10 February 2014

Giant Isopod Plush Toy

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Animal plush toys are usually cute. Usually. Would you say the same to this multi-legged crustacean - the giant isopod?

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The 4 views of the giant isopod plush toy.

A museum in Numazu specialising in deep sea creatures decided to make plush toys of giant isopods. Despite the unusual choice for making into a plush toy, it proves to be immensely popular with the visitors, and the extra large version was sold out in just a day.

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The real giant isopod in Numazu Deepsea Aquarium.

Giant isopods are related to woodlice, but live at the bottom of the seas and are much, much bigger.

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The plush comes in various sizes, ranging from M to XL. M size is 20cm long, whereas L size is about 30cm long.

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The largest size has a length of 55cm, which is even bigger than the life size creature itself. Just why would they go for such a size in the first place? ^^;

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The scales have enough space for one to slip banknotes into them. Bet no one would ever think of this hiding spot of all places!

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The plush's huge size sure makes it ideal to cuddle, but does its look appeal to you? Well, I let you decide on that yourself.

Well, at least I have to admit it is pretty detailed for a plush toy, which is not easy to make. The more I look at it, the more I want to see the real toy in person. The actual creature? Maybe not so much ^^;

Images are from Amazon.co.jp & Asahi News
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10 January 2014

HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam

It has been a long time since I last reviewed a Gunpla. For a change I am reviewing a Gundam instead of a grunt machine, and this time it is HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam, which is the first Gunpla announced for the All Gundam Project.

First released in September 2013, HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam is sold for 1500 Yen.



Equipments are simple and straightforward: a buster Rifle, shield, and a beam sabre that can be stored inside the shield

Posing with buster rifle. The buster rifle is a powerful gun with very few shots available. It can take out multiple enemies with one shot, but once it runs out Wing Gundam would have to rely on its beam sabre, as well as its lesser weaponries like the machine cannons on shoulders and head vulcan.

A nice gimmick replicated in this Wing Gundam gunpla is that the beam sabre can be stored inside shield. The shield is folded to reveal it.

Beam sabre in action. The actual beam is quite long; it is about the same length as the Gundam's height.

Height comparison with 00 Qan[T] Full Saber and Gundam Ez8. MS in Gundam Wing, as well as those in G and X, do have slightly shorter height than the standard 18m for majority of the Gundams.

Wing Gundam can transform into MA, which is called Bird Mode. The hands need to be removed for this form, but otherwise transformation is pretty straightforward with no part swapping required.

A few more shots of the Wing Gundam to finish off the post.

It has been nearly 19 years since we get a new 1/144 Wing Gundam gunpla. As this is not a big gunpla, there are not so many runners and parts. There are also not many polycaps, which can be worrying as many of the joints don't use one, therefore it is possible that they can be looser than anticipated. This is especially noticed on the arms below the shoulders, as they fall off quite easily as I am posing the gunpla. Nevertheless colour separation and details are nice overall, and transformation is easily done without a fuss. Pretty happy with this little kit.

Looking forward to HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam Zero that is due to release in March!

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8 January 2014

figma Shimakaze preview

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With the immense popularity of Japanese web browser game Kantai Collection, its "poster girl" Shimakaze is announced to enter Max Factory's figma action figure line. Let's see how the anthropomorphised speedy Destroyer looks like.

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Shimakaze and her three Rensouhou-chans (連装砲ちゃん, literally translated as twin gun-chans).

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Shimakaze with her quintuple Type 93 torpedo tubes mounted at her back.

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Torpedo tubes can be removed. This pose is based on one of the illustrations.

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Damaged pose with an embarrassed face. The figma has no damaged cloth parts unlike the Nendoroid counterpart.

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If one orders from Good Smile Online Shop, there will be a bonus face for one of the Rensouhou-chan (>△<) to represent the damaged expression.

Shimakaze is available for pre-order for 5800 Yen, and will be released in May. However, due to licensing this is supposed to be released in Japan only. But then there are shops and services that can allow you to purchase them overseas should you be interested.

While Shimakaze is not my favourite character in the game, I will be looking forward to her release~

Images are from Good Smile Online Shop & figma blog
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31 December 2013

End of 2013

2013 has come to an end.

This year has not been stellar, to put it least negatively. The last quarter of the year has been especially less enjoyable; we had a family member suffering from ill health for many years, and seeing her suffer throughout the year until her final day was quite a toll for us. Luckily the week-long trip to Tokyo just before Christmas brought things to a lighter end to finish the year off.

Let us look back at the some of the highlights of the year.

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USS Peleliu visited Hong Kong in April. It was my first time seeing an active warship up close!

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The larger-than-life giant Rubber Duck was a big fad in Hong Kong; you couldn't get away without hearing or reading something about it every day while it was here!

Gundam Docks at Hong Kong! A 6m tall Gundam, as well as an equally tall Char's Zaku, made appearance outside Times Square.

Distant Worlds concert tour finally made a stop in Hong Kong for the first time! Being a fan of Final Fantasy's music, it was really a great pleasure to be able to listen to the concert in person!

Toy reviews had been minimal this year, which is a real pity. I did build a few Gunpla kits this year, but haven't got around to take photos of them. Hope I will get around to do more in the near future.

Nevertheless, the trip to Tokyo was a pleasure. Again big thanks to Arab-san and his doll Sakuya-san for taking me out around Akihabara and Dollpa event!

Well, the year has past, and let us look ahead to the new year and hopefully look for a brighter future!
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30 December 2013

D-Arts Black Zero Review

The final purchase of the 2013 was D-Arts Black Zero from Rockman X / Mega Man X video game series.

The Black Zero is basically a colour variation of Zero Type 2 released in 2012. It is a Premium Bandai Tamashii Web Shop exclusive item sold for 3500 Yen.

There are 2 kinds of Black Zero in the Rockman X / Mega Man X video game series: The first one is a fake copy that will be quickly be destroyed by the original in X3, whereas in future instalments it is an optional "upgrade armour" for Zero, which usually boosts his power.

Accessories include 3 types of Z-sabres, a normal right arm, 3 optional faces, 2 pairs of hands, and a muzzle part for Z-Buster for inserting effect parts (which are not included but can be used from other figures).

The Black Zero figure is pretty much the same as the red one, whose review can be seen here.





Readies the Z-sabre...

... And slash!

Zero with his Z-Sabre. It's purple with hints of foggy white, whereas the original has a solid pearl cyan colour instead.

Crouching with his Z-Buster ready

Action pose. Firing effect part is from D-Arts VAVA / Vile.

Various action poses

Black Zero has a total of 4 faces. The default face is the same, whereas the two on the left of the picture are minor variations of the red one, with the eyes looking at different directions. The fourth one on the right is a face based on the manga version.

And here is Black Zero with the manga version face. All I can say is... I am not used to it. ^^;

But I guess Zero approves this new face?

Comparison of original red Zero with Black Zero. Overall the red parts are replaced with black colour, whereas the hair becomes more of a dull cream colour. The paint job looks better than the original as there is now a nice finish surface, unlike the original which looks more like cheap plastic here and there.

The Black Zero may just be a colour variation of the red Zero with minor deviations, but the quality and finish is good. The helmet problem I faced in the red one is not observed here. The eyes still seem a bit too far up for the faces, hence it's difficult to take pictures of him while seeing the eyes clearly, but this seems to be a design issue rather than a quality one. Overall, this long anticipated black colour version of Zero is pretty satisfying to play around with. I do wonder who will be next in the line for D-Art's Mega Man series action figures?
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