New figure–Lucia

Sometime last year, I started playing an online game called Pangya. Simply put, it was an online golf game which featured lots cute characters that you could customize and dress up. At the time, a new character was just released into the world and she quickly became my “weapon of choice,” even though the amount of accessories available were still pretty limited. Meet Lucia, the pop idol!

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Imagine my surprise when I found out AmiAmi was putting out a figure! After examining the preproduction photos, I decided it was worth putting a preorder in. A few weeks ago, she finally arrived and joins my collection.

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Setting up the di:stage

First of all, Happy Chinese New Year! Here are some tiger girls to start things off right…

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For more, see the post over at Japanator. Now that I have that out of my system, it’s time to move on. Yesterday, I went to the post office to pick up a package from Japan. Since AmiAmi is offering half off international shipping on all orders shipped in February, I put in an order for some of the di:stage figma display stands. Since my collection of figma is growing, I wanted to create a more dynamic display for them. This would require a decent number of basic sets…

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…so I ordered 10 of them.

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Taking stock of my collection

After seeing Radiant’s write up on his collection, I felt inspired to do something I’d been putting off for a little while. It’d been awhile since I actually took stock of what was in my collection and collected it all in one place (read: never). For the most part, my figures are organized by series, character, and type. There are a couple shelves that I can only label as “miscellaneous” since they have figures that don’t really fit in with any others.

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Yoko Real Image Ver. review and Loot from January

Yes, I know, it’s almost February, so isn’t it too late to do a loot post for January? Nonsense! all of the new toys featured here arrived after the new year (despite shipping in December).

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I got two packages in earlier on, one from HLJ and one from AmiAmi. It was my first order from the latter, so was curious to check out their service level. So without further ado, let’s get to the goodies!

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Charlotte’s first anime convention

I’d gotten word about a month ago that a new anime convention was coming to town. Billed as “the Carolinas’ first anime con of the new year,” it promised to be three days worth of exciting anime goodness. Since it was only a short drive from where I live, I decided to give it a visit. The organizers have dubbed this new foray into the American convention scene Ichibancon (www.ichibancon.com). It was held at the Great Wolf Lodge and Resort in Concord, NC, just a couple minutes north of central Charlotte.

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Given that this was a startup, I didn’t set my expectations very high. The venue itself wasn’t extremely large, so space and attendance would be limited. With that in mind, I set off last night after work to sample the offerings.

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Loot from Japan trip

In some earlier posts about my trip to Japan, you saw the following two pictures:

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Loot 2

Before I go any further, yes, I did spend way too much money on toys when I was overseas. Fortunately, my plane ticket back was already paid for, so I couldn’t have wound up like Piro and Largo. Now, after some wait time, here’s the unveiling of the loot from Japan!

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Tokyo day 4 – Tokyo Tower and shopping in Akihabara

In a slight departure from normal, this will be a light update. Not as much photography this year, although there may be a Photosynth coming in a couple days. We got a relatively early start this morning (left around 10am) to go see Tokyo Tower. Since it is scheduled to be replaced in a few years, we decided now was as good as time as any go up and visit it.IMG_5686 After seeing it blown up in so many different anime, it was nice to finally visit this landmark and see it in person. There was a bit of a haze today so visibility was limited.

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Buying figures on eBay (with Bing Cashback)

Since older items are hard to find in normal retail channels, I’ve had to resort to using eBay for quite a few of my purchases over the past year. Most recently, Naru, Naru, and Mikuru came from eBay, as had Konata and Rin Figma, Lena Sayers, and a whole mess of others. There are a lot of things to be cautious of when buying from an auction site, as it can be difficult to ensure you’re getting a new and authentic product. There are plenty of rules of thumb out there (including the age-old “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” adage), though once you do find something you want to buy, why not try to save a little extra?

Last year, Microsoft launched a shopping and price comparison site, along the same lines as Froogle. Initially called Live Shopping (and now branded as Bing Shopping), the site offered incentives for purchasing in the form of rebates. The rebate would be a percentage of an item’s purchase price and would be delivered to you 60 days after purchase. Lots of popular retailers joined this program, from Newegg to Barnes and Noble. The amount ranged from as little as 1% all the way up to 50% in rare cases, usually during a promotional period.

 

One of the retailers offering incentives is eBay. Unlike most other stores in the Cashback program, eBay isn’t accessible through the main landing page. Instead, it was triggered by specific searches in Live. The amount also tended to fluctuate, depending on if there was a promotion going on. It is currently at 8%, however it has also been as high as 35%. Since not too many people in the figure community seem to be aware of the program, here’s a quick guide on how to take advantage and save a little bit in the process!

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August loot

Even though I’m going to be going to Japan next month, I couldn’t help myself and picked up a few gems from eBay. Last year, I’d discovered the wonders that was Live Cashback (now Bing Cashback) and found it an economical way of buying figures. If you’re not aware of how Cashback works, here’s a quick tutorial:

  1. Microsoft has teamed up with various internet merchants to offer rebates on products purchased via the Bing landing page. There are a few ways of discovering what stores are available, and a mostly complete listing is available at http://cashback.bing.com.
  2. As an alternative to the Cashback page, searching on bing.com will also net links. eBay, for example, works in this manner. By doing searches on strings like xbox, a link will often appear telling you what percentage you can get.
  3. Cashback on eBay is only valid on Buy it Now items and must be paid for using PayPal. Shipping charges don’t qualify for Cashback.
  4. Most eBay purchases now give you the rebate immediately after purchase in the form of PayPal credit. Most retailers require a 60 day waiting period before it is deposited.

At present, Bing Cashback for eBay is at 8%. Last week, it was at 10% and was at 16% a few weeks prior. Last year, it was as high as 35% (guess how much stuff I bought at that time…. >.<)

Enough plugging, on to the goods!

Loot!I went a bit crazy this week and picked up a few beauties. I’d been eyeing the Mikuru bunny for some time now, and finally decided to jump on getting one. I’d also been searching for the Max Factory Naru after seeing several reviews raving about her beauty. Unfortunately, the same search that found me that Naru also got me to an auction for the EPOCH Naru statue. For the price, I just couldn’t pass her up and put in a bid.

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