This post is made to help collectors with questions regarding the quality of items and to debunk fabricated myths about particular toys and figures. For further reading on this topic, please refer to HS Hobby’s excellent blog posts located here and here.
Your toys and figures? They’re made in China.
We often get asked by new collectors whether or not our figures are made in Japan or if Japan version figures are superior to Asia version figures. This is only natural as all collectors would want to avoid getting something that’s not worth their purchase. To make the long story (or blog post) short, figures are not manufactured in Japan. They’re made in China. But that doesn’t mean that they’re of poor quality or are bootlegs. Here’s why. Continue reading →
When we have anime figure displays, we’re usually given at least a month to prepare for the event. Why a month? Well, consider that not only do we have to invite lenders and record their figures to be displayed in the event, but we also have to layout the name tags for the figures and have further discussions with the organizers with regards to the floor space we have to work with. I think this is why our latest stint at TAGCOM 6 at Robinson’s Place Manila last March 31 to April 1 has got to be one of our most impressive showings yet. It may not have been as grandiose as our previous displays but given the extremely rushed preparation time we had, we’re quite proud of the showcase we had. Continue reading →
I don’t always stop playing Dragon Nest just to post on this blog. But when I do, I fangirl on a PVC scale figure boy and this one sure is worth it. Although Durarara! has already ended long ago, it didn’t stop Alter from producing large scale figures of the 3 most prominent characters of the series, and fangirls (and fanboys) are so happy that one of them is the “peace-loving” Heiwajima Shizuo~ Continue reading →
“Bakemonogatari” has always been a source of inspiration for many figure manufacturers, with many of the top companies releasing their own versions of the always popular series. Kotobukiya has been one of them and while their offerings have often gotten the cold shoulder over the ones from Good Smile or Alter, they’re trying to reverse the trend with their latest and most impressive figure yet, Black Hanekawa. Continue reading →
Currently running on its second season, “WORKING!” has been a very popular show even with its simple premise and Alter has capitalized on this by releasing figures from the series. After Yamada who has just been out of production, they’re now up to task with arguably the most recognizable face from the show, none other than the tiny sempai of the crew, Taneshima Popura. Continue reading →
Alter’s been known to re-release highly popular figures, especially in times when a sequel of a show that a particular character is part of is announced. Next season, the final season of the much heralded “Zero no Tsukaima” will be broadcast and as such, Alter has decided to re-release arguably its best ever rendition of the main character Louise, labeled as the Goth Punk Ver. Continue reading →
Alter has set the standard for “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha” figures and with an upcoming movie next year, the franchise’s successes will only lead to more figures from the said manufacturer such as this latest offering of the main character, Takamachi Nanoha in her “StrikerS” self wearing an enticing swimsuit for some summer fun. Continue reading →
The character everyone (or at least everyone I knew) loved to hate. Suzaku certainly did not endear himself to many “Code Geass” fans with his annoying idealism and lack of fabulousness, and yet despite that, we’re actually getting a scale figure of him from Alpha X Omega (an Alter and MegaHouse collaboration) which from a purely objective standpoint, actually looks purchase-worthy. Continue reading →
Alter Panty from "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt"
Some companies just had a another exhibition of upcoming figures at the recently concluded MegaHobby Expo 2011 and from what they’ve presented so far, 2012 is bound to be a very expensive year for collectors due to the sheer number of anticipated figures to be released. A lot of the figures here are from my favorite manufacturer, Alter, while some are from Kotobukiya. I once wrote off that Alter was losing its touch with the lackluster releases of months past, but with the lineup they’ve presented here, I’m glad to say that they’re back on top of their game and we should be seeing even better things from them soon. Continue reading →
The latest scans from Japan’s highly respected hobby magazine, Hobby Japan, have just come out and as usual, oodles of new figures to look forward to are once again in the spotlight. This issue seems to be much more interesting than the last two were, particularly due to the presence of very recognizable characters most otaku identify with.
Gumako, for those who don’t know her, is Good Smile Company’s mascot, and being their flag bearer, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a scale figure of hers’ made as seen above. However, what makes this 1/8 scale figure even more interesting is that despite being GSC’s character, it’s actually made by Alter. In an unprecedented move, the two rival companies are working together this time for the Cheerful Japan! campaign. Continue reading →
After dazzling us with their announced Orihara Izaya scale figure, Alter is doing it another time with their just previewed rendition of “Tales of the Abyss'” lead male, Luke fon Fabre. Continue reading →
Since her release last year, Alter’s Yui Hirasawa has been one of the most popular releases from the exalted scale figure manufacturer and with good reason. Among their K-ON! line, Yui probably looks the best out of the five in terms of overall execution. Mio had an unsatisfactory face, Mugi was too demure, Azusa looked more feline than usual and well Ritsu had an uncomfortable pose. Yui, on the other hand, looks like she came straight out of the anime, exhibiting the same youthful energy she’s known for. I, myself, used to own one of these and I can attest to the quality finish and sculpt that it possesses. Sadly, I sold her because I needed the funds at that time. So why the feature on a year old figure? Well, she’s getting her 2nd re-release and for those who are desperately searching for this Yui for a much more decent price than what scalpers and resellers are offering, now is the time to strike! AmiAmi just listed her as available and in stock now so you might want to take this chance while you still can. After all, it’s rare for a manufacturer to release a figure more than once nowadays, and with this being Yui’s 3rd release already, chances are you won’t be getting a 4th try. Her price tag? A delectable 6800 yen.
With a plot as simple as “Infinite Stratos’,” one would think that it would just recede into the annals of unmemorable anime titles, but surprisingly, it has its share of fans who simply don’t care that much for a story as long as they get their fill of mecha battles, moe girl stereotypes and gratuitous fan service, all of which “Infinite Stratos” has in spades. Of the bevy of attractive 2D women in the series, none perhaps are as popular as the once cross-dressing, supremely moe representative of France, Charlotte Dunois. Alter is capitalizing on her widespread popularity with a figure release that caters not to her considerable skill in piloting an IS, but to her unparalleled cuteness, featuring her in a Noah Jersey (hey don’t kill me for the translation, blame it on Google) and flashing her trademark smile. Continue reading →
The “Strike Witches” anime might have finished airing a long time ago but the figures for it show no signs of stopping. Alter and Kotobukiya are the known names churning Witches faster than a bullet train, but Volks is also in the business of making them although at a much slower pace and working on a smaller scale. So far, we’ve seen their Yoshika and now, they’re ready to roll out the ever-popular Mio Sakamoto. Continue reading →
Alter rarely completes a whole cast of characters when they make figures from a particular anime series. In fact, apart from their now legendary “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha” figures (which includes the sequels, “A’s” and “StrikerS”), few series have a complete set of characters from the said manufacturer, “Saki” and “Kara no Kyoukai” to name a few. However, as if divine intervention had convinced them to do so, Alter’s fully committed to completing the whole pantsu-less 501st Joint Fighter Wing of “Strike Witches.” This time, their latest announcement is the MG42-wielding Gertrud Barkhorn. Continue reading →
It’s been quite a while since Mikatan brought us anything new from Good Smile Company to salivate on, but she’s finally back with something that I personally have been both intrigued by and excited with. Max Factory’s Hatsune Miku: HSP Ver. is based on Hana Soumen-P’s (hence, HSP) videos of the virtual goddess with the distinct character design provided by none other than OreImo’s Kanzaki Hiro. As for the figure itself, the quality of the work done by Max Factory really shines through and dare I say, at their best, no one even comes close to the accuracy and impeccable finish that they can pull off. This is certainly one of those pieces that may not grab headlines at first, but the beauty reveals itself in the meticulous details that decorate the figure. Continue reading →
Another Hobby Japan issue, another round of figures to salivate upon. Scans for the December issue of Japan’s foremost hobby collectors’ magazine don’t quite reach epic levels, but compared to last month’s downright boring announcements, these ones are much more excitable. Continue reading →
Even though we’re looking forward to our next display at AME Monogatari next month, our presence at Collecticon 2011 was no slouch at all means whatsoever. In fact, given the limited space, we still managed to put up a great display with a good mix of old favorites and stunnin new releases. Continue reading →
When Alter’s (in collaboration with Hobby Japan) Yagyu Jubei Swimsuit Ver. was first released a year ago, it caused a string of rioters screaming proclamations of “EVIL!” everywhere, and with good reason. Continue reading →
The ongoing Animate Girls Festival has provided noteworthy previews, especially for those who are not infected by a curious aversion to testosterone-carrying characters and/or have a somewhat creepy emotional connection to them. Continue reading →
It’s nearing the end of the month which means that the new Hobby Japan issue is now ready to terrorize collectors into spending more of their blood, sweat and cash to get more of these plastic ladies. Whether you’re a Nendoroid fanatic, a figma fan boy or a scale figure savant, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here. Continue reading →
Day 1 of The Best of Anime 2011 has just closed its chapter and along with it, Team Onii-chan’s display event for the said event. While the crowd was not at par with that of Otaku Expo 2011’s or the display area as well-protected, the convention was still enjoyable and full of energy as the team continues to build its reputation for being the most active and fan-friendly anime toy collecting community in the country today. As always, here’s some shots that I’ve taken from both the event and our totally awesome display. Continue reading →
“Black Lagoon” was in many ways a lot different than most of the anime I thoroughly enjoyed watching. It was completely devoid of moe, cute girls or even galaxy-destroying mecha; things that are considered staples among the most popular shows to date. Continue reading →