2016: A Year In Action Figure Collecting2016: A Year In Action Figure CollectingReview

Hello everyone! This is my first blog/journal entry. The topic is how badly my wallet suffered last year, and what I got in return.
But first, a bit about myself. It was 7 years ago when I started collecting. Back when these figures costed 2500 yen. I'm into anime, MegaTen and toku. At first I disliked action figures, it bothered me that the joints break the sculpt. I value source accuracy the most after all. But soon I realized how much fun it is to pose them together. It requires a bit of creativity but there's no lack of that here. In fact I think it's a good way to develop depth vision, and to pick up some anatomy tips. I mostly collect SHF, SAS, and Figma figures. But I'm not picky, it mostly boils down to which company decides to pander me. If I'd have to pick a favorite of these 3, I'd go with SHF. Decent sculptwork, the paint is on spot 99% of the time. Sculptwise, I prefer SAS but the paint errors ruin the line in the end. Figma is acceptable, and there's really no alternative when it comes to poseable anime figures. I'm eyeing model kits these days, my past kit building adventures involve bandai and kotobukiya kits. I'm a very objective and critical person, you won't see me overlook problems just because I like the character.

With figma Gilgamesh delayed, there are no more figures left on my 2016 preorder list . I'll follow the chronological order of how I got my packages/figures throughout this year.

January started with a real kick in the face. Bandai decided to change their policy, and make me pay for every webshop exclusive item I preordered. That was 4 figures and 200+ bucks. Only just recently have I recovered. Two of those I've been very excited about.
ITEM #261982
ITEM #304743
Both figures disappointed me, but I'm still glad I bought them. Garo's articulation is subpar compared to other SHFs, but the sculpt is spot on. Decade is all around great, except for one small detail. The violent emotion head's eyes look melted. The king's crown ruined. It'd be one of my all time favorite figures otherwise. I'd Rate Garo 6/10 and Decade 9/10

Next up is Tali. ITEM #255723
A stunning sculpt, worthy of her. Good paintjob, great assets at a very good price. Bonus point for the reflective silver eyes. I accidentally discovered it while I was testing the color with a blue torch. It's one of the best releases this year. The pose is a bit lacking, but I can't find anything wrong with it aside that. 9/10

ITEM #343413 Phasma. The stormtrooper designs were one of the few highlights of Force Awakens. Bandai didn't disappoint with them, except for accessory count and the fact that you can't mount weapons on their armor. Seriously. They still got the looks and an insane torso range thanks to the armor design. It's easily a 7/10 at least.

ITEM #283094 Part 6's main bad in his final form. I love how wrinkled the suit is. The sculpt is great, except for the skirt piece. it's not as dynamic as it could, or rather should be. SAS stands for super action statue and with a skirt this rigid it'll look off in most poses. Paint errors are kind of a trademark of SAS by now, this specific figure's top of the head is messed up. But hey, we got a shouting head if you don't like it, and a hat to hide it. Both useless when they could've added his original (and much cooler) hairstyle. The figure is fine, the accessories are a mess. Pucci 5/10

Next up is ITEM #129223 The 4th and last Bandai webshop item I had to pay up front. It's not a bad figure but a very plain one which helps articulation a lot. The only striking problem is the skirt, which gets in the way. Not bad, but far from perfect. Have I mentioned he comes with everything you could ask for? Orga: 6/10.

Next are two KanColle statues. Ushio prize fig, and Kaga.
ITEM #342765
ITEM #287891
Both are great in my book. Ushio turned out very good for a prize fig, Kaga is almost perfect. If only it wasn't for the seam line in her hair... Both come with huge bases. Ushio's resembles a simple ramen lid, which you can easily leave off, she's not bolted onto it. Kaga's base is a ship model's base with a metal nameplate. It's big and heavy, takes up a LOT of shelf space. Ushio 6/10, Kaga is 8/10. Both were worth their price.

Body kun is next ITEM #358836
I'll talk about Body chan AFTER Body kun, because there's so much difference between them. The male body was forged by a decade of kamen rider figures. It's quite close to being perfect. It's everything you could ask for. Includes a bunch of cheap model kit quality accessories, and an overcomplicated stand. The box is a very welcome addition. I just wish it was half the price. It's insanely expensive for what it is. 10/10 still.

ITEM #358837 Body chan. I honestly can't say anything positive about it. It's a precure archetype body with some added plastic that hides the joints. They also greatly hinder articulation until it's no better than a standard figma. Same stand as Body Kun, same cheap plastic accessories. Same insane price. I do not recommend it at all. 3/10

ITEM #361055 Kabuto extender. I wanted this overpriced accessory for a while. It is what it is, all I can comment on that it looks good but I feel that SHF bikes are super huge, and too expensive. 5/10.

Next up is Lupin and Fujiko.
ITEM #362572
ITEM #362573
Lupin is very poseable for a suit figure. However the said suit is not sculpted in a dynamic way, it hangs like a bell. The figure is able to pull a lot of crazy poses, but the stiff hanging look of the jacket will make it look iffy every time. The face is off, even compared to the newest anime, which he was modelled after. Fujiko is from the same show, one thing to note is that her ass-hip area is one piece of rubbery thing. It helps a lot with posing but I don't like it one bit, it feels lazy and I wonder how long until the rubber cracks or melts.
Even if you don't like the character she's worth picking up for the catsuit bodyswap option.
Lupin 6/10, fujiko 5/10.

Next up are some more SHF figures. I'll start with the good one.
ITEM #304363 Kivala. She's a standard SHF Kamen Rider release. This is how Body chan should've been. She's crazy poseable and cute. She became one of my alltime favorites right when I started posing her. 10/10 figure. Just look up the pictures on her page.

Now for the bad... Love Live SHF. Nozomi and Eli.
ITEM #261718
ITEM #261721
Whoever handled the LL SHF line deserves to be fired. The sculpts are mediocre, the joints are on the weak side. The paint is a mess, and most importantly they're missing VITAL articulation points. For figma fans this is a non-issue, but no other figures could benefit more from torso and hip articulation than those of dancing characters. These figures share EVERYTHING WRONG with figma and precure SHF both, and share none of their good points. The only thing good about them is the hairsculpt. 1/10 for both. Thankfully I bought them for 16 bucks each instead of the incredibly stupid, greedy original price. 45 bucks, and they wonder why they sold like crap. I want to say these were the worst figures I bought this year but I can't. the worst is yet to come.

Not yet though, we're only halfway. Next up is a tiny model kit.
ITEM #389751
There's a huge lack of 1/12 shotguns on the market. Thankfully Little Armory is here to save the day. Not much to say here, what you see is what you get. Unpainted shotguns with variable stocks. They're fine. 6/10

ITEM #262412 SHF Bananalord.
This one is a very bad action figure. Not only the body is inaccurate, but it's unposeable from waist down. If only they executed the skirt better it'd be decent, but not at this price point. It's barebones too, the only good point is the paint. Only get him if you're a diehard fan of the character, but even then, there are way better Baron SHF out there. 3/10

ITEM #363695
Toki prize fig. The Pulchra one was so overpriced that I went for this instead. I'd be fine with everything except the face for 15 bucks. This is NOT Tokitsukaze, any in depth talk after this would be meaningless. 2/10

Time for a quick break and a short story. I started with figma back in the day, but I always eyed revoltechs. Their figures were more poseable and their character picks were more interesting. However the ugly joints and the inability to strike neutral poses thew me off. After buying one (DMC3 Dante) I stayed away from them until late. I bought Raiden in 2015 and it blew my mind. I decided to go back and order some revos I always wanted.
After buying revo Alphas, (which was a huge miss) I decided to watch Zetman, followed by me buying Zet.
ITEM #124830 This figure is much better both in execution and paintwork than Alphas. The sculpt is very eyepleasing. There are two huge setbacks however. Revoltech joints which limit the articulation by a lot, and the ugly and useless V-shaped revoltech stand. I had to order a box of SHF stands to display him in a proper pose. I'd rate this 5/10. It's not all bad but it's an old revoltech still.

ITEM #20886 Revo Cattleya. Thankfully she got a Legacy release which means the clicking joints are less of a pain this time around. They're still bad but they give you more posing options. The Queen's blade line was lucky to get a more useful stand than the rest, plus with nowaday's prices she was very affordable. If I get the chance, I'll buy the other 3 QB Revo I wanted. 6/10 it's a decent figure.

ITEM #61358 Finally a re-release of the original SAS Buccellati. I waited 3 years and my patience paid off. (I bought the blue version too, but that's a different story.) Articulation is decent, or average on SAS's scale. Shading error ever present on the face which bugs me. Bonus for having a stand with extra holes, I don't understand why this can't be the standard for all SAS. It's a 7/10 for me.

Now for something different. I was roped into watching the newest Gundam series. ITEM #328667 Bought the HG Barbatos kit as soon as I could afford it. The sculpt is okay, I can't imagine it being any better on this scale. Articulation is great except for the waist area but I heard it's way better than usual. Very easy to build which is good and bad at the same time. Half of the joy of GunPla comes from building it. As a beginner I spent less than two hours on this. The only pain came from the head assembly, it was suffering. The price is very good, but I'm used to 6-8 optional hands. This kit has NONE. 7/10 I like it.

ITEM #331499 Now this is what I call disappointment. Shizuo is lanky, yes. But not THIS lanky. He's a stick figure technically with no shoulders. That'd be fine, if it wasn't for the undetailed hair sculpt and the messy shades he wears. Changing his lower arm was an awful experience. The balljoint pulled out at the upper arm, causing me 20 minutes of annoyance while I heated it up and tried to pull it apart repeatedly. The highlight is the misaligned head peg. If I don't fix the faceplate manually, the shades look bent. Have I mentioned the outrageous price they charged for this? Or the completely useless torso? 2/10, based on this experience I'd rather return this figure and not buy a single figma ever again.

ITEM #331746
ITEM #331747
Figma archetype next: he and she. I'll review these two together since they share everything, good and bad alike. When I preordered the SHF Bodies, I bought them for articulation. (Body chan disappointed me) I bought the Figma Archetypes for headswap purposes. Well you can't swap heads unless you drill bigger holes on their necks. The sculpts are good, mostly anatomically correct. Articulation is superb but came with a very high price. One: rubber torso and crotch. Two: said torso feels like a vest floating above where it belongs, akin to roman body armor. Three: huge gaps, esp on their backs. Overall I got something else than I planned to get but they were a very pleasant suprise. I recommend them to everyone, especially because of how affordable they are. You get a really good value with these two. 9/10.

The next two figures made me rage so hard I still get mad just by looking at them. I'll just post my comments from their pages because I don't want to pop any veins. Fun fact: I held MegaHouse in high regard until now.
ITEM #396936
They're hella small, smaller than a figma. Made from some soft, cheap feeling plastic. More packaging material was used, than plastic to make the figures. Mold lines everywhere. Rika's hand just fell off. Renamon's shoulder feather thing is bent. Paint transfer. Paintjob is nowhere clean. pros: their heads turn, and Renamon has her tail around Rika/Ruki almost grabbing her hand too. I have prize figures with better QC. Would pay 30 bucks at max and I paid 106. Easily the worst thing I bought this year. Can't express how disappointed I am. Not buying Megahouse products in the foreseeable future. 1/10 this is what I get for nostalgia.

ITEM #342722
Boa has the looks, and excellent detail but as an action figure it's a huge miss. This figure is very, very flawed. It's an engineering mess. A super stiff right elbow, to the point it's making loud cracking noises whenever I attempt to move it. Feels like the arm will snap before the joint rotates. One earring is bent to hell making it look tiny and out of place Weak, weak left leg it can barely support her weight. (seems like a common problem) The right leg's engineering is tasteless, ugly and plain stupid. The disjointed skirt is hideous and instead of helping articulation, it just gets in the way in ways you wouldn't imagine. I managed to snap a wrist joint in two. At this price, this release is unacceptable. I picked it up to try VAH, I wouldn't recommend as a first. Only get it if you're already collecting them and you really love her. Be aware that you will need a stage/stand to display her in any pose. 1/10

ITEM #445665 For many, who couldn't stand the flamboyant pink version, blue Giorno is a godsent. I for one, am tired of seeing blue and green SAS figures. I vastly prefer the pink one but I'm also very happy about this release still. Somehow the paintjob came out way better than expected on mine, with only minimal errors. Articulation is the same as Bruno's, except Giorno has a more rigid skirt. I'm very happy about the new alt head, and I'm glad I bought this figure. What's wrong with the price though? 9/10

ITEM #396881 I bought Caster because I didn't want to deal with aftermarket prices. I made the right decision. The paint and detail are great. The sculpt is nice. It's what I expect from figma, with one exception. The skirt is super restricting, to the point the hip/upper legs are barely useable. Articulation is average, due to the original design. Disappointing. Also expensive. 7/10

ITEM #331498 Izaya is a much better figure than Shizuo. No glaring errors, no weird proportions. The torso joint actually works which was a huge suprise to me. He doesn't come with much and very expensive for what you get. The only problem I have is that I havn't found a way to make him use the cellphone like a normal person. 6/10


The 3 worst things I bought this year were:
3. Figma Shizuo.
The quality control issues are glaring. It's overpriced, and on top of it that body is just awful.
2. VAH Boa Hancock.
MegaHouse has no idea how to build an action figure. I've been watching reviews of VAH figures and they all have nice sculpt but they all lack poseability. The worst part is that the engineering is to blame, not the original designs. They make crazy mistakes costing both visual impact and functionality. Hancock just happened to be worse than the rest. I'll regret this purchase forever, but I learned my lesson.
1. G.E.M. Makino Ruki+Renamon.
Why did I pay 100 bucks for a 15 bucks worth prize figure? How in the world did this end up the way it did, when they were perfect on the promo pics? Yes, products change until they enter the final production stage but this is a tasteless joke. The rest of G.E.M. series looks good/acceptable at least, even great. I feel hurt and deceived. Not buying anything from this series again either.

The top 3 things I bought:
3rd SAS Giorno Giovanna (blue)
It might be the lack of new/interesting SAS releases, or the fact that I so rarely receive SAS figures that aren't miscolored, but I seriously love this figure. Hope if we ever see a 4th color variant it'll be either orange/yellow or black.
2nd SHF Kivala
Kivala is everything I love about the SHF line. The detail, articulation, paintjob. I wish all their releases were at least this good.
1st might be an odd choice.
flic.kr/p/PmCx7... This is a 3rd party transformer. Lord Scorpion by Iron Factory.
It's not necessarily japanese, nor an official product, but it's an action figure I bought last year still. My friends often asked me why I don't buy transformers and my answer was always the same. They're inaccurate and they lack paint. Here it is, a favorite character of mine, from my childhood in all his glory. Delivered not by Hasbro, nor Taraka. And Scorponok (Lord Scorpion)is excellent. Insanely expressive for a boxxy robot, the detail is crazy. Even more so when you consider that he's roughly 16cm tall, transforms, and didn't cost more than a figma. He's very sturdy and weights a lot, It's solid plastic. The altmodes are kinda lame but that's how the original is. I'm very happy that I decided to give it a chance. 10/10

The year right away started with robbing me of all my savings, leaving me to struggle all the way through until december. I made a lot of unusual choices with my wallet, Some I very much regret. There have been a lot of mediocre releases that threw me off. Some great ones that almost made it to my favorites list like SHF Decade and Garo Ryuuga. I even got to work on my backlog for a bit.
To sum things up this was an awful year. Not because all the mediocre figures I bought. Not only for me, all of us collectors suffer in the same boat no matter what figures you collect. Figures got more expensive, shipping got more expensive. Figures getting less accessories, almost every figma has a GSC exclusive bonus. GSC would rather make videogame and meme characters than anime characters now. Bandai SHF is pushing the western market, instead of releasing 2-3 year old figures stuck in limbo.
What's next for 2017? My future holds 5+1 preordered figma, 7 model kits (now 6) and a super overpriced statue of my waifu. Havn't decided wether to fear or be happy about the approaching WonFes. For one I'm aching for new stuff to buy, but I fear how expensive it will be. I have a gut feeling that it'll only get disappointment in the form of 60+ nendos...


This was my first (and very long) article. If you have any suggestions, or opinions I'll be glad to hear them! A big thanks if you read it!
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You seem to be an SHF fan? :) As a figma fan I totally prefer their rubber pants/ass parts. After many figmas I was annoyed with shf Ranma-chan's hip part made of hard plastic limiting her leg movement.
It's not everyday I read someone say they like MegaTen. Props for that!
Very nice read mate, I liked the rapid-fire review format.

Sucks that so little of what you got was up to your standards, better luck this year :x
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