Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ikkitousen 1/9 Scale Kanu Unchou Nurse Figure - Preorder

Kanu Unchou of Ikkitousen fame hurts people. In Taki Corp's upcoming figure, the warrior becomes a caregiver. Kanu dons a pink nurse's uniform, a pink nurse's cap, and seemingly slinks across the floor in search of the injured and bloodied. The figure is set to 1/9 scale and is constructed of PVC. Preorders are welcome to ship in late May 2008 at JPY4800 or US$49.90.

Sesame Street Cute Full Dekagurumi Shoulder Bag - Preorder

American pop culture is pervasive throughout the world. Kids in Kazakhstan listen to Britney alongside native songstress Zarina and everyone in the UAE knows what an iPod is. American movies enjoy far-flung penetration around the globe which in turn promotes American culture and perhaps viewpoints. Sesame Street is an American cultural phenomenon but the franchise has also been inculcated into the minds of Japanese children thanks to television, books, and of course, toys.

NCS receives a few hundred Japanese Sesame Street preorders every year. We dodge most of them but occasionally, we're be drawn to one or two and throw them up for preorder. Today's offer is for a Sesame Street shoulder bag which features one of three animals from the popular series. Preorders are welcome to ship in late May 2008 at US$15.90 each.

Xbox DVD Movie Playback Kit - Clearance

Add DVD functionality to your Xbox (original Xbox, not the Xbox 360) and make the console a versatile movie viewer as well as a powerful gaming machine. Please note that this product is the Japanese DVD Playback Kit. Inserting it into a USA Xbox will change the DVD region of the unit to Japanese Region 2 NTSC.

Inside the box
» Full-function remote control
» Infrared receiver which plugs into the Xbox controller port
» Pair of AAA batteries (which are more than likely dead)

Sale Offering

NCS' remaining inventory of Xbox DVD Movie Playback Kits
for the Japanese Xbox is new, boxed, and in excellent condition. The cardboard packaging may have some dents and dings but is generally in new shape. Pricing is set at US$18.90 per remote which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Larger Photos.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Street Fighter Excellent Model Capcomaniax - Preorder

In recent merchandising history, Megahouse's most memorable toys have been the One Piece Portrait of Pirates figures. That might change this summer when the Street Fighter Excellent Model Capcomaniax figures featuring Ibuki and Rainbow Mika reach market.

Ibuki made her Street Fighter debut in the SFIII series where she kicked and chopped her way to the top. Ibuki's figure cuts a slender and wispy frame which is in direct contrast to the brickhouse that is Rainbow Mika. She's the gorilla-like blonde to the right. Mika made her debut in Street Fighter Alpha 3 where her wrestling talents were on display for all to see. The Ibuki figure measures 33cm tall and Mika measures 22cm in height. Preorders for either figure are welcome to ship in late July 2008 at JPY5500 or US$60.90 each from NCS.

Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Tachikoma SSS Ver. - Preorder

Wave rolls onwards with their popular W.H.A.M. (Wave High Advance Model) series of toys with a new Tachikoma variant. There's been six other Tachikoma W.H.A.M. toys released to market already and the upcoming version is dubbed the "Solid State Society Version" which is packaged with a trenchcoat-wearing Makoto Kusanagi fixed-pose figure.

The Tachikoma measures 17.30 x 17.30 x 11.6 cm (6.81 x 6.81 x 4.56") in dimension and is constructed of blue ABS. The mech's standard weapons include a grenade launder and a gatling gun which may be mounted on the mech's undercarriage. Preorders are welcome to ship in late August 2008 at JPY5000 or US$49.90 from NCS.

Ikkitousen D.D. Kanu Unchou Swimsuit Ver. - Preorder

Kanu Unchou is very desirable. We know this because toy manufacturers have announced and/or shipped nearly 10 figures featuring the raven-haired warrior since the beginning of 2008. Is it overkill? Yes, but if the market can continue absorb all that Kanu, there's the likelihood that even more of Miss Unchou is on the way later this year.

The latest figure announcement fits Kanu into a 2-piece bikini and gives her hair that is whippier than usual. Kanu's left hand is lifted upwards which may be used as a perch for her sandals. Kanu's bikini top and bikini bottom may be removed for the au natural look. For a bit of extra realism, Kanu's "skin" beneath the bikini will reveal tan lines which are colored lighter than her surrounding skin. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid July 2008 at JPY6800 or US$69.90 from NCS. Jan Code:

Tales of Destiny: Leon Magnus 1/8 Scale Figure - Preorder

Namco originally released Tales of Destiny in December 1997 and introduced memorable characters such as Stahn Aileron and Rutee Katrea to the world. In January of this year, Namco re-released the game for the PS2 under the title of Tales of Destiny Director's Cut which was a remake that included the option of playing the game from Leon Magnus' perspective instead of Stahn's default view. Leon's only a teenager but he serves the kingdom of Seinegald with maturity and fortitude.

The re-release of TOD for the PS2 has stoked interest in the heroes of the game and the first figure on tap is a 1/10 scale sculpture of Leon Magnus which measures approximately 16cm or 6.29" in height. Kotobukiya lists the construction material as PVC and the figure is fixed-posed. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August 2008 at JPY4500 or US$50.90 from NCS. Jan Code:

Marimokkori Jumbo Calculator - Preorder

The Japanese are enamored with the miniaturization of everyday objects such as donuts, dogs, UFO catcher machines, Van Gogh paintings, and pretty much everything under the sun. Occasionally, products go the other way and are super-sized. The most impressive product blow-up in recent memory was the human-sized Gundam robot which cost roughly $3500 each. NCS sold six of them and marveled at the sizes of the boxes that held the robot's parts.

Calculators are generally palm-sized electronics that are cheap to produce. System Service won't have any of that small stuff. They want big calculators which measure 29 x 20cm (11.41 x 7.87") in size and feature a Marimokkori (green munchkin character) theme. Two styles are on offer - a dark-green calculator and a fire-red variant. The calculators are also "green" in that they run on solar power. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late August 2008 at US$20.90 each.

General Updates

Grand Theft Auto IV - In Stock
Some chain stores around New York City stayed open last night for GTA IV. The game arrived yesterday but distributors weren't allowed to release it for fear of breaking the official street date. We weren't sure what the penalty would've been for breaking street but we think a sternly worded letter was in store for anyone allowing the game to be sold early. As such, all preorders will be shipping out this afternoon.

The PS3 version of the game may be played on any Playstation 3 console whether it be Japanese or European since there are no region-lockouts on PS3 game software.

The Xbox 360 version of the game is region-locked and cannot be played on European or Japanese Xbox 360 consoles.
Jikkyou Powerful Pro 3
The new date for the game is May 29, 2008 after it was delayed from its original ship date of April 24, 2008.

Gamecube Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 2 - Clearance

Original Product Description - December 4, 2003
Tomy's cel-shaded sleeper of a fighting game sees a sequel this winter when Naruto 2 reaches market with an updated version where four players may fight at once. When we first imported the original Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen, we figured it would sell well for 3 weeks and flame out. Surprisingly, we found ourselves restocking the game month after month as players on message boards and chat rooms praised the game's merits and tactical depth. Buyers rolled in . Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and many more of the extensive manga/anime cast return for one-on-one fighting on nicely rendered 3-D backdrops.

Sale Offering
: NCS' remaining inventory of
Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 2 for the Japanese Gamecube is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Pricing is set at US$15.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Please note that Japanese Gamecube games require the use of the Freeloader boot disc before they will play on USA Gamecube consoles. Larger Photos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Character Vocal Series 01: Hatsune Mike - Preorder

Vocaloid (Vocal + Android) is a Japanese song simulator from Yamaha and Crypton Future Media where users type in lyrics and the software engine sings out the words in rapid fire staccato. Voice actress Fujita Saki provides the voice for Miku Hatsune in the software and she sounds like a mix between a munchkin and a generalized cartoon character. Vocaloid 2 has enjoyed strong sales since its release last year and Miku has been making the rounds on the merchandising circuit.

Good Smile Company's upcoming Miku figure features the tall and lanky version of the songstress as opposed to the squat super-deformed Nendroid toy which was released recently in Japan. Normal-size Miku is sculpted to 1/8 scale and measures 18cm or 7.08" in height. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late September 2008. Jan Code:

Piyo-chan Mezamashi Tokei - Preorder

In Japanese pop culture, animals are invariably round and devoid of jagged edges. The eyes must also be beady and appendages are nearly non-existent. The Piyo-chan duckling character from Sanrio fits the animal template guideline perfectly. Piyo-chan is basically a golden-colored puff with a beak.

For fans of Piyo-chan, Eikoh presents an alarm clock in two styles which features an old-school bell mechanism on top. Say you set the alarm to ring at 6:30AM because... those donuts aren't going to make themselves. When the clock strikes 6:30AM, a little metal hammer on top will strike both bells for a piercing wake-up experience. Preorders are welcome to ship in late September 2008 at US$15.90 each.

USA Release Outlook - Arrivals on Tues-Thurs

Grand Theft Auto 4 leads preorders for the week and will be shipping out tomorrow.
NDS Brain Voyage Eidos

Iron Man Sega

Let's Pilates Konami

Let's Yoga Konami

Speed Racer: The Video Game WB Games

Toy Shop Majesco
PS2 Iron Man Sega

SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 SNK
PS3 Iron Man Sega
PSP Iron Man Sega
PSP SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 SNK
PS3 Grand Theft Auto IV Rockstar
Wii Speed Racer: The Video Game WB Games
X360 Grand Theft Auto IV Rockstar

Japanese Import Outlook - Arrivals on Wed-Thurs

NDS Emblem of Gundam Bandai

Katekyoshi Hitman Reborn! Fate of Heat Takara

Keikishi Gunzou Presents: Monoshiri Bakumatsu-Ou Global A
PSP Nippon no Asoko de Sony
Wii Link's Crossbow Training + Wii Zapper Nintendo

Pro Yakyuu Family Stadium Namco

Nintendo Famicom Towel - Clearance

When stepping out of a steaming shower, bath, or pool, one needs a thick, thirsty towel to mop up the rivulets of water running down one's back. Since bathing and showering are daily rituals (we would hope), why not enjoy the experience with a bright, colorful Family Computer towel which reflects age-old gaming sensibilities? Banpresto once again pimps out retro Nintendo themes but this time, they're expertly woven into cotton towels which measure 120 x 60cm or 47 x 23.62" in size.

Sale Offering
: NCS' remaining inventory of
Famicom Towels is new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Pricing is set at US$13.90 per towel which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Photos.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Final Fantasy Trading Arts Mini Vol. 2 - New, In Stock

Squall Leonhart of Final Fantasy VIII fame leads another quintet of toy figures based on Square's fabled Final Fantasy franchise. The other heroes featured in the Trading Arts Mini Vol. 2 set are:

» Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca - A princess turned freedom fighter
» Auron - The bruiser wearing shades and a red/black ensemble
» Basch fon Ronsenburg - Dalmascan knight with medieval mullet
» Tifa Lockhart - Athletic gal-pal of Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII

Each figure measures approximately 5cm or 1.96" in height and is fixed posed. Similar to other Trading Arts figures from Square, the figures are fully assembled, painted, and ready for display. Please note that Square Enix packages the toys nine per box and NCS is only supplying this item by the box. This means you'll receive the five standard figures as listed above and four random duplicates.

All preorders have shipped as of yesterday afternoon and new orders are welcome to ship today at $40.90 per factory box of 9 figures. Photos

H2O Plus: Footprints in the Sand - New Import, In Stock

Takuma Hirose has been dealt some lousy cards in his young life. His mother has died an untimely death and he's lost his sight due to a medical condition. Takuma's uncle decides that it's time for a change of pace and takes his young nephew to live in the country. Once settled, Takuma enrolls into a local junior high school where he meets three classmates (Hayami Kohinata, Hinata Kagura, and Otoha ) who help him heal in more ways than one. H2O was originally released as an adult visual novel for the Japanese PC in 2006. Two years later, Kadokawa Shoten strips the mature content from the game and releases H2O on the Playstation 2. New and/or updated features in the PS2 conversion include:

» The storylines of Yui Tabata and Hamaji
Yakumo have been expanded and made into new scenarios for Takuma to explore.
» New CG events which were developed exclusively for the PS2 game.
» Additional dialogue snippets have been added.

The game is played in three distinct time frames which look at Takuma's high school days, a reunion, and finally his life with his chosen girl.

H2O Plus DX Pack - New Import, In Stock

The deluxe pack edition of H2O Plus includes the following items in addition to the game DVD:

» Original Series Drama CD titled "Eichisurio"
» H2O Plus Visual Book
» Anime DVD which contains an episode of H2O Plus.
» Five mini posters featuring the main characters in the game.

Nihongo Kentei DS - New Import, In Stock

Scholars as well as normal citizens can learn and re-learn kanji for the better part of their lives and still not master the entire character set. To measure the kanji usage proficiency of native Japanese speakers, a new test called the Nihongo Kentei (日本語検定) debuted on June 15, 2007 which was taken by 18,500+ participants. The Nihongo Kentei gauges someone's ability to recognize written kanji and the top ranking requires a knowledge of 3,000 characters.

Nihongo Kentei DS is a test-taker's practice buddy which is meant to be used daily in order to learn and re-learn kanji characters in your quest to score high on the official test. The software recommends practicing for at least 15 minutes a day to hone your kanji skills.

Shion no Ou - New Import, In Stock

When Shion Yasuoka was merely four years old, her parents were murdered in their own home. The only clue recovered by the police was a bloody Shogi O-sho or "Jeweled General" game piece. Through flashbacks, Shion deduces that whomever killed her parents is a Shogi player so she learns the game and enters Shogi tournaments in a bid to uncover secrets which may help solve her family's murder mystery.

The NDS adaptation of Shion no Ou includes a Story Mode which follows the plot of the animated series along with a Shogi Tutorial and a standard Shogi game mode where players face off against eight characters from the animation. Mycom hired the voice actors from the series to provide speech snippets which play during a Shogi match.

Tantei Jinguuji Saburo DS: Keinai Kokoro - New, In Stock

The hard-boiled detective known as Saburo Jinguuji is back with another case that requires his sleuthing skills and unique brand of moxie. A client named Takeshi Matsuda hires Saburo to investigate the suicide of his sister Saori Tokunaga. Takeshi believes that there was foul play involved and asks Saburo to confirm his suspicions.

Saburo's second outing on the NDS features touchpen-based gameplay where objects are inspected and evidence is ferreted out. When speaking to characters in the game, a person's mental state may be measured to determine the veracity of his or her statements. The system is called the "Talk Profile System" where normal conversation is used to uncover clues and important information that may help Saburo solve the mystery.

Taiko no Tatsujin DS Stand Set - New Import, In Stock

Playing a lively game of Taiko no Tatsujin DS can be unwieldy if you're all thumbs but Hori assuages the situation with a Taiko-themed stand. Mount the Nintendo DS securely in the crimson plastic holder and once the unit is angled to your liking, grab the stylus drumsticks and bang the virtual Taiko like your life depended on it.

The Taiko DS Stand includes the following items which are packaged in a compact cardboard container decorated with Taiko artwork and photos:

» Taiko no Tatsujin puffy sticker cell phone strap

» Adjustable Nintendo DS Stand which can be angled in seven positions for your viewing pleasure. The stand can accommodate the original Nintendo DS or the NDS Lite and little bracers are included for a proper fit. The Stand is lightweight but sturdy once a NDS is planted on top of it.

» A decorative and glossy cardboard attachment that's meant to be mounted on the back of the DS Stand. It serves no purpose other than to put some festive flair on the Stand.

Cyber Gun Attachment Vibration - New Import, In Stock

When the Wii and its wireless controller were first announced, NCS assumed that the Wiimote would stay the same shape forever and ever. The market has other ideas however as the Wii Cooking Mama kit, Zelda's sword, the Wii racing wheel, and other bolt-into accessories have proven. Cyber adds a gun to the Wiimote's arsenal.

The Cyber Gun Attachment isn't the first pistol accessory to reach the Wii - Nintendo's Wii Zapper takes that honor but it's the first one that looks like an actual gun. A berth on top of the accessory accepts the Wiimote and a lift-over latch secures it with down. Once fitted properly, grab the firearm by the handle, slide your finger over the trigger, and get ready to blast away zombies and other malcontents on the Wii.

Two AA batteries are required if you wish to utilize the vibration function of the Gun Attachment. If you don't need the vibration, skip the batteries since the gun will still work as a point and shoot accessory.

Osouji Sentai Clean Keeper - New Import, In Stock

An average high school sophomore named Kurou Minamoto has been recruited (against his will) to clean up Takamagahara High School. For the unenlightened, Takamagahara in the Shinto religion refers to the heavenly plain where deities reside. Kurou's janitorial duties takes on a more serious turn when three devilish hussies launch a coordinated effort to slather dirt and detritus throughout the school. If the grime was just a few smears of peanut butter or some puffs of dust, it wouldn't be too bad but they're actually big globules of bacteria-like malfeasance that clings to students. They don't look particularly pleasing either.

Kurou won't have to clean the mess up alone. He's able to find cleaning fairies and partner them up with five maidens to help him clean. The girls include an orange-haired student named Mariko Kasugano who's the covergirl, Kyoko Natsukawa, Ruri Akiha, and Akira Fuyumori. The Clean Team uses everyday tools to brush aside the splotches and your job as a virtual janitor is to wave the Wiimote in a circular or side-to-side motion to wipe out the dirt. Osouji Sentai Clean Keeper is equal parts interactive-adventure and Wiimote waving action game with scenarios and missions that eventually lead up to a conclusive cleaning encounter.

Osouji Sentai Clean Keeper LE - New Import, In Stock

A game in which fairies and girls team up to clean is bigger than one single edition. There must also be an exclusive limited edition to encapsulate the totality of the concept. Feast your peepers on the L.E. version of Osouji Senntai Clean Keeper which is packaged with two bonus items. We expected more goodies but if Idea Factory only wants to parcel out two bonuses, that's okay. The LE just won't sell as briskly. The exclusive Clean Keeper gifts are:

» A set of five puffy stickers which feature the fairies found in the game. A loop on top of each sticker allows it to be tethered to the included strap which bears the name of the game stenciled across its entire length.

» Clean Keeper Drama CD which features the voice actresses who provided the squeaky voices of the heroines in the game.

The game and bonus items are packaged in a cardboard box which features cover artwork that's different from the regular edition.

Samurai Spirits Zankuro RPG - Clearance

SNK released Samurai Spirits Zankuro RPG on the Neo-CD, Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation in 1997. The game was the same but fans snapped up all three versions because each version featured exclusive cover artwork. The game is a traditional RPG that features the cast and crew of the fabled Samurai Spirits 2-D fighting game in a different kind of setting.

Sale Offering
: NCS' remaining inventory of
Samurai Spirits Zankuro RPGi s new, factory sealed, and in mint condition. Pricing is set at US$18.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Larger Photos.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Akko de Pon! Ikasama Hourouki - New Import, In Stock

Play mahjong against an assemblage of Japanese celebrities who have been digitized and caricatured into video game representations of themselves. Soul singer Akiko Wada appears dead-center on the cover of the game and she's joined by actress Ikue Sakakibara, actor Shiro Tsubuyaki, the duo Samaazu, the team of Supi Dowagon, Hori, and others. When playing mahjong, some of the personalities speak various lines and throw out voice snippets to add to the overall theatrics.

Standard Japanese MJ rules apply in the game but special moves may be used to change conditions and affect the other players.
A Story Mode puts the participants in various roles and settings while the Communication Mode allows multiple players in the local area to play a game of MJ.

Days of Memories 2 - New Import, In Stock

The original Days of Memories compilation for the NDS sold remarkably well for NCS. We're talking shooting game numbers here which is unheard of for a dating game. Then again, SNK and its stable of characters are a good draw most of the time.

Since it's Spring, love is in the air once again with SNK's Days of Memories 2 which gathers together another three DOM dating games which were originally released for the cell phone market in Japan. By using a touch pen and canned dialogue, players interact with the finest SNK lovelies and perhaps discover romance on the small screen of the NDS. Early preorders will include a bonus telephone card in 30% ratio.

Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS - New Import, In Stock

The raucous crew of Taiko no Tatsujin is at it again with a new Nintendo DS game which includes a story based adventure mode and another collection of songs with which to bang your drum to. Another innovation is the concept of rivals which adds antagonistic drama to the game. As the story goes, players trek to seven islands to meet and beat various opponents in rhythm based drum action. Perform up to par and you'll continue onwards but falter and your journey ends. Abruptly.

When the game first starts up, a total of 36 tracks are playable but Namco touts a total of 50 songs in the game so 14 tunes must be unlocked. Similar to the first Taiko DS game, a pair of drumsticks is included inside the game package so you can hit the virtual Taiko in style. «Notes»

Mokushise! Zenko Kutaikai Let's Brass!!- New, In Stock

Join a virtual band and practice on brass instruments with Milestone's newfangled music simulator. Instruments featured in the game include a trumpet, tuba, saxophone, and a piccolo which may be operated by blowing into the Nintendo DS' microphone and fiddling around on the touch screen with stylus-based motion.

The software includes a digital metronome, the ability to tune instruments, and 150 songs to practice with. Users may play by themselves or link up wirelessly with three other participants to practice together like a real live quartet. The downside is that you'll all look silly blowing into a Nintendo DS but if you're really good and produce beautiful music, maybe you'll win some sort of recognition or award.

Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Retsuden 2 - New, In Stock

The original Naruto Shinobi Retsuden for the NDS was released in December 2006 and the game was based on the Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen games from the Gamecube. The sequel features a cast of 32 characters from Naruto Shippuuden who bout it out in a 3D fighting game that runs at a fluid 60fps.

Players may choose to play as the title hero himself, Naruto who's an all-around well balanced combatant or take control of a specialized fighter such as Gaara who's a master of the desert sands. The fisticuffs take place on the top NDS screen whilst the touch screen features a control panel where special items and Rasengan skills may be triggered with a quick stylus tap. A Wi-Fi function gives two players the chance to duke it out.

Summon Night + Bonus Magical Disc - New, In Stock

Flight Plan and Banpresto revives the original Summon Night game which was originally released for the Playstation in January 2000. In the S-RPG, players take control of a student named Touya (three other protagonists are possible) who has been spirited to a world known as Lyndbaum. Once there, he joins up with a ragtag crew and eventually goes on an adventure to save the world.

Summon Night caused a stir when it was first released and we recall brisk sales for months on end. The game plays like Ogre Battle or FF Tactics where heroes move on a map and attack enemies in turn-based fashion. Features in the NDS conversion include stylus-based gameplay, new artwork panels, and microphone interaction with summoned beasts.

Yattaman DS - New Import, In Stock

Yattaman has been part of cartoon culture since the 70s and it's about time that the characters of the series became video game action heroes. Yattaman DS plays like your average side scrolling platform game but with gadgets and weapons from the popular animated series. Bonuses may be picked up to recover HP or to power-up.

A side game features mech-fighting action where a Yatta animal robot is piloted against one of six robotic adversaries. The entire cast of characters appear in the game including Gan Takada, Ai Kaminari,
Omocchama, Doronjo, Boyakki, Tonzura. The original voice actors from the animated series were also tapped to reprise their roles in the game.