Preorder Roundup: 2014.08 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.

Once again, I find myself scribing a preorder roundup with WonFes in the recent past. The timing isn’t deliberate, but it is a curious recurring coincidence. This time I’m tackling 16 new figures and potential purchases, which happens to be a personal record and a good indication that I should probably be doing these posts about twice as often as I do.

Alter – 1/7 Shikinami Asuka Langley ~Jersey ver.~

1/7 scale Shikinami Asuka Langley ~Jersey ver.~ PVC figure by Alter

It would seem almost blasphemous to have one of these roundups without at least one representative Alter figure, but I almost didn’t include Asuka in this list. I remember seeing this figure initially as an unpainted prototype and thinking she was a pretty sure bet to end up on my shelf. Now, many months later, preorders are here and I’m not feeling a strong urge to pull the trigger on this purchase and I’m not quite sure why. On paper, Alter’s new Asuka has a lot going for it. Alter has created an attractive over-the-shoulder pose that conveniently features Asuka’s shapely rump as a focal point. Her outfit is an interesting mashup of plug suit and casual clothes, with the eyepatch and the hat nicely punctuating the ensemble. Plus, this is decently sized at 1/7 scale. Really, I can’t point to anything I don’t like about this figure, and just writing about it reminds me of why it should be on this list.

Amakuni – 1/8 Beelzebub

1/8 scale Beelzebub PVC figure by Amakuni

Back in my Lucifer review, I more or less indicated that I probably wouldn’t be picking up any more of the Seven Deadly Sins figures. That still may play out, but it’s only fitting that the remaining options would tempt me to the end. Truth be told, I rather like the look of Amakuni’s Beelzebub. She’s cute and she features a nice mix of complementary colors where some of the other girls have been somewhat monochromatic. She is, rather unfortunately, also saddled with one very orange display base (not pictured), which I find rather garish. But the bigger issue is that Beelzebub is essentially a loli archetype and just like the other girls this figure will feature a nude cast-off and I’m not too sure I’m want to broach the subject of ero-loli content on this blog.

Broccoli – 1/8 Rigel

1/8 scale Rigel PVC figure by Broccoli

Every now and then a rather interesting figure pops up from an unlikely source. This scaled Rigel from Z/X -Zillions of Enemy X- is being offered by Broccoli, which is an established publisher of books and other media, but a relative unknown in the bishoujo figure industry. I find Rigel’s pose moderately interesting and she features an attractive outfit. She should prove to be rather large, even at 1/8 scale, given her purported 300 mm height. But the real question is whether she’s worth her ¥12,000 price tag, which seems rather high for a company without a solid track record. I came away quite disappointed the last time I gave a newcomer the benefit of the doubt (Aquamarine, with IA), so I’m inclined to wait until after Rigel’s released to make a decision.

Dragon Toy – 1/6 Iriza

1/6 scale Iriza PVC figure by Dragon Toy

I’ve been a great fan of Sei Shoujo’s work ever since I discovered Starless and I’ve more recently realized that the same man was also responsible for the venerable Bible Black series. Dragon Toy’s Iriza is a rare figure interpretation of his more recent works and a remarkably subtle one considering its eroge origins. The pose isn’t terribly flashy, but it is very attractive and sensual. She’s also nicely sized at 1/6 scale. The one thing I’m not crazy about is the vial of fluid Iriza is holding behind her back (not pictured), a detail which should seem either innocuous or incredibly lewd depending on your familiarity with the source material. 😉

Dragon Toy – 1/6 Sonsaku Hakufu

1/6 scale Sonsaku Hakufu PVC figure by Dragon Toy

Despite having watched all of two episodes of Ikki Tousen, I’ve managed to acquire seven figures from the series, mostly from my early years of collecting (three Kanu’s, three Ryoumou’s, and one Ryofu). I never particularly appreciated the character design for the series’ chief heroine, Hakufu, but Dragon Toy has managed to make her look particularly appealing here, with a nice dynamic pose rendered at a healthy 1/6 scale size. I typically avoid figures featuring overt nudity (i.e., not facilitated by a cast-off feature), but in this case I find the one exposed nipple fairly innocuous and I didn’t let it stop me from getting this figure on order.

FREEing – 1/4 Laura Bodewig ~Bunny ver.~

1/4 scale Laura Bodewig ~Bunny ver.~ PVC figure by FREEing

FREEing has established a niche for themselves with their lineup of 1/4 scale bishoujo figures. Despite that lineup’s considerable size and my appreciation for large scale figures, I have yet to pick up any of FREEing’s offerings, 1/4 scale or otherwise. That may soon change, as their Infinite Stratos girls have been catching my eye of late and I feel like Laura is the most enticing figure to come out of that group. The bunny girl isn’t my favorite anime fan service trope, but Laura is one of the most likable Stratos girls and seeing her demure side portrayed so well is a treat. With a price tag north of ¥18K, though, I’m hoping she will find her way to the bargain bin, as I’m not convinced I like this figure quite enough to pay normal pricing and what will surely be EMS shipping on top of that.

FREEing – 1/8 Racing Miku ~Sepang ver.~

1/8 scale Racing Miku ~Sepang ver.~ PVC figure by FREEing

Since 2010, Good Smile Company and its partners have put out yearly variations of Hatsune Miku styled as a race queen for Good Smile Racing, colloquially known as Racing Miku. The lineup seems to have proven popular, given its continuity, with the 2014 variation having just been unveiled at the summer WonFes, but none of the entries to date have really grabbed my attention in a meaningful way until this “Sepang” version appeared from FREEing. I don’t know what “Sepang” means, but I do know that there’s a lot to like about this figure. With her vivacious pose, attractive wings, tanned skin, and metallic-finish bikini, I think odds are good that I’ll be picking this up sooner or later.

Good Smile Company – 1/8 Mikasa Ackerman ~DX ver.~

1/8 scale Mikasa Ackerman ~DX ver.~ by Good Smile Company

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) is the current Big Thing™, so a certain rush of merchandising was to be expected. Unlike a lot of current anime series, AoT/SnK has received about as many, if not more, male figures than female figures owing to the composition of the principal characters. Mikasa here has pretty much held down the fort in the way of bishoujo figures, of which I think GSC’s example is the most striking. Honestly, this is probably not a figure I would have picked up if she hadn’t shown up as a Crunchyroll daily deal.

Good Smile Company – 1/6 Super Sonico ~After the Party~

1/6 scale Sonico ~After the Party~ PVC figure by Good Smile CompanyNitroplus mascot Super Sonico has become practically as prolific a subject for figure designs as mega-idol Hatsune Miku in recent years. I’m still searching for my first Sonico figure, and while I’m not sure GSC’s recent After the Party variant will do the trick, she’s definitely one of the more interesting Sonicos to come along. This is basically the same bondage outfit that was featured in an earlier Orchid Seed’s figure. Sonico looks cute, as she is apt to do, and GSC wisely chose a large scale to offset her seated pose. The guitar and amp are nice details that will hopefully be complemented by a nice display base. Overall, the potential is there, but for now I see a few of the other figures on this list as higher-priority preorder targets.

Good Smile Company – 1/8 Wo-class

1/8 scale Wo-class PVC figure by Good Smile Company

Kantai Collection (aka KanColle) is another hot item in the industry, currently. Though I do have Amakuni’s Shimakaze on order, there have been a fair few others that have appeared in recent months and I feel like GSC’s Wo-class is the first I’ve felt worthy of consideration. I find Wo-class interesting because she doesn’t seem to fit the same aesthetic mold as the other ship-girls. Whereas most of the KanColle heroines that I’ve seen appear cute and/or sexy, Wo-class looks more like something out of a horror movie, as she sports some sinister-looking duds. A quick search informs me that she’s actually one of the enemy ship types, so I guess the look fits. Apparently, Max Factory has their own Wo-class in the works, but judging from the rough prototype, I doubt I would favor their version over GSC’s interpretation.

Kotobukiya – 1/7 Psylocke ~Classic X-Men Era~

1/7 scale Psylocke ~Classic X-Men Era~ PVC figure by Kotobukiya

Psylocke is one of those rare non-anime figures that I find intriguing. Oddly enough, she was a San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) exclusive, which I think says a lot for who Kotobukiya sees as the primary audience for their Marvel and DC bishoujo lineups. This is technically a repaint of an already-released standard run version of Psylocke in a black outfit. I didn’t care for the look of the black variant, but the blue outfit really changes my impression of the design. This is a figure I would like to own at some point, but I’m not sure where she should fall in priority relative to other figures on this list and her unusual exclusivity could make acquisition tricky. Obviously, SDCC has come and gone. It looks like Kotobukiya’s US shop was selling her at one point, but not anymore. Given the targeted American release, I suspect she won’t be widely available through the usual secondary market locations like Mandarake, so I’m not sure where the best place to search would be and what kind of prices we’ll see post-SDCC.

Max Factory – 1/7 Psychic

1/7 scale Psychic PVC figure by Max Factory

It seems unlikely that we will see the 7th Dragon 2020 video games make their way westward, but at least we get to enjoy seeing the character designs made into great figures by Max Factory. I already have Samurai and Miku and they’re both excellent figures, so any new entry to the 2020 lineup is going to be worthy of some consideration. The new girl, Psychic, is quite an eye-catcher with her lively pose and flamboyantly immodest dress. The outfit is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The overt sex appeal is not unwelcome, but the urban harlot chic also has a sleazy connotation that I’m not entirely fond of. Beyond that, I also feel that the rib cage detail in the sculpt makes the Psychic look oddly emaciated from certain angles. I’m currently thinking this figure gives too many mixed impressions to warrant a preorder, but a bargain bin appearance might entice a purchase.

MegaHouse – 1/8 Astaroth

1/8 scale Astaroth PVC figure by MegaHouse

One might think that the Seven Deadly Sins more or less has a lock on the demon-girl niche, but this Astaroth figure from Shinrabanshou Chocolate suggests otherwise. I now realize that my collection is quite lacking in blue-skinned girls and I find Ms. Astaroth’s inviting pose and revealing outfit rather attractive. Combine that with a Crunchyroll daily deal offering a nice price and free shipping and you have a pretty easy preorder decision.

Orchid Seed – 1/8 Satan

1/8 scale Satan PVC figure by Orchid Seed

When Hobby Japan’s Seven Deadly Sins project was announced and the character designs were unveiled, I had picked Satan to be the girl whose figure I would be most likely to pick up. Now that she’s here, I’m not entirely sold on the design, mostly owing to her inscrutable expression and, to a lesser extent, the excessively saturated, low-contrast color palette. As with practically all of the 7-Sins figures, the look of this figure has grown on me somewhat over time, but as of now I’m still quite firmly on the fence. Satan won’t be out until next February, at the earliest, so there’s still time for consideration, but she’s already sold out at most shops, which could spell trouble given how all of the 7-Sins figures have shot up a good bit on the secondary market post-release.

Wing – 1/7 Sansei Muramasa

1/7 scale Sansei Muramasa PVC figure by Wing

Muramasa seems to be enjoying an unexpected surge in popularity of late, as she has some three figures from different manufacturers currently available for preorder, which I find odd given that Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa was released way back in 2009. I won’t complain, though, as I have a soft spot for dark-skinned heroines and Muramasa is about as attractive as they come. Unfortunately, the aforementioned three options have been largely disappointing. Amie-Grand’s Muramasa looks like she’s drugged up on something and Amakuni seems to have missed the memo that Muramasa is supposed to have dark pigmentation rather than a light tan. I wasn’t too keen on Wing’s example initially, either, but the look of the figure has definitely grown on me with repeated viewing. This figure does feature a nude cast-off and an alternate face, which could be interesting or could spell trouble if Wing’s fit and finish is lacking.

Wing – 1/7 Ashikaga Chachamaru ~DX ver.~

1/7 scale Ashikaga Chachamaru ~DX ver.~ PVC figure by Wing

Sansei Muramasa evidently isn’t the only heroine to hail from Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa, which is why we get Chachamaru here. Chachamaru doesn’t have the whole dark-skinned elf mystique going for her, but she is legitimately appealing in her own right, with some attractive bangs and an apparent proclivity for undress. (Actually, she is dressed much more modestly in the official game art, so this figure may well be based on fan art.) Chachamaru is posed with a wicked-looking mecha spider, who is, oddly enough, none other than Sansei Muramasa. Wing is making Chachamaru available both with and without mecha-Muramasa, which is probably a wise choice given the price tag of the set. I think Chachamaru might look a little silly reclined against nothing, but creative collectors will likely find other objects for her to sit on.

4 thoughts on “Preorder Roundup: 2014.08 Edition

  1. I became quite reluctant with placing any preorders recently, after placing my order for Kongou.
    This goes on for a few months, now. It’s interesting how priorities change when you wait long enough, I’ve already forgotten about figures I badly wanted in the first place, because more interesting ones were announced and on second thought these figures didn’t turn out as must have’s.

    Brown Miku is really beautiful, the best racing Miku in my book. Sepang is related to a popular race track, btw ^^I used to play a lot of racing games vrooom. Im still on the fence about Wo-class and also the expensive Ciel Alencon is on my wishlist.

    Just order the damn Asuka ;D She’s gonna be the best from the list!

    • I can definitely relate to shifting priorities, as it’s something I’ve noticed in my own behavior. Sometimes I preorder a figure early on, more or less forget about it, and then I find myself questioning why I purchased that figure when the release date arrives. It does sometimes swing the other way, though, as there have also been times when I felt pretty disinterested in a figure at first, only to find that the design grows on me with repeated viewings. Ideally, I would wait until after release to order everything, but that’s just not always practical because some figures have limited preorder windows and others sell out months in advance or immediately upon release.

      Ah, didn’t know that Sepang was a location. Guess I should be playing more games to further my education! 😉

      Asuka, the best? And here I thought you were a devout Sonico fan! 😛

      • I always keep a close look on my preorders and delays so I won’t be surprised by payment requests, but sometimes it happens that some things lose it’s appeal after some waiting time. I would not mind canceling a few from my current list, but unfortunately AmiAmi won’t allow it ;< The market slightly changed, recently the bargain bins and second hand market make it possible to get many nice figures for a better price after release, like many of my recent orders *cries*.

        Yeah from a more neutral point of view this Asuka has a little more to offer, pose, hat and the whole design is really cool. Hehe I don't like all the Sonico figures ^^

      • It seems like all the Japanese shops are quite hostile toward order cancellations. I can appreciate that they don’t want to be saddled with extra stock and I’m sure there are people who would abuse unrestricted cancellations, but I do feel like the shops could be a bit more lenient with their policies. If a figure is sold out in preorder, it shouldn’t be a problem for a user to cancel their preorder for that figure, as that slot could be filled quickly by someone else and users wouldn’t have to go through the whole preorder trading rigmarole that you see people doing on MFC.

        I’ve also noticed a seemingly high number of figures reaching the bargain bin post-release, including quite a number that I had either wish-listed or preordered. I’ve seen comments to the effect that figures too large to ship via SAL Small Packet are more like to hit the bargain bin, and in my observation there seems to be some truth to that. Given the price inflation we’ve seen recently, it could be that we’re seeing more price-sensitive consumers passing on figures at their normal pricing levels, so that shops are getting stuck with stock that they can’t move without heavy discounts.

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