Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Beginnings of new years have always been a good time to look back into the previous year's highlights and today, welcome to Issue 3 of Corner Bites as I present to you my very own top 10 (in no particular order) picks from 2015's array of articulated figure releases!
Disclaimer: My picks are limited to those that I own and that the post itself is just to share my own list to my readers.
First of my picks is one that I have reviewed in 2015 and is from Max Factory's Figma line. Figma #241 is a prime example of having excellent articulation while being packed with tons of accessories which gives you a complete package deal in one purchase. Sinon definitely left a mark on me as one of the most articulated figmas to date and also being a complete package with a handgun, Hecate and basically everything you'll ever need for Sinon's GGO avatar as how she was shown in the anime while bearing none of the online shop exclusive schemes.
Review Link: http://murakami-night.blogspot.com/2015/05/max-factory-figma-sinon-review.html
Figma Saber 2.0
One would think that a complex design such as the armored form of Fate franchise's King "Arthur" easily known as Saber would have much limitations but when Max Factory decided to rework their old figma Saber into figma #227, dubbed Saber "2.0", to go in line with the Unlimited Blade Works anime series, they made sure the King of Knights gets that majestic articulation as pretty much every part has been looked into to make sure that Saber can be as dynamic as possible while also being true to the ufotable's rendition of the character. Possibly the most poseable figma with a long skirt as the skirt breaks down into several points of articulation to allow a great deal of movement in the her legs as well as the incorporation a lot of new changes to the joints has proved that Max Factory can make really quality articulated figures when they actually put extra effort into it.
While supposedly the release of figma SP-58 with figFIX SP-01 was to highlight the "young" detective Conan, he is IMO simply overshadowed by the Criminal Silhouette figma he comes with as Conan was reduced to being a mere "articulated" statue. Being a silhouette, Criminal presents no whatsoever limitation as he is basically a 2.0 archetype body while also coming with 2 heads and a lot of murder/crime weapons, Criminal has to be one of the most accessorized figma releases for 2015 while also being a very good poseable figure himself which can also act as a common thug for your heroic needs.
DC Comics Icons Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Icons line had its debut quite in the late in 2015 and this has received a mixture of positive and negative comments; while I would admit that the Icons line have much to improve maybe due to it being a new line and is still at its early days even as of this writing, the general articulation of the entire Icons line is good enough but actually releasing a sort of "DX" valued figure early in the line, Hal Jordan was definitely a good releas showing line's potential, Hal is, so far, that one Icons figure that has a lot of possible display options and I only had to pay like, at most, $3 more than your average Icons release for all his worth.
Marvel Legends Infinite Series Hobgoblin Wave Spider-Man
Marvel Legends has always been a hit line to a lot of people but personally, for me, I always think that they seem to lack proper accessories but then Hobgoblin Wave's "Pizza" Spidey somehow makes me think otherwise; coming with the BAF part, an alternate head, a bunch of alternate hands AND even an unneeded pizza, this has really got me thinking "Why can't Hasbro do this for all their releases?". While Marvel Legends has long established that its articulation is good, providing accessories and alternate hands/heads are far from the line's forte and not a lot of releases actually get them which sometimes limits what you can do with such great articulation, Pizza Spidey, however, has almost everything you'd need from a wall crawler.
MAFEX Darth Vader
There has been a lot of Darth Vader figures in the 6-inch scale but I definitely think MAFEX nailed it best. Being a Japan import figure, the placement of joints and overall articulation are more than enough to satisfy anyone who's looking for action, while the S.H.Figuarts can also do such feats, there are two things that MAFEX has over the other and they are height and poseable cape. MAFEX Vader is really tall as he should be as opposed to SHF whose Star Wars releases are generally really short in a sense that they are following more of the Rider scaling than the Avengers/Injustice scaling; additionally, poseable wired capes always makes poses look even more dynamic and this is also something SHF doesn't have, I have no idea for the Black series though while Revoltech's cape breaks into a ridiculous tattered look when you pose the cape around. Lastly, SHF actually requires you to buy their Luke Skywalker release to actually obtain Vader's "Anakin" head but MAFEX just gives it you as part of the package.
S.H.Figuarts Super Saiyan Son Goku -Awakening version-
While I'm never a fan of Goku, his Super Saiyan "awakening" version release is definitely game breaking such that he started the trend of Dragon Ball Figuarts as being regular releases again while also bringing us a complete overhaul of the DBZ body frame. Coming with the excellent new frame is also an excellent level of sculpting while also hiding the joints fairly well. This Goku has easily found its way into other people's top 10 figures as well as it definitely IS that good of a figure.
S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Proto Drive
Proto Drive is simply a recolor and a minor retool of the existing S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Drive Type Speed, which I totally love BTW; the only reason he's at my top instead of Type Speed is mainly because of the fact that at least ProtoDrive is complete in a sense that he doesn't need weapons unlike Type Speed whose sword and gun (and even the gripping hands) were bundled in his other forms. The Type Speed mold is an excellent representation of the suit and is really a fully poseable figure without needing the Shinkocchou Seihou treatment and Proto Drive is no different as he gets exactly the same pros as Type Speed did. The downside though is that Proto Drive is an event exclusive release and/or lottery web release.
S.H.Figuarts Harley Quinn
While S.H.Figuarts' Injustice releases has been seemingly put to a hold, Harley has definitely been one of, it not, the strongest releases in the line. The slender body frame together with the sculpting truly brings out Harley's character. Together with a lot of hands, alternate faces, weapons (DIE CAST GUNS INCLUDED, PEOPLE!) and a set of smartly placed articulation points throughout her frame, Harley is easily, for me, the best Injustice release from S.H.Figuarts.
S.H.Figuarts Captain America (Age of Ultron)
I will admit that the face is far from Chris Evans' muscular features when wearing the mask, many will agree with me when I say S.H.Figuarts' Captain America rendition is easily the best 6 inch Captain America ever released in the year of 2015. With solid paint finish, solid articulation, alternate hands, eyes (yes, eyes) and features such as mounting his shield on his back and initial shield throwing. Age of Ultron Cap definitely makes a new baseline standard for future Cap figures (yes, even the Civil War version announced a few days ago) as he is pretty much one of the best S.H.Figuarts releases from Avengers Age of Ultron.
Well, that's about it for my top 10 articulated figures; note that just because they are here doesn't mean that I actually think they're my best hauls as well (which will be for another issue); The only factors that actually helped me determine this list would be the overall content and general articulation. Anyway, what about your top 10 figures? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!