Why figures and which do you prefer?

Hello guys! I thought I’d try my hands at another rambling & opinions articles to say why I love my figures, and why they’re awesome. I’m not doing a vs Figma or Shinki, but a simple comparisons to show why I like them and how I got into them.  So, why do I like my figures? Also, if you want,  you may consider this article a continuation  of – My History with Anime.

(Link – MySite) – Animated Ottawa.

(If you’re going to skim at least vote in the poll at the bottom to vote on what type of figure you prefer to own!)

I started out with Figma’s thanks to Danny Choo and is overly passionate crew on dannychoo.com & figure.fm (shrunk now). The first Figma I got thanks to “them” was Figma Haruhi. Her articulation surprised me, overwhelmed me at first, and even the quality was noticeably high. I wasn’t much of a Haruhi drone (or at all), but this Figma got me into Haruhi a bit more. I grew a nice Figma collection, bought a few Revoltechs, went into the Busou Shinki line, and adopted a Nendo Azunyan. I have quite a few statue figures and pondering about Dollfies.

Now to describe each and point out the pros and cons. Think I missed something? Tell me! 😛

– Figma:

(Link – MySite) – From Saber Lily & Extra – Photoshooting outting.

Produced by Good Smile Company and made by Max Factory, Figma’s are highly articulated figures. Their joints are designed to be visually appealing and to blended well with the design. Because of their joints, various Anime characters can be posed in many complex poses.

Figma’s hands and faces can be swapped thanks to a few-to-numerous face-plates and hands packaged with the said Figmas. Some may have from 1 to 5 different face-plates and others may have a limited to numerous hand varieties to pose with.

I got into Figmas thanks to Danny and his followers, and still don’t regret it. I still proudly show two glass cabinet shelves full of Figma’s, even though I’ve been converted into the Busou Shinki line. When getting a Figma you can count on some form of great quality on them. The best part I love about the Figma line is that you can get nearly any Anime character you want from Fate/Stay Night to Touhou to visual novels and video games. Some are harder to get than others, but when you do get the one you like you’ll try and cherish them to the best of your ability. Though, when you don’t get the one you like you may have to wait an eternity or pray to whatever entity you believe in.

I’m still praying to my fox spirits to get Caster/Extra (a.k.a Kitsune Caster) and Holo (Spice and Wolf) in Figma form. Sadly, I’m being taunted with customs made by the Japanese population and hearing no responses from GSC/Max Factory :(.

You have the standard releases, the limited editions, and the special game bonus packs which adds to the variety. Standard releases are the ones you can get easily, obviously. the limited ones are much harder and are either event, time, or region exclusive. The special games bonuses are just that, bonus figure bundled with the games and are treated like the limited editions. They can just be figures, or bundled with various kinds of goodies. I actually quite like these game bundled figures, but only if it comes with more than the game and figure itself!

It doesn’t stop there! Figma’s have also received various vehicles and sport equipment to go with them. Want them to go biking or rollerblading? They can do that! Join you at the beach? Sure! Give them a Sea-doo! They can have their own vehicles! Even the minature fish-truck.

They even have the Di:stage to help with diorama like posing. Each Figma packaging comes with a Di:stage base cover to pose your Figma on. It’s quite nice, but I haven’t used it.

(Link – MySite) – Saber helping Emiya up a cliff.

The best part of these Figma’s that they are very very photogenic. This is the second main reason why I got figmas, for their photogenic attributes. If you can’t get a living breathing subject to help you aid you with your camera skills then these Figma’s shall continuously hit you with arrows of inspiration to try new things – from simple still images, comics, time-lapse, photo-shopped images, to stop-animation. Their articulation is great when it comes to photography.

The things I’ve seen people do inspired me to try my hands at figure photo-shooting and to pass on the inspiration to others. The images people take of figures is similar to making unprofessional style advertisements to help sell off figures that were once hard to sell with professional images. Figma’s helped people take near professional like images while the Figma itself assisted with selling itself and inspiring the photographer with selling itself to others.

And on the flip-side,  Figma’s have a few issues that manage to irks me a lot. The hair pieces on Miku, Shana, and Konata pisses me off when trying to pose them to the point where I try and poke fun of the issue in a photoshoot comical way (Miku moose). The wrist portion on various hand pieces tends to loosen greatly where it just…..flops, or pops off. Figma Miku also had an issue with her joint where I had to borrow Figma Meiya’s elbow joint to make Figma Miku possible. She’s still laying around on the two Di:stages that I got.

I have also noticed a major decline from the Figma line into the Dollfie line. People that once followed Danny and Figmas now follow Danny and Dollfies who helped sell Figma’s to the vast majority of Anime Otaku’s. Poor Figma’s. Luckily, there are people still interested in Figmas and still taking pictures. Keep it up! I’m still grabbing Figma’s, but much more slowly.

Pros:
– Figma’s tend to have great articulation and quality. They tend to be very faithful to their Anime, game, or concept art counter-parts. The little detailing on them also helps prove that Figma’s are great to have.
– Nice that GSC & Max Factory are adding various kinds of Anime, game, and American characters to their Figma line. Figma is known to have Anime, mascots, random individuals, Sentai, Micheal Jackson, Robocop, and Touhou characters. Not all, but most of the very popular kinds.
– Some Figma products come with DVD’s, shopping bags, bonus, concept arts, and etc. This is mostly for the limited edition/Game bundled figures though.
– Figma’s can have their face-plates swapped and their hands changed to adapt to some/most situations that you may place them in.
– They can be posed with other brands not meant for Figma’s that were actually meant for other figure/doll types making them adaptable and more photogenic for photographers or diorama makers.
– Figma’s come with basic and effective stands that assists them with more complex poses. Some also have extra pieces that may be used to plug the stand into the back of various figures.
– The parts bag assists with organizing and carrying Figma parts with ease.
– The Di:stage and vehicles were a nice touch in adding more options to the said figure’s posing.

Cons:
Pony tails and hair pieces tend to suffer or appear to be greatily ignored when considering Konata, Shana, Miku, and etc. Hair should be flexible, on joints, or in strands to be flexible. Instead, they’re just one slab of various kinds of plastics that weigh down and throw off the figure’s balance.

– Figma’s currently limited by their molded clothing causing photo-shoot limitations.
– As the Figma line continued producing more Figma’s quality control on these figures had a very noticeable decline. The passion that was once placed into them (if at all) was now being hindered by profit (probably).
-The Figma line tends to suffer loose wrist joints on hand pieces. The wrist tends to loosen either when you use them a lot or when they get shipped to you. This is a common problem for any figure manufacturer.
– Some/half/most Figma’s tend to be shipped with too few parts for something that should have more.
– Break a Figma piece? Carry it the wrong way? Good bye $50-80 CAD!  Some parts are just too fragile to carry around causing them to break faaaar to easily. Replacement? Buy a new figure!
– They sell out too fast or simply easy-access online stores don’t sell enough of them to allow me to purchase my favorite characters. The figures that I wanted are no longer in stock or have to find new harder and troublesome means in purchasing them. If you want them you either need a buddy in Japan or go there yourself spending enough to purchase numerous quantities of them.

Suggestions:
GSC and Max Factory should try and sell Figma parts in a separate package. People are breaking parts faaar to easily so it would be wise for GSC to start selling colored joints, weapons, figma parts known to break, and extra face-plates. Not in a limited edition manner as the Figma naked types! Make Figma Holo and Kitsu Caster!

– Revoltech:

(Link – MySite)

Revoltech, a line from Kaiyodo, behaves similar to the Figma line. Revoltechs can be articulated, posed, and part swapped just like a Figma.

I tried getting Figma Saber but got Revoltech Saber instead. Wasn’t a total loss because I love Saber, and this Revoltech Saber is actually mostly faithful to the Anime counterpart. I also experimented with purchasing both Bunny Haruhi and Yoko (movie version). The figures are nice, but…..they feel like budget figures. The joints suffer, the part swapping is painful, and they break far too quickly. They’re currently stuck posing in my glass cabinet suffering from their own limitations. I actually fear posing them or taking them out for figure-shoots.

Saber seems to be the lone survivor with the joints not loosening or breaking. She was my first in the Revoltech lines.

To bring light to my issue, they are very well sculpted in appearance and weapon wise. They are true to their Anime counter-parts. When posed by those that actually know how to pose Revoltechs, their true nature shows, I simply had bad luck with them.

I’ll stick with seeing other people take care of Revoltechs because I’m apparently not fit for them….I actually enjoy viewing the images people take of their Revoltechs. My suggestions? It’s best I don’t for this because this appears to not be my “cup of tea”.

Pros:

– Mostly true to their counterparts that they’re representing.
– Great articulation when the joints aren’t loose.
– Revoltechs come with points coins to exchange for “stuff”.

Cons:
– The joints appear to hinder the figure’s true potential. They loosen far too quickly and easily making Anime characters appear to be elderly.
– No parts bag or container.
– Issues posing.
– I dislike the stands, too simple.

– Busou Shinki:

(Link – MySite) – Benio vs Signum.

Busou Shink is a figure line made by Konami Digital Entertainment. The body type is looked at as MMS type – Multi-Moveable System – featuring very complex pose-ability and interchangeability with body parts. Each figure is (or was) linked with it’s online video game character counterpart via codes for Battle Masters, or Battle Master’s (PSP) characters through DLC content. All figures have been released as females and in a “mecha musume” style designs for each.

When blindly looking at images of Busou Shinki’s I found them to be ugly and revolting. Screws were showing, joints were exposed and they were just…..no care seemed to have been placed in them when compared to Figma’s. They were just……..ugly. Got to love bias-minded individuals, eh?  I thought that from when I saw Persocom’s images of Busou Shinki’s  up until I was prodded with images of Renge. They’re ugly! Shoo! How revolting! They looked like the somewhat more complex American figures of G.I-Joe or something.

Over time though the infection had spread to the point where I was worshiping for Renge’s arrival in August of 2010 – “Look! She’s a fox, perfect for your fox-themed blog!” I couldn’t wait so I looked at the figure that was in the store….

I realized that the figure at my local AnimeStop was Benio  (type Samurai) and purchased her after looking at her numerous times throughout the winter and spring season. I still like the complex model feel aura that she gave off then, at first glance, when I kept looking at her in the store. Nobody wanted her because she was “ugly”, had troublesome armor parts, was “old”, and “wasn’t the best starting Shinki”. It might be karma, but I find Benio to be a lovely gal, especially in Battle Rondo. Her figure form isn’t THAT bad to ignore, or to bitch over. She simply has 2006 sculpting issues, waist armor that hissyfits and needs a updated release, that’s it! She poses the way I want and her armor mostly behaves after awhile of fiddling. The joints that I found ugly? I found out they are there on purpose due to them being 15 cm tall battle bots. It’s even on their digital form!

The Shinki line is known for figures with great poseability, probably more complex than the Shinki line. You get all the necessary hand variants from the Figmas in EVERY Shinki. You can put Shinki’s in poses that you won’t see a Figma ever do, and you can one’s armor parts with another with ease. Customization is the selling point of these Shinki’s, which is taken full advantage of in the Japanese community. Konami even released limited edition clothing such as yukatas for them. Lucked out? Try 1/12 scale azone clothing for them! Something you won’t see Figma’s ever doing!

Each Shinki has her own personality, her own type, and her own combat style. Each Shinki is styled around some object, creature, or material. Every Shinki has full A.I, can do as they desire, and needs recharging as any other electronic device. Because they’re in video games and Anime each of them is voiced by their own seiyuu (voice actress) giving them further depth of character and personality. They behave almost like a real person would.

The best part about the Busou Shinki figures is that you can connect them with their online counter-parts. Well, with Battle Rondo and Diorama Studio anyways  (MMO died on October 31st, 2011). You would start off with Fubuki and train her in the special arts of Busou Shinki combat, while being limited by battery power and armor equipment restrictions. The more you fought the better gear you got the more complex moves your Shinki’s could pull off. The codes that came with said figures could of been used to activate your patient girls to fight online and do what you did with Fubuki. Not in a fighting mood? You always have Diorama Studio to pose your lovely girls in pre-made stages with currently unlocked items to pose them in, as if you were photoshooting your actual figures.

Battle Rondo focuses on pre-battle planning and equipment swapping, up to 10 rounds of watching, and then a response screen to praise or punish your Shinki. You would try and get your Shinki up from C class to S class without losing too much, or all the fights would have been in vain. Start over!

(Link – MySite) – Battle Master’s

Sadly, Battle Rondo and Diorama Studio is scheduled for death on October 31st, 2011, meaning the focus has now been shifted on the Playstation Portable version – Battle Masters & Battle Masters Mk II. The battles are more arcadey where you and your Shinki fight as one while fighting vs one, two, or even three opponents at a time in stage. The more you level the “Love” of your Shinki the more events you unlock and the story about them unravels. The more you battle the more you unlock for both Shinki types  and equipments. The codes you got with your older figures? Now useless! Want your favorite Shinki? Hope she’s one of the starting, default, or DLC girls. Not all have been turned into DLC leaving them uncared for. Those poor Shinki’s.

Konami has been focusing more on the PSP version and the figures now that they slaughtered Rondo without professionally wrapping it up. It’s death was extended from August 31st, 2011 to October 31’st, 2011, yet it has yet to see a proper funeral (Edit: It has, but only by fans). None has been hinted or seen yet. Not even the final Opening cinematics-turned-ending featuring Renge, Kohiru and the other gals. I simply see sloppiness.  Though, their figures keep getting more detailed, more remakes, and more accessories which is where the focus originally was.

Busou Shinki is also going to have a few Anime Shorts featuring Arnval and a handful of the Shinki cast. I wished for it, you wished for it, those with Shinki’s wished for it and it arrived! Something to go nicely along with Angelic Layer.

(Link – MySite) – Diorama Studio attached to Battle Rondo.

And on another note – These Shinki’s are very photogenic. They’re even patient enough for complex stop-motion animations projects, though you might not be haha. You can place Shinki’s in numerous kinds of poses without restrictions causing the photographer to be rewarded with beautifully taken photos, if we’re skilled at taking nice images. Sharatang and Baby Razz comes with lights that add to the figure line. Encountered some awesome beautiful light customizations with their lights. If people want to, they can customize Shinki’s into whatever they want; same can be said when people don’t want to do anything.

The sad think about Shinkis are the people purposely throwing a blind eye at them just because they’re not Figma’s or Dollfies. I stalked Twitter feeds, Crunchyroll comments, figure.fm comments, myfigurecollection.net POTD’s, and etc. I seen an obvious bias that is quite disturbing. I don’t want to force people into liking it like others have (i.e Halo & Minecraft), but something people would neutrally and naturally comment on or appreciate.

Pros:
The older figures mostly represent their concept art counterparts. The newer released ones are more faithfully and accurately recreated using their concept art counterparts due to new figure sculpting techniques.
The articulation and joints is a strong point on this, and a selling point at that. They can be placed in a near limitless variety of poses without the hinderance of their own body or molded clothing.
Customization is key for Shinkis. Want your Shinki to look a certain way? No problem! Swap one arm part with another and tadda!~ Don’t like that sword? Give her a gun! Don’t like how one of your shinki looks nude? Place someone else’s armor or put some clothing on her!
Unlocking characters on Battle Rondo and Diorama Studio with the access codes. As much of a hassle it was it felt awesome unlocking your new gal and seeing how they would behave. It’s a typical gimmick (first gen’ Bionicles codes), but it’s a lovely one. Don’t want to wait? Buy the Shinki in the online shop. Ordering them around and seeing them fight while having them talk back to you is an awesome feeling. Like a real-time 3D Visual Novel.
Each Shinki has it’s own personality, full AI, and own voice actress. 
You can take your Shinki on the go and fight together with Battle Masters 1 & 2 for PSP. Your Shinki not in the game? Try checking downloadable contents to see if they are playable? If not, harass Konami to the best of your ability!
Sharatang and Baby Razz having the light gimmick. Simple, but nice. Each Shinki probably has their own lovely gimmick which adds to their character.
Busou Shinki getting it’s own Anime short is a nice touch to the whole series. Anime short shown at Wonfes ’11 showed great potential.

Each figure comes with a parts container, or the newer ones at least.
– Each figure uses a template set and then customized in the “Type” they were designed with. Each comes with a full set of hands regardless of their shape, size, or type so no missing out on hand poses (unless you lost parts during photo-shoots).

Cons:
– Older figures are purposely ignored by figure collectors due to their age, sculpting issues, and what others say to unease other collectors. Some simply dislike (which is fine) but others ate them because of what others said (which isn’t fine).
– Older figures have sculpting and parts issues due to older sculpting styles and molding. Benio’s armor is quite a hassle to mess with and should be looked at with great care.
– Seeing Battle Rondo slated for death when I only played on it for a full year and seeing a very unprofessional death of an MMO. Seeing no typical MMO death funeral event and such shows that there is a lack of care in the company. Simply a stab in the back and messy death.
– The wrist joints on hands (similar to figmas) tends to loosen quite easily. Sometimes through wear and sometimes just loosens by itself.
– Because nobody really cares about Shinki’s they’re a bit hard to obtain. Trying to find one in a local Anime store is like winning the lottery, you’ll need to be lucky. Though, you’ll have some decent luck on HobbyLinkJapan, AmiAmi, or Mandarake.
– Older figures don’t have a parts container while the new ones require larger ones. Buy one at the Dollar Store or something.

Suggestions:
Selling more naked types to assist with further customizations. Also adding parts, armor, and weapon packages would be a lovely bonus for the Shinki’s. Though, I guess I’ll be bitched at by certain Shinki fans wanting to keep this limited additions or hording this for themselves. Point still stands though, and with more frequent rereleases of the cradle and naked types would be helpful for the new fans.

Add the final Battle Rondo cinematics with Kohiru, Renge, Pomock and the gang and I’ll get off Konami’s back for being unprofessional. Finish what you started! 😛

Because Battle Rondo and Diorama Studio are tied then I highly recommend and suggest that Konami adds some form of Diorama studio as a stand-alone or as an add-on into Battle Masters! It’s a must for those with Shinkis. We love Shinki’s and we want to show it, and we keep doing so! This is what I seen requested and this is what I’ll share under suggested.

– Dollfies:

(Link – MySite)

Dollfie is a doll brand made by Volks and made famous by Danny Choo. The first Volks that made the whole line popular was the Saber from the Fate/Stay Night line (which I still want) and Danny Choo helped boost it by getting his own. Fans later grabbed the fishing pole and where hooked up like fish on a baited line. Sushi anyone? The interest spread similar to a disease epidemic (probably not as bad) around dannychoo.com, figure.fm, and various other blogs to the point where others asked if people are simply being drones just to please Danny Choo or truly and genuinely love Dollfies.

I personally have an interest in Dollfies, but only for Saber – Blue, Lily, or Extra – and to make my foxy blog mascot in Dollfie form. I’m unsure whether if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I still don’t have a Dollfie, but I am interested in getting Saber or a fox type still. Did my research, found it costs as much as a plane ticket, and currently stuck pondering about how useful one would be in my collection.

They’re also quite surprisingly photogenic. Well, half or most of them anyways. Some are just…..unprepared for images. Others make Dollfies look much more beautiful and as a part of our world. Others still simply show their doll form still or struggling to show their true nature.

So what made these Dollfies popular? Each doll to look like their Anime counterpart, Danny Choo drone syndrome,  the level of customization, the wigs, parts, clothing, hand pieces, and etc. Customizing a doll is a breeze if you have the money to spend on them. You can customize them with various kinds of clothings, wigs, and parts to make them look like whatever you want them to. Basically the level of customization that both Figmas struggles with a lot and Shinkis could do if knew of a customization source.

Because this spread into an “epidemic” and taken over everything figure or Anime on figure.fm people are insanely frustrated. People are frustrated that Dollfies are still being posted on figure.fm even with doll.fm up. There are also trolls taking advantage of this turning the frustrated individuals into something worse. Probably similar to those that killed the puchi blurbs? Even I wasn’t immune when defending the Vic Viper girls. Basically people seeking attention when they couldn’t get it from their area. Owning a Dollfie is both a blessing and a curse? Either that, or people are just hating and whining due to their own negative situations they placed themselves in.

I’m looking into getting one but still don’t find this the right time to own one due to storage space and followers. I don’t have one so this is where I’ll stop. I don’t want to start insults or flame wars so….moving on! If I see hate comments expect them to be purged *cuts it short*. No suggestions because I don’t own one.

Pros:
– Mostly looks like what they’re supposed to represent. Great outfits and weapons (if any).
– Can be fitting with various kinds of parts and outfits to make them look different, or the same with different outfits.
– Accessories adds to their customization. You can turn them into whatever you want.
– Some Dollfies actually look great for being Dollfies. You could mistake them for oversized figures.
– Appears to have great articulation and can balance without a stand.

Cons:
– The stigma of having one turns you into a drone of the community. It’s quite severe actually, or from my perspective. Many people have them but many hate each other and those that don’t own one hate those that do. People aren’t being true to their own desires. Or at least in the background of the communities.
– People getting Dollfies to please Danny, others, but not themselves.
– The cost of owning one is similar to traveling somewhere you may want to go.
– Some look far too doll-ish to actually own. They look like Anime characters, yet they don’t.

—-

Statue Figures (in general):

(Link – MySite)

Probably shouldn’t go general or vague but I’ll try it anyways.

Like an Anime character can’t have one behaving in our reality? Statue figures is as close as we can get to them while keeping whats great in statue form. Just like any monument in a city they stand still on shelves, glass cabinets, or table showing off their own beauty to those that enjoy it. Some are stuck in statue form while others have basic articulation, customization, or cast-off ability.

They can be highly detailed costing a fortune ($500-ish?) or simple costing as much as a Figma – $50-90 CAD. A good example of a basic statue figure would be Isara and Alicia from Valkyria Chronicles.

Depending on the sculpture, the base they’re placed on can be very simple shade of a simple color or part of the diorama like base containing a portion of a scenery or similar.

Some figures also possess a leaning issue which causes them to lean worse and worse overtime. Tenko Kuugen  is a very good example of a statue figure that loves to lean.

The thing I dislike about statue figures is that you can’t pose them for photoshoots. You do so once or twice and they’re shelved for eternity.

Pros:
Brings Anime characters “to life”, or to our own reality. Can often be of high quality while being true to what it’s representing.
– Those of higher quality have awesome detailed accessories, bases, and even extra part swapping options.
– They look great when on the shelves, or in the glass cabinets.
Some can be basically articulated to add to the figure’s appeal.

Cons:
– Static and boring. Can’t pose them in photoshoots numerous times, unless very creative or great scenery nearby.
– Some figures are prone to leaning, especially when it gets uncontrollably hot in and out.
– Some simply cost a fortune to purchase.
– Fragile – One slip and broken (i.e Earthquakes).

Nendroid:

(Link – MySite)

Nendroid is a figure line made by Good Smile Company. They are shrunken and slightly deformed characters with big heads and slightly small bodies. Basically think Donkey Kong mode in Goldeneye (N64) if you aren’t an Anime fan or figure collector. Their over-sized face-plates can be swapped with others in the line, along with their arms and legs.

They’re easy to carry, easy to part swap, and easy to pose. Perfect for those traveling or commute shots. Each Nendo comes with it’s own small personalized stand or base and may be posed with relative ease.

I have Nendoroid Azunnyan and wanted Nendo Saber Lily but lucked out. If I’m lucky I shall be getting Nendo Yune from Ikoku Anime. Also was looking forward to getting some nendroid props to mess around with. May at a later date.

Nendroids have props and accessories that are sold separately for nendo use, as with a few Figmas. One set contains Japanese instruments and stages, another is a rich set and another is an application for iphones to play mini-games and to unlock nendos to place in reality.

Let your creativity flow in chibi form.

Pros:
– Amusing Cartoony representation of Anime characters. It’s mostly accurate and should be looked at in a funny manner.
– Can part swap and face-plate swap. Legs and arms can be switched to give different poses.
– Easy to transport around town, places, or for travels.
– Comes with extra accessories to add with the appeal for the figure.
– Nendo game for iPhone adds random fun to the nendo line.
– There are props to add to creativity or for displaying purposes.

Cons:
– Can’t stand on it’s own, or very very hard in doing so.
– Restrictions in poses due to the comical and goofiness of the Nendo line.

Suggestions:
Well, I don’t have much to say besides making Kitsu Caster in Nendo form! If you won’t make a Figma form then do a nendo please! *begs*

—-

Again, this wasn’t meant to compete but to compare the pro’s and con’s to each other in a non-versus manner. But I will ask what type do you prefer? Busou Shinki? Figma? Revoltech? Mobip? Statue figures? Dollfies? Nendroids?

Think I missed something? Let me know and I may edit and expand on it! Think I screwed up? Poke me and I’ll try and correct myself. I had Hurricane Irene blowing at me today so there is bound to be a few mistakes here and there. Probably blew away a few of my thoughts.