There are benefits, real benefits, to not maintaining one’s blog. I’m not talking about the time it takes to maintain one’s blog; oh no. I’m talking about money. Maintaining a blog, even a “free” blog hosted by WordPress, is an endeavour that ends up costing you money. Real money.
The sweet sweet fate not blogging "Saves" you from.
I’ve gone in a past post on my figure purchases up until that time (back in September 2009). It came out to $374 back then, and well, it’s gone considerably higher since (especially with the purchase of a limited figure such as Saber Alter Maid version by Alter, reviewed here). Anime also takes time, even if it’s something I find enjoyable. So the blog also costs you time (and this is aside from time spent on it!).
So this figure, or rather two figures, had appeared on my blog a couple of times already, so we’ll mention them a tad before we delve into my review of them.
The first appearance was back in the Figure Friday post covering September 18th to the 24th (2009). It shared the first pick of the week award with another figure. Then, it made another appearance, on Figure Monthly of that same month, under the title of “Figure I am Most Likely to Buy”, and at this stage, everything was just me trying to stave off the expenditure of money, fighting against the inevitable.
It wasn’t very surprising that in the overview of November, in the Media Consumption and Purchases post, I had let it be known that I had sent forth the money in order to purchase this figure. In the end I picked this figure over Saber Lily Distant Avalon.
This figure is a Hobby Channel exclusive, so I had to use a deputy service in order to acquire it. I have went with the figure-oriented Joseph Tsai of Tokyo Hunter. The figure was 8,000 yen cover-price, and going through a deputy service had not surprisingly made the costs higher. The figure was very well packed, and communication with Joseph was rapid, easy, and accomodating, so I am not at all sorry about having used him. Thumbs up to Tokyo Hunter’s services, so long you’re ok with the prices.
Figure produced by Alter.
This is something good about media, they (plural of medium) have a discrete length. That is, not just any series comes to an end, or fails to come to an end as the case might be, but each piece, each packet, is of a discrete length. For instance, a DVD only has the episodes on it, a book only has the number of pages within it, a movie is only as long as it is.
A series might comprise several DVDs, and each DVD might comprise of several episodes, and each episode has a distinct length. But what is important I think is the DVD. A lot of it comes to how much effort people are willing to put into things, but also because people want to have given something “a fair shot.”
Well, Hikky (of Austrian Otaku) and I were talking, and we reached a consensus that the best way to drive more visitors to our blogs (especially after being inactive, and many of our friends also being inactive), would be to post loli pictures, or better yet, loli yuri pictures. We ended up deciding to leave that job to Yi (of Listless Ink), who is doing a great job on that front, and you can check his stats if you don’t believe me.
So we talked some more, and while browsing AmiAmi (good job with the English site, fellas!), I came across a “Loli in a Box”, a figure that comes with the March 2010 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine, and well, I’ll let you marvel at her, Kudryavka Noumi from the Little Busters visual novel, who is seemingly the Dengeki brand’s (unofficial) mascot, and is a “Loli”, in all of her adorable glory:
Can we all say "Awwww!"?
Note, she seems to be on order hold everywhere but Hobby Search, and this is actually released by the end of January, so you might want to be quick (It also seems HS will be adding SAL by the end of the month, finally. Seems AmiAmi forced them to get their act together).
First we’ll get the administrative bit out of the way: I could’ve had a 3 hot, 2 not Figure Friday, or put some models that don’t really deserve the spot up, but as I didn’t want to do that, we’ll have to wait for another double-week feature next week. At least there’ll be Figure Monthly somewhere this week, hopefully.
Chasing the money. Click image for source.
That image sums this month up, sadly. I’ve over-spent. Now, now, there was a big convention, but seeing as most I’ve obtained during the convention were books, well, there’s no real excuse. I am accepting donations ;)
I might get you some loot shots, if enough people will ask for them.
Read on for the lengthy endless list of stuff purchased this month.
Since September was a slightly weaker month on the purchase department, I’ve joined both sections together for this post: Both the media I had consumed, and the things I had purchased.
For those who are wondering, this week Icon-2009, Israel’s largest convention is taking place. Today I’m only going for one lecture, and tomorrow I’m not going at all. I must tell you, the ability to not spend all day every day at a convention and to return home every night does wonders to one’s ability to enjoy the convention.
You will get a con report later on, and perhaps a post on conventions in Israel, in a week’s time or so.
Anyway, before we continue (after the “More” tag), I want to share with you a hauntingly beautiful song from a movie I’ve watched yesterday at the convention. The movie is called “The Secret of Kells”, and the song is called “Aisling’s Song” (pronounced Ashlynn).
Ok, this post will cover figure thoughts: Which figures I’ve bought recently, which figures I regret buying, which figures I want to order, which figures I have on pre-order, etc. Also, this is a good place for you to offer suggestions, insights, and advice :D
Figures Purchased: These are the figures I’ve purchased, how much I’ve paid for them, and whether I’m happy these days with them or not. This came to me when I thought of Saber Lily Distant Avalon, more on this later.
I’m sure many of you who do not live in a major country can empathize, and when it comes to ordering stuff from say.. Japan, most of you can empathize. At least, the non-Americans; who do suffer, but to a lesser degree*.
(This post will also cover why I didn’t order the figure of Saber Lily Distant Avalon)
For as long as I’ve been able to read English, the Israeli Postal Service and I, we had been at odds. I wished for books, for DVDs, for media, for life, and it had conspired to keep these things out of my reach. Out of my hands.
I am not talking only that the customs office had taken my packages and kept them for longer than it should have (even when it did), but of all the times when we did not even order, for fear and knowledge, that the customs will stop us.
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 6th9th 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 the9th 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?