Monday, December 31, 2012

Careful, they're ruffled! New Tony Taka Figures Long on Frills

Shining quartet ready to clog the instruments and clean out wallets

A spate of new 3D renderings of Tony Taka's grand damsels has emerged onto several sites over the holiday season, giving collectors a reason to keep the holiday spirit going forward into the new year, with perhaps the only bad news being that none of them are of the adorable seifuku'd lass that graces the cover of his Comiket 83 release.  Rather, it's all Shining all the time from sculptors at this moment, though the roster of talent only grows by two.

On December 20, hobby sites presented Kotobukiya's version of Elmina Rhoderia from Shining Blade was posted for pre-order--Tony completists will recognize her as being previously released by Kotobukiya in 2009 from her Shining Wind iteration, and, quite truly, from the bustline down, this figure looks practically identical to that previous effort.  Her clasped hands and hopeful open-mouthed smile are lighter and more moesome than the more businesslike 2009 version, and in general Kotobukiya's work with Taka's designs has improved steadily over those earlier versions of Shining girls, so one could justify a second purchase of this somewhat ancillary character.  The figure goes for ¥6,800, though if you pay that amount for her you haven't tried hard enough of course.  Images courtesy of Hobby Search Japan, where Elmina is ready for pre-order with a scheduled release in May 2013.

A money-printing franchise such as Shining World can tolerate having its licenses shared amongst several goods makers, and Alter has thrown their hat in the Shining ring in the past, with renditions of Houmei and Clalaclan that, even at 1/8 scale, swallow shelf space with a voraciousness few figures dare challenge.  Their long-awaited version of Mistral Nereis, which found its way onto hobby sites on December 26, will certainly keep that tradition alive, though, unlike those other girls, there is presently no other option on the Misty market to satisfy your corseted cravings.  She's costly, as well, with an MSRP of ¥13,000, and if the Houmei and Clalaclan figures are any indication, one can expect shipping costs to be higher than your average 1/8 figure due to positively gargantuan packaging. 

Lest we think they're content to rest upon their laurels, a colorized version of Alter's take on Melty de Granite appeared in Neko Magic's December 22 magazine scans column, also certainly larger than the 1/8 scale would lead one to expect.  I love the outside-the-box approach Alter's taking to this figure, though Kotobukiya's previous effort was no slouch by any means.  Melty definitely comes across as a little more mature and coquettish here, compared to Koto's squee-inducing iteration. 

Finally, Volks, in an attempt to remind figure collectors they still exist, displayed this maquette of Shining Hearts' Amil Manaflare this past weekend at an exhibit in their Akihabara location as part of their Moekore PLUS line.  No figure rendition of Amil exists to date--she's considered too extensively clothed to be commercially marketable--and the only other figure of her bread-making cohorts was a super-rare Kotobukiya Shop exclusive of Neris Filiam.  Here's to hoping that some day Airy Ardit gets a figure so we can all find some shiawase in their collective pan.  These shots courtesy of Akiba Hobby:

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