It's all about VOLKS' Hobby Round 7 today for Reserve or Regret though there is almost no time left since the event is happening today in Japan. There are several exclusives from VOLKS that have people pawing at their monitor...
I'll let you know now, this is going to be a disappointing day for Reserve or Regret. You might as well just leave your wallet in your pants. ...if you're wearing pants. We tend to go pantless around here at Tomopop. And if y...
Getting sick sucks. It also sucks to know that I have been allowing you folks to get away without spending money. That has gone on long enough. Pull out those credit cards, borrow some cash, or do what you must because it's t...
Consider your money safe today and not needing to ask yourself "reserve or regret?" Yesterday brought us more exclusives and some re-releases from Griffon Enterprises. None of which are anything special.
Griffon Enterprises h...
For those who have been wanting to get their hands on Volks' Dollfie clothes from Dolpa 26 and the exclusives from Home Town Dolpa Kyoto 9, your chance is now available. Volks is taking orders on the clothes and lottery entri...
A month without Tamaki? I know! That's just too long for this popular lady from ToHeart2, huh? Well, Daiki Kougyou is looking to fix that by... oh. ... Re-releasing a Tamaki figure with a different face. That's just lazy.
So, yeah, I'm still into that doll thing. Doesn't help that I now own my second doll with Volks' Dollfie Dream Saber given to me by my awesome best friend who spoils me. So my interest has been captured with Volks revealing t...
I didn't know Kotobukiya had even made this, but now you can pre-order their gigantic 1/4-scale Tamaki from To Heart2 DX Plus. That is a lot of Tamaki (270 mm tall!), and at 1/4-scale I'm sure her other... qualities... will b...
Here's the deal: if you want to see plastic boobies of anime girls, check out Moeyo's gallery of Daiki Kougyou's Sasara Kusugawa figure. I'll leave the NSFW stuff for them as they do it so well. Otherwise I've grabbed a few s...
Just a little over three months ago, Daiki Kougyou released the samurai version of Sasara Kusugawa from PlayStation Portable title ToHeart2: Dungeon Travelers. Just like Daiki Kougyou (and many others), Sasara is back again, ...
Oct 24 //
Kristina Pino Figure Name: Ilfa Kunoichi ver.Figure Maker: KotobukiyaOriginal Release: June, 2011Retail Value: ¥8,800Available at: AmiAmi | Kid Nemo | BigBadToyStore
Let's start with the box, as usual. I was actually a little bit confused with this box since there are so many windows on it, but on the other hand, it's great to just showcase the figure instead of having empty print space all over the package. We've just got the figure name, game logo and some illustrations besides all the other usual stuff. The box isn't bigger than it needs to be, which is great, and I really like this thing Kotobukiya does where they cut a hole for the figures' faces while the rest of it is wrapped in clingy plastic.
I'm skipping the tray this time around since she required very little assembly, just getting the weapons on which was a simple task (they pull apart, the come together over her hands). She's already attached to the base, which is simple, round and white. I'm not sure why this choice was made, cause it doesn't do much of anything for the figure. At least make it a clear plastic or black base?
Besides the weapons, she comes with one optional part being a piece of her turban which could be either how you see above or covering half of her face like in the box art. Both are nice, but I'm not one for covering figure's faces, so most of the review does show with the original set up.
Above is the turn-around, so you get a view of her body from the back and both sides. We'll go more into detail later, but I do really like the overall look here. I did complain about the base, but on the side shots, you could barely tell the foot peg is there in the images, and I really like the effect.
Why yes, that is under-boob. I wonder how that works? Those straps in the middle there can't be comfortable, but she doesn't seem too phased by the discomfort so much as shy, she's been caught in the act of ... slicing up some evil-doers? Whatever she's doing, she looks cute doing it. Scarecroodle also mentioned previously that her eyes seemed a bit misplaced (back in the pre-order stage), but I think they look alright in terms of being true to the style. If you consider the style of the anime, similar to ToHeart2's Summer Memories Silfa (reviewed), it matches. What gets me with this style is the ultra-detailed hair, which is faithfully reproduced in the figure, but to me doesn't look right even in the animation. It's just a personal preference on my part, in other words.
The belt and sash she has got on there are of simple design as well. She's got her skirts bunched up under a purple belt and then a different shade of purple is layered over it (same color as the straps and cape/scarf), then a pretty little bow to tie it all together. Nice ensemble!
Here's a look at her lower body now, front and back. She's got this loincloth thing going on in a material that makes it look very thin and silky with the shading and molding job. It's a neat effect and as usual I like to point out when the figure depicts character movement really well. This doesn't look stiff to me at all, and while her ultra-light skin might usually be a stark contrast to such a colorful figure, somehow it matches perfectly when I look at her like this. Though, I'm sure if she were more tanned she'd look just as great.
May as well go all the way down while I'm working my way there. Here's a view of her feet and the base again. It's very simple in pose and style, and she's got these dark sandals on which match her outfit. I noticed no paint splotching issues here. You also have got a better view of the base without me hiding the peg in the other images.
Let's check her out from a different angle ...
Like I said in the introduction, I absolutely love this figure's color palette. It photographed so beautifully and I had a great time looking through all my images afterward (I actually took closer to 70 pictures of her and had to cut it down immensely for this review). In the image above, you've got a good view of the side of her turban with some flowers and ribbons coming out of it, as well as some billowing fabric she's got on both sides. Is it a cape, which looks like it comes together like a scarf around her neck? Whatever it is, I like the tassels.
These two shots are of the other side. I couldn't trash one or the other, so I decided to just combine them like this. I liked the shape that the cape had on her right side (outlined to the left), but I also wanted to show off the molding with the folds and all that (shown at the right). It turned out really great!
Sticking with the right side, we see more of the detail on her hair, as well as her left arm, and those flowers and ribbons from the other side. I suppose you also have a good view of her weapon here, but I'll have a better image for you soon.
At this angle, you just see her nose and a little bit of a blush mark peeking out from the side of her hair. I really enjoyed this image because I like mystery! I did mention I don't like things covering the face, but this doesn't really count, ok?
Let's take a brief look at the back before I go into her pointy objects. Her top hangs loosely in the front and back, apparently, so while you can't see it from this angle, once you get past the obi and sash you could see some of her back in the flesh. The real point of this image, looking back, is the ribbon coming out from the side of her head, there. I liked the shape and pattern on it, so there it is.
Here are her weapons installed on her hand. The way they work, and you can see the seams is the hilt separates from the rest of the blade and then can be put back together again over her hand. It matches her wrist bracelets, and it also looks really pointy, sharp and painful. Geeze, I wouldn't want her on my bad side ...
The last bit of detail to mention of course, is the alternate fabric for her turban. It's just that small piece at the front, which took a bit of effort to pull out and replace. It covers her mouth, giving her a more serious look. Let's check out the alternate fabric from the side:
And, there you have it. It goes in seamlessly and you can't even tell it's a separate piece. I love that, but of course it goes into what I said before about it being a bit hard to swap.
This concludes my review! Like I mentioned before, this figure was a joy to photograph, and like others I've handled lately, she isn't as fragile as she might seem with all the thin pieces all around her. Her price point, though, is a bit high for what you're getting, though compared with the other figures in this grouping, I think she's a bit more detailed and is probably worth it.
This isn't the sort of figure I would have gone after on my own, but I'm glad I got the sample and could share it with you all! I'll also probably be giving it away, so if you were deterred by the price but still think you'd really love her in your collection, be sure to keep your eyes peeled!
Since I'm not too avid a fan of the ToHeart series or collect its figures, be sure to leave your comments below with your thoughts and feedback! Since there wasn't such a great reaction to this figure previously, but I am giving it a great review, I definitely am interested in knowing what the community thinks.
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample!]
Ilfa here (Manaka de Ikuno!!) is one of the more beautifully colored figures I've ever had the pleasure to handle. I really love it when they use nice pastel blues, purples and reds cause it gives well-molded fabric such a gr...
Oct 12 //
Kristina Pino Figure Name: Silfa Summer Memories VersionFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Value: ¥8,200Available at: AmiAmi | Hobby Search | HLJ
Here's the box. It's as plain as can be, but very efficient and not any bigger than necessary, which I can definitely appreciate now that I'm starting to play the "Closet Tetris" game on medium to hard mode lately. The sides just have the production company logo and no more, so I only really photographed the front and back, which contain some illustrations and all the other usual stuff.
Once you take her out, here's the tray holding her in some sticky plastic and already assembled for you. Her foot is already attached to the peg when you're unboxing her, but the peg slides out of the base if you want it to (not like you'd do anything with it, anyway).
I couldn't keep her in there for too long, so here's the frontal view! She's adorable, and dang those are some nice legs. I can appreciate the extra meat, and while the figure may look a little plain at first, a lot of sculpting detail went into the building of this shy robot.
Here's the turn around of the figure. The way the hair and legs are posed give her a more dynamic look than the usual swimsuit figure. I don't think I've seen one lately where the character is trying to be modest with her chest while tugging at her bottom, either, but it's a look that I am enjoying here. She's also on a vivid blue base, which didn't make too much sense to me since it doesn't really complement her palette, but I suppose if you try posing her in the water it'll blend in nicely. It makes good contrast with her feet, which I'll show you later.
Since I mentioned the hair, here's a closer look at the braid. Her hair has this blond with strawberry color that came out really nice, and the braid itself is not as fragile as it looks. It's a bit bendy and gives if you need to move the figure around, or maneuver it in or out of plastic wrappings, etc. It won't break as easily as I thought it might when I was first taking it out of the box.
Moving down, we've got her chest. This is kind of unique for me, cause I don't usually see figures trying to cover up. I like the simple pink striped design with the bow, and the molding is very nice. The molding with her hands, particularly, is fantastic; including what looks like a little gloss on her fingernails. There's just one sort of minor goof visible here (but seen better in another image in the gallery) of a seam issue with her locks there, but not enough to "ruin" the figure for me.
Since there are some nice shadows in this image, you could also see how even her arm has a bit of extra attention to molding. What stood out to me the most when I took her out was the abdominal area, though. It's great, and her body has all the right proportions in general.
Here's a shot from below, so you can see the "under-boob" area and how her posing works with that arm, as well as a better look at her bottom and other hand! The figure is outlined really well here so you can really see how her overall body sculpt looks - I love it.
I should get to the back, right? I'm getting there. First, a view from this side so you can see the way her swimsuit digs into her body and her hand tugging on the side at the bow. Overall very clean. Okay, now for the back!:
Here's that booty you've been waiting for. The swimsuit bottom has some frills to match the top, and it has a great fabric-y look to it where it's white. She's got a bit of cheek hanging out the bottom there, which is fine by me, and if you look just below, here's another picture showing more of her back:
The contours are nice, and you get a view of the bow from her top, which is clean and simple. A bit more with the "digging in" with the strap for the swimsuit top, and a fuzzy look at the robot parts she's got at the side of her head, which there's a better view of in the gallery.
Lastly, here's a look at her feet on the base. The color contrast is quite nice, as I mentioned before, but the pose looks weird depending on how you're viewing the figure. Like this, it looks just fine, but some of the full body shots (especially from behind) might be confusing since she's kind of stumbling or something. Her shoes are cute and nicely done, and I'm glad that she's wearing them rather than being full-on barefoot. There's one minor scrape there at the side of her angle that's showing on the top half, but only noticeable when I point it out like this.
I really enjoyed shooting her a lot more than I thought I would. When I look at a swimsuit figure, I just see girl in a swim suit, but this one has some charm to it that a lot of others miss. I like the shy expression on her face, the chest cover-up and the slamming body mold that she features. She's also quite tall, clocking in at the 1/6-scale height which, to give you an idea, makes her a bit taller than the D.P.C.F. Luffy (reviewed), who is kind of a monster compared with other figures around him at 8" tall and 1/7 scale.
Overall, Silfa's design is simple and satisfying without losing any attention to sculpt and toning detail. She's practical in terms of saving space and all, so I really have no negative things to say about her. As usual, be sure to check out the gallery for additional images which didn't appear in the main body of this review!
[Thanks again to Kotobukiya for providing us with this review sample!]
While I'm not so much a fan of eroge, and I am definitely wary of any anime adapted from a game (especially if that that game has multiple outcomes), I can't deny that I'm drawn to the ToHeart 2 character designs. Silfa is ap...
Normally, the very sight or mention of To Heart puts me into a coma. I don't know what it is about that series in all of its forms, but its never been able to hook me. A couple of the girls are pretty cute, but moé doe...
Buried in this month's latest round of scans was this new Tamaki from AlphaMax, and yep, she's kind of a bit suggestive. Dressed in a little maid outfit, Tamaki's got a mop and is ready to clean, though I don't think you clea...
The ToHeart 2 figures from Kotobukiya should be no mystery to longtime Tomopeeps, so perhaps it's not a surprise that the series continues on with Sniper Karin from the ToHeart 2 Dungeon Travelers game. She's not perhaps dres...
Oh hey, it's another gallery post! This morning, I bring you images of Kotobukiya's upcoming Silfa from ToHeart2: Another Days. This is her Summer Version, and she's already due for release next month.
I don't really know muc...
Griffon is a company that seems to wear many hats. Most of you know them as those dudes who make all those Touhou figures and make no mistake, Touhou was there at Griffon's booth. Most of it was stuff they've already shown or...
One thing that Kotobukiya has that they can keep going back to for variety is the ToHeart series. There's ToHeart 2, ToHeart2 ~Another Days~, ToHeart 2 XRATED, ToHeart2 Dungeon Travelers, and Manaka de Ikuno!! Final Dragon Ch...
To Heart 2 figures have made a big splash recently and now Chara-Ani is micro-sizing their whole line into adorable little trading figures! Tamaki, Harumi, Manaka, and others appear in both schoolgirl outfits and Manake de Ik...
Jun 05 //
Tomopop Staff Figure Name: NanakoFigure Maker: Orchid SeedRetail: •6,400Available now at KidNemo
Nanako comes in one of the smallest boxes I have ever seen. She is listed as non-scale, but I'd put her at about 1/8 -- and keep in mind that she is sitting (and also quite small when she is "full sized"), so she comes out to about 4" in total. That makes for a wildly small box! The design is pretty cute, with little cat paws all over and windows in the shape of cat faces.
Out of the box, Nanako just oozes cuteness. I think she was a bit controversial upon announcement because of her loli status, and the fact that she's only in elementary school, but she does not seem overtly sexual to me. She's just a cute figure! I'm sure you COULD see her in a perverted way if you wanted to, but I think she's actually quite innocent and tame looking.
I mean, just look at that face! So cute! The purple eye and hair combo is also quite unusual, even in anime.
There's not a lot of detailed paintwork on Nanako because of her simple coloration, but her hair is nicely shaded and painted. Her ears, too, have some nice shading, which does a lot to make up for the simplicity of her color scheme.
Nanako is wearing the odd-but-adorable school swimsuit and stockings combo. I have another figure in this getup, and she's also a catgirl ... and a loli! Maybe those things just go particularly well together?
My main problem with the original shots of Nanako was that her outfit was see-through around the bust. It wasn't a feature I was particularly looking forward to, and it edged her into NSFW territory. Thankfully, at least in my eyes, they fixed this for the final release and her top is solid. It makes her a lot more work-friendly!
I think Orchid Seed really nailed Nanako's proportions. Her frame is very childish, with no real curves and slightly plump legs. Sometimes young characters are portrayed with figures far too mature-looking for them, and I appreciate that Orchid kept Nanako looking her age.
Nanako's nekomimi are clearly on a headband, but it looks the the tail is actually a part of her. Odd, no?
Her backpack comes as a separate piece and attaches to her by removing her head and sliding it onto her back. It's a simple procedure, but it would be easy to get paint transfer onto her so be careful!
You can of course display her without her backpack, and thankfully Orchid didn't skimp on the details here. There are wrinkles in her swimsuit and she has a nicely detailed back. Nanako's sculpt is far from complicated, but it's well done and contains enough small details to keep the eye interested.
We didn't take any shots of Nanako's base because, in all honestly, it's the most dull base I have ever seen. A flat clear plastic circle with no cute shapes, not even her name! She doesn't need the base though, so it's not a huge issue, but I feel like they could have made a very cute one for her. Maybe in the shape of a cat face?
Orchid Seed's Nanako is a simple but adorable figure. Her quality control is excellent, with no paint smudges, scratches, or overlap. She's not incredibly intricate, but she makes up for it with buckets of cuteness. It seems that a lot of people wanted her, because she was sold out at every store that I checked except for KidNemo! So if you want her, I'd order her asap, because this little cutie is all set to completely vanish from store shelves.
Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures! I should have busted out my 1/5 scale Nanako to do a funny size-comparison shot, but sadly she is sitting under a pile of boxes. Ah, what I'd give for more shelf space!
There are lots of reasons to buy a figure. Sometimes you like the character or the sculptor, or maybe the design and sculpt are just too awesome to pass out. However, every once in a while, something comes along that doesn't ...
If you remember back to last month, we brought you some news about the upcoming Manaka de Ikuno!! Kousaka Tamaki Valkyrie ver. figure. Well, now there's a whole bunch of lovely shots of this Tamaki to share, and while she's n...
This isn't the first time we've seen Bishop Manaka, but she's so pretty that new pictures are always welcome!
I gotta say, there's something sort of serene about her smiling face framed by the blue hood and giant bells. Overa...
Last month, we heard about Maaryan being the latest addition to the hoard of Dragon Chronicle figures, and this month we have a nice gallery to show her off. Cute girls in bunnygirl outfits are always welcome, right?
Kotobukiya has been seeing a lot of success with their line of figures of the ToHeart2 spin off RPG, Manaka de Iku no!! Final Dragon Chronicle ~Guilty Requiem~. Taking the cast and throwing them in outfits from a fantasy worl...
Apr 02 //
Tomopop Staff Figure Name: Tamaki Kousaka model kitFigure Maker: PlumRetail/List Price: ¥3,500Available at: HLJ
Tamaki's box is surprisingly nice. Not only does it have some adorable art of her on the front (seriously, guys, print up some keychains with this on it!), but it is sturdy as all hell. Like, much sturdier than any PVC box. You don't really expect such high quality packaging in a US$40 figure, so it was a nice touch!
Tamaki came with a lot of pieces, which I was expecting, but what I was not expecting was this -- water decals. I've never actually made a kit with water decals, so this was like an adventure for me! I have built quite a few kits before, but they always just had stickers. In fact, this was a pretty nostalgic experience for me because I collected kits before I even started buying PVC! Back when my collection was almost vinyl-exclusive, Stephen and I would buy Gundam kits at conventions.
Tamaki was a bit time-consuming to build, and it took me about 2 hours from beginning to end. For something so small, that's a lot more time than I expected to put into it! However, I find model kit building an almost meditative process, so the extra time certainly wasn't a negative factor for me.
Once built, you can see that she is missing some of the details that were shown off in the promotional shots like the white lines around her skirt and top. Like most kits, she could benefit from a coat of paint and some detail work, but she looks fine without it!
From the back, you can see her hair, which is much nicer than what I was expecting. However, it was by far the hardest part of the kit to get together! Her hair is also a much darker shade than usual, but as we've seen, Tamaki's hair is always different colors depending on the manufacturer.
Quality on this kit is, in general, what one would expect from a model kit. There's no shading, and the seams are visible, but it's what you'd expect. The pieces fit together well, and it's easy to snap them in place, so building is not difficult, and she looks nice when put together.
Tamaki's face has a pretty distinctive art style, but it keeps her signature golden eyes and cat-like smile. It's pretty damn cute, but it still manages to look like Tamaki. However, I wish there were decals for the blush in the original illustration, because that really added a lot.
Her outfit is nicely done, with most of the details it usually has. I realized when building her that there has not been a figure of Tamaki in her school uniform for quite some time! I have two, but both of them are from before 2008. So this is the first release of her in this outfit in a while!
Tamaki's arms have two joints, which gives her a fair amount of poseability. However, after posing her a few times the joints get a bit loose and, as you can see, the pieces get loose to and small gaps appear. From a distance it's not much of an issue when looking at her, but it does lead to one big problem ...
TAMAKI MASSACRE! She falls apart at the drop of a hat. It's quite frustrating to have to put her back together, because unlike a Nendoroid or Figma you actually have to reassemble every tiny part. It only started being an issue after she was posed several different ways, so if you don't plan on playing with her a whole lot it's not a huge issue. However, be prepared for a bit of frustration.
Funnily enough, Tamaki has a set of underpants that you have to put together. The legs pop into them, and they actually pose quite well. However, I can't get over how silly they look. Tiny chibi panties!
Tamaki comes with an alternate set of hands that you have to build. They are for holding her schoolbag, which I will show you in just a second, but they really look like nyan nyan paws! So cute!
And here she is holding her bag! You actually have to take her hand apart to get it in, which is a bit of a pain but she looks so cute with it in that it's worth it. You can also see the maximum arm movement here, her hand does not extend any higher than this but it goes back a little further.
This is pretty much the maximum movement you can get out of her legs. They are a bit restricted by the skirt, but even if it was not on her (and I suppose you could take it off if you wanted!) the legs don't extend much farther than that. Then again, you don't really need much more poseability unless you wanted to have her flying through the sky kicking people.
And here she is with just a few of my other Tama-nees! As you can see, her hair is a different color on every one of these figures. In fact, it's pretty much different on every Tamaki I own! And just how many do I own? Counting on-order figures, I have 31 in total of her. A Tamaki army!
While Plum's Tamaki kit is not as high quality as a PVC figure, it's got the added bonus of building her yourself, which is a nice change of pace! She's cute, moderately poseable, and a good addition to any Tamaki collection if you don't mind occasionally putting her back together.
Thanks as always to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures! And for being incredibly patient as I put poor Tamaki back together a million times. This shoot actually took longer than any other we've done, even the dreaded Nendo Saber!
[Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing Tomopop with this review sample]
In a surprising turn of events, I have acquired another Tamaki figure. I know, shocking. It's been almost two whole weeks since my last Tamaki review! But this time, we're going to be taking a look at a very different Tama-ne...
I'm sure it's a dream of many of the world's men that they would meet more women whose clothing would simply just fall off. While said women look sweet and giggle about it, in fact. Enter Miss Kono Haruma from To Heart2 Anoth...
At the upcoming Hobby Round 5 event, Volks is going to show off a few new 1/8th scale figures from the popular Manaka de Ikuno!! series spun off from ToHeart 2. This is a bandwagon that everyone seems eager to jump on these d...
Mar 18 //
Konomi's pricetag was ¥12,000, a heck of a lot more than your average 1/8 figure. However, her cost was justified by a bunch of extras, including a giant fabric poster, a mousepad, a stick poster, a light-up base, and two "extra" figures in the form of her animal companions. However, for today, the figure itself is the focus of our attention!
Oh God, that face! Konomi is actually the original heroine of ToHeart2, although her thunder has been stolen by Tamaki and Sasara. But here, she has by far the most intricate figure in the line so far, although if you discount the base Kunoichi Ilfa might have a more elaborate outfit.
One of the highlights of this figure is the light-up base, which is powered by 3 AAA batteries. The lights shine through a pentagram design, and it looks really gorgeous when it's all glowy. It's certainly something special, as you don't often get light-up additions to figures!
Although her title is Witch Konomi, she really looks more like a witch-in-training. I mean, come on, she's so cute! Way too cute to be a full-time witch. She's also quite young looking, though her given age is 15.
Konomi's outfit is ridiculously adorable, and contains one of my favorite color combination! Pink and purple always look good together, but these are particularly nice shades, accented by her light pink underskirt. It's a frilly, girly ensemble that is definitely fitting for her cutesy image. Her outfit is also very well sculpted, painted, and shaded, so if you are going to buy one, know that she is very high quality!
The one negative aspect of Konomi is probably her broom. Not the broom itself, which is surprisingly well sculpted, but the hand that you have to put it in. There was excess plastic on her hands that the broom got caught on the first time we tried to insert it, and it actually broke her broom in half! Thankfully, a bit of superglue fixed it, and we managed to shave off the excess plastic and get her broom in right.
Well, let's go from the worst to the best and check out her penguin friends! They are completely amazing, decked out in full-on RPG gear with weapons and armor. They're battle penguins! I LOVE THEM. And as you may have noticed, they are 1/8-scale penguins ... hm ... it seems like we have another 1/8-scale penguin. Who's that? PENGUIN MAID! Well, maybe these two are going to be making another appearance on Tomopop in the very near future.
SO CUUUUTE! I must admit, the main selling point of Konomi is probably her adorableness. She's worth buying for the penguins alone, but the entire figure is amazing. The star on her hat, the adorable pouch, the puffy legwarmers. It's all almost too much! Much like Dwarf, Koto was really trying to kill us with cuteness on this release.
If you can manage to hunt her down on Yahoo Japan or Mandarake, Witch Konomi is well worth buying. She's expensive, but at least to me, she was worth every penny. She fits in perfectly with the RPG theme of the line, though she's obviously a bit more cutesy than the other two released figures in the line. However, as a borderline loli, cuteness is her weapon of choice!
Thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures! And once again to my mom, whose desk we used for this shoot. We used several of her books and bottles for Manaka -- I guess her her things have an air of mystery that lends themselves well to sorceresses and witches?
We've had a lot of Dragon Chronicle figures on the site lately: both the exclusive red and regular blue editions of Samurai Tamaki and also Sorceress Manaka, but these figures were all relatively easy to get, even the exclusi...
Mar 18 //
Tomopop Staff Figure Name: Samurai Tamaki KousakaFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail: ¥6,800 (US$82)Available at Hobby Search
Her box is a lot more interesting than the red one, which had a decidedly old-school feel. Also, empty box shots are totally a theme in our reviews. Because we're cool like that.
This version's color scheme is a lot softer and less bold than the red, and it feels more natural. The blue and purple tones really compliment her hair and there is admittedly a lot more variation in terms of tone.
Tamaki doesn't really have an interesting back view, because it's mostly obscured by her very long hair. I mean, really, it must be a pain in the butt to wash and dry that mane.
So cute! I often get asked why I love Tamaki so much, and it seems like the question comes up a lot because I am a girl (their reasoning being that females cannot like busty figures?). Well, my love for Tamaki definitely started because of her face. She's got golden eyes, which is quite rare on figures, and a warm smile. She doesn't look vacant, and when she does have a "smutty" face it's that awesome "fufufu" one that shows she's totally in charge. She also has twintails that look like cat ears. Cat ears.
This is what her hair looks like when she hasn't taken a tumble! See, no chips this time. The flowers and chopsticks are so lovely.
I don't know if it's really fair to call this an outfit, since it barely covers her, it's more like ... a fancy swimsuit and some armor. Seriously, these ladies need to wear better clothing or they are going to suffer boob-related injuries on the battlefield! The paint on her "top" is, for the most part, nicely done, although the white is a bit messier here than it was on the red version for some reason. However, it's really only visible under very close inspection.
Here's her actual armor, to protect her hips from those vicious ... hip-attacking dragons! The paint here is much neater, and you can see how many different shades of blue are actually used on this figure. They blend together perfectly and really create a lot of depth.
She's also got some armor here, and a slinky set of gloves that are shaded with rich eggplant purple. They have a slightly glossy finish, much like her boots.
And of course, you can't be a samurai without a katana! Tamaki's is very long, extending several inches past her body. If she's on a shelf with a lot of other figures, be sure to position her carefully so that she isn't stabbing your other figures in the side!
Tamaki's boots are the same gorgeous eggplant as her gloves, and have the same glossy finish. I'm really glad they didn't use a matte paint here, as the gloss adds a lot to the figure. Plus the color is so delicious.
Her base, like the other Tamaki and Manaka, is ... boring. Not bad per say, as it doesn't really detract from the figure, but again, you're probably going to want to spruce it up with something.
While I like the red colorway a tad more, I think it's really a matter of personal preference as they're both great figures, and while I usually am not a huge fan of PVC recolors (although I do love them in vinyl!) I adore having both of these on my shelves. This version is also on sale right now at Hobby Search for a really great price, so it's the perfect time to pick her up!
I am really looking forward to having the whole Dragon Chronicle line, and I hope they do all of the characters, because there are a veritable ton of them! I'd like to see them tackle Lucy next in her second outfit or Nanako in her getup with the wings!
As always, thanks to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures. We finally got to go outside again! It's been forever since we got to do a real outside shoot with green things. Look, FLOWERS! It's springtime! I didn't even have to wear a coat, and all my kitties followed us outside and rolled around in the sun. It was glorious!
Another day, another Tamaki! Such is life. Or at least my life! However, as I mentioned in the review for the exclusive Red Armor version, this Tamaki really stands out from the crowd because of her unique getup. It's one of ...
Mar 16 //
Tomopop Staff Figure name: Sorceress Manaka KomakiFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: ¥6,800Available at: Hobby Search | HLJ | AmiAmi
Look, a box! Ever so exciting, no? But ... it's missing the figure inside! Well, we shot Manaka before we took the box shot, and putting her staff in her hands requires you to bend her fingers a bit, and we weren't willing to do it twice in the span of an hour. So, an empty box! The design is simple, much like Tamaki's, but it's very compact which is always a bonus.
Manaka has a cheerful pose, and it seems more like she's greeting someone than casting a spell. But her cheerful demeanor adds to the figure rather than detracts from it, and it goes well with her rather gothic ensemble. Now, on the subject of her outfit: I adore it. Seriously, this is quite possibly one of my all-time favorite figure getups. The asymmetrical boots, the gloves, the short dress, fancy necklace and impossibly chic headgear. It's so magnificently eclectic.
From the back you can see that though she's in full-on RPG garb, Manaka still has her signature pink hairclip in. It's a surprisingly cute touch that brings the figure back to its roots.
Manaka's face is brimming with joy, and she's also got those cute, stylized blush marks going on. Is she slightly flustered, embarrassed, or just so happy her cheeks are flushed? I'm going to go with the latter, because there's certainly no signs of embarrassment from this lady! Also, it totally looks like she is not wearing a dress in this shot.
Speaking of her dress, it's a pretty skimpy affair. Definitely a little back dress! The paint on the geometric blue design is nicely applied, with little overlap onto the main body of the dress. The sculpting is also very nice, with enough wrinkles to make it look realistic but not so many that it seems like she needs to do a bit more ironing before she goes out to fight monsters.
Her dress is so short that it doesn't actually cover her bottom — from any angle other than dead-on, you get a peek at the goods. Really, Manaka, this is not proper monster hunting gear, unless your main technique is to distract them with your feminine charms!
I find it funny that in the game and anime, Manaka is really not that busty, yet in both the Kotobukiya and Volks figures of her she is bustin' out! Then again, she's pretty busty in all of her outfits from Dragon Chronicle. And Kotobukiya has already tackled one of her other outfits! P.S.: someone please make a figure of her in the outfit with the flowers on her head. It's so cute!
One of Manaka's nicest details was not really in the promo shots. Her headgear is made of clear PVC, so the ends are smokey and see-through. It's a lovely touch that really does stand out on a shelf, especially if she is near a light source.
Her weapon also incorporates clear PVC on both ends. There's a clear purple diamond on the end which you can see in the gallery, and the front is quite intricate. It definitely looks like something a mage would wield!
Manaka's asymmetrical boots are definitely a highlight of this figure, as you don't get to see them a lot on PVC gals. There's also a big difference in height here, as one is thigh-high and the other is barely an ankle boot. They definitely add to her charm, though I assume they would be a bit uncomfortable in most temperatures.
Like Tamaki, Manaka has a rather boring white base. But again, it's quite easy to spruce it up into something more interesting to look at! She's also screwed into it to prevent leaning and to keep her stable, so there's no fears of knocking her over.
And here's Manaka and the blue Tamaki together! They really look great as a set, and I can't wait to get the whole line on a shelf together. You may have noticed that they are both on one leg. Actually the entire line is on one leg! Seriously, no joke. Check out the next few releases: Bard Silfa, Kunoichi Ilfa and Dancer Maaryan.
Sorceress Manaka is just as well made as Samurai Tamaki, if not more so. She's got a cheerful personality and a kickass outfit, and tons of fan service if that's your jam. The number of witch and mage related figures is sadly quite slim, so if you need someone to whip you up a love potion consider adding this charming figure to your collection!
Thanks as always to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures, and a special thanks to my mother for letting us raid her shelves! The entire backdrop (except for the necklace on the base) is from her extensive collection of gorgeous old books, cool glass trinkets and 18th and 19th century medicine bottles. Because what's more fitting for a sorceress than things that, once upon a time, actually contained poison?
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample]
In RPGs, mage girls tend to fall into one of three categories: angry loli, demure priestess or busty babe. Manaka from Dragon Chronicle, which puts the girls from ToHeart2 in monster-fighting gear, definitely falls in to the ...
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Feb 26 //
Tomopop Staff Figure Name: Samurai Tamaki Kousaka exclusive Red Armor versionFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail: ¥6,800 (US$82)Available at Hobbyfan
Tamaki has a rather plain box, in fact it reminds me of boxes from a few years ago with the monochromatic look they have going on. Nothing wrong with a boring box, but I find it rather amusing that an exclusive figure was packaged in something so oldschool. Also amusing: you could pay a proxy ¥10,000 for the WonFest release of this figure, or wait a month and pay US$57.99. Tough choice, eh?
Tamaki has a rather cute, flirty pose, not entirely fitting of a samurai but perhaps she's trying to distract her enemy with her rather considerable charm? They definitely nailed her character design, as you can see if you look at some of the art for the game.
Back views are not always the most interesting, but here you get a pretty good view of her sword and stockings. Also, check out that hair! Though it changes in color from figure to figure, it's always quite long. However, she's definitely best displayed from a front or side angle.
Her face is definitely accurately represented, which seems to be an issue with some figures of miss Tama-nee--they just don't look quite enough like Tamaki! Well that's definitely not an issue here, as she's perfectly sculpted from her huge golden eyes to her cute blush and right down to her pointed chin.
It just wouldn't be a Tamaki figure without flowing hair! This time they've nailed the color. Sometimes it's too pink or too red, but it's a nice middling tone here that matches her character. It's well sculpted, less thick than their 1/6 Panic! Tamaki, and with slightly sharper edges (seriously, watch out--I poked myself in the finger!). The shading is nice, not too heavy-handed but not too light either.
There's a nice detail in her hair that you can only see from the side, the flowers! They are really quite lovely, but they were not really that visible in most of the prototype shots. The pale pink really compliments her color scheme and matches the samurai theme quite well, especially with the little chopsticks. (note: the very small chips in her hair are from an unfortunate accident, they were not there when she was unboxed!)
Hey, it's Tamaki, we have to have a boob shot! The paint here is nice and smooth, with no overlap on her skin. Her outfit doesn't seem to be protecting her much, but we all know that samurai are very noble and if she was in battle, they would never aim for so sensitive an area. Or at least for her sake, I hope not!
Well, at least she has some armor! The criss-crossing white is a nice touch, and is almost suggestive of lace or ribbons. Yeah, I know, it's armor and all that, but on Tama-nee everything looks seductive. Plus I love ribbons.
I am not really sure if these are leggings, stockings, some kind or armor or what, but they're pretty damn awesome. I adore the rich red they used, and in this case the recent trend of "shiny stockings" really works in their favor. The leggings also have that nice criss-crossing "ribbon", which keeps the red from being overwhelming.
Butt shot! Come on, you all knew it was coming. A Tamaki figure with a less than ample butt is a lame Tamaki figure, at least in my book. Because yes, she's kind of known for her bust, but in most figures she's quite curvy, and I always appreciate when girls who are less than toothpicks get the limelight. Samurai Tamaki is a bit light on the hips here (I'll chalk that up to all the exercise a samurai has to do) but she's definitely got a bit of a behind goin' on!
As a side note, she has a small cast-off figure. Her hip armor is cast-off, revealing her panties, but honestly it looks ridiculous--a samurai running around in her undies! Plus it's an utter pain in the butt to get them off, so you shall all have to imagine it in your minds. Also, her base is boring, but look! We covered it with rocks and now it is awesome! Go forth into your backyards and be creative, Tomopeeps. It's amazing how many ways you can spruce up a boring base with the items lying around your own house.
As a Tamaki-lover, this is definitely a figure I would recommend. Take it from a Tama-nee expert: this is one of the best Tamaki figures on the market, especially because she is not in any of her usual getups, plus it's quite cheap if you live in the US because it was available to US retailers. So if you were on the hunt for the perfect Tamaki, this might just be it!
Thanks as usual to Stephen Donaldson for taking these pictures. Tamaki was fun to shoot, plus we got to create a little diorama for her. Also, thanks for Kotobukiya for letting us take the giant hunks of wood they had lying around after Toy Fair. Look, we put them to good use!
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample]
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