Monday, February 12, 2007

Animal Crossing Plush - Theater Version

The rascals from Animal Crossing have endured a spate of merchandising deals over the past year and Banpresto pushes their way into the AXing space one more time. The sleepy-eyed Tanukichi aka Tom Nook leads a quintet of plush figures which measure 16cm or 6.29" tall and are made of soft and lightweight material. Cradle the whole gang of them in your arms and you still wouldn't be exerting yourself.
From the upper left and rolling clockwise, the Animal Crossing characters are: Tanukichi, Daruman, Bouquet, Bianca, and the crazed Mr. Resetti who carries a felt pickaxe. Cross him at your peril. Preorders are shipping today and new orders are welcome at US$9.50 per plush. «more»

Dragon Quest Dot Monsters Magnets

Toy manufacturers have used Nintendo's brands and characters in various dot graphics toy, strap, and keychain offerings over the past couple of years. The products have invariably been popular and sold well which has encouraged further merchandising attempts.
Square Enix gets into the dot graphics trade by releasing the Dragon Quest Dot Monsters Sets. A total of 16 magnets are featured in the collection along with 6 background montages. Each magnet measures 3cm or 1.18" and SquarEnix throws in 2 magnets and 1 montage per retail box. Stick the magnets on your refrigerator and use a smiling Slime to hold up "To Do" and shopping lists. Pricing is set at $39 for a factory sealed case of 12 randomly packaged toys. New orders are welcome. «more»

Dragon Quest Character Figure Collection

When a new Dragon Quest game is released in Japan, lines of anxious gamers may be seen snaking around the block outside LAOX or Sofmap shops as harried employees inside prepare for the queue. It's good then that most Japanese patrons are mild-mannered and mob mentality is rare although not unknown since the advent of PS3.
Although the DQ games sell like hotcakes, Dragon Quest toys receive a more tempered reception from the fan base. Square Enix's DQ Figure Collection Legend may change all that with its gathering of seven beautifully sculpted 7cm PVC figures which are based on the heroes and heroines of the Dragon Quest games through the years. Pricing is set at $49 for a factory case of 12 figures. New orders are welcome. «more»

Feeling Figure Collection: One Piece Styling 3

The motley assemblage of brigands known as the "Straw Hat Pirates" strut their stuff in another collection of PVC figures from Bandai. The cook of crew, Sanji, is missing from the default roster but the characters that did make the cut are:

Monkey D. Luffy | Roronoa Zoro | Nami | Nico Robin | Sogeking & Chopper

Along with the standard figures, two secret character repaints/variants are randomly packaged in the factory sealed cartons for fans to ferret out. Each toy measures 8cm or 3.14" tall and every box contains a wrapped piece of lemony-sweet candy to destroy your teeth.

NCS supplies this item as a factory sealed carton of 10 randomly packaged figures. One of the secret variants that we found in our opened case was Usopp (Sogeking unmasked) + squinting eyes Chopper. «more»

Transformers Kiss Players: Autolooper X Atari

New orders are welcome for the second Transformers Kiss Players toy which features the Autobot named Autolooper and a miniature Atari gal figure. Autolooper transforms from a Mazda RX-8 with police colors and rooftop siren to a barrel-chested robot capable of swinging its arms and posing like a superstar. Along with the PVC figures, a Kissplay drama CD is also included in the package for some listening pleasure.
Please note that the Atari figure in the photo is not to scale and she's a little thing that may be perched on Autolooper's shoulder. In addition to Atari, a small PVC figure representing the demonic-looking energy entity known as Kremzeek is included inside the package.

Pricing for the set is listed at JPY6500 or US$58 from NCS. «more»

Oretachi Game Center: Thunder Cross

When an alien force conspires to take over the galaxy, it's up to the mighty Thunder Cross spacecraft to beat back the menace. Armed with only a single gun at the outset, assorted weaponry power-ups may be picked up to even the odds. In addition to the different types of guns, up to four weapon units may be aligned alongside the ship to fire off a barrage of buckshot that'll cover nearly 1/3 of the screen. Notable weapons include the napalm blast which isn't really true video napalm but is still effective and a boomerang shot that bounces about. The Oretachi Game Center version of Thunder Cross includes seven items:

01) Thunder Cross Game CD
02) Miniature CD which contains background music and sound effects
03) Miniature DVD which contains developer interview and master play
04) A placard which contains playing rules and holds both mini discs
05) Game trading card with cover artwork and original artwork
06) A thin and flimsy official guide book with game hints and tips
07) Booklet which contains PS2 game info and photos of the original JAMMA pc-board from way back in the day. «more»

Oretachi Game Center: Trio the Punch

According to Ainu lore, there was once an old and grizzled hermit who traveled between cave residences on the Chishima Islands. He never spoke but before he died, he imparted a single sentence to a washerwoman named Reiko. According to Reiko, the old hermit muttered with his dying breath, "To know Trio the Punch is to love Trio the Punch." With that, he shuffled off this mortal coil and Reiko was left with a puzzled look on her face and a distinct pang in her heart. To be continued.

The Oretachi Game Center version of Trio the Punch includes seven items:

01) Trio the Punch Game CD
02) Miniature CD which contains background music and sound effects
03) Miniature DVD which contains developer interview and master play
04) A placard which contains playing rules and holds both mini discs
05) Game trading card with cover artwork and original artwork
06) A thin and flimsy official guide book with game hints and tips
07) Booklet which contains PS2 game info and photos of the original JAMMA pc-board from way back in the day. «more»

New Rainbow Islands: Hurdy Gurdy Daibouken!

A tome flips open and the pages magically flap forward until the visages of Bub and Bob appear. They're dancing and clowning to the sweet melody played by a guitar player. Amidst their musical reverie, highly discordant sounds stream from somewhere in the distance. Looking over, Bub and Bob spy a concert in progress that's packed with fans. They look back at the guitarist from earlier and watch as he transforms into a robot. Across the land masses of Rainbow Islands, similar transformations are taking place as the discordant music filters through the world.
The cacophony and din of bad sounds are being pushed by a nefarious record label that's trying to take over the world with extremely bad music. To combat such evil, Bub and Bob don flavorful costumes and throw rainbows. Makes perfect sense if you meditate on it for about an hour.

The original Rainbow Islands was a study in platform gaming simplicity where Bubby and Bobby shot rainbows to defeat creatures and move upwards. New Rainbow Islands is modeled on the same premise but new to the action is the music element of the game, a bubble shot, and a pseudo 3D stage design where foreground, midground, and background may be traveled between by hopping on a moving platform that shuttles between the depths. Due to the concept of three distinct "levels" in every stage, enemies that appear in the midground can't be attacked if you're standing in the foreground although they might appear very close. «more»

Japanese Import Outlook

NDS Bleach DS 2nd Kokui Hirameki Requiem leads preorders for the week followed by PSP Tales of Destiny 2 and PS2 Soul Cradle.
NDS Bleach DS 2nd Kokui Hirameku Requiem Sega

Death Note Kira Game Konami

Layton Kyouju no Fushigi na Machi Level 5
PS2 Appleseed EX Sega

Appleseed EX Limited Edition Sega

Hiiro no Kakera: Ano Sora no Shita de I. Factory

Soul Cradle Sekai o Kurau Mono Nippon Ichi

Soul Cradle Sekai o Kurau Mono Limited Edition Nippon Ichi

Zero no Tsukaima MMV

Zero no Tsukaima Limited Edition MMV

Akumajo Dracula Yami no Juin BEST Konami
PSP Kanon Prototype

Lumines II Q-Ent.

Tales of Destiny 2 Namco

USA Release Outlook

Every copy of last week's Ar Tonelico release included a bonus 52-page art book packaged with the game in a slipcase. We participated in the NIS America website promotion offer and ordered the maximum 5 copies of the special edition which includes a bonus music soundtrack in addition to the art book. The soundtrack contains 35 tracks and we'll fill preorders for the special edition today.

For this week, PSP Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters leads preorders followed by PSP Chili Con Carnage. There's hardly any interest in the three versions of Ghost Rider but maybe sales will improve once the movie bows across the nation later this week.
GBA Ghost Rider 2K Games
NDS Kim Possible: Global Gemini Disney

F-24 Stealth Fighter Majesco

Uno 52 Destination
PS2 Backyard Basketball 2007 Atari

Ghost Rider 2K Games
PSP Chili Con Carnage [Delayed] Eidos

Ghost Rider 2K Games

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure Mastiff

Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner Atlus

Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters Sony

The Warriors Rockstar
Wii Wii Play with Remote Controller [Allocated] Nintendo