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Monthly Archives: May 2010

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Weekly Highlights: May 30

First and foremost, allow me to say: it’s great to be back. There won’t be a *real* update this weekend as I’ll be running around Anime North tomorrow while chugging some industrial-strength energy drinks, but I’ll get on that as quickly as time would allow. Oh how I’ve missed the blog! If only one could give hugs to web pages!

Moving onto the new weekly rant itself: Ashlotte and I tried a dialogue format for this week, and I find this method a lot more fun to write (and I think the same is true for Ashlotte as well). However, because I’ve been moving around for the latter part of this week and Ashlotte has been caught up with real life business, this installment of Weekly Highlights is sadly only limited to one figure. Personally, I think since Ashlotte and I are both giant Evangelion fans, this rant got a little out of control due to our collective excitement… But hey, you are the ones who’s taking the pain (hopefully =P) to read it, so tell us what you think! Without further ado, brace yourselves…

ALTER’s 1/8 Asuka Langley Shikinami Plus Suit Test Type Ver.

Chag: Whoa whoa WHOA? Surprise EVA figure announcement to coincide with the second movie’s DVD/BD release? By ALTER? I think I just snorted brains out of my nose.

As much as I want to jump at this preorder like a starving cheetah on a baby gazelle, this is the test plug suit version, which means this is not the Asuka that I’ve come to adore years ago. I hear that Asuka has been reduced to a fan service side character in the new movies, and though I’ve yet to see the actual movie itself (waiting to come back and watch it on the big TV), her new rather revealing plug suit seems to be consistent with that speculation. But honestly, even if that is true, I’m not sure whether I can resist a new ALTER-made Asuka at a reasonable price.

Ashlotte: No sooner had I finished watching the movie then ALTER slaps us upside the head with this surprise treat! Pretty much a stroke of marketing genius with that timing especially seeing as Koto has merely been teasing us lately with unpainted photos of their take on Asuka’s new suit.

Once the pure shock of it wears off though you can easily tell this is ALTER quality through and through. The paint job is absurdly well done, the base is incredible, the pose is alluring, and the sculpting details with the small wrinkles in her suit is just amazing. Nice one ALTER…As a Asuka fan I’m one happy S.O.B. at the moment! ^_^

Chag: So, Kotobukiya or ALTER? This is probably a really unfair comparison, But let’s say that Kotobukiya’s 1/6 Asuka is around the same price as ALTER’s 1/8, and that the Koto version has the typical level of detail and QC from that maker. Personally, it would be a really close call for me. I like big figures, and I prefer Koto’s pose slightly over ALTER’s — I mean, if you’re going to have a translucent plug suit, might as well show off the goods, right? But on the other hand, those detailed wrinkles and folds on ALTER’s Asuka really speak to the latex fetishes sealed within. Hmmmm… I think I’d go with ALTER in the end, since they’re more reliable.

Ashlotte: While its true Koto can be unreliable with its finished product in the case of their Evangelion stuff though their pretty much consistent, especially with the 1/6th Plugsuits series as the just released Mari shows so I wouldn’t worry too much in that area. That said, being one of those "Latex fetishists" I’d probably go with the ALTER one…The pose may not be as blatantly sexual from the front, but the rear view is damn nice on ALTER’s version with the way her body contorts and shows off all the curve hugging eye candy the new suit has to offer. As someone whose main display area allows for viewing figures both front and back this is a big bonus for me.

And then of course theirs that base! I do like Koto’s face sculpt quite a bit more though…Smiling Asuka always wierded me out ever so slightly on figures because you always knew when she smiled in the Anime it was generally fake.

Chag: Oh my, you totally tapped into my next point. I wish someone would release a mass-produced figure of Asuka wearing a tragic expression, because that’s the essence of the character that I loved from the original. Thankfully, ALTER Asuka’s smile isn’t that totally fake looking >:D face that’s been done to death, at least.

Ashlotte: Ah, there has always been a certain degree of disconnect between "Eva the Anime" and "Eva the merchandise". The idea of merchandising such an eclectic and depressing show like Eva in the first place is a somewhat odd idea so I guess the aforementioned result was inevitable, but yea, happy shiny smiling Eva girls seems to be the standard. There are a scant few Asuka’s that have a more appropriate expression, but none of them have her in her plug suit.

Chag: Eva marketing is ironic, because a part of End of Evangelion’s message is "don’t seek refuge in fantasy, face reality" — an anti-otaku moral. Yet the Evangelion franchise is one of the most lucrative otaku-milking machines out there. Does buying Eva otaku merchandise imply that I’ve ignored the message of the franchise and therefore not a real fan? Oh well, all I know is that I’m not going to complain about a great looking Asuka figure after having waited for so long. I sure hope Asuka in the new movies does not disappoint, because I really, really want a piece of these new Asuka figures. There’s the Max Factory 1/6th scale Asuka that’s yet to be revealed to watch out for, and I hope they reveal at least a prototype of that soon, because if not, my preorder money is going to fly at ALTER’s direction.

Ashlotte: Well, while we may have happened upon an interesting point, I think perhaps it’s beyond the scope of this mere article for now. In the end, me being the wierdo I am who prioritizes figures over food, I’ll be getting both Koto’s and Alters renditions of her just as I already ordered the Bandai and Wave version already. ~_^

Chag: !?!?

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Weekly Highlights: May 23

Greetings all and welcome to the innagural Weekly highlights here at Hobby Hovel!

Basically like the title suggests, this will be an on-going weekly thing to round-up the weeks figure announcements be it static figures, toys, and plamo kits. Chag and I will weigh in on these new preorders and leave behind our rusty two cents. In the coming weeks we’ll try and refine this to make it a bit more stimulating and fun, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy it!

Figures

1/8 Kurisu Makise [Kotobukiya]


Ashlotte: Koto pulled a fast one on us with this one by giving us barely any hype about her, which is a shame since she’s one of their most compelling figures yet. The intricate base, spot-on face, and excellent sculpting job in the promo shots are definitely a step-up from their usual fare. But as always with Koto, the question of whether they can get it right with the final product still remains. But if the recently released Shining Wind figures are a sign of where Koto is headed, I’m all for it!

Chag: Looks like Kotobukiya has learned that in order to stay competitive in the eyes of figure collectors, they’ve got to spice up their figures — and a spicy figure this is. Judging from the promo shots, the painting on this figure looks fabulous. The coat has a palpably soft feel, while the rust on the fancy gear-shaped display base looks very convincing as well. At last but not least, those hypnotic eyes (which reminds me of GSC’s Black Rock Shooter) complete the haunting look of the figure. This 1/8 scale figure is priced at 7800 yen, which is higher than what Kotobukiya usually asks… Can this be interpreted as a commitment to quality? Time will tell…

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Review: 1/7 Claudette "Lord of Thundercloud"

“Listen to some appropriately Epic Music for full effect”

Hola one and all from the tourist trap of the Americas!

Ah in any case it appears that while Chags is searching for my souvenir (No bootlegs though…Well if its a nice bootleg…) I’ve been left behind to entertain yall…Oh what a poor decision maker you are Chags. Me being the perv that I am of course the first thing I shall review on this fine upstanding site is a lovely half-naked warrior goddess who most easily becomes a topless warrior goddess!

“Dem Abs!”

Well then in any case he’s already gotten my intro out of the way earlier thankfully so hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this fluff piece as much as I enjoyed writing it eh!

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Hiatus & Announcement, with a Side of Reflection

Hiatus – now there’s a word that I never want to punch out, but alas, starting Saturday I’ll be embarking on a three-week trip to visit my relatives in China. As some of you may know, China is not only known for its ancient wonder, the Great Wall, but also its modern wonder – the Great Firewall of China. Cyber-Mongolians such Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, and Flickr are currently repelled by the glorious mother nation’s mighty defences, and this effectively throws a rocket-propelled brick into any hopes of my maintaining the site over the duration of the trip. I’ll be back on the night of the 29th, just in time to drag my jetlagged carcass over for the last day of Anime North. If you don’t hear from me after that, assume that I have perished in a hall full of “costumed freaks”.

Thankfully, I also have good news for you today: Ashlotte has joined the Hobby Hovel crew! Users of MyFigureCollection are likely to be familiar with spiffy reviews and friendly comments. Needless to say, I am bursting at the seams with excitement – not only is Ashlotte a very capable reviewer and a great friend, but I have also recently run out of bishoujo figures to review. His arrival effectively prevents the site from descending into a mecha-saturated sausagefest. Hurrah for Ashlotte! Look forward to his review of the Griffon Claudette in the coming weeks.

Anyhow, as thrilled as I am to revisit the place I grew up in, being away from my baby for three weeks is going to be slightly awkward. It has been more than half a year since the Hobby Hovel came into being, and when I look through the now nicely populated review archives, I really do feel a sense of accomplishment not unlike the completion of a model. Of course, unlike a model kit, Hobby Hovel has the potential to continually grow almost like a living creature – a baby, perhaps? It’s a good thing this overgrown infant is resilient enough to withstand a little neglect, hehehe.

That last six months or so have been immensely rewarding, writer’s blocks and busy weeks notwithstanding. I’d like to thank my father (on the off chance that he’s reading this) for his tolerance of this hobby and his invaluable help with my photography, my dear friend Alicia for her continued support as a reader and layout designer, Jianyan and Molly for their generous contributions of content, Ashlotte for his commitment to expand the future of the site, as well as all the readers out there who give our work a layer of meaning beyond the self-indulgence of creation – thank you all!

Until we meet again~