Bringing Super Deformed Back
by Adam Pawlus,
Featuring Ten Thousand Warriors
Welcome back, all seven of the regular readers. How goes it? Hopefully well. As always, thanks for writing in with your questions, feedback, and hate mail. Oh, and cheap stuff. If you're seeing any cool blow-outs, let me know and I'll pass it along here. I've always felt there's nothing more fun than dropping two or three bucks and getting a great figure, and if there's something out there to be had, share with your fellow fans!
Anyway, let's get started.
American Anime Toy News Bites
Evangelion collectors will never, ever run out of stuff to buy. Organic is importing the 01 Type F ACF Experiment figure, which is basically the original head with an all-new armored body. It's coming fairly soon and looks really cool-- if you've had your fill of product from the films or the series, this is a nifty new direction for merchandising. And we can't get enough of these Revoltech figures.
[ MORE: Wikipedia | HobbyLink Japan | Entertainment Earth ]
Need some new pillows? Mario Hat Cushions just hit importers, as did a Chocobo Cushion. That's right, you can sit on Mario's (or Luigi's) hat. Aren't you lucky. If that isn't $29 well spent, I don't know what is.
[ MORE: NCS [Mario Hat] | NCS [Chocobo Cushion] ]
From the series Fate/stay night, this Nendoroid figure takes the character of Rin and makes her super deformed and all sorts of weird. The funny thing is that this is a very expensive high-quality figure that looks really cheap. It's going to set you back a decent chunk of change, yet it looks like a small PVC figure-- with perks. She has articulated legs, a car, extra limbs, articulated hair (seriously), and more-- so she has a lot to offer, if you think you might like this sort of thing.
This set includes a display base, a car, two extra faces, and two extra arms.
Customizable, compact, unique. She also includes a pink car.
It's $30-$50 depending on where you shop, and she isn't much bigger than Cobra Commander. You don't really feel you're getting a lot for your money.
Many of you have written in complaining that all anyone makes high-end statues of are hot girls. Well, now you can have one that's not at all hot. Unless you find bobble heads sexy, in which case I'm sure a certain Dr. Kinsey would like to talk to you.
Rin is not so much a statue as a sort of collector's figure-- think Revoltech, minus the extra joints. She's articulated at the shoulders, legs, and neck, plus her two pigtails have a joint in them so you can position them to make it look like she's driving really, really fast. With two sets of arms, you can pose those in a limited fashion to evoke whatever ennui Yasagure-Chan is feeling at the moment. And those emotions include "rage," "fear," and "Fonzie" (pictured).
Easily, the most impressive thing are the articulated pigtails-- not just because the design work is remarkable, but because I don't believe I've ever seen this done in a figure I've held in my hands before. Aside from that, the head is pretty basic stuff-- not to belittle the transition of a Super-Deformed illustration into 3D, but it's difficult to say that the whole package is as impressive as a few small details to be found on this figure.
Due to her tiny, pointy feet she simply cannot stand on her own. You need to use the car (see below) or the display stand, which I might point out is a bit of a pain to use. It assembles fine by itself, but it was a little tricky to figure out how best to clamp it on her so as not to damage the paint or otherwise ruin the figure. I guess you can also lean her up against something, but sometimes painted plastic does weird things when it comes into contact with other materials, especially plastic, over time. So you shouldn't probably do that.
The accessories are many, and for this price, they should be. You can swap out Rin's default head for either an angry face or a crying face. As we're on deadline, we're just going to show you them like this. She also has spare arms with added articulation (or reduced, your choice) and a clear display stand which, again, sucks.
The car is worthy of mention, though-- there's some decent detail, like free-rolling wheels and an "R" on the license plate. Plus it looks a lot nicer than the clear display stand. It would be nice if it were a little bit bigger, or had a little more detail, but it's still pretty slick.
The box also sucks. It shows off the figure nicely, but if you like to keep your stuff packaged you may as well skip this one. It's not bad, but it's just not at all exciting-- not that we demand excitement from our little cardboard boxes, but it's nice to see something that makes you stop and gawk for a few seconds rather than going "so do I keep this to store the spare parts or just throw it out?"
MORE ABOUT NENDOROID
The added customization is what makes this style of figure unique- and there are a lot of Nendoroid figures out there from shows like Melancholoy of Haruhui Suzuiya and Death Note. It seems the Good Smile Company is making the most out of this style of collectible, although I haven't heard many stores sing its praises like I have with the Revoltech line or other, more detailed brands. I can't argue against her being cute. I can't say it isn't a neat looking item that's fun to mess with. But I can say that if you aren't already a fan of the show and the character, you probably would want to spend your money on something else.
IS IT WORTH IT?
I had more fun with the $5 pack of Spider-Man Superhero Squad figures I bought. I had more fun with the Pikachu PVC pack I bought. This, this is not so much fun.
Oh, and it smells bad. Like, "new toy smell," only much more stronger and with a hint of awful.
WHAT ELSE MIGHT YOU LIKE?
If this floats your boat, you either a) love the show or b) are not picky and think everything from Japan is great.
Unreasonable Demands: We Want...
Square has been good to its fans-- I know I went nuts back when someone from Hong Kong who read another project I was working on told me he had a Cloud Strife figure to send me, just when Final Fantasy VII came out in Japan. I was giddy, but a little surprised the line had both Tifa and Aeris/Aerith-- after all, in the 1990s, the toy figure market was largely male based when it came to mass-produced items, especially action figures. Statues are a bit of a different market, and when it comes to some series, the character popularity and importance make a big difference on what does and doesn't get made. Final Fantasy games are huge orgies of fan-wanks, where you spend dozens if not a hundred hours adventuring with these people-- as such, it makes sense to make toys of them when a blockbuster title comes out, but I should also point out that a really big toy or statue line for an anime series or game is fairly uncommon. Sure, some shows cover most of the big characters-- but not many, and certainly next to nothing that isn't a huge hit with the kiddies (Dragon Ball) or has significant longevity (Evangelion).
So it sucks that you're basically going to have to keep waiting, but you never know what'll happen. It'd be great to see everybody get their favorite characters some day, but you can look at pretty much any toy market and see very few lines with any real diversity. I mean, does anyone here buy any Batman stuff? You don't see a lot of options outside of Batman on most shelves, sadly. If you're really wanting to see this stuff though, my advice to you? Learn Japanese, find out who holds the license for your favorite properties, and write letters. Tell your friends to do the same. Sometimes it works-- most fan bases just have people who complain into the void of the Internet, but when a company gets a letter, sometimes they take it a little more seriously. After all, writing a letter actually takes effort.
Unless you're asking for something stupid, in which case, well, don't bother.
Well, how about it guys? If you have something you want to show off, let's do it. Send me a URL to your project and we'll see what we can do. I'd be curious to see if any of you guys are particularly crafty. And if someone really sucks, well, I guess we can pick at that too. (I kid, I kid. Maybe.) But yeah, if anyone out there is doing anything special, let's see it!
Or, well, you could post it in the forums too. I'd love to see a most-awesome-anime kit competition, wouldn't you? (There's no prize... BUT YOU CAN WIN!)
What's your unreasonable demand? Email me (adam at 16bit.com), and I'll post my favorite one(s) each time right here!
That's all for today...
I gotta go waste some time. Doing something. Elsewhere.
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