Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online photo
That's not how you use an umbrella
All things considered, Sword Art Online is pretty light on the fan service. Between the grim situation of the death game in the first act, the desperate rescue against the clock in the second and the dire situations that came...

Top sales 3/30 to 4/5 photo
Top sales 3/30 to 4/5

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 3/30 to 4/5

Plus monthly results for March
Apr 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
So last time I lamented a bit that figma Sinon from Sword Art Online II didn't rank during her release week. Well it seems she received a delayed reaction as she ranked pretty high in the first week of April. And she wasn't e...

Sword Art Online gets another addition to its dollfie dream family

Volks on Overdrive!
Apr 06
// Chris Seto
Ever wonder if Volks are overdoing things a little with their Dollfie Dream Releases? Not only are they prepping for a Snow Miku release as well as the two Macross F ladies, hot on the heels of the Dolls Party event in Kyoto,...
Broccoli photo

Wonder Festival 2015 Winter: Broccoli

I'm sure you can find a waifu here...
Feb 14
// Oansun
Broccoli doesn't exactly have a banner year of super-popular characters on their slate (save for one), but it's not like they care. In the gallery, you'll see their bread-and-butter. Emphasis on the butt(er). Their 1/8 scale ...

figma Kirito GGO ver. photo
figma Kirito GGO ver.

Akiba Hobby takes a closer look at SAO II's figma Kirito GGO ver.

'Voom, voom' sword sound effects not included
Jan 08
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Recently the pre-orders went up for Max Factory's figma Sword Art Online II Kirito Trap ver. GGO ver. and Akiba Hobby has already gotten their hands on one for a gallery. Kidding aside, this is a really great likeness of the ...
NYCC 2014 GSC photo

NYCC 2014: Good Smile Company Up-close

We get up-close and personal with the GSC display
Oct 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Good Smile Company is awesome for getting us right up close with their latest display pieces at New York Comic Con! You can practically smell the fresh paint on the figures! This is as close as you can get without being there...
Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

Bring the fight to life with Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax prize figures

Based on the hit fighting game that'll probably never be released here
Oct 05
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Japanese publishers love their crossover fighting games. Just in recent years we've seen games like Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match merging characters from various Aquaplus visual novels and games and J-Stars Victory Vs ...
Nendoroid SAO Sinon photo
Nendoroid SAO Sinon

[Updated] Take aim at this new SAO Sinon Nendoroid gallery

On target for pre-orders tonight
Sep 03
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
[Update: Hey, look, pre-orders are up. Find them down below.] Coming into the Sword Art Online 2 anime I wasn't really sure what to expect from series newcomer Sinon. The early previews made her look like the cold, emotionles...
Koto SAO2 Sinon photo
Koto SAO2 Sinon

Wonder Festival 2014 Summer: Kotobukiya SAO2 Sinon

Good eye, sniper
Jul 27
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
I have to admit, watching the latest episode of Sword Art Online II I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Sinon isn't quite the emotionless ice queen she seemed to be up to now. She's actually has a rather normal and ...
Aniplex Pus photo
Aniplex Pus

Wonder Festival Summer 2014: Aniplex Plus

Butlers, bikinis and black-clad girls
Jul 27
// Martin Siggers
Though it hasn't been around long, Aniplex's exclusive plus line has already garnered an enviable reputation. It's partially due to smart pairings with established manufacturers such as Good Smile Company and partially due to...
Kotobukiya Sinon photo
Sword Art Online II heroine in the firing line
Kotobukiya pretty quickly carved out a reputation as the go to manufacturer for Sword Art Online figures, what with their spectacular renditions of Asuna and Leafa. Now that the second series of the anime is startin...

GSC June delays photo
GSC June delays

Good Smile reveals its June figure delays

Knights of the Blood Asuna, swimsuit-clad Sena among those affected
Jun 16
// Brian Szabelski
Good Smile Company has just posted its list of delays for June, and thankfully, the delays aren't long. Everything on this month's list has been pushed back to a July release, with Penguin Parade releases making up the majori...
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...

WonderCon 2014: Kotobukiya's Spring Preview panel, Part 1

Apr 21 // Natalie Kipper
Firstly, it should be noted that this panel did not deal with any model kits or toys not destined to reach North American audiences. In other words, the toys shown will see the light of day outside Japan, at least in North America (I am not sure about Europe). The panel started off with talks of the exclusive toys for San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic-Con. SDCC will have two as yet unnamed pieces and NYCC will have one. More news will, of course, be revealed as those events draw closer. In the world of anime, we saw slides of Rage of Bahamut's Dark Angel Olivia and Sword Art Online's Leafa, both of which release next month, along with Fairy Dance Asuna, due out in October of this year. It was also revealed that Kotobukiya is currently working out the details for handling the Attack on Titan license. That news received a large amount of fanfare from the panel's audience. Moving on to the Star Wars universe, we confirmed that Bishoujo Mara Jade will have an interchangeable base, allowing it to bare the insignia of either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. The next announcement was the ArtFX+ Sandtrooper Squad Leader two-pack and the ArtFX+ Sandtrooper Squad Sergeant single-pack. Both figure sets were on display at Kotobukiya's booth after the panel. The previously announced ArtFX+ Han Solo and Chewbacca two-pack will be followed by a two-pack of Luke and Leia. The four figures can be posed together. Next up was the realm of gaming, starting with the news that Kotobukiya would now be making figures of characters from the Halo series. Along with that reveal came images of the the first release in the line, ArtFX Master Chief. The figure will have limited posing capability and come packaged with rife and hand grenade accessories (which he will be able to hold). For the Street Fighter series, we saw additional pictures of Bishoujo Cammy (her base will be clear; not black like in the photo), set to release this September. Following her in the Street Fighter Bishoujo line will be Juri, which we saw concept art of. And for Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the next Bishoujo statue for that line will be Nina Williams. That's all for part one of the Kotobukiya Spring Preview 2014 panel. Part two will be coming up shortly. Look forward to it! 
WonderCon 2014 Kotobukiya photo
Covering the anime, Star Wars, and gaming portions
For a toy collector, if you only attended one panel at last weekend's WonderCon, it was Kotobukiya's Spring Preview. They had licensing announcements. They had prototypes. They had concept art a plenty. Heck, they even had a ...

GSC at Sakura-Con photo
Attendees will have a chance to grab some very special toys
Those of you planning on attending Seattle's Sakura-Con should be excited to hear that Good Smile Company will have a presence there. They will be sharing booths #423 and #332 with Ultra Tokyo Connection. Attendees will have ...

Tomopop LinkUP: Gold Medal Panic

Feb 13 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Kahotan posted a gallery for the upcoming Bakemonogatari Nadeko Sengoku Nendoroid. She comes with a lot of neat arm and leg parts for some really great poses. She's up for pre-order now so go get one. AmiAmi did an early photo review of the Beach Queen's Ayase Aragaki from OreImo. She looks great, but a little simple just wearing a white bikini, but I suppose that has its own appeal. She won't be out until June so enjoy the gallery. figsoku blog posted a gallery for the FuRyu Sonico Going Out Time ver. prize figure that was released last month. I'm not much of a Sonico fan, but I might have to reconsider my negative impression of FuRyu. Piapro posted a new colaboration between Pullip dolls and Hatsune Miku with a new Sakura Miku doll. They're not a doll series that's for everyone, but they did an impressive job with the outfit. Piapro also posted a look at a new series of Vocaloid plush products from Sekiguchi. Included are stuffed dolls and dangly things of Miku, Len, and Rin. If you're a gamer then simply by saying 'George Washington with a Gatling gun' should be conjuring up images of BioShock Infinite. So here's a Motorized Patriot made out of LEGO blocks. I got the game when it came out and still haven't played it... Thanks to io9 we're getting a ride back to the obscure side of the Golden Age of comics for a look at the slightly disturbing Fantomah statue based on the works of Fletcher Hanks. She comes in three varieties, all pretty limited. Task One has a new series of seven-inch WeedBears up in his store. Available are Green Crack, Purple Kush, and Stoned Panda for US$69.99 each. There's also a limited pink Bubblegum bear for Valentine's day, but that one has gone away like so much smoke. Akiba Hobby has posted a gallery for FREEing's new Asuna figure coming up in March. She's nicely sculpted and while the pose is a bit awkward at least it's something different. Good Smile Company's Mamitan was over in Japan for Wonder Festival and took the most amazing photos of figma Snow Miku out in the wilds. We've seen a lot of photos for Miku, but these are probably some of the most adorable ones yet. Pinkcheeks posted a surprisingly easy DIY tutorial for making your own Japanese-style table. I think I need to give this a try. And that's it for this week's Tomopop LinkUP. Look for the next installment next week during the craziness of Toy Fair!
Tomopop LinkUP photo
Oh, right, there are other events going on this week
Hello and welcome back to Tomopop LinkUP! It's been a pretty busy week in all sorts of ways. We're still plowing our way through Wonder Festival coverage with the shadow of Toy Fair looming over us. But outside of that the Ol...

Fairy Dance Asuna photo
Fairy Dance Asuna

Kotobukiya's Fairy Dance Asuna is unbarred for pre-orders

A real break-out figure
Feb 13
// Martin Siggers
Kotobukiya unveiled their second take on Asuna back in January, and we got to see her in all her painted glory at Wonder Festival this past week. Proving the company doesn't hang around, she's now up for pre-order, completing...
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...

WonFes 2014W Kotobukiya photo
WonFes 2014W Kotobukiya

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Kotobukiya scale figures

New Saber and Lum prototypes, plus Chuunibyou's Rikka announced
Feb 11
// Tianxiao Ma
We've already seen some of the new hotness that Kotobukiya brought to WonFes, but there's always room for more. Their scale figure lineup looks pretty diverse this year, which is great if you're sick of KanColle. Here's the r...
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...
Nendo Asuna Titania ver. photo
Nendo Asuna Titania ver.

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Nendo Asuna Titania ver.

And yes, that cage is coming with her
Feb 08
// Brian Szabelski
Sword Art Online fans get one more thing to look forward to from the Nendoroid line: a Nendo of Asuna in her previous avatar form, Titania the Fairy Queen. Yes, Good Smile's rolling out the full package for her, and that...
Kotobukiya Asuna photo
Kotobukiya Asuna

Kotobukiya unveils a new Fairy Dance Asuna

They've conquered Aincrad, now it's Alfheim's turn
Jan 22
// Martin Siggers
With Sword Art Online being so popular there have been a huge number of figures of leading lady Asuna. Few have managed to equal Kotobukiya's take though, a gorgeous, well crafted rendition that appeals even to those of ...
Kotobukiya Leafa photo
Don't believe me? Check out the preview gallery!
Kotobukiya's Leafa is still a ways away from release, but you can check out some lovely shots from Amiami on their blog. Her facial expression is my favorite part of this figure, although I'm sure many will like her pose. It ...


Pre-order this not-so-subtle Suguha for your inner siscon

Penguin Parade - 1/8 Scale
Dec 10
// Emily Smalara
As Sword Art Online's second arc rolled around, fans realized even this dramatic fantasy/sci-fi series wasn't free from the recent resurgence of anime featuring sisters with a bit more than familial intentions. Enter Suguha K...

Free this elegant new Asuna with a pre-order

Plum - 1/7 Scale
Dec 06
// Emily Smalara
The PVC world's current darling, Sword Art Online's Asuna, still isn't out of the running with yet another Alfheim related figure coming to us from Plum in March. While the arc itself may be rather hotly debated, the appeal o...
Pre-order Silica photo
Pre-order Silica

Pre-order FREEings Silica from Sword Art Online

She is pretty, I know she is! We just need better photos to prove it!
Nov 26
// Jon Wills
Sword Art Online is a pretty popular franchise, so it is not surprising to me when a company makes a figurine of Asuna, or even Leafa, however when a collectible is made of a supporting character like Silica by a larger compa...
pre-orders: Leafa photo
pre-orders: Leafa

Kotobukiya's Leafa flies to pre-orders!

Of all the Leafa's this one could be the best!
Nov 14
// Jon Wills
We've seen lots of different sculpts of the fairy Leafa from Sword Art Online. In no particular order there was Wing's, Griffon's, Penguin Parade's and of course this one by Kotobukiya. My instinct tells me that I a...
Leafa photo

Don't 'leaf' this Leafa pre-order alone!

Penguin Parade - 1/8 Scale
Oct 30
// Emily Smalara
Well, here's a bit of a surprise. Sword Art Online's lovely elven Leafa is getting a new figure in April, from Penguin Parade of all places. Now, I don't really recall Penguin Parade doing any SAO figures, but with how many A...
Kotobukiya Leafa photo
The Fairy Dance goes on
We saw Kotobukiya unveil their lovely looking take on Leafa from Sword Art Online earlier this week, and now Moeyo has got their hands on a prototype and put together a more comprehensive preview. Seein a bit more of Lea...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Asuna

Oct 11 // Jon Wills
Figure Name: 1/8th Asuna -Aincrad-Figure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail: ¥7,800Available at: HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi | J-List | Plamoya | Big Bad Toy Store  Asuna's box has lots of windows and is vibrantly painted. Those who like to leave their collectibles in their box will not be disappointed at the overall aesthetic and design. The packaging is the standard fare you would expect to see. The one exception being that the golden rings that attach to her base are simply laying on the bottom of the box. They still seemed safe and flat in the bottom. Really, I had never unpacked a figurine with such an interesting base besides perhaps Alter's Menma, so I figure things should be a bit different. It was kind of exciting to unpack her till a small disaster struct. Yup, so what you see here is something I had to wrestle with for a while. When I unboxed Asuna there was lots of plastic protecting everything, including her skirt from her body and the lower half of her from her top half. Peeling the plastic off was easy of course. Unfortunately her top and bottom half of her body did not fit together properly, Or perhaps you could say the fit was far, far too snug. It took about 10 minutes of wrestling, but eventually I was able to unite her top and bottom half. Thankfully nothing broke in the process. Despite the effort it took I think the visual effect of the figurine was well worth it. Her silhouette looks pretty nice doesn't it? Here is Asuna in what I think are her best angles. While I like her unique and tall style base I kept finding my eyes drawn upwards to her instead of her base. Her flowing hair, cape and pose make her look pretty good and give off a subtle feeling of strength which I appreciate. I also really love the paint and detailing work done all over her traditional Knights of the Blood oath outfit. As much as I like the overall vibe this collectible gives off I have to say she looks a little awkward from above. Of course few people will be looking at her from this direction, it's still hard to overlook. Here is a closeup on her face and that cool hair. I like all the detail work put into her red collar and the silver sculpting and painting work around her chest area. Her hair sculpt is really cool and one of the best parts about this figure. I like how you can see the braids in her hair and all the bits flowing everywhere. However I do miss the transparency effects that I see in some of the higher quality Alter and Good Smile Company figures. I think that Kotobukiya could have made her much nicer with better hair sculpting techniques. Asuna's sword is practical and done well enough with no obvious blemishes. Much like the sword, her boots work and look like Asuna's but are not crafted in any particular way to look more real than what one would expect to see. This is a side that is not likely to be seen by anyone except those who buy the figurine so I wanted to show this off. I like the broken rubble pieces on her base and the effort that was put into making the cracks and such look good. One thing I wish that Kotobukiya had done here with the base though would be if the rings were actually made out of metal instead of plastic. As they are now they kind of wobble around and fall out too easily, maybe I got a bad sample of her but this just my impression. In conclusion Kotobukiya's Asuna is still a really nice Asuna figurine. She is still one of the nicest Asuna made to date. Her traditional white and red with silver trim Knights of the Blood Oath outfit is painted nicely despite her fairly simple sculpt. If her hair was a little prettier and the rings on her base were made of metal I think she could have been exceptional and easy to recommend to anyone. As she is now she is still a must get collectible for fans of Sword Art Online. What do you think Tomopeeps? Do any of you own this lovely lady?
Review: Koto's Asuna photo
The Red Flash
Remember last years hit anime Sword Art Online? Many people loved it, many people raged, and then the second season came, and more people raged. Despite all the rage I enjoyed it and stuck through to the end. Of course, I had...

NYCC: Good Smile Company photo
NYCC: Good Smile Company

NYCC 2013: Good Smile Company part 2

Enter the magical girls
Oct 11
// Kristina Pino
In this second half of the Good Smile Company round-up, Andres caught some pictures of the magical girls of Madoka Magica fame in various formats, along with some Sword Art Online Nendoroids, the Monokuma Nendoroid, Steins;Ga...
Kotobukia Leafa photo
Ready to take Alfheim by storm
There have been a lot of Sword Art Online figures over the past year but nearly everyone agrees that Kotobukiya's beautiful take on Asuna has been one of the best so far. So it's very exciting news that they're goin...


Be on your guard for this latest Asuna pre-order

Griffon - 1/8 Scale
Sep 24
// Emily Smalara
Has Griffon seen the error of their ways? After some rather questionable treatment of SAO's lovely heroine Asuna, it seems like they're not done yet. But unlike the others, could they actually have nailed it this time? Maybe!...

Nendoroid Asuna renews her subscription for another round

Good Smile Company - Nendoroid
Sep 14
// Emily Smalara
It's been a year since Nendoroid fans got their hands on Sword Art Online's honey-haired beauty Asuna, but there's probably almost as many who missed the opportunity before she disappeared in the inevitable mad rush that plag...
Sword Art Online photo
Sword Art Online

Join the Knights of the Blood with GSC's Asuna

Sword Art Online heroine up for pre-order now
Sep 12
// Martin Siggers
Had enough Asuna yet? No? Well you're in luck then, because yet another version of the Sword Art Online heroine is now up for order. It's Good Smile Company's turn to have a crack, with their 'Knights of the Blood' versi...
Winged Leafa Spotted photo
This is more like the Leafa I know.
Word must have gotten around that people were yawning at Griffon's attempt at Leafa because Wing's latest unpainted prototype of manages to address at least a few of the issues that were present in the Griffon version. F...


This latest Asuna pre-order will be gone in a flash

FREEing - 1/8 Scale
Aug 30
// Emily Smalara
Originality is not the order of the day as yet another guild uniform-clad Asuna makes her arrival on the pre-order circuit, courtesy of FREEing. We saw her at WonFest last month, so if you've been eagerly waiting to grab her,...
Griffon Leafa photo
Griffon Leafa

Try not to yawn at this Leafa gallery

Can you guess it was made by Griffon?
Aug 28
// Tianxiao Ma
I didn't think a sample gallery would make me pontificate on the nature of figure collecting, but maybe I'm extra contemplative today. What you're looking at is Sword Art Online's Leafa by Griffon. Akiba Hobby has a gallery u...

Say yes to getting the latest lounging Asuna

Chara-Ani 1/8 Scale
Aug 27
// Emily Smalara
We've seen the lovely Asuna in many confident poses, which shouldn't be a surprise given her independent and capable attitude in the first season of Sword Art Online. We've also seen a few of her sudden new "damsel in distres...

Griffon's SAO figures, Prototype, Pre-orders and Released

Aug 11 // Jon Wills
Griffons latest prototype sculpt of Asuna is based on the first, Aincrad arc. This is their second attempt at making this particular style of Asuna. It looks much improved from the original but we will have to see how she comes together once the final paint touches are added on. Here is their Comiket exclusive Asuna.  They call this their Aznar-Titania, limited color version. I remember her outfit being white but I have to say it looks startling good being pink. The clouds under her feet, the wings and all the details and folds of her skirt really give this a pretty look. The coloring and paint job is very simple, however that sculpt is awesome. Leafa was one of my favorite characters from the second arc of SAO, as such I was excited to see that Griffon made a sculpt of her. Unfortunately this sculpt lacked wings or a more action packed pose. Still fans of Leafa should still check out Griffon's Leafa simply because no one else has made a figurine of her. So if you like Griffon's Leafa you should think about pre-ordering her. She comes at a suggested price of ¥9200 and should ship out in late September of this year. [Pre-order at Hobby Search | AmiAmi | HobbyLink Japan] This is a rather alluring Asuna sculpt. I like the work that Griffon put into her gown here. It fits tightly to the figure in the right spots and is otherwise loose and wrinkly. The best part of this figure is the suggestive tug she is making on her dress and how ring finger has her wedding ring on it.  She comes priced at ¥8,600 and should ship out later in this month of August. [Pre-order at | AmiAmi | CD Japan | J-List] Next we have Griffon's Ai Yui. Her sculpt is based on her Alfheim version, otherwise she would be a giant. But because she is based on a little fairy form she stands at 15.5 cm tall without her stand. As per Griffon style her paint job is a little flat but her sculpt is looking sweet, but it had better be as she comes at a list price of about ¥9,200. She should ship out later this month of August. [Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan  | AmiAmi | CD Japan] Last and just maybe least is Griffon's original Asuna sculpt. This one caught a lot of criticism because her face and hair really did not match up well with her original style. That said I think that the paint job here is above the average Griffon norm and I really like her hair sculpt. You should head over to the gallery to check it out. Griffon's Asuna is already released and comes at a suggested price of about ¥7700. [Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan | AmiAmi]
Preview Griffon SAO photo
Griffon has some pretty sculpts.
Griffon has been steadily making SAO figurines for a while now and there are quite a few out. Recently they published a few photos of their 1/1-scale Yui on their blog as well as a prototype for an upcoming Asuna sculpt and a...

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