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Wave presents Xecty, space Yoko, Aizawa Tomomi

As we reported on Saturday, official pages went online today for Wave’s soft-body Xecty from Shining Wind as well as two other figures we weren’t anticipating: Yoko “space look” version from Gurren Lagann and Aizawa Tomomi (maid type) from Pia Carrot he Youkoso!! 2.

Xecty is scheduled for release in September at 1/8 scale (18 cm long) and 6,825 yen retail, with a sculpt from Clumsy Craft Rei (homepage). Her body is composed of a soft, pliant material, and she comes with an extra exchangeable face part. Her shirt is castoffable. A Miyazawa limited pink version (500 units, 6,825 yen) and a DX version with telephone card (7,875 yen) will also be sold.

Yoko is due out in September as well, at 5,880 yen. She is 1/8 scale (17.5 cm tall) and was sculpted by Katsushima Kouichi (homepage). A Miyazawa limited special color version (6,930 yen) and a resin kit version (10,500 yen, June release) are also being produced.

Tomomi is scheduled for release in October, at a whopping 1/5 scale (height unspecified) and 10,290 yen retail. Her sculpt is from Misumaru Mashii (homepage), unsurprising given his portfolio.

Figure images below:

Eye Up Kamina, Yoko preorders open

Amiami’s noon update today included the two new figures from rookie maker Eye Up that we reported last week: Kamina and Yoko from Gainax robot anime Gurren Lagann. As previously reported, Kamina is scheduled for release in late August at 8,190 yen retail, 1/8 scale (26 cm tall), and comes with detachable cape and shades and a sculpt from Black Sabbath. Yoko is likewise 1/8 scale and 8,190 yen retail, 21 cm tall with release coming in September and a sculpt from Mesuka / Ani. Both are finished PVC models. Images below:

Arm your drills, ladies and gentlemen – Eye Up’s Kamina and Yoko

Formerly credited as a producer subcontracted to figure projects by other brands (notably Megahouse), today figure maker Eye Up announced the independent formation of its own eponymous figure brand with the unveiling of two items we’ve seen before in resin: Black Sabbath’s Kamina and Mesuka’s Yoko from Gainax giant robot anime Gurren Lagann. Kamina is scheduled for release in late August at 8,190 yen retail, 1/8 scale (26 cm tall), and comes with detachable cape and shades. Yoko is likewise 1/8 scale and 8,190 yen retail, 21 cm tall with release coming in September. Both are finished PVC models. Images below:

WHF Ariake 18: Lucky Star, Gurren Lagann, Vocaloid

The fervor surrounding Lucky Star, Gurren Lagann, and the Vocaloid virtual idol character Hatsune Miku (and now Kagamine Rin and Len) has continued strong since the summer of last year, and WHF Ariake 18 saw a fresh crop of kits emerge based on these popular franchises. We’ve got a round up of many of them below (and a few older ones as well), for your perusing pleasure:

WHF Ariake 18: Yoko vs. Yoko

What happens when two of the bishoujo sculpting masters of Japan decide to tackle the same subject with their own unique interpretations? We found out yesterday at WHF Ariake 18, where I was treated to my first look at the completed renditions of two new Gurren Lagann Yoko “space look” resin kits by two veteran hands of the craft. See below for gallery reviews of both:

Artbook Review: Gurren Lagann Yoko Portraits

When I first heard that this book was coming out I assumed it would be just another gimmick to bilk Yoko fans out of a bit more cash, consisting of little more than recycled Megami and Newtype posters padded with screenshots from the show. This is Gainax we’re talking about, after all – the company that never sells something once when they can sell it twice (or a dozen times). Imagine my surprise upon paging through it that the volume in fact contains an astonishing amount of new material created exclusively for this book – and much of it really nice work. After rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating the Gainax of two decades ago I immediately decided the volume had to be procured, so here, a mere three months late, is our look at Yoko’s portrait collection:

Gurren Lagann movie version announced

Via Moon Phase and Kadokawa’s exhibitor entry at the Tokyo International Anime Fair website: according to the April edition of Newtype magazine (on sale March 10th), a theatrical version of the Gurren Lagann TV anime is currently in the planning stages of production. No details of the project are currently known, but Moon Phase speculates that it might be similar to the Top wo Nerae! theatrical release in that it would combine new animated sequences with brushed up material from the TV series to present a condensed version of the story. We’ll keep an eye on this as further information comes to light. (no more)

Figure News: Little Busters’ Kurugaya Yuiko from Toy’sworks, Alter and Revoltech at WF 2008 Winter, release delays

Toy’sworks put up a promotional image on their official site today advertising the production of a Kurugaya Yuiko figure from Key’s Little Busters!. She’s scheduled for release in May at 6,800 yen retail and 1/8 scale (12 cm tall). In other figure news, the industry presence at Wonder Festival 2008 Winter is ramping up today with the announcement from Alter of a limited edition white version of their Quiz Magic Academy Sharon figure for sale at the event, and Kaiyodo’s announcement on their Revoltech Blog that they’ll be releasing their Gurren Lagann Revoltech at the event, a whopping three months before its official street date. Finally, word is in from Orchid Seed that their January release lineup (Feane, Al Ajif / Another Blood, and Fumie) has been pushed back to February, and Max Factory’s Onegai Onsen trading figures have been pushed back to February as well. (no more)

WHF Ariake 17: Hatsune Miku, Gurren Lagann, Lucky Star

In addition to recently popular standards of the garage kit repertoire (Nanoha, Touhou, Rozen Maiden), World Hobby Festival Ariake 17 saw the emergence of some new titles that are currently taking hold of the fan imagination in Japan. Chief among these at the event were virtual idol Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, the cast of Gurren Lagann, and Lucky Star, all of which saw a sharp rise in representation since the last figure event covered by HD. Check out the many offerings below for a look at the cutting edge of what’s heating up the winter ’07 garage kit world!

Figure News: Revoltech Expo preview (updated)

GA Graphic got a look inside the Tokyo Anime Center today where tomorrow’s Revoltech Expo will be held, and brings back a few preliminary scoops from the event: a Gurren Lagann Revoltech action figure is planned for May release, there is a Fist of the North Star series in the works, and a Revoltech Fraeulein Idolm@ster series is in production as well, with Amami Haruka due out in May and Futami Ami due out in June. We’ll be keeping an eye out for further bishoujo news from the event as it progresses tomorrow. Update: GA Graphic has posted a continuation of their coverage, showcasing the upcoming Fraeulein Revoltech line including the recently scooped Yamashita Shunya-designed POCCO (fourth in the series, due out on April 1st). Update 2: even more pictures can be found at the Akiba Hobby preview here. (no more)

Figure News: January ’08 Hobby Japan preview

Hot on the heels of this morning’s Hatsune Miku Nendoroid leak comes further scoopage from the as-yet unpublished pages of the January ’08 issue of Hobby Japan magazine! On the Queen’s Blade front we get our first look at Megahouse’s Shizuka in color (scooped back at Wanfesu), along with the news that she’s due out next spring at 5,775 yen and is castoffable. We get looks beneath the clothing of both Airi and Nix as well, with Nix revealed as a lower castoff. We have word that an Izuruha figure will accompany a box set release of the four volumes of Ru Li Lu Ra manga (details in the next HJ issue). Word from Goodsmile as well that they’re producing a Kuonji Shinra figure from Kimigashu (no details yet), and a look at the MMS Yoko action figure coming from Konami in December. Last but not least we have Akashiya Moka from Rosario to Vampire coming from Shueisha on May 23rd at 5,000 yen, and what for me is the heart-stopping revelation of the issue: the Orchid Seed Ishiyama Satoshi-sculpted Witchblade Shiori kit scooped at the Miyazawa Model Exhibition is coming out in resin at Hobby Complex 02 this Sunday, November 25th. Holding my breath until the PVC announcement… visual evidence below:

Goods News: Yoko (Space Look x Yomako ver.) dakimakura cover coming from Cospa

Via the Dakimakura Integrated Research Institute: Word is in from 2D goods maker Nijigen Cospa that they’ll be producing a second hug pillowcase featuring Yoko, heroine of Gainax’s Gurren Lagann TV anime (we scooped the first one back in July). This new version features images of her as she appears later in the show, in what Cospa calls her “space look” and her “Yomako” look respectively (wonder where they got the idea for Yomako?). The case is now available for preorder at Cospa, with release scheduled for late January at 150×50 cm and 9,450 yen retail (case only). Picture below:

Weekend Event Roundup: Dream Party Osaka, Clayz Matsuri, Queen’s Coliseum II, Sukima Festival

In this post we hit the highlights of several events that went down over the November 3-4 weekend: Dream Party Osaka, the Kansai version of Dream Party Tokyo; Clayz Moe~ro Matsuri, the yearly expo of Clayz figures and work by associated sculptors (blog); Queen’s Coliseum II, the first [ERO] doujin event to take place at the Taitou building in Asakusa following the dropping of the censorship banhammer; and Sukima Festival, a collection of niche themed doujin events that just happened to also include Hatsune Miku and Gurren Lagann.

Goods News: Gurren Lagann Nia hug pillow coming from Cospa

Via the Dakimakura Integrated Research Institute: Nijigen Cospa announced over the weekend plans for the production of a Nia pillowcase featuring the heroine of Gainax’s recent giant robot anime Gurren Lagann. It’s double sided, features a pair of original illustrations of Nia (young and old versions), and clocks in at 150 x 50 cm and 9,000 yen retail (cover only). It’s due out in early January of next year, and should be up for preorder at the usual suspects soon. Pillow illustrations below:

Figure News: Konami’s Gurren Lagann Figure Collection vol. 1 up for preorder

Hobby Stock posted a listing this afternoon for Konami’s Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Figure Collection vol. 1! It’s a six piece set that includes Yoko, Nia, Simon, Kamina, Gurren Lagann, and a rare Yoko (swimsuit version). Simon comes with replaceable drill, which can also be equipped on the robot; the larger figures are approximately 12 cm tall (sized in proportion to the earlier released Impact Model Lagann), and they’re set to retail in March of next year in a box of ten for 7,140 yen. Picture below:

[ERO] Figure Review: Konami’s Yoko PVC from Gurren Lagann

Hype for Gurren Lagann was high back in May when this Yoko figure was announced, and given my enthusiasm for the show I made the rather foolhardy decision to preorder her sight unseen. Luckily when the first images of the kit emerged my decision seemed vindicated, and it was just icing on the cake to learn earlier this week that her top was castoffable. Yoko’s popularity and the castoff gimmick notwithstanding, now that the show is over how does Konami’s craftsmanship hold up to scrutiny? Not too badly at all, in my estimation – but not particularly amazingly either.

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