Thursday 1 March 2012

March: Bring on the Leprechauns!

Sometimes, we run out of clever things to say in our posts, after all, our smart-ass banks have a finite cache dedicated to witticism. Let's make this one brief and sweet. March is the month of good drinking and Leprechauns, and here at Poke the Merch, nothing is more intoxicating than the scent of fresh merch.

So what do we have in store for you this glorious month?

1/8 Oshino Shinobu (Good Smile Company)

Jenn: Oh Shinobu, you stole my heart when you Spoiler.

Suich: That's insane!  Okay, it's really awesome, but it looks insane!  Shinobu is one deadly little vampire! ...I like her already.

Jenn: For a vampire she sure is cute. Almost too cute. Suspiciously cute, even. Also, she (nsfw) doesn't wear underpants. I wouldn't mind if she had her signature gaze of apathy, but this moe-moe version has a whole different appeal. Don't you just want to pinch her cheeks (then die, probably)? And her base! What a base!

It's like she murdered them all...
Suich: I like her unique base.  It's messy but it's colourful, and I like that it's deceiving.

Jenn: Despite how much I like her, I do have some misgivings. First, her doughnut looks like a giant, soggy Cheerio stuck to her lip. Second, everyone who knows Shinobu (other than how she's portrayed in Bakemonogatari) knows she's so not the cutesy type. Given that Shinobu is ultra-bad-ass, there is definite incongruity between GSC's figure and her actual character. Then again, Bakemonogatari gives her a silent shyness that belies her true and awesome nature. Third, GSC got her eye colour wrong. Shinobu has yellow eyes, not red, but since red is awesome, I don't mind so much, I guess.


Jenn: Yes! She's so awesome!
Suich: She's cute but nah

Wonder Nyan - Dream Drop Distance (Square Enix)

Suich: This little guys is so weird, but so awesome looking!  I just want to squish it and poke it and hug it and throw it around and let it sit with all my other plushies and...and--

Jenn: If it's bean-shaped, it must be good.

Suich: Yes! The bean-shaped cat has appeal!  I seriously thought it was a dog at first.  For a cat it sure shares the same features as a dog, but I love the design nonetheless.  Square Enix is finally releasing an official Kingdom Hearts plush, and surprisingly enough, it's not a Heartless!

Jenn: I love that it's top heavy. Look at its little back legs all in the air. If you tip it, it wouldn't be able to get back on its feet, and that sort of physical incompetence is funny. See, I don't normally go for plushies. That's Sui Chee's specialty, but I did laugh when I saw Wonder Nyan. What is it? Some kind of freak otter-cat-unicorn? What a freak! EVERYONE LAUGH AT THE FREAK!

Suich: Stop being mean to Wonder Nyan!

Jenn: NEVER.

It's to be commended for its near-symmetical shape.
Jenn: Ain't no freak bean's gonna crimp mah style!
Suich: Hell yeah!

1/8 Noel Vermillion (Hobby Japan)

Jenn: I have no idea who this chick is, but she sure has style.

SuichShe's totally the mascot for BlazBlue.  Noel's got a nice, sexy pose too!

Jenn: I love Noel's sense of motion, especially from the back. This is one figure that I would probably display backwards, just because I love the hip-hop feel she has from behind. Plus her back is sexy, and she's duel-wielding guns. Come on, you can't get much cooler than that.

Suich: I agree with Jenn, though I wouldn't show her back off.  I love the idea of her spinning and firing bullets like a pro!

Jenn: I've never seen a Hobby Japan figure up close, so I can't vouch for quality, but her promo shots are promising. It's too bad she's exclusive (and therefore expensive). If I were able to get her at her original price of 7600 yen, I would go for it, but most sites are selling her for over 10k, and that's a bit too steep for a 1/8 character I know nothing about.

Suich: That's true.  I feel sad when figures are exclusive because they're expensive. But if I did ever get an exclusive figure, I'd probably feel a bit special.  Noel does look pretty cool with that pose, but she's way out of my price range.

Mmm, back.
Jenn: No, if only...
Suich: Nope

1/8 Aiyoko no Eustia - Seraphic Edition Gemaga ver. (Kotobukiya)

Jenn: I have a strange conflict in emotion when I stare at this figure. She's good, she's bad, she's good again, no, she's bad. I don't know what to feel!

Suich: Her wings are nice.

Jenn: But she's Kotobukiya.

Suich: Her base is nice.

Jenn: But she's Kotobukiya.

Suich: She probably looks pretty impressive on your self.

Jenn: But she's Kotobukiya

Suich: You must really hate that company.

Jenn: Hate is such a strong word. I prefer "am disappointed in". Everything Suich metioned about the figure is true. She has gorgeous wings and a gorgeous, dynamic base. Her pose is beautiful and her stature is impressive. Even her face is cute! But she also happens to be 12 400 yen, which translates to 14 000 - 16 000 yen considering she's exclusive, which is a helluva lot to dish out for a Kotobukiya. What's up Koto? Trying to pull an Alter? With your subpar paint, generous seam lines and barely-visible tinting? I don't think so.

Suich: So much anger...

Jenn: Sure, she looks good in promo shots, but most Kotobukiya products do. Then you see the real thing and wave goodbye another portion of your trusting childish wonder. Even in promo shots I can spot faults.

Let's play Where's Waldo: Seamline Edition-OH LOOK, THERE'S ONE RIGHT THERE.
SuichBut her wings are nice.

Jenn: Yes, yes, her wings are nice, I'll give her that, at least.

Nice wings: +5 points, Kotobukiya: -5 grades

Jenn: Pft, what? Not even.
Suich: Erm, no...

1/8 Yagyu Jubei - White Swimsuit Ver. (Alter)

Jenn: "I say, I do believe I've been stabbed in the boobies!"

Suich: That looks so uncomfortable!  I cringe when I see that a sword (thankfully in its sheath) is stuck between her breasts! How can this woman still smile?!

Jenn: So, another busty girl in a bikini, leaning over in a provcative way. That's really nothing we haven't seen before. So why even bother getting excited about it? There are dozens of swimsuit figures out there, and none of them are all that interesting.

Suich: That's true.  I've seen it far too often.

Jenn: Then I noticed she was by Alter. Given that Alter never indulges in half-naked (or mostly naked) girls, I was curious to discover what they had to offer. But even then, she wasn't doing it. Alter or not, she was still just a bikini girl.

Suich: But this bikini girl is special compared the others!

Jenn: That's right, THEN I noticed her bikini is semi-transparent. Way to go Alter, you've suddenly made a boring bikini girl 5x more interesting and 10x sexier! That, and I've never seen a semi-transparent bikini job before. Now I'm excited to see what it's like in real life!

"My bewbs, why do they hurt?"
Suich: Even though I'm not exactly a big fan of the bikini girls, I have to say I'm impressed with the semi-transparent suit.  It's definitely different from what we've seen on other figures *coughKotobukiyacough*. Alter's done a great job showing off only some of the skin.

Jenn: Yagyu's face isn't the most accurate. I remember her being a lot derpier on the show. They could have given her a better expression, or even a happy-derp-derp one, but I like her half-crazy eyes. 

Yup, she's got dem crazy eyes.
Jenn: Let's say yes for now and go from there.
Suich: Nope.

Kingdom Hearts II Formation Arts (Vol. 2) - Square Enix

SuichAs a hardcore fan of Kingdom Hearts, I squeal every time new merch is announced.  I squeal hard.  These figures got me excited even though I know the quality won't be as impressive as anything Good Smile Company can come up with. But you know what?  Square Enix gets an A+ for style.  I love the poses and the little details on each figure. 

Jenn: The dynamics of these little figures are pretty damn cool. If Square Enix invested in more quality control in their figures I can see them sweeping the field (and being $200 each), but at least they look good from a distance. I like that they can serve as chess pieces.

Suich: hat's right! I think I almost have enough formation arts figures to make one side of a chess board.  I think these figures will be great additions to my collection.  All my formation arts figures will look cool together! From afar!

Jenn: Now if only you knew chess.

Jenn: No. 
Suich: Preordered these babies on day one

Boy oh boy does March have some nice merch!  Nothing beats January of course, but at least spring is starting off with a nice selection! Stay tuned for...APRIL. Shocking, we know.

Hurp derp,
Jenn and Suich

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