderful things, there is a D-A...
NYCC 2013 photo
NYCC 2013

Bluefin Tamashii Nations previews its offerings for NYCC

Oct 09
// Andres Cerrato
While the doors of the Javitz Center won't open until 3 PM tomorrow, some things are casually slipping out. Bluefin has let out a couple of images of what it has on hand at the show. As you see above, the S.H.Figuarts Batman ...
Retailers photo

Tamashii Nations figures and Gunpla now at Barnes & Noble

Just like the good ol' days
Sep 29
// Andres Cerrato
I miss the days where you could stroll into a Toys R Us, walk about the isles and pick up a Gundam kit. Those days haven't been around for a decade but they may just be back again. Barnes & Noble stores have begun to stoc...
God Eater 2 photo
God Eater 2

God Eater 2 Ciel and Alisa Nendoroid appear at TGS

A kick booty girl, and an adorable old favorite
Sep 19
// Rio McCarthy
Ciel Alencon is sure to be a favorite, or at least that's what her design tells me, because I'm immediately drawn to her from the photo that Kahotan tweeted. Good Smile Company is sure to do her justice with this new figure, ...

Tomopop Original: What's next for the D-Arts Pokemon line

Sep 12 // Scarecroodle
Gyrados First up is Gyrados, a Pokemon with a very strong following yet may still lack what it takes to get into the line. Gyrados has made a number of memorable appearances in the anime and is very heavily used in the video games. Given its status as a pseudo-dragon, usefulness in the games, and cool appearance, it enjoys a fair amount of popularity among fans that could make it a serious contender for inclusion in the D-Arts line. That said, Gyrados' size (21-feet long) may count against him as he may simply be too large to make an in-scale appearance. The same issue would hold back Rayquaza. Lugia Lugia is among the most prominent legendary Pokemon and has long enjoyed a fan-favorite status. Given that the D-Arts Pokemon line has thus far consisted only of legendary Pokemon and starter final forms, it would make sense for Lugia to be incorporated if the next set follows this trend with generation 2 Pokemon. It may also be worth mentioning that Lugia ranked #4 on an IGN fan poll, following Blastoise (#3), Mewtwo (#2), and Charizard. Given that those other three have already been made, perhaps there's a chance we'll see Lugia as well. Like Gyrados, however, Lugia's size may present a problem because at 17-feet tall, he might be too large to produce in-scale. Lucario Lucario is something of a powerhouse in the Pokemon games. He features interesting typing, a solid moveset, and decent stats. If that wasn't enough, Lucario received an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl which indicates that he definitely has some pull. Besides that, he's got a body type that would work within the confines of the line and is of the proper height to work in-scale. As such, there's a very strong argument for his inclusion. The only thing that may discount him is the fact that he's not a legendary, the final form of a starter Pokemon, or from generation 1. Deoxys Deoxys is a legendary psychic Pokemon which automatically makes him somewhat popular. Given that he's the proper size for the D-Arts line and could be well-articulated, Deoxys is by no means a long-shot. Less likely, however, would be the inclusion of alternate pieces (including snap-on bits) to replicate all four modes. Regardless, Deoxys might prove a neat figure if he were to be produced but there may be worthier candidates on this list. In his favor, however, is the fact that he ranked the third most popular Pokemon on an official poll over in Japan taken prior to the release of Pokemon Black/White. Arceus If you followed the previous link, you would have noticed that Arceus was ranked number one in that same Japanese poll. The Siliconera article notes that the poll results may have been skewed by the fact that the winning entry would be available during a promo but, nonetheless, this sort of high visibility might work in the legendary's favor. The poll also listed Darkrai at #2, Pikachu at #4, and Meowth #5. Blaziken, Feraligatr, Swampert, Sceptile, and Infernape Given that three of the four figures in the line so far have been final forms of starter Pokemon, it's a safe bet that the trend may continue going forward. Although grouping the final forms by generation would make a lot of sense, some final forms (as seen here) have character designs that can make better use of the added articulation. Out of the above, the articulation would most benefit Blaziken and Infernape given that both sport longer arms and legs. Granted, Bandai might ignore such considerations and just go the generations route by producing the three starter final forms along with a legendary (such as Lugia) of a generation each time. Pokemon Trainers When people hear "Pokemon figures", the trainers themselves are often completely overlooked in favor of their monster companions. However, the trainers are as much of a vital part of this universe as the Pokemon themselves. Personally, I'd love to see Red and Blue added to the line while other staffers had some of the anime characters (specifically Team Rocket's Jesse and James) in mind. Since a Pokemon FireRed-styled Red appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he seems the likeliest to appear. The other potential plus here is that trainers could come with in-scale (hopefully articulate) smaller Pokemon like Pikachu or Meowth. Dragonite I'll admit that I've never been a huge fan of Dragonite. Sure, I loved his Pokemon Red/Blue in-game sprite which looked pretty tough. However, subsequent appearances have given him a distinctively doofy look. That said, he has a great appeal among fans and was also the most-suggested selection among the editorial staff. He also placed fifth in that IGN fan poll. Dragonite is a something of a natural choice. After all, he's a generation 1 Pokemon (meaning he's been around forever) who has maintained a certain amount of prominence in both the games and anime between the rareness of dragon types (making them more special) and the individuals who use them (such as Lance, Claire, Drake (anime-only), and Iris). Despite a crippling weakness to ice, Dragonite still sees use in the games due to its decent stats, often solid movepool, and, most recently, the Multiscale ability. Honestly, I'd be surprised if Dragonite didn't eventually get a figure (provided that the line continue). Hopefully one with a bonus Dratini. Something from Pokemon X/Y (generation 6) With Pokemon X/Y are just around the corner, something from the new games would be a great tie-in especially considering that Mega Pokemon (or Mega Evolutions) are just alternate forms of already popular Pokemon. As such, Mewtwo's and Charizard's Mega Evolutions would probably be shoo-ins. Granted, all of this assumes that the D-Arts Pokemon line will continue which is by means a certain thing, especially considering we haven't had any new figures announced. However, erring on the side of optimism, one can't help but hope the brand will continue and that at least some of these speculations will prove correct. And, in case you were wondering, here are the Tomopop staff's favorite Pokemon: Andres ~ Dragonite Brian ~ Wigglytuff? John Wills ~ Bulbasaur Kristina ~ Serperior  Martin ~ Blastoise Natalie ~ Shiftry Rio ~ Lugia  Scarecroodle ~ Suicune Tian ~ Snorlax [ All images used were taken from Bulbapedia ]
D-Arts Pokemon photo
Survey says: Dragonite
Few things may have excited collectors as much as the announcement that Bandai would including Pokemon characters in their D-Arts line, especially when the revelation came in the form of a Mewtwo figure. Mewtwo, who proved to...

D-Arts Elizabeth photo
D-Arts Elizabeth

D-Arts Elizabeth and chair are summoned this November

Might be worth it for just the chair
Jul 31
// Andres Cerrato
She got her first preview at WonFes this past weekend, but the wait won't be too long for D-Arts Elizabeth. The Persona 3 and P4A character November for ¥5,250. While that's more than the previous Persona D-Arts, accessor...
WF2013S: Tamashii Nations photo
WF2013S: Tamashii Nations

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Tamashii Nations

The girls are here to save the day
Jul 29
// Andres Cerrato
With so many events in the past couple of weeks, Tamashii Nations has held a different focus for each of these events. At WonFes, they decided to focus on the ladies of the S.H. Figuarts, D-Arts, and Armored Girls Project lin...
D-Arts Elizabeth photo
D-Arts Elizabeth

Elizabeth enters the D-Arts Persona 4 Arena figure series

Elizabeth and many more coming to WonFes
Jul 27
// Andres Cerrato
The Velvet Room has given its approval for Elizabeth to become a member of the D-Arts lineup. In a preview of what they have in store for WonFes this weekend, Bandai has unveiled its next in the line of Persona D-Arts. This t...

Tomopop Review: D-Arts Alisa Ilinichina Amiella

Jul 05 // Chris Seto
Figure Name: D-Arts Alisa Ilinichina AmiellaFigure Maker: BandaiPrice: ¥4,500Available at: Amazon First up, let's look at the box. Rather uniquely for D-Arts figures, the box for their figures actually open from the sides, which allows for a larger than usual viewing window which wraps around one of the corners! The sides provide a few more potential poses for the figure inside. Also, for a touch of authenticity, Alisa has her name printed in Russian on the box; a nod to her heritage from the game. And, in a bit of a faux pas, the back of the box shows off a pose which is actually impossible to pull off with the items provided (unless you're happy with cutting the tip off the blade accessory). There is a warning at the bottom of the pic but it still seems like an odd oversight. Most poseable figures stick with photos which can be done by the figure. There's also some basic info on Alisa and God Eater if you understand enough Japanese. Here she is, easily passing the "can she stand on her own?" test! Her designers definitely took a lot of pointers from other departments in the Bandai offices, especially from the AGP and Composite Ver Ka Haruhi mecha unit series! Like those series, her joints are all rather exposed although, luckily, they don't stand out as much as one would think. Care needs to be taken with the ankles though. The exposed joints mean that the ankles have a much larger range of movement compared to other figure lines and can easily appear as if she's standing on a broken ankle if one isn't careful, with the toes pointing in awkward directions! Here's, arguably, the stand out part of the package, Alisa's God Eater! Bandai have tried their best to keep with the standard design from the game and keeping with some of the more organic look for some parts. For those who are interested in the game, I'm pretty sure it's the Raging Lore for the cannon, Avenger for the blade and either Brimstone or Oval shield if you want to recreate the God Eater in the game. You can also make the same costume worn by Alisa, but she keeps her hat as a unique point! Yes, it is rather large and yes, it is to scale! It's also rather heavy, which severely limits the poses you can perform with Alisa, as the support arm for the God Eater isn't exactly flexible itself... Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't have some fun with posing her! A quick back shot of Alisa shows that she doesn't have any holes on her body to insert any pegs to connect her to a base. Instead, the arm has a simple claw mechanism to hold her in place when necessary. Speaking of which, the base comes up as a bit of a disappointment. Those of you who have read the review for the D-Arts Izanagi or even Mewtwo will know that those two had special bases which reflected the series they came from. That little touch doesn't extend to Alisa, who just gets a very basic and standard base. In fact, you can purchase these separately from hobby shops! In terms of detail on Alisa herself, Bandai have managed to hit the main points of her design, including her logo on her chest, and the God Eater bracelet on her right arm, which prevents all God Eaters from being consumed by the very weapons they wield. The strap which rests on her shoulder is actually loose and not attached to anything other than the skirt. This gives some nice effects when posing, but it can sometimes slip off due to a lack of tension keeping it in one place. However, it's not all roses in this review. There are some signs of a slightly shoddy paint job in some areas but the most glaring issue is the scratch mark on the right arm. What makes this galling is that it actually affects EVERY poseable figure from Bandai I have purchased. I have three AGP gundam girls, two AGP Infinite Stratos girls and all the composite Ver Ka Haruhi mecha suit releases thus far and every one of the girls show marks in the same place!! You'd think that Bandai would have picked up and done something about this by now! It's clearly an issue in the later parts of manufacturing... The leg is also severely limited in movement around the hip and knee as well. It's not too much of an issue, but don't expect to get her to perform poses which require flexible legwork. Overall, it's hard to fault the overall package. Alisa is a pretty good likeness to her video game counterpart, and despite the limitations of her leg joints, she can do a lot. However, the greatest strength of the figure is also its greatest weakness... The God Eater itself really helps the figure stand out as it's such an awesomely large and hefty weapon. It's also cool to look at to boot, but it also severely limits the poses you can do with it since the very things one may like about it make it impossible to pose without assistance, and the extra arm provided in the packaging simply isn't up to the task... A one-handed swing pose is pretty much out of the question and the arms aren't able to hold the sword up on their own either. I was able to do a couple of more interesting pose such as getting the D-Arts figure to mimic her big sister. However, the caveat is that I used up a copious amount of tape at the back to keep the sword in place. And even then, it didn't last long! It's also a shame that we only get the blade version of the God Eater, but since the transformations in the game are physically impossible (parts appear and grow at a whim), it's understandable. And we all know why we didn't get a gun accessory along with the blade in a single package... Damn Bandai... Nevertheless, Alisa should placate fans of the game (or just her), and if you're in the mood for adding a huge sword into your arsenal for poseable figures, the God Eater should fill those needs too! If you're looking for one of the above, then she's definitely worth checking out! [ Thanks to Bluefin for providing the review sample! ]
D-Arts Alisa photo
God is Dead
It's not like we have a shortage of poseable figure lines, but chalk up another one for the board! Previously, the D-Arts line has focused on video game series and, as such, have focused on less human designs for their releas...

These exclusives include DBZ, Naruto, and more
Yesterday, Bluefin Tamashii Nations revealed one of their SDCC exclusives, the Power Rangers Super Samurai set. Now, the official SDCC website has listed a bunch of booth exclusives that includes all of Bluefin Tamashii Nati...

Tomopop Review: D-Arts Mewtwo

Jun 07 // Brian Szabelski
Figure Name: D-Arts Mewtwo (with first run bonus, Mew)Figure Marker: Bandai (Tamashii Nations)Retail: ¥3,800Available at: Plamoya So we'll start with the box and holy crap, it's gorgeous. It's an atypical design, shifting the window off to one edge of the box and giving it a non-square look, with a huge picture of Mewtwo eating up the right side of the box. There's also a whole bunch of luminescent, color-changing shapes and strips on the box, including that shiny Mew sticker on the front and the Mewtwo silhouette on the side of the box. Bandai and Tamashii Nations have done everything they can with this box to get your attention if you see it sitting on a shelf in Japan, and it does its job. The back is a little more typical of what one might expect a figure box to be, though. There's a lot of open space on the plastic inside of the box, though, and probably more when you consider this comes with a bonus figure in the form of Mew. I was a bit surprised how much extra space was in there. The base ... wow, it's simple but damn, it looks good. I mean, all it really is is a Poke Ball outline in black on a transparent PVC circle, but it works amazingly well. Sometimes, simple is the best way to go. Also included in the first run are two separate arms for posing figures on the stand. One is for Mew (the more traditional peg arm) while the other, funky looking arm on the right is actually for Mewtwo. I'll show why in a second here, but those two pincers in the middle of the shot go with the funky looking arm. Out of the box, the first look at D-Arts Mewtwo might make you squeal with delight. Why? Because it looks exactly like you think it would, with proper proportions and a clean as can be paint job. But first glances don't always tell the full story, and such is the case this time. Now, remember how I said I'd explain the pincer arm? Look at that back; Mewtwo has no hole for a peg there. That's right; you get to hold him up with the pincers, and it makes sense. If you want to do flying poses like shown on the back of the box, you need to have Mewtwo able to be posed belly down, and you can't do that with a traditional peg arm ... at least not easily. Unfortunately, this comes with some drawbacks, as I would find out while doing the review. The pincers themselves are pivot joints with no locking mechanism, which means that Mewtwo is prone to loosening the pincers up and leaning to one side or another. It's not as secure as it should be, and that disappoints me, because I spent an extra half-hour shooting D-Arts Mewtwo as a result. Just keep that in mind when you pose him and put him on a high shelf. Mewtwo's face and head sculpt is pretty darn close to being excellent. There's no visible seams cast on the head, and the purple hue feels a bit closer to his game appearance than perhaps the movie. The mouth and nostrils could perhaps be more defined, though. Here, you can get a glimpse at the ball joint in the neck, but I want to highlight the part under his chin, right near the socket, where the texture looks a little fuzzy. That is apparently where a seamline was, because it looks like someone attempted to blend everything together. It worked, at least from a distance, because you can see that it appears rough when looking closer. What's beautiful about Mewtwo are the sheer number of joints he has. Articulation and range of motion are both impressive, with the hips being my lone point of worry because they don't seem to move a whole lot. Still, there's one thing Tamashii Nations has designed Mewtwo to do well, and it's those big, menacing power poses where it looks like it's about to fight. On the sculpt front, Mewtwo looks pretty good all around. The arms have that thin look Mewtwo has, and the upper torso has the bigger shoulders and armor-like chest part down pat. A joint between the abdomen and chest provides some of the definition for the latter part. You can use all those joints to create some incredible poses. These are two of those menacing poses I described above, and they both look excellent. You can also see the tail at work a little bit, too, but it does sometimes get in the way of the pincer arm because of its size and position. Like the other D-Arts, though, you really can't manhandle Mewtwo much. There's a lot of very small joints on him, like the wrist joint you see above. While none of the ones I played with were fragile or felt like they'd snap off, there were a few cases of hands popping off wrists or fingers popping out of hands.  The default Mewtwo only comes with two accessories, though: an extra hand and a psychic energy "ball" that is more like a disk than a ball. The hand is made to hold the "ball", with a small peg in the palm that fits into a hole on the bottom of the "ball." When you get it on there (it can be a little tricky and a finger might pop out of joint on your first try), the end result is pretty impressive. A lot of detail went into the translucent ball, with a nice paint fade out from the center to the edges. The ripple effect on the surface of the ball looks great, and the light striking the PVC gives it an eerie glow. From other angles, though, the psychic energy "ball" doesn't look as impressive. That's mainly because it loses some of the detail that makes the head-on appearance look so intimidating.  If you were lucky enough to get a first run pre-order in, your prize was Mew, scaled down to its proper size (Mew is a tiny, tiny Pokemon at just over one foot tall). Truthfully, it felt a bit like some of the Pokemon gashapon I have, with a small slot in the bottom to fit a peg. Still, it's a pretty clean sculpt and paint, so I don't have anything to complain about.  D-Arts Mewtwo was the first of Bandai's four Pokemon D-Arts figures coming out in 2013, and it makes a strong case that the hype was justified. It is almost everything you could have hoped for in a poseable Mewtwo figure, and the joints on Mewtwo feel much more sturdy than they did on my D-Arts Izanagi. The way they've incorporated articulation into the design should also be lauded, both for the range of motion Mewtwo has and for the little tricks they used to make everything work right. But it is not a figure without faults. The paint feels a little rough in spots (though it's thankfully nothing too terrible), and some of those tiny ball joints on the fingers and wrist are susceptible to popping out and rolling across the floor, but the biggest problem is that stand. Mewtwo doesn't stand on his own because, well, he doesn't have muscles, so the stand really has to do the job for him. Unfortunately, it doesn't do that job nearly as well as it should. The pincers don't lock into place, which means they're susceptible to being loose and letting Mewtwo slide around or lean on them. Sure, there's no issues with paint rubbing off or scratches appearing because of the design choice, but I spent more time fiddling around with the stand trying to get Mewtwo to stand upright than I would have liked to. I don't suppose having that heavy tail and all its joints is doing it any good, either. You can't pose Mewtwo intricately without the stand, and the stand at times tries to fight you to the point of frustration. I only wish they'd included some sort of locking mechanism on the pincers. There's risk in doing that due to the possibility of a part breaking in shipping, but it would have helped. For a more Pokemon-themed comparison, D-Arts Mewtwo is less like its video game counter-part and more like a Dugtrio or a Pidgeot is in those same games; dependable and really good all-around, just not the legendary beast of a figure we might have hoped for.
Review: D-Arts Mewtwo photo
So much power, so much frustration
It's been 17 years since Pokemon arrived on the scene in Japan (and 15 here in the U.S.), but the series feels as strong as ever in popularity. Perhaps nothing made that more clear to me than when Bandai's Tamashii Nations br...

D-Arts Mega Man poll photo
D-Arts Mega Man poll

Fan poll shows MMZ Zero is most wanted Mega Man D-Arts

Wins by a landside, but surprises abound
Jun 02
// Brian Szabelski
Back in April, we had Capcom's April-Fools-that-actually-wasn't, where they showed off four designs and said one would be made into a D-Arts figure. Ultimate Armor X was the one they'd picked, but the story of the other three...

ACen 2013: Bandai/Bluefin

This year's Anime Central had figures from DBZ, Mega Man, and more
May 20
// Vanessa Cubillo
At Anime Central, Bandai had figures on display from their own line in the Bluefin booth, as well as D-Arts and SH Figuarts. There was nothing particularly shocking or brand new from them here. Most of their collection ...

Catch 'em all! D-Arts Venusaur is up for pre-order

Tonight is the night
May 07
// Andres Cerrato
You've had your chance at capturing Mewtwo, Charizard and Blastoise. You're down to your last Pokeball and out of the wild comes the last of the starter 3 evolutions. You may have missed out before or just need the last to co...
This original grass Pokemon is the latest figure in the D-Arts line. Pre-order will follow soon.
After getting a better look at Pokemon D-Arts Venusaur at the Miyazawa Model Expo, Tamashii Nations have finally released preview pictures for the figure on their site. Here, we get better angle views of Venusaur and this swe...

Dengeki HOBBY shows some PokÚlove
Dengeki HOBBY magazine gives us another look at the the previously announced D-Arts of Charizard, Venusaur, Blastoise, and Mewtwo plus a quick peek at the I Love Eevee prize plushes. While we have heard news of the D-Arts fig...


Take a gander at D-Arts Ultimate Armor X

All this translucent PVC can be yours in August
Apr 23
// Brian Szabelski
It's been a week or two since Bandai/Tamashii Nations surprised everyone (and disappointed some) with the reveal of the not-April-Fools D-Arts Ultimate Armor X. And now, we have some photos of the actual figure on the Tamashi...

D-Arts Ultimate Armor X pre-empts Roll, Iris, & MMZ Zero

Oh, you guys...
Apr 05
// Scarecroodle
Capcom has allegedly announced the results of their April Fools' celebration and subsequently another X variant will be joining the D-Arts line. The Ultimate Armor, first introduced in Mega Man X4, is a hidden armor upgrade t...

D-Arts Venusaur soaks up the sun this summer

But will you want to catch this one?
Mar 28
// Andres Cerrato
With Pokemon D-Arts going through the best of the 151, the time has finally come for #003, Venusaur. While Mewtwo, Charizard, and Blastoise offer up some action for your figure, well, what is there to do with Venusaur? The le...

Bandai's June releases are now available at US web shops

Now you don't have to be sad you missed camping out
Mar 05
// Andres Cerrato
This past week, we got really excited regarding the release for June from Bandai. In particular, the MMPR Red and Green Ranger Figuarts and the Saint Cloth Myth Ex Aries Mu caught our eyes. The entire lineup will now be avail...

Bandai's June releases are now available for pre-order

Raido, Blastoise, mecha, bug men and ultra men
Mar 01
// Andres Cerrato
The month of June is going to be quite busy for fans of Bandai's figure offerings. This weekend will be busy as well with the Tamashii Features event showcasing their newest figures, but first you'll need to order everything ...

Tamashii Features vol. 5: A wild Venusaur appears

Oh, and Robot Damashii Kshatriya too
Mar 01
// Andres Cerrato
This weekends marks the celebration of all things Tamashii Nations. While it's not their largest event, we do get to see the marks of some new goods. With pre-orders opening this morning for many of June's releases, we get to...

Tamashii Nations reveals D-Arts Raidou Kuzunoha the XIV

Listed among other June releases
Feb 28
// Brian Szabelski
Tamashii Nations have just posted their June release schedule for Japan, and it's looking pretty good. The release list, which you can view here, includes the likes of Super Robot Chogokin Grendizer, D-Arts Blastoise, and D-A...
Is this your starter PokÚmon?
It's been a long time coming, but we finally have some official images straight from the Tamashii Nations page to show you of the exciting D-Arts Blastoise! He's looking so fierce, and it looks like he'll be up for order soon...


Toy Fair 2013: Bluefin / Tamashii Nations D-Arts

Hope you guys like Megaman
Feb 13
// Andres Cerrato
Megaman has been doing quite for Bandai, so the good news is that the line is going to continue forward. As most fans know by now, the next planned release is the pair of Bass and Treble. There have been a couple of questions...

Your bodies aren't ready for Bandai's list of new figures

Seriously, it's a lot of them
Jan 22
// Andres Cerrato
I'm just going to start by saying that there is a LOT to digest in the latest scans of Figure Oh magazine. There's a lot that's headed straight to the Premium Bandai Shop, but I think you'll be excited nonetheless. Coming to ...

D-Arts Charizard's status has evolved to pre-order

Tomopop editor will probably skip this one
Jan 08
// Scarecroodle
Bandai's D-Arts Charizard (Lizardon) is now up for pre-order. Charizard is the second D-Arts Pokemon slated for release and may be somewhat overshadowed by his predecessor, Mewtwo. Like the D-Arts Mewtwo, Charizard is an...

D-Arts Charizard may convince you to catch 'em all

I apologize for the terrible use of catch phrases in advance
Dec 28
// Andres Cerrato
With the first D-Arts Pokemon release coming this March in the form of Mewtwo, you still need to build your team of 6. April will help you along that route with the addition of D-Arts Charizard. With the design of Charizard i...

SHF Lelouche leads Bandai for this month's hobby scans

Also Charizard
Dec 22
// Andres Cerrato
This isn't the biggest month in terms of new announcements, but there is the joy of seeing the items from shows now being confirmed for their release. Come April, D-Arts Charizard will be released upon the masses for ¥3,8...

Not X-2, but a reissue of D-Arts Mega Man X

A second time around...
Dec 17
// Scarecroodle
Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA has announced that the D-Arts Mega Man X will be getting an Americas-exclusive reissue. While Bandai may have released their D-Arts Mega Man X (or Rockman X) just a little over a year ago, apparen...

Bandai teases Samurai Shodown's Haohmaru for D-Arts

Bandai shows they aren't content with just doing King of Fighters figures for the D-Arts line.
Nov 23
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Bandai just released the King of Fighters' Terry Bogard for D-Arts this week and with it we get the announcement that KOF isn't the only SNK game they've got their sights set on. Bandai will also be doing characters from...

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