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New Vocaloid Character Information: Megurine Luka

The latest information regarding the third vocaloid character has been released today. The new character is named “Megurine Luka” (I am working very hard not to call her “Luka Migraine”) and features the voice of Asakawa Yuu, probably best known for her role as Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh. I can’t expect her to become anything resembling the cultural phenomenon that is Hatsune Miku, but I must confess, I absolutely love this design:

Nendoroid Kagamine Rin, Len preorders tomorrow

The official Goodsmile blog brought the news earlier today that their Nendoroid action figure Kagamine Rin and Len (of Vocaloid virtual idol fame) will be available for preorder starting tomorrow, June 4th. We’ve witnessed the development of their configuration from the first announcement of calls for fans to submit alternate face part designs, and today a final bit of news has emerged regarding the release – see below for details and images:

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:

Volks announces Kagamine Rin, Len

Updates at the official Piapro and Volks blogs confirm the news that Vocaloid virtual idol series singing siblings Kagamine Rin and Len are scheduled for figure production. Details are not yet available, but it seems logical to assume that they’ll be made available in PVC on the same terms as Volks’s Miku (Volks shop limited release). We’ll keep an eye out for price, sculptor, and further release information. In other news from Volks, their PVC Choukou Sennin Haruka and Narika will be up for preorder on May 25th and June 25th respectively, with release scheduled for July and August. These are also both Volks shop limited so proxy buying may be necessary (damn you Volks!). (no more)

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)

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)

Goodsmile solicits Rin/Len Nendoroid designs

We saw the Kagamine Rin Nendoroid prototype at Wonder Festival so we knew she was in the works, but word is in from the official Goodsmile site today that she’ll be accompanied in Nendoroid form by her musical twin Len. Goodsmile has also announced that the figures will be produced in conjunction with PIAPRO, who is currently gathering design suggestions for the “deformed face parts” that will ship as alternatives to their standard faces in the Nendoroid package. With Miku it was pretty clear that her leek incarnation was the superior option, but lacking in such widely known parody Rin and Len are no doubt harder to design for. If you would like to submit your design suggestions, instructions and downloadable templates are available here (Japanese only); more information is available at Goodsmile’s blog and the official Nendoroid site. (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)

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:

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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