Survey Monkey for Club-Otaku Subscription

***UPDATE – We’ve closed down the survey.  It appears that there isn’t an interest in what it is we were trying to create.  We will continue to look for new ways to provide awesome products to customers who enjoy all things Figma and S. H. Figuarts. ***

Hello everyone, I am running a survey currently on Survey Monkey and I need your help!  We are gathering up information in regards to a subscription box we are looking to create and market and we want your opinion.

I want to invite everyone to check out our link – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D5F8NSW  and take the brief survey.  Everyone opinion counts.  No really, unlike some other electoral en devours this  year, we actually count everyone’s opinion equally!  So what are you waiting for, check out our Survey now!

State of things to come.

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to get a quick note out to everyone regarding some updates to the site and the store.

We recently had to pull down our Transformers G2 Menasor listing, Apparently the street date is March 15. While we can still sell the item, I have been instructed through distributors that I am not allowed to post them online till the street date.,
We will be getting in some S.H. Figuarts Ranma Saotome figures from the Ranma 1/2 line. I am excited about these figures. This is by far one of my favorite anime series as well as manga. To get a decent figure of the main character is nothing short of a dream come true.

We will also be getting some Play Arts Kai Kingdom Hearts Riku and Halloween Sora figures in in the next week. I have collected Play Arts figures and even some of the Kai figures over the years. I am excited to see what they have done in terms of sculpt and articulation with these figures.

Lastly, and the one thing that has bugged me the most over the last week is that we will be taking down the website in the next week. This decision is hard for me. I would like to have a website in order to sell my products, since we don’t have our own brick and mortar store, but we are not getting the necessary traffic/sales to continue to support keeping it up.

We will continue to use eBay as a source for selling our items. We will continue to keep the eBay store front active until a time where we can generate more of a following and customer base to warrant having a website/store again. I hope that everyone can understand my decision to remove the website, we will continue to do our best to provide quality products for the fans from the fans.

We believe that this is only temporary and as we can continue to get the word out about our store, we will see www.fromhobbiestoheroes.com back online.

I think other small business owners can agree with me that when your funds are limited each month, you have to determine what is the best use of money based on the returns of your investment. Our website generated less then 100 visits in the last month, and regardless of specials, coupons or products listed, we didn’t get sales on the website. (only through eBay). This is after spending several hundred dollars in advertisement on Ad Sense/Google, Twitter and Facebook.

It has been my dream for more then 20 years to have my own store, to sell awesome figures and comics and talk with comic geeks, otaku, nerds, collectors and all around awesome folks out there everyday. From Hobbies to Heroes is still fledgling, and less then a year old. We have room to grow and we have the determination to make it grow. We just have to find a way to connect better with folks out there who want to see our products and purchase them.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this, I hope that if you have any questions regarding the business to let me know. I will be happy to answer any questions on Facebook or via email at fromhobbiestoheroes@gmail.com

I will be focusing more on the Blog and continuing to get the word out there.  We will be doing toy reviews on YouTube as well as starting a Podcast.  We will keep everyone up to date as we move along.

Joel Isenberg

Armored Girls Project: KanKolle Yamato

A few months ago I had a chance to sit down and watch the Anime series KanKolle.  I had seen a lot of images from the series, didn’t quite understand the concept of girls wearing parts of old ships to battle in the water.  When I saw the series on Crunchyroll, I figured why not give it a shot?

Boy am I glad I did!

I know the show is based off the game, and I have done a little digging into the characters, one ship that stood above the rest for me, also goes back to an anime that I used to watch as a kid, StarBlazers, or Space Battleship Yamato.  When she showed up in episode 8 of the KanKolle series I was excited.  I wanted to know how they went about using her, what her deal was and just about everything else you could imagine.

Imagine my surprise when I found out there were figures.  Holy crap, people!  I found the Yamato figure through Tamashii/S.H. Figuarts and got one, for me and for the store.  I had a chance to sit down with the figure last night and this morning and had to put my thoughts down in a review.  So, here goes;

KanKolle Yamoto Kai, released through Tamashii/Bluefin and is part of the S.H. figuarts line.  When I received the box I didn’t expect it to be a large.  Honestly, I figured it would be a large box, just not sure how large.

The box is a piece of art in it’s own right.  Very nicely done with some gold foil lettering on the box.  The sites and back of the box, show various poses of Yamato with and with out her armaments.   When you open the box, it’s amazing to find the hardware and the packaged in the try.  I was really impressed.  I thought the armaments were made of die cast at first so I was a bit nervous, due to weight issues. I was happy with the fact that they are plastic and a bit relieved.

Some of the items the figure comes with;

  • 3 additional faces (4 total)
  • 5 additional sets of hands (6 total)
  • a parasol antenna
  • Battle ship parts
  • A stand and support system to hold the pieces up with out straining the plastic.

The faces are beautifully painted and the eyes seem to pop!  The armaments are wonderfully done.  Each cannon moves up and down, on their own hinge,  the main cannons can also swivel on it’s side.  The ability to pose the cannons is one of the main things that makes this figure fun.

71+W-XJ5HzL._SL1421_2The different hands gives her options to hold her parasol.  But she is not dependent on holding it.  The hands she is given also allow for her to keep her hands in fists, or opened wide.  She has hands that hold small torpedoes as well.

She has a wide range of articulation.  With swivels in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips,  and ankles.   Her torso has 2 independent ball joints. Her Knees move freely back and forth, and allows for her to sit as well as stand.

Her pony tail is on a ball joint,  and it’s nicely painted with Cherry Blossoms on it.  It adds a level of artistic value for the figure.

Some things to note on this figure if only for some interesting trivia;

  • She wears an Armband that resembles the Maritime signal Flag for the letter “Z”, the Z flag played a major role in Japanese Naval History. On May 27, 1905, Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō raised the Z flag on his flagship the IJN Mikasa before the start of the Battle of Tsushima and the Z flag was raised on the Akagi on the eve of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The raising of the flag means the following: “The fate of Imperial Japan hangs on this one battle; all hands will exert themselves and do their best.”
  • Yamato’s remodel art features a ‘Hirihoukenten (非理法権天)’ kneesock (originally a flag). It reflects one of the old philosophy in feudal Japan where foolishness (非) is not above sensibility (理), sensibility is not above law (法), law is not above authority (権), and authority is not above divinity (天). As the emperor was treated as a divine figure in imperial Japan it has a meaning of “no men can oppose the (divine) emperor”. A slogan adopted by the Imperial Japanese navy, this flag was hung on Yamato on her final voyage towards Okinawa.

There was only one real issue with this figure and that was the bangs for the hair.  Which isn’t a tight fit.  Other then that. I am so pleased to have this in my collection.   It’s definitely a step up on any higher end Figuarts figures in my collection.

We have one up currently on our e-Bay store.  I would highly recommend anyone who enjoys the AGP or KanKolle to look into this figure.  You will be greatly pleased at the level of articulation and paint applied to this figure.  Definitely a crown jewel of anyone’s figure collection.

 

We’ve opened our E-Bay Store!

We have opened up our E-Bay store under the name From Hobbies to Heroes, which can be seen here!   We will be posting up new items all the time and each listing will be posted on our Social Media sites.

I am pretty excited to be able to get the store back up and running.  We still plan on setting up the Subscription Service over at Club-Otaku.  If you are interested in what it has to offer, please let us know and we will update you as we solidify plans.  We also expect to start loading up our video reviews under the Club-Otaku banner and I am still toying with the idea of doing a podcast.

We have a lot planned for 2016,  we are definitely getting the ball rolling!

A few more things to add.

Just wanted to add a few more things we hope to be expecting this month, or next.  We have placed orders for the following.

4549660018445S.H. Figuarts Ranma Saotome, girl type.  Since this figure was announced a few years ago, I have anxiously waited for it’s release.  It’s supposed to be released at the end of the month.  We are testing out a new distributor who says they can get it to us faster then our normal distributor.  We will have 2 in.  More to come, as soon as we know!

Ranma is, I believe a staple for most Anime Fans.  Even if you don’t watch the series, you most-likely sat down and have seen it at some point. One of Rumiko Takahashi’s classic series about a boy who turns into a girl and his engagement to an unwilling fiance.  Not to mention, his Dad turns into a panda and he has 2 other fiance’s.  What’s not to love!

 

4545784063545We will also be getting in a Figma KanKolle collection figure.  Mutsu, this will be our first Figma KanKolle figure,  I am excited to see how it matches up with our upcoming S.H. Figuarts Yamato figure!

Either way I expect great things from this figure.

 

 

 

 

4549660021032We will be getting another figure from the Love Live! School Idol Project, our resident psychic, Nozomi Toujou.  Responsible for the name of the group, Muse she is also a comfort and a counsel to the team as they progress through the Love Live! competition.  She will be in her Season 1 opening animation outfit as well and would go great with our  Maki figure also expected to arrive this month.

 

 

 

 

 

4545784063392And to round out this last bit of updates.  We will also be getting in another Figma classic, I say classic because it either is or it’s going to be.  Girls und Panzer Hana Isuzu.  I have just recently started watching the anime myself,  it’s definitely an entertaining series.  I am looking forward to what this Figma figure has to offer!

Incoming items to the Store

We have some new items coming in, I am really excited about.  We had such a slow end to the year over at From Hobbies to Heroes, I have to admit it kinda brought me down a bit.   But, with that said, we are expecting the following;

item_0000011022_J01i7Z8O_03Out first new item is S.H. Figuarts KanKolle Yamato.  People,  let me just say that this is one of those figures that I have been waiting on for such a long time.  The package is going to be much bigger, because of the gun ships.  But, dang!  By far my favorite ship from the KanKolle series.  If you haven’t watched it.  You are truly missing out.

We expect the MSRP to be approx $124.99.  When we have the item in stock, we will get more images posted.

BA77923lgOur next item is S.H. Figuarts Maki Nishikino.  She is in her “We’re All In This Together” outfit.  If you haven’t seen the series, it’s the opening sequence for the first season of the anime Love Live! School Idol Project.  This is one of those anime, that when you sit down to watch it, you don’t realize that 3 or 4 episodes go by.  The music is J-Pop, which isn’t bad at all.  This is probably one of my favorite characters.  Of all the idols in the group Muse, she has the biggest fan following from fellow Otaku.  (which is either a good thing or a bad thing……you know who you are.)

We are getting 3 of these in, and the expected MSRP is about $46.99.

BA89407lg.jpg

Our 3rd item is S.H. Figuarts Sailor Neptune.  We will have one of these in, it was a Tamashii Web Exclusive, like Uranus.  It is to be expected she will be in a brown box.  Your Outer Senshi collection isn’t complete unless you have her in it.  Well, her and Uranus. Because it is an exclusive figure, this is another one that will have a higher then average price point.  MSRP is approx $61.99 USD.  

 

 

 

Rumor has it, we should be getting in our Transformers Combiner Wars G2 Aerialbots as well.   We will have to see if that comes through or not, as some of the box sets keep getting pushed back.

S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mercury Review

Sailor-Moon-20th-Anniversary-Logo-English-Featured-Image

“Known to her comrades as Sailor Mercury, she is the Soldier of Water and Intelligence, the Soldier of Wisdom, the Soldier of Justice and Wisdom, and Soldier of Love and Exams…….wait, what? Exams?!

Ami Mizuno, the first soldier to be identified by Sailor Moon and the second to join in the fight against evil. Ami fights as Sailor Mercury. She assists her team with her brains and personal super computer to provide the best tactics and battle factors, to formulate information needed to defeat the enemy! “

In May of 2015, as I was starting up Ryndur’d Reviews, I sat down and started taking pictures of my newly acquired S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mercury.  up till this point I have had several S.H. Figuarts figures, but those were mostly Kamen Rider or Super Sentai figures.  When I picked up Mercury, I had also picked up Venus at the same time.

I haven’t had a chance to do a video review of Mercury, and when I initially did the gallery, I didn’t put much into it other then the pictures.  I am hoping to rectify that now.

Sailor Mercury has to be one of my favorite Sailor Senshi, next to Saturn and Pluto.   I am not sure why I was drawn to her character, but I have always liked the design.  It was a no-brainer for me to pick her up when I stumbled on her at a Barnes and Noble bookstore.

The design of the figure is more like the original anime series, I was a little thrown off at first by that, I figured with Crystal just coming out, they would have tried to model the figures after the new series.  But as an old school fan of the show, I realized quickly I am glad they didn’t do that.

As accessories go, this figure came with a quite a few!  I was very pleased, unlike my previous purchase of Mario, that this figure even came with a stand.  Even some of my Super Sentai and Kamen Rider figures didn’t get that kind of love.

The stand is tailored to Sailer Mercury, with her symbol and a heart shape to it.  It’s little details like this that really make this figure pop!  Outside of the figure, she does come with the following;

  • 3 additional faces (4 total) – smiling, open mouth smile, frowning and calling out attack face
  • She comes with her computer- 2 versions 1 opened and the other closed
  • 5 sets of hands and 1 additional hand for holding her computer.
    • Karate chop hands
    • Fists for punching and delivering justice!
    • Jazz hands
    • Hand to hold the closed computer
    • Hand to hold the open computer
    • Typing hand
    • Flat hands for pose of justice!
  • Bangs with the computer  visor

11206684_358890137634630_337643277965463763_oAll in all these are perfect accessories,  you can use the visor with any face, the eyes show through pretty nicely.  There isn’t much of a distortion with the clear plastic.

The obvious pro, for most S.H. Figuarts figures is the articulation.  You have a wide variety of joints, including swivels to help pose this figure in the most dynamic poses possible.   The addition of the stand help to ensure that when you pose Sailor Mercury, the maximum amount of justice can be serv-ed. ( Sorry, had been watching Johnny Test).

11169750_358890067634637_2062846243593808429_oThe one con, if I had to find one on this figure, would definitely be in the shoulders.  I would probably say this about all the Sailor Senshi figures, after looking at a majority of them.  The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, which does great in providing swivel, but depending on manufacturing, it doesn’t provide a deep socket for the ball joint to sit, and you can easily pop the arm off the joint.

Overall I have had no real trouble posing and displaying this figure.  I really do love it.  I would like this figure even if I didn’t have the rest of the team to keep her company on my desk.  I would recommend this figure to anyone who has a chance to pick her up, especially if you are a Sailor Moon Fan.

figma Link – A Link Between Worlds ver. Normal & DX Edition

The pre-order for this figure is going up today in Japan on Good Smiles site.  I am hard pressed not to want one of these figures.  Having reviewed the images that Max Factory and Good Smile have put up aren’t helping my self control issues.

Who’s looking to get one of these figures as well?  Sound off my fellow Link-ologists…ok, that may not have come out the way I wanted to say it.

S.H. Figuarts Super Mario World Mario

2000px-Super_Mario_World_game_logo.svg

About 8 months ago I sat down, in a room with a camera and attempted to record a review for Tamashii Nations, S.H. Figuarts Mario from Super Mario World.  As I sat amazed at how awesome I would be on YouTube and how my video would make thousands of views, I realized I couldn’t quite get my points across, because I was…….well, nervous.

As a part of revamping my Ryndur’d Reviews site, as well as continuing to grow our new home, Club-Otaku I am going over some of the old reviews and filling in the gaps as only I can!  Now, sit back and imagine your best Christopher Walken impression and enjoy the review.

11154977_352497231607254_3433043810032153400_oIn the ever so cold months of May-ish in the northern state of Texas, I was a young boy who found himself in a Barns and Nobles.  While there, I spotted a familiar face,  it’s not hard to recognize the face as I have seen it through out my days of turtle jumping, and non – princess rescuing  for 8 worlds.  You guessed it,  Luigi.  No wait, I mean Mario.  Tamashii Nations had taken our favorite pasta pounding, turtle tumbler addicted to shrooms and put him in a much more favorable figure form.  I am looking at you Nintendo.  -.-;

The box for the figure is bright and yellow,  the logo for Super Mario World is printed and Mario’s name is written in Japanese.  I picked up the figure and took it home so I could do a video review on how awesome it is!

Awesome may have been a stretch in some regards.  So, the figure comes with the following;

  • Mario – ofcourse
  • A Coin – nicely done in gold chrome.
  • A Stand for the Coin
  • A ? box
  • a Mushroom

That’s it.  Mario is short, roughly 4 and a half inches, maybe smaller.  He’s a hefty figure, don’t get me wrong.  I am ok with the idea that he’s short, it’s not like he was a tall person to begin with.   I will say this, the best thing going for the figure is that it’s sculpted really well.  I felt that if they didn’t get anything else right, then at least I have a decent Mario figure.

Now that said,  it is exactly what I got, a decent Mario figure.  I am not saying that because I don’t like it.  I am saying that because, of all the Tamashii figures I have bought, I felt that it didn’t quite meet up to the expectations I have always had.  Let me sum up with my cons;

  • no additional hands or faces/heads
  • limited movement/articulation
  • As a stand-alone figure, not much in the way of play-ability.
  • You have to purchase the diorama or additional characters to get the potential of this figure, or any of the Mario Figures.

That’s it,  sure it’s a good figure.  But even with the items you receive, you can’t DO much with it. You are dependent on getting the diorama sets to help fill out this character and bring out it’s potential.

11155061_352500661606911_119592652367044677_oGiven the 32 dollar price tag on the item, I would have like more to come with the figure that is usable; a stand, hands, something.  As it was, when I bought this figure, I set it aside and left it alone till I shelled out the bucks for the diorama sets.  After which, it became more fun to have at or around my desk.

11077332_352500434940267_1887544832300791070_oWith some of the diorama sets, you get an extra set of hands, and from there you can hold a turtle shell.  Which is nice!  Now,  the hands pop off pegs,  and the only type of hands you get are opened hands, that have a port in them so you can use a plastic stand to set up holding the turtle shell.  It takes a bit of getting used to to make it feel right.  Other then that,  now we are talking,  now I am playing with this figure and getting some enjoyment out of it.  Until I realized I had to buy another diorama set.

I don’t say that to be negative,  I say that because I need to build out the set.  Get some action going!  Yeah, make my own Mario World!  I have become as addicted to these things as Mario to his shrooms. I needed help.

11141736_352499711607006_6036421756835424895_o So I bought another set.    I am so ashamed.   But, hey I have my own Mario World.

Overall thoughts on this is that yes, it’s a good figure.  It is considered an entry level figure for Figuarts standards, in my opinion.  The problem is, it’s also a gateway figure.  You will want to purchase other figures, or sets to get the maximum amount of enjoyment from it.

With that, I have made my last drug reference and I tidy up this review with the following.  I would look for this figure at the cheapest possible price point.  Honestly, I feel that 32 dollars is a bit much, considering you have to purchase sets that can cost as much as that to play with it or to display it.  If you can find the figure in a cheap bundle on Ebay or Amazon, go for it.  If not.  It may not be the best time to get the figure just yet.