This post is made to help collectors with questions regarding the quality of items and to debunk fabricated myths about particular toys and figures. For further reading on this topic, please refer to HS Hobby’s excellent blog posts located here and here.
Your toys and figures? They’re made in China.
We often get asked by new collectors whether or not our figures are made in Japan or if Japan version figures are superior to Asia version figures. This is only natural as all collectors would want to avoid getting something that’s not worth their purchase. To make the long story (or blog post) short, figures are not manufactured in Japan. They’re made in China. But that doesn’t mean that they’re of poor quality or are bootlegs. Here’s why. Continue reading →
The Soul of Imaginative Chogokin (S.I.C.) toy line is where the term “acquired taste” really applies to. For years, S.I.C. has developed somewhat of a niche market for those who care less about show accurate designs and love the artistic liberties and eccentric detailing only found in this product line. However, unlike the more popular S.H.FiguArts, the extreme makeovers of tokusatsu characters in the S.I.C. line, along with the more advanced engineering involved means that product releases are much more seldom. Such has also been the case with their exclusive releases and as a result, S.I.C. exclusives really are fitting of the term “exclusive,” such as this unexpected announcement of an S.I.C. Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker Gold Xtreme from the movie, “Kamen Rider Double Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate”
This S.I.C. version of the powered-up version of Kamen Rider Double’s ultimate form features a recolored Crystal Server running down the middle of his face and body, but the base body sculpt is otherwise untouched. What are sure to grab attention though are the famous dragonfly-like wings which are also redesigned to fit with the S.I.C. aesthetic. They look quite similar to the redesigned wing frame of the PG Strike Freedom Gundam, probably because of the jagged edges lending to a more mechanical touch. I’m pretty sure you’ll need a Tamashii Stage for this one too since the wings are sure to make the figure back heavy. S.I.C. Kamen Rider Double CycloneJoker Gold Xtreme will be a Toei Hero.net exclusive, meaning this one’s bound to be much more of a pain in the ass to get than the usual Tamashii Web exclusive. It’s kind of similar to those fan club only perks that one gets in a school org making it that much of a greater exclusive in my opinion. This one’s going to retail for 5775 yen, still without the additional shipping and handling costs, and will be released in March 2012. Better start saving up if you’re an S.I.C. collector.
Despite being both a well-known series, Dragonball Kai hasn’t had a great outing in terms of toys recently. Back then, Dragonball toys seemed to be all the rage, but now in an otakusphere where girly, fabulous men rule, these musclebound freakazoids have been left collecting dust in toy shelves. Such has been the case for the S.H.FiguArts Dragonball lineup as recent additions have been relegated to Tamashii Web exclusive status to prevent overproduction and costs for that good ol’ farmer, Bandai, which is a sad thing as their latest release, the Super Saiyan 3 form of Son Goku actually makes me kinda’ drool. Continue reading →
Scans of Figure Oh No. 163 just came out with more grim news for seemingly unflinching Bandai loyalists as a list of the toy makers Tamashii Web exclusive items was featured in one of its pages. Continue reading →
In what has been a slow week for Japanese figure collectors due to the Obon holidays (in short: break time for everyone), Bandai has seemingly been the Energizer Bunny of the manufacturer bunch and brought its money-hogging carnival to Hong Kong, and of course the tokusatsu line of S.H.FiguArts was in full force as always.
Bandai’s Hobby Division, Tamashii, is still on going with their releases from the Ryuki series much after Max Factory’s figma line had just completed all the 13 riders from the english adaptation, Common Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. Continue reading →