KanColle: Light Cruiser Oyodo-Kai “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

After a long week of being sick, I’m ready to enjoy a leisurely morning with some coffee and a brand new KanColle Super Premium figure from the wonderful folks at SEGA. These SPM figures are presented in a roughly 8-inch scale and they’ve been digging pretty deep on the character selection, which keeps me coming back for more. Today’s Fleet Girl is the Light Cruiser Oyodo in her refit “Kai” form.

As always, SEGA’s SPM Fleet Girls come in standard enclosed boxes with a shot of the figure on the front, character art on the side panels, and lots of Japanese copy on the back. There’s very little English here, so hopefully you know what you’re getting. These boxes usually arrive pretty badly beaten up, but Oyodo’s is actually in pretty nice shape. Inside, the figure comes between two clear plastic trays. The only assembly required involves plugging her into her base.

While Oyodo-Kai is a fully armed Light Cruiser, she’s known more as an administrative “Mission Girl,” and only really sees action if you happen to be playing as her in the game. Likewise, she never saw action in the anime either, but rather served as assistant to Battleship Nagato and relayed action orders to the Fleet Girls. Even in the final battle when Nagato and Mutsu hit the water for action, Oyodo was nowhere to be seen. Her administrative nature is nicely reflected in the figure, which stands with clipboard in hand and turning in mid walk, as if to receive some last mission detail before hurrying off to relay orders.

Her outfit is rather unique among the Fleet Girls, and while she retains the familiar sailor-type uniform, she wears the top over an office-style long-sleeved button-down blouse with a red necktie. While she looks like all-business from the skirt up, she’s got a bit more whimsy going on down below decks. She’s wearing a pair of thigh-high stockings with lace around the tops and tied with pink ribbons just below. Over those she has white boots with gray, red, and gold rudder boots. Finally, she has a single piece of armor on her lower left leg, tied with two red ribbons.

The portrait here is pretty nice, but maybe not one of their best. I think maybe if the mouth was closed it would match the character art a little more closely. I do, however, like how they did her glasses, and they definitely add to her official administrative look. One thing that’s noteworthy is the white head band, which is correct for this refit “Kai” version. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that as Oyodo-Kai, this version should have flower patches on her lapels, but they seem to have been omitted.

Oyodo-Kai may be a Mission Girl, but she still retains her armaments. In this case, that includes her twin 15.5cm gun mounts, one of which she wears across her back and the other on her right thigh. She also wears her catapult on her right arm, used for launching her Type 0 reconnaissance seaplane. Her full gear would also include a considerably large hull part on her backpack and extra guns, which SEGA wisely omitted from this figure, probably because it would have been too big and ungainly and I’m fine with that.

Oyodo-Kai comes with a white hexagonal base, which is similar to several of SEGA’s previous SPM releases. Her name is also printed in blue near the front and off-center. These are more or less standard designs for the SPM figures, although they do change them up from time to time.

And here’s a shot of Oyodo-Kai with Heavy Cruiser Ashigara Kai II and Aircraft Carrier Shokaku Kai II. No matter what ships I assemble in the fleet, these gals always display beautifully together.

As a characeter, Oyodo was not terribly high on my list, but as I fill out most of Kantai Collection’s heavier hitters, I’m having fun picking up some of the back-benchers as well. Besides, Oyodo really brings a lot of charm to my collection with her rather distinctive outfit. And it doesn’t hurt that both the sculpt and paintwork on this figure are excellent. I snatched her up off of Amazon for $18 shipped and I’d say as far as missions go, that was a success!

KanColle: Aircraft Carrier Zuikaku Kai Ni “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

It’s been a couple of weeks since I did an Anime Saturday, and while I don’t have a whole lot of time this weekend, I thought I’d stop in with a quick look at another figure from Kantai Collection. Last time, I checked out the Aircraft Carrier Shokaku, this time I’m opening up her sister ship, Zuikaku. There are a lot of similarities here, so I’m going to try to keep this brief. Or at least as brief as my obsession with KanColle will allow.

Zuikaku comes in an enclosed box, just like her sister ship, with the same basic deco and about the same level of assembly required. It’s not a huge box, but as a “Super Premium” release, she is a 9-inch scaled figure, so it isn’t tiny either. There are several bits to attach, her bow needs to be strung, and there’s a quiver of arrows that need to be removed from a sprue and have stickers applied to their feathers. Everything goes together simple and easy, although I do have to restring the back of my bow, as it turned out looking awkward.

And here she is all set up and looking spectacular! Because Zuikaku is another Shokaku Class Aircraft Carrier, her outfit and gear are virtually identical to that of her sister ship. In fact, the only notable difference are her hip weapons. Shokaku had AA guns mounted on those points, whereas Zuikaku has 12cm rocket launchers. If you want to hear a more detailed discussion of the design, I’d refer you back to that review.

When I reviewed Shokaku, I gushed a lot about how amazingly detailed the sculpt was, and the same goes for this Fleet Girl. This design has so much going on, between the outfit and the ship armor and armaments. It feels like it should be way too ambitious for a prize figure to pull off, and yet SEGA really did the designs proud. Not only is the sculpt magnificent, but the paint is there to back it up, right down to the little white stitching on her skirt.

Now as much as I loved her sister ship, I have to give the nod to Zuikaku here as being my favorite of the two. Part of that comes from the pose, which is a little more action orientated. She’s balancing on one foot with her left knee pulled up. She has both her bow and her shield are both on her left side, while she clutches at an arrow in her right. Once again, the carriers in Kantai Collection serve as archers and the arrows they shoot turn into aircraft squadrons.

But ultimately, it’s the portrait here that wins me over. I just think this one has more personality and I really dig the way her pony tails are splayed in the wind. Her shorter hair also allows for a much better look at her quiver. Shokaku’s was almost entirely obscured by her hair. As usual, the eyes are perfectly printed, and I really dig her determined expression.

The base is more or less identical. It’s a simple white hexagon with her name printed on it. These tend to take up a lot of room on the shelf, but they don’t feel over-sized for the figure.

SEGA’s “Super Premium” line of figures continues to blow me away. These feel a lot closer to the $100+ fully scaled figures you get from Triple-A companies, only at a fraction of the cost. Indeed, Zuikaku is currently on Amazon for less than $20 shipped if you have a Prime Membership. You can’t beat that! The plastic is a little softer, the skin tones, a bit more waxy, but all in all, I’ve been impressed by every one that I’ve added to my collection. On the next Anime Saturday, I’ll try to get back to check out another one of the Figmas that are piling up, if not next week, than the week after that for sure.

KanColle: Aircraft Carrier Shokaku Kai Ni “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

After stiffing everyone on Tuesday’s content this week because of real life intrusions (sorry about that!), I thought it only fair to drop by this weekend for an Anime Saturday update. It’s a beautiful morning, I’ve got a generous mug of coffee, and I’m opening up a new Kantai Collection figure by SEGA. What could be better? How about the fact that the Blu-Ray of Kantai Collection Animation Sequence arrived at my door a little while ago and I’m going to spend a good part of this weekend binging it. Oh, yeah! But for now… let’s check out Aircraft Carrier Shokaku!

SEGA has gone back and forth between window boxes and enclosed boxes for their 9-inch scale “Super Premium” figures. Shokaku comes in a fully enclosed box and this tends to be my preference, as they’re easier to collapse and store. It also makes sense here, since there’s a fair amount of assembly required for this figure and she wouldn’t look complete through a window. The box looks good, has several photos of the figure, and virtually no English text. Inside, the figure comes wrapped in plastic, along with the base, and a bunch of pieces to attach before she’s ready for display. Just give me a few ticks, and I’ll get her all set up…

…I’m back, and ain’t she great looking! While she’s 9-inch scale, the large yumi (bow) gives this figure a lot more height. Shokaku is only my second Aircraft Carrier among the many Fleet Girls in my collection. The other is SEGA’s Akagi (I don’t really count Taito’s I-401 Carrier Sub, because that one is based off a really unusual boat). Shokaku is from the game, rather than the anime, and like all the Kancolle aircraft carriers, she functions as an archer who can fire arrows that transform into support and attack aircraft. I really enjoy these carriers because they’re costumes are based on the traditional Kyudo style and looks so unique when combined with the Fleet Girls’ usual ship parts. And because Shokaku is an armored carrier, she has a lot more of those parts than Akagi did.

The sculpting here is really top notch and very detailed. Indeed, I’d dare say that this is the most complex design of all my KanColle prize figures. The pleated skirt and billowing top contrast nicely with the cold gray steel of her chest armor and armament belt. All the little belts and straps are present and convincingly “hold” her heavy gear in place. She has armored plates coming off her knees and her rudder boots, and she has a pair of AA guns mounted on each side of her hips. The attachments to all of these guns and armor plates are sculpted to look like they can articulate, but they cannot. There are some great little touches with the paint, particularly the tiny stitches painted on the him of her skirt and the bow that’s tied around her waist.

In typical Fleet Girls fashion, Shokaku carries a very long shield on her right arm, which is designed after a carrier deck. She also uses this to recover any aircraft sorties that survive their missions. The detail on the surface is a pre-applied sticker and looks really nice. I love the archer glove on her right hand. In her left hand, she holds her yumi, which includes a piece of fishing line for string. Stringing the bow is part of the assembly, and it can be a bit tricky to get it right.

The horizontal tube slung across her back is made to resemble parts of the carrier and it doubles as a quiver for her arrows. This piece was a bit tough to attach and it’s even more difficult to see as it’s almost totally obscured by her hair. She comes with a total of six arrows, five for the quiver and one to slide into her hand. You get two styles of stickers for the feathers, I just mixed them up.

The portrait is solid, but the plastic used for her skin is a tad more waxy than I would like. Still, she has a nice, determined expression on her face and her eyes are perfectly printed. She has long gray hair that fans out behind her and with strands that fall down in front of her shoulders. She also has a long hair ribbon.

The base is a simple white hexagon, with her name printed on it. It’s a fairly big base that takes up a lot of room on the shelf, but the figure takes up even more, because of her long, angled bow.

Shokaku ran me $17 shipped from Amazon and I’m still marveling at what a great deal this was. Besides being the larger “Super Premium” format, the insane amount of detail that went into this sculpt and the quality of paint makes it feel like it could have been priced two or three times that amount. In fact, I was so thrilled with this figure, I’ve already ordered her sister ship, Zuikaku in SEGA’s “Super Premium” format as well.

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Ignition: Asuna (Game Color Version) by SEGA

Yes, as if there weren’t already enough Asuna figures on the market from Sword Art Online, her appearance in SEGA’s All Stars-Inspired 2D fighting game, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax has given the purveyors of plastic another excuse for more releases. The game is pretty damn good, and in a move that still amazes me to no end, the home version got a US release on the Sony PS3 a couple of years back. Japanese versions are also available on the PS Vita and the PS4. If anime and fighting games are your thing, you owe it to yourself to track it down.

In the game, Asuna wears her familiar Blood Knights outfit, both in the traditional colors and in a black and white version to represent the typical recolors we see in fighting games. While I may eventually double dip on the regular look, I thought it was a lot more fun to go with her unconventional and totally unique black outfit and hair color. The box is your typical prize figure fare. It’s completely enclosed with some nice shots of the figure. The copy is mostly in Japanese, but there is a little English here and there. Inside, the figure comes on a clear plastic tray with a little bit of simple assembly required.

After putting on her scabbard, popping her sword into her hand, and plugging her into the base, Asuna is all read for display and looking great. The pose is elegant and powerful, with her hips jutting forward, her left hand stretched out defiantly, and her trusty sword, Lambent Light, poised in her right hand and ready for action. The energy of the composition is furthered by the unseen wind that ruffles her coat and excites her hair. Fantastic!

The coloring takes the white and red deco of the Blood Knight’s costume and exchanges the white for black and the red for white. It’s an interesting deco, especially when coupled with the silver of her chest and ankle armor. I like it a lot, especially the look of the white crosses on her stockings, and the border lining of her tunic. The paint quality here isn’t bad, but it isn’t the best either. With the naked eye, it looks fine, get in closer, and some areas, particularly the white borders of her bicep cuffs and straps, tend to look a little blurry. It’s not something that I would really hold against the figure, considering the price point, and you really have to get in close and scrutinize it to notice.

The portrait is excellent. I love the printing on Asuna’s wide eyes, and her mouth is open as if she is shouting a spell or a battle cry. In the game color version, even her normally red hair does not escape the pallet swap, as it’s been turned to black. It works well on this figure, but I tend to be partial to red heads.

The base is a simple white hexagon with the logo of the game printed in blue outline.

This figure works well on a number of levels. If you can’t get enough Asuna, and you want something different for your collection, then this is certainly a worthy purchase. It’s worth noting that Asuna scales quite well with my two Taito Asuna figures. On the other hand, if you just happen to be a fan of the fighting game, it’s probably a small miracle that the game produced any merchandising, let alone figures like these. I was able to grab her off of Amazon from a US seller for $22 shipped and I think that’s a pretty solid deal for what you’re getting.

KanColle: Destroyer Akizuki “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

Who’s ready for another Anime Saturday celebration of the amazing and wondrous world of Kantai Collection? I know I am! Today, I’ve got a new Fleet Girl cruising into port and it is none other than the Akizuki Class Destroyer. This lovely lady with a lovely name (“Autumn Moon”) is a bit bigger and badder than most of the Destroyers I’ve looked at before. Much like Fubuki, Mutsuki, and Yuudachi, Akizuki also has two sister ships, Teruzuki and Hatsuzuki, one of which will be showing up here on a Saturday in the near future.

SEGA tends to mix it up when it comes to the packaging for their Super Premium (SPM) figures. The original trio of Destroyers came in window boxes, whereas Battleship Nagato and Akizuki here come in fully enclosed boxes. I actually prefer these, because they’re easier to store and easier to keep from getting damaged. You get some nice gradient coloring with a hexagonal pattern and several shots of the figure inside. There’s virtually no English on the box at all, so here’s a situation where you really need to know who you’re looking at. Setting her up requires a little more assembly than usual, but she goes together nice and easy. It’s worth noting here that Akizuki is from the game, rather than the anime, but we won’t hold that against her. And, to quote her from the game, “Akizuki’s night battle, shall I show it to you?” Um… Yes, please!

And Wow… I’m in love! Akizuki is definitely a heavier Destroyer than I’m used to seeing as she has the dual gun emplacements that make her appear more similar to KanColle’s Battleships and Heavy Cruisers. I absolutely adore everything about this figure, but let’s just start with her outfit, which consists of a mostly white (with a little gray) sailor-style blouse and pleated skirt, short gloves, and a bright yellow neckerchief. What really makes her costume distinctive, however, is her armored corset and neck guard, designed after the ship’s forward bow. The coloring on her costume is nice and clean, and the bright white and yellow contrasts beautifully with the gray of her armor and armaments. She is a damn snappy looking figure.

The portrait is also fantastic. I love the depth given to her hair sculpt, and the mechanical look to her eyes. She has an Anti-AA Fire Detector Assembly perched on her head and a headband with “61st Destroyer Division” printed in Japanese. As I’m sure you know by now, I have quite a few of these Fleet Girls inhabiting my shelves, and I have to say this is one of my favorite head sculpts. The detail is just fabulous.

Moving on to her armaments, Akizuki features a 61cm Oxygen-Powered Quadruple Torpedo Launcher slung across her back, which if you haven’t seen the anime, make for a spectacularly cool looking attack maneuver when the girls launch these babies. Another really cool and unique aspect of Akizuki’s gear are the four replacement 10cm gun barrels that she has strapped to her right thigh, because those Type 98 guns were notorious for needing frequent replacing. I also really dig her rudder boots. They’re higher and more graceful looking than most of the other girls’ boots and actually resemble a pair of high heels. The crimson coloring also looks great with the matte gray.

Of course, the real star of this gun show are the Type 98 10cm Twin High-angle Gun mounts, harnessed to her hips. Not only do I love that these are fully articulated, but I really dig the split-prow design of her rig, which features some really nice attention to detail in the sculpt. And much like Shimakaze has her little animated gun buddies, called Rensouhou, Akizuki has her own gun-toting familiars, which are delightfully referred to as Chou-10cm-hou! These little fellas can be removed from her rig and allowed to wander about on their own. OMG, I’m dying!!

The base here is a white ovoid platform with her name emblazoned on it. She attaches to it by only one foot and leans forward while pointing to the target of her impending barrage. I love the balance of this piece, which really adds a sense of both style and excitement to the composition.

Akizuki scales quite well with SEGA’s other SPM figures, which means she’s a bit bigger than the Destroyers like Fubuki, but her armaments are still dwarfed by that of Secretary Ship Nagato’s.

Akizuki was about $25 shipped from a US Seller on Amazon, and holy hell is that a great deal! All of the SEGA SPM figures in my collection have been totally on point when it comes to quality, but aside from Nagato, which admittedly ran me three times the cost of this figure, Akizuki is without a doubt the showpiece of my SEGA fleet. Everything about this figure comes together so beautifully. She’s got a fantastic sculpt, solid paintwork, and the ability to remove both Chou-10cm-hou-chan figures is a wonderful little bonus. SEGA really outdid themselves here!

SEGA Hard Girls: SEGA Saturn by SEGA

Just in case the three times “SEGA” appears in the title didn’t give it away, today’s feature involves SEGA and the amazing gift that is SEGA Hard Girls. Based on the premise of SEGA’s video game consoles remade in the form of goddesses and having to graduate from school, SeHa Girls spans everything from light novels to anime to (appropriately enough) video games. It’s like a ridiculous miracle handed down from heaven for a SEGA Fanboy like me. And of course, there are figures too! You didn’t ask for it. You probably didn’t want it. But, on this Anime Saturday morning, I’m checking out the lovely lady that is SEGA Saturn personified! Hey, at least it isn’t something from KanColle or SAO for a change!

Saturn comes in a very standard prize figure package, magnificently branded for the Saturn console. Sure, it’s the usual fully enclosed box with perforations on the sides to make handles, but I just adore the presentation here. From the proud SEGA logo in the corner to the “SEGA SATURN” logo running down the side.  There’s some great artwork and shots of the figure, and just enough English to let you know what it is you’re looking at. Inside, Saturn comes locked between two plastic trays. I should confess, the Saturn is probably my least favorite of SEGA’s consoles, but I still have a soft spot for it in my heart, as I do all of SEGA’s hardware. I built some great memories off of that machine. Anyway, there’s a bit of assembly required on this figure, including plugging in her arms and getting her set up on the base, but you can get her ready for display in no time at all.

The 32-bit Goddess dons a black dress with a belt designed to look like the buttons on the front of the console. On top of that, she has a white sleeveless jacket with pink piping and detached sleeves that match. The pins along the right breast of the jacket are designed to simulate the buttons on the Japanese Saturn controller. Her high-heeled boots sport the Saturn S and also have blue console buttons at the tops, and her ensemble is rounded out with a wide collar that floats around her neck, also sporting the Saturn S logo.

Saturn wields twin staffs, with glorious 3D Saturn logos suspended in their heads. Both of the staffs levitate mysteriously in the palms of her open hands, proving that SEGA is both wondrous and magical. The floating staffs, combined with her pose, make her look like some kind of angelic 32-bit Messiah.

The portrait is simple but cute. Saturn features her black hair secured by pink rings into two impressively large pigtails. She’s got large, perfectly printed eyes, one blue and one greenish blue, and an adorable little smirk. The quality of plastic and paint on this piece is overall solid, but trails a bit behind some of my other SEGA prize figures. Not bad, especially if we’re grading on a curve because of price, just not exceptional either.

Saturn’s base is… a Saturn console! And a gray Japanese version, at that! The details, like the buttons and logo, are all painted on, and you get two translucent blue squares with the Saturn logos that peg in beside each of her feet. It was a little hard to get her pegs seated properly due to a particularly tight fit, but she eventually went in there. I don’t know that I’d risk disassembling her too many times.

Fun, simple, cute… these are all ways I would describe this figure. I’ve had my eye on the SeHa Girls figures for a while and I went with Saturn here first because I was able to get a really good deal on (sixteen bucks shipped!) her from a US Seller. I wasn’t 100% committed on picking up the others, but now that I have this one in hand, I think I’m sold adding Dreamcast and Mega Drive to my collection. Alas, I’ll likely have to go with a Japanese seller on those, so it could be a little while before I revisit this line on Anime Saturday.

KanColle: 41cm Twin Gun Mount for Nagato “Super Premium” Figure by SEGA

Welcome to another relaxing Anime Saturday Morning! Back in February, I took a look at SEGA’s Battleship Nagato “Super Premium” Prize Figure. I loved the figure, but lamented the fact that the seller screwed me out of her Gun Mount. Well, after some hunting I was able to find a Japanese seller with reasonable shipping and after a little wait, I finally have Nagato all kitted out. So, consider today the second part of that feature, and if you happened to miss it the first time, I recommend checking out the figure review before reading this review for what is essentially an add-on piece.

To clear up any confusion, most of the KanColle prize figures put out by Taito and SEGA are not fully outfitted with their weapons, and I certainly don’t mind that. It makes the armed ones all the sweeter. But, SEGA’s SPM Battleship Nagato was one of the rare occasions where they gave collectors the option to buy her armaments separately and that’s what we’re checking out today. The kit comes in a fully enclosed box very similar to Nagato’s. Even with the slight amount of English copy on the box, they still do a good job of indicating what’s in the box. It’s also worth mentioning that this kit is designed so that you can display it on its own, without the figure, or perhaps beside Nagato. I’m not sure why anybody would want to do that, but I’ll start there anyway.

There’s a fair amount of assembly required here, but the rig goes together very smoothly and when you’re all done you have a pretty cool display piece that rests on its own stand. I like the fact that the stand doesn’t feel like an afterthought. Even though, I will likely never use this stand again, it’s clear that SEGA put some work into it, sculpting it in a smoked, semi-transparent plastic and giving it a gantry style look. There’s also a name plate (in Japanese of course!) and the entire gun mount tabs right into the stand for easy removal.

The guns are overall pretty clean, with only a slight degree of weathering here and there. There’s also some useful articulation, with each of the eight gun barrels are independently hinged and the all four turrets able to swivel. And that brings us to the moment of truth…

Awww, YEAH! The rig tabs right into Nagato’s back and holds in place very well. It also looks amazing on her. Sure, I can get this same look with my Nagato Figma (a figure I still need to review here one day), but this version is so much bigger and awe inspiring. The guns perfectly compliment her pose as she looks like she’s about to unload with all her weapons. There’s even a spot on Nagato’s stand if you want to transfer the little name plate.

This add on kit ran me $30 shipped, which was a pretty good deal considering I had to get it shipped from Japan. When you combine it with the cost of the figure, that brings the whole piece to about $70. It’s a lot to pay for a prize figure, but then this is no ordinary prize figure. She’s fully scaled and so far beyond what I tend to think of when I think of prize figures. SEGA absolutely outdid themselves with this one and she is most definitely the showpiece of my Kancolle collection. The only shame here is that SEGA didn’t do fellow Battleship, Mutsu in the same scale and style.

Arpeggio of the Blue Steel Ars Nova DC: Iona by SEGA

Who’s ready for another Anime Saturday, eh? I’ve got quite a backlog of anime gals I want to get around to opening up and today I’m just pulling one at random off the pile. It’s Iona, the Mental Model of the renegade Fleet of Fog submarine I-401 from Arpeggio of the Blue Steel! If you haven’t seen this series yet, I highly recommend it and at only twelve episodes plus Cadenza, it’s a pretty quick ride. A while back I looked at Max Factory’s Figma of Iona and today I’m checking out Taito’s prize figure.

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The figure comes in a fully enclosed box with perforations on the side to make handles. It’s pretty standard stuff for a prize figure, but it’s colorful, collector friendly, and features a shot of the figure on the front and some artwork from the anime on the side panel. There’s precious little in the way of English on the package, so you really need to know what you’re looking at here. Like Figma’s Iona, this one is also based off of her look from the post-series film and not from the series itself. That’s fine, but one of these days, I’d like to get a figure of Iona in her darker blue sailor uniform.

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And here she out of the box, plugged into her base, and ready to go. At just under 8 1/2-inches, Inoa is closer to a fully scaled figure than your average prize figure. She actually scales perfectly with SEGA’s “Super Premium” releases. I like the pose well enough. Iona is balancing on her right foot with her left foot kicked up behind her a bit. Her arms are out away from her sides and her hair is kicking up around them. There’s a nice sense of kinetism to the composition and it shows off the figure splendidly.

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As mentioned, the costume is the two-tone paler blue version, which most of the Iona merch tends to gravitate towards. She has a white sailor’s collar with blue striping, a pink neckerchief, white knee-high socks, and tall white boots with blue lacing. She also has her fleet insignia on the lower back of her blouse.

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The portrait is pretty basic. I like the printing on her pale blue eyes and she offers a hint of a smile. The paint is overall fairly solid on this figure, although there are a few little blemishes here and there and the lines could be a little crisper. Still, I’ve got no complaints. afterall, these are the little things that set a twenty dollar figure apart from a hundred and twenty dollar figure.

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I like the base a lot. It consists of a raised black disc with white printing, which includes the fleet insignia, some hexagons and the title of the anime with “Ars Nova DC” in English.

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Now here’s the kicker: I paid less than $13 for Iona shipped from Amazon, where she’s still available at the time this review goes to press. THIRTEEN BUCKS! I’m still gobsmacked by what a great deal she is. Sure, there are better versions of Iona out there, if you’re looking to spend five to ten times that, and those figures are most definitely worth it. But, I get a kick out of hunting these less expensive prize figures, mainly because they still look great and I can put a lot more characters on my shelf and still stay within budget. Also SEGA does have a version of her in her darker outfit, and yes it happens to be on the way to me!

KanColle: Battleship Nagato “Super Premium” Prize Figure by SEGA

Hooray! Anime Saturday is back again! I’m having a lazy morning, sipping some coffee and opening up a brand new Kantai Collection “Super Premium” figure from SEGA. I last visited with this line back in May of last year when I looked at the three Destroyers: Fubuki, Mutsuki, and Yuudachi. These are technically still prize figures, but they’re also closer to fully scaled figures and I found them to be remarkable, especially considering how ridiculously cheap they were. Today, I’m checking out the big mama of them all, Secretary Ship Nagato! And what lies ahead are some choppy waters filled with both delight and disappointment.

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While the Destroyers came in window boxes, Nagato comes in a fully enclosed and very colorful box with lots of pictures and very little in the way of English text. It’s a pretty damn big box too! The Destroyers were large for prize figures and Nagato is similarly scaled, measuring in at a little over 9-inches tall. Between that and her wide stance, the box had to be considerably larger. Inside, the figure comes nestled between two clear plastic trays with the stand detached. All you have to do is plug her into the base and she’s good to go. But wait… that’s it? Isn’t there something missing? Well, that’s the disappointing part, and I’ll save that for the end.

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…because everything else here is nothing but wonderful. Nagato is absolutely gorgeous and it’s hard to believe that she qualifies as a prize figure by any stretch of the imagination. The Secretary Ships, Nagato and Mutsu are my favorite two character designs from the anime and it’s awesome to see one of them get this Super Premium format treatment. The costume includes her sleek rudder boots, crimson stockings, which are held up by straps that attach to her armament belt, and secured by adorable little anchor snaps! She has a very short white skirt, and her cut-off top exposes her midriff and shoulders, and her long, finger-less gloves. I also love the simple but effective pose here.  She’s looks so damn majestic standing there with her right hand on her rigging belt and her left arm thrust out, about to issue the order to attack the cursed Abyssinal Fleet.

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The quality of plastic and paintwork on this figure are both exceptional. The colors are vibrant and the lines are so sharp, you really need to get in pretty close to see any imperfections. When you take a budget-priced prize figure and blow it up to this scale, I would expect to see plenty of opportunities for sloppy paint work, but there’s simply no evidence of that here. What’s more, the skin tones are soft and even and the plastic looks and feels great.

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The portrait is spot on, with Nagato offering up a characteristically stern and defiant expression. I really dig the way her long hair crowns the head and blows majestically in the breeze and her big beautiful eyes are perfectly printed. Naturally, the head sculpt includes her radar and antenna array.

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The simple black disc base is absolutely huge to accommodate her wide stance, but it looks kind of vacant. It also has a rectangular outline in the front. What could that be for? So, yeah… here comes the disappointing part. She’s obviously missing her 41cm Twin Gun Mount. This was one of the rare cases where the figure and armaments were sold separately. The Outfitting Kit included a second stand to display the gun mount independently, but you could also combine it with the figure and stand. I knew this going in, but the seller stated that both were included. When just the figure arrived and I challenged the seller, the response was ship it back for a refund. The truth was, I love the figure, and opted to take a hit and keep her.

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Nagato set me back $40 shipped, which admittedly would have been an amazing price for both the figure and Gun Mount. But hell, even for just the figure, the price seems right. And besides, Nagato spent 95% of the anime without her weaponry, so she’s absolutely fine displayed this way. In that regard, it feels like a crime to come away from this beautiful figure with any sense of disappointment. She’s simply amazing in every way. But in the end, I couldn’t let it stand, so I’ve got her Gun Mount coming from another seller in Japan. Naturally, when it arrives I’ll get her all kitted out and we’ll take a second look!

KanColle: Myoko Class Heavy Cruiser Ashigara Kai II by SEGA

What, What? You want more KanColle? Of course you do! Everyone surely must share my borderline obsessive love for collecting figures from a browser game-slash-anime series, right? Well, that’s a good thing because I do indeed have more Kantai Collection love coming your way on this beautiful Anime Saturday morning. Today I’m checking out another character exclusive to the game and it is indeed The Myoko Class Heavy Cruiser, Ashigara, in her second upgrade, and oh boy is she a beauty!

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The figure comes in a fully enclosed box with perforations on the sides to make handles. It’s pretty standard stuff for a prize figure, but it’s also quite attractive. You get some lovely shots of the figure as well as some gorgeous character art. There is, however, precious little in the way of English on the box. Practically none, in fact, so this is one of those situations where you really need to know what you’re buying. And since Ashigara is a full 1/7 scale figure, the box is pretty tall. The back panel features a picture with simple instructions on assembling Ashigara’s rather large gun mounts. Besides that, you just plug her into the base and she’s good to go.

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And check her out! Most of the KanColle prize figures I own are the smaller ships, basically destroyers and below, which makes sense based on their size and complexity versus the relatively low price point of these figures. But here, SEGA tackled one of the big mamas and brought us a full on Heavy Cruiser in her most powered up form. This is definitely one of the most complex figures I own in either SEGA or Taito’s KanColle lines and she is absolutely splendid.

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Ashigara’s final form, so to speak, sees her wearing a regal purple blouse with white piping, an extravagantly patterned neck tie, a short black skirt, white gloves, white stockings, and a pair of ankle boots. There’s a little bleed through on her white piping and the patterns on her tie could be a little sharper, but I still think the paint on sculpt on her outfit are fantastic for a figure in this price range.

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Her portrait is simple, but attractive. Her long brunette hair shows some stray strands blowing in the wind and she looks off to the side as she is about to unleash the full force of her guns on her hapless adversary.

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And my, what guns she has! As a heavy cruiser, Ashigara is armed to the teeth! Most notable are her two arm assemblies, patterned after the prows of ships. The right contains three turrets and the left two, and each of those turrets are equipped with twin 20.3cm guns. These are harnessed to her back and she clutches the handle on one with her left hand while the other hangs free.

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Next she has two tiny guns hanging off her belt. I’m going to assume these are anti-aircraft guns, but they aren’t called out in her in-game character stats, so I’m not certain.

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Finally, Ashigara features two 61cm quadruple oxygen-powered torpedo mounts, one strapped on each of her thighs. All of her weapons are cast in gray plastic and feature simple, but effective use of detail. The gun barrels are soft plastic, but all the guns on my figure are pretty straight.

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The base is a simple white hexagonal piece with her name and class printed in blue. I really appreciate that her name is properly orientated on the base to the angle that I’m most likely to display her. That was a minor quibble I had with last week’s Sword Art Online figure by SEGA.

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While Ashigara is a full 1/7 scale figure, she isn’t perfectly sized to go with any of my other SEGA KanColle girls. She’s about the same size as the Super Premium Destroyers (Fubuki, Yuudachi, and Mutsuki) but those are supposed to be younger girls and smaller ships, so Ashigara should be a little bigger. On the other hand SEGA’s Carriers, like Akagi are scaled smaller and closer to Taito’s prize figures. It’s not a big deal for me, as I’m just as happy having each character different, but it’s bound to irritate those looking for a more uniform display for their Fleet Girls.

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And here comes the best part of collecting these prize figures. How much was Ashigara? $18 shipped. Yes, Amazon continues to be a rich source for these imports with many of them shipping from inside the US and also qualifying for free Prime shipping. It’s such a treat not having to deal with long overseas shipping times and currency conversions when buying these imports. If it weren’t for Amazon as a resource, I probably would never have even realized this figure existed let alone have her standing on my shelf right now!