Chag: So Ash, do you ever find yourself suddenly wanting to get a certain figure after writing one of these rants?

Ashlotte: Not really…Honestly writing these has saved me money if anything else as bantering with you has talked me out of quite a few things. Why, having second thoughts about something?

Chag: Oh yeah, we did tear apart quite a few figure in the last few months. But at the same time, there have been plenty of great figures. Writing these things forces you to look at the promo pictures with greater scrutiny. And whereas I would normally dismiss a figure due to the character, I find myself being swayed by the charms of a figure that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if I’m either absolutely loaded or completely indiscriminate with money. But alas, enough about that, and let’s get to another round of window shopping!

Source of header images: 1, 2, 3, 4

1/10 Racing Miku 2010

Scale: 1/8 Origin: Vocaloid/Good Smile Racing
Maker: Good Smile Company Sculptor: Ishinaga Sakurako
Retail Price: ¥7,800 Release: May 2011

Chag: I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s pleasantly surprised by this. Hurrah for GSC for not making her a GoodSmile Racing exclusive! Now if only Alter and Hobby Japan would let go of this exclusivity business with their Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls figures. Psst, there are plenty of dirty foreigners who wants to give you money!

It feels like a long time has passed since we’ve seen a Miku figure, despite the fact that the Tony Taka version went up for pre-order only a few of months ago, and man am I glad to see those twin tails again. Redjuice’s distinctive art style translated to the 3D realm pretty well. This has to be the liveliest-looking Miku to date, and I can’t get enough of her white choppers. The only thing I’m a little iffy on is the inconspicuousness of her nose — it’s barely there! Miku’s face is looking a little flat without it, though i admit there is also a certain quirky charm to it as well.

Despite not being a racing fan, the design of her outfit is mercilessly tickling my weak points. Thigh-highs? Check. Bum-hugging short-shorts? Check. Bare shoulders? Check. Fancy headsets? Check. The metal heels are kind of an eyesore for me since they seem a little out of place in the design, but hey, when she’s got so many good points all around, who’s looking at her feet?

Ashlotte: Hey I look at feet! Or more specifically shoes…but yea, the heels are one of the reasons I sort of dislike the figure. Don’t get me wrong: I adore Redjuice and this figure captured his art extremely well, but when you’re talking about something worth buying versus just a nice pretty picture to gawk it, my opinion starts to turn…

She may not technically be dressed as a race queen now, but she still has that eyecandy feel to her, like an idol that was made to dress up and play a part for a promotional photo shoot. I find myself wishing she looked more like a proper pit crew member with some good old dirt and grime on her instead of this prettied up picture of perfection (Wrench Wenches are hot, ok?!!!). Ah well…

The colors are still gorgeous and she has a lot of personality to boot, though she’s just not really my cup of tea.

Chag: But if she were dressed up as a proper pit crew, the only way to identify her from the rest of the wheel-toting schmoes would be a pair of green pittails poking out of her helmet. Actually, wouldn’t that be considered a safety risk as well? What if it gets caught onto car somewhere? Between a fanciful race queen look and a realistic NO FUN ALLOWED appearance, I’d take my dolled-up Miku any day.

…Though I have to admit, a figure of a slightly dirty Miku (or of any other character) would be interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a figure with that kind of effect. Methinks there would be some fun potential in that.

1/4 Revy (Cowgirl Ver.)

Scale: 1/4 Origin: Black Lagoon
Maker: A-Label Sculptor: ?
Retail Price: ¥11,800 Release: April 2011

Chag: I must admit: I never found Revy very attractive. Sure, she’s always wearing hot pants and she has the curves to pull it off, but there are a bunch of things going against her. She’s got a personality as coarse as sandpaper, she’s probably give you a black eye on a bad day, and in all likelihood, she probably doesn’t smell all that good – between the chain-smoking, heavy-drinking, liberal use of gunpowder and the tropical climate of Thailand, she’d probably be a walking biological weapon in real life. Thankfully, the sense of smell has yet to be integrated to entertainment media, but the impression nevertheless sticks with me.

Yet, for A-Label’s Revy, I think the appeal lies in the character’s unique image. There’s no pretence of being coy in Revy’s wide squat. With a cigarette sticking out of her wide grin, she seems to be having a lot of fun as a “bad girl”, which I can get behind. Though she’s wearing silly (but sexy) outfit, this figure is brimming with Revy’s raunchy personality, which makes her a pretty unique figure. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is subjective, but personally, I think A-Label did a great job with her.

Oh, speaking of unique, Revy’s mighty 1/4 scale is also a head-turner for me. If that number isn’t a blatant lie, then you’d be getting a lot of plastic for the 11800 yen. Not that I’d ever have the room to display her, of course.

Ashlotte: I’m with you on this one: I never found Revy to be attractive in the slightest, but A-Label gave her a more appealing face then her anime/manga depictions, although I could see it irritating purists.

But what to think of this, eh? A cheap 1/4th scale from a company that has up until recently has very few figures of questionable quality…that sorta thing raises all kinds of red flags. And yet I can’t really bring myself to hate this figure. I’d go so far as to say if I like Revy in the slightest I’d have ordered this!

You can obviously tell though from the paint job on her clothes where that low price is coming from, but they did well on her skin tones. Besides, the pose is awesome, so unless her production version is a horrible downgrade she looks like she’d be money well spent.

Honestly, I’m amazed that a certain exceedingly talented pervert hasn’t ordered this one, as I’d love to see a nice shoot of her if she turns out well… =P

1/7 Tohsaka Rin (Unlimited Blade Works Movie Ver.)

Scale: 1/7 Origin: Fate/Stay Night
Maker: Good Smile Company Sculptor: Yokota Ken
Retail Price: ¥8,391 Release: May 2011

Chag: I don’t think we’ve ever had an entry talking about a Tohsaka Rin figure, yet it feels as though we’ve been ranting about this particular lady for a very long time. Now that she’s officially announced, priced and dated, what do you think?

Ashlotte: Meh, we’ve talked about her in one of the event overview articles and god knows I’ve mouthed off about her everywhere on the Internet for some time now, so really isn’t much of a stretch to say we’ve been talking about her for a while…

My opinion really hasn’t changed much, as I’m just not a fan of the figure. The illustration works on paper as a movie poste, but it’s not the image of Rin that I prefer in any case. The whole pretentious “epic” feel of it does nothing for me other than illicit a groan. Rin has charms of her own and doesn’t need to try and beat Saber at her own game. It would be be nice if Alter took a crack at a Rin figure (Please god SOMEONE make a decent figure of Rin in her school uniform and overcoat…please… T_T).

Chag: Hmmm, I don’t completely dislike the “epic” feel of this figure. Rin’s hair may be a little overwrought, but that’s what makes it look so fantastic to me. What I do have problem with is Rin’s pose, which doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. I think the figure would’ve turned out better if both of her feet are grounded, but as it stands, I can’t get too excited of a figure with a pose that doesn’t come off as natural to me.

By the way, have you seen the prototypes of those Alter figures? Sorry to break it to you, but Rin is going to be wearing summer clothes. On the bright side, the Saber/Rin duo sure is looking promising in those shots. What say you, yay or nay?

Ashlotte: Bah I really am tired…I had completely forgotten about those coming out… *fail*

Prototypes already, eh? Let’s see… Well, other than the fact that the shots are fail (probably because they clearly have a no photography sign in the front, so whoever took them did it on the sly), she looks rather fantastic and unless something goes horribly wrong I could see myself ordering that one easily!

I still want my long-coat Rin though…

1/8 Uiharu Kazari

Scale: 1/8 Origin: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Maker: Kotobukiya Sculptor: Kojima Shou
Retail Price: ¥6,300 Release: April 2011

Ashlotte: Do you ever have that feeling when two companies make the same character and you just wish you could mash the two together to balance out each other’s faults? Yea that’s how I feel about Uiharu.

This Kotobukiya version has the pose and feel that truly suits the character, while Alter’s verion has the proper face and great quality. Oh if only you could combine the best of both… *sigh*

Chag: After finally having watched Railgun, I finally understand what Alter’s Saten and Uiharu is doing. While I don’t care much for the skirt-flipping gags of the show, it does bring out the personalities of both character quite well, especially Uiharu. To me, her main appeal in the show is her flustered reactions. What else is she good for? If I want to see HARDCORE INTERNET SEARCHING, I’ll just record myself frantically searching for sauce of a certain doujinshi or something.

Kotobukiya’s Uiharu is kind of a disaster in itself, and when compared to Alter’s rendition, it simply gets blown out of the water. Between the over-sized hair/head and the boring pose, it seems that Kotobukiya has yet to snap out of the legacy of its cockmongler Misaka. Their Saten looks a lot better, though, but once again, it’s not quite up to snuff. Kotobukiya is like a normal child in a family of overachieving siblings — there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just that the likes of Alter and GSC goes out of their way to be extravagant, and when the factor of price is often disregarded in favour of quality, I can’t help but to feel a little sorry for the underdog.

Ashlotte: Meh I’d grant you the skirt thing if it actually looked like that’s what’s going on. Instread of Uiharu truly embarrassed like she does in the show, she looks more like an uncertain girl trying to do a Marilyn Monroe impression then being genuinely flustered about receiving another dreaded skirt flipping. >_<

And how can you not like the Koto pose…Nerdy girls are hot (Yes I have a lot of fetishes…SUE ME!!!)! The whole computer thing is like a 21st century version of the old librarian girl standby (Yes I’ve been watching TWoGK lately.)!

Chag: Yeah, you’re right, Alter’s solution seems like a compromise. It still beats out the Kotobukiya version, though — at least that has some personality, as half-baked as it may be.

Nerdy girl fetish? Pffft, it’s a girl with a laptop! You’re talking to a guy who sees chicks with laptops on campus every day. Maybe if she’s wearing a pair of ridiculous glasses, I’d buy in to the “nerd girl” appeal. But as it stands right now? Nope. =P

Ashlotte: Hah half-baked…Yea, that’s what a lot of figures are these days, which is one of the reasons I took a liking to that Revy figure up there, considering they actually bothered to give her some personality.

In any case she doesn’t have to have glasses…But I’ll remember to take my vacation in Canada if you have all the nice coeds up there apparently…All I see is old ladies during the day and half naked waitress/club girls/strippers at night…ugh…