31 October 2008

Halloween x figma

Happy Halloween! I didn't expect myself doing 3 figma-related posts in a row but it happened! XD

The official figma blog has posted some pictures on Haruhi and Nagato's new Halloween costumes!

Want to have those hats and capes for your figma too? No worries! Masaki Apsy (浅井真紀), the figure artist for figma, has provided the paper cut-outs in pdf format. You can find the download link from the blog. All you need is a printer, a piece of paper, some scissors and glue, and you're good to go. If you don't have a printer, you can trace it and colour it yourself.

The instructions look fairly self-explanatory. The left is for the hat, and the right is for the cape.

With the hats and capes made, you can have your own little Halloween party with your figma~

All images via figma blog
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27 October 2008

figma care

I have been hearing people accidently breaking their figma now and then. This does make me a little paranoid, and as a result I did't move my figma very often back home. Nevertheless I've dug up a few quick tips from the Japanese Good Smile Company website on how to reduce such problems to a minimum. Hope this can bring to some help.

Image via figma blog

One of the most common breakage is at the hand joints. Danny Choo did mention once that newer figma (such as Tsuruya-san) will use ABS for the hands, but it's still something to be careful of.
Hold the hand piece firmly with fingers on the axis of the joint. Pull the hand piece along the direction of the root to avoid stress on the root of the piece.
Attempting to pull the hand piece with the joint free to move can cause the root of the joint to break off.

I did hear that the ponytails are susceptible to break, such as this poor lad's figma Fate. This applies to girls with ponytails (duh) such as Tosaka Rin (as shown below) and Fate T Harlaown.
Move the ponytail slowly and gently with the fingers close to the ball joints.
Moving the ponytail further away from the ball joint increases the stress hence the chance of breaking the hair piece.

Not a common breakage as I've only heard of one from Optic (but his case is slightly different).
Hold the arm joint firmly so that the tip does not move when one tries to insert or remove the peg. Insert the peg along the direction of the hole to avoid stress and breakage on the tip.

This applies mainly to the SOS-dan figma girls with exchangeable shoes
Hold at the ankle joint so that the joint will not move as you put the shoe onto the peg.

There are many similarities among the 4 areas, and that is to hold the piece at the joint so it doesn't move when you push or pull a piece in/out. Also don't push/pull with excessive force or in an angle, and you should be fine while posing your figma.

While I'm not very knowledged about figma or figures in general, I do hope this will come to some help for those having troubles with their figmas, or just to know a few tips. If there are anything needed to be corrected, do tell me.

On a side note, it looks like that the re-release of figma Fate T Harlaown will be delayed to early November according to figma blog.

Images via Good Smile Company website
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22 October 2008

figma Lacus Clyne?

I have once come across a figma Lacus Clyne from Gundamaniac, which is also mentioned in the figma blog. However, this is not official.

What's this all about? o_o

It turns out that it is modified by yui_style from Toysdaily forum, using figma Miku, and a (apparently) rare shokugan trading figure of Lacus from SEED Heroine series.

Two more 'victims' to the modification:
figma Mikuru's leg joints and another trading figure of Lacus.

The finished product!
This picture can easily fool me to think that it's a real production figure.

According to yui_style, the arms are trimmed down thoroughly as there are no figmas with summer uniforms available (i.e. no short sleeves). The trimmed sleeves later become part of the boots.

Two songstresses side by side!
Lacus' neck is longer than here as this is an earlier picture. This was rectified in the later pictures.

Although I am not a fan of Lacus, I have to admit that it's a wonderful work!

Would you ever think of modifying your figma? I don't think I can afford to do such things to mine ^^;;

All images are from Toysdaily forum

On a side note, the limited black hair Shana is now available for preorder on Play-Asia (credits to zenical from zotaku)

And the gorgeous figma Fate T Harlaown is known to have a re-release in late October (info from figma blog). Those who have missed it last time will now have a second chance!
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18 October 2008

Gundam 00 PS2 gameplay videos

PS2 game Gundam 00: Gundam Meisters is released two days ago (16th October). Several in-game videos can now be found on YouTube. I'll let the videos do most of the talking this time.

(Image from news page of game's official website)

Opening video with Ashes Like Snow by The Brilliant Green

Playing as Exia in story mode, as well as a boss fight against Graham.

Dynames in score attack mode.

Kyrios in score attack mode.

Playing as Alvaaron in score attack mode. Its GN particles are yellow instead of red?

Ending video is available here (Warning: Spoiler video). A lot of it are reused from the anime, but there are some original animations too.

As far as what we can see, Gundam 00: Gundam Meisters looks like a hack-and-slash game. Lots of enemies to fight at once, charge up the 0 guage, and once it's full unleash the 00 mode to do a Musou-style attack, which is followed by "Action Movie" finish-off move. It follows the events and scenes in the first season of the anime, with some original scenarios and scenes exclusive to the game (one I've heard is the dogfight between Kyrios and Graham's Union Flag).

Zenical has made a quick review on the game (gosh you're quick girl :P). More info and review via zone otaku~
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14 October 2008

figma Shana preview

Product no. 025 of Max Factory's figma line will be the highly anticipated Shana from Shakugan no Shana. Let's have a look how this fiery lass will look like in figma form.

Prototype figure featured in November issue of Hobby Japan, via Toysdaily
I really like how it looks even in plain colour, as well as the tsuntsun look of hers.

Flame hair Shana will be released in December for 2500 Yen. The semi-transparent hair is used in the scaled figure as well (by the same company).
I am not too sure, but does her face look strange to you? I hear a number of people saying that it doens't look too much like Shana herself, or that her arms are too long. For some funny reasons I find the prototype more appealing to me ^^;;
Image via Hobby Search

Black hair Shana will be released in March for 2500 Yen. However it is magazine exclusive and only available in limited number for mail order (or preorder). 通販 (tsuuhan), short for 通信販売 (tsuushin hanbai), means mail order and 限定 (gentei) means limited.

I feel sorry for those who want to get the black hair version. The fact that the black hair Shana is only available like so reminds me of the Nendoroid version, which is a Dengeki Daioh exclusive.
Available for online reservation via Dengekiya website.
Image via Toysdaily.

The flame hair Shana is available for preorder via Hobby Search and HLJ.

Are you planning to get a figma Shana as well? I think I'll wait until I get back to Hong Kong in Christmas and buy one in a local store. I'd be in real shock if this figma's distribution for Hong Kong would be as bad as that of figma Fate.
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8 October 2008

Gunpla winners in SEED Frame Astrays

It looks like that some of the winning models from the Astrays Modelling Competition are featured in the closing chapter(s) of Gundam SEED Frame Astrays manga.

Top image from Hong Kong edition of Dengeki Hobby Magazine September issue via xhood (limited access for visitors)

Overall winner & winner from Taiwan: Heresy Zero / Astray Zero?
An Astray Blue Frame with IWSP Striker pack as well as some missile pods from GINN. I thought the IWSP pack is already quite heavily armed in the first place, but this simply blows me away... ^^;;

EDITED: While 異端 gives you "Heresy" in a translator, I've seen some sites calling Astrays "異端" rather than "迷惘". Unless I have a copy/scan of the Japanese edition, I can't be sure what it is called for now...

3rd place from Taiwan: DINN Falcon Type
A modified DINN which is seen getting owned in the picture

3rd place from Hong Kong: OPSTARTEN
A modified Saviour Gundam which is also seen getting owned in the picture

While it sounds really cool to have your winning model appearing in the manga, having them in one panel only and to appear being destroyed is not something I've expected. I mean, we could have expected a bit more action from them!

And last but not least...

Winner from Korea: Astray Black Frame MI.R.A.
An Astray all wrapped up like a mummy? And what do MI.R.A stand for? ^^;;

Click image for full size view
This Astray is seen at the end of the penultimate chapter, slicing off a cannon from the Sumbullet Raigo Gundam. And is that Lowe (main character of the original Astray series) wrapped up like a mummy as well?? o_O

Images are scans from the Hong Kong edition of Dengeki Hobby Magazine October issue via xhood (limited access for visitors).

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5 October 2008

Shokugan Toys

I am back finally! It looks like that I will have quite a time catching up with the rest of the blogosphere ^^;; Will spend the next few days catching up on your blog posts!

Back to something I've promised to write about 2 posts ago...

Shokugan (食玩) are trading toys that often come with little sweets/candies or chewing gum. The Kanjis literally mean "eat" and "play". Their small sizes and cheap prices make them very collectible.

Shokugans are usually released in series or sets. For example Cando's 1/144 Tiger I Initial Production has 6 items in the set. There is no way you can find out which of the 6 (or 7 including the secret item, which I will mention below) tanks you will get until you open the box. Like gashapons, you can easily get duplicates.

Some local shops will pre-open them and sell a whole set or just specific items for a higher price. While it sounds not so much a good idea from the outside it does save time and possibly money from guessing the items you get for every box you buy.

A lot of series often contain a hidden/secret item which are much harder to get as they are much fewer in numbers. These are either colour variations or are different to the rest of the series, making them highly sought for. In this case, the secret item for the said series is a Tiger I with snorkel fording pipe.

Many shokugan toys come in the form of figures. Some call them trading figures and they are usually at the same or slightly better quality to the gashapon equivalents.

While a lot of shokugan toys are based on popular character licenses from anime, manga, and games, there are some based on American entertainment licenses such as Aliens and Star Trek, while others are of real stuff such as military, guitars, or trucks etc.

In comparison, a gashapon is usually a capsule toy, costing somewhere between 100 Yen to 500 Yen. Their prices are much more fixed compared to shokugan toys as they are purchased from coin-operated vending machines.

Gashapon vending machines can be found outside convenience stores or retailer shops. In some places, you return the capsule to a basket or a container so the store can reuse them when they replenish the vending machine with more gashapons.

Do you collect any shokugan or gashapons, or are they a bit too cheap for your taste?
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