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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Display case upgrade

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The recent Dollfie acquisition caused me to think about the best way to display and protect my new daughter. As a result, I trekked up to IKEA over the weekend and got two more DETOLF display cabinets and light sets. Since I knew Rin would be too tall to stand in on one shelf, I decided the logical course of action would be to remove one shelf and give her half the cabinet to herself. Worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself…

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New Arrival: FREEing 1/4 scale Ryoko Asakura bunny

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She took awhile to track down, but I finally found the 1/4 scale FREEing Ryoko Asakura bunny figure for a decent price. Thanks to MooMooCow on Dannychoo.com, who made the decision to part with this beautiful figure and sell her to me for the great price of $125. Up until this point, I’d been scouting out eBay and other sites, but without much success. The lowest going price for a brand new figure had a minimum price tag of $150 plus shipping, with some listings going well into the $200 range. I like the Ryoko bunny, but I don’t like it that much.

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New Arrival: Aika Granzchesta

My longtime quest to obtain all the 1/6 scale ARIA figures is one step closer to completion! A packaged arrived the other day containing one Aika Granzchesta figure from Solidworks. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many ARIA figures out there and even fewer full figure series featuring all of the characters. Ever since I picked up Akari at Animazement ‘07, I quested for the remaining 5 girls.

IMG_3029Aika still in the box

As with the other figures in the series, Aika comes with an oar, nice display stand (she’s attached to it using screws), and a rendition of her company’s mascot (in this case, President Hime). This particular figure is unique in that she comes with two heads, each with a different hairstyle and expression. The default head is her original look at the start of the series. The alternate head is modeled after her accident during a barbeque and subsequent change in look. Personally, I prefer the original style better, however I had grown to like the later style when she is in civilian clothing.

IMG_3040 Aika’s “new look”

Overall, quality of the figure is good with very few noticeable seams or defects. I’m also a big fan of the way the uniform’s wrinkles are colored to give the impression of shadows even in low light. The only flaw I’ve noticed is with the way she was packaged. Since she came with the original head on, the ends of her pigtails were pressed into her back. Since she has blue hair, the friction had caused some of the paint to transfer to the white uniform. This could have easily been remedied by a thin piece of plastic wrapping stuck to the back of the figure prior to packaging.

IMG_3035 Aika posing in front of a backdrop from ARIA artbook “Stella”