New Release Roundup: 14-Nov-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 quite a while since my last preview roundup (three months!), so this week I’ll try to catch up with all the notable releases since August.

November

CM’s Corp. – 1/8 Eris

  • Character: Eris
  • Series: Asobi ni Iku yo!
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 190 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: CM’s Corporation
  • Price: 8,800 yen
  • Date: Nov. 2010
  • Link 1: CM’s Corp.
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

I picked this figure out of the WF2010 Summer cover as a point of interest and I still think it’s looking good here. I like the plug suit look outside of the Eva franchise and I find the color combination of the suit and Eris’s hair appealing. The kitsune ears don’t hurt, either. CM’s Corp. is a definite unknown, though.

December

Kotobukiya – 1/8 Alicia Melchiott

  • Character: Alicia Melchiott
  • Series: Valkyria Chronicles
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 210 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Kotobukiya
  • Price: 6,800 yen
  • Date: Dec. 2010
  • Link 1: Kotobukiya
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Poor Alicia… seemingly doomed to forever play second fiddle to Selvaria Bles in the world of Valkyria Chronicles figures. I think this is about the second Alicia figure that I can recall, whereas Selvaria must have half a dozen by now. VC was a great game–truly one of my favorite games this console generation–and a rare shining star in the depressingly listless JRPG genre. Alicia was easily my favorite character in the game; she’s cute, likable, and plays a pivotal role in the plot of the game.

I’m a bit on the fence about this one.  I’d like to add an Alicia figure to my collection, but I’m not thrilled that Koto is handling this one, although I do think it’s a decent pose.

Orchid Seed – 1/7 Alfin

  • Character: Alfin
  • Series: Shining Force Feather
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Height: 215 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Orchid Seed
  • Price: 8,000 yen
  • Date: Dec. 2010
  • Link 1: Orchid Seed
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Shining Force II is quite possibly my favorite title on the Genesis platform, which makes Sega’s mismanagement of the Shining Force franchise in recent years all the more depressing. The Shining Force I remember isn’t that wildly different from Disgaea in terms of gameplay, but the former has faded into obscurity while the latter has carved out a profitable little niche for itself. Hell, the Shining Force Feather game from which Ms. Alfin here hails from didn’t even make it out of Japan.

Moving on… Alfin seems rather tame by Orchid Seed standards, although I imagine those translucent pantaloons will invite peeks from buyers. Orchid Seed does seem to do a good job of covering some of the more obscure properties that most other figure manufacturers won’t touch. This has the unfortunate side effect where most of their figures fall into a sort of limbo with me. They’re interesting to talk about, but more often than not they fall just short of my “buy” threshold.

January

Chara-Ani – 1/8 Kōsaka Kirino

  • Character: Kōsaka Kirino
  • Series: Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute)
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 190 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Chara-Ani
  • Price: 5,696 yen
  • Date: Jan. 2011
  • Link 1: Chara-Ani / Toy’sworks
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

Oreimo’s Kirino is rapidly becoming the next great target of mass otaku affection. It’s not a huge surprise given that the cute imouto character is a hentai staple, but I do find it usual to be played up in a more mainstream setting.

This figure from Chara-Ani–or should that be Toy’sworks?–is the first Kirino figure I’ve seen on the market, though Kotobukiya wasn’t far behind with their own version. Of the two, I prefer this one. An almost identical figure was released a few months prior as a Dengeki exclusive.

Good Smile Company – 1/8 Sengoku Nadeko

  • Character: Sengoku Nadeko
  • Series: Bakemonogatari
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 200 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Good Smile Company
  • Price: 9,334 yen
  • Date: Jan. 2011
  • Link 1: Good Smile Company
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

When I first saw this figure, I thought somebody had cut off the poor girl’s legs. -_- Now, of course, I realize they’re trying to depict her as standing knee-deep in water, but the look still doesn’t quite translate for me. It reminds me a bit of those bust-style figures, which feature just a head and torso. Thankfully, GSC does include a set of fully-formed legs for Nadeko that you can swap in to achieve a normal standing pose.

Max Factory – 1/7 Akiyama Mio

  • Character: Akiyama Mio
  • Series: K-ON!
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Height: 230 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Max Factory
  • Price: 7,429 yen
  • Date: Jan. 2011
  • Link 1: Max Factory
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

I thought Max Factory’s goth-loli Mio looked amazing when she was previewed by Danny Choo more than six months ago. Unfortunately for Max Factory, my interest in the figure has waned significantly in that time and I somehow don’t find the final, official product photography as appealing as what I saw earlier. A buy isn’t out of the question, but I no longer see this figure as a high priority.

February

Alter – 1/8 Ōkami Ryōko

  • Character: Ōkami Ryōko
  • Series: Ōkami-san
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 195 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Alter
  • Price: 6,800 yen
  • Date: Feb. 2011
  • Link 1: Alter
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

I’m sure I’m not the first person to say it, but Ōkami-san‘s Ryōko reminds me of Taiga from Toradora! Her top looks like a fairly standard sailor suit, but that bottom is something else entirely. The boots are kind of interesting, too. Unfortunately, I know very little about the character or the series, so this figure is mostly a curiosity to me at the moment.

Kotobukiya – 1/8 Phantom EX-Xecty

  • Character: Phantom EX-Xecty
  • Series: Shining World-Strangers
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 220 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Kotobukiya
  • Price: 6,800 yen
  • Date: Feb. 2011
  • Link 1: Kotobukiya
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

As with CM’s Eris, Koto’s Phantom EX-Xecty was another figure that stood out to me amidst the WF2010 Summer coverage. Looking at the official product photos, I’m now noticing the knee joints, which could just be part of the robot-inspired character design or it could be an indication of some level of poseability (e.g., Figmas). I couldn’t find anything in the product description on Hobby Search to confirm any movable parts beyond the “wings” on her headgear, though.

March

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

  • Character: Dead Master
  • Series: Black Rock Shooter
  • Scale: 1/8
  • Height: 250 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Good Smile Company
  • Price: 9,334 yen
  • Date: Mar. 2011
  • Link 1: Good Smile Company
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

GSC’s first Dead Master figure utterly failed to interest me in any way despite being adored by seemingly everyone else in the known universe. I initially thought it was just that the DM character design didn’t appeal to me, but this latest rendition of her character has me thinking otherwise. I’m finding her expression, and particularly, her eyes much more attractive than before.

Kotobukiya – 1/7 Dark Magician Girl

  • Character: Dark Magician Girl
  • Series: Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Height: 180 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Kotobukiya
  • Price: 6,800 yen
  • Date: Mar. 2011
  • Link 1: Kotobukiya
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

This is unusual. Yu-Gi-Oh! is about the last place I would expect to find good material for a bishoujo figure, but here it is. In general, I like fantasy-inspired designs and I do find this moe-fied witch appealing, but I’m afraid she suffers from the generic character syndrome. Which is to say, she can’t elicit the kind of emotional tug on a potential buyer that a plot character might.

April

Good Smile Company – 1/7 Saber Alter ~Vortigern~

  • Character: Saber Alter
  • Series: Fate/stay night
  • Scale: 1/7
  • Height: 175 mm
  • Material: PVC
  • Company: Good Smile Company
  • Price: 9,334 yen
  • Date: Apr. 2011
  • Link 1: Good Smile Company
  • Link 2: Hobby Search
  • Link 3: AmiAmi

I’m not sure where Saber’s “Alter” form fits into the FSN lore, but it’s probably my least favorite of her three forms. It looks like GSC’s new figure will feature a removable mask option–an option I would probably exercise–as well as a second weapon, which looks like a crystallized sword (Vortigern). All in all, she looks neat and would probably make a good pickup for die-hard FSN fans, but I think I’ll pass.

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