Due to different culture and how objects are viewed and "used," certain things will never see the light of day here. But there are some things that transcends the barrier, like the Transformers franchise. For the most part, the Transformers toys tend to be played with regardless of age. Yet due to American rules, regulations, and perhaps law as well, these toys are analyzed with such scrutiny to ensure the general safety of the children who are going to handle them. Granted, some children are brought up well, in that they take care of their toys. Others do not, and the toys themselves get abused to no end.
There are 3 things that has me buying items straight from Japan, mostly through Hobby Link Japan store, but Big Bad Toy Store is also a decent shop as well. The first is Japanese exclusives. One of the first exclusive items that I have purchased is the God Fire Convoy gift set. This set is sold at Toys R Us in Japan and are both different and limited in many ways. The second is quality. There are many instances where I have seen the Japanese version of the exact same item have better and superior quality when compared to the ones we (Americans) get here. I blame that mostly on Hasbro for being such a dumbass in that regard. The third thing is that it will never arrive domestically for retail sale. Allow me to elaborate on the third item.
While some get to play with action figures and toys, others prefer a much more detailed product -- figurines. Figurines are then separated into two types: completed and resin kits. The resin kits are the ones that require assembly and painting, a task that most of us would not have the patience or skill to do, and is often reserved mostly for the hobbyists. The completed models are produced to such detail that they are eye-popping gorgeous. Well, gorgeous is a subjective opinion. Yet one of the unique aspect to the Japanese toy, hobbyist, and figurine market is that anything goes. It does not matter if the figurine in question is from a normal anime show or ones from a hentai/porn series. If a character is popular enough to spur some demand for a product, then a figurine may be produced. With this in mind, it is not shocking to find figurines where the character is topless, in a bikini, scantily clad, fully clothed, or posed in a sexually inviting way.
I'm not one to collect these figurines. They're often too expensive. A lot of the good ones that I would love to get tend to have prices well above the $50 mark (assuming the exchange rate is $1:100¥). You'd be lucky to find any that is priced well below that mark. Thankfully, that's where random browsing come into play. At random times, I stop by HLJ to check on what's new. Sometimes there are some interesting things. Sometimes there are none. But for the ones that caught my eyes, they are in the form of either a sale, a front page promotion to advertise a product, or a preview of what's to come. And because HLJ has a system in place that provides other products that a viewer or buyer may also like, I tend to browse around the site for longer duration than normal.
There are three items which arrived. The first is a RevolTech figure, which I am familiar with and have posted about previously. The second are figurines which have been put into clearance by HLJ. The original price for both were 4000¥ and 4500¥ but were reduced to 2000¥ and 1350¥ respectively. After some consideration, they seem cheap and affordable enough to check them out and evaluate their quality.
Two weeks after the order was shipped out, the box arrived at my doorstep. But poor timing would have these figures sit in the box for a day longer. I blame Guild Wars for that. But once they are out of the brown box, behold, in my awestruck expression, the packaging that they come in, plastic window on the front to showcase just a portion of the figure's details.
But I could not get around to really seeing it all until I actually take them out of the box. Due to certain family members, I could not unbox my other figure. So for the time being, she is to sit in her packaging until the time is right, which is quite unfortunate because I am anxious to see the details on that one as well.
The first item was RevolTech Leina from Queen's Blade. One could look at Queen's Blade as something similar in fan service like Ikkitousen. But unlike Ikkitousen, Queen's Blade pushes as far as it can go with regards to displaying what nudity they can show. The figure is, of course, small and the figure holds itself well. However, the figure has trouble standing on her own, which is not too surprising given the small feet she has. Leina comes with a pair of optional hands, a sword and sheath, a shield, a damaged chest armor, and an extra face for a different facial expression. Unlike other RevolTech figures that featured female characters, this one is one of the first to feature a bare chest. While her armor usually covers it up most of the time, it should not take much effort to remove it and have her posed (or photographed) with her bare chest.
Leina is perhaps the most difficult to work with as far as finding a decent pose or adjusting her limbs. This is due to the fact that I have no experience with handling a figure of that design, which is usually reserved for Fraulein line. But given time, I may actually have a worthwhile pose for her.