San Diego Comic-Con International 2009
Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: SDCC Day 2

by Rob Bricken, Jul 24th 2009
The madness continues here at SDCC. I would like to point out that the con makes things exceedingly difficult on nerd journalists here — the press badge grants us no access whatsoever, and we have to wait in line forever to see and cover what you guys want to know. Now, I'm not looking for pity — certainly, of all the beats ANN is covering here at SDCC, I've got the easiest — but when you read ANN's other great panel coverage, you might want to say thanks. Now, let's look at some toys.

KOTOBUKIYA

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What? The Evangelion gals dressed up like maids?I That's madness! Why, I've never seen such a thing! Like two highly skilled giant robot pilots would ever get employment in the service industry! Why, the whole idea is absurd. How droll.

Actually, these are bigger figures, and look pretty nice. If you want Rei and Asuka in maid outfits.

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I don't know what it is about Shunya Yamashita, but even though he makes his living designing statues and busts of oddly dressed fantasy girls, which normally don't do anything for me. And it's not like these are from a popular anime or manga or anything. But still, there's something about Yamashita's work that just grabs me. I've often considered buying any one of these busts, just because they look so great. Then I remember that my wife would use it to club me unconscious, and I decide not to.

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Hey, it's another Sengoku Rance figure, like the one I reviewed in Astro Toy a few months ago! I still know nothing about the series, but this figure looks amazing — check out all the detail in her straps. Plus, I love the way she's holding the arrow. The best part is that there's no way anyone would know it's from an ero-game unless they played it, meaning I could buy one and my wife would not club me unconscious with it.

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Here's some Kurogane no Linebarrel mecha. They look nice. They don't really move me, though.

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But Star Wars chopsticks shaped like lightsabers? These delight me to my very core. I know they're not strictly anime, but I'd be shocked if you guys didn't also think these were awesome. …right? I'm so glad Kotobukiya is importing these things; look for them before the end of the year.

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And last but not least (well, probably least to you guys) is Koto's line of Marvel stuff. I only bring this up because I feel you should be informed that Koto's shifting over to making statues of both Marvel characters and Star Wars, because… well, mostly because they make a ton of money, probably way more than the anime stuff. The Star Wars stuff is fine, although Koto seems to be doing mostly Clone Wars cartoon style at the moment. The Marvel stuff — well, about 900 different companies have a Marvel statue license, but only Koto seems to be making statues and busts of the terrible Marvel movies like Daredevil and Punisher and Fantastic Four. Shockingly, it's been a smart move — there are always enough collectors who either liked the movies or just want to complete their collection. And now you know.

SQUARE ENIX

First of all, I need to warn you that Square's manner of displaying toys — that is, putting them in small glass boxes that create a glare from almost any position which are lighted inside from the bottom so your camera's flash pretty much goes insane to boot — thwarts even decent photographers, and I am not a decent photographer. So you have my apologies. Second, you know I'm a huge Final Fantasy fanboy, so please try and take my delight with a grain of salt.

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The main thing on display was this massive but unpainted Odin horse from FFXIII. The sculpting is gorgeous, and I'm certain it's going to be amazing when finished. I feel pretty secure saying this because…

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…the Shiva bike — made of two girls who link up to form the world's most erotic motorcycle — is painted and awesome. The bike will actually separate into the two figures and “transform,” if you count virtual lipstick lesbianism to be transformation. Frankly, it's about the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life. I'm not even ashamed.

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Some new FFXIII figures have been revealed as well — left to right, that's Sazh and Derba, while Snow is in the Shiva pic, standing behind the bike. If you think these guys look more detailed than Square Enix's usual figures, you're right, and it's not just because it's a next-gen game, or because of the character designs. These guys are actually bigger than the rest of the Play Arts line, by about an inch-or-two — it's allowed Square to really up the ante on these things. They blow the rest of Play Arts figures away. The bad news? These guys are going to be around $40 per figure, and god only knows what Shiva or Odin will cost.

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I'm not digging the Kingdom Hearts Santa Suit Sora, but regular Keyblade-wielding King Mickey? Yes, please!
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New Fullmetal Alchemist series means new figures, and Square is putting their new skills to use — mostly by including Roy Mustang instead of Winry. Ed looks leaner and meaner than his previous Play Arts version, and even Al looks improved, but I've been staring at him for the last 10 minutes are trying to figure out how. Maybe a better metal look to the armor?

Tomorrow: Yamato and Diamond.

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