Saturday, 31 August 2013

Ultra-Act Ultraman Leo Getting Renewal for 2014!

Tamashii Nations unveiled on their page for December's renewal version of the Ultra-Act Ultraman Zero that Ultraman Leo will also be receiving the renewal treatment next year as well! More information on that once it becomes available.

Bluefin Opens Direct to Consumer Premium Store

Bluefin Distribution is proud to announce the opening of a direct to consumer store specializing in event limited and out of production items!  Designed for consumers who could not attend events that featured product exclusives, this site is intended to benefit those who are geographically disadvantaged from the high profile events like the San Diego Comic-Con.  Bluefin Premium will feature products that were only at events such as San Diego Comic-Con as well occasional items that were previously believed to be no longer available.  All major brands carried by Bluefin Distribution including Tamashii Nations, Bandai Hobby, Bandai Shokugan, Square-Enix will be represented with new items added as additional quantity is found.  

Source: Bluefin Distribution

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Figure Review - Ultra-Act Ultraman Taro

In my continuing quest to complete the Ultra Brothers lineup in Tamashii Nation's Ultra-Act series of super articulated action figures, I have acquired the most recent release, Ultraman Taro. Taro was released back in late June. I had originally missed out preordering him when he was first announced. I was able to acquire this one for a decent price at Plamoya a week ago. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 promo pics!

Check out these awesome images of the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000, coming out this December!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Bluefin Tamashii Nations January 2014 Web Exclusives

S.H. MonsterArts Battra
$64.99 - Feb 2014

The popular Kaiju from the Godzilla Vs Mothra film joins the S.H.MonsterArts series!  The figure sculpt has been master crafted in exquisite detail by Yuji Sakai, and features clear parts as part of his head for enhanced realism.  Battra also features advanced articulation:  a characteristic of the S.H.MonsterArts series- maw, wing and leg areas are also fully articulated.  In addition, a special display stand has been included in this set to portray Battra in flying poses.  A Tamashii Web Exclusive in Japan, this figure has been made a regular release in the US thanks to the folks at Bluefin.

Blue Wind Ranger & Yellow Wind Ranger Set
$89.99 - Feb 2014

Following the release of S.H.Figuarts Red Wind Ranger, the Blue and Yellow Wind Rangers arrive to complete the core team from Power Rangers Ninja Storm!  Offered only as a Tamashii Web Shop exclusive in Japan, this limited 2 figure set will be made available to fans in North America courtesy of Bluefin Distribution.  The set also features a full array accessories and interchangeable parts, including the Yellow Wind Lion Hammer, Blue Wind Sonic Fin, and Ninja Swords (2 sets each), as well as interchangeable hand parts (5 right/6 left sets for each figure).  Ideal for displaying with the S.H. Figuarts Red Wind Ranger (sold separately) and S.H.Figuarts Crimson Thunder Ranger & Navy Thunder Ranger Set (coming soon!).

Source: Bluefin Distribution

Saturday, 24 August 2013

New Scan for MonsterArts Godzilla 2000

A new, and more clearer scan for December's S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 has surfaced.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000!

The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 has been officially announced by Tamashii Nations and slated for a December release! It'll be priced at 7560 Yen (around $77 USD).

*Note: The design for Godzilla 2000's figure is based on Yuji Sakai's concept design, not the final suit design by Sinichi Wakasa.

Ultra-Act Ultraman Zero Renewal Version!

Tamashii Nations will be releasing a brand new sculpt of the Ultra-Act Ultraman Zero this December! No price has been announced yet.

NECA 18" Knifehead

With the anticipated 18" Gypsy Danger figure coming out at any time, a new set of photos reveals the 18" Knifehead! There is no release date yet. Unlike the 7" figure, the 18" looks to be in proper scale with Gypsy Danger.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

X-Plus Vinyl Re-Issues Are Licensed for North America

Diamond Distributors will bring high quality
Godzilla vinyls to your local comic shop 

By John Stanowski

X-Plus is a Japanese company known for making high-end vinyl figures. They come in either a 10 or 12 inch size and are fantastic representations Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman and all manner of kaiju. They strive to make sculpts which are accurate when compared to the actual kaiju suits rather than idealized versions. You'll often find details like zippers and holes in the neck from which the actors inside can see.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Figure Review: S.H. MonsterArts Destoroyah Evolution Set

"I know Micro-oxygen and it doesn't have that kind of power."
"Then what does?"
"An Oxygen Destroyer!"

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Figure Review: X-Plus Toho Large Monsters Series Kumonga

Finally, we have the new X-Plus Toho Large Monsters Series Kumonga 1967! I received this guy along with the previously reviewed Revoltech Evangelion 13, and X-Plus Toho Large Monsters Series King Caesar. Considering that this figure is very wide, I couldn't photograph him in my usual display area, so I had to photograph it outside. The results were very pleasing!

Kumonga, or known in some US dubs as the Spiega, first appeared in the 1967 movie, Son of Godzilla, then again fighting alongside Earth's monsters in 1968's Destroy All Monsters. It wouldn't be for another 36 years before Kumonga would appear in another Godzilla movie again: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).

This figure of the big arachnid is based on his original 1967 appearance. It is nearly a foot and a half in width, and stands about three to four inches from the ground to the highest part of the figure. In my opinion, X-Plus has really done a great job with this guy. Both Kumonga and King Caesar definitely make up for the flaws in June's Godzilla 1975 sculpt. This is the first time X-Plus has released a figure for Kumonga.

The figure is sculpted entirely out of vinyl. Mostly soft vinyl in the main body, and a harder vinyl in the legs. The small mandibles around its mouth are easily flexible, but I highly suggest that people don't mess around with them.

Six out of eight of Kumonga's eyes are sculpted out of a translucent plastic. They have air bubbles within the plastic, which perfectly replicates the original prop. The overall paint job for Kumonga is very spot on and well implemented.

Kumonga comes with only one accessory, a base for the figure to rest upon in order for the figure's own body weight to not compromise its posture. The base is a pile of boulders, covered with Kumonga's webbing. The RicBoy Internet Exclusive version of this figure comes with a larger base that has a webbed up Kamacuras sculpted into it, as seen in Son of Godzilla. The base may not be necessary to people living in cooler weather. In my case, living in a tropical climate, the base is really useful in maintaining Kumonga's posture.

Overall, like my previously reviewed X-Plus King Caesar, Kumonga is truly a gem of a figure. X-Plus has truly outdone themselves with July's figures. I full heartedly encourage X-Plus fans to buy Kumonga. This may be the one and only version of the figure they release. It looks great displayed with other figures from the line! 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

X-Plus unveils 30cm SpaceGodzilla!

In an unexpected move, X-Plus is now accepting preorders for the RicBoy version of the Toho 30cm Series SpaceGodzilla! The figure will stand at 42cm, and will be released sometime between the end of September and early October. The RicBoy comes with an "Emission Gimmick," which I assume parts of it may light up. Retailers like Hobby Search, HLJ, or Amiami, have not listed a standard version yet.

Figure Review: X-Plus Toho Large Monsters Series King Caesar

"When the red moon sets, and the sun rises in the West, two monsters will appear to save the people."

King Caesar is just one of those monsters, who alongside Godzilla, battled the mechanical terror from space, MechaGodzilla, in the 1974 film Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla. In the film, King Caesar is the guardian monster of the Azumi Royal family on Okinawa. This figure is based on his original 1974 design. 

The X-Plus Toho Large Monsters Series King Caesar stands a little over nine inches. It is sculpted out of soft vinyl as all other figures in this line are. Thankfully its tail is short, allowing one with limited shelf space to pose him easily facing outward. The sculpt for this figure is really well done. It is a vast improvement over Bandai's older King Caesar figure. This one is a lot more movie accurate when it comes to appearance and paint scheme. 

The detail on his fur is spot on. Each little crevice has shade to it, mimicking Caesar's 'fluffiness' as I'd like to call it. His scales are meticulously sculpted as well.

The thing I always find myself admiring the most about X-Plus figures are that the heads are really well sculpted! Growing up, I bought a lot of Bandai's vinyl figures, and the sculpts for them vary, and every time I look at the head, the teeth are never sculpted individually, and are molded in a chunk of vinyl that makes up part of the inner mouth. What I love about the way X-Plus does the heads on their figures is that the teeth themselves are sculpted individually. King Caesar is no exception. Also, another attention to detail is his eyes. The eyes are like gems. They're semi-translucent and have spiraling rings that make up the iris and pupil. On previous King Caesar figures, this detail has been lacking and a black pupil is used instead. 

King Caesar has very limited articulation. It is mostly a vinyl statue, which I appreciate about most X-Plus figures. The only points of articulation, as far as I know, are in his legs. It is there only to give the figure some stability. Also, one thing to note, King Caesar is a heavier figure than other figures. I've notices that his lower body is sculpted with a lot thicker vinyl, giving him a lower center of gravity, and thus giving him better balance. Since he does not have a long tail like Godzilla or Gigan to rest the remaining stress on, this is a great move on X-Plus' part. Since King Caesar is the only figure that I have from them that has this, I am unsure if other figures such as Ultraman, Jet Jaguar, or the like are sculpted in such a way. Whether it was intentional or not, it really helps the figure stand on its two feet without toppling back or forth. 

When scaled with other figures in X-Plus' Large Monster lineup, it stands in very well with the likes of Godzilla and MechaGodzilla. I find, personally, that he goes well with June's X-Plus Godzilla 1975 figure. Also, with last year's MechaGodzilla 1974 too, as seen below!

In conclusion, I believe that X-Plus has really outdone themselves with King Caesar. The detail is fantastic, the sculpt is spot on, and everything about it just screams movie accurate! In my honest opinion, I feel that this is one of their greatest figures right up there with another personal favorite, Gigan. Whether you love or hate King Caesar, this is one great figure to have in your collection! I suggest anyone who is a fan of X-Plus or the original Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla to pick this guy up!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Figure Review: Revoltech Yamaguchi Evangelion 13

I will change the world with this EVA.”

This morning along with several other figures, I acquired the Revoltech Yamaguchi Evangelion 13. This EVA appears in the movie, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo. While it was never my initial intention to spoil anything from 3.0 in this review, I can't help but do so! So if you have not seen Evangelion 3.0 yet, then I suggest you hold off from reading beyond this paragraph and go watch it right now.....

Oh! You're back?
Let's continue!

Evangelion 13 is no ordinary EVA unit. While all other units were essentially clones of Adams (as far as the original series reveals,) with the exception of Unit 01, which is actually a clone of the 2nd Angel, Lilith, EVA 13 is in fact one of the surviving Adams in the new movie series! It was implied in the second movie that there were multiple Adams during Second Impact, and apparently one of them was made into the 13th Evangelion unit years later. This EVA, unlike previous versions has a dual entry system for two pilots to operate it. In the movie, this unit is piloted by both Shinji Ikari and Kaworu Nagisa. Together, they descend into the depths of Central Dogma beneath the former NERV headquarters to retrieve both the Lance of Longinus and the Lance of Cassius in order to “fix” the world after a series of unknown events between the end of the 2nd movie and start of the 3rd movie. Instead, much to Kaworu's shock, both spears have morphed into a Longinus type and prove useless in restoring the world. As EVA 13 pulls both spears out of Lilith's corpse, 4th Impact commences.

The figure for EVA 13 stands about six inches tall from toe to the top of its shoulder pylons. It is essentially Revoltech's largest Evangelion figure. It is the tallest by an inch, and the bulkiest too. The figure is close to the same height as June's Evangelion Unit 08 Alpha. This somewhat confirms that the upcoming Unit 02 Gamma will be scaled smaller than the norm due to EVA 13 being taller in the movie. The sculpt for this figure is way better than I initially expected. Each section down its body is individually articulated. I had feared that the figure's midsection would've been a solid sculpt as early promotional images implied. Thankfully this isn't the case.

Detailing is very spot on and very much resembles its on screen counterpart. The only missing detail on this figure is the dash of neon green on the base of EVA 13's horn. Regardless to the absence of this particular detail, the figure is top notch!

EVA 13 comes with various accessories. Besides the option hands, the figure comes with two different torsos: One with the extra two arms that fold out, and One without them. It also comes with the two Lances of Longinus that EVA 13 uses to initiate Fourth Impact.

Unfortunately the Revoltech Stand that comes with the figure is not sturdy enough to support the figure as seen in the promotional images. Instead, I utilized the special stand from June's Revoltech Evangelion Unit 08 Alpha to prop EVA 13 on, and it seemed to help.

All in all, I am happy that Revoltech released a brand new Evangelion sculpt after so long. June's Unit 08 Alpha figure utilized the same body sculpt as the rest of the Evangelions, therefore not much was changed except for color and head sculpt. EVA 13 is the first brand new Evangelion sculpt since the release of the Mark 06 in the EvaEvo line back in late 2011. This figure has exceeded my expectations. I admit, I was not expecting much with this figure before getting it. I always love being proven wrong in this regard.