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Author: Chag

Review: Chogokin Drossel von Flugel (Charming ver.)

They say lighting never strikes twice, but we all know that saying is full of crap, especially in the figure world. We keep buying the Tony Taka figures with their identical faces, we keep throwing our money at every iteration of Black Rock Shooter figmas, and we keep gobbling up the same familiar shapes of Nendoroids.  Indeed, change may very well be a dubious thing to bring into a successful formula, and this might’ve been the case with Drossel von Flügel from Fireball — the unlikely lovechild between Disney and Toei that took the figure world by storm three years ago.

While I loved the original figma Drossel, I wasn’t a big fan of Fireball‘s sense of humour. Thankfully, its prequel Fireball Charming relied less on puns and wordplay, and thus its sense of humour was more easily translated across language barriers. Its bolstered budget also made for some really nice art and animation — far beyond the quality of the first season.

Still, for whatever reason, the second season just didn’t seem to make that big of a splash, and the reception towards Drossel’s new design has been…lukewarm at best. I get the feeling a lot of people did not like how this robo-girl looks decidedly more “robo” and less “girl”, yet that’s pretty much exactly why I love the design so much (and people wonder why I’m single — hah!).

When the shoulder on my figma Drossel broke a couple months back, I figured I would replace it with the Fireball Charming version (henceforth known as Drossel 2.0). But as I browsed the stores, I noticed that Bandai’s Chogokin version was also in stock at discount prices. I was indecisive for a while, but when Amiami decided to discount it for 50% off, that was my cue to bust out the wallet. I could’ve gone for the safe choice and got the figma, but I figured I’d give Bandai’s long-running diecast mecha line a try, if only for the sake of trying something new. It has its share of surprises both good and bad, but ultimately I really enjoy it. Read more »

Show & Tell: Chag’s Room, Then & Now

Between Guild Wars 2, busy shifts at work, and clumsy attempts at home decoration, I haven’t felt like shooting photos of figures like I was supposed to this past week. So it’s time for another filler post, this time showing off my room from before the move and my room now. Without further ado, prepare for a critical mass of IKEA! Read more »

Tips & Tricks: Post-Processing Figure Photos

Have you missed my honey-sweet noise? I hope you have, because I’ve dusted off the YouTube channel and made a video tutorial on post-processing figure photos! It’s thirteen minutes of wisdom-laden autism on how to make your photos suck less. If you’ve never tried post-processing your photos before, you’ll be smacking yourself by the end of the video when you realize how easy it is and/or how much of a fucking hack I am. Enjoy! Read more »

Review: E2046 Gathering Elin Mystic

Once upon a time, a merry band of figure bloggers played a little game called The Exiled Realms of Arborea (TERA for short). The game played like a mix of Monster Hunter and God of War, which sets itself apart from most MMORPGs. It also has the trashiest designs for female characters I’ve ever seen in the video game, and I loved it for that. Seriously, when half of the game’s population is strutting around in skin-tight leather, skimpy dresses or thongs, it was easy to see why TERA appealed to me. As the intrepid Elin mystic “Babycakes”, I had loads of fun with our little guild (tastefully named “Night Shift Nurses”) for many dozens of hours.

But as time went on, the game became repetitive in more ways than one. Quests seldom went beyond the “kill X boars” or “harvest X items” model, boss mechanics were recycled, and the game even opted to reuse low-level armour models in the late stages of the game where progression was slow enough already. It also didn’t help that the mystic is the least damaging class in the game and all attempts to solo with my mystic felt like pulling teeth. The game started to feel like work to me, and without much in the way of end-game content to look forward to, I had to put it on hold indefinitely. I’m fairly confident that the game will eventually be free-to-play since it already has a pretty whorish cash shop, and when that time comes I’ll probably try it again.

Babycakes, leader of the Night Shift Nurses

But if nothing else, the game was pretty. Having played games on minimum settings all my life, I was far from a graphics whore, but when faced with the dazzling sights of TERA, I just had to drop a couple hundred bucks on a new CPU purely for the sake of playing the game on high settings. It was hard not to be mesmerized by the game’s graphics, which was pretty much like pouring sweet honey right into my eye sockets. Being the figure collector that I am, I wanted a piece of TERA in my display cabinet, and there was one garage kit from Cerberus Project. Of course, I can’t paint anything to save my own life, but that was where E2046 came in.

To put it bluntly, E2046 is a bootleg figure business. They take original garage kits sold by the artists, make new molds from those, and make recast resin garage kits, some of which (like their Gathering line) are pre-painted. As luck would have it, Cerberus Project’s Elin was amongst the selection of pre-painted garage kit figures being offered. Still a little unsure, I asked Ash if he thinks the garage kit would eventually get a PVC release, and when he said the chances were “piss nill”, that was the end of that. The figure even depicts the mystic class, which just so happened to be my main character! I had to get it.

Of course, little did I know that Yamato would eventually announce a PVC version of the same garage kit at summer WonFes 2012 — THANKS ASH! Read more »

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