New Release Roundup: 8-Aug-2010 Edition

Periodically, I like to take a look at new figures that are available for pre-order. This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a selection of new releases that I personally find interesting or notable.

It’s been a while since my last preview roundup (over a month!), so this week I’ll try to catch up with all the notable releases from the past month or so.

Kotobukiya – 1/6 Aisaka Taiga ~Last Episode Ver.~

  • Character: Aisaka Taiga
  • Series: Toradora!
  • Scale: 1/6
  • Height: 250 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Kotobukiya
  • Price: 6,800 yen
  • Date: Oct. 2010
  • Link 1: Kotobukiya
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Kotobukiya has a new Taiga figure based on the work of garage kit circle Gouhondou. Apparently, the original kit was on display at WF2010W, but I don’t remember seeing it in the coverage.

This figure was on my radar mostly because I’m on the lookout for a good Taiga figure. I don’t think this is the one for me, as Taiga looks a little too innocent and vulnerable here, but it doesn’t look too bad. This might make for a good bargain bin purchase.

I do think it’s nice that Koto is giving this a pre-painted PVC release. While I wasn’t interested in this particular kit, there are plenty that I would buy in PVC form and it’s nice to see manufacturers like Kotobukiya come to the aid of those of us who lack the skill and/or patience to deal with garage kits.

Wafudoh Ganguten – 1/7 Pleinair ~TG Style Let’s Go Pleinair!~

  • Character: Pleinair
  • Series: Takehito Harada (artist)
  • Scale: 1/6
  • Height: 150 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Wafudoh Ganguten
  • Price: 7,800 yen
  • Date: Oct. 2010
  • Link 1: Wafudoh Ganguten
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Anyone familiar with the Disgaea series of SRPGs on the PS2, PS3, and PSP should recognize the character Pleinair, who is a recurring character in the series as well as general mascot for Disgaea graphics artist Takehito Harada. Now it seems that Wafudoh Ganguten has seen fit to give Pleinair-san and some of her eccentric accessories the figure treatment.

I’m a bit stoked to see a Pleinair figure as I’ve always liked her character design. The subject matter is also refreshing in that it’s a bit of mock-guro that you don’t typically see in this industry. 1/7 scale is also nice, though the figure will still be somewhat small with its kneeling pose. I have no idea what to expect in terms of quality from Wafudoh Ganguten, but this figure looks decent enough.

Good Smile Company – 1/8 Dead Master ~Original Ver.~

  • Character: Dead Master
  • Series: Black Rock Shooter
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 280 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Good Smile Company
  • Price: 9,334 yen
  • Date: Nov. 2010
  • Link 1: Good Smile Company
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Good Smile Company is continuing with their full court press concerning the Black Rock Shooter franchise. This time, they’ve given us Dead Master, the nemesis of Black Rock Shooter.

Judging by all the hype surrounding this figure release, I feel like I’m going to be one of the few figure collectors not getting this figure. While I find the BRS character highly appealing, I really don’t find Dead Master to be very interesting at all. I can certainly see why other people would be excited about this figure from a technical standpoint, but the requisite character appeal just isn’t there for me.

Alter – 1/7 Fate Testarossa ~Phantom Minds~

  • Character: Fate Testarossa
  • Series: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The Movie (1st)
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Height: 420 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Alter
  • Price: 11,800 yen
  • Date: Nov. 2010
  • Link 1: Alter
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

What is it with Alter and gigantic Fate Testarossa figures? Their Nanoha A’s Fate was 250 mm tall (1/8 scale). Their Strikers Fate was even larger at 350 mm tall (1/7 scale). This Movie Fate is larger still at 420 mm tall, which is outrageously large for a 1/7 scale figure. I’m sure some of that space is taken up by the pegs supporting Fate and her billowing cape, which takes up copious amounts of shelf real estate even on my 1/8 scale Fate, but it’s still hard to imagine how they managed to hit that mark.

It’s too bad, really. I like big figures and I also like Feito-chan, but Alter just takes a good thing too far. This figure won’t even fit on my shelf!

Daiki Kougyou – 1/6 Akiyama Mio

  • Character: Akiyama Mio
  • Series: K-ON!
  • Scale: 1/6
  • Height: 260 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Daiki Kougyou
  • Price: 13,800 yen
  • Date: Nov. 2010
  • Link 1: Daiki Kougyou
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

This is the pre-painted PVC version of the garage kit Mio that Daiki Kougyou was hawking at WF2010S. This figure is a bit of a surprise coming from Daiki as it seems like they mostly stick to the ecchi figures like Orchid Seed does. Nevertheless, their Mio is here to compete with the slew of other guitar-wielding Mios.

When I first saw this Mio during the pre-WF2010S coverage, I thought the figure looked pretty spectacular. Since that time, I’ve seen some more photos, particularly the ones on AmiAmi’s site where Mio’s hair has an ugly plastic cast to it, that give me pause, so I won’t be rushing out to buy this figure right away. I think Daiki could still come through though, since my one DK figure (Kanu Unchou, Vol. 13 illustration) is pretty awesome.

Max Factory – 1/7 Hatsune Miku ~Tony Ver.~

  • Character: Hatsune Miku
  • Series: Vocaloid
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Height: 215 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Max Factory
  • Price: 8,381 yen
  • Date: Jan. 2011
  • Link 1: Max Factory
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Max Factory has finally unveiled the final version of their Miku figure based on the work of Tony Taka. (Here’s the original artwork in case you missed it.)

This figure strikes me as a case of the whole being less than the sum of the parts. I like Hatsune Miku well enough and I love Tony Taka’s work, but I don’t find the combination of those two elements in this figure to be particularly appealing. For starters, I don’t think the original is among Tony’s best work and the translation to figure form retains little of his signature style. Beyond that, the pose is just awkward and this is the same rendition of Miku we’ve seen time and time again.

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