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Anime: Love Hina
Type: articulated action figures with accessories
Price: 2980yen each
Expected late summer 2001

More scans from Hobby Magazine! They finally got some final production versions to show. Pictures of the prototypes for these have been floating around in various hobby magazines for nearly a year now, draging out the anticipation for these long awaited figures, but now they have the actual release versions to show. And they've changed quite a bit of things.

Initially, the originals had a different, almost cold cast garage kit texture to them. Now it's become  shiny, rubbery looking, almost gashapon like (ie, gumball toys). Quite fitting, since these were created as fully compatible with the Kaiyodo/Movic gumball Hina Waterline series. The scale is the same, and even some of the heads are interchangeable with the ones from the second series of Waterline. Cool feature, no?

Prototype of Narusegawa Naru 
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Aoyama Motoko
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Technically this means that you can have, if you've got the cash to spare, and if you've got extra Waterline figures, figures of both Naru and Mutsumi in towels. Wrrroooar! You might be able to get Kitsune by using the head from the very first Waterline series, but no info if that's compatible or not, since there is some difference between the 2 sets. Oh, how I wish they made Kitsune for W2! WE NEED MORE KITSUNE FIGURES! ahem, anyway...none of the Motokos so far have had very 'normal' heads, so I guess she's out, and for Kaolla and Shinobu you're going to need very different bodies. Oh well. 2 out of 6 isn't bad. No, wait, plus Kanako is 7, and then there's Nyamo = 8, Kei = 9, Haruka =10, Amalla Su = 11....oh dear. :-)


Naru actually seems CUTER in plastic! The pictures of the original version had a cute face, but perhaps it was the skintone or the paintjob, she looked rather passive. I wasn't all too sure I wanted the figure. But now, awww, look at her, she looks mildly drunk and bubbly! "nee~ Keitarou...isshoni routenbou ni harou?"


Lots of points of articulation, as you can probably tell from the above pictures, plus that innovative spring base that now appears to be somewhat customizable, makes for a potentially very awesome toy. Not counting the fact that you can switch her head! Wooo! I'm hyped! 3000yen's a lot to pay for a figure; remember, she's in scale with the Waterline series, putting her at about only 5-6", but it's pretty cool nevertheless.


In the exact opposite reaction to Naru, at first when I saw the prototype I thought "this figure is cool looking. She doesn't look like she does much but maybe I'll get her." She had a sexy pose, and I've always liked Motoko as a character, with her crazy she-Kenshin, turtle-phobic ways.

unfortunately i think something just didn't translate too well into plastic, and now she looks fat! Or at least plump. Ergh, I know the anime gave them Jenny-like faces, which I never really liked (Give me Ken-sensei's sleek faced girls anyway), but something about Motoko makes it look really bad, IMO. Unlike Naru, who turned out cute.

She does come with some nice accessories. Some Japanese pieces from her room, plus a straw hat and katana and sheath, but she doesn't have much articulation...apart from some ankle joints and a few swivel joints on her limbs she's essentially a statue. And while she can switch her head with the Waterline figures, like I said before none of the Motoko's have had very nice faces. With that outfit she doesn't really have as much adaptability as naru (OK, OK, I know in one of the mangas the whole Hina team dressed up like Motoko, but seriously, all of them in the same pose? That's not going to look very good.)

All I can say is "drat". Hopefully the actual release will look a bit better, but I doubt that will happen.

[Addendum 30/10] 
I've been looking at the proto pics again, and Motoko seems to have a large gap running along the sides of her outfit, almost as if it can be cracked open...if that were true, how cool would it be if her outfit was removable to reveal maybe Motoko in swimsuit? That would certainly justify the price (Naru gets steambath, Shinobu gets Laundry area, Motoko gets...some small crap??). But with her sandaled feet seemingly irremovable, it's unlikely. One can dream....

That's it for now. At least, until they get out some more pictures of SHINOBU-Chan!!

Aww, look at her doing laundry, isn't she adorable?
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