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Author: Chag

Review: Figma Drossel

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There are times when a toy explodes into popularity by riding off the the momentum of the series from which it came from. There are other times when the toy finds success by virtue of its design and aesthetics. The subject of the review — Max Factory’s Figma Drossel — is an exemplary case of the latter.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Fireball was ever significantly popular amongst audiences. It is a 13-episode series of CGI shorts produced by Disney and Toei featuring Drossel, a sassy robotic duchess, and Gedächtnis, her hulking quadruped robot servant. The series is quite surreal, full of loopy dialogue chock-full of strange references and puzzling puns, while the setting is always a giant room within Drossel’s manor. I cannot speak for the Japanese anime community, but asides from the initial remarks on Drossel’s striking similarity to another certain pigtailed gynoid, Fireball received little attention in the English-speaking anime community.

Of course, with the announcement of Drossel’s Figma treatment, there was a boom of interest. Regardless of whatever reaction (or lack thereof) Fireball received, toy collectors were quickly captivated by the initial promo shots of the Drossel Figma. Not only did the character’s sleek design and striking blue eyes catch the attention of collectors, Drossel marked a rare departure from the Figma line’s often criticized tendency to release only schoolgirl variants. Thus, for the first time even strict fans of the Revoltech line of robot action figures were taking interest in Figma.

As the result, the rabid demand for this toy caused the initial release to slip through my fingers while I was still contemplating the purchase. Thankfully, indecisiveness did not afflict me a second time as I quickly secured a preorder of the initial re-release, which was also quickly gobbled up. When Drossel finally arrived at my doorstep around two weeks later, I had the pleasure of being able to discover the source of the toy’s burgeoning popularity — a pleasure I intend to share with you. Read more »

New Layout

“Santa Claus exists, and she is a design student.”
Christmas came early this year as no amount of prior warning could have braced me for the surprise that overtook me this morning. Endless thanks to my dear friend Alicia for burning the midnight oil in order to make this happen!

Review: 1/8 Hatsune Miku

To many strangers, the lucrative Vocaloid scene in the Japanese internet community probably seems incomprehensible. To them, a sold-out concert of 25,000 featuring a virtual idol with a strange and often emotionless synthesized voice is nothing short of bizarre. To this puzzling fandom I can offer you with no clear explanation. Like various other memes, the Vocaloid 2 series – beginning with Hatsune Miku – just exploded onto the scene out of nowhere. Supported by a host of talented illustrators, musicians and composers, Hatsune Miku is not only a legitimate music idol with a portfolio of albums being sold, but also the icon of a vast wave of merchandising.

The company who tapped into the Vocaloid goldmine with the most success is undoubtedly Good Smile Company. The nendoroid and figma incarnations of Miku has flew off the shelves in its initial release and even its re-releases. Similarly, the 1/8 scale version of Miku was also met with considerable success from the meteoric Vocaloid hypewagon, and as I will argue in this review, it is a success well-deserved. Read more »

Review: HGUC Acguy

HGUC Acguy-001

The amphibious mobile suits from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series tend to be very hit-and-miss with modern audiences. Their round shapes, retro-looking limbs and melee claw weapons tend to alienate some and while appealing to others. Though I can’t honestly say that I’ve asked for a Gogg or Zock from my parents when I was little, I have warmed up to these rather oddball designs since.

Don’t underestimate the Acguy just because it looks funny – it can really mess you up.

The Acguy, along with Char’s Z’gok, are by far the most iconic of the amphibious mobile suit designs. Today, the Acguy holds a meme status amongst Gundam fans as the “moe” mech. This is due to its stubby limbs, its large hamburger-like head, and its signature fetal rest position. Dubbed as “love” by fans, the HGUC model has a good amount of expectations behind it. Does it live up to these expectations? For the most part, yes.
Read more »

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