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Tomopop Review: Parfom Labrys by Phat Company

May 04 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Parfom LabrysFigure Maker: Phat CompanyRetail Price: ¥5,500Available at: Play-Asia | Right Stuf | Hobby Search | HobbyLink Japan Labrys is the third in Phat Company's Parfom series, following Aigis and Yuudachi. I was interested in this line because it seemed to combine the cuteness of Nendoroids with the poseability of figmas. But for reasons I can't remember right now, I didn't buy Aigis or Yuudachi. So that makes Labrys my first Parfom, and I was interested to see how good these figures are. You can see the full box shot in the gallery (it's a nice, clean design) but this weird little detail caught my eye. This is probably the first figure I've gotten with a message on the box flap. Unpacking the figure took some effort because it comes with a lot of accessories. Labrys is pretty large - measuring to the top of her ponytail she can reach up to 150mm. I don't have the figma Labrys to compare, but my figma Yu Narukami is about the same height. However due to the Parfom's proportions, it ends up being a bulkier figure overall. With these kinds of figures you have a common set of expectations in terms of how to swap parts and such. Labrys comes with four face plates and an alternate hair fringe which includes her visor. It works just like with any figma: pull off the hair fringe and you'll be able to remove her face plates. The fit of the faces felt inconsistent. Her  default face was a bit loose while some others were very tight. Speaking of her default face, it wound up surprising me in a good way. Too often with anime figures, you're locked into a boring, neutral expression for the face. Part of the appeal of Nendoroid and figma is that they offer alternative expressions that might capture the spirit of the character better. Initially, I thought Labrys would just have some boring smiling expression as her default. However, the expression on this default face can look like it changes depending on the angle you view it from. In this shot, Labrys' expression is menacing and her mouth is frowning. But look at the shots above: they're all using the same face! The expression goes from neutral to inquisitive to threatening depending on the angle. This is a rare quality in figures, and I certainly didn't expect to find it here. I love faces with some nuance to them, so this was a pleasant surprise. The package comes with several accessories revolving around Labrys' weapon. "Labrys" was the Greek word for a double-bitted axe, making her weapon her namesake as well (and there are historical examples of giant versions of such axes too). The axe head comes with a peg that lets you attach it to Labrys' back. Each blade is on a swivel, basically turning them into wings. The effects pieces you see above come in two parts and clamp around the jets on the axe. I consulted the instruction sheet to see how they should be attached, but was misled a bit. Each flame piece needs to attach to a specific spot on the axe, but the order shown in the instruction sheet seems to be reversed. It took some fiddling but eventually I figured it out. Here you can see the other accessories for the axe. You'll get a separate stand and base for it in case you want to pose it flying through the air. Unfortunately there's no way to hide that peg if the stand is attached. I guess it's not the end of the world, but it still sticks out. Other accessories include a variety of alternate hands, as well as a chain that goes between the elbow joint and forearm. It's a single, flexible piece of plastic that gives a more dynamic look than a real chain would have. Of course you'll get the shadow version of Labrys as well since it's just a face swap. I would have preferred a smirking expression over this blank one. There's also an expression for Aigis included in the package, which I found weird. Parfom Aigis already has a neutral default face, but you get another one with Labrys for some reason. I thought this figure, with its chibi aesthetic and articulation, would turn out to be like a Cu-Poche. But since I don't have any Cu-Poches, I can't really say. Having played with Labrys for a while, I do think the Parfom line is pretty close to the figma line. The articulation is more extensive than in your typical figma, and the joints are higher quality (while being less conspicuous). The fit and finish is good, though for these types of figures I don't expect perfection. Still, it held up pretty well during my photo shoot, with only one of the hair flaps falling off when I didn't expect it. Generally this is a well-designed figure with a surprising amount of articulation, but doesn't feel like it's going to break or lose its pose suddenly. The paint job's decent too, with some different finishes throughout the body and axe. Phat Company's Parfom line is fairly new, with only three figures currently in the series, and this Labrys figure already feels refined and well thought out. I'd say my experience with it has won me over to the Parfom series. It's wonderful for anyone who wants the cute chibi look but with lots of creative possibilities that you may not get with a Nendoroid or scale figure. Hopefully, Phat Company ramps up the release schedule for these. Six more have been announced, but none of them have dates set for the moment.
Parfom Labrys photo
Class president or killer robot?
Persona 4 may very well be my favorite video game of all time. Given the number of spin-offs it has received, it seems a fair amount of people out there love it too. When I first heard about Persona 4 Arena, I thought it was ...

WonFes Aquamarine photo
WonFes Aquamarine

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Aquamarine

Persona, Guilty Gear, and more
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
I don't have much experience with Aquamarine, but the photos from their booth caught my attention. If you're a gamer - particularly if you're into Japanese games - you might recognize the gals in the header image. I picked th...
Vertex Yukari Takeba photo
Vertex Yukari Takeba

Vertex's Yukari is ready to join your Dark Hour shenanigans

Not too badly priced
Feb 25
// Tianxiao Ma
I don't know what it is about Yukari, but I really like her as a character. I was delighted to see that Vertex will be making a figure to go along with the Persona 3 movies coming out in theaters. The Spring of Birth was...
WonFes 2015: QuesQ photo
WonFes 2015: QuesQ

Wonder Festival 2015 Winter: QuesQ

Do you like KanColle? No? Well, too bad ... mostly.
Feb 09
// Brian Szabelski
Kantai Collection fans, your ship has come in from Ques Q, and we perhaps mean that literally. They brough enough KanColle PVC with them to sink a small fleet: Kitakami, Yukikaze, Tatsuta, Tenryuu, Kongou, Kirishima, Kit...

Vertex Yukari Takeba photo
Vertex Yukari Takeba

Vertex teases a figure for WonFes

Far too easy - they didn't even try to pixelate it
Feb 05
// Tianxiao Ma
Unlike Good Smile Company, Vertex does not give you a 3x3 grid of colored squares and ask you to divine the figure being teased. This one's clearly Yukari Takeba from Persona 3. I'd recognize that pink cardigan and bow a...
Alter Labrys photo
Alter Labrys

Improve your odds of beating the P-1 Grand Prix with Alter's Labrys

Expensive, but worth it?
Oct 15
// Tianxiao Ma
Persona fans should be feeling pretty good with how 2014 went down, from the release of The Golden Animation to the announcements/releases of Ultimax, Persona Q, Dancing All Night, and the eventual Persona 5. You can now...
GSC Delays photo
GSC Delays

Delays hit Max Factory's Cerberus, Phat Company's Ryuko and more

Good Smile announces latest round of delayed gratification
Jun 23
// Martin Siggers
Ah, the Good Smile Company delay announcement post. It's like an old familiar friend at this point, popping up once or twice a month to shatter our hopes and dreams, and then riding off into the sunset. While Deep Sea Miku re...
Persona 3 Happy Kuji photo
Persona 3 Happy Kuji

Persona 3 The Movie #2 prize figures from Happy Kuji

Huzzah for Shinji!
May 16
// Rio McCarthy
Who's ready for Persona 3 The Movie: Chapter 2, Midsummer Knight's Dream on June 7th, 2014? I am! Apparently Happy Kuji is getting ready for it as well, as they're showing off several prizes that will be available coinciding ...
Griffon - Nanoricchi photo
Griffon - Nanoricchi

Treasure Festa in Ariake 11: Griffon - Nanoricchi gallery

Chibi dolls a plenty
May 08
// Natalie Kipper
Griffon Enterprises' Nanoricchi line is fairly new but the chibi figures were still a major presence at Japan's Treasure Festa in Ariake 11. The majority of the figures were revealed back at Wonder Festival 2014 Winter but th...
Wonder Festival Griffon photo
Wonder Festival Griffon

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Griffon Enterprises Roundup

Easily one of the most impressive displays at Wonder Festival
Feb 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Griffon brought their A-game to Wonder Festival this past weekend. They had a very impressive number of figures on display, both new and old. They displayed several previously announced figures for the first time from their v...
Vertex Mitsuru Kirijou photo
Oh you didn't think the normal version was ostentatious enough?
[Update: Pre-order info added] Persona 4 Arena's Mitsuru isn't really one for the whole austerity thing. But if you thought her standard look (reviewed) with black bodysuit and white fur coat wasn't loud enough, then maybe th...

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 ...

Phat Company Aigis photo
Phat Company Aigis

Parfom Aigis is up for order, still won't talk to Junpei

She's here to hunt Shadows and protect protagonists - and she's all out of protagonists
Jan 23
// Tianxiao Ma
[Update: Added pre-order links, corrected figure name] A long time ago, we covered a Wonder Festival and made casual mention of a Phat Company line of poseable figures. Then quite a while passed without much news. Now that li...

Tomopop Review: Ques Q's P3 Elizabeth Christmas ver.

Jan 14 // Rio McCarthy
Figure Name: Persona 3 Elizabeth X-Mas Ver.Figure Maker: Ques QRetail Price: ¥9,800Available at:  AmiAmi | HLJ  We'll start off with the box, as we always do in these reviews. I'm a huge fan of this one. It has a lot to it, while still remaining simplistic and having a nice-sized window for you to view the figure itself. There are pictures of not only the figure, but also some adorable artwork of the Christmas version of Elizabeth on the side. As I got Elizabeth out of the box and gently placed her on the snow, you'll see that she actually comes as 4 pieces; the figure itself, the base, her hat, and the Santa hat. Everything is very easy to assemble, you just put Elizabeth's foot on that silver peg you can see on the base. You can see the order of stacking with these three shots. First, she has no hat at all. Second, she has just her cap, that is red in this version. Third, the clouds have rolled in, but she now has her Santa hat on top of her cap. I actually like the way she looks in all stages, but I have to have her roll with that Santa hat. Both hats are very easy to put on, as they just attach via a magnet in each one.  Here you can see her full view from both the front and the back, which is a very nice sight might I add. Her Santa hat looks very cute, but it does look a little dorky from the back since I didn't have it pulled back very far. Her proportions look nice, and I love the sway in her form as she tosses the tarot card. The card she's holding is fully detailed and is the VI, which is the Lovers Arcana. Her gloves are fully detailed as well, having two segments and wonderful looking folds where the fabric bunches at her wrist. The Persona Compendium looks incredible as well! I'd say you could darn near read the thing, it's that well detailed! She holds it flawlessly, and I'm really glad to see that there was no damage in shipping with this carefully crafted piece. I'm very impressed with both the sculpting and coloring of her entirety. There is great painting for the shading, and highlighting, all around the figure. I love how her tights lighten just a bit at her knees like they really do when you bend your knee. All of the paint is very cleanly done as well. Of course, we have to ask the age old Internet question, "Do she got dat booty?" Well, "She do!" Horrible grammar aside, she totally has a wonderful behind and curvature. The only issue is the hair seam you can easily see, but in the scheme of things, it's minimal. Hair seams rarely bother me anyway, and since her hat isn't attached 100% of the time, I could see them having to do that and not be able to hide it. While I'm not sure if the line down the side of her dress is actually a seam or not, I feel it fits in just fine along with the other lines in her dress. I haven't mentioned yet how rad her boots are. Of course, they're just like the blue version, but... they're red... and I want them. I love the little buttons on them. You can see a closer view of the Santa hat with it's adorable ball of fluff, as well as the lining of fluff. It still looks decently soft, even being sculpted out of PVC. I adore that look out of the side of her eye in this view as well! She's so coy, I love it.  If you somehow hadn't guessed, I'm absolutely thrilled with my purchase. I hadn't been able to pick up any of the previous Elizabeth figures in any form, so I was thrilled when a different version came out. I'm usually not a hugely overwhelming Christmas person, but this red looks phenomenal on Elizabeth! If she's your cup of tea, I definitely couldn't suggest her to you more. I'm definitely one happy protagonist.
Review - P3  Elizabeth photo
Elizabeth was in the holiday spirit this year, were you?
Welcome to the Velvet Room, fellow Persona 3 fans. We have a treat for you today in the form of a lovely lady that goes by the name Elizabeth. However, you may normally recognize her in her blue outfit. This time around she h...

MHEXPO: Alter photo

MegaHobby Expo: Autumn - Alter

A few lovely surprises
Nov 29
// Kristina Pino
Alter showed up in force at MegaHobby Expo, and after waiting it out, we've got a nice little round-up here of what they had on display. Check out the gallery for images of: Labrys Super Soniko and Kaguya in swimsuits Infini...
Nendo Aigis photo
Nendo Aigis

Nendoroid Aigis now available for pre-orders

Burn your dread, and also your pocket money
Nov 26
// Martin Siggers
After Kahotan previewed her last week, we knew Nendoroid Aigis would be going up for pre-orders today, and now she's being listed at all the major stores. I'm pretty sure I don't need to run over how totally adorable she is, ...
Nendo Aigis photo
Wiping All Out in adorable chibi form
With her colour prototype recently unveiled at Miyazawa Model Expo, it was surely only a matter of tiem before the adorable Nendoroid Aigis got a full-fat Kahotan preview. That day is today, as Kahotan busts out the camera an...

Nendoroids photo

Nendoroid update: Saber, Kanbaru, Levi, Shizue, and Aegis

Pretty colors!
Nov 12
// Kristina Pino
Besides some new shots of Nendoroid Levi, we've got some photos of the now-colored Shizue (Winter ver.), Suruga Kanbaru from Bakemonogatari, and Aegis from Persona 3, who was last seen at WonFes. And to round things off, get ...
Orgia Drive activated photo
Orgia Drive activated

Daibadi resurrects an old favourite with an updated look

The Heartless Armed Angel returns!
Oct 20
// Chris Seto
Daibadi is a success story which you don't hear about very often. More seasoned readers will remember him as the sole member of the garage kit circle Dimension Diver. A while back, dimension diver was a Tomopop darling, with ...

Tomopop Review: Dwell Mitsuru Kirijou by Vertex

Oct 15 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Dwell Mitsuru KirijouFigure Maker: VertexPrice: ¥12,000Available at: HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | ToysLogic | Plamoya | Big Bad Toy Store The original plan for this review was to take the figure on a road trip with me. After seeing the size of the box and the parts involved, I realized that would be impossible. Mitsuru may be 1/7-scale but this figure is freaking massive. It's thanks to her hair and coat, which you'll see later. For now, you can see that she comes in a suitably large box. I rather like the box design; it fits the Persona 4 aesthetic very well. After unboxing Mitsuru, the troubles began. If the figure didn't cost ¥12,000, I'd recommend that you buy two because there's a small chance you'll break the first one. PVC is a sturdy, flexible material, but I still cringed as I was putting the pieces together. Putting the rapier into the hand is a straightforward process, though you'll have to bend the fingers some to get the hilt into the hand. Getting the feet onto the base was less easy. Out of the box, Mitsuru's legs aren't spaced as far apart as the pegs on the base. You'll have to pry them apart some (around a quarter inch or so) to get the base to fit. I guess it makes for a more secure fit - there's no danger of picking her up and having the base fall off - but make sure you don't overdo it. Here's the part that gave me the most trouble: her damned scabbard! There's a holster for it on Mitsuru's hip, and you have to slide the whole length of the scabbard through it. The problem is, the fit is beyond tight. You really have to muscle it down so that it doesn't sit awkwardly above her waist line. The promo shots show it sitting even lower than I was able to get it; I guess the Incredible Hulk assembles the prototypes. This caused me two problems. First, it's damn near impossible for me to get the stupid thing out, so it'll be difficult to box her back up for transport. Second, thanks to the stupidly tight fit, some of the paint has rubbed off the scabbard and the holster. Wonderful. At least one thing went without a hitch: Mitsuru's evoker fits into the holster just fine. I don't want to poo-poo this figure forever, but this is the last problem that needs to be pointed out. The finish is not clean on this. Check out the excess glue on Mitsuru's hip, and the bit of sloppiness with the paint on her stomach. There are similar problems with her bangs, and random specs of paint on her coat (which are thankfully obscured most of the time). Still with me? Now that I've gone over the bad stuff, let's go over what I like about this figure: just look at it! My personal preference is to have Mitsuru without her fur coat. The body suit is very sexy, but the figure doesn't feel exploitative thanks to Mitsuru's confident (some might say menacing) pose. Her outfit looks functional, and reminds me of the Beauty and Beast ladies from Metal Gear Solid 4. Mitsuru's pose leads to a striking profile, which I wanted to emphasize with this shot. You can plainly see what she's all about. Vertex chose to emphasize her prowess with a sword over her status as a Persona user, and that says a lot about who Mitsuru is. Do not mess with her! The word "ostentatious" was invented for people like Mitsuru. That fur coat and her loud sunglasses/goggles are not subtle at all. To put on the coat, you have to remove the head and arms. Reattaching her arms through the sleeves can be tricky. I found that it's a little easier if you line up the backs of the arms with the shoulders. For the sunglasses, you just need to pull of Mitsuru's bangs and pop on the new fringe. Even this, however, burned me. The regular fringe piece was stuck on pretty tight. When I took it off, it left a red streak across her cheek. Luckily, her hair covers it completely, but it's still annoying knowing it's there. Vertex really needs to get this stuff fixed! While this coat says "boss" like few other accessories can, I'm not completely enamored with the execution. It's not bad, but I think it could have a better sense of flow. It also breaks up Mitsuru's magnificent silhouette. I should also mention her hair, which is another example of Vertex's quality issues. The sculpt is excellent - the hair is insanely well-detailed and shaded. But there are two big seam lines right on the top of her head, and the fringe piece doesn't slide all the way in (and is prone to falling out). Vertex did use a whole lot of PVC for this figure. The hair and coat together probably weigh a solid pound. You might have seen auxiliary support stands in some of these photos. Use them. Mitsuru can stay upright without the smaller stands, but she'll be leaning backwards in no time. Ironically, the one part of the figure I was concerned about turned out perfectly fine. I didn't foresee any of the other problems this figure has, but the product shots made me worried that Mitsuru's face would look plasticky and flat. As you can see, it's absolutely beautiful. Those red eyes, that slight smile... that expression shows that Mitsuru means business! This is a frustrating figure in many ways. The worst thing is that it could have been so good if only Vertex had put more time into quality control. I hope I just got a bad sample. I hope, if you still want to buy one, that the one you get is completely perfect and flawless. If so, that would be an epic, epic figure. As is, I like the design enough that I can get over this figure's flaws. I suspect that hardcore Persona fans would feel the same way. But if you were lured in by the extravagant sculpt, you might want to think again. There's so much wrong with it, and at a retail price of ¥12,000, it's a serious monetary commitment.
Vertex Mitsuru Kirijou photo
Almost magnifique
Persona fans have had reason to celebrate over the last couple of years, with a number of video game and anime releases bringing the franchise back into the limelight. The new media has been heavily geared toward Persona...

Ques Q Elizabeth photo
Merry for the holidays, or just her regular self - you decide!
I have never been a big Christmas person, it's usually all about Halloween for me, but for once I've pre-ordered a Christmas figure! Yes, I love Persona 3's Elizabeth, but never had a figure of her, so this time I'm technical...

Ques Q's Elizabeth photo
Is this meme still cool?
[UPDATE: Pre-orders are now open] Christmas won't be coming early for Ques Q's Christmas version of Elizabeth as both it and the standard version are slated for a December release. While both versions look fantastic, my prefe...

High Priestess Labrys photo
High Priestess Labrys

High Priestess Labrys appears for exclusive pre-orders

Megatrea Shop is the only way to go here
Aug 05
// Andres Cerrato
The last time we heard about the upcoming High Priestess Labrys was her feature in magazine scans back in March. She was announced in January but it's now August and she has finally made her appearance for pre-orders. As Bria...
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...
WonFes Nendoroids photo
WonFes Nendoroids

Wonder Festival 2013: Nendoroid Kuroko and Aigis join up

Don't piss off these two
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
A pair of fighting girls are joining the Nendoroid lineup, albeit from disparate parts of the world. The newest reveal is A Certain Scientific Railgun's Kuroko Shirai, whose specialty is teleporting herself and other objects....
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...
WonFes Teasers photo
WonFes Teasers

Good Smile Company teases their WonFes reveals

New scales, Nendoroids set to be unveiled
Jul 26
// Martin Siggers
With Summer WonFes only two days away, Mikatan has turned her camera on the Good Smile offices to capture the bustle of preparation. And wouldn't you know it, it looks like among all the rushing around some prototypes have sn...
Taito P4A figures photo
Taito P4A figures

Here are all of Taito's Persona 4 Arena prize figures

Includes Naoto and Kanji, too
Jul 01
// Brian Szabelski
As Kristina noted in her What's in UFO Catchers? feature, Taito had been stocking their machines with Persona 4 Arena merchandise, but two of them eluded my sight until now because they were just released last week. One of th...
A peek at prize figures in Japanese arcades
I make it a point to visit one of my local arcades at least once every couple of weeks to see what figures are in the UFO catchers, and I figure I may as well share it with you all. Pardon the image quality — I don't wa...

Persona 4 Arena photo
Persona 4 Arena

Vertex's Mitsuru Kirijou now available for pre-ordering

If you have deep pockets that is
Jun 14
// Martin Siggers
As promised (and later slightly revised), Vertex have put their rendition of Persona 4 Arena's Mitsuru up for pre-order from all good retailers. She's looking as stunning as ever, and that slightly larger 1/7 scale is sure to...
Persona 4 Arena photo
Also included: sweet glasses
[Update: Vertex have issued a correction saying that she won't be up for pre-orders until Friday 14th. Patience!] We got a paintless preview of Vertex's take on Mitsuru Kirijo last month, but now the final painted protot...

High Priestess Chie delay photo
High Priestess Chie delay

High Priestess Chie Satonaka delayed to September

Did we just got Trial of the Dragon'd?
May 24
// Brian Szabelski
As much as Megahouse's High Priestess Chie Satonaka looks awesome, there's been some bad news the last two times I've posted about her. First, it was the news that Chie was a MegatreShop exclusive, and now a second bit of new...
Persona 4 Petankos photo
Persona 4 Petankos

Persona 4 Petankos pop-up for pre-order

Today's post brought to you by the letter P
May 16
// Brian Szabelski
Kristina beat me to posting about the Persona 4 Petanko figures from Penguin Parade previously (read that five times fast, I dare you), but now I get to let you guys and gals know they're up for pre-order! Both Yu and Rise co...
Full preview photo
First in-depth preview of the Persona heroine
One of the many great things about Persona 4 Arena is the resurgence in interest it's caused for some of the Persona 3 characters featured within. Vertex last showed off their version of ice queen Mitsuru Kirij...

Asuka and Nanako! photo
Asuka and Nanako!

Treasure Festa in Ariake 9: Mana Mode, Little Pink Summer

Sometimes, different is better
May 07
// Brian Szabelski
More Treasure Festa coverage? Sure! Let's take a look at two more kit makers with some popular characters. Mana Mode brought two different Asukas with them, one of her in her plugsuit and the other featuring her jamming out w...

Treasure Festa in Ariake 9: Ques Q

Lots of Touhou Project stuff
May 06
// Tianxiao Ma
Ques Q seems to love Touhou Project figures, but they do have their stylistic differences with Griffon. I enjoy seeing the odd Touhou figure every once in a while thanks to their whacky and elaborate character designs. The li...

Treasure Festa in Ariake 9: Mugenkyou

Persona, Girls und Panzer, and a cosplaying Soniko
May 05
// Natalie Kipper
It is time for Treasure Festa in Ariake 9 and Mugenkyou is getting the party starting right. The company had figures from Persona 4 Arena, Girls und Panzer, and what I believe to be Soniko cosplaying as a rather busty Ma...
A lovely trio
Penguin Parade has recently updated their Petanko listings to include three new figures: Persona 4: The Animation's Yu Narukami and Rise, and Steins;Gate's Kurisu Makise. Of course, the curious thing about this is Yu - I beli...

Tomopop Review: figma Aigis The ULTIMATE ver.

Apr 25 // Martin Siggers
Figure Name: figma Aigis The ULTIMATE ver. Figure Maker: Max FactoryRetail Price: ¥4,800Available at:  HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi First a note on that unusual name - it's because the fighting game we know in the west as Persona 4 Arena goes by Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena in Japan, in keeping with their habit of cool, but stupid, names. Aigis is also spelt as "Aegis" on the box, but since official translations have always used "Aigis," I'll be going with that for this review. Other than that, this is a figma box - it's functional, but pretty predictable and won't be winning any design awards any time soon. What's important is that that big window lets you see everything that's inside, and that the blister packaging is excellent at protecting everything in the box while keeping those tiny accessories in place. Out of the box, and it's immediately apparent this is one of Max Factory's more complex figma. Aigis's design calls for a lot of finely detailed paintwork and fortunately, this figure is more than up to it. Aigis is mostly made of made of matte white plastic, which has a nice soft-to-the-touch feel. Be warned, though; it's pretty easy to rub dirt off onto, so be careful when handling her with mucky hands. The paintwork is universally excellent, with lines like the thin gold rims on her hip-to-leg joints totally clean with no discernible paint splash. From behind, Aigis is relatively simple, but the quality of paint continues to be high. Since she's got short hair, there's nothing to write home about hairstyle-wise, but the sculpt does make her 'do nicely spiky to avoid it degenerating into just a big lump of plastic. She's got the standard peg hole for figma stands in her lower back, but not the removable panel up between her shoulders. We'll get back to that. One thing you might have noticed is that Aigis has these unusual shoe-like attachments on the bottom of her feet. Because her feet are (as they are in the games) more like hooves than traditional soles, she needs these miniature supports to stand up properly. I found they worked pretty well, and you'll see them attached throughout this review, but if you find them distracting, fear not; they can be removed and plug into the bottom of her feet via simple friction pegs. Here's another shot which shows off some of the excellent close detail. Aigis's unusual whorled eyes are reproduced very sharply, and the detail on the hair framing her face is excellent. The "loops" on her shoulders are jointed and move back and forth to allow flexibility at the shoulders, though be warned they do pop off rather easily. The distinctive red tie is one of the most obvious visual changes compared to the older version (who wore a bow). As you'd expect from a figma, poseability is absolutely excellent, especially since Aigis has no skirt (or indeed any clothing at all) to impede her. You'll get the standard, excellent figma stand bundled in as always. Aigis only comes with one additional face: the angry, battle face she's seen wearing in a few upcoming photos. There are the standard assortment of swappable hands though, including flat, open ones to replicate her "gun hands." Though she only has two facial expressions, Max Factory partially make up for it by including an alternate hairpiece. Unlike the previous Persona figures, who came with glasses, Aigis instead models this badass RoboCop-style visor. It's attached to the standard figma removable fringe, so it can be used with either face. Enough namby-pamby talk about posing and painting though, let's get down to what matters - guns! By far and away the defining feature of this new Aigis is a trio of massive pieces of ordinanace — a cannon, a missile pod, and an absolutely colossal chaingun. Each of them is mounted on a separate arm which attach to Aigis's back. Remember that removable panel on Aigis's back I mentioned earlier? Pop it off and there'll be another peg hole, into which you can attach this three-way mount. Each of the three weapons has its own mechanical arm, which plugs into the mount as shown. Max Factory have done their best to make the weapons as flexible as possible — each has three hinges: at the base, in the middle of the arm, and at the point the weapon attaches to the arm. Additionally, both the missile pod and the chaingun have mounting slots on both sides, allowing the side the arm attachers to to be easily switched. The net result of this is an awful lot of flexibility when posing the weapons. You can use any combination of the three shuffled between the three points or remove one or two for additional space. This means that Aigis still retains a pretty wide range of articulation even with the full arsenal onboard. The last accessory included is a nice muzzle flash piece which just pops onto one of the barrels of the chaingun. Speaking of the chaingun, it's the only one of the three weapons that doesn't really stand on its own, being a little heavy to be fully supported by the mounting arm. Instead, Aigis will usually have to grip it by the handle, but fortunately, the barrels can be rotated to make this a bit easier. You've probably worked it out already, but this new figma Aigis is an absolute slam-dunk by Max Factory. It's got quality and detailing that would put much larger figures to shame, an excellent range of articulation, and an utterly badass selection of accessories. If you're any sort of Persona fan, this one should be pretty high on your wish list.
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