Meet a Sailor Mercury Figure Prototype!

A few days ago, a blogger named Seaside Tears was wandering around Sofmap (a Japanese electronics store), and noticed that there was a small exhibition devoted to the upcoming Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure featuring flyers, figures, and a large display playing the commercial over and over again. And surprisingly, there was also an unpainted Sailor Mercury prototype on display. The post got picked up by Tomopop, and later Crunchyroll, and then the news got to me via staff member BlueSwim. While the figure has not been officially announced, it is unknown if it ever will be either. This may be a test from Bandai to gauge public reception towards the figure. Many of our older fans may remember that Irwin did this once a very long time ago with the Amazoness Quartet. But unfortunately, they never got made due to Irwin dropping the line (and later facing bankruptcy). If fans are interested in seeing a Sailor Mercury figure produced, feel free to leave comments here or on our Facebook page, as well as on Bluefin Tamashii Nations’ Facebook Page, or on Tamashii Nations Japan’s Facebook Page if you can write in Japanese. For those of you looking to pre-order the Sailor Moon figure, please check our previous post for a comprehensive list of places you can pre-order the figure from. The exhibition is traveling around to different Sofmap stores around Japan until the end of the month (check here for a schedule). For now though, here are some images (credit to Seaside Tears) of the exhibition!

New Details on the Upcoming S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon Figure!

Hey Moonies! This is a quick post to let you know I just received a email from Bluefin Tamashii Nations which contained a sales sheet along with some product descriptions on upcoming figures (I don’t know what other properties you fans may be interested in, so comment below if there are other figures you might like to know about). The new Sailor Moon figure will be released in cartons containing 24 figures each with an MSRP of $42.99 USD. The figure will have the following UPC Code of 4543112644909 and SKU of BAN64490, for those of you who are looking to purchase this and want to make sure you are getting a legitimate figure and not a knockoff. The figure will be released in September 2013. The description of the figure on this sales sheet reads:

S.H.Figuarts – Sailor Moon

meatballhead Appropriately timed with the 20th anniversary of the insanely popular Sailor Moon anime, everyone’s favorite princess joins the S.H.Figuarts series in beautiful fighting form with a full array of option parts. Sculpted with elegant proportion S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon stands on its own as a gorgeous display piece. Meticulous attention to detail has enabled a faithful portrayal, and part of the hair has been rendered with clear parts for enhanced realism. In addition to high-detail and stunning proportion this figure set features advanced articulation for recreation of your favorite Sailor Moon Action scenes. And to top it all off- a wealth of accessories are included! Two types of Moon Sticks (with/without Silver Crystal), effect parts for “Moon Tiara Action”, and 8 interchangeable hand parts (3 left, 5 right) will expand the playability of S.H.Figuarts Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon’s feline partner, Luna will be included too with neck and tail articulation. Aiming for a superbly expressive Sailor Soldier, in addition to three interchangeable face parts, two added face parts will be included as limited first production issue bonus parts!

As for where you can purchase this, if you fans spot it anywhere, please let us know and we will post it on the blog (please via email at moonchasers@nospamplzkthxgmail.com), it is hard to keep up with the facebook posts). The only place I know of at this moment is Gundam Planet, which did have a pre-order deal of 10% off the cost if you order now, I am not sure why fans can’t pre-order at the moment.
And for those of you who are Daft Punk fans, unfortunately those gorgeous figures are not on this sale sheet yet. I’m waiting too, and am eagerly awaiting those as well! Special thanks to Bluefin for passing this along to us (it was great chatting with you on Monday)!

EDIT:
Here is where you can order this figure so far (but some have just a listing and are not open for pre-orders just yet, keep an eye out on these pages). The links we have posted are from reputable sites, but this is by no means a complete list. Please let us know if you know of others!
Amazon
Amazon.ca (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)
Anime Island
Big Bad Toy Store
Fantastic Plastic Toys
GG Infinite
Gundam Planet
Hastings (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)
Just Action Figures (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)
Man of Action Figures
Power Anime
Robot4Less (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)
Things From Another World (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)
Toys Logic
Toy Tards (in Canada)
Toy Wiz
TSI Inc. (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)
Urban Collector (Not listed yet, but told they will have it)

And one last link: there is a store locator here for those who want to try to find it locally.

EDIT: Here’s a whole gallery of official promotional images!

Sakura Con 2011: Bandai Industry Panel

Bandai representatives reminded attendees that their online store is available at store.bandai-ent.com – this store includes exclusives before they go to other vendors.

This panel also experienced some unfortunate technical difficulties, but this time there was video and partial sound. I had to leave part way through to go to an interview (to be posted tomorrow!), but I heard that convention staff was able to fix the issue before the end of the panel. The details at the end of this post I found via the Bandai online store.

Announcements:

K-ON!
Released April 26th, but also available at the convention.

Girl Who Leapt Through Space
This 26 episode series from Sunrise was released April 26th and was also available ahead of schedule at the convention.

Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Two disc set includes the movie on Blu-ray and extras on DVD. Released April 26th, but also available at the convention.

Tales of the Abyss
This 26 episode series from Sunrise is based on the Namco Bandai game. The first volume includes episodes 1-7. Limited edition release includes a copy of Asch the Bloody manga volume one, regular edition (without manga) also available. Release date: June 7th.

Gundam 00 Movie: Awakening of the Trailblazer
This hybrid release is coming July 5th to DVD and Blu-ray. The movie is the final chapter of the Gundam 00 saga.

Gundam Unicorn
DVD volume one will be released June 7th, is currently available for pre-order, and will contain two episodes. The packaging features a reversible cover. This title is already available on Blu-ray, with volume three currently available in Bandai’s online store and in the Amazon Marketplace.

Mobile Suit Gundam
The original 42 episode series, to be available in a two part Anime Legends hybrid release. Coming this summer.

Turn A Gundam
50 episode series, new to North America. To be released in late summer as a subtitle only release.

Also in the Bandai Online Store:

  • Baccano! Blu-ray limited edition boxset, available May 17th. Currently available for pre-order.
  • Durarara DVD part 3 available spring 2011, available for pre-order online.
  • K-ON! volume 2 on Blu-ray and DVD June 14th, currently available for pre-order.
  • Girl Who Leapt Through Space volume 2 available June 7th, currently available for pre-order.

Bandai Moves to Real Make-Up in Japan

Bandai Moves to Cosmetics?!

The beloved company Bandai, best known for making some of the best toys known to Otaku the world over is having a bit of a problem in today’s economy. Sales of girls’ toys just aren’t what they used to be, and the company has had to come up with creative ways to keep the girls interested. And more than ever these days, girls want to feel more “grown up” and play with makeup over dolls. So what did they think of? Real cosmetics based on the popular anime and manga series, Nodame Cantabile. Girls and women who adore this series are now able to purchase easy-to-use eyeliner and mascara from Bandai’s “Creer Beaute” line. Creer Beaute also has a line of beauty items (including face masks) inspired by the series Rose of Versailles, and another that includes nail polish fashioned after Fujiko Mine of Lupin the 3rd. The article makes special mention that Bandai was a huge success with girls in the past, especially with their Sailor Moon toys in the 90s. While they made some Sailor Moon themed cosmetics back then, it was “play makeup” and it was not the focus of their merchandise strategy. The company has shifted towards cosmetics just in the last year or so, but they have not stopped making toys entirely. This is also an innovative merchandising attempt to appeal to “big girls” (women over 30). The Creer Beaute site will also in the future feature beauty tips and videos on how best to use the makeup. Business analysts are predicting this to be a success for Bandai, and also admire their bravery for expanding into new market areas for their merchandise in a changing economy. This brand they say, is one to watch. We know that Sailor Moon in the beginning stages of the revival was lauded as something for two generations to watch, mothers and their daughters. While we still have no idea if there will be any new merchandise in Japan, we wonder if Bandai may consider Sailor Moon for their Creer Beaute line? It would fit right in with both generations!

Otakon 2010: Bandai Announces K-ON! dub


At the “Bandai After Dark” panel on Saturday night, Bandai not only formally announced the K-ON! dub, but offered the lead role of Hirasawa Yui to voice actor Stephanie Sheh on the spot. Sheh accepted, meaning that we will more than likely hear her interpretation of the world’s spaciest lead guitar player soon enough. As if that wasn’t enough, the panel continued with Cristina Vee bursting onto the show floor in a K-ON! costume to sing a bunch of the shows better known songs, including the popular ED track Don’t Say Lazy. It was announced that Vee will be playing the role of Akiyama Mio, which she called “a dream role.”

How is this relevant to Sailor Moon? Well, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you might not know that the prognosis for anime dubbing has not been particularly good of late. With the decline of the anime market in the United States in particular, and sub-only releases selling to an increasingly picky enthusiast market, we’re long past the boom days when any show that was even moderately popular would receive an English dub. While a dub for a show as popular as K-ON! may seem like a no-brainer, it was still nice to see the enthusiasm everyone at the Bandai panel seemed to have for the project.

One audience member even asked during the Q&A whether or not CDs would be released with the English voice actors performing the K-ON! songs, as Vee had just done; the answer from the panel was “I don’t know,” which surprised me, because I was expecting an unequivocal “uh, no,” for an answer there. The dubbing will be done by Bang Zoom! Entertainment, which, if you recall, did do some song dubbing back in the day, such as with the early Rurouni Kenshin openings and endings. I was under the impression that they had stopped doing that sort of thing for legal reasons, but who knows- the industry has certainly changed in the ten years or so since then.

Vee did a fine job with the K-ON! tracks, and personally I’d be keen to hear her tackle some Sailor Moon songs- either the original Japanese songs, or the sometimes simplistic, but often surprisingly good, songs from the original dub.

While we’re on the subject of Bandai, they also took the opportunity to announce their forthcoming releases of Sora Kake Girl, or The Girl Who Leapt through Space (not to be confused with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), and a My Otome prequel OVA (to be released together on one disc). Interestingly, they also announced that K-ON! will be released simultaneously on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Other events at the panel included a The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya sound-alike contest, an exclusive clip from the second episode Gundam Unicorn (which is SO not my thing, but at least some people there were very excited) and the exclusive premiere of the Season 2 dub outtakes for that series, the hilarity of which made me wish that Crispin Freeman would be cast in any Sailor Moon redub in some capacity if only to produce quality outtakes. Freeman for Tuxedo Mask: WHO’S WITH ME????