anime

Transformers survey photo
Transformers survey

Hasbro UK asks what it's like being a Transformers fan in new survey


Less about toys, more about you
Aug 28
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Hasbro UK has a posted a rather interesting Transformers survey open to everyone. The survey is simply titled Modern Fan 2015 and takes a different approach in asking questions about the brand. Rather than simply asking ...
Himouto Umaru-chan photo
Himouto Umaru-chan

Up your Umaru count with these blind-boxed trading figures


Get some himoutos of your own
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
If you want to spruce up your dwelling in a totally adorable way with Himouto! Umaru-chan merchandise, now's your chance! Good Smile Company will be releasing a set of eight trading figures in January 2016 featuring four vari...
Parfom Labrys photo
Parfom Labrys

Welcome Parfom Labrys to the arena


This is one steely class president
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
You know what's awesome? The Persona series. Underneath the whackiness of talking teddy bears and robot warrior maidens lie some wonderful, memorable characters. Labrys here made her debut in Persona 4 Arena, being an older g...
Max Factory Hestia photo
Max Factory Hestia

Max Factory's Hestia is looking pretty bouncy


Now up for pre-order
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I'm sure DanMachi's Hestia is a character in her own right, but the general anime-aware public might know her more for her peculiar fashion sense. Indeed Max Factory's 1/7-scale PVC rendition goes all in on the boob string. I...

Nendoroid Sanya photo
Nendoroid Sanya

Nendoroid Sanya is ready for the night sky


This Nendo is no ghost
Aug 27
// Tianxiao Ma
Strike Witches fans can finally get their hands on a Nendoroid version of the nocturnal witch Sanya V. Litvyak! With Strike Witches 2 having aired a pretty long time ago and the Operation Victory Arrow OVAs already wrapped up...
Top sales 8/10 to 8/16 photo
Top sales 8/10 to 8/16

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 8/10 to 8/16


And we're back!
Aug 25
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
So Toynes.jp took a break from doing their top sales lists for a few weeks, but it looks like, at least for now, they're back! There have been a lot of summer releases since the last period posted ending July 19, so there mus...
Red Bumblebee photo
Red Bumblebee

Not Cliffjumper, but red Bumblebee next Transformers Masterpiece


So close yet so far away
Aug 21
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Looks like we'll have to keep waiting for that elusive Masterpiece Cliffjumper figure. To tide us over (perhaps forever?) we're getting a red Bumblebee for now. MP21R Bumblebee Red Mode is inspired by the very early days...
Figure Colosseum photo
Figure Colosseum

Banpresto opens character voting for latest Figure Colosseum


Votes open on OP and DBZ characters
Aug 18
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
For the past several years Banpresto has hosted the Figure Colosseum and this year is no different. The Colosseum is now open with Modeling Tenkaichi Budokai 6 for Dragon Ball Z character voting and Modeling King Summit ...
Monster Musume pillow photo
Monster Musume pillow

Monster Musume Mila 23-foot pillow cover sells out in an hour at Comiket


Whole lot of woman
Aug 18
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Sometimes a gamble pays off. When it was announced that the Monster Musume and Tokuma Shoten booth at Comiket this past weekend would offer a life sized 23-foot long hugging pillow cover (yes, just the cover) of series m...
Nendoroid Ooyodo photo
The assistant to the secretary ship!
[ Update: Pre-order info added ] Relaying orders to the fleet, handling communications, giving mission briefings, and occasionally getting glomped by Kongou - these are all part of Ooyodo's everyday life. Doesn't that make he...

Sailor Moon Dolls photo
Sailor Moon Dolls

It's almost time for Sailor Pluto and Luna fashion dolls


Time IS on your side
Aug 17
// Soul Tsukino
The fine folks over at Groove are making your Sailor Moon collection look even better with their Pullip series Sailor Pluto and human Luna dolls. Both dolls are 37 x 20.5 x 11 cm in size and are fully articulated. They c...
Naruto S.H. Figuarts photo
And perhaps the best so far
After three fairly "meh" figures from the Naruto Shippuden S.H. Figuarts series (Naruto, Sasuke, and Kakashi) they appear to have finally hit their mark. The fourth figure in the series, the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, ha...

Tomopop Review: Nendoroid Mako Fight Club Spec Two Star Goku Uniform Ver.

Aug 12 // Martin Siggers
Figure Name: Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku Fight Club Spec Two Star Goku Uniform Ver.Figure Maker: Good Smile CompanyRetail Price: ¥4,167Available at: N/A Packaging wise, Mako is very much just another Nendoroid, even keeping the distinctive black and yellow aesthetic that all of the Kill la Kill Nendoroids. On the one hand I kind of like it that GSC doesn't make a big song and dance out of the exclusive variants - they even retain a standard number in the lineup. On the other, a little something to indicate that this Mako is a little special would be nice. Perhaps just a little flash in the corner? Regardless, this is a Nendoroid box, which means it's sturdy, smart and informative without being particularly interesting or spectacular. Out of the box, Mako is immediately striking, largely due to that distinctive overcoat. It not only provides a really nice contrast to the blue and white of her uniform, but gives the figure a lot more width than a standard Nendoroid. Combined with the big chunky hat, the net effect is of a figure which feels much bigger than is standard for the line, even though that's not actually the case. Looking from behind gives us a few more details of the coat/cape. You can see that it's hinged at the shoulder blades, a very welcome touch as it allows the coat to fit around Mako's shoulders much more easily than a single piece of plastic would. There's also jointing on the arms of the coat at the shoulders and elbows, and the overall result is a surprisingly poseable accessory. There's no clip or peg to fix the coat to Mako, it simply slips over the shoulders and is held in place by the head. However, Mako's stand does include an extra long extension peg which fits straight through the coat and into her back, and this helps hold the coat more firmly in place as a consequence.  As it is in the show, Mako's coat is lined with golden weapons, all reproduced here in loving detail. Note that they aren't removable, but are instead moulded into the surface. Nonetheless, it's a bravura touch which helps lift the overally impression of the cape as well as reinforcing GSC's attention to detail. Mako comes with quite a few different accessories, the first of which are the iconic folded arms used in many, many Studio Gainax productions, and clearly inherited by Kill la Kill's production house Trigger (which is largely made up of ex-Gainax employees). It's also worth pointing out at this stage that Mako's hat doesn't pin to her head, but instead simply sits on top like a real hat would. This means that not only can you cock it at a jaunty angle as I've done here, but that it'll fit any Nendoroid with a relatively smooth head. It wouldn't be much of a fight club without weapons, and to that end Mako comes with both a nasty looking spiked bat and her self-promoting knuckle duster. The bat fits smoothly into an alternative hand part while the knuckle duster just clips on over the existing fist part. Again, some terrific fine detail work by the sculptors over at GSC. Including the piece of grass Mako chews on (in iconic bancho style) is a nice touch, but I wish they'd moulded it as a permanent part of this face. As it is it's a tiny plug-in part and given that the grass strand is made of soft, bendy plastic, it can be incredibly frustrating to fit.  Throwing up the cutesy V signs might seem a little out of place for this figure, but it looks rather good regardless, courtesy of a pair of lower arm replacement parts. Mako's second included face is this sad face, which pairs up wonderfully with the unique 'huge gloopy tears' accessory. That's what I call it and I'm sticking to it. The tear part actually snaps onto the lower part of the face and round the neck peg, making it surprisingly secure. It's so precisely moulded to this face though that I'm uncertain if it'd work on any other Nendoroid. You get not one but two tear-related accessories with Mako, the other being this enormous fountain of tears designed to recreate the goofiness of an animated breakdown. I'm much more ambivalent on this one - it's a great idea and a pretty funny one-time visual gag, but it's big and fiddly and pretty much a one-joke item. I will note that GSC were smart enough to make the tears high enough to line up with Mako's eyes when she's on her stand. Naturally, if you own 'regular' Nendoroid Mako there's an awful lot of fun to be had swapping parts and expressions between the two. Fight Club Mako even has the small unique piece of moulding in her hairpiece that allows the sleep bubble from regular Mako to be attached, so it certainly seems this is a case of straight mould reuse. Overall, I'd say Nendoroid Mako is pretty much the platonic ideal of what a WonFes exclusive should be. She's definitely not essential by any means, especially considering a cheaper, more readily available version of Mako is out there with arguably superior acessories. But she is a lovely little extra for those who love the series, and a great treat for those who do go that extra mile to get hold of her. Keep your eyes on those convention booths! With many thanks to Good Smile Europe's Maritan, who was hugely helpful in getting hold of Mako for review.
Fight Club Mako photo
Packing a Punch
In the past few years, Good Smile Company has generally become much better about the way it does Wonder Festival exclusive figures. They're now available from the GSC website as well as cons around the world, and the company ...

Premium Digimon photo
Premium Digimon

Premium Bandai gives you the tools to lead the Digidestined


Be the next goggle-head
Aug 05
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Digimon is 15 years old and Premium Bandai knows how to celebrate! They could just do a bunch of figures and models and call it a day, but that wouldn't be enough. Instead they're doing a bunch of figures, a model, a cool Dig...
 photo

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Anime Garage Kits (part 4)


See you later, Space Samurai!
Aug 02
// Chris Seto
We're just about ready to wrap up the garage kit coverage for this years summer Wonder Festival and for our penultimate gallery, we're taking a look at the last few anime garage kits from the dealer floor. There's an appearan...
Top sales 7/13 to 7/19 photo
Top sales 7/13 to 7/19

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 7/13 to 7/19


A so-called "girl's toy" makes the ranks
Jul 30
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
I remember a time when toys were toys; not trading cards and professional drones. Times have really changed... Overall (→)Yo-Kai Watch Youkai Medal Busters Vol.1 (Bandai) (New) Shuriken Sentai Ninninger D...
WonFes Alphamax photo
WonFes Alphamax

[NSFW] Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Alphamax/Skytube


Bringing the sexy to WonFes
Jul 29
// Tianxiao Ma
Alphamax (especially with their Skytube brand) tends to be on the racier side of figure manufacturers. They also seem to really like Tony Taka, which can make identifying these figures a chore... Anyway, they brought some rea...
WonFes Kotobukiya photo
WonFes Kotobukiya

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Kotobukiya


A nice lineup of pretty ladies
Jul 29
// Tianxiao Ma
Kotobukiya was no slouch at WonFes, bringing a spate of ambitious-looking figures alongside their Cu-Poche and Bishoujo lineups. I like that Kotobukiya has produced more and more elaborate designs over the years across a wide...
 photo

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Anime Garage Kits (part 1)


Animetic Love Letter!
Jul 29
// Chris Seto
Now that coverage of Wonder Festival has calmed down a little, we have some time to look at the dealer floor to see what garage kit makers have brought to the event. The good news is that there was no depressingly large domin...
WonFes 2015 photo
WonFes 2015

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: MegaHouse


I'm slightly underwhelmed
Jul 28
// Tianxiao Ma
As I comb through all this WonFes coverage, I have to say the showing from MegaHouse feels a little uninspired. Honestly, they've never been a go-to brand for me. I'm never watching my news feeds wondering what they're up to ...
WF2015S: Embrace Japan photo
WF2015S: Embrace Japan

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Embrace Japan


An unexpected World Warrior appears
Jul 28
// Brian Szabelski
Embrace Japan's Wonder Festival offerings had a clear highlight: the Ryu and Alex statues from Street Fighter III: Third Strike, mostly because ... well, was anyone expecting Alex? I wasn't, and Embrace's painted Alex looks p...
Transformers stuff photo
Transformers stuff

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Transformers


Yes, that's exactly what it looks like
Jul 28
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Once again a multiple companies were showing off a very wide and eclectic variety of Transformers figures. But nothing was more unusual than Takara Tomy's latest addition to the Q Transformers line: Evangelion. Having already...
Log Horizon Akatsuki photo
Just say wow, wow, wow, wow!
Let's take a moment and look at what Log Horizon has going for it: Nine light novel volumes and counting 11 manga volumes between four different titles, all ongoing Two anime seasons totaling 50 episodes (and a good chance f...

WonFes 2015 Summer photo
WonFes 2015 Summer

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Wonderful Hobby Life For You


Highlights from GSC and associates
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
[ Update: Hobby Search has even more coverage of the WHL4U booth, including more Nendoroids, figmas, and ThreeA figures! ] Wonder Festival has come and gone. While it's odd to me that such a big event is one day only (wouldn'...
Durarara!! figma photo
It's finally happening!
Well, here's my favorite bit of news from Wonder Festival 2015 Summer: Durarara!!x2 figma are happening! A series that has long been on my figma wishlist will finally get checked off, just as I was trying to cut down on my fi...

Top sales 7/6 to 7/12 photo
Top sales 7/6 to 7/12

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 7/6 to 7/12


Yo-Kai Watch returns
Jul 20
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It was a short absence, but Yo-Kai watch is back and with authority. It was only a matter of time really; a series can't be in the top five so consistently and not reappear when something new comes around. Lots of other new f...
Top sales 6/29 to 7/5 photo
Top sales 6/29 to 7/5

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 6/29 to 7/5


Plus June rankings
Jul 14
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It was a short break, but it would seem Ninninger is back again in the top five. Clearly Bandai hit a home run with the current Super Sentai incarnation. It is interesting to not see Yo-Kai watch return, or Kamen Rider Drive ...
Top sales 6/22 to 6/28 photo
Top sales 6/22 to 6/28

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 6/22 to 6/28


Time to max out those credit cards
Jul 08
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Hope you were saving your pennies during this period because we're looking at some of the most expensive figures we've seen in these rankings. It's not often that we see this many high ticket items sell so well in one week. J...
RG Astray Red Frame photo
RG Astray Red Frame

Real Grade Gundam Astray Red Frame gets promo video at AX


Gimmicks are a good thing
Jul 04
// Andres Cerrato
The Real Grade line is expanding later this year to include the found in a destroyed colony Gundam Astray Red Frame. It's been a favorite design among fans, which helps to explain why SEED is seeing yet another RG release. Th...
Nendoroid Mako 2-Star photo
I want this more than heaven will allow
Anime Expo is opening this weekend and thousands will crowd into the Los Angeles Convention Center. For many, the goal of the weekend is stride right into the dealer's room and buy more stuff than is economically responsible....

Bluefin lists out its exclusives for SDCC next week

Jun 30 // Andres Cerrato
For gunpla, we will have three exclusive models that were previously only available at events in Asia. The three kits are all in 1/144 scale and are the HGUC Zeta Plus Test Type Image Color (Amuro's) for $25.00, the RG Gundam Exia Extra Finish Version for $48.00, and the HGBF Try Burning Gundam PP Clear Version for $22.00. Perhaps the biggest draw will be the S.H. Figuarts Goku Frieza Saga version. It's the Goku you've always wanted, with an actual belt and his symbols. It's almost like the standard Goku release, just now with an extra face and gi symbols! This limited edition of Goku will be available for $45.00 alongside an 18" statue of Goku from X-Plus for $65.00. Also available will be several Action Vinyls from The Loyal Subjects. There will be a set of black/white battle damaged Ninja Turtles, a crystal MMPR Pink Ranger, and a Transformers Construction set. There's one last group of releases for comic and movie fans. Iron Man will have two items, an Iron Man MkIII Magnetic Floating figure with a chrome paint job for $139.99 and a 1/12 Shotgun Iron Man Mark XL for $160.00. In case you're wondering about those prices, they're fully poseable with LEDs throughout. If you'd like another billionaire who fights crime, on hand will be Hero Cross' Hybrid Metal Figuration Batman for $80.00. Oh, there's also an S.H. Figuarts Nise (imposter) Sailor Moon, too. She looks mean and I guess that's kinda cool.  Check out the gallery for what you can buy from Bluefin this San Diego Comic Con.
Bluefin SDCC Exclusives photo
Loan market is stable, right?
In case you haven't noticed, San Diego Comic Con is fast approaching and will be open in just over a week. That means it's time to get the full rundown of exclusives and what you can possibly stretch into your budget whether ...

Kantai Collection photo
Kantai Collection

A whole bunch of KanColle stuff went up for pre-order


Poi!
Jun 23
// Tianxiao Ma
The Kantai Collection engine is steaming along nicely with five new pre-orders appearing throughout yesterday. Anime fans may not recognize the first two, which would be the Tenryuu-class light cruiseres Tenryuu and Tatsuta. ...
Transformers Legends photo
Your move, Hasbro
[Update: The three were shown at Tokyo Toy Show 2015 earlier this week fully painted. They were only shown in bot mode and pics can be found in the gallery. Plus pre-orders are still available in a number of places. (via Daim...

Good Smile Company photo
Good Smile Company

Good Smile Company announces WonFes exclusives


WHL4U 22 site is up now
Jun 19
// Tianxiao Ma
It's time to gear up for the one-two punch that is Anime Expo and Summer Wonder Festival! Good Smile Company has put up their Wonderful Hobby Life For You site with a list of "exclusives" that they'll be bringing. I use quote...
GSC Kongou Bust photo
GSC Kongou Bust

Check out this pretty - and creepy - Kongou bust from Good Smile Company


Pre-orders exclusive to GSC Online Shop
Jun 16
// Tianxiao Ma
Announced long ago at some distant WonFes, Good Smile Company's Kongou bust is now up for pre-order. This is based on a sculpt by Masaichiro Usui, who certainly has an interesting style. While it's beautifully detailed (and n...
Top sales 6/1 to 6/7 photo
Top sales 6/1 to 6/7

Top selling toys in Japan for week of 6/1 to 6/7


Only three robots this week! Amazing!
Jun 13
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Normally the majority of toys we see make the rankings every week are robots. But this week things are a little different with only three bots on the list, and only two of those are Gundam. Plus we've got two girls on the lis...

Tomopop Review: Ques Q's Image Model Lene

Jun 12 // Chris Seto
Figure Name: Image Model LeneFigure Maker: QuesQRetail Price: ¥23,544Available at: AmiAmi | HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search There have been quite a few reviews of Ines online already, since she was the first to be released so this review will focus on Lene. There are a lot of similarities between the two and where things are relevant, we will note the differences or similarities. But for now, lets look at the box! The box is pretty large to cover both Lene and her Shinki armour, but the window is big enough to see everything inside the box. There's also a window at the back so you get to see the back of the shinki as well. There are no windows on the side though, we just get some images of the completed figure. And here's how she looks out of the box and assembled. QuesQ have done a very good job at replicating the details of the garage kit original. There are some some differences and additions, most of which don't actually make much sense. The most obvious one is the base. QuesQ has provided the kit with a circular black disk for the base and some hooks on the feet. Ines has a white disk which is pretty much identical. The thing is... they are unnecessary. The shinki stands very well on its own. The sword may benefit from the uneven surface and not slip, but it's perfectly capable of standing on its own. Taking a closer look at Lene herself, The paintjob on her is clean and tidy. The only oddity is that the parts around the hip are raised and the sections where the parts connect are shaded in such a way that it's difficult to tell if the parts are separate or molded as part of the body. It's not something you notice on general inspection, and it doesn't really detract from the figure as a whole, but it's just a minor niggle which bothered me a little. And here's how the Shinki armour looks like on its own. Note that there is no base in this photo, just to show its stability. In a sense, the shinki is almost a separate figure rather an accessory. It actually takes up more space than Lene herself. As for the Ines figure, the Black shinki is almost identical, save for the arms being swapped over so the sword rests with the right hand instead of left, as well as one other slight alteration for the figure. Unlike the black armour for Ines, there's a peg in the right leg of the white shinki armour to hold Lene in place. It's a nice addition, and it does help, but again, it's not actually necessary. Lene is able to stand in place on her own. As a result, Lene is able to stand with the black shinki for Ines, but due to the peg on the white shinki, Ines is not able to do the same. At least not properly. Instead of putting the foot in the area where its meant to go and provides a stable footing, the peg forces you to balance the foot of Ines on the peg itself. Still, you can get Ines to pose on her sister's shinki... Just about. Despite the two shinki sharing so much in terms of design, the little differences make little things like swapping the shinki armours between the two far harder than they should be. On closer inspection of the shinki armour, the details really shine. There were some liberties taken with the overall design as the original Busou Shinki figures didn't have the leg armours connected to the main body like these figures do. The clear parts are also held in place with small pegs, but they have a tendancy to slip off. A minor annoyance, but they can be put back in with ease. Sadly, the wings on the skirt are fixed and don't expand. A bit of a missed trick there. And here's how the image model Lene compares to the Busou Shinki original. One thing to note is that the image model Lene lacks the obvious metal joints on the shoulders and knees. Even the Busou Shinki anime kept them in the anime designs, but the image model figures did away with them. Not sure if the change is for the better but it would have been interesting to see how the figure would have turned out if they kept closer to the original Busou Shinki design, joints and all. Overall, the figure provides a strong case for purchase. It's well sculpted, highly detailed and has a rather catching pose. The only problem is the brick wall which you slam into just as you hit the "buy" button, the price!! Let's not beat around the bush here, ¥24,000 is an incredibly high price to pay for a figure, and these figures aren't even that large. Standing around 24cm, it would usually occupy the 1/7 scale bracket, but since this is Busou Shinki we're talking about, these are actually larger than the source material. In any case, very few PVC figures break the ¥20k barrier, and those tend to be of the 1/4 scale variety.  Are these Busou Shinki ladies good? Heck yes! Are they very good?? Yes to that too!! Are they ¥24,000 good? No. Putting things into perspective, these releases from QuesQ are MORE expensive than the original garage kits when they were on sale from Grizzry Panda! Maybe it was due to Konami licensing costs. Perhaps you could argue that the shinki armours are large enough to be called a separate figure (hah!) or maybe it was something else entirely, but that doesn't change the fact that these ladies are prohibitively expensive. Even though they are great figures, they don't quite justify the price tag which have been slapped on them -And the only changes made are the provisioning of a base for each figure, and a peg to keep Lene stable, neither of which are actually necessary! If they were priced better, these two would be instant recommendations but as they are, only the most die-hard fans would probably want to get them as the price of entry is just too high.  Perhaps they will find their way to the bargain bin later on, but given the very limited nature of QuesQ releases, I doubt we will see reductions in price for these ladies anytime soon and once they are gone, they will be gone for good!  If you decide to take the plunge, I doubt you will be disappointed in your purchase, but steel yourself for the dent they will put on your wallet!
Review Image Model Lene photo
Install Dream
It wasn't too long ago that many collectors would look at the dealer booth section of events like Wonder Festival to look at the works of the garage kit makes and just admire and think, "I wish that was a PVC figure..." Well,...

MegaHouse Dark Elf photo
Not actually wearing a bikini, though
There's something alluring about fantasy dark elves to me... well, the sexy ones at least. MegaHouse and (who else?) Hobby Japan have teamed up to produce another media franchise consisting of under-clothed ladies and a fanta...

Nendoroid Kongou photo
Nendoroid Kongou

Kongou sisters assemble... for a relaxing tea time


Now I wish I had this Nendoroid set
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
It looks like Good Smile Company's planning/development team also has fans of the Kongou sisters as they've posted a neato gallery showing off all four of them. I only know them from the Kantai Collection anime, but that's go...
Kotobukiya Hestia photo
Kotobukiya Hestia

Kotobukiya's Hestia is stringing us all along


1/7-scale figure is up for pre-order
Jun 09
// Tianxiao Ma
I decided to start watching DanMachi (or Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - light novel titles am I right?) on the basis of a tooth brushing gif. Well, more accurately I intended to start ...

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