I think one of the best things to inspire passion for a hobby is having a good brick and mortar retail store around. They're valuable for showing off the hobby and product, and you can get some good info from experienced coll... read
It was way back in February at Wonder Festival 2014 Winter that Kotobukiya made a small announcement that Optimus Prime would be joining their D-Style line of super deformed robot model kits. It was only a matter of time as t... read
Plastic models aren't just for giant robots. Giant humanoid monsters need a little plamo loving, too. Kotobukiya is showing off an updated look at their upcoming tian form Eren Yeager model kit from Attack on Titan at All Jap... read
[Added a second, clearer image from AmiAmi to the gallery]
No real surprise that Kotobukiya wouldn't be able to stop at just one. Over at the All Japan Model Hobby Show 2014 they've revealed the follow up to their previously ... read
It's the kit that everyone said they wanted when they learned what they could do. The gimmicks for the Perfect Grade line made people dream of what the Unicorn could be if they were to do it. Yes, it's finally coming this Dec... read
They're gonna Try it this time Gundam Build Fighters was amazing. It didn't have a great plot, but it was at least enjoyable if just for all of the cameos. It certainly surpassed expectations in the west and now season 2, Gundam Build Fighters Try is on th... read feature
The Hi-Nu Gundam ver. Ka is simply a beautiful mobile suit. While the first MG Hi-Nu had its detractors because it wasn't like the original design by Izubuchi, the new kit follows his design aesthetics much more faithfully. A... read
There is more than just Gunpla at Shizuoka. Pokepla has had a couple of good kits in the past couple of years and the line shows no sign of slowing down. With the popularity of new Mega Evolutions to take advantage of, Pokepl... read
If you haven't been keeping up with your Pokemon news, you may not have heard of Diancie. The rock/fairy-type monster is the star of the upcoming Pokemon movie (yes, they are still making those), Diancie and the Cocoon of Des... read
In case you missed it this week, Japan is going crazy with Gundam promotions again. The airport in Osaka now features the Red Comet Express, a bullet train decorated in the motiff of Neo Zeon and Full Frontal, the not Char of... read
5 live events plus 1 online competition You've built your Gunpla and now you want something to do with it. You've painted, sculpted new parts by hand, added armor by cutting many, many small pieces of plaplate. If you'd like the chance to show off your Gunpla, you ... read feature
The Moonlight Butterfly is the most destructive attack in all of the Gundam metaverse. Those beautiful wings of energy will make every piece of technology useless from here to Jupiter. Since their debut, people have asked for... read
Hatsune Miku has no shortage of merchandise. I honestly can't think of a product that the Vocaloid darling hasn't been turned into. I'll have to scratch two more items of the list as Fujumi has made not only a Hatsune Miku pl... read
For those with size and wallet restrictions, Kotobukiya's Metal Gear Rex plamo was a blessing for fans earlier this year. Given the reception to its release, it was only a matter of time before the clamoring for Rex would beg... read
I've waited for quite some time, but my most anticipated plamo of the year is finally at my doorstep. Arriving today was the Master Grade Sazabi Ver Ka. After substantial shipping fees and trying to fit the box through my doorway, I got to take a look inside and see what Gunpla madness I have ahead of me.
Hit the jump for my unboxing of the Master Grade Sazabi Ver Ka! read
At the very end of last year, Kotobukiya released their 1/100 scale model of Metal Gear Rex. That immediately prompted questions of when Metal Gear Ray would be put into production plans. With this month's scans, the year 201... read
It's that time of the year where the latest and greatest new Gunpla are revealed to the world. Even with the new series Gundam Build Fighters, there is still Episode 7 of Gundam Unicorn and plenty of momentum for the HG All G... read
A long, long time ago, Sergey Safonov released Moon Fox, which then spawned a whole series of Moon figures. Moon Fox is back, though, in a slightly different look: as a plastic model kit. A collaboration with Crazy Label, the... read
The weather is getting colder, and it's starting to get dark earlier now. Yes, this is fall! Of course one of my favorite things about fall is Halloween.
The pumpkins, the candy, the scary movies...it's a great time. With Hal... read
December has become the month for the featured Master Grade Gunpla. Past years have seen the Unicorn Gundam, Nu Gundam, and now the Sazabi. Each of these kits has been released under the "ver. Ka" banner, with the process bei... read
The final qualifier for the Gunpla Builders World Cup took place this past weekend at New York Comic-Con. The competition featured some impressive kits, but only a few could walk home with awards in hand.
Taking home th... read
One of the most anticipated kits of the year has finally been fully unveiled at the Gunpla Expo in the Philippines. While the kit has had its lineart and rough prototypes displayed previously, we finally get to look at the fu... read
You have the HG Astray Gold Frame Amatu. The Mina custom version. The Astray Red Frame. Red Frame with Flight Pack. Astray Blue Frame. Astray Blue Frame Second L. Limited edition Astray metallic coating. I think you get the p... read
Editor's note: Taking a plastic toy out for a walk may be grounds for a psychological evaluation in some states
Do you remember Medabots? That delightfully off-beat anime that came out about a decade ago and spawned a handful of games as well as a slew of merchandise? Kotobukiya clearly remembers, since they're releasing a Cyandog PLAM... read
Plamo, garage kits, miniatures, and even some papercraft
// Tianxiao Ma
Did any of you Tomopeeps make it out to Nan Desu Kan this past weekend? I drove out to Denver just to burn up some vacation days. While it was a heavily anime-oriented event, there was some stuff for us figure lovers as well.... read
Last month, another stop was held on Bandai's Gunpla Builders World Cup. The stage was Otakon and modelers certainly stepped up their games. The Best of Show award went to James Michie and his Master Grade Hi-Nu Gundam, which... read
The last bit of Gunpla news from Chara Hobby comes in the form of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, and Real Grade news. First, new kits are being made of MSG: Thunderbolt, a recent manga set during the events of the One Year W... read
While the big guys for Bandai have been the Master Grades, there are larger plans for the 1/144 High Grade kits. The upcoming Gunpla Build Fighters will heavily feature the scale and kits will be the backbone of the series, j... read
Chara Hobby 2013 kicked off today for the annual weekly event. As one of the major hobby events of the year, Bandai is bringing their product and showing off all the kits that I'll probably buy in the future. At first, we'll ... read
Gundam Unicorn prides itself on Zeon fanaticism and nostalgia. A third Neo-Zeon movement doesn't leave a lot of mobile suits left, so we're left with a bunch of old OYW suits now with new colors. These new schemes make a perf... read
The highly anticipated new Pokemon game, Pokemon X/Y is almost here. While we wait, Bandai is starting to release new Pokemon items to keep us pumped up. Coming from Pokemon X/Y, the two new mascots, Xerneas and Yveltal will... read
Gundam Build Fighters has proven itself to be the re-do of existing kits. The next entry into the series is a remake of the RX-178 Gundam Mk. II with a new backpack. For now, the suit is titled the Mobile Suit A, packaged wit... read
Aug 06 //
Andres Cerrato Figure Name: Pokepla No. 30 - Dragonite (Kairyuu) Evolution SetFigure Maker: BandaiPrice: ¥760Available At: Hobby Link Japan
Included in the package are pieces to make each stage of Dragonite's evolutionary chain, Dratini, Dragonair, and of course Dragonite. Dratini and Dragonair are really just thrown in there, as they're just three pieces each. The entire collection is 39 parts on three runners. There are Gunpla kits with that many pieces on a single runner. Enough talk, let’s start with the basic Pokemon, Dratini.
Dratini is made up of three all-white pieces and a small orange base. Even in these small kits, there'a a lot of detail for you to work with. As the kits are designed with children in mind, the stickers are included to fill out these details. In the case of Dratini, blue for the body and a set for the eyes. For now, I've left it blank, as well as Dragonaire, as it's a project for another day.
Dragonair is similar to Dratini in that it’s constructed in three pieces. However, unlike Dratini, the underside is hollow. All this means is that you’ll have a lot of putty work to go through in order to have it looking like it should. Again, there’s a lot of good detail in here. The only issue is that you’ll have to do a lot of work to make it presentable. Granted, this is only a 3 piece kit, so it’s somewhat forgivable.
Featuring the main kit of this set, Dragonite gets the most features. Each of the limbs have their own pieces and do have range of motion. Dragonite’s design doesn’t really feature much in the way of articulation, but there are some great gimmicks within. The arms rotate and move up and down, the wings flap back and forth, the legs can rotate and the tail moves from left to right.
The interesting gimmick in the kit is that if you move the arms up and down, Dragonite’s mouth will open with it. It’s times like this I wish I had some of the effect parts from Godzilla or even the D-Arts Charizard. It’s the kind of kit where you want something else to come with it, but you’d have more fun creating something yourself for it. It’s something I’ll consider doing in the future.
Giving a look here at the back, you can see that there are definite seamline issues that need to be cleaned up. You can also see the range of movement in the tail, which merely swishes from left to right.
In closing, it’s a fun way to kill an hour or less. It’s a cheap kit, but it does give you a satisfying end product. Even though I painted my Dragonite, the stickers for it would have more than sufficed if you’re worried about your painting skills. If you’re new to plamo/modeling, it’s a great kit to start with as the parts come off the runners very cleanly with little nub work to do. If you have a favorite Pokemon, track down one of the sets and grab it. For less than $10, you can have a decent hour (or more if you’re into detailing and painting) constructing your team.
Dragon, Dragon Rock the Dragon When you think of plamo, you generally think mecha, aircraft and automobiles. You don't really think of Pokemon. Bandai is willing to make a kit out of anything, and so, we have plamo of Pokemon. From starters to legendaries,... read feature
In another piece of news from the Gundam Front today, a long awaited kit has finally made its appearance. The original MG Sazabi had its release in 2000, people haven't really been happy with it especially when compared with ... read
With the release of a brand-new production from Gundam Unicorn, it's of course time for a semi-new Gunpla. The new kit, dubbed the Gundam Unicorn 03 Phoenix, immediately makes itself stand out with the pure gold color scheme.... read
Astray Gold Frame and Geara Doga get minor alterations
// Andres Cerrato
Premium Bandai is no stranger to Gunpla. While most of the exclusives have been re-colors or relatively unknown variations, that doesn't mean that the kits aren't without their merits. We have both cases today thanks to the a... read
In this month's round of magazine scans, there isn't anything in the way of new in regards to Gundam. Instead, we have more clarity to some upcoming releases and better images of things they want us to buy right this moment. ... read
Jul 17 //
Brian Szabelski Figure Name: Yotsuba Koiwai plastic model kitFigure Maker: KotobukiyaPrice: US$29.99Available at: KotoUS Shop
So, should we start out with the box? There's not a whole lot to discuss, with a fairly simple front and one of the side panels acting as the back of the box (the actual back is blank) ... but that front is just eye-catching. Probably because it's simple: here is Yotsuba, an exclamation mark and her name, made to feel like she sees you and is waving hello. This is one of the cases where a clean, simple design works really well.
However, inside that box were several trays of plastic pieces all assembled on their trees, and there's a lot to look at here. Actual assembly of the kit took me close to an hour (though I prolonged the process a bit by trying to remove as much flash as I could before assembling all these pieces) and was rather simple. The provided instructions are easy to follow, and I think the hardest thing I had to do was line up one tiny peg with another smaller hole for her knee joints.
The end result looks like this:
Fully assembled, Yotsuba is scaled well to her proportions from the manga, and faithful to Kiyohiko Azuma's work. She's in her trademark outfit (salmon and white shirt, albeit the long-sleeved version; tan shorts; white socks; red and white shoes). Yes, there are seams all over the place, but it's a plamo kit; were you expecting anything else from something you had to assemble? At best, I can say that the seams are not distracting, even if they aren't masked by armor like they are in my Mega Man and Protoman kits.
Most of Yotsuba's joints are indeed visible, but that's generally what you get with any plamo kit. There's a fair amount of swivel, ball-and-socket, and cylindrincal joints on Yotsuba, with decidedly few of the ball-and-socket kind. More or less, Kotobukiya's held back on a lot of the joints except for the ones that are really needed ... though her four little pigtails get joints. So yes, you can pose them all.
But holy crap, I am surprised with what you can do with Yotsuba. She feels as poseable as any figma, Revoltech or Figuarts piece, and unlike some of my experience with Mega Man, her joints don't seem to come loose as quickly. Time will tell if that stays the case, but so far, I've not had any issues with joints popping out of place.
Accessories wise, she comes with a lot: five faces, tons of hands to switch in and out, her teddie, a bag to carry stuff in, a kazoo, a camera, and a bubble wand. The kazoo isn't really much to write about, just a little piece of cylindrical plastic that I mistook as a marker for the longest time, and the over-the-shoulder bag is enough for Yotsuba to carry anything small.
As mentioned, like those other figures, Yotsuba has interchangeable hands and faces. Swapping them out is really no different an experience, as her front bangs are removable.
This is the "default" face, or as I call it, the curious face. It's my least favorite of the five because really, it's just lacking in expression compared to all of them, but it's fine for what it's supposed to be.
One of Yotsuba's accessories is a camera, seen unpainted here. Most of her accessories will come unpainted so you can paint them however you like. As I am not so good with the paintwork, I chose to leave them in their unpainted state for the review. It's a small piece assembled out of two parts, with a special hand that holds it in place. Not too bad.
The centerpiece of the accessories, though, is probably Duralumin, Yotsuba's teddie bear. There are no special hands to hold her, so you'll have to balance it in her hands as I did here, but it's not too terrible.
You can also see Yotsuba's third face, a super-excited one. It's essentially the same as the happy one with different eyes, and like the curious face, does its job well. Still, it's out-classed by the last two faces we have yet to show off.
I should also mention at this point that Yotsuba comes with water-based decals and two blank faces, so you can make your own expressions should you choose. The decals feature a number of different options to pick from, so if you want slightly sad Yotsuba or super intense Yotsuba ... you can do that.
Again unpainted, Duralumin has a nice, plush-styled texture to him, and his eyes, ears, nose and mouth have all been sculpted in good detail. Of course, it'll look a little better with some black paint for the nose and eyes, but that's up to you.
Oh no ... Duralumin ... poor Yotsuba. Here, you get to see two things: one is a sitting part that allows Yotsuba to actually sit down without difficulty. It's an interesting choice to include this, but actually one I'm thankful for, because it makes putting Yotsuba on your shelf a lot easier. Swapping out the parts are a two-part process, but one that's not too difficult: you remove her top half to attach the sitting part, and then remove and attach each leg at the upper thigh.
There's also a second part that allows you to swap Yotsuba's body with that of Danboard, if you'd like, which I haven't previewed here because I haven't assembled my Danboard kit I previously received as a gift. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing that now that I have the option to use Yotsuba and Danboard together.
The other is Yotsuba's crying face, which is awesome. Kotobukiya has done a wonderful job of capturing Kiyohiko Azuma's style in this face, right down to the uneven, sketch-like eyes. But there is another that is even better ...
Well, great. Now she's angry. Here, we get to see Yotsuba's rage face, probably my favorite of the bunch because you can get a ton of use out of it. Combined with the pointing hand, she's angry at me about ... something, I guess. And look out! She's got a bubble wand that might just end up in my face. I have to say, this is my favorite pose I put Yotsuba in, if only because I can imagine her 6-year-old self being angry enough about something to try attacking someone with something as harmless as a bubble wand.
A closer look from the bottom on the wand:
It's nicely scaled down, and what's better is the plastic rings don't feel fragile, like you might drop them and break them. Unlike what happens with some of them in real life ...
I'll cut right to the chase: though the assembly took a bit, Kotobukiya's Yotsuba is an absolute joy. She's a sturdy figure when assembled, poses well, and comes with a wide variety of accessories that allow you to get a ton of use out of her. I only wish things like Duralumin and the camera had come painted so that their details really popped out, but it's a minor gripe. It's a kit that, if you're a Yotsuba&! fan, you can't go wrong with.
[Thanks to Kotobukiya for sending along Yotsuba for review!]
More than just a little awesome It sure doesn't seem like October was when we first found out about Kotobukiya's Yotsuba plastic model kit, because I feel like I've been waiting a while for her. It was, if nothing else, a total surprise for me, but one I wa... read feature
Just over two weeks ago, Gundam Build Fighters was unleashed to the masses. A series taking its liberties with plamo and design by smashing them together in unholy unions. Now the time has come to be prepared and pre-order al... read
Kotobukiya, in addition to their PVC offerings, have been long involved in the plamo business. They've made plenty of Evangelion merchandise, from figures to chopsticks, but they haven't made any models of the bio-angelic mec... read