Dean

Dean

Wednesday, 26 December 2018 02:04

Gintama collection

Gintama collection is my largest collection and was my first collection I attempted. This whole collection is also my largest dedicated to a single series.

With over 40+ Gintama figures, this collection takes up one of my entire display units (4 levels).

While it should be fairly obvious, I will state that Gintama is one of my most favorite series. This series has a habit of breaking the 4th wall whenever the characters feel like it and it can be dead series or hilariously comical or even might make you wail like a baby. It is also a long running series and has most of characters in figure forms.

All (1/8) scale figures are from Megahouse with a sole exception of Kyubei which was made by Alpha x Omega. And Kyubei figure happens to be my #1 favorite figure in the collection as well followed by Hijitaka figure.

The beginning of this collection started with me collecting cheap Gintama figures from Banpresto. At that time, I wasn't fully aware of quality differences between premium figures and low-end figures because, on pictures, I couldn't see much difference and, thus, preferred purchasing cheaper ones. However, when I happened to snatch a cheap Gintama megahouse figure, I began to see the clear quality differences.

Long story short, I stopped purchasing Banpresto figures since then unless I had no other choice which brings up Shinpachi. He appears in almost all episodes and, yet, due to his low popularity as well as him being "95% glasses, 3% water, 2% trash" (by Gintoki).

I am being quite serious here. Shinpachi's glasses are actually, really, available for purchase but his scale figure is not. Yeah....

I also wanted Sadaharu (The big white dog) but there is no figure for him. However, there is Sadaharu piggy bank which is almost like a figure, so I grabbed it. There are also Sadaharu pillows & cushions but they are way too big.
So, I settled on that Sadaharu piggy bank model.

The most expensive Gintama figure was Kamui & Souko both at 150USD.
The most inexpensive Gintama figure was Gintoki at 25USD.

The whole collection took 2 and half years to reach this point. I still collect some (rare) trading figures if found though. You may have noticed that I've collected some voice trading figures. Those are hard to find at good prices.

Another aspect I do like about this collection is a healthy ratio of males and females. I don't like it when it's all females or harem (1 male & ∞ females).

Sunday, 23 December 2018 13:52

Chika Ogiue

Released in 2007, this figure is more than 10 years old now. This is a 1/8 scale figure by Alter and the figure stands at 19cm which is average for a 1/8 scale.

She is Chika Ogiue from Genshiken. Although she is introduced in mid season 1, she takes a major role in season 2 and onwards. Ogiue is a typical case of tsundere although, in her case, she does have valid reasons to close her mind to those around her other than trying to simply be "that type of girl".

For a figure that was produced in 2007, the quality is well above average. But this is not exactly top-of-line quality figure. But then, it isn't price exactly high, either. You can probably grab this real cheap on Ebay or Mandrake @ around 40 ~ 50 USD. Choose free SAL shipping and it will get to you in a month or so.

A distinguishing feature is that the figure's entire school cosplay uniform is cast-off (can be taken off). Ah, yes, she is cosplaying. She is also a university student, so you are not looking at an underaged character, either. She may look as if she is cosplaying against her will but I assure you that she volunteered to cosplay, sort of.

This is where you run into some issues. Her arms aren't really secured and can easily fall off. Additionally, her uniform is secured by plastic needle joints. This method is used universally for cast-off clothes on figures.

In my experience, though, it never works too well. It works, sort of, but it just never secures firmly. Thankfully, Alter used large joints, so in this specific case, it works. However, I've experienced cast-off figure clothes with tiny needle joints that weren't really doing anything to keep clothes shut.

You may also see her cosplay glasses still wrapped in its package. They kindly included a fair in case you break one. Me though? I didn't even bother opening. I don't know what it is made of, but it is paper thin and I didn't want to risk anything because I was fairly certain that I was likely break it while trying to equip it on the figure.

Once you take her uniform off and swap out arms, you now have Ogiue in a school swimsuit cosplay. She is basically cosplaying in two layers. Talk about being hardcore.

She looks fine in either outfits, so it's entirely up to you which outfit you want her to be in. Personally, I am going to put her uniform back on, mainly because I do not want to keep her uniform parts separately kept elsewhere.

My verdict on this figure is that it is worth acquiring her if you are into collecting Genshiken figures. The figure as a standalone figure would look nice with Genshiken manga books as well.

The shading is good. Cast-off parts are fairly good and her face is well sculpted. Minor details are well taken care of. I can forgive some minor painting faults for a figure that costs relatively cheap. Price quality wise, I'd give it A+. Finally, below is a manual that came with the box, kindly explaining what you need to do in order to change her outfit.

Saturday, 22 December 2018 06:01

Photograph: How was your day?

 

It seems I favor sunset sceneries. It's true; personally my most favorite moment of a day is sunset where the sky and clouds becomes drenched with bloody orange color. I often sit outside and stare at twilight until it becomes dark enough.

The archer is Chester Burklight from Tales of Phantasia. The cook is Lilith Aileron from Tales of Destiny. The girl in middle is someone I don't know. I merely purchased her on Ebay because I felt she'd eventually be useful for some projects. That was like 6 months ago though. I am glad I got to use her in this occasion. If you know who she is, let me know.

The grass is one of those fake golf grass tiles. The backdrop is a cheap painting from China. The structure is a small doll house I made. I think it turned out okay overall.

I took a little different approach this time and added text to describe what is going on in the photo.

Friday, 21 December 2018 15:47

Photograph: Umm, guys...

This is, by far, the most ambitious photograph project I've pulled off.

To get the final photo, I had to prepare for a month which involved building two doll houses for this very scene. I've recorded construction of the first doll house in the following blog entry.

The scene involves characters from Tales of Abyss and Tales of Vesperia. They are trading figures I acquired. The scenario is that Yuri, Estelle, Patty, and Raven are returning from a hunt and are visiting a cake shop. However, Yuri spots a wanted poster of himself while the others are blissfully unaware of it.

The brick wall paper is actually from model train stuff (H0 scale). I acquired five of them from an ebay seller. They are hardened papers and look very much like real brick walls.

Friday, 21 December 2018 00:09

Doll house building (for a project)

For a while, I've been thinking of investing in few doll houses to use as a background prop & more for figure photographs. I never got around actually going for it, until now.

Actually, on second though, a grown map building a doll house is never a pleasing thought. Though I reason with myself that this needs to be done for a bigger project of mine.

This would be my very first time building anything like this. In other words, I have absolutely no experience in this.

The manual is okay. You don't actually need to read anything. The pictures are enough to tell me what to do. Measurements are in either cm or mm. Thankfully, I am comfortable with metric system.

Every single element of the house needs to be manually glued together. The progress is really slow at the beginning due to having near a hundred of small parts. It literally becomes a 3D puzzle.

And some, actually most, assembly requires eyeballing instead of precise measurement. A good example is a spot where the door is supposed to go. The manual doesn't say anything. I basically had to build the door first and then add 1mm to the width of the door.

Manual says one thing. Actual stuff tell me another. While I am getting a hang of this, some of stuff are just not accurate and I am forced to improvise. If it's longer than it's supposed to be, I grind it down. The issue is when stuff is shorter than they are supposed to be. Good news is that none of it is game breaking issues and I felt I could be creative enough to get around the issues.

By time I started to build furniture, I became used to the basic gist and started to go on without reading the instruction. I didn't have to build exactly according to the instruction after all. The kit also includes wires, LEDs, a battery pack, AND a controller for LED lights. I don't intent to install them because I won't be needing it, for now at least.

I need more than just this cake house. I need street floor prop and another doll house since this one alone won't fit the whole scene. This kit costs me 75CAD and is one of the most expensive ones in this company's lineup. I know I should have gone for something smaller, thus easier, but this kit was the only one in stock from Amazon that I wanted. Others I wanted would ship from China and, from my experience, it\'d take 3 ~ 5 weeks. I plan to acquire several more of these doll houses for photographs.

Thursday, 20 December 2018 14:33

Tohru Adachi

Tohru Adachi is an antagonist in Persona 4 and his screentime wasn't much, which means it's sort of a miracle that this guy was made into a figure form. Indeed, a male sidekick with little screentime being made into a figure is very rare. He wasn't a niche character, either.

This is a 1/8 scale figure with a height of 22cm. A rather unknown company called "Contribe" made this. The box comes with an additional (insane) head and an extra hand with a cabbage in a Junes bag.

The quality of this figure is acceptable. I'd give it around B. Painting lacks any kind of shading but the paint job itself is alright. You may also find his face a little off also.

Priced at around 100USD, this figure is overall a bad value for the money. But, again, it's a miracle that he was made into a figure and I had to acquire him. You may find it hard to find him now though. The availability of this figure is not very good and it will only get worse. In addition, this figure has absolutely no chance of getting a re-run.

The base has a potential issue of its joint being broken because the plastic pole is fairly long and the figure is secured by single foot. Be very careful when you are installing the figure into the base. I think that's the most likely where you will break the joint. Once installed, never uninstall it.

Sculpting is also basic with fingers having no nails and crude hair. The only saving grace for this figure is that it's a miracle that he was made into a figure. Other than that, there is no reason to acquire him.

Thursday, 20 December 2018 05:18

Genshiken collection

This is my Genshiken collection. Genshiken is basically a story about a group of hardcore otaku belonging to the same club at their university. My focus here is season 1 because season 2 and onward wasn't really worth my time.

 

Due to all of the figures being manufactured in 2004ish, all figures show some signs of age. Still, I was able to acquire most of them brand new. Only characters from Kujibiki Unbalance were purchased used.

While I do have the full Genshikan manga, the front covers weren't impressive. Genshiken new edition front covers, however, look darn awesome which was why I purchased two of them just for the display. I haven't even torn its plastic wrap off them.

It took me 6 months to track down Genshiken trading figure set and the set cost me around 60 USD. I did locate pieces of it at unreasonable prices. When I finally tracked down a full set, the seller was from Hong Kong which made me skeptical. Alas, having no choice and not wanting to let go of a chance that came after 6 months, I pulled the trigger.

In the end, I do think they are genuine. Their quality as well as maker signatures indicate that they aren't like bootlegs.

Everything else was easy to acquire; it was just a matter of finding better deals.

Most of figures are decent. Even trading figures are of good quality for its size. I do, however have an issue with Saki figure by Yamato. Well, look below.

Her ankles have been slowly, progressively bending. And, right now, the figure is unable to stand still. This figure was taken out of the display of course and was replaced by Good smile version.

It should be obvious but I did not purchase the figure with its ankle bent like that. The figure was fine. For some odd, divine, reasons, her ankles bent while all of my other figures are perfectly fine.  It took me a year to notice that the figure was bending and, at that point, no matter what I did, the figure bent back.

Overall, though, this collection was fun.

Thursday, 20 December 2018 04:51

Tsunade by Megahouse

I don't claim to be a die hard Naruto fan. But I do own the manga books and have been keeping up with the series since early 2000.

When I started collecting figures (since 2015), collecting Naruto figures certainly came to my mind. However, at that time, an important character for me was missing. Actually, there are two characters I really wished to collect: They are Jiraiya and Tsunade.

Now, both of them exist. However, Jiraiya is a non-scale low-end figure. Tsunade is a proper 1/8 scale Megahouse figure.

As a figure collector, I certainly understand why girls have a higher priority when it comes to figure productions, but Jiraiya... he is one of the kind character out there in Naruto. Not having a proper scale figure for him is going to pain me greatly. At least though, I now have Tsunade. If a scale Jiraiya figure is made, I am certainly willing to spend hundreds for him. Having him and Tsunade displayed together would almost bring me tears to my eyes.

Normally, I'd start the review by complaining about the gigantic bust size, but any Naruto fan knows that Tsunade has huge assets. By Jiraiya's own words, they are "106cm". I have no idea what cup that translates to but I do know that it's huge.

The overall quality of the figure is excellent. I did find a slight mishap on her hair but it can be easily overlooked. Well, her whole outfit is simple to begin with, so I suppose it's hard to mess up there. The price for this figure was about 100 USD which is pretty high for what you are getting. General figure price has been steadily going up and the price increase is slowly reaching a point where this hobby could well go out of reach for some people.

A good thing about this figure is the base. The figure and the base are connected by a thick metal rod and they aren't coming off until you really force it. This is generally a good thing. I've had a little too many figures that simply fell off its base upon a touch. The base itself is simple and not too intrusive. This is actually a good thing especially when you are running out of space to display figures.


As for her coat, it's basically hanging on her fingers.


I am not entirely sold on her pose but I am not sure what else would be better for her. I wouldn't have liked a cute pose due to her age (50+). Therefore, this bold pose makes sense to me. Additionally, it brings out her bust more.

Overall, the figure is good enough and I'd recommend it. But, hey, it's not like you have a choice if you want to collect Tsunade. There are some badly done trading figures for her which I wouldn't recommend to bother with.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 22:58

Yuri Lowell by Alter

This is Yuri Lowell by Alter from Tales of Vesperia. This is a 1/8 scale and its height is 21cm.

My most favorite character in Tales of is Yuri Lowell. For the record, I've played all PS2 and PS3 releases of Tales of since Tales of Abyss. I began playing Tales of games on PC once they were released on Steam. I don't have PS4 but all Tales of games on PS4 is available on PC, so that's moot.

My reason for liking Yuri Lowell is his moral flexibility especially during early game. Compared to Flynn, Yuri is so much more relatable as well as realistic.

He is sarcastic, flirts with women if able, and can be mean as well as kind. While his romantic relationship is rather clouded, that's only a minor complaint. Most ship him with Estelle or Judith. Personally, I ship him with Estelle.

As expected from Alter, this figure is excellent. I can't fault painting. I can't fault sculpting. I do have a minor complaint with his blade sheath which falls off upon the slightest contact. This is due to the joint being too shallow. The joint just doesn't go deep enough to secure the prop properly. If you are brave enough, you can simply glue it. But doing so will devalue the figure in case you want to sell it.

The box also comes with a chibi Yuri which is very cute. This chibi is very well made with its head being able to rotate around. If you are buying a used one, do make sure the seller is including this chibi figure. I've seen some listings where this chibi figure wasn't included.  If it's unclear, ask the seller.

I say this because this chibi figure is worth as much as the scale Yuri figure.

Overall, this figure is worth the money. You don't see many figures that come with its own chibi figures at this price point. Granted, this figure is now 10+ years old and hard to find brand new. But prices for used is reasonable. Just make sure that its condition is A+. Since this is a male, fully clothed, figure, second figures should be alright. Its previous owner wouldn't have ... played with it (sexually).

Never buy lewd figures secondhand for this reason.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 02:22

Souko Okita

Dekobokko Arc from Gintama. It is a very hilarious arc where all characters in the series swap genders.

While it lasted only three episodes, two characters from this arc became figures. The more popular one is this Souko (Sougo) Okita. This figure is by Megahouse and is 1/8 scale. The height of this figure is 22cm but it's 21cm to the tip of her head.

Fully taking advantage of Sougo Okita's sadistic side, Souko becomes a full sadist. Dressed in a Japanese high school uniform, she also becomes quite sexy with her whip. Her dominating pose as well as the swirling whip, yep, this is Souko in full sadist mode. 

Perhaps more importantly, her skirt is cast-off. More on that soon.

The quality of this figure is excellent and I don't really have anything to complain. This is one of better figures I've come across. The price is also reasonable with the quality which stands at around 120USD. If I must point out a fault on this figure, it's her whip. It should have been removable from her hand and Megahouse should have included an additional arm in place of the whip arm.

The whip also dangles a lot which isn't really a issue on its own since it is flexible.

 

Her cast off skirt is removed by uninstalling her upper body. The joint is firm, yet not too firm. You can pick up the figure by holding her head and expect the joint to hold firm. Overall, the removal of her skirt is a smooth process. And, in spite of being secured by a foot, the figure is stable and it does not dangle. This is a good and important thing.

Once her skirt is removed, you will see her dark purple "normal" woman's underwear which I would wager to be a proper choice. I was sort of expecting to see a thong though, eh.

Overall, I do recommend this figure, especially if you are collecting Gintama figures. Even if you aren't a fan of Gintama, this figure might as well be worth to collect. I mean, how often do you see a sadist figure? 

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