31 August 2012
Today marks the fifth anniversary for Hatsune Miku, or perhaps we may say Happy Birthday Miku!
Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) has come a long way from what she has started from. Originally a mascot designed by KEI for a voice synthesiser software by Crypton Future Media, Miku's visual appearance and voice proves to be a popular match, with numerous new songs generated with the software by users and fan arts sprouting over the Internet very quickly.
Miku also helped bringing Black★Rock Shooter in the limelight, who was originally a character design and a music video sung by Miku that later turned into a franchise of its own.
She later would have her own albums, figures, games, and now even her own concerts. Heck, she will even have a concert in Hong Kong and Taiwan in October! And while Miku now has sponsored by a number of large companies, it's the users and fans that made her become what she wasn't expected to be - a virtual idol. While she is not the first of such example, she sure is one that is very successful, winning the hearts of many who like her songs composed by fellow fans or enthusiasts, or just simply by her appearance.
Thank you Miku, and congratulations on your 5th anniversary!
All illustrations are from Pixiv by their respective artists:
At last, more news of Nendoroid Sakura Miku have risen since the teaser way back in April (though I blogged about it a month later). Let's have a look at this upcoming new seasonal pink Miku!
A special sakura shape base is available for nendoroid Sakura Miku. Here she is holding one of the sakura flowers with a crying expression. I wonder why she's crying though?
Head bands can be exchanged from ordinary ones to cherry version. The twin tails are slightly transparent with a bit of gradation in colour, just like the nendoroid Snow Miku(s) released in the past.
And finally a "><" expression with Miku holding (and eating) some rice cake while sitting on cushions. Nendoroid Sakura Miku is available for pre-order between 31st August and 24th August at the Goodsmile Online Shop, which does overseas order as well. The price is set at 3900 Yen, and the planned release date is sometime in March 2013, possibly to fit in the time for sakura viewing (or hanami).
Sakura Miku is pretty tempting for me. I will most likely go for one, despite being one of the many variations of Miku (and yes I know, she's very pink this time). I personally would like the "default" face included as well as seen in the teaser, which is the face for normal Nendoroid Miku and Snow Miku. The happy expression available for Sakura Miku is not bad, though I find the shape of the mouth a bit odd, but it's the one drawn from the original illustration by Putidevil.
Nendoroid Sakura Miku as seen from Mikatan's blog back in April
On a side note, more and more items are now available on web order rather than by retail these days. While it's not exactly an "exclusive", I do think that more and more toys and figures will go down this particular route in the future.
Images are from Good Smile Company
25 August 2012
Back in last year I blogged about Bandai announcing Byarlant Custom as a web shop exclusive item for the Robot Damashii action figure line, which was too expensive for me to consider pre-ordering, and later feedback turned out to be mixed upon release. Thinking that a model version to appear may be a hope in vain, it has recently been announced that it shall no longer be a dream!
Official picture of what appears to be a straight built sample from Bandai, front view
Byarlant Custom a simple action pose
A built sample is seen in C3 x CharaHobby event
Verniers from binders need to be coloured red, as seen in the picture here. The model kit will most likely have stickers for them.
A closer look on the Byarlant Custom
Comparison of the Byarlant Custom with the Unicorn Gundam Destroy mode for the Robot Damashii action figure. Assuming both are in the same scale, the Byarlant Custom is much taller than Unicorn Gundam, and even that is not exactly a small unit!
The HGUC 1/144 Byarlant Custom is scheduled to be released in November for 2600 Yen, or 2730 Yen with 5% sales tax included.
Just like the GM Sniper II, I am definitely looking forward it. At least it's not going to be another limited model, like what a lot of stuff are ended up becoming these days so it's much more affordable this time. There appears to be slight proportion differences between the Gunpla model version and the Robot Damashii version. The Gunpla version does seem a little lacking on decals, except for the big "EFF" on its left shoulder, but it shouldn't be a huge deal for me, and perhaps there may be more in the final model, but we will see.
At least for now this is one happy announcement, and definitely something I shall look forward to towards the end of the year! ^^
Images are from GUNDAM GUY, MasterFileBlog & ガンプラの山を崩せ
19 August 2012
Last weekend Tamashii Nation of Bandai has hosted an exhibition in Hong Kong called Tamashii Feature Vol.4, which took place in KITEC. It is to show off what new toys are coming soon. It was open to public on 12th & 13th August, but it was also open to those specially invited on 11th.
At the main hall of the building, there are a few figures on display for people who are queuing to get ito the venue. Here we have Ultraman figures on display.
Kamen Rider chibi figures
Wing Gundam mecha girl & Son Goku
Display shelves at entrance
Entrance to venue
The main hall showing off the new 12-inch action figure line called 12"PM (12 Perfect Model).
Interactive touch screen showing pictures of designs and structures
Barnaby Brooks Jr.
Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, the man inside Wild Tiger
Barnaby Brooks Jr.
Akiba Red of the Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger
Wild Tiger & Barnaby Brooks Jr. in action
Now onto other figures, which are all brushed to one side of the hall. First off is the D-Arts line, which varies from Digimon to Persona, and even King of Fighters. A little strange how no Mega Man (aka Rockman) figures are shown here though.
D-Arts Kight Blazer
D-Arts Terry Bogard
chibi-arts figures from One Piece and Code Geass
UltraArt Ultraman Max
Latest and upcoming figures of the Figuarts Zero lineup
Other shokugan scale figure lines
Upcoming C-style Petit EVA figures
Half Age Character series, here showing figures from One Piece
And the Chouzoukei Damashii figures, again here showing figures from One Piece
A huge display of One Piece figures for the Figuarts Zero lineup
Robot Damashii line
Super Robot Chougokin line
DX Super Robot Chougokin Mazinger Z with light-up gimmick on display
DX Super Robot Chougokin lineup on a conveyer belt display
Armor Girls Project (AGP), a relatively new line of mecha girls including Gundam girls and characters from Infinite Stratos (aka IS) and Strike Witches
Cecilia Alcott from IS and Strike Witches girls
Laura Bodewig from IS and Gundam Girls
SIC Kamen Rider Decade
SIC Kamen Rider OOO Tatoba Combo
S.H.MonsterArts lineup on display
S.H.MonsterArts Fire Rodan
S.H.MonsterArts Moguera & Godzilla
S.H.MonsterArts Space Godzilla & Mecha Godzilla
S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 version from Godzilla vs Destoroyah movie
A closer look at the Ghidorah's heads
S.H.Figuarts Silver Crow from Accel World
S.H.Figuarts Dragon Ball Z lineup. Most of these would be under web shop exclusives I afirad.
Son Gohan vs Cell. The effects do look pretty cool.
S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Fourze lineup.
S.H.Figuarts Kamen Riders
S.H.Figuarts Akibarangers with Mong Kok's Animate shop at the background lol XD
And life size Akibarangers on display
More Akibaranger-related figures on display
Tiger & Bunny chibi figures on display
S.H.Figuarts Tiger & Bunny lineup
Other Tiger & Bunny merchandise
Saint Seiya Myth Cloth line, which has been going for nearly 10 years.
Myth Cloth Pegasus Kouga from Saint Seiya Omega
Myth Cloth Poseidon
Myth Cloth EX Sagittarius Aioros
Premium Bandai Hong Kong display case, showing the figures available for pre-order in the Hong Kong web store.
To finish off, there is a line displaying past Tamashii Features and Tamashii Nation events
As well as a few samples of toy lines that are introduced over the recent years.
It's nice to see Bandai taking the time and a place to display upcoming toys in a venue like so, and also with free admission. The 12"PM display really does take up the majority of the space at the centre of circular hall, perhaps up to 75% with a lot of empty space, whereas the others are shoved to one side of the venue as an arc.
Personally, I think that the event done last year, which was a first time done in Hong Kong back then, was done a bit better; there were a lot more interactions such as videos showing how chokugin toys were built and painted in factories, or letting people play around with the then yet-to-be-released GFFMC RX-78-2 Gundam THE ORIGIN version.
A selection of photos can also be seen at Tamashii Nations in Hong Kong's official facebook.