Friday 30 December 2011

1/8 Makise Kurisu (Kotobukiya)

Here at Poke the Merch, we strive to be on top of things. Therefore, it is our sworn duty to inform our peers of upcoming figure re-releases.

I procrastinated on reviewing Makise Kurisu. All photos were taken. All witty commentary prepared. Yet in the busy highway we call life, I neglected to upload anything substantial. Happily, Kotobukiya's 1/8 Makise Kurisu is getting a re-release in January and I swore to review her before then. With a deadline looming above my head, I finally kicked myself and threw together something half decent.

Sunday 25 December 2011

1/6 Collet (Native) NSFW

First a foremost, merry Christmas all!

And what better way to celebrate this season of charity and altruism than with a free helping of sexy Santa eyecandy? Gives ho ho ho a whole new meaning, doesn't it? (Wink, nudge, wink)

Collet is my first true NSFW figure. "True" meaning you can goggle all her girly bits. All. Of. Them. There's really no rationalizing her as artistic nude. This girl is all smut.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Nendoroid: Totori Helmold (GSC)

Oh, lookie here! Poke the Merch's first nendoroid review! Aren't these little figures absolutely adorable? Don't you just wanna mix faces and body parts with all of them? Well, tough for me because I only have one so far, but Totori is an adorable character and her nendoroid captures her character perfectly. So how are Good Smile Company's nendoroids?

Friday 23 December 2011

1/8 Buddy (Alter)

I underestimated Buddy. I got her because she was a good deal and because she was an Alter. I figured she would eventually gain in worth and I could profit off her. It was a purely utilitarian purchase.

Then something strange happened. I began taking pictures, and they were all beautiful. A light sprung forth in my mind, as I experienced a small ephiphany. Oh my god, SHE'S beautiful, I realized. Then I felt like a douche for not seeing it before. How had I not realized it before?

Thursday 8 December 2011

"Tales of" Series B Trading Mascot Box Set (Movic)

Here comes another set of collectable figures!  Okay, they're charms this time, but they are undeniably adorable!  I couldn't say no to these little charms when they were first revealed because I know every character in this box.  I've played all the games in this set.  It definitely reached out to me, so I pre-ordered these babies in the first week.  I've never bought anything from Movic before, but again, I couldn't fight the urges even after doing some searches.

After receiving them, I have to say they're not as awesome as I had hoped, but the cuteness probably makes up for it.

Monday 5 December 2011

1/8 Hiyori Pixy (GSC) NSFW

Well, what do you know? Our first NSFW figure. Tasty.

When I first began collecting, I never thought I would indulge in NSFW figures. I didn't think I could ever display them without blushing my way to an ischemic stroke. Since then, I've realized I'm a shameless appreciater of gratuitous nudity with no self-consciousness.


Wednesday 30 November 2011

December: Coming to a theatre near you

Once again, the time has come. The time to curl up with some hot cocoa and seriously contemplate the future. Will we que sera our way through life, or will we wrestle it to the ground? Just what does tomorrow bring? The ponderance of times to come is a taxing process. The future is mysterious and shrouded in uncertainty. It's a scary, scary place out there. Fortunately, Poke the Merch, knows exactly what to expect.

Merch, of course.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Tales of Vesperia Plush Doll: Overdrive Knight (Alter)

My first Alter a plush doll!  Yeah, I know their figures are gorgeous since I often hear about them from Jenn, but I couldn't resist this plushie after seeing a few pictures. Look at how adorable his face is! Doesn't his head look squishy?  Don't you want to just poke him?

So what is an Alter doll like? Much different from figures, but the quality is still quite nice!  Not perfect.  Nice.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Kurogin/D.S.B.'s "Archive Illustrations 2006-2009" (Doujinshi)

Statistics indicate I possess a predisposition to neglect art book reviews. This is unacceptable. Jenn is steady in nature and doesn't engage in that sort of favourism! Great art is my second love after great figures and great literature (that would technically make it my third, I guess), but I absolutely dread photographing art books. They're predilected towards horrible light refractions, and awful stiff spines.

Thankfully, the arrival of a batch of doujinshi lit a flame under my butt. So get ready, folks, here comes a well-needed artbook review!

Tuesday 8 November 2011

CDJapan Review

It's time for another import site review! Are you looking for books that are out of stock in all the other import shops you've been to? Maybe you're looking for some soundtracks or albums that are difficult to find! Well, dear readers, it's likely you'll find some of those awesome goods you're looking for at CDJapan. Just be careful with their shipping prices and (occasionally) slightly damaged products!

Monday 31 October 2011

November: Coming to a theatre near you

What? A November movie? It'll be so exciting. It'll be like leaves falling, leaves falling, leaves falling, it's December, THE END. What? You're not excited? That's ok, because we're excited! And we have enough excitement to share! So, what are we all pumped up about?

Why, merch, of course. November is a cold, blah month, but the thought of spending money keeps us burning inside. Feeling the brr of oncoming snow? Never fear! Join us in the material expectation of getting more stuff, and let Poke the Merch warm you this winter! a sexual way.

1/8 Amae Koromo (Alter)

My, my, what do we have here? Koromo clearly represents all things cute. Rabbit ribbon ears, check. Almost no nose, check. Loli-maid outfit, check! Almost nauseating pastel scheme, CHECK! She looks a little like fallen Flonne, and a little like the lovechild between Alice and the White Rabbit.

She's also from an anime about mahjong, and that in itself is awesome, if only because it actually got made. Oh Japan, you so crazy.

Sunday 30 October 2011

1/8 Maxima Enfield (Kotobukiya)

I tend to be harsh on Kotobukiya, and for good reason, but when Maxima Enfield was announced, I decided to give them one more try—a final chance to prove themselves, if you will. Why? Well, her dress is awesome, and she has a  ponytail. There just aren't enough figures with ponytails.

Am I really that shallow?

You overestimate my depth, dear friends. Of course I am.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Professor Layton - Revoltech

Who can resist Layton--sorry Professor Layton, when he has those beady eyes and that awesome top hat? I only played part of the first game and then stopped because I'm not that great with puzzles, but I definitely loved Layton because, let's face it, he's an awesome character who runs around solving puzzles for a living. I have to say Revoltech did a pretty swell job making this figure. I only have a few small complaints about his flexibility.

Thursday 27 October 2011

1/8 Kureha Touka (Kotobukiya)

G'day mates! Jenn is back with another Kureha, just for you! Seeing as she's set for re-release in a couple of months, I feel compelled to warn people! That's right! Warn people!

Exclaimation marks aside, I'll be upfront. I'm not impressed with this figure. She's the sort of figure who's beauty correlates negatively with how close you get. From a distance, her vibrant colour scheme and energetic stance pull her from the crowd. Up close, she's an absolute disaster of mediocre shading and substandard paint.

Saturday 22 October 2011

1/7 Kureha Touka swimsuit ver. (Max Factory)

Kureha is cute, cute, cute. I don't know why I find her so inexplicably adorable, especially since she doesn't have the big-eyed, doll-faced, moe-moe look.

Since the release of the Shining swimsuit line, I wanted to get my hands on Kureha (it sounds dirtier than it is, really). Her pose is adorable. Her expression is adorable. Even her fingers are adorable. Plus, I'm a huge fan of wavy hair. We need more wavy-haired girls in life.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Tales of 15th Anniversary 1995 – 2001

Wow, the 15th anniversary of the Tales of series! I can't believe Namco Bandai shelled out so many different Tales of games already. It certainly doesn't feel like it...I mean, Tales of Vesperia only came out a few years ago! Then came the PS3 port a year or so later... In any case, to join in on the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Tales of series, I had ordered Tales of Xillia and this surprisingly thick data book!

Friday 14 October 2011

1/8 Mercedes (Alter)

It's unfair to call this a review. It's less a review than photographic adulation.

Mercedes is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. She's probably the greatest thing to happen to my collection since Gwendolyn, who is also beautiful. I don't know why it took me so long to get Mercedes, considering I'm a fan of Odin Sphere and a fan of Alter. I think it was her potential to lean that set me off, but now that I've seen her in person, leaning's the furthest thing in my mind.

Friday 7 October 2011

1/7 Clalaclan Philias swimsuit ver (Max Factory)

Ah, there's our buxom princess, all vertical and on her feet. Clalaclan's an awkward name, isn't it? Sounds like a bad cough.

Why did I buy Clalaclan? So Xecty (another awkward name!) wouldn't be so alone. Now they stand apprehensively together, both as comfortable on the beach as flourine is stable.

Am I spectacularly happy with her? EeeeeeeeehI can't say I am. Am I spectacularly disappointed? Eeeeeeeehnot spectacularly

Monday 3 October 2011

1/8 Tenshi (GSC)

Who is this mysterious, shadowed figure? I know, I know, I'm terrible at suspense. I probably shouldn't give away the answer in the title, but hey, 20/20 hindsight, right?

Oh Angel Beats, what am I supposed to say about you? Good conception, bad execution? Nice music, horrible pacing? Plot-hole-galactica? Nevertheless, I watched the entire show through, thanks to this beautiful girl.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Nao Tsukiji's "Nostalgia Original Illustration Works 2001-2010" (Art Book)

Those who know me also know I'm not often struck speechless, but the breathtaking quality of this art book blew me to high heaven and stranded me there. Opening this book is like opening Goodness itself. It should be accompanied by a celestial orchestra and all the double rainbows in the world.

I would sell my soul for an eighth of Nao Tsukiji's talent. This art book is so pumped full of details and colours that it's difficult to handle in one sitting. Each page is a treasurehorde of meticulous niceties. Every time I look, I find something new, and every time I look, I shed a tear (out of sheer beauty).

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Tales of Xillia Kyun Character Figures

Ladies and gents, my lovely, adorable, heavy-headed Tales of Xillia Kyun Character figures have arrived! I think I’m in love! I’ve never played with customizable figures before, but I knew these little guys were going to provide me with a lot of entertainment.

Bursting with excitement, I tore open the cardboard box pulled out this delightful little package that contained six bodies, three attachments, two stands, and two big heads!

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Our Very First "Oh Noes!"

"Oh noes!" is really just a cute way of saying "Well, fuck" but we thought it more age appropriate to cease our casual swearing.

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to our very first screw-up post, although the screw-up in question was by no way or form caused by yours truly. First, story time.

Sunday 25 September 2011

1/7 Xecty swimsuit ver. (Max Factory)

I've always considered myself a fan of female anatomy, so it's strange it took me so long to get a bikini figure. I admit, they always seemed so bare next to their gloriously robed counterparts (I'm sorry, that was bad, I know).

Well, friends, there's a first for everything, and I say, this beautiful lady is a fine way to begin. 

Saturday 24 September 2011

1/8 Miku Hatsune Lat-type Ver. (GSC)

When companies began pumping out Miku figures like common flapjacks, I promised myself I wouldn't get sucked into it.

Of course I wouldn't. Except I was.

When GSC released Miku Lat-type with a pair of spiffy red glasses, she was so adorably nerdy I couldn't help myself. They got me right in the Achilles heel this time. Well played, GSC, well played indeed. 

Friday 23 September 2011

Kingdom Hearts Formation Arts Vol. 3

Oh, trading figures...For some odd reason I never get tired of collecting them.

If you haven't guessed by now (or if you haven't read the About Us page), I'm a gamer, so I often pick up figures or books from my favourite series. Most of the figures I have just happen to be trading figures. They're more affordable than the 1/8 figures anyway, so you might not see many of them giant ones from me. Since we're on the topic of trading figures, today I'm going to review the Kingdom Hearts Formation Arts Vol. 3 series.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia Material Collection

Ah, Ar Tonelico, always so full of gorgeous character designs and environments.  Somehow it really is suited for sprite games.  To be completely honest, I fell in love with the artwork before the game.  I seriously can't get enough of Ryou Nagi's designs, so I just had to pick up an Ar Tonelico Settei (creation) book.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

1/8 Triela (GSC)

I woke up this morning to find a package waiting for me (no, not that sort of package, don't be dirty). Inside was MMD Miku-lat and a small girl with a big gun. I squealed a little inside. I spazzed. I reviewed.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my newest lovely, rifle-totting, witty, level-headed, cyborg child assassin, Triela. What isn't there to like about her? Even her name sounds lovely, like some splendid bird tremelo.

Monday 19 September 2011

Non-Scale Togame (Ichiban Kuji)

Hello darlings! I hope life treating you well! Summer is coming to an end, but the news is not all bad! I have a new review for you today. Ten points if you can guess this beauty's name.

That's right, Katanagatari's master strategist, Togame, emerges from the dregs of summer to herald fall! Behold!

Sunday 18 September 2011

1/7 Nanoha Takamachi School Uniform Ver. (Alter)

It's over. This will be the end of me.

When this figure was first announced I had no intention of buying it. I gave it a passing glance, uttered an indifferent "Meh" and was on my merry way. Then, some ways down the road, I paused. A toxic idea took root. It would be nice, I thought inncently, to display Fate and Nanoha together...

Saturday 17 September 2011

Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack

Sweet! A special edition game review! Tales of Xillia Famitsu DX Pack comes with a handful of delightful goodies. The Tipo doll is most likely the main reason anyone would want to purchase this pricy special edition. Since Tales of Xillia is the mothership title developed to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Tales of series, you can expect Namco Bandai to produce various special editions. I just happened to pick up this one because Tipo spoke to me.

Friday 16 September 2011

1/8 Senjougahara Hitagi (GSC)

Hey there, beautiful audience. Your humble servant is here to serve you another delicious dish of figure goodness!

Who are we sampling today? Can you guess? Are you excited? Good then. Let me plug a great little series called Bakemonogatari.

Thursday 15 September 2011

One Coin Collection: Tales of Vesperia ~Faith Chapter~ (Kotobukiya)

Tales of Vesperia is a role playing game with a so-so storyline, but a great cast. The character designs are unique and colourful. That is why they look nice in figure form.

AmiAmi Review (Updated)

Last Updated: Sept. 30, 2015. Today we'll be taking a relook at AmiAmi, one of my favourite import sites for anime figures. It also happens to be the first site I ever ordered from. So, how does this site stack up to other sites of similar caliber?

redjuice's "Inside" (Doujinshi)

Hello all! Boy, am I glad to see you. Today, I'll be covering my first of many art book reviews. Wish me luck!

Redjuice has long been one of my favourite artists. There's nothing more attractive than a well defined style, and redjuice's art is definitely well defined. Inside was published in 2008 and features many of his commercial works. It's the second doujinshi he's released, the first being EXT and the third being Ignition.

1/8 Lucy Maria Misora (GSC)

I confess, I know diddly-squat about To Heart2 other than it's some sort of dating sim that spawns a helluva lot of figures.

I confess, I know absolutely nothing about who, what, or when Lucy Maria Misora is (except a rather awkward name). All I knew when buying this figure was 1) white hair, and 2) red eyes. Oh, and the expression. I liked the expression.

Did I spontaneous-buy? Absolutely.

1/7 Fate Testarossa Casual Outfit Ver. An Oath and a Little Wish (Alter)

My, what a surprise, and what a treat!

I’m not the biggest fan of the Nanoha series, and I’ll admit, Fate Testarossa is not my favourite character (forgive me, Fate's adoring masses!). However, there's no denying Fate is beautiful, and she has beautiful red eyes to match.

Plus she's wearing her hair down, and Fate with her hair down is absolutely gorgeous. And she's made by Alter. Did that seal the deal? You bet it did.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

1/8 Asuka Langley Shikinami Test Suit ver. (Alter)

Ah, Evangelion, the series that keeps on giving—and giving and giving.

There are dozens of Asuka figures out there. What drew me to this one? One word: Alter. Seriously, is there anything this company does that's not amazing?

It's been ages since I watched Evangelion, and all I really remember from it are a multitude of seriously fucked up characters, classical music, blatant