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12th Prize Fair shows Yoruichi, Miku, Petit Eva

The “12th Prize Fair” (sources aren’t saying whether it’s 12th annual or on some other timespan, we’ll look into this) was held today at the TOC Ariake convention facility in Tokyo. It showcased fall ’08 (October-December) prize releases from six manufacturers, among whom Banpresto and Sega each brought items of interest to the table: Banpresto showed a Yoruichi/Soifon pair from Bleach that I’m already coveting, a couple of new Pretty Cures, a Petit Eva series, a chibi SEED heroines set, and several others. Sega showed a Vocaloid lineup including Miku and Kagamine Rin, an SD Miku pair with music boxes that play Hoshi no Kakera and Ievan Polkka, some POP Alice in Wonderland vignettes, catgirl Rei and Asuka, and various others. Further details 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:

Volks Miku preorder reopens, PA lists Goodsmile’s

It seems Volks seriously underestimated the popularity of their PVC Miku, as she sold out within 24 hours of her first preorder listing. In response they have once again opened preorders for a second round of the figure, which is available right now and scheduled to ship in October – though once again preorders are limited to a preset allotment so extreme haste is advised if you’re considering a proxy order. In other Miku figure news, Goodsmile’s 1/8 scale Hatsune Miku PVC is sold out in first lot at many online shops as well, but if you’d like the chance to get her as fast as possible and don’t mind paying a bit of a premium, first lot (September release) preorders just opened at Play-Asia. If you’d rather wait until October, cheaper options are still available. (no more)

Volks Hatsune Miku preorder open (closed)

Update for those who don’t read the Mainichi posts (read them! please?): Volks Miku preorders sold out of the first round within a day. Preorders for a second round will open on May 3rd.

As scooped in our earlier coverage of the figure, preorders opened today at the Volks official online shop for their store limited Vocaloid2 Hatsune Miku PVC. Recapping our earlier coverage, the figure is 1/6 scale, with a sculpt from A-BRAND‘s Miruhi Shutoraase (Milchstraße, ミルヒ・シュトラーセ) and a retail price of 7,140 yen. She comes with a second exchangeable arm option, and is scheduled for release in early September. The figure is available exclusively through Volks’ online shop and brick and mortar outlets, and preorders will be closed when the production quota has been reached, so if you’re thinking of purchasing via proxy the earlier the better. Kit image below:

Goodsmile’s Miku listed at Amiami, gallery online, preorders open (updated)

Update: It seems a few shops opened the preorder window briefly at midnight last night, so people are taking the April 25th preorder date seriously. We can expect to see her roll out over the full compliment of online retailers throughout the day today.

Update 2: an official product entry for the figure is now up at Goodsmile.

Original Post: We learned earlier today that Goodsmile’s 1/8 scale Hatsune Miku PVC figure would be going up for preorder tomorrow (April 25th), but in a surprise move Amiami put up a listing for her tonight, albeit without the ability to actually place an order. We now have full details on her configuration as well, which along with an official image gallery can be found below:

Volks to produce Hatsune Miku in PVC

Figure maker Volks updated today with the news that the Hatsune Miku resin kit they presented at Wonder Festival (scoop) is scheduled for reproduction in PVC. According to the kit’s official page preorders will open April 29th for the figure, which is 1/6 scale, with a sculpt from A-BRAND‘s Miruhi Shutoraase (Milchstraße, ミルヒ・シュトラーセ) and a retail price of 7,140 yen. She comes with a second exchangeable arm option, and is scheduled for release in early September.

It’s currently unknown whether she’ll be put up for broad release or limited to order at Volks only, but unbroken precedent indicates that despite their recent forays into the PVC world the brand remains committed to a sickly type of repugnant monopolistic isolationism.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past eight months or are suffering temporary amnesia and don’t recall who Miku is, click here. (no more)

Hatsune Miku news from Goodsmile

The official blog of figure maker Goodsmile updated today with several new photographs and a couple of pieces of Miku-related news. The first is that preorders for their 1/8 scale Hatsune Miku PVC (the one we first scooped at Wonder Festival) will begin next week! We can expect a crushing avalanche of interest in this item, and while Goodsmile is likely prepared for the high demand this time (based on the 50,000+ preorders they received for Nendoroid Miku), we’ll still be watching closely for announcement of the preorder and bring the news to you as fast as humanly possible. Better to be safe than sorry with these things…

Speaking of Goodsmile’s Miku Nendoroid, the other bit of news is that a second batch of the figure is on its way to official Goodsmile partner shops as I’m typing this. These include several stores that ship internationally, such as HLJ and J-List, so if you missed her when she first came out this could be an unexpectedly good chance to pick her up.

Stay tuned for further news on the 1/8 scale Miku preorder frenzy! (no more)

Figure Review: Goodsmile’s Nendoroid Hatsune Miku

Ever since Goodsmile’s Hatsune Miku Nendoroid was first revealed last November, the explosive popularity of this figure was a foregone conclusion. By simply taking the route of an already established net meme the figure practically advertised itself, and by the time it shipped two days ago had racked up over 50,000 preorders – ten times the number produced for the initial release of Shuraki Vol. 1. Does Miku live up to the hype? Read on to find out!

Hatsune Miku Figma announced at TAF

While not primarily a figure event, a few makers set up shop at this weekend’s Tokyo International Anime Fair, Goodsmile included. The biggest new item announced today at their booth was a Figma Hatsune Miku action figure, from Crypton’s Vocaloid2 virtual idol line; we don’t know anything beyond the photos yet, but from the looks of it we’ve got another crazy hot item on our hands. Moeyo! Akibajin blog has a look as well, which also includes a color shot of Goodsmile’s 1/8 Hatsune Miku PVC that we scooped back at Wonder Festival. We’ll be on the lookout for further details on both figures as well as other figure fallout from TAF. (no more)

Why no Miku at Wonder Festival? Zepy explains

Zepy over at Canned Dogs has posted with the news that due to a change in licensing requirements, dealers planning to sell Hatsune Miku kits at Wonder Festival 2008 Winter have run into trouble, with their applications either being rejected or having responses so delayed as to make kit production impossible. This jives with what our survey of the event offerings shows – not a single Miku kit in evidence from any of the major sculpting circles (those with online presences, at least), which contrasts sharply with the bonanza of Miku offerings at WHF Ariake 17. Thus far the only Miku kit to be officially announced (that I’m aware of) is the one coming from Volks, who have a professional organization robust enough to handle the demanding requirements of the new system. The merits of such requirements can be debated, but the strong anti-derivative stand on the part of the Vocaloid IP is certainly a trend to watch. (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!

Goods News: Vocaloid2 Kagamine Rin gets a twin

Word in today from the official Crypton blog that voice synthesizer software Vocaloid2 #02 Kagamine Rin, voice sampled by Shimoda Asami, will be released as not one but two separate characters in the same package. Rin is being joined by “Len”, her twin brother (?), who is specced for a slightly deeper voice at slower BPM. Release is still scheduled for late December of this year, at a price similar to Miku‘s 15,750 yen retail. Could this gimmick give the pair the boost they need to equal Miku‘s explosive popularity? We’ll keep an eye on this. (no more)

Goods News: Hatsune Miku dakimakura up for preorder

No one can resist the temptation to make a quick buck off of virtual idol sensation Hatsune Miku these days, and goods maker Frontier Works is the latest to jump on the pile with the announcement of their Hatsune Miku hug pillow cover now up for preorder from Animate’s online shop. She’s scheduled for release in mid-January at 10,000 yen (case only) and the rather large size of 170 x 60 cm, with both sides featuring original illustrations by Miku character designer KEI. Not a particularly ero item, but given Miku’s cult status these days I’m guessing this will sell like hotcakes… Animate’s shop does not accept international orders, so a proxy service is likely your best option should you wish to procure her. Cover images below:

Figure News: Hatsune Miku Nendoroid up for preorder

As speculated, preorders officially opened last night for Goodsmile’s Nendoroid Hatsune Miku. She should be gradually appearing at online shops over the course of the day today, so those keen on the acquisition are advised to keep a sharp eye out… There has been some questioning in comments as to what the big deal is surrounding Miku, so a quick word on that: Hatsune Miku is voice synthesizer software that can be manipulated to sing just about anything – in other words, a virtual idol. A combination of solid character design and competent technical specifications provided the platform for a profusion of net memes that catapulted her to doujin stardom virtually overnight, becoming a sensation similar to Churuya-san or the OS-tans. She can be found on YouTube here and here. (no more)

Figure News: more Hatsune Miku Nendoroid pictures

More Miku preorder listings have been going up unofficially over the past twenty four hours, including one at Amazon, and we now have incontrovertible proof of her leekness. She was also present in the plastic today at the Dengeki 15th Anniversary Festival, and Akiba Hobby was there to shoot an exhaustive review (no leek in evidence, alas). She’s also pictured in Dengeki’s official coverage, as well as below:

Figure News: Hatsune Miku Nendoroid, Shuraki Needa preorder dates confirmed

Just a quick note before running off to Comic Creation: according to online shop Digitamin preorders for the Hatsune Miku Nendoroid (scooped yesterday) are scheduled to officially open at midnight on November 26th, with preorder opening for Shuraki series #4 Needa on the 27th. The Miku preorder is also hinted at in an official email to stores from Goodsmile, which says there will be a special announcement occurring on Nico Video at 24:00 o’clock on the 25th (midnight of the 26th)… A feeding frenzy is expected to surround both kits, so we’ll be watching for further preorder information as it is forthcoming. (no more)

Figure News: Nendoroid Hatsune Miku, Lucky Star Petit series unveiled – UPDATE – Miku preorder?!

Scans have begun leaking on 2chan’s Mokeiura board from this month’s issue of Hobby Japan magazine, and the first to surface is the revelation that explosively popular virtual idol Hatsune Miku is to see a Nendoroid rendition come next March. She’s listed with a price point of 3,000 yen and typical Nendoroid accessories, clocking in at 10 cm tall. Revealed simultaneously is the news that a Nendoroid Petit series featuring the main female cast of Lucky Star (Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa, Miyuki, and Akira) is to be released! The figures will go on sale in March at 500 yen each and are approx. 6.5 cm tall. As far as we know neither are scheduled to be limited in the way that the full size Lucky Star Nendoroid release was. HJ magazine scan below. 16:30 Update: online shop Rakuten Sproutoy briefly had Miku up for preorder a few minutes ago, complete with color image (see below). Word is that she does in fact come with a leek…. She sold out in seconds, and is likely to disappear equally quickly wherever she appears. We’ll be keeping an eye out for any further info.

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.

Manga News: Hatsune Miku manga announced, to begin serialization in November

According to Moon Phase Diary a manga featuring Yamaha’s virtual idol Hatsune Miku will begin serialization in the January 2008 issue of Comic RUSH (on sale November 26th), and will be penned by Miku character designer KEI. I haven’t done much Miku reporting (Zepy‘s the man to go for for up to the minute news on everyone’s favorite voice synth) but this is a great development in my book; too often characters are poorly interpreted by mangaka other than the original creator, but with her designer on board for the project I’d say Miku is in safe hands. (no more)

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