Astro Toy Nendoroid Panty & Stocking
by David Cabrera,
Panty & Stocking Nendoroids
Series: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Manufacturer: Good Smile
About nine months ago I was already excited about the idea of Panty and Stocking action figures: in fact, I was green-lighted to buy them before anything had even come out. Let's talk about the merchandise cycle for big, otaku-oriented anime series. This is important context that will help you throughout life!
When the show's first running on TV, you get the cheapest stuff possible: t-shirts, little keychain trinkets, that kind of thing. For Gundam, you get the crap-grade model kits on the shelf the same day the show airs. A really nice toy takes a lot more time to design and produce, and that kind of thing isn't on the shelves until after the show is finished airing and after the (Japanese, ludicrously high-priced) video release has had some time to sell. Once that happens, the good stuff starts to roll out. This is going on with Madoka Fever as we speak. Now that that show's over the fanbase is hyped up to consume: absolutely everything attached to it sells out to preorders moments after announcement. (Don't worry, I'm waiting for a certain fan favorite character who has something in common with Dio).
Panty! Stocking! Panty panty stocking oh!
Panty stocking, oh panty stocking!
And so, a little over six months after its experimental run and fan-enraging finale (if you haven't watched the show, beware the inevitable spoilers in the comments), Panty and Stocking have Nendoroids. I wouldn't dare just buy one. These are the poses that they come in straight out of the box. Pretty good ones, I thought, and very different from the usual neutral poses figures are usually packed in. (We will learn later that this is for a reason.)
As is expected, the character design for the Nendoroids is quite a bit different from what we see in the TV show: it's the result of a compromise between the original's “Gainax vs. Dexter's Lab” look and Nendoroid's rounded “make it even cuter” aesthetic. I like that the weird box-hands are intact. In the TV show the characters were pretty deformed to begin with, so we should maybe put this look past “super-deformed” and into some new word, like “ultra-deformed”.
Though these figures just came out, Good Smile opted for the old-style Nendoroid design with no movable joints: only set parts for set poses. While you can mix and match, the parts included with these figures are sculpted only for very specific poses. Experimentation doesn't really work. Obviously, playability is pretty limited by this: hope you like the one of the very few possible poses available!
Panty and Stocking both come with their weapons (the guns, Backless, and the swords, Stripe), and they, uh, they sure go in their hands. Note that the swords need to be taken apart before you put them in Stocking's hands: if you try and force that in as-is you're definitely going to break something.
Here's a funny thing: if you don't know the show, Panty and Stocking's weapons are actually (going along with their names) their magically transformed underwear. As such, for the sake of true anime accuracy, Good Smile has included “panty-less” (and for Stocking, bare-legged) body parts for both characters. They're as detailed as a Barbie doll, so I apologize in advance to the people who were really interested in seeing the deformed plastic genitals of a Nendoroid. I know the Internet. I know very well that you are out there.
Tell me baby, tell me baby, feel alright! (Panty stocking)
Panty stocking, panty panty stocking oh!
Panty comes with the mascot Chuck, just a tiny stand-alone figure. Stocking has her doll, which has a little indentation where Stocking's arm is supposed to go. Stocking has a cute accessory in her beloved roll cake, which comes on a plate that she can hold. The included “hearts in eyes” face is clearly meant only for the cake.
Nendoroid stands are slightly different from usual. First, they are pink. Second-- and you know I love this-- they have magnets. Both Panty and Stocking have way too much hair for a peg in the back to be viable (and, for that matter, to stand independently), so instead there's a strong magnet inside the back of the head that keeps the girls standing. I don't know if this is standard for characters with big hair like this (frankly, I haven't looked at enough Nendoroids) but it's worth noting. The stand has its drawbacks-- the poser arm is basically irrelevant, and the character is always standing-- but I was honestly a little relieved not to have to deal with the usual non-fitting Nendoroid pegs.
As a fan of the characters, I wish there was something weirder and dirtier in the boxes. The weapons and mascots are cool, but they're the bare minimum. No extra hands with middle finger raised? No weaponized sex toys? Are these really Panty and Stocking action figures? In my imaginary world the P&S action figures come with all that and swear loudly when you press a button.
Oh! Panty stocking, tell me alright
Tell me baby, tell me baby, feel alright!
As Nendoroids go, these are average. They can't be faulted on looks, but as toys they don't come close to Neco-Arc or HMO Miku, with their wide range of options. I love these characters-- I drink my morning coffee out of a P&S mug and I don't care what you think about that-- and I might buy these at $50. I just wouldn't be overwhelmed by them. Of course, I'll pay whatever they ask for the upcoming figures of Bitch Commander Panty and Gothic Empress Stocking as seen in the “Transhome” episode, so take my word at your peril.
Amiami is sold out of Stocking (hell, I took more pictures of Stocking too. Didn't even notice!) but has Panty for sale: we paid $50 shipped. Kidnemo has Stocking for $53 after shipping. The girls are both in stock at HLJ for what will likely come out to 60-some.
Tell me, alright, did you know that sometimes Nendoroid parts are interchangeable? Be careful, though: for example, this Neco-Arc face fit Stocking but not Panty. If you damage any of your Nendos imitating my actions, don't go suing me! This joke was originally to feature Panty “Flying Away” on the Neco-Arc rocket, but the part didn't fit and the perfect joke was denied. As Osaka once said, “I'm sorry”.
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.
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