The latest news from the hobby world, including updates on Konami’s Busou Shinki Battle Rondo and Mechamusume figures, the scoop on the newest figures in Max Factory’s lineup (Kanon’s Ayu and Makoto), an O-ji / Toy’s Planning collection update, Kaiyodo’s release schedule through May, Dragon Age Pure volume 4 and its accompanying Goodsmile / Itou Noiji figure, Queen’s Blade cushion covers, and more.

  • I haven’t been tracking Konami’s Busou Shinki project for the past few months, but it seems the online game service Battle Rondo, in which you customize your own mechamusume (known as 神姫 “shinki”) to victory, goes live on April 23rd. The gameplay seems similar to that of Armored Core: Formula Front where you don’t control your unit directly, but train and customize her in preparation for battles where her AI takes over as you watch them unfold. If I had more free time I’d love to put this through its paces… if anyone reading this is planning to take part I’d like to hear your opinion on how they’ve implemented the service once it launches. On my current schedule I guess I’ll be sticking to the soon-to-debut Radio Rondo for my mechamusume fix.
  • Speaking of Konami and mechamusume, the official site for their Mechamusume Figumate series of trading figures has been updated with detailed multi-angle photographs of each of the kits. They’re due out on May 17th, and I’m currently wavering on a preorder; I’m thinking at this point that I don’t really need the chibi, though they are cute.
  • The Max Factory staff blog has been updated with pictures of an unpainted exhibition model of their Tsukimiya Ayu PVC kit currently in production. Neither a price nor a release date have been fixed yet, but Ayu fans will be happy to see that entrusted to Max’s care she’s in the best hands possible. Word also comes in this update that they have a Sawatari Makoto kit in the pipeline as well, yet another reason to rejoice for those who have any idea who these characters are. *cough*Kanondesignssuck*cough*
  • This coming Monday’s Wonderful Hobby News Watch from Goodsmile will be about pirated figures. Learn how to spot a bogus Kasumi from twenty paces, and deal with the perpetrators accordingly! I’m looking at you, Hobbyfan, may you burn in a thousand hells for leeching the lifeblood of creators (who deserve to similarly burn for not making their products more widely available, but they deserve their own special hell for that. I wish Goodsmile would devote a segment on how to spot a creator who is too myopic to produce in volume that meets demand).
  • Word today that the Toypla and Toranoana limited editions of Toy’s Planning’s O-ji (noantica) designed Shoujo 2 figure will come with a special manga attached, presumably of the 18+ variety. Still not quite enough to cajole me into preordering this, though damn if it isn’t tempting.
  • Speaking of O-ji designed Toy’s Planning figures, a quick look at his site reveals that some progress has been made on the figures in his eponymous [ERO] collection. Yummy!

O-ji Collection figures from Toy's Planning, works in progress

  • Featuring perhaps the worst brand name ever, Aoshima‘s Funny Knights figure label has launched a blog to promote itself. Predictably its first (and as of now, only) entry is regarding its forthcoming Yamashita Shunya-designed Rudy figure; hopefully they’ll provide more interesting newsbits in the future as their production line expands.
  • Aizu Project now has an official page up for their earlier-scooped Shiranui Mai cold cast, due out in July. Seeing it again like this it’s getting more and more tempting…
  • Kaiyodo has updated with precise dates for their release schedule through April and May, noting that Bome’s Honey Bunny Karen and Rio will be out on May 11th, among other items of interest.
  • News from the Queen’s Blade arena that Cospa will be offering cushion covers based on the “knock down” poses of three of the characters: Tomoe, Menace, and Airi. The Queen’s Blade goods page has also been updated with color pictures of Griffon’s Airi and Menace cold casts, as well as further rough images of Medicos’s trading figure set. Both are looking quite nice… :3 finally, a sample track is up from the first Bitoshi Gaiden drama CD, due out later this month. Yay Mamiko!