UPDATED: Figure Friday Stand-In – Sales!

Ok, so I’ve felt a bit under the weather today/yesterday, and then Nekomagic had decided to get borked, in a manner that I can’t click the posts in order to take those pictures. So there might be a Figure Friday today, or there might be one tomorrow, or a condensed one next week… we’ll see.

In the meantime, I come bearing gifts, and questions, and stuff.

There seem to be several major sales going on, so I’ll be your guide to them:

The first, and the one that seems constrained by time is held by Play-Asia, the sale is %20 off on VISA sales. Most products older than 30 days on the shop fall under the category, but you must pay directly by a VISA card, not through PayPal. Too many items to go over them, especially as there doesn’t seem to be a specific listing for all of them together… so look around. This only applies until the 6th 9th of September.
UPDATE: Took a ridiculous long time (for me) to find it, but here‘s the figure/toys discount list. One day left.
Update 1.5: The promotion had been extended until the 9th of September.

UPDATE 2: Ok, I went through the first 100 figures or so and collected some for you. Many of them are “Double-dip”, they have a discount available to all, and on top of it the 20% off VISA discount, I’ll note it by listing two prices, the first is with VISA, the second without:
Another Hearts Tonami Yuma Maid, $23.92/29.90; Another Hearts Kusakabe Yuki Maid, $35.92/44.90; Kanokon Minamoto Chizuru 1/5, $67.92/84.90; Creators’ Labo #16, Jingai Makyo Ignis, $47.92/59.90; Diformate Al-Azif, $27.92/34.90; Diformate Saber $27.92/34.90; Gurren Lagann phone straps, Kamina, Simon on Gurren, Yoko, $7.92 (only VISA discount); Halo 3 Spartan! $55.92/69.90; Cat Earned Nagi to those who missed her on Hobby Search, $3992/49.90; Kotobukiya X Plamo Tsukuru Custom Pre-Painted PVC Figure: Air, limited availability, but I think it’s stunning, $39.92/49.90; Little Busters Yuiko Kuruga (note, it’s a bit risque), $31.92/39.90; Last: The very cute Moetan, $47.92/59.90.

The second sale is mostly for the USA Citizens, and seems to be a Memorial Weekend sale (please correct me if I’m wrong, so tired).  Anyway, this sale by Toylet doesn’t seem to be limited by time, only by stocks. Note the prices as they are, because due to it being an American shops, customs and shipping mean the “MSRP” is higher than what the figure sells for on Japanese sites, but most sale prices are quite good.
Many of these figures range from “Sold out” to “Long sold out” on Hobby Search.

Some figures that called out to me (this is a pared down list, I begun with more and cut it down as I eyed my pocket most ruefully):
Want: President Japan’s Seena ($45); a nice Ikki Tousen Kanu Unchou ($25); Swimsuit with Shinai Saber ($35); Heart Work Yuna Morikubo.. I love that pose.. ($45).
Really want: Kotokubiya Elwyn, Shining Tears ($30); Saber New Costume, the face is slightly off, especially the cheeks ($30); Megachu! Fauna by Alter, which almost made it to the next category, damn! ($40).
The ones I was going to shell money for: Mabinogi Nao Adventure ($50), Mikuru Asahina Maid version by Alter, the blue dress, not the crazy cafe one ($40); Shigure Asa by Kotokubiya, yes, that pose ($35).

Now, what stopped me from getting the last three was the shipping charges. Shipping Airmail, the cheapest way, would be $35 for Nao alone (and dammit, she’s so gorgeous) and $45 for the other two. That makes me pause, though to be honest, that’s often what one pays on eBay, and still cheaper than what you would pay for them new, even sans cheaping. Wish I knew this sale was coming, say, 3 weeks in advance, and could prepare :P
USA residents should be made happy by the sale though, as shipping internally is ok.

Question: Still, tell me what you think, should I get that amazing Nao? Should I get one of the other figures? If I only chose one figure, which would you argue for?

UPDATE: Now added “Air” to the running, so feel free to revote

Mikuru, Nao and Shigure, respectively.


Now, it turns out there’s a third big sale going on, at Otacute. This sale is a bit of a pain to navigate, as the site is so slow to load each page, and even slower with itesm’ pages, as to make snails seem to have consumed jet-fuel. Moreover, you can’t seem to be able to separate the sale items so it’d only show you figures on sale…
I would keep watching this site though. Their starting prices seem cheaper by $10-15 than what HLJ/Hobby Search sell items for (AKA, the MSRP). With the current sale, it’s really lucrative.
I have never heard of the site before, so if you have testimonials, please share. Both good and bad. Cause they might beat Hobby Search with their prices…

Some items (the sale has 254 items, I only went through 100):
Prism Ark: Sister Hell Flooding Version (I knew there had to be a version without the leather bandages being pink!), $47.90; Murata Range PSE Collection 002 ‘Chris‘, this figure’s versions seem to be everywhere, this is the yellow eyed pink/white hair version, $43.90; FREEing’s amazing Aisha Kanu, for about half price, $56.50; Karauchi Annei by Toys Planning, for those wanting a cute and cheap figure, $19.90; SDX Command Gundam, which maybe should be painted/washed by a miniature painter? $27.50.

Finally, a question. I found out that Play-Asia has an affiliate program, and I enrolled in it. That’d give me about %8 of the money you pay for figures you get there through my links (the previous link not-withstanding, the sale link above does). How many of you buy from Play-Asia? Those who do, why do you over other shops, those who don’t, why not?
Also, would it bother you if the “Reserve” link at the end of the figures I list were to be linked to Play-Asia instead of Hobby Search (when possible), which seems by far the most popular choice?

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19 comments on “UPDATED: Figure Friday Stand-In – Sales!

  1. Marshmallow says:

    Fauna~ :D I have her, really nice figure, if I had any complaints it’s that her ears are a bit big, and I’m not huge on the sculpt of the front part of her hair. (maybe if it hid those ears…). But the painting is good, Alter quality.

    Asa is tempting… but the shipping would probably be kind of high for me too, and then I always get taxed on stuff coming from the U.S.

  2. Ninjovee says:

    Get Nao NAO! :D
    I would have bought from Hobby Search, but I can’t because they’re racist they don’t allow shipping to our country which is quite famous for having a lot of people running from credit card debts.

    As far as online shopping is concerned though, I’ve only made two International purchases so far: one is from Amazon.jp where I pre-ordered the Otaku Encyclopedia, and my Nendoroid Shana from eBay. The rest of my figures come from a local shop that also has a website.

    My friend told me that Play Asia isn’t that good with shipping despite it being quite expensive (the goods get to her with the packaging in quite a bad condition).

  3. Tommy says:

    Thanks for sharing sales. But nothing really caught my eyes. ^^

    The Moetan you linked to was listed as “GSC” on play asia, but it’s actually Griffon. I like the Good Smile version more.

    As to the question of linking to playasia, it doesn’t really matter to me because I buy solely from HLJ now. And use HS for items that are no longer available on HLJ, doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens.

    Never heard of Otacute, but I think Meimi132 bought from them before and said they were quite good. Have to check on it. :)

    PS: I like Fighting Waitress Mikuru more than maid Mikuru because she’s so darn funny in the SOS dan movie. ^^

    • Guy says:

      Ah, that Moetan clearly says in its name on the site “Griffon version”?

      I don’t like the funny pose on Fighting Waitress that much, and I’m much for “class”, heh. So blue maid Mikuru is lovely to me :)

  4. FSF says:

    I’m going to have to recommend Kotobukiya’s Air. She was originally among my September pre-orders when she was released last year but I had to relinquish her. I finally purchased her around a month ago and was thrilled that she was still circulating. It doesn’t get much better than an original character designed by Nishii, sculpted by Tsukuru Shirahige, and released by Kotobukiya for the sole purpose of doing just that. The only thing that you might want to be aware of is an alteration from the original sculpt pictured on some sites. The strands of her hair gradually become translucent, instead of a solid green all the way down. I’m not sure why Kotobukiya decided to make that change but its a fairly significant one. I wouldn’t let it weigh your decision too much; everything about her is as you say: “stunning”.

    And I use to order from Play-Asia a few years ago. I stopped due to a hike in their shipping prices and unusually high mark-ups from suggest retail price for PVCs. For example, they have Alter’s new Mio Akiyama PVC listed for $79.90. If you were to look at Mio’s SRP (7140 yen tax included), you would find that $79 is only $3 more than the current exchange rates for 7140 yen; which would be fine and dandy if only Play-Asia didn’t mark-up their figures from the already tax-included SRP (pretty underhanded). HLJ, on the other side, has her listed for 6800 yen, the SRP without tax. Basic shipping is also slightly more for Play-Asia compared to HLJ. The main reason for this is the shipping criteria used by each company. HLJ takes into account the size, weight, number of units, and box of your order. Play-Asia only offers pre-selected boxes that accommodate the size of your order, and they’re usually quite expensive. There’s also some fringe differences. For example, once your order reaches a certain value (I believe in excess of $150), HLJ will automatically insure it by shipping EMS. Where if you were to order items of the same value through Play-Asia, you would have to choose the insured box, which adds an incredible amount more to shipping costs. If you purchase from Play-Asia, I’d recommend getting import games or region 2 DVDs. They offer fairer prices for digital media and will ship cheaper compared to the massive box even a single figure requires. As to damaged goods from Play-Asia like Ninjovee mentioned, I have noticed this too. Although I’ve been surprised my the condition of some shipments from HLJ too. Once the boxes ship, it’s really out of the dealer’s hands though.

    • Guy says:

      I’ll probably be getting Air, and yeah, I saw the transclucent hair, which I am somewhat annoyed with, but not enough to pass on it.

      Their Airmail shipping for her is $13.40, EMS is the ridiculous $41.90*, but I’m going Airmail anyway…
      I tell you, if I could get Mabinogi Nao Adventure and pay SAL prices for it, I’d have got it no question, but the shipping costs is the cost of another figure!

      And I paid about 1,000 yen for a magazine+gashapon shipped SAL by HLJ. They way overpacked it ;) I’ll post about it sooner or later.

      * EMS drops to about $24.90 to the USA. Fed-Ex is not much more expensive.

      • FSF says:

        I envision a golden age where shipping costs are dissolved and a mystical but heralded means of acquiring bishoujo figures outside of a package’s internationally monopolized changing of hands is realized. I HAVE A DREAM.

    • Guy says:

      Hey, don’t leave Amazon and other book-sellers out of it, please!

  5. rockleelotus says:

    out of the list above i would choose Air. i have her and shes my fav! so thats my recommendation, but its really up to your personal preference ^^

  6. lovelyduckie says:

    Geez…Shining figures have really spiked in price beyond their worth. Elwyn at $30 is great but all the other Kotobukiya prices are too terrible for me.

    • Guy says:

      Shining figures have really spiked in price beyond their worth.

      Could you unpack that? I mean, seeing as figures don’t have a Use-Value, their only Value is Exchange-Value, or in other words: How much people are willing to pay for them.
      If you’re unwilling to pay their price, then they are over-priced, if enough people are willing, then they aren’t. PoV value.

      MSRP of Kotokubiya Shining Figures are $60-80, yes, there’s a steep mark-up on Toylet. And these figures had enough copies printed that you can be relatively certain of getting most of them on eBay for under $40.

      But quality wise? They definitely compete with most $60 figures coming out right now. In what way are they over-priced? Or is it just that you want them all, and that requires them to be cheaper? :)

      • lovelyduckie says:

        They used to be $35 brand new pre-orders from Koyobukiya USA, but now they’re in the $60-$80 range. So I should say they’ve spiked beyond what I value them to be worth since value is all in the eye of the beholder. From what I’ve seen of the quality SO FAR they’re not worth that much in comparison to what I can usually get from Alter or Max Factory for a similar price BUT maybe when that Celestia comes out she will prove to have amazing quality beyond what I’ve experienced until now.

    • Guy says:

      Yeah, Kotokubiya USA’s prices surprised me when I saw them for the first time a month or so back… so much cheaper than the equivalent figures’ prices in the east.

      At $35, I’d prolly have got the full line-up, seriously.

      • lovelyduckie says:

        I planned on getting the full line-up at $35 a pop but after Kotobukioya USA stopped I’ve given up. I’m a bit frustrated that I gave up on these figures but I know I made the right decision for me. But when I compare them to other figures I want too…I can’t justify setting aside that much of my budget to them.

        I have high hopes for the Alter Cla! I think I’ll like her a lot more then the Kotobukiya ones.

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