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WonFes 2017 Winter photo
Figures from Good Smile Company and more
There were some intriguing Nendoroid and figma announcements at Wonder Festival but the scale figure previews weren't as interesting. Under the Wonderful Hobby Life For You banner, Good Smile Company and associated groups sho...

Tomopop Review: DC Bishoujo Wonder Girl by Kotobukiya

Dec 24 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: DC Comics Bishoujo Wonder GirlFigure Maker: KotobukiyaRetail Price: $74.99Available at: Kotobukiya Online Store  This particular Wonder Girl design (as always, created by Shunya Yamashita) is based on the Cassandra Sandsmark character of the classic DC universe - i.e. not from The New 52. Yamashita's take on the character is faithful to the design in the comics. The sculpt ages her up a bit compared to the illustration, making this a straightforward interpretation of Wonder Girl. Wonder Girl's Lasso of Lightning is included. It's made of plastic and painted in metallic gold. I don't find it very convincing close up, but it looks okay from a distance. As you might have deduced from the design of the figure, the setup process is pretty easy. The only thing you have to do is attach the lasso to the hands. The fit there isn't especially precise but hey, you only have to do it once. One feature I couldn't figure out is why she can be pulled apart at the hips. Could there perhaps be a variant edition in the works with swappable parts? The figure comes already attached to the base for even more convenience. It's painted in a metallic red to match the red star motif on her pants and bracers. I'm a huge fan of anything-but-a-circular-disc for bases, so I like the star shape here. I like this sculpt more the more I look at it. Wonder Girl has the bent spine, chest-and-butt-emphasizing pose that's common for female comic book characters. Fortunately Kotobukiya did a great job on her body overall (yes, her butt too). If you look closely you can see some muscle definition on her arms and thighs. There's a nice mix of power and sexiness, enhanced by the strategically exposed midriff. Wonder Girl's pants of choice are a pair of jeans. These have been sculpted with a bit of texture. I don't think it looks like real denim, but it looks better than a flat blue would have. The Bishoujo brand started as a line of budget-priced figures, and as such the manufacturing quality used to be just adequate. Nowadays it's tough to find anything to nitpick about it. Her face is clean, her eye decals are crisp, and her hair is finely sculpted and shaded. There were no flaws to speak of. That's pretty impressive considering these are still priced lower than comparable 1/8-scale figures, and that my macro lens tends to magnify the slightest imperfections. Though I have no attachment to the character, I did enjoy photographing and reviewing Bishoujo Wonder Girl. I find myself drawn to figures born from simple concepts that are executed well. This quality, as well as the distinctly pretty face, made me think of Max Factory's Kaori Miyazono as a comparison. Both are unassuming, yet still photogenic and would fit well on almost any shelf. I have plenty more of Wonder Girl in the gallery below. And if you dig Kotobukiya stuff, head on over to their Facebook page for more. [ Thanks to Kotobukiya for the review sample! ]
Bishoujo Wonder Girl photo
The power of Zeus compels you
In just a few short years, Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line has evolved to cover properties from all kinds of entertainment media including games and film. But the brand began with comic book characters, and here we return to its roots with Wonder Girl. I have lots and lots of Bishoujo figures in my collection, yet I couldn't resist adding one more. Read on for my thoughts and review!

Last minute gift ideas for the figure collector in your life

Dec 15 // Tianxiao Ma
Camera Gear If you really want someone to be poor for the rest of their life, get them into photography. Compared to camera gear, maintaining an anime figure collection costs a mere pittance. Indeed, you can set your loved one up for a lifetime of gear obsession and unnecessary spending by simply introducing them to this one hobby! But what if you want to help that special someone take better photos of his figures without having to take out a loan? You can check out some accessories designed to improve smartphone photography, such as this Photojojo lens set (pictured above). Smartphone cameras these days are already pretty capable, but accessories like this can give them an extra bit of flexibility and creative freedom. Amp up your figure photography, and your collection will feel that much more special! Lighting The art of photography goes hand in hand with the art of lighting. To really get those figure photos to the next level, you're going to need something better than the flash on your phone or camera. Luckily, this also presents the opportunity for some great stocking stuffers! Lighting can be done simply with some $10 clamp lamps from Home Depot. If you want something you could actually incorporate into your photos, check out the Slickforce Softlight (pictured above). They're not super bright, and work best with a camera with manual controls. But they look cool and can help you learn the principles of lighting. Storage Leaving figures in their boxes is no good. A real collector will want a specially designated area to keep his figures in view. This is where that old standby of collectors everywhere comes in: Ikea's Detolf display case. For good reason, these have been a go-to for figure collectors within range of an Ikea. They're reasonably priced and can blend into any kind of decor. The only drawback is that they weigh about as much as a small car, so make sure you have some buddies to help if you do buy one. Also, I guess these don't qualify as stocking stuffers... unless you're a frost giant and have enormous stockings. Dust Management You know what sucks? Leaving your figures out on display only to see them caked in dust a few months later. You know what your figures love? Being dust-free! It's a small thing but for a collector, proper dusting can mean the difference between a janky looking display and a lovingly curated one. For starters I'd get some kind of air blower, like a can of compressed air or an electric blower. Microfiber cloths are always good to have around. For the really intricate or hard to clean areas, you can try using a set of makeup brushes (or specially made anti-static brushes). Your figures will thank you for it. Display Stands Figure collections inevitably outgrow the shelves that hold them. This law holds as true as the laws of thermodynamics. When that happens, any collector will be glad to have a set of acrylic risers on hand. Full disclosure: I've never actually used these. But I wish I had, and my lack of foresight can turn into profit for you. Emotional profit, that is. With a good set of risers, you can make tiered displays that optimize your shelf space. They're especially good for smaller figures such as Nendoroids or Cu-Poches. Backdrops and Sets Want to take those figure displays to the next level? Why not add in some scenery? There are a host of options available, from 1/12-scale dollhouse furniture to purpose-built displays such as the figma PLUS line (pictured above). Max Factory has made a road set and a classroom set to help add a bit of flair to your figma collection. If Nendoroids are more your thing, Good Smile Company has recently put their Nendoroid-sized play sets up for order again. Booze Figure collecting can easily set someone on the path of financial ruin. Why not help them forget that fact with some good old liquid courage? Tomopop does not condone drinking as a response to life's problems. But a few sips here and there can't hurt, right? Pre-Orders Finally, if you can't actually get any of this in time for Christmas, you can always pre-order something. It's like a gift that's okay to give late! Make sure you stick to sites like Amiami or HobbyLink Japan, which both have great reputations and will make the whole buying process less scary. From all of us at Tomopop, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!
Tomopop Gift Guide photo
They're kind of affordable!
Christmas (or your winter gift-giving holiday of choice) is almost upon us! While it's fun to give and receive gifts, it can be quite stressful doing the actual planning and shopping. So what do you buy for that special figur...

Kotobukiya Spike Spiegel photo
Kotobukiya Spike Spiegel

ARTFX J Spike Spiegel goes up for pre-order


3, 2, 1, let's jam!
Dec 12
// Tianxiao Ma
One of the most beloved anime series of all time is getting a fitting PVC tribute as Kotobukiya puts their ARTFX J Spike Spiegel up for pre-order! It really is Christmas time! Ever since I started collecting six years ago, Sp...

MegaHobby Expo photo
Upcoming figures from Alter, MegaHouse
It's late fall so you know what that means: MegaHobby Expo time! I'm always hyped to see what kind of new stuff is coming soon (or in Alter's case, much later). Let this be a reminder for all of you to start saving up! Here's...

NYCC 2016: Good Smile Company

Oct 08 // Tianxiao Ma
NYCC 2016 GSC photo
Lots of toys for gamers!
Good Smile Company's Mamitan has been hard at work revealing their upcoming figures at NYCC. There are lots of Nendoroids and figmas but I wasn't expecting this many video game figures. The full armor Megaman X Nendoroid has ...

Tomopop Review: Kagamine Rin Tony Ver. by Max Factory

Oct 06 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: Kagamine Rin Tony Ver.Figure Maker: Max FactoryRetail Price: ¥12,800Available at: Amiami | Big In Japan | Big Bad Toy Store | Hobby Search | HobbyLink Japan This is a rather simplistic 1/7-scale figure so there isn't much to worry about in terms of assembly or packaging. You just unbox Rin, attach the base, and slide the microphone into her left hand. If you're like me and rotate your figure displays regularly, you'll appreciate the easy unboxing and assembly process. I didn't buy this figure out of love for the character. There's just something appealing about the design and its execution. Tony Taka's interpretations of Miku and Luka stayed close to their official designs. However Rin and Len are both aged up a bit. This gives Max Factory a more interesting body type to work with, especially around the underarms and midriff. What won me over more than anything else, though, was Rin's face. I guess it's got that "Tony face" look, but it's never bothered me and looks super cute here. As with the rest of the sculpt, Max Factory nailed it. Don't let the plainness of the design put you off. No, Rin isn't decked out in a crazy outfit nor is she doing some acrobatic, floaty pose. Yet Max Factory has still worked an ample amount of detail into this sculpt. The figure looks and feels like an illustration, which is a testament to how meticulous Max Factory was in reproducing Tony's design. Her hair is especially impressive in terms of its definition. As expected with Max Factory, the paint and decal application are also top notch. Even the tiny lettering on her left bicep looks perfect under a macro lens. The one issue I have is that yellow, white, and black don't make for the most exciting color scheme. The only thing that breaks up this rather muted palette is the aqua color from her eyes. For the most part you'll get the typically excellent Max Factory build quality. The box is thick and sturdy. The figure itself has a subtle soft-touch coating on the exposed skin areas, lending a bit of realism. It's not a new practice by Max Factory but it's still uncommon. However there is one piece I have a big problem with: the base. It's too thin and feels much cheaper than the rest of the figure. It just doesn't inspire confidence in me at all, as I felt like I might break it just trying to put the figure on. This Rin is exactly the kind of figure Max Factory has always excelled at. It doesn't have an elaborate design, but the sculpt just packs in so much subtle detail that it looks almost alive - like it's a one-off piece sculpted just for you. I'm looking at my shelf of Max Factory figures and with a few splashy exceptions, most are like this. It's safe to say this Kagamine Rin is my favorite of the Tony Taka Vocaloids so far.
Max Factory Rin photo
Pop stars aren't usually this cute
We all know that Good Smile Company really, really loves making Hatsune Miku figures. The world just can't get enough Miku. But what about the other Vocaloids? Luckily Max Factory is throwing us a bone. Over the last few year...

Weta photo
Weta

SDCC 2016: Weta


More robots, please
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I kicked off my tour of Weta's exhibit with their 2017 Ghost in the Shell display. It contained a life-sized replica of an android that I'm assuming will appear in the film. It was reminiscent of the robots featured in Ghost ...
Gecco photo
Gecco

SDCC 2016: Gecco


Video game figures and zombie models
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
I wasn't expecting to see many Japanese manufacturers at SDCC due to WonFes, but Gecco was able to attend the show. They had flown under my radar until last year when they announced the Venom Snake and Quiet statues for Metal...
Yamato USA photo
Yamato USA

[NSFW] SDCC 2016: Yamato USA


Reimagining Greek mythology
Jul 27
// Tianxiao Ma
Yamato has long collaborated with fantasy artists and illustrators for their PVC and resin Fantasy Figure Gallery line. Since the last year they've been working on a series of figures inspired by Greek mythology, based on the...
Kotobukiya Kylo Ren photo
He stabbed first
Kotobukiya announced a new Kylo Ren figure at Friday's Star Wars collectibles panel, and shortly after it appeared in their booth. Although Koto has taken on Kylo Ren in the past, this one's the most dynamic yet. The figure i...

Kotobukiya photo
Kotobukiya

[Updated] SDCC 2016: Kotobukiya


Ikemen collection announced!
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
[Update: Added photos of the Fine Art Statue Vision] I always love seeing what Kotobukiya brings to SDCC. This year we had a few major announcements, so let's kick off with the biggest: they'll be starting a line called "Ikem...
DC Collectibles photo
DC Collectibles

SDCC 2016: DC Collectibles


Con of Justice
Jul 22
// Tianxiao Ma
With movie and TV universes to build, it's no surprise that DC featured Suicide Squad and their TV shows heavily in their merchandising. They'll be adding to their selection of articulated figures with characters from Arrow, ...
SDCC 2016 GSC photo
SDCC 2016 GSC

SDCC 2016: Good Smile Company


Nice figures tucked into a tiny booth
Jul 21
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company doesn't usually do Comic Con as WonFes is usually the same weekend. However it seems like they're starting to stake out some territory at SDCC. Their booth was pretty small and tucked away - not what you'd ...
Capcom Morrigan photo
Capcom Morrigan

Morrigan changes occupations in this new Capcom figure


Hope you don't need a shot though...
Jun 03
// Tianxiao Ma
Dark Stalkers' Morrigan Aensland has seen a few releases over the years, but I don't remember many wardrobe changes. I think since her main appeal is her sexiness, and her outfit already emphasizes that, there never was a nee...
Max Factory Link photo
Skyward Sword's Link is the latest entry
Good Smile Company's Wonderful Hobby Selection line is getting a new addition from Max Factory! This time it'll be The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's Link making the transition from artwork to PVC figure. Compared to some o...

WonFes Union Creative photo
WonFes Union Creative

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Union Creative


All of the boys
Feb 11
// Tianxiao Ma
Union Creative is a producer partnered with several toy makers, such as Sentinel and Kaiyodo. That means they usually bring a ton of figures to WonFes, so yay for us! While most manufacturers' figures have a decided bias towa...
WonFes GSC photo
WonFes GSC

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Good Smile Company part 1


I'm so sick of bunny outfits
Feb 09
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company's Wonderful Hobby Life For You display is like the all-you-can-eat buffet of Wonder Festival. By my quick internet research I estimate they have infinity figures. And I feel like half of that infinite numbe...
WonFes X-Plus photo
WonFes X-Plus

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: X-Plus


Dragon Ball Z, kaiju, and Harry Potter
Feb 09
// Tianxiao Ma
X-Plus hit WonFes with some big name properties. Right off the bat you have their Godzilla figures, sure to please you kaiju fans out there. If classic anime is more to your taste, they also showed a selection of Dragon Ball ...
WonFes Embrace Japan photo
WonFes Embrace Japan

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Embrace Japan/Milestone


Some great stuff for Street Fighter fans
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
Man, Embrace Japan has really put out some lovely designs as of late. They're looking to continue that roll with the Diabolus Angelite figure shown at WonFes. Fun fact: this line of original designs has been titled Black Arts...
WonFes Alphamax photo
WonFes Alphamax

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Alphamax


T2 Art Girls and... Transformers?
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
Alphamax is usually all about girls with clothes falling off their bodies. Well they took it to a literal extent this WonFes with some of the figures from their SkyTube label. I won't focus on the NSFW stuff but Amiami a...
WonFes Aquamarine photo
WonFes Aquamarine

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Aquamarine


Persona, Guilty Gear, and more
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
I don't have much experience with Aquamarine, but the photos from their booth caught my attention. If you're a gamer - particularly if you're into Japanese games - you might recognize the gals in the header image. I picked th...
WonFes Aoshima photo
WonFes Aoshima

Wonder Festival 2016 Winter: Aoshima


Going all-in on Kantai Collection
Feb 08
// Tianxiao Ma
It looks like more Kantai Collection stuff is coming from Aoshima, who showed off a few prototypes at Wonder Festival. The biggest crowd pleasers will probably be Shoukaku and her tsundere sister ship Zuikaku. Although it's t...
Kotobukiya Forte photo
Put that one in my wish list!
Kotobukiya has only made a handful of Rage of Bahamut figures. You can kind of understand why, because they're all elaborate and super gorgeous. The one that first caught my attention was Dark Angel Olivia, which feature...

Bishoujo Ed Scissorhands photo
Bishoujo Ed Scissorhands

Bishoujo Edward Scissorhands. Yes, this is a thing.


Merry Christmas, you filthy animals
Dec 26
// Andres Cerrato
Yes, I know what you are thinking based upon reading the headline. I know there's rumors for a sequel to Edward Scissorhands, but they can't go in that direction. Yes, it may have been Christmas and I may just have drank a we...
Buffaloman photo
Buffaloman

CCP Muscular Collection Buffaloman comes stampeding through


2 versions of the big guy!
Nov 04
// Soul Tsukino
One of the big men of Kinnikuman's intergalactic wrestling roster can now come home to you with the CCP Muscular Collection Buffaloman version 2.0. This pre-posed PVC figure comes in both regular and special orange colored fi...
Kinnikuman photo
Kinnikuman

Give your shelves lots of fighting spirit with Kinnikuman Super Phoenix


A new meaning of Strong Style
Oct 21
// Soul Tsukino
The rough and tumble world of Kinnikuman is filled with a lot of big, angry, intergalactic wrestlers, but they all pale in comparison to the being known as Kinniuman Super Phoenix. Now you can bring some of his all mighty wre...
Max Factory Atago photo
Max Factory Atago

Panpakapan! Check out Max Factory's Atago prototype


Beautiful, buxom, and blonde
Oct 17
// Tianxiao Ma
At the 55th All Japan Model Hobby Show, Max Factory put their next KanColle ship girl on display: the heavy cruiser Atago! This 1/8-scale figure is stunning, capturing Atago's lighthearted personality and beauty. I love the w...
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...
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...
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 ...
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'...
Bishoujo Tali photo
Hilariously un-Shunya
Artist Shunya Yamashita's trademarks are his cute feminine faces and voluptuous bodies. So if we have someone who's hooded, robed, and masked, it makes me wonder... why put the Bishoujo label on her at all? Indeed, Kotobukiya...

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. ...
GSC Orange Rouge photo
GSC Orange Rouge

Good Smile Company announces Orange Rouge, a brand for male figures


Spearheading the bishounen lineup
Jun 22
// Tianxiao Ma
Good Smile Company and Max Factory have announced a new brand dedicated to male figures called Orange Rouge (after the colors of their respective logos). The idea is basically the same as Altair is to Alter, except the GSC/Ma...
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...
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...

Embrace Japan Chun Li photo
Embrace Japan Chun Li

Embrace Japan's Chun-Li figure is ready to hit the streets


But where do her organs go?
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
Street Fighter is back in a big way, and Embrace Japan is celebrating that with the pre-order of their Chun-Li figure. I have to say, it's... weird. Although the header image isn't too bad, dig deeper through the product shot...
Broccoli Luxuria photo
Broccoli Luxuria

A lustful devil from Broccoli goes up for pre-order


From the card game Z/X
Jun 12
// Tianxiao Ma
This figure, featuring Luxuria from the card game Z/X - Zillions of Enemy X-, seems pretty derivative. What I mean is, this collaboration between Broccoli and Nippon Ichi seems to be transparently cashing in on a couple of fa...

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