Friday, January 30, 2009

Misaki Nakahara Figure

Dame ningen, Welcome to the N.H.K!

I finally got one of my most-wanted figures. I just posted earlier this month about 3 figures on my must-get list. One got pre-ordered, one I still need to figure out how to acquire, but this one I managed to find by accident, or is it coincidence? Anyways, I was looking around Ebay for something non-figure related and just decided to type in Misaki for the hell of it. I've looked for this figure many places and many times before with no luck, but this time I found someone selling it. I needn't say I payed much more than the figure is worth, so this could be considered a purely blind figure purchase simply for my own pride and joy and not looking towards value or even quality. Misaki Nakahara from Welcome to the N.H.K. This is the only known figure from this series, and it's a limited edition figure that came with Volume 04 of the original Japanese manga. The original price for the figure/manga in 2005 was 1,800 Yen. I'm not sure just how limited she is but I know it took me a while to manage to find her, and I'm proud to finally have her in my possession.

Considering she was released in 2005, before I even became a figure collector, I can't really compare her to other figures from those days. I bought the Welcome to the N.H.K. book a while back and watched the anime series and it's one of my personal top 10 anime. Back to my purchase though. I bought from a seller in Japan, and I received my order via EMS (I'm impatient enough to spend a bit more for shipping), unopened and packaged nicely. I was a bit surprised at the size of the figure, as she's a bit smaller than I expected, but I don't mind at all. The manga came in the box and has a nice cover (which I used for my background shots). Her cast off feature does show like most of those type, with a crack that is obvious, and I think especially so since the figure is older it's more noticeable. It doesn't bother me in this particular case. Misaki comes with 2 arms for when she's in cast off mode, an umbrella (in two parts), an extra hair piece with nekomimi, a postcard and the manga. As a N.H.K. fan I'm quite happy with my purchase, even though I'm a total baka and spent more than I should have. This is probably the last figure post you'll be seeing this month, but I do have one more impulse buy that should have been here by now.

A size comparison to Nendoroid/Figma so you can get an idea of how big she is.

If you haven't seen the anime, read the manga or the light novel, I can highly recommend you take the time to check one or all of them out. Perhaps it's not everyone's cup of sugar but I fell in love with all versions of this story. The original author of the book is Tatsuhiko Takimoto. I'll throw in the videos to the opening and ending songs just for good measure.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yuki Nagato - My First Figma

Continuing on from the previous post, today I'm semi-reviewing another one of my first figures. This time around it's my first Figma, and this marks my first PVC figure and also the figure that I personally regard as my first true figure as well. It was on a cloudy day last year that she arrived in my mailbox, and today was a cloudy day too. Yuki Nagato, from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was the figure that started my obsession with figure collecting. Ink-Eyes couldn't compare with the excitement I had when I got my first Figma. Joints didn't bother me, in fact the articulation of Figma is what drew me in the most. I was all too paranoid about the joints, the hand pieces and everything about it at first though. I was afraid to break her, this wasn't like the action figures I collected as a child. I recall, back then I didn't know many stores and I pretty much bought from the US ones because I was afraid of overseas shipping and delivery times, so she was bought from Kid Nemo. I've stopped buying from Kid Nemo after some dissapointments with orders not working out, but back then I loved them.

Yuki came with 2 faces, both pretty much the same, 2 hair pieces, one with and one without glasses, 2 sets of shoes, the indoor and outdoor ones, 10 hands, a chair, and one opened and one closed book, along with the normal Figma stand and bag. I didn't manage to get one of the special ones with a scarf, but oh well. I didn't think I'd get into figures as much as I did when I got her, but I found out soon after I had her in my possession that she looked pretty lonely all by herself. It was then that I decided to order Haruhi as well. Well, Riiana also wanted the Haruhi Figma since I got the Yuki one for me. There weren't very many Figma to choose from at that point in time, so I had to stick with what was available that wasn't limited edition. When I first got Yuki I didn't have a blog yet, and I also only took a few crappy quality pictures of her just for fun. I didn't realize that soon I'd be blogging, and soon after that I'd be reviewing figures on a regular basis. Didn't take long before I learned how to take somewhat decent pictures of figures, I just hadn't done it before, so it took a few photo shoots to learn the basics. Thus why until now, you've never seen an actual review of her. I know there are already probably hundreds of reviews of this figure out there, but this is a special figure to me, so I'm doing this for myself, as well as to share with those of you who bother to read this wall of text.

Again, the custom base cover is not made by me. You'll be seeing more of these in the future and I suppose I have to credit each time just in case you didn't see the last one. I got the cover for this Figma base from this post over at DannyChoo. One of these days I might see about using the template of those bases to make some for the Figma that don't have any made for them yet.

Of course, the moment the Evil Witch Version Yuki Nagato was announced I knew I had to have her. Even though I already had a Yuki, the accessories convinced me to buy. Although she is a simple figure, she holds a special place in my heart as my "first" figure, first Figma and the one that started my obsession with collecting. I plan on reviewing one more figure that never saw a real review, Haruhi Suzumiya. Whether or not I do it in the next post or later on in the future I'm not sure of. I still plan to do a Ryoko Asakura vs. Yuki Nagato post also one of these days. Well, I hope I didn't bore you too much, but I thought it'd be nice to give my Yuki the attention she deserved when I got her but didn't receive.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni - My First (Resin) Figure

Based on an original illustration by Wayne Reynolds for a Magic: The Gathering card, Ink-Eyes Servant of the Oni - Limited Edition Resin Statue made by First4Figures was to be my first figure ever. A far stretch perhaps from the world of figure collecting which I immerse myself into today, this was an ode to my previous hobby during it's dying days. I've been into anime for a lot longer than I've been into figure collecting, but before I started buying figures I had other hobbies. Anyways, this post wasn't meant to talk about my past hobbies, but rather about this failure of a first figure. I'll save talking about MTG and how I feel about it now for another day. Today we're going to focus on Ink-Eyes, and why she, yes, she, is still hard for me to claim as my first figure.

I had never owned a figure of any sort prior to buying Ink-Eyes. I'm not even sure what made me decide to buy her. Perhaps the cheap price, the gimmick of being limited edition with only 5,000 copies in the world, or the fact that I thought the artwork on the card was cool and having a statue of that artwork would be something I could boast about to my old MTG buddies. Well, no boasting ever happened, and for the longest time, until today mind you, she's been collecting dust on a high shelf where no one ever really notices her existence. I ordered her from for a measly $7.99, I couldn't believe how cheap she was because suggested retail price was $59.99. Boy, was I a sucker. The shipping and handling charge was around $10 and shipped via UPS. Is it just me or is UPS notorious for mishandling packages? Well, I've never had anything shipping via UPS since then. I was excited to get the package, and I opened it with the glee of a child opening a Christmas present. But, to my horror the figure arrived broken. Yes, during shipping, even inside Styrofoam, in a box within a box covered with more Styrofoam, her arm had been severed at the elbow. She came in pieces of course, which I didn't expect either. I had to insert her tail, sword, and other accessories. In the process of putting the sword in her hand, the sword from it's heaviness snapped, getting stuck inside. I messed with her a bit trying to get the piece that broke off inside out, before finally giving up. I was left disappointed. I learned a valuable lesson that day though... if a figure has an option to spend a few more dollars on insurance don't hesitate to do so. I thought about maybe buying another one and just trashing this one, but I was too bummed out about it to even bother. I almost vowed to stop attempting to collect figures in general. This is one of the reasons I never posted about her, I don't like to post negative things. I bought her months before I started blogging. Just today I finally broke out the super glue and fixed her broken arm, and attempted a temporary fix for the sword.

What saved me from giving up on figure collecting was the discovery of Around the time that I bought Ink-Eyes I had taken up a large interest in Japan and Japanese culture and lifestyle, along with a reborn interest in anime. Ink-Eyes was to be the death of that part of my life where Magic: The Gathering reigned over all else. A new me was being built. Of course, during my lurking days at DannyChoo's site, I came across the one thing that would spawn a new hobby, which in turn led me to begin blogging: Figma. More on that in my next post.

Perhaps, as an ode to her being my first figure, maybe some day I'll buy the other 4 MTG figures that were part of a set, but for now my eyes are set on better looking, higher quality figures from anime and manga that I love.

actual Ink-Eyes card from

wallpaper from (click for full size)

Next time I'll grace you with what I consider to by my true first figure.

By the way everyone, Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year! I decided to bring the Year of the Rat to a close with a figure related to such. Bring on the Year of the Ox!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hayate Yagami Figma

Introducing the Figma version of Hayate Yagami, from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, the third in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. With this, the current Nanoha StrikerS Figma collection is complete, so soon I'll be doing a post with the other two girls, Nanoha Takamachi and Fate T. Harlaown along with Hayate. I bought her from Hobby Search for 2,533 Yen, not including shipping of course, as I combined her with another figure. She's still available at the time of writing this review, so if you think she's a figure you'd enjoy don't miss out!

Hayate Yagami comes with 2 faces, 2 hair pieces (one normal and one with a slot for her hat to fit on and keep it in place), her hat, 2 versions of the Book of Darkness (one open, one closed), and 10 different hands. Also, you can't forget her intelligent weapon the Schwertkruez, which the top and bottom come off so as to slide into her hands for holding. I admit it's a bit of work to get it into her hands but I'm sure after a while it'll be easier to do. Also, last but not least she comes with a set of 6 wings (all attached to eachother) which are made of a see through black and clear plastic. WARNING: Hayate's wings are VERY fragile. Trust me... I broke them within mere minutes of opening her box, and I'm usually very careful with my Figmas, I just happened to be distracted for a moment and that's all I needed. You can't notice it though because I did a good super glue fix up. It's not really a huge deal, but I did get a bit upset at first. The wings also come with a peg in them that's removable so you can either have her wings on her back without the stand, or put the wings on the stand itself along with her. Her coat bottom (the skirt part) is removable as you'll see in some of the pictures, and quite easily so, you just have to seperate her body, which I don't really like doing because I'm afraid the joints will become loose that way. I think that's about all I have to say the review part of this post.

If you're wondering about the base of her stand, that's a custom cover, not made by me. I printed it off at the local print shop (note to self: buy a new printer), and I got it from here. There's a bunch of other ones for Figmas available on that link so check it out if you are interested. Also, I'd like to mention fellow blogger Acesan has a great Figma Hayate Yagami review over at his site, so do check it out if you're thinking about getting this figure.