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Tomopop Review: Uplark Rei Ayanami with Entry Plug

Oct 08 // Pedro Cortes
Figure Name: Rei Ayanami with Entry Plug InteriorFigure Maker: UplarkRetail Price: ¥12,800Available at  HobbyLink Japan  [Thank you to HobbyLink Japan for providing a review sample!]

One of my favorite figure companies is Uplark. They were the same folks that made the excellent Yoko (reviewed) and Kamina (reviewed) PVC figures a couple of years back, though back then they were known as Eye-Up. As a freshm...


Don't miss the big sale on Hobby Link Japan

Sep 28
// Kristina Pino
As per a recent post (yesterday, actually), HLJ is making a few changes with their pricing system. Before the big change happens, though, there's a huge sale going on (until Friday, 6PM JST) and I'm writing this up to share w...

HLJ slashes prices on Uplark PVC figures

Jan 06
// Andres Cerrato
Uplark has put up some amazing pieces in what's been a short amount of time. Since changing their name from EyeUp, we haven't found a reason to hate on any of their figures. Color me shocked when Hobby Link Japan announced a ...

Latest pre-orders starting make me dash for my wallet

Dec 04
// Jonathan Tubbs
Cripes, thebobness. You're a quick fellow. As you know, I've been yakking about the upcoming Good Smile Company's Bakemonogatari Nendoroid Petit set and UpLark's Akiyama Mio figure. Looks like the two previous discussed items...


New photos of UpLark's Akiyama Mio from K-On! make her more desirable

Dec 03
// Jonathan Tubbs
I've been a bit iffy on UpLark's upcoming 1/8 scale Akiyama Mio from K-On! Even when UpLark finally released color photos of the figure, I just couldn't make up my mind. It looks like the deal has been sealed now though thank...

UpLark reveals full color pics of their K-ON! Mio PVC

Nov 18
// Colette Bennett
I was already praising UpLark when they were called Eye Up and making figures like Gurren Lagann's Kamina, but I realized with the unveiling of this Mio figure from K-ON! that they are well on the way to becoming masters of t...

UpLark is such a tease with their upcoming 1/8 scale Akiyama Mio from K-On!

Nov 18
// Jonathan Tubbs
I think UpLark must read Tomopop as they have just updated their blog answering my question on the status of their 1/8 scale Akiyama Mio from K-On! Granted the answer is a teaser image but it's an answer nonetheless. The phot...

Tomopop Review: Uplark's Viral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Oct 10 // Pedro Cortes
Manufactured by UplarkReleased September 2009Price: 7411 Yen (about $83)  Uplark, made up of the former EyeUp, has had four incredibly releases in September. Birdy the Mighty, Rei, Nia, and Viral are all amazing figures and worth your scratch. However, unlike the ladies, Viral is quite the manly man...beast...thing. He may be lithe, but he's been sculpted to kick ass and chop you to bits. The pose Uplark put Viral in is quite different than most statues out there. It's a dramatic pose that has him in an unconventional position, twisting his body as he pulls out his hatchet. It's a great excuse for some surprising bits of detail that you wouldn't typically see. We'll work from the weapon up. THIS is how you make a weapon! As much as I loved Mihawk's sword in my Portrait Of Pirates review, I didn't like that it looked so clean. Considering the paint used for the blade, it wasn't such a big issue, but come on, I'd expect the sword to look like it's been used at least once or twice. Not with Viral's hatchet. Uplark has done an incredible job making the metal of the hatchet look old and battered, like homeboy here has had to use it a couple of times on some uppity apes. The sculptor has also gone and made the blade notched, so it doesn't only have an old coloration, but it looks dinged and dented. This is easily the best weapon I've seen on a statue.Moving up Viral's arm, the next point of interest is his hand and uniform sleeve.I love that the sculptor included the vein on the back his hand, so you know that he's gripping that weapon tight. You can also see the fur on the cuff of his sleeve. If you look closely you can see that they've added texture to the PVC there, so it actually looks like fabric and not a hunk of plastic. It's a tiny detail that few people would've noticed, but it is telling of the product that Uplark is putting out that even the fur on this fur-ball's jacket must look excellent. Moving up the body, we get to Viral's face. It's his typical hot-blooded 'ready to rip you to shreds' face that we've all come to love. The way that his face is etched into the PVC is also quite reminiscent to the art style of Gurren Lagann, so bonus points there. Note the fur on his collar and the texture it has as well.Viral's armor gets some attention as well. The shoulder pads have some slashes and dents in them, showing that Viral is quite the busy boy. I really like how Uplark hid the seam along Viral's natural musculature. It hides the line so it isn't an eyesore as well as making him look great. That's another bonus of this figure: the attention to muscles and how they move as the body moves. I mentioned earlier the unique position they posed Viral in and I'm sure this had something to do with it. The sculptor not only gets how the fabric folds on a moving body, but also how certain muscles strain and pull depending on the angle, something that just about all male figures get wrong. Viral isn't bulky, but the sculpt makes him look like he's all lean muscle. Uplark didn't have to add that in, but it's probably my favorite bit of detail in the figure. The sheath doesn't escape the detail. They have an appropriately worn look to them and hang loose in a convincing matter. I love the dirt and grime on the bandages. It looks like he's been wearing it for quite a while and it has gotten much use, as the chipped hatchet might indicate. The ankle bandages also have an appropriate amount of wear to them. They aren't as grimy as the sheath, but I guess Viral takes better care of his looks than his weapons.So to sum everything up, Viral is the best male figure to come out this year. It stands above most figures released, if only for the care that Uplark has put into the small details. You'll see a little something new each time you look at him. If Viral (and Nia) don't put Uplark in the higher echelons in the figure world, then people have simply lost their taste in good art.

People don't know how to appreciate wear-and-tear on a figure. Now, I'm not talking about the ravages that time rains on all things PVC and plush, but the conscious decision to sculpt and paint a statue that has seen better d...

Tomopop Review: UpLark's Nia from Gurren Lagann

Oct 04 // Jonathan Tubbs
 The box's design I found to be rather interesting with the two clashing styles. You have the rough edge style that usually defines Gurren Lagann mixed with the soft pink tone that symbolizes Nia.I had to laugh at the back of the box and its rear window. I shall assume it is specifically there for viewing the finer details of Nia. Taking Nia out of plastic shell and holding her in my hands for the first time gave me a shock. With most figures, I feel some weight to them but Nia felt light as a feather. Not only was there no weight there, I could also get a sense and feel for her petite figure.Those who feared that short hair Nia and long hair Nia would be separate need not fret. Both heads are included with the figure along with a base. Nia stands on your typical bas, only requiring to be pegged into one foot holder. I tried standing her without the support but the weight of hair gave into gravity. Short hair Nia, on the other hand, can stand perfectly fine on her own.Her pose is simply adorable, isn't it?From the back, you get to see the artistic style of her hair puffing out like clouds. The tails of her shirt split in the same places as the front revealing an additional tail for her skirt with a frilly trim. Did I mention that Nia is cute? Look at that face. Nia's trademark eyes are flawless along with her little nose and smiling mouth.UpLark did an excellent job on the detail in Nia's jewelry from the gold paint down to the tiny jewels. I find myself most amazed by her bracelet molding. The seams on her shirt are painted with a fine line giving them that extra bit of depth.Her Christmas-themed heels may not be much to some folks but it's still something I feel people should at least take the time to gander at. You can also see the base more closely. I suppose there is something else people would like to also have a look at since Nia is wearing a skirt. UpLark did deliver with some tight undies for Nia as you can see in the "cheeky" photo. Now whenever I do search for Nia wallpaper and art, I always come across whimsical backgrounds. So it is only fitting that I put Nia in a setting of how I commonly see her.Overall, I am absolutely pleased with the work UpLark put into Nia. I have no complaints about the mold or the paint job. You would have to be the pickiest person in the world to find a flaw with this figure. With that ... well, crap ...People: Be VERY careful when handling the long hair Nia head. As I was preparing to put everything back in the box, I dropped her head causing her bow to pop off. The bow is supported by a tiny peg so a little bit of glue can fix that. Lucky for me, I prefer short hair Nia.As I was saying ... With that said, if you are a big fan of Gurren Lagann, Nia or just simply cute anime figures, I recommend you give UpLark your support, give your shelf some cuteness, and pick her up. You can find her available at ToysLogic, Entertainment Earth, Hobby Search, and KidNemo.

As many who have read my comments or posts know, I am a huge sucker for cute. There is nothing that defines cute better than Gurren Lagann's little sweetheart, Nia Teppelin. I was bouncing off the walls and kissing co-workers...

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