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Tomopop Review: Super Action Noriaki Kakyoin Second

Apr 18 // Rio McCarthy
Figure Name: Super Action Figure Noriaki Kakyoin SecondFigure Maker: Medicos EntertainmentRetail Price: ¥4,200Available at: HLJ Starting off with the packaging, it looks very similar to the rest of the Super Action Statue boxes for the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure figures. There's a nice-sized window on the front of the box, and pictures of both the figure, and the individual pieces included inside the box on both the sides and back. Taking the plastic casing out of the box you get to see a full view of all of the pieces that are included. There are several switchable hands, as well as an alternate head. Hidden underneath the plastic you'll find the stand (not to be confused with Hierophant Green), the "Bang" sound effect plate, and the instructions, showing where all of the moveable pieces are. Fresh out of the package, heeeeeere's Kaykoin! As you can see, he can actually stand up on his own pretty well, so that's always a nice thing to see. However, what's not so nice is that you can quickly see a few paint specks and slight scratches that were on the figure upon arrival. Here's to hoping these won't be as noticeable on a shelf as they are outside. This colorway of Kakyoin definitely has more defined features, especially when looking at the eyes. His bright red eyes are made to stand out even more with the dark outlines surrounding the whole eye itself. It stands as a stark contrast to his white hair, which is normally pink. With the earrings being so thick in places it's hard to tell, but they're supposed to be cherries, which are his favorite food. Out of all the color changes for this particular figure my favorite has to be the bright green shoes. They have a classy shine to them, and they absolutely pop! Everything looks pretty well sculpted from the back. You can obviously see the hole in which the stand plugs in should you wish to use it. There is a decent ability for movement and poseability with this figure, however I did run into trouble a few times. One of the most annoying things was the bend in the elbow falling off while trying to pose him. It's there to make it look more natural with the jacket, however since it literally just sits there with kind of a slit in the elbow that pushes on, it falls off pretty easily. Oddly enough it was only on this side though, the other was fine. It's definitely possible to do a lot of poses from the series, which is good considering posing is the mainstay in JJBA. Who else is posing while reading this review? Oh, just me? Well then. Back to those paint troubles, it's a bit hard to see clearly in the photo, but right on the side of those beautiful bright green shoes is a nice black splotch from his pants. Not exactly the most attractive thing considering how sweet the shoes are. Now what do we have here? It's New Kakyoin! Yes, if you change to the alternate head you'll now have "New" Kakyoin which is after he got the scars on his eyes. Funny enough, this is currently what you'll see in the anime series that's running at this time. Mija wasn't very intrigued with Kakyoin's newly found confidence, and wasn't about to listen to what he had to say. All in all it's a pretty good figure, I just had a few with my specific copy. If you have any of the other Super Action Statue figures you'll know what you're getting, just Kakyoin in his second colorway this time. 8This color may not be the easiest to find current, but the original color version will be restocked in May, should you be interested in that figure instead. [ A huge thank you to HobbyLink Japan for the review sample! ]
Review JJBA Kakyoin photo
Anyone have cherries for this handsome man?
One of my (many) favorite things about JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is the fact that the creator, Araki Hirohiko, allows for multiple color schemes for different characters. This is the second color scheme for Noriaki Kakyoin, and features much more subdued colors. Let's take a look at this cherry lovin' lad shall we? Hit the jump to see how Kakyoin's figure turned out! 

Shining Blade photo
Shining Blade

Flare has a new Roselinde Freyja, complete with giant triangle


That blade isn't SO shining
Feb 27
// Oansun
Someone's going out for a night on the town; and taking that enormous weapon with her. From Shining Blade (one of the more recent entries in Sega's decades long Shining franchise), the priestess with the leastless fun: R...

Tomopop Review: MegaHouse's Natsume Yuujinchou Petit Chara Land

Jan 10 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Figure Name: Natsume Yuujinchou Petit Chara LandFigure Maker: MegaHouseRetail Price: ¥4,200Available at: HobbyLink Japan Starting things off let's take a look at the box. Actually, these being trading figures meant to be sold individually this is a display carton that most people in Japan normally wouldn't buy. I really like the art on the front that was made for the set. On the sides are some really nicely arranged photos of some of the figures taken outside. A lot of these trading figure cartons are either plain with just text or printed in single color scale so as these things go this is one of the better ones I've seen. The individual boxes share the same art as the display carton, but the sides only have stock photos of the figures. The more creative shots seen on the sides of the carton can be found under the flaps hidden inside the top and bottom of the box. Not sure why they did this, seems like these photos would do a lot more good selling the figures if they were used on the outside instead of the stock photos. OK, enough critiquing the boxes, let's take a look at the figures! Of the five figures and one secret (though probably not especially rare) figures only one doesn't represent a season; more on that figure a little later. This is the first figure I opened so it's as good of place as any to start. Here we have Natsume and Nyanko Sensei representing winter with Nyanko as a snowman. And... On no! What's wrong with his face!? Seems what little paint there is on his face got quite the smear on it, and it's in too delicate of a place to remove it. So much for being a lucky cat, I'm not feeling lucky at all. Not the best way to start. Smudge aside I like the looks of the figures. They certainly live up to the word petit, they're very small, roughly two inches tall. Price to size ratio isn't exactly optimal, about ¥700 each at retail, for the size I'd rather they were closer to ¥500, but they're nice for what they are and the current exchange rate helps a lot. Sculpting is nice and I like the themes so I can live with it. Spring is up next with Nyanko Sensei and Natsume all ready for some cherry blossom viewing. This figure is more elaborate than the winter figure featuring Natsume in a dark blue and green haori holding a cherry tree branch while Nyanko has his beloved sake bottle. Two things I really love about this figure is going the extra length to make the bottle clear and that they painted on all of Nyanko's paw pads. Very nicely done. For the Summer figure it's a little hard to see Natsume, but check out Nyanko Sensei. This is such a cute figure for him, complete with grilled squid in his mouth. Here's a better shot from different angle. Natsume is wearing a summer kimono complete with a little blue fan tucked in his back and geta on his feet. It's a great figure, I love the way Natsume is holding Nyanko up. Autumn is my favorite figure of all. Yeah, it's a little simple, but it's very Natsume Yuujinchou with the way Nyanko Sensei is sitting on Natsume's head. The expression on Nyanko's face is just perfect with the fallen leaf on his head. I also like that of the seasonal figures this is the only one that isn't standing in place. Natsume is holding a bundle of wheat in his right hand to represent the fall harvest, but I'm more interested in what's on his left hand. Check out the dragonfly! Keep in mind that little thing is smaller than a pencil eraser head and they still got some great detail in it. Yeah, definitely my favorite figure in the series. The fifth figure in the set is a little more unusual. It's hard to tell, but it's actually Nyanko Sensei transformed into Natsume. It's based on episode six of Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, the Other Side of the Glass. In the episode Natsume is trapped inside a glass jar and Nyanko changes into him to take his place while he searches for the one that stuck Natsume in there. You can see the jar behind, but unfortunately it seems they couldn't find a way to stick a tiny Natsume in there so it's left empty. It almost feels like half of a concept and if you weren't familiar with the figure's story it would just seem like Natsume is doing a strange pose. For me this is the least successful of the series and from what I can gather it's the least popular among fans. And here's the secret figure, a redeco of the spring figure. Now sporting a more cherry blossom appropriate pink, it's a nice alternative, but not quite as nicely executed as the blue and green of the original. I wish they would have changed up the pattern or something to really set it apart. Meanwhile Nyanko Sensei is looking kinda cherry in the face himself.  And that's our six. They're a an exceptionally cute series of figures based on the Natsume Yuujinchou duo and look great displayed. The paint is OK, but could be much better. If you're a fan then they're worth having, but you might want to buy them second hand to assure you get the best looking figures. Still, the cheapest and most efficient way to get them is in a case. Were I to do it again I'd probably still go with the case.  [Huge thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review samples!]
Natsume Yuujinchou photo
Insert Scarface "little friend" joke here
Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends) will probably always rank as one of my favorite top anime series of all time. For four seasons I laughed and cried with this series like few others. I was pretty sad when the fin...


Sakura Saber photo
Sakura Saber

Don't wait until the spring to view Sakura Saber


Just don't let it fall!
Oct 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Fate/stay night's Saber has had many faces, but none as Japanese as Sakura Saber. If you're not familiar with Good Smile Company's latest take on Saber (first announced nearly a year ago!) don't feel bad, she comes from a rat...
NYCC 2014 GSC photo
NYCC 2014 GSC

NYCC 2014: Good Smile Company


It's Turtle time!
Oct 10
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
We got the teaser just the other day, now we get to see the whole thing! It's fairly rare for Good Smile Company to tackle properties from the west (though that seems to be changing every event), but with recent efforts to gi...
Yotsuba! photo
Yotsuba!

Pre-order Yotsuba and Danbo in space!


I long for that cardboard box and little girl
Sep 29
// Vanessa Cubillo
The greatest thing to come out of Wonder Festival Winter was Sentinel’s take on Danboard. They took this charming cardboard robot and threw him up in space. That sounds kind of cruel, but no they made him a spaceship! ...

Tomopop Review: Good Smile Company's Nendoroid Tomoko Kuroki

Sep 10 // Vanessa Cubillo
Figure Name: Nendoroid Tomoko KurokiFigure Maker: Good Smile CompanyRetail Price: ¥3,619Available at: Plamoya | Amazon This was actually my very first Nendoroid figure, so everything about it was new to me. Let's start with the box. I love this! It's clean, simple, and shows me exactly what I'm getting with this figure. I also love the use of lime green and pink on the box to go with the white background.  When you open the box, the figure and all the accessories are packaged together in one plastic tray. So Tomoko comes with two alternate faces, an extra hair style, five additional arms, three additional hands, five accessories, and a stand.  The Tomoko figure comes dressed in her pale yellow school uniform. The hair piece on her shows her bangs covering half her face, and her face is her normal looking face. Of course, this is only normal for her! Any other character and I would call this a tired face, but Tomoko always looks like she's lacking sleep. As I mentioned before, this is my first Nendoroid figure, so I got to discover all the features the figure has to offer. She's fully articulated at the neck, arms, waist, and legs. The head is very heavy so she can't stand on her own, but the stand is great.  I have never been a fan of Tamashii Nation's stands. They try to offer innovative poses with their flexible stand, but I find it flimsy and complicated. However, the Nendoroid stands pull this off. It's made from thick plastic that is sturdy enough to support the weight of the figure, and flexible enough to pose your figure easily.  So of course Tomoko has another hairstyle. This one is more sloppy and wild with ends sticking up in various places. For some reason, mine came with a giant purple dot on the right corner. Tomoko also has two alternate faces and the clear favorite is her freakout face.  This face is probably all too familiar for anyone who has ever suffered social anxiety. Of course this expression is usually mentally expressed and not physically. With her accessories, you can make Tomoko freak out about a lot of things. She can tear up a paper with two alternate hands in place. Where did that paper come from? Maybe from her backpack she also comes with that you can place on her back. Since she comes with five extra arms, and three extra hands, you can get her to hold all her accessories just as you like. So one very interesting accessory Tomoko comes with is a personal massager, but when I originally opened it, I thought it was a microphone. Never in my life would I have thought an anime figure would come with a vibrator! I actually liked it better when I thought it was a microphone. Come on, Tomoko trying to sing karaoke would be gold! That's the beauty of imagination, I can do whatever I want with my figures. Well, if you want to use the personal massager as intended, that's where Tomoko's last interchangeable face comes in. I don't like to be vulgar, so let's call this her aroused face. Although her blushing looks like she's been slashed across the face to me. Another accessory she comes with is a pair of ripped panties...so I probably should have caught on to the massager sooner.  Her last item is a risqué video game clearly for the PS3, but you know it's the PM3. I have to say, Good Smile Company makes great accessories for their Nendoroid figures. Tomoko truly is a unique character,  and each accessory is a reflection of that. I have never met a character as weird and unique as Tomoko from WataMote, and I think this figure does a great job at capturing that. Also, since this is my first Nendoroid figure, I'm more than impressed with the quality and look of the figures in this line. I want more!  [Thank you so much to Hobby Link Japan for providing us with this review sample!]
Review photo
Tomoko is finally popular!
One day I came across this odd manga called No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guy’s Fault I’m Not Popular. Not only was the title something that reminded me of early Panic at the Disco song titles, the m...

Danboard photo
Danboard

Sentinel's Danboard figures are ready to blast off!


See them at Wonder Festival Summer
Jul 01
// Vanessa Cubillo
For me, the coolest thing to come out of Wonder Festival Winter was Sentinel’s Danboard. I mean, come on! It’s Danbo in space! So now we have a preview of three of these Danbo figures. None of these are from the ...
Danboard photo
Danboard

These Danbo figures look good enough to eat


Please don't really eat them
May 13
// Vanessa Cubillo
Why is Danbo such a popular figure? I couldn’t wait to get one! Of course, I am a fan of the manga, Yotsubato, but Danbo is hardly a main character there. So, really it’s just a figure of a cardboard box, and th...
Captain America photo
Captain America

figma Captain America and Ninja Slayer share a preview


I know times are tight, but even I think this is a little cheap
Apr 23
// Scarecroodle
A preview gallery has appeared for both (as in one gallery for two unrelated characters) Max Factory's upcoming figma Captain America and Ninja Slayer. Pre-orders are expected to open tonight/tomorrow. Unfortunately the photos themselves are dark and blurry, but we should see better images of both figures when pre-orders open shortly.
Tonari no Seki-kun photo
Tonari no Seki-kun

Kill some time with this Seki-kun desk set


Just don't let Yokoi catch you playing with it in class
Apr 09
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Nobody knows how to kill time in class like Seki does in Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time. Be it having one sided Shogi wars, making stamps out of erasers, or playing with a  family of robots he can somehow...
Fate/Zero photo
Fate/Zero

Aniplex's 'very business casual' suited Saber now available for pre-order


Suit up... or suit down?
Mar 22
// Scarecroodle
The American comic strip Dilbert has recurring bits about business casual going too far. This would certainly seem to be the case with Aniplex's 1/6-scale Fate/Zero suited (or barely suited) Saber, if she had ever worked in a...
Wonder Festival figma photo
Wonder Festival figma

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Giant figma roundup


Giant as in lots of cool stuff, not over sized figma
Feb 09
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
I'm sure it comes to no one's surprise that there were a lot of new figma on display at Wonder Festival. But could you really predict just how varied the offerings this time around would be? They really dug out some unexpecte...

Tomopop LinkUP: Robot Carnival

Jan 09 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Reprolabels has made their first update of the year! If you aren't familiar with RL they're a genius group of artists that both reproduce vintage Transformers label sheets as well as new ones to enhance modern figures. They even occasionally dabble in other toy lines like Power Rangers and MASK. Their latest includes: Generations Sandstorm, Generations Skids, FansProject Code (Chromedome), FansProject Quadruple U (Weirdwolf), FansProject Last Chance (Deadend), Masterpiece MP-10B Black Convoy, and Toyworld Orion.  Third party group ExcellentToys has revealed their second unofficial SD Transformer in the form of Soundwave. The figure is thus far only in CG form, but it's looking good! To see the images directly requires a Weibo account, but you can see them mirrored over at TFormers.  Over in Japan there's an exclusive miniseries being launched called Transformers Cloud that features a number of repaints. The first three confirmed is Optimus Prime (repaint of Classics Voyager class Op), Megatron (repaint of Generations Voyager tank Megatron), and Rodimus (repaint/remold of Generations Springer). Supposedly the series will consist of eight figures in total released throughout the year. For non-Japanese fans the Transformers Collectors' Club is offering Optimus Prime and Megatron for US$89 each. Hopefully they'll be offering Rodimus as well, I kinda want that one.  Over on Seibertron.com several of the staff forum regulars put together a lengthy list of top picks for 2013. They make some very surprising choices coupled with lots of banter. Nice to see some easily overlooked great figures get some notice.  Prime Ultimus got his hands on a super rare Wheeljack figure from the canceled Transformers Movie Trilogy Series. The figure is based on the very limited released Dark of the Moon Wheeljack, also known as "Q", with a new head and paint.  The Loyal Subjects has created a new Rainmakers box set. The set only names Acid Storm (the green guy) and that's probably safe since people seem to riot when you try pinning names to Rainmakers. But really, if you want to call the yellow guy Sunstorm and the blue guy Bitstream I don't think TLS will mind. A Toys R Us in Singapore has put up this really cool Transformers display as posted by Jason Taylor on Facebook. I wonder if they'd be willing to part with it after... ACToys has put up a bunch of pictures for Xovergen's new TrailerForce Masterarmor Vindicator. This unofficial piece changes from robot to trailer, but the real selling point is to use it a la Powermaster Optimus Prime. You can either snap in a Nucleon Quest Super Convoy or one of the various black repaints of Classics Optimus Prime. I think I actually like the black version over the original.  If you're a fan of vintage Transformers art work then you should plan on getting yourself a copy of Transformers Legacy: A Celebration of Transformers Package Art. The book is aiming to be as near of a complete collection of G1 box art as you would ever hope to find consisting of 300 pages of high quality graphics. There's still a few things missing, you can see a list of wants over on co-writer Jim Sorenson's blog. Looks like most of the original European art has been lost to the ages. The book comes out as a US$49.99 hardcover in May, though you can probably get it from around US$35 at places like the link above. I can't wait! That's it for this week. I'll see you next week when we'll be back to our usual mix of figures from the east and west!
Tomopop LinkUP photo
It's an article transformed!
You might have noticed last week things got a little bit quiet around these parts. Thanks to the New Year being a much bigger deal in the east than in the west, news coming out of Japan was pretty light. You might even call i...

Tomopop LinkUP: Anime you have a happy new year!

Jan 02 // Jeremy Emerje Crocker
AmiAmi blog gave us a closeup look at Takara Tomy's Puella Magi Madoka Magica Koedarize figures. We first saw these previewed way back in June so they've been a long time coming. Over at the figma blog we got a release gallery for the new Guts Hawk soldier figma from the Berserk movies. Great looking figure, I'm surprised they've taken this series as far as they have. Think Geek got themselves a very timely exclusive in the form of Doctor Who's 9th Doctor figure from Titan Vinyl. He's 6.5 inches tall and comes with a removable Sonic Screwdriver. I know a lot of people prefer modern Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith, but Christopher Eccleston will always be the one that got me into the series. Over at the Kotobukiya blog they've got a preview for the prototype of their 1/6 scale Ikaros from Sora no Otoshimono. She's from their 4-Leaves line and that's about all we know about her. Good Smile Company posted the results from their Nendoroid After Parts face contest. The five winners are a love face, a crying face, a dollar sign face, a robot face, and a skull face. There also seems to be a secret face in the works! Tsume sent along info on a pair of new figures coming out soon. First up is this outstanding HQS statue of Usopp from One Piece looking incredibly cool! You're basically getting two Usopp figures in this as well as that amazing Impact Wolf. He isn't cheap though, running about 369€ or just over US$500. He looks worth it! For Bleach fans Tsume wants you to get your hands on this great looking HQS statue of Ulquiorra Schiffer. The base and backdrop all look good. He's a major fan favorite so I wouldn't be surprised if he sold out soon. He's running 289€ or just under US$400. Plex has posted a gallery for one of their latest Ultimate Modeling Collection Figures: Duke Vampire Lord from Puzzle & Dragons. This is a great looking figure with lots of detail and super sharp colors. It'll be out in March for ¥ 10,290 or about US$98. Pinkcheeks got a little LEGO Clone Trooper from Star Wars for Christmas and felt inspired to take the little guy on a trip. Check out the gallery to see the mini trooper out on the beach and enjoying some tasty looking pizza! And that's it for this week's Tomopop LinkUP! Due to the extended holiday in Japan news from the east has been a little hard to come by. Don't be surprised if LinkUP next week is a little on the short side. Maybe I'll do something a little different next week.
Tomopop LinkUP photo
Celebrating the new year with lots of anime figure news
Hello and welcome to the first Tomopop LinkUP of the new year! We're only two days into 2014 and there's already a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Hard to believe, but over at My Figure Collection they've already g...

GBWC photo
GBWC

Gunpla Builder's World Cup announces champions


Japan and Hong Kong take top honors
Dec 25
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
The Gunpla Builder's World Cup held its finals at Gundam Front Tokyo on December 22 and the contest has named its winners. First place in the Open championship went to Japan's Shunpei Yamauchi and his take on the MG...
Hidamari Sketch Sai photo
Figure arrives the day after Christmas if you're willing to shell out the cash for it
The official figma blog updated with a new preview of the upcoming Sae figure from Hidamari Sketch X Honeycomb. The figure itself I'm sure is a fine figure, but I'm still rather disgusted by Max Factory charging ¥4,0...

S.H.F Momo photo
Let's start the countdown to Nana being announced
Earlier this year Bandai released Golden Darkness (or Yami if you prefer) from To Love-Ru in the S.H.Figuarts line and hasn't wasted too much time in adding a second figure. She'll soon be joined by Momo Belia Deviluke with a...

Tomopop Review: Figuarts ZERO Perona & Enel

Nov 13 // Pedro Cortes
Figure Name: Figuarts ZERO Enel & Figuarts ZERO Perona: Thriller Bark Ver.Figure Maker: BandaiRetail: $41.99  [Enel] | $34.99 [Perona]Available at:Perona [Amazon | Big Bad Toy Store | Entertainment Earth]Enel [Amazon | Big Bad Toy Store]  We'll start in show order, so first up is Enel, the electrical devil-fruit user, and self-professed God. This is his box. While underwhelming for a "God," it's good for a figure. It has the cocky bastard prominently featured on the front and sides, with an open window on the front and sides. It's also surprisingly large at ten inches. I'm used to these things being much smaller, which is a sign that things have changed quite a bit since I last checked in with the ZEROs. Now, let's get Enel out of the box. I can almost feel his desire to escape the plastic. Look at that arrogance, that swagger. Enel is an incredibly powerful villain and the sculptors know it. They gave him a strong, aggressive stance and I love it. He's a large and imposing for a Figuarts ZERO, with the electrified drums attached to his back. While I can't stand him in the show, I loved this figure right out of the box for nailing his personality. The only accessory in the box is his staff, which is also electrified. It slides into his right hand, adding a good amount of length to the figure. I really like the way that Bandai made the effect parts. The lighting looks nice, with alternating clear, yellow and gold-ish section all along the shaft of the staff and on his drums. Speaking of effect parts, there's an extra hand included in the box. The extra digits start with normal flesh tone and end clear, signifying that Enel is ready to fry somebody with his electrical powers. Even the clear hand radiates arrogance, with his index finger barely crooked. Enel can't even be bothered to use his entire hand against his foe. There are also an additional pair of heads for the electrical man. On the left is another jerky face you want to smash your fist into. The right face is his surprised reaction, which is one of my favorite things that One Piece mangaka Eichiro Oda has ever drawn. It's perfect for just about any occasion and I've been known to use it as a reaction face for suitable occasions. It doesn't really match the pose he's been molded in, but the comedy factor wins out over practicality. Bluefin also sent over the Thriller Bark version of Perona, the gothic lolita with the power to control negativity. Here's her box. It looks sufficiently cute for Perona. Unlike the Enel box, this is closer to the older boxes in size. Then again, she's smaller than Enel, so it's fitting that her package be proportional to her. Like Enel, I adore the pose Bandai chose for Perona. It nails her saucy childishness, what with the defiant angle of her hips and the carefree toss of her hand. The positioning is great with her ghosts flanking either side of her. Careful with these charming little guys; they pack a depressive punch. They start off translucent and end with see-through tails. It's a nice little touch. Zooming in on Perona's skirt, there's a surprsing amount of detail. Her belt looks fantastic and the frills on the edges of the fabric look great too.  Unfortunately, her face is somewhat lacking. It may be that the simplicity of her face requires extra attention to keep it from looking plain. Either way, there isn't much here to be impressed with. At least her mouth looks properly painted. That said, looking at it as a whole isn't so bad. As long as you aren't staring at her face and looking at the complete package, she still looks pretty damn good. She gets pretty close to her Thriller Bark Portrait Of Pirates entry, which I reviewed a while ago. I really liked that figure, so those are some pretty big words. All in all, I'm quite impressed with the work that Bandai has put into these Figuart ZEROs. The detail and molding has improved dramatically, getting closer and closer to the mythical quality of Megahouse's POP line. I absolutely recommend these guys to all One Piece fans and I'm sure they'll impress even those that aren't so familiar with these characters. [A big thank you to Bluefin Distribution for providing Enel and Perona for review.]
Figuarts ZERO photo
A little bit o' cute, a little bit o' evil
Bandai has done a lot to improve their Figuarts ZERO line in the last couple of years. Back when I reviewed a trio of ZEROs in 2011, they were fairly simple looking figures of dudes in standard poses with the exception of Mar...

Figma photo
Some figures look a lot different from when we last saw them
Another Japanese figure show means another crop of figma being put on display by Max Factory. While nothing shown at Miyazawa Model Expo Autumn 2013 was entirely new we are getting an updated look at some figures that we...

Madoka Magica x My Melody photo
My Melody as Ultimate Madoka joins plushies released in 2012
In the summer of 2012 exclusive Japanese retailers carried a special line of products featuring My Melody and Kuromi crossed-over with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. At the time they promised there could be more if the serie...

One Piece crystal glasses photo
One Piece crystal glasses

One Piece crystal glasses are a very valuable treasure


A complete set of 10 will probably cost you more than two mortgage payments
Nov 07
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
The fine crystal masters at Baccarat are getting set to let loose official One Piece crystal drinking glasses onto the Japanese public. These glasses feature all nine crew members and Ace with a unique coat-of-arms for e...
JJBA Caesar Zeppeli photo
JJBA Caesar Zeppeli

JJBA's Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli Super Action pre-order


If you like your silver fox Caesar, this is for you!
Nov 07
// Rio McCarthy
Who's ready for a bubble bath? Well, maybe not a bath, but this man can bring the bubbles, that's for sure. For all you JoJo's fans out there, we have Caesar Zeppeli in his Part II Hirohiko Araki specified color. He looks pre...
 photo

Take it easy with this Danbo cushion from Yotsubato!


Now cardboard is comfortable
Oct 27
// Vanessa Cubillo
From Yotsubato! other than Yotsuba herself, the most popular character from that manga is Danbo. Danbo, the cute cardboard robot, is now available in a more cuddlier form. Previously, I’ve mostly seen Danbo as Plamos a...
One Piece  photo
One Piece

Straw Hats sail again with new Punk Hazard series


New Anime Chara Heroes set is in "Shambles"
Oct 17
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Plex is back with a new set of One Piece mini figures based on the crew's adventures on Punk Hazard. The Anime Chara Heros One Piece Chapter of Punk Hazard Vol.1 series features the entire crew, villains, and marines as ...
Kantai Collection photo
Nendoroid based on popular card game due in 2014
2014 is going to be a busy year for the Kantai Collection social card game. After a knockout 2013 the game about war ships anthropomorphized into moe characters is already hitting the new year running with plans for a new ani...

Gunpla Poll photo
Gunpla Poll

Japanese fans choose the top 50 Master Grade Gunpla


Premium Bandai poll may or may not have anything to do with Gunpla
Sep 21
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Results are in from a series of polls conducted by Premium Bandai in Japan this year in honor of the release of the Master Grade Gundam RX-78-2 ver 3.0 kit. The "Best of My Master Grade" poll was done in four phases from...
Doraemon photo
Doraemon

Doraemon is ready to come stay at your home


That's one expensive house guest!
Sep 05
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Everyone knows Doraemon, right? The big, blue, time-traveling robot cat is a veritable national treasure in Japan and a cultural icon. Even if you don't know who or what Doraemon is there's a good chance you at least recogniz...
Sailor Mars Figuarts photo
Sailor Mars Figuarts

[Update!] S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mars up for pre-order!


Fire yourself up to wait for pages to load!
Sep 04
// Rio McCarthy
[Update #2: She is now available at Big Bad Toy Store at the link below!] (Thanks Phoenix Gamma!) [Update: She is now available at HobbyLink Japan at the link below!] Here she is! One of my top favorite Sailor Scouts is final...
Ryo Sugamo type II photo
Ryo Sugamo type II

Orca Toys' Ryo Sugamo type II available for pre-order


Tomopop editor adds another manga to his queue
Sep 02
// Scarecroodle
Orca Toys' Ryo Sugamo type II is currently available for pre-order. Ryo Sugamo hails from the manga Tokage no Ou (which translates to something like King of Lizard or Lizard King?). The fact that I've never heard of the manga...
Plex Sasuke photo
Plex Sasuke

Plex D.P.C.F. Sasuke gets painted


Wouldn't know he was in battle
Aug 24
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Plex's latest addition to their Naruto series of Door Painting Collection Figures line has finally been painted. Featuring the same quality details and paint apps as the previous Naruto and Sakura figures, Sasuke is looking g...
MegaHouse Gintama photo
Beware of Gorilla!
How would you like Gintoki and his cohorts to join you for some refreshing tea time? Well, now they can, thanks to MegaHouse's delightful Gintama "Tea friends series - Would you like to rest a little?" figure set. The box set...

One Coin Kuroko No Basket photo
Just as adorable as the first set
While the second season of Kuroko no Basket is still ways away from its October premiere, Kotobukiya is easing the wait with a second set of its one coin series aptly named 2Q. The first set of minis, (which is due out this m...

ARTFX J Atobe Keigo photo
His charm point is his tear drop mole
Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama fans are you ready to chant 'Hyōtei, Hyōtei, Hyōtei,' along with me? Pre-orders have officially begun for the captain of Hyōtei Academy tennis club, Atobe Keigo as the "all rounder...

Chara-Ani Mikoto Misaka photo
Chara-Ani Mikoto Misaka

Skirts off and pre-orders on for new Mikoto Misaka figure


Don't get caught with your pants down, she's up for order now!
Jun 25
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Chara-ani is back again with a second figure from the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S anime series, this time featuring title character Mikoto Misaka in a rather compromised position. The first figure was a rather unabashed ve...
figma Gon and Killua photo
figma Gon and Killua

One last Gon and Killua gallery before the hunt beings


figma Hunter X Hunter pair due out June 22 in Japan
Jun 20
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
The wait is almost over! The first two figures in the figma Hunter X Hunter series will be here on June 22 in Japan (Friday for those of us in the west). Gon was only revealed back in late January while Killua got a teaser ab...

Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's ArtFX J Jonouchi Katsuya

Jun 17 // Yami Casas
Figure Name: Jonouchi KatsuyaFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail: US$69.99Available at: Koto US Jonouchi's box is rather small, at least when you compare it to his duelist counterpart's boxes. It's really not surprising though, considering he's biggest accessories is the Duel Disk, and that doesn't particularly take up too much space. Other than that, the box is painted in a green hue with a fairly large window taking up much the center, and of course, Jonouchi himself decorating the bottom left corner with an ever-so confident expression. The packaging is fairly simplistic and very compact. Inside the tray,  we have Jonouchi, a set of cards, an additional left arm (with his Duel Disk), and a pink Scape Goat. Kotobukiya does a great job of not wasting any space, but honestly, all that matters is that Jonouchi arrives safe and sound. What do you say we finally release him from his plastic constraints?  Once Jonouchi is free from his plastic tray, he’s ready for some action in lively pose as his left hand sports the thumbs up while his right is clenched in a fist.  Just like the other boys, Jonouchi comes attached to his base already, so there’s no need to fuss about inserting him into any pegs or leaning issues. He’s nice and sturdy! Right off the bat, the first thing that caught my attention was his shiny blue jacket and pants. While I know some my take issue with the glossy paint finish, I personality like it, especially since it's cohesive with Yami Yugi's attire, as well. Let's start things off by taking a closer look at our duelist, shall we? Jonouchi's face is just spot on, and faithful to his character design. I love how intense his gaze is; it's thoroughly captivating. There is also some light shading done underneath the pupils that adds that extra oomph to that powerful stare. Of course, not only does Jonouchi have a great face, but he's got some awesome dirty blonde locks to boot! From the front, you can see a glimpse of his stylish bangs as they hang over his forehead. Here's a quick look at his profile, and that glorious hair I was talking about. Talk about big hair! There is some subtle shading along the creases, which adds nice overall effect to Jonouchi's sporadic hairstyle. While I do appreciate the accuracy to his big hair, I can't help, but notice that unsavory seam line right across his hairline. Since Jonouchi is looking down, the seam is unavoidable, but you can mask the seam by displaying him on a shelf that is higher than eye level. The back of the jacket adds some movement to the sculpt, and a touch of overall dynamism as it sways in the wind. There are also some visible fold lines along the waist line of the jacket, which gives it a realistic look of fabric. Looking at his pants, there are folds along the fabric of the slacks which are accentuated by the glossy paint finish and the shading, particularly around the hip area. Speaking of which, Jonouchi's pants seem to fit a bit of a snug on him, wouldn't you agree? Not that it's something I would complain about, especially when you... ...take a peek at his booty! Yes, the booty shot, you knew it was coming. Besides, he does have a nice, firm butt! All that dueling has its rewards. His shoes are painted in a matte colors, which makes a great contrast to the glossy paint used on the jacket and pants. I only noticed a tiny spot of white paint that bled from the laces onto the body of the shoe, but it's not something that I would consider a deal breaker.  Scape Goat! As a bonus, Kotobukiya includes a cute pink Scape Goat key-chain. Isn't he just adorable? I only wish there was more than one of these adorable cuties included in the package since I have a secret desire to have a Scape Goat army. Who could blame me, right?  Finally, Jonouchi is ready to throw down some cards, and get to some serious dueling. To get him assembled into the duelist mode is rather easy. Just swap out his left arm with the one that comes with the attached Duel Disk, and you're set.  Once it's on, he's ready for battle! The Duel Disk rests against Jonouchi's left forearm, but I would recommend being very careful not to bump the card holder against anything since the piece might snap off. Other than that, the paint job on the Duel Disk is nice and precise. To place the cards into Jonouchi's left hand, you simply need to slide them into the space between his thumb and palm. Once they are placed in his hands there is no need to worry they will slip out; he's got a solid grip on them. The cards have the same generic trading card design in the back that Yami and Kaiba have in their set while the front remains blank.  I couldn't resist getting the boys together for some pictures. As you can see, they look absolutely fierce!  Kaiba VS. Jonouchi. Let's go, Jonouchi! So, is Jonouchi worth it? Absolutely! If you're a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, I definitely recommend adding him to your collection, especially if you own Yugi and Kaiba. While there are some slight imperfections, Sagae Hiroshi's sculpt stays true to Jonouchi's feisty personality regardless of the way you may choose to display him. I must say Jonouchi is my favorite duelist so far. Kotobukiya has done an amazing job of keeping all the figures in their ARTFX J line very faithful to Kazuki Takahashi's original design. What more could a fan ask for? Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Yami Malik entrance into the line. Nothing like an antagonist to spice things up. Don't forget to check out the image gallery for some pictures that didn't make the review. Thanks to Kotobukiya for providing Tomopop with this review sample!
ArtFX J Jonouchi Katsuya photo
Let's get ready to duel!
When Kotobukiya first announced that Jonouchi Katsuya would be to be joining Yami Yugi (reviewed) and Seto Kaiba (reviewed) in the ArtFX J line, I was pretty ecstatic. As a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, I felt the line was a ...

Aladdin from MegaHouse photo
Aladdin from MegaHouse

Under the Radar: Magi's Aladdin from MegaHouse


Because you need something new to look at while waiting for the anime to return
Jun 11
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Megahobby Expo 2013 Spring was big. How big? Big enough that even two weeks later we're still finding things to talk about! Thanks to a new gallery from over at Moeyo we just got some quality pictures of Aladdin fro...
figma Kurapika photo
figma Kurapika

Hunter X Hunter Kurapika figma appears unannounced


Third Hunter X Hunter figma's pre-orders begin
May 23
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It's not often we see high-profile figures appear for pre-order, but every now and then one shows up for pre-order completely unannounced. Case in point: Hunter X Hunter's Kurapika figma. Despite a lot of recent conventions a...
 photo

One last look at Hidamari Sketch's figma Yuno


Lackluster figure due out in a few more days
May 22
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
You know it's a problem when the usually photo-happy figma blog struggles to find interesting ways to show off one of their figures. But that seems to be the case with their soon-to-be-released Yuno figma from Hidamari S...

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