Anime Independent Toy Roundup Spring 2020
It's been a bumper year for toys and statues so far, with some richly deserving the spotlight such as the PCS Ibuki statue and the Metal Build Evangelion Units 1 & 2, while others have landed in the office and for various reasons haven't had a spotlight shone on them - until now!
I've always found it quite hard to review statues or anime figures, simply because you like them or you don't, aside from the level of detail and quality there's not much to say other than why you like them. So to that end, I've kept it short and snappy and popped everything new into this handy article in the first Anime Independent Toy Roundup!
Off we go!
Sideshow Collectables 1/4 Poison Ivy
First up is this lovely creature, which was so close to getting an article of its own, but given the age of the piece I decided to place Pamela here (though she takes the banner, so go Ivy!). This has been a grail of mine for several years, ever since I first clapped eyes on her at the Korea Robot Museum (which contains pretty much every Sideshow and Gundam figure ever released!) She often goes for silly money on Ebay, at least £500 upwards, so imagine my delight when a fellow collector listed her for a measly £350. I was after her faster than a horny Batman!
Everything about this statue sings - it is, hands down, the best portrayal of Ivy in 3D I've ever seen, from the tousled hair to the leaves that make up her outfit, it's a wonderful mix of her classic 60's appearance (costume) and more modern sultry tone. The base, containing her plant-minions is similarly well detailed, the plant branches coiling around her in deadly, seductive fashion. I need a cold shower just looking at her! Suffice to say, if you find this statue for a good price, then grab it with both hands - I've been a Poison Ivy fan ever since I read my Mum's Silver Age Batman comics, and she's lost none of her allure over the years.
Toyworld Constructor, Anime Version
The only impediment to giving this beast it's own well-deserved review as the sheer insanity involved in transforming it. Devastator has never looked better than he has here, a limited edition, fully transforming and custom painted, cel-shaded interpretation of the character using Toyworld's impressive Constructor as a base, it commands any space it stands in.
The gorgeous cel-shaded paint is a bit of a double-edged sword however, because while it certainly looks great, it makes transforming the limbs a total nightmare. Tolerances are stretched to the limit, even if you come in knowing how to transform him (and the instructions SUCK so that didn't help either). I managed to transform Scrapper and Mixmaster (about 90 minutes each) and by the end of the process my fingers ached and I'd scared myself half-to-death a dozen or more times trying to ease plastic into places it needed to go without breaking it or scratching the paint.
The limb-bots do look super, painted every bit as well as the combined form, but honestly if I'm going this route, then I want to get a second set for the limbs and keep this one combined. It'll make quite a display if I go that route, so I'm keeping an eye on the China postage rates which have slapped a £100 premium on his original price of £579 - happily I got in under the radar and ordered mine before the hike!
The set comes in other painted themes too, from G2 yellow to weathered and damaged. Having sold my Combiner Wars Devastator to part-fund this beast, I can honestly say the difference in stability, feel and overall looks are just a million miles away from Takara's effort. If you only ever buy one Devastator, this guy has to be a contender!
Hestia by Kaitendoh (Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in A Dungeon)
Amazingly for such a simple character design, Hestia has become something of a pop cultural phenomenon since her debut, possibly due to the simple strings-around-the-arm approach to lifting her cleavage. There's no shortage of figures and statues of Hestia, but this effort by Kaitendoh is one of the rarer and more sought after pieces. Long since out of print, she'll command upwards of £200+ online, but thanks to a French collector I made off with her for half of that Godly fee.
The pose is youthful and joyful, so it instantly appeals on the shelf. The wash on her white dress lends a lovely element of depth to the figure, and I think this more than anything else marked her out as a desirable shelf queen for me. Details are sharp, as is the sculpt from her hair to her toes, so overall it's a quality statue that'll work well if you want to show your loyalty to her Famila.
Metal Build Mazinger Z
Now this may get a full review down the line, because the accessories give us enough to talk about. For now, I've been pleasantly surprised by how nice he is in hand. I've never been a Mazinger fan, and picked this figure up from a fellow collector who needed a financial hand (the deal is he can buy it back when his fortunes improve) but I'm happy to take custody and appreciate some classic mecha design.
The colours really pop, with the red crest across his black chest being full of plastic detail, and the metal limbs, full of beautiful panels lines, look incredible. The figure comes with additional wings, fists, effects parts and a stand, so when I have more time I'll put together a more fulsome article, but for now, just look at that beautiful chrome mug. Delightful!
MMC Azalea (Masterpiece Arcee)
This is a bit of a cheat as Azalea is an older toy now, with this as her fifth recolour (original, black, green and prototype colours have all landed previously) but this version, based on the awesome Studio Ox Transformer art that was used exclusively in Japan, is probably my favourite.
The toy itself is a wonderful recreation of Arcee, my favourite yet among the many official and third party releases due to the tight transformation that really minimises the car kibble like no other (she looks as good from the back as any other angle, the only figure so far that does) and enough die-cast to give you that premium, weighty feeling you might demand of a £90 toy. And look at that face, it's so on the money! By far the best sculpt on any Arcee toy to date, no question.
The pink is far more daring than the original release, it's still feminine but much more powerful than the more traditional paler G1 scheme. She's also rocking additional heels, so while the more accurate version isn't leaving the collection any time soon, this is the version that will stay in the office providing the most immediate entertainment.
Bishoujo Poison Ivy by Kotobukiya
Bringing us full circle is Kotobukiya's depiction of Poison Ivy, because when you're a fan, why have just one? This is the second attempt from Kotobukiya to capture the voluptuous villainess, and they've really done well here. The matte paint on her outfit matches the finish on the fauna, really bringing the character and the environment together. Her pale skin is suitably alluring without being over-sexualised, and her narrow eyes coupled with a wry smile suggest a woman completely in control of her sexuality. I'll admit her "pet" is pretty disturbing though!
The "cute girl" line of Bishoujo figures has always been a favourite of mine, the line bringing together multuple franchises into one coherent style allows fans of various shows, games and films to create a colourful and complimentary collection of statues. It's true that they're creeping up in price (what was once £50-£60 is now around £140) but there's no denying the quality of the sculpt-work or the terrific finish that's a hallmark of the series. Whether you're into Street Fighter, Tekken, GI Joe, DC or Marvel, Kotobukiya has you covered.
View the gallery below for some larger pictures on everything in this article!
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