This post is more than half an hour late as I bought the items in March and April :p Despite the popularity, Prince of Tennis has never had decent figurines. Something which I thought was quite unusual. With the release of New Prince of Tennis, some prize figurines were also released. As these are the first decent Prince of Tennis figurines that I ever came across, it was immediately an almost buy for me! Yay!!
But wait.. What the heck is prize figurines? Prize figurines are basically figurines which can only be "won" by luck from arcade machines, lucky draws, etc.
First up is Echizen Ryoma figurine which is the prize A for Ichiban Kuji November 2012. Ichiban Kuji is basically a monthly lottery by Banpresto. You purchase 1 ticket for certain price (500 yen for regular one, 800-1000 yen for premium sessions) and depends on your luck, you can get any item from the list of items that month. Prize A is obviously the best.
The approximately 16cm Ryoma comes in a box measuring 17.5cm (L) x 14.5cm (W) x 25.6cm (H). Considering the size of the figurine, the box is a bit over-sized and that is not something good for me who is already running out of storage space. Haha.. The box is rather plain but the figurine itself is satisfactory. I like the smug's expression -typical Ryoma's face-, the tennis court base, and the flapping of the jacket which makes the figurine rather dynamic.
There is another version which can be obtainable during the Double Chance Campaign. As compared to the regular version, Ryoma is wearing a black jacket and standing on a clay court. However, since the pose and the sculpt are exactly identical, I am giving that a miss.
I bought this together with Shiraishi's figurine from Sega Premium Figure line. There is Ryoma figurine from this line with an almost identical pose: Ryoma pointing his racket. The only difference is only the other hand holding his cap. The reason why I chose Banpresto's version is because Ryoma's Sega is almost as tall as Shiraishi which does not make sense. Anyway, back to Shiraishi, he is 21cm tall. I like his compact box at 13cm (L) x 12cm (W) x 25cm (H). Hehe.. Not a fan of his face or his pose which I find too girly and does not suit his rather devilish character. His figurine feels rather static so it is kinda boring too.
In March 2013, Banpresto released another Ryoma figurine dubbed the Training Version. Again, this is basically Ryoma wearing black jacket (same as the Double Chance Campaign) standing on a barren land base and a tree and an eagle decoration. I believe this is based on the training on the mountain arc of the manga/anime. It is just slightly taller than the regular version due to thicker base. I bought it because I wanted to have the black jacket version but I absolutely hate the box which is MUCH MORE oversized than the regular version at 22cm (L) x 17cm (W) x 30cm (H)!
Comparison with the regular version
All 3 together...
|The scale looks off :(|
I bought Ryoma regular version and Shiraishi from Plamoya.com. It was my first time using Plamoya and I quite like the fact that they state the shipping fee up front in the item description. However, Plamoya's price can be very erratic and it claims that prices are according to prices in Japanese market. So for the same figurine, today the price can be sky high and tomorrow can crash and vice versa. The sale section is also mindblowing as their discount can be as high as 70% (I am not joking!). Anyway, including EMS shipping, these 2 figurines cost me $91.40. I got Ryoma training version from Yahoo! Auction so including all the middleman fee, he cost me $88.28. The original price is slightly more because of it being more rare also. Crazy shit :'(
I regret buying all 3 of them after knowing that Kotobukiya will be releasing scaled figurines of Prince of Tennis. Ryoma is out for a few months while Atobe and Tezuka are scheduled to be released this month and January 2014 respectively. I read that Yukimura and Shiraishi are scheduled to be included into this line too.
Prize figures are much cheaper as compared to scaled figures and thus the quality is also much lousy. Banpresto does quite a good job but Sega is quite disappointing especially in terms of their paint job. For characters which have scaled figurines, I will definitely choose it over the prize figurines. But oh well, I bought these 3 thinking that there would not be any better Prince of Tennis figurines. At the point of buying, they were indeed the best Prince of Tennis figurines in the market. Well, I am glad that Atobe figurines from Banpresto are damn expensive that I did not purchase him. Sega also released Yukimura but I will give him a miss if Kotobukiya really will release him also.
What makes me feel more cheated is the fact that these so-called prize figurines are actually easily obtainable in secondary markets. Basically, I overpaid because I just bought whatever I could find before doing "market research". Sigh.. Gonna try my luck to sell these 3 because I do not want to have more than 1 figurines of the same characters :'(