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9:00 AM on 07.22.2014

Ready your weapons and wallets to pre-order Kotobukiya's Rikka

I was very excited after Kotobukiya showed off their prototype for Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!'s Rikka Takanashi, and now the final painted version has showed up that excitement hasn't diminished one bit. In fact, col...

Martin Siggers

Kotobukiya's Sinon hits the target for pre-orders photo
Kotobukiya's Sinon hits the target for pre-orders
by Martin Siggers

Kotobukiya pretty quickly carved out a reputation as the go to manufacturer for Sword Art Online figures, what with their spectacular renditions of Asuna and Leafa. Now that the second series of the anime is starting up they're back in the game, this time with a figure of cool calm sniper girl Sinon from the currently airing Gun Gale Online arc. 

Sinon looks great as you'd expect and Kotobukiya have done a good job of reproducing her distinctive outfit. I love the crisp white stripes and black piping, and there's plenty of detail to be found on her weapon. The ejecting cartridge and accompanying smoke trail effect in particular are wonderful touches. I've got a big problem with the rather inexplicable pose though. Is she falling? Diving? Did she just trip? It's disappointingly static and I'd have liked a look which made much more explicit if this was an action pose or just something more casual.

That aside, people love the ladies of Sword Art Online so I'm sure there'll be plenty of fans chomping at the bit to get their hands on her. Sinon is available to order now for what's fast becoming the standard high-end figure price of ¥9,800. She's due out in December, so hit the links if you feel like bringing a deadly assassin home.

[ Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | CD Japan | Big in Japan ]

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7:00 PM on 07.15.2014

Underwear must be a foreign concept to Wing's Chachamaru Ashikaga

You see, it's not that she isn't wearing underwear (well, her top can be cast off). It's just how poorly she's wearing it - oh my... Anyway, this is Wing's Chachamaru Ahikaga, a character from the visual novel Full Metal...

Tianxiao Ma

6:00 PM on 07.15.2014

Max Factory shows they understand swimsuit figures with Misty

Max Factory has shown a proclivity for making figures of sexy ladies recently, and this swimsuit version of Misty from Shining Hearts has caught my eye. I find most swimsuit figures to be boring, but this one appeals to ...

Tianxiao Ma

Start the fireworks, the rest of Koto's Jubilee has been revealed photo
Start the fireworks, the rest of Koto's Jubilee has been revealed
by Scarecroodle

Kotobukiya has unveiled the full prototype for its upcoming Marvel Bishoujo Jubilee. The sculpting (which still subject to great) looks surprisingly great and I find that I absolutely love the design... which is why I'm not looking forward to seeing it painted because things can only go downhill from here. Granted, if Kotobukiya could make the pose work then perhaps there's hope for the paint as well.

The one point of interest is that the statue doesn't seem to have any special effects. The Shunya artwork depicted an overly stylized version of Jubilee's energy plasmoids and I would have assumed we might see something similar in the finished product since they've done the same for other characters. It's possible that the piece is being sculpted separately because it will likely be removable.

Casual X-Men fans will best remember Jubilee from X-Men: The Animated Series where the character had a starring role (yet received no action figure in the associated toy line despite having the potential for a great light-up gimmick). She would go on to have a very minor place in X-Men Evolution (where, due to differences in design, it didn't really even look like Jubilee) and was featured in some deleted scenes in the films. Jubilee seems to be frequently cut in favor of Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat, formerly Sprite) who serves a similar function as a teen/rookie member and features a power that offers more diversity to the team (although both have powers known for shorting or damaging electrical instruments).

In the comics, Jubilee has often served as Wolverine's "Robin" (more literally used in Amalgam, where she became the character known as Sparrow and served as a sidekick to Dark Claw (a fusion of Wolverine and Batman)).

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Walk on water to these Aircraft Carrier Wo-Class pre-orders photo
Walk on water to these Aircraft Carrier Wo-Class pre-orders
by Martin Siggers

Aircraft Carrier Wo-Class is without a doubt one of the most striking designs from Kantai Collection and in fact one of the most striking character designs we've seen in quite a while period. Whereas most of her compatriots adopt the standard 'cute girls, cute outfits' ethos, Wo-Class looks more like something out of War of the Worlds than something you'd put on a hug pillow. That's cool by me.

Good Smile Company have already announced a Nendoroid and a Dekacchu of Wo-Class as Wonder Festival exclusives, but they've now gone ahead with and put up orders for a stunning 1/8 scale version too. It's a great rendition of her very alien black and white look, lavished with the traditional GSC attention to detail and some particularly tasty shading. Not only is that gigantic hat removable but she comes with three tiny 'airships' to display alongside her, not to mention that great looking water base.

It's absolutely the first KanColle figure I feel genuine interest in owning, but I'd need deeper pockets than I currently have, as Wo-Class is listed at a sizable ¥12,778. That's not unreasonable given the complexity and quality of the figure, but it's definitely outside impulse buy territory. If you aren't dissuaded, hit the links below and you'll see her come sailing in in February 2015(!).

[ Pre-order at Hobby Search | AmiAmi | CD Japan | Big in Japan | Good Smile Online Shop (with bonus poster) ]

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12:00 PM on 07.10.2014

Megahouse's Space Dandy and Honey are up for pre-order baby

OK, it might not be as delightfully continuity-baiting as Be@rbrick Dandy, but there's good news for Space Dandy fans who prefer their figures a little more traditionally styled. After popping up at MegaHobby Expo a few ...

Martin Siggers

9:30 PM on 07.07.2014

Anime Expo 2014: Good Smile Company's booth

[Update: Added images for revolmini Solid Snake] You can always count on Good Smile Company to bring something cool to an anime convention. Going by Natalie's coverage of their booth, it looks like they didn't disappoint this...

Tianxiao Ma

All You Need is Love with Kyoto Animation's Shinka Nibutani photo
All You Need is Love with Kyoto Animation's Shinka Nibutani
by Martin Siggers

It's a good time to be a fan of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, what with Kotobukiya and Amakuni both recently unveiling figures from the series. Now Kyoto Animation, the studio responsible for making the show in the first place, is back with another addition to their own range. This time it's the seemingly-perfect Shinka Nibutani who's hitting the store.

After excellent figures of Rikka and Dekomori, Nibutani doesn't disappoint either. As with Dekomori, KyoAni have skipped the rather rote school uniform in favour of the fetching and fanservice-y cheerleader look. The sculptors have taken full advantage with an energetic jumping pose and pom-poms. Perhaps the most eye catching thing about the whole figure is the gigantic LOVE base, which both holds Nibutani in the air and provides a suitable backdrop for her.

Overall she's a fantastic looker and perhaps the best Chuunibyou figure yet. As ever though, there's a catch. Like all of KyoAni's figures she's exclusive to their online shop, so you'll need to have your favourite proxy on standby. Then there's the price, a sizable ¥12,000. Still, you're getting quite a figure for the money. I know I'm still tempted, anyone else?

[ Pre-order at Kyoto Animation Online Shop (proxy needed) | Nippon-Yasan ]

[ via Kyoto Animation ]

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Kotobukiya's Mikasa means business in Amiami's preview photo
Kotobukiya's Mikasa means business in Amiami's preview
by Tianxiao Ma

I've been impressed by what I've seen of Kotobukiya's Mikasa figure so far. Amiami recently uploaded a preview gallery, and their shots made me feel even better about the figure.

In the gallery you can get a great look at the shading on her cloak, the sculpt on her uniform, and of course her maneuver gear. Every thing looks good so far, though I did notice that from some angles Mikasa looks a little less graceful. From the side, it looks like she's in full-on titan killing mode. From the front and back, it kind of looks like she's stumbling. It's only natural; tree branches are hard to balance on after all.

Pre-orders are still open for Mikasa so if you missed out on (or don't want, for whatever reason) Good Smile Company's version, you can still pick this one up.

[via Amiami Blog]

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6:30 PM on 06.26.2014

All quartets will lead to this new Ao figure from Kotobukiya

Yozakura Quartet has had a pretty stellar reputation in the manga world for quite some time, and the recent Hana no Uta anime adaptation charmed the socks off of me, so I'm pretty pleased to see Kotobukiya step up t...

Martin Siggers

Tomopop Review: FREEing's μ-12 photo
Tomopop Review: FREEing's μ-12
by Chris Seto

In a relatively short space of time, FREEing have established themselves as a solid middle ground manufacturer of figures. They may not be able to match the big boys like Alter, Kotobukiya or their parent, GoodSmile Company, but they have shown the ability to punch above their weight on previous occasions.

Unfortunately, one thing they do lack is consistency. While some of their releases are solid entries, we've also had a fair few duds from them as well. Ones which come to mind are their Blazblue releases. They have already released figures for Rachel Alucard and Makoto Nanaya and they were... how should we say, poor. Rachel came off as emotionless rather than melancholic and as for Makoto... I'll let our Tomopop review spell things out for you.

Then FREEing decided to step into the fray once more for a third release from the Blazblue series and they decided to hit a bit close to home for this reviewer by choosing μ-12 as the subject. Will it suck like the previous releases, or might they actually get it right on the third try? Only one way to find out...

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