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. Six months, in fact. I’ve been a pretty lazy bum of late with regards to blog upkeep. The sad part is I had 90% of this post penned back in February, but opted to hold off in hopes that I could get a new review out first. That hasn’t happened and the preorder commentary is somewhat time-sensitive in nature, so I’m pushing this out now before it grows any more stale than it already has.
Alphamax – 1/6 Tougetsu Matsuri
Alphamax has been doing rather interesting work for a several years now, but most all of it has fallen just short of that critical threshold where I’m inclined to actually place an order. Matsuri here, who was designed by the very talented Misaki Kurehito, didn’t overly appeal to me at first, either, but I’m growing fonder of the design with each viewing. She’s filed under the SkyTube line, which is basically Alphamax’s ero figure arm from what I can tell. One of the things I like about Matsuri is that she’s rather demure when fully buttoned up, but with an alternate face, top and bottom cast-offs, and a dildo prop, she can put on a lurid display as well.
Alter – 1/7 Mu-12
I’m still a bit disappointed that Nu-13 from the first BlazBlue never got a figure, but Mu-12 has a similar design and skimpier outfit, so I can see why she gets more attention. FREEing’s take didn’t quite do it for me; the sculpt looked quite good from some angles and quite awkward from others. Alter’s example here is more to my liking, with Mu looking pretty badass along with that elaborate base that even features LED lighting–a novel feature I doubt I would use outside of a photo shoot. Alter’s Mu stands tall at 350 mm, which is approaching the point where I might have difficulty finding shelves tall enough to house her. Even so, she’s on my short list of high-priority preorder targets.
Alter – 1/8 Uesugi Kagekatsu
Alter’s Hyakka Ryouran series has had such a high take rate for me that any new entry is worthy of some consideration. Uesugi here must hail from the second season, which I still haven’t seen. Regrettably, I feel this is one of the weakest entries in the series to date. The figure is certainly not unattractive, but I find the mid-air action pose a bit awkward and it necessitates a very visible support beam. The bow also makes the figure excessively tall for a 1/8 scale offering, at 340 mm, which was the same reason I stayed well away from Kotobukiya’s otherwise excellent Tomo.
Amakuni – 1/8 Astaroth
Hobby Japan has already successfully extracted money from me five times with their Seven Deadly Sins girls, so I guess I can’t complain too much now that they’re milking the property beyond the seven principal characters. After Santa Satan, Astaroth here might even be my favorite 7-Sins figure design to date. We’ve got a lively pose, pleasant colors, a fetching outfit, and that rad scythe-guitar. Pretty sure I’ll be picking this one up.
Kotobukiya – 1/8 Omniscience Regalia, Minerva
Figures based on Tony Taka’s illustrations are no rarity these days, but Minerva here is still a bit of a anomaly as she’s based on a card design from Cardfight!! Vanguard, which isn’t exactly a regular entry in Tony’s portfolio. The design is a bit shrine maiden meets valkyrie; an attractive combination that Kotobukiya has done a reasonably good job of capturing in plastic. I would have liked something larger than 1/8 scale, but at 300 mm tall with spear in hand, Minerva might become prohibitively tall if she were made a scale or two larger.
Max Factory – 1/7 Plamya-sama
Masked heroines certainly aren’t a staple of my collection, but Plamya here makes a good case for her inclusion. Plamya’s Yankee-esque ensemble and withering glare look pretty badass while her tongue and subtle tug at her leggings suggest a kinky side, as well. Overall, it’s an attractive sculpt with some nice coloration. Alter has their own interpretation of Plamya up for consideration now, too, but I feel this is one of those rare cases where they have the less enticing design.
Oddly, this figure is being released as a GSC shop exclusive in Japan. GSC has done exclusives before, but they’ve typically been variations of a design such as the fancy base DX versions of “Love Is War” Miku and Mikasa Ackerman. GSC does ship internationally and Plamya is also being offered by select US shops at normal prices, so it’s not too bad, but I imagine some collectors will be disappointed by the arbitrary constriction of choice.
Max Factory – 1/7 Sakurai Aoi
It’s unlikely I will actually purchase this figure, but I did want to call attention to the craftsmanship. Man, this is one gorgeous prototype! The paintwork, particularly on Aoi’s hair, is amazingly good. I can’t remember the last time I saw a figure that so looked like a slice of artwork just leaped off the page. I hope this is a sign of things to come in the industry at large; I might even be inclined to forgive those higher price points if this level of detail became the norm.
Native – 1/7 Nakahara Tomoe
This is a figure I’ve been tracking for a while, as it is based on a familiar work by perennial favorite Tony Taka and it is remarkably discreet by Native standards. With no more than a little bit of nipple slip and a narrow window to catch a glimpse of Tomoe going no-pan, I barely even consider it an ero figure. The MFC database has this figure marked as cast-off capable, which is expected for Native’s work, but I have yet to see any photos confirming that Tomoe can be disrobed any more than you see here. I was definitely leaning toward adding this to my collection, but I have a noted tendency to give overly favorable reactions to figures based on artwork that I like and this is a good example of such a figure.
Okayama Figure Engineering – 1/6 Sarah
Yamatogawa’s Power Play! is perhaps my favorite ero-manga ever, and Sarah is my favorite character from said manga, so it stands to reason that I would like to see her rendered in three dimensions. Ero-manga heroines don’t seem to attract much attention from figure makers, perhaps because there aren’t many memorable faces in a medium rife with one-shot stories. Regardless, I was surprised to see Okayama Figure Engineering deliver the first and only Power Play! figure to date. OFE is synonymous with some of the lewdest figures you’ll ever see, so Sarah here is remarkably tame by their standards, although she is still very explicit compared to anything in my collection. Regrettably, this isn’t quite what I had hoped for in a Sarah figure. They’ve whitewashed her notably dark complexion and her state of undress does little to capture the attractive (and skimpy) fantasy-themed outfits from the manga. If I didn’t know it was supposed to be Sarah, I probably wouldn’t give this figure a second thought. PS: Sorry for the added censorship, but I didn’t want to use the NSFW tag on a preorder post.
Orchid Seed – 1/7 Leviathan ~Hanketsu Hot Pants no Setsu~
When the unpainted prototype for this swimsuited Leviathan was first unveiled, I thought it would be a pretty likely pickup for me. Here we are months later with preorders officially open and I’m finding my reactions to Orchid Seed’s Levi surprisingly tepid. I feel like her face lacks something compared to Amakuni’s Levi and the sculpt as a whole feels a bit artificial; her hands, in particular, have that uncanny prosthetic look to them. In one of the stranger customization options I have seen, this figure features a set of alternate arms and legs that completely change the pose of the figure to one where Leviathan spreads her legs in a rather lewd fashion.
Phat Company – 1/8 Jack the Ripper
Girls with boys’ names aren’t any more common in anime than in real life, so they tend to stand out when they do appear. Jack here has a few other reasons she might draw attention, such as the fact that she’s gallivanting about in little more than a corset and panties. I was a bit surprised to learn that she’s a member of the assassin class from a Fate-series spinoff. Her name makes more sense in that context, although I find it odd that she’s not identified by class the way all the other servants typically are. Anyway, there’s a lot to like here; we’ve got bladed weapons, skimpy fantasy attire, a decent static pose, and what appears to be a nice diorama base.
Vertex – 1/7 Selvaria Bles
I haven’t really kept up with the Valkyria Chronicles series since SEGA moved the series to Sony portables, but it has been interesting to observe Selvaria’s enduring popularity despite having only one canon appearance in a series now spanning three games. I already have Alter’s original Selvaria in hand and I’m feeling like Vertex’s new offering will soon join her. Despite a rather static pose, this is one eye-catching sculpt that better captures character designer Raita’s style than any prior example of Selvaria I can think of. She was briefly listed at 1/6 scale, but apparently that was a mistake, which is a bit disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.