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Author: Chag

Weekly Highlights SPECIAL: WonFes Summer 2010

Chag: Oh Wonder Festival, you are just like Christmas for us figure fans… Except we have to wait on the presents at first… then pay big sacks of money for them when they do come out…

…Okay, maybe WonFes isn’t really like Christmas, but it certainly does share that sweet buzz of excitement that is commonly associated with the holiday season. This year’s summer WonFes convention is no exception, and with truckload of announcements from the various figure makers, let’s get started, Ash!

(Credits for the photos belong to アキバHOBBY, HobbyStock, Dengeki online, 武士ノ末路, GF団, けしからん写真情報館, moeyo, Seaside Tears 2, GA graphic, and most of all, Neko-Magic for compiling these photos into convinent megaupload archives! Thanks GGT2!)

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Weekly Highlights: Armchair Figure Marketing

Chag: I’ve been banging my head against the commenting system this last week. After much deliberation between the status quo, switching to self-hosted wordpress, and switching commenting services. I decided to switch to Disqus. Hopefully this solves the problem of comment length limitations that’s been plaguing the site. These guys seem to have a strong customer service and stronger conviction in addressing complaints than the IntenseDebate team.

You might have noticed that all the comments made on posts from last December to the present have vanished. This is due to recent change to the IntenseDebate export file, which means the Disqus guys have to change their importer as well. They did answer my questions within a day (both over their support site and proactively over twitter after I mentioned Disqus in a tweet). Maybe I’m being foolhardy by placing my trust in them, but I have a feeling that the Disqus team will update their importer soon, at which time the currently missing comments will return. As for now, I hope you’ll enjoy the new system’s potential in fostering conversations between us! =)

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Review: Figma Saber Alter

Figma Saber Alter-0433

This week sure has been full of unexpected things for me. I didn’t expect the announcement of a Bear Acguy, I didn’t expect to see a Kotobukiya Mayoi pop up out of nowhere, and I certainly didn’t expect the Figma Saber Alter to arrive in a mere 10 days via SAL from Amiami. Of course, this means that I didn’t expect to write back-to-back Figma Saber reviews either, but perhaps the most unexpected thing this week was the fact that I like the Figma Saber Alter – really like it, in fact!

If you’ve read my Figma Saber (Armor Ver.) review last week, you’re probably wondering why in the world I bought this figure in the first place after my big stink against it. The reason is simple: I love Saber Alter – possibly more so than her uncorrupted counterpart. Her chilling aura, reserved attitude and unrestrained ferocity rest on a fine balance against the sense of duty and adorable traits of the original. Besides, I’ve always had a soft spot for antagonists because they often serve as foil to the protagonists. This often is a very good thing, since many anime protagonists are full of antiheroic characteristics, are young, and/or have a Jesus complex. By contrast, a good antagonist can be mature, in possession of admirable traits (charisma, leadership, experience/skill, etc), while at the same time avoiding the pitfall of being preachy or cheesy. Just look at Mobile Suit Gundam, for example: sure, Amuro Ray is the protagonist, but given the choice of having to spend a night in the bedroom of Amuro and Char, who would you pick?

Of course, there’s a number of Saber Alter figures out there, the most appealing of which (for me, at least) is the upcoming 1/7th scale GSC figure. But as for me, I don’t think there’s any character out there I love enough to buy two ~9,800 yen figures of (Miku was pushing it and only got away with two figures from me due to the fancy wall-hanging gimmick of the “World is Mine” version). So, for a Saber Alter fan like me who already invested a handful in the GSC Saber Lily figure, the only choices were to either pawn off Lily and replace her with the upcoming Alter, or just settle with a Figma Saber Alter. I considered both options, but decided against giving Lily the axe, partly due to the hassle of selling and partly due to my preference for her silly but visually pleasing outfit (even though it has no place in the canon). So, a few fits of hesitation later, Saber Alter arrived speedily to my doorstep and I’m happy to say that Max Factory has learned many lessons from the original Saber and applied them here.

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Weekly Highlights: A Tale of Two Fates

Chag: Well, I hope you’re in a patient mood this week, because Ash and I kind of went nuts with this week’s rant. There will be hate, there will be drama, there will be bricks upon bricks of text, and there may even be a little blood – it all begins after the jump!

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