Toys! Here, there and everywhere

I’m a bit of a collector when it comes to my favorite things.  Recently, I’ve acquired Ultra Magnus in my Transformer’s Masterpiece collection. He stands tall and mighty, but I want bigger. The Combiner Wars Devestator bound for US released this fall stands at 18 inches (45cm)! There hasn’t been any announcement for it on the Japanese market. Just the US bound one by Hasbro. Although it isn’t a masterpiece, it stands tall. Way taller than the biggest. My Optimus MP-10 is arriving this Summer and will nearly complete my collection.

I’ll rock your casba

The Amiibo buying games as reached critical mass. I’m not out to collect everything, but I do have my eyes on some upcoming Wii U/3DS accessories.  These beautifully (usually) figures sit cheap, when they’re not inflated by high demand coming from overseas traffic. 11 bucks in Japan, but the Japanese Amazon figures sold out within 30 minutes because of offshore buying driving up the prices of other retailers! It’s insane and I might have to pull myself out of the Amiibo game after acquiring some rare ones like the Wii Fit Trainer and Shulk.

I’ve been collecting Tomica die cast toys more recently as they’ve been venturing into my areas of interest. I picked up two AE-86 ones officially licensed by Initial D.  I also picked up the Tie Fighter and X-Wing diecast, but ignored the poorly scaled Millennium Falcon and Star Destroyer one. I have the Y-Wing lined up and here’s hoping for an A-Wing and the probably impossible B-Wing. I’m out for the JSDF die cast tank and jeep as well.

I’ll swoosh you good

I’ve thrown in my first pre-order for a Nendoroid in a long time. I have toon Link coming in this Summer. My newest area of interest is in Adventure Time goods. As a long fan of American cartoons, Adventure Time caught my interest back when I first enjoyed some episode during season 3 on my European Cruise. As it enters the Japanese market this year I hope to procure more and more of their goods.

Finally, I’ve gotten a Wii U, so of course I have my eyes on games for that and my 3DS. I recently ordered Danganronpa 2, which I had put off for quite a while.

I’m sorry wallet! I know I should be taking care of my car, but my toys call! This is why I can’t leave Japan.

By gtr06 Posted in Toys

Golden Week Adventures!

Last year, Golden Week was a continuation of my year long journeys around Japan. This year, I’ve hardly been out of Nagoya for work and vacationing. Originally, I had planned to visit Shikoku and Kyushu this year, but everyone had other plans. The trip still may come to fruition, but it is uncertain when. April 29th was the official start day of Golden Week for many people, or April 28th for those that don’t work or have school on weekends. After a great sushi night, and a walk from Kanayama to Kamimaezu and Nagoya, I celebrated my first day of Golden Week working on my Yotsuba model, SimCity and Saizeriya for dinner. Slowly and carefully, I will be finished sometime later this year.

Tomorrow, a day of karaoke is planned with some friends! Also, following up on Maaya Sakamoto’s concert, it was fun, but not as entertaining as her Route38 concert! The first half were all songs from her new album (as we expected) and other lesser known songs. The second half had a medley of her best songs, and finished with a Macross Frontier song, and one of my favorite songs, Poketto wo kara ni shite!

My Soundwave collection. Complete. Masterpiece.

Masterpiece 13, 15 and 16. A collection that took over 3 months to create, came with 5 cassettes and the one and only Soundwave. Priced at around $200, because of the Amazon sale, I also received 2 bonus clear Energon Cubes because of the Amazon bonus.  For those who were unfortunate to miss such a release, or reside state side, fear not! Soundwave will be coming to the West, along with all 5 cassettes, in one package. He will also come with more cartoon accurate visors and colors. Being an early adopter always has its price, but this time it was completely worth it.  Soundwave, which I’ve yet to convert into a Cassette player, comes with incredible detail, rivaling that of MP Starscream and a load of accessories!

The accessories, including Megatron’s gun and the hidden details were the most interesting parts. Soundwave is full of storage for Rumble and Frenzy, as well as for his own weapons and equipment.  For example hands can be hidden to attach accessories, snap on battery packs from MP15 and 16, do just that on Soundwave. Buzzsaw and Laserbeak can attach to Soundwave through a snap on point on his arm and so on.  My favorite function is the cassette ejector, it feels durable and it can fit 3 cassettes and eject them without difficulty thanks to a loading mechanism and button inside and behind him.

However, it’s not all sunshine and happiness. His on movable fingers fall of easily, which reminds me of the dangerous days of Optimus and his hide and seek fists. His cassette area is made of clear plastic, but I can clearly see smudges and small scratches, not just there but all around his body. Somehow I don’t think its battle damage.  Overall, he doesn’t feel as solid as Starscream, but he does come close. His metal legs are pretty awesome and are quite durable at holding him up. His joints are circular, and remind me of GoodSmile Company’s toys, but a little more durable!  All in all, this figure is incredibly photogenic, and as someone who loves to take pictures of miniatures and a big Transformers fan, I’m clearly in Cybertron heaven.

Hakase and Nano

When December ended, so did my Nichijou collection! I got Hakase and Nano now and they both sit happily with Sakamoto and their little table.  Also my Yuuko, Mio and Mai figures from Shounen S magazine!

Transformers Masterpiece – MP03 Starscream USA Edition

After picking up Sunstorm from Amazon Japan, I decided to get Starscream MP-03 USA Edition as well. Different in color from the actual US release and original MP-03 Japanese release, his vehicle mode’s realism really sold me.
He can’t wear the shoulder pads properly, but he was a lot easier for me to transform than Sunstorm.

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I really dig the stand, paintjob and extra equipment. However, it doesn’t come with a trading card, pretty box, or pretty instruction manual. He might be slightly lower than Sunstorm as well, and his face changes, otherwise they are both very similar.
Except of course for the realism of Starscream’s vehicle mode, and Sunstorms sturdy robot mode is smoother. The plastic seems a little worse cut on Starscream, but its probably Hasbro’s fault.

Transformers Masterpiece – MP11S SUNSTORM

Moving away from my traditional figure collection is a collection I’ve put on hold for almost 2 decades (with the exception for a Movie version Bumblebee I got a few years back) and that collection is my Transformer collection.  In my collection at home is a generation 2 Optimus Prime ( missing knuckle of course), a generation 2 Starscream, a generation 2 Constructacon, and a few other lesser known units.  In Japan, my love of Transformer was revived with the game Transformers: War for Cybertron and its sequal Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.  So after a few trips to the toy store, I decided I would buy up some Transformers.  I decided to start with SunStorm, part of the famous and high quality Transformer Masterpiece series, he is a clone of Starscream Coronation Edition, which is available for higher than normal prices due to the end of circulation.  SunStorm is almost identical to MP-11S edition of Starscream, which is a redesign of the original MP-03.  It comes with fewer accessories, but its easier to transform, and looks better in transformation mode, but its less realistic in flight mode.  So without further to do here are some pictures!

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Blast from the past

Do you know about Yotsubato? Yotsubato is a great series of books made by Azuma, the same person who did Azumanga! It’s a great story through the childhood experiences of a little foreign girl named Yotsuba.  It keeps the comedy from Azumanga, and its really easy to read in Japanese! Now onto my figure review!

In anticipation to the release of Lucky Star on blu-ray, today I will be looking at Kagami: OVA version! In the last Lucky Star episode, the Lucky Star OVA, Kagami is in a dream sequence as Hatsune Miku.  To celebrate she was released as a figma, alongside a nendoroid. I don’t have the nendoroid, but I do have the figma!

Since these are the earlier generation of figma what I first noticed was the lack of accessories, and the larger size!  Their faces are almost as big as nendoroid faces!  The Racing Miku figma I reviewed earlier had tiny faces!

Another difference were that the joints were stiffer, as well as harder to change.  A few times I thought I was going to break a piece off.  There was a problem with one of the screws for the stand, and that problem was rust! I’m not sure what humidity levels this box has been through, but clearly the figmas of the past are really different from today’s figmas.

However, I did notice more detail, and they are a bit more photogenic because of the larger faces.  The paint job seems to be nice without any jagged pieces or bleeding. I’d agree that it’s one of the better Hatsune Miku figures!

Gasha Snow Miku

If you guessed Snow Miku yesterday then you’re right! Well kind of…

Its the limited 2012 Hokkaido Snow Festival Snow Miku Gashapon!

Does it require building? Well…

Just a little!

She is really nicely coloured and built for a 300 yen figure! Although it cost me 1200 yen to finally win her after 4 tries. This special snow Miku was only available at Sapporo’s Airport and I believe also at the Good Smile Company booth and wonfest. It was limited and only sold during the 2012 Sapporo snow festival.

Well lets take some pictures of her!

She looks very nice! Except for a crack in her hair, which was intentional most likely but poorly concealed. She has the true making of a quality figure!  The snow man has a microphone as if interviewing her as she shows off her software in her arms!! She has all the marking and details on the normal Miku even the number 01 for first Vocaloid!  In Hokkaido Hatsune Miku held her first outdoor concert, but it was a secret concert!  This figure probably hinted at a possible concert and interview!

Miku is pleased!

And of course… When you lean too far forward.

And if you guessed something else you’re right!

The other gashapons I got were a fox and 2 trains! They are a part of Hokkaido’s history and culture! I really should have tried harder to get the Clock Tower that was featured in Saikano or at least the professor that said “Boys be Ambitious!”

Racing Miku Figma

Can you guess what is coming?

Today we look at another toy by Good Smile Company, but more specifically GoodSmile Racing.  There are a lot of GoodSmile Racing figures and toys, and some may wonder why that is.  The reason is in Japan, twice a year, GoodSmile Racing holds a fund raising event for their racing team.  If one chooses to support their season, they will reward you with gifts.  Sometimes they’ll hand out Figma, and sometimes they distribute Nendoroids, but they’ll always give you a racing package that you can wear to cheer on your team.  My racing package is in Japan, as well as a little trophy they gave me for my figure, but today I’ll look at Racing Miku’s Figma, which won the 2011 GT300 races! It was GSR’s first ever victory and they wanted to celebrate! They were so happy that they released the puchi racing set, which I reviewed yesterday, and the full scale figure, which I did not purchase.  If you’d like to support their 2012 team, which unfortinately isn’t doing too well, then you can visit GoodSmile Racing!

The puchi’s definitely allow more facial details, but figma’s are more flexible and in a sense more fun. I decided to pose her with the trophy and the umbrella and along side 2010’s car.  With the new camera she came out quite nice, I only wish her neck didn’t come out so far, it makes her look a little awkward. Her smiling face however is brilliant. The smile reminds me of Fuuka from Yotsubato and I think it is really adorable.  This Miku also has something that few other figures do, but it sure makes it strange, and that thing is boobs. Is this really Miku?!

Can you guess what I’ll review with my camera tomorrow?