Monday, March 19, 2007

Bleach Plushes Series 4

Spiky-haired Ichigo Kurosaki leads another quintet of Bleach characters in a new plush set from Banpresto. Each plush measures 15cm or 5.90" tall and the characters are as follows from the left and moving to the right: Rangiku Matsumoto, Ichigo Kurosaki, Renji Abarai, Ikkaku Madarame, and Toushiro Hitsugawa.
The fourth series of Bleach plush characters can be broken down into the following sentence: Two blondes, a redhead, one baldie, and a snow-cap.
Similar to earlier Bleach plushes, the toys were manufactured in a well known factory in Shenzen where all of the major Japanese houses go for quality work and fabrication. Preorders ship today and new orders are welcome.

Animal Crossing Plushes

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. NCS originally stocked the first batch of Animal Crossing plushes (top row in the photo) last month and two more groups are in stock today which make up the second and third rows in the photo. The plushes invariably measure 16cm or 6.29" tall and are made of soft and lightweight material. The newcomers are as follows:

First Row: Totakeke, Futa, Master, Pelio, Sari
Second Row: Tanukichi, Unekichi, Rakosuke, Fuko, Saruo

All preorders ship today and new orders are welcome.

Maria Ozawa Collection Cards

Look, it's Miss Perfect herself, Maria Ozawa (小澤マリア) aka Miyabi (雅) which may be translated into English as the ideal of perfection.
Born from the union of a Japanese mother and a French-Canadian father in 1986, Maria's current profession is JAV-actress. Since she's perfect, the creators of the Juicy Honey collection cards have announced a dedicated set of cards that feature Maria in swimwear, street clothing, and other forms of wear. A total of 72 regular cards are featured in the set along with obligatory autograph cards, jersey cards, two bra hook cards and the highly desired Kiss Card. NCS will supply this item in factory boxes of 12 packs at JPY6300 or US$55 + shipping. Preorders ship in May 07.

Cheburashka Plushes

No, it's not Dumbo nor is it your old chum Timmy - the fourth grader who's ears seemed larger than dinner plates. The brown, big-eared creature is named Cheburashka (Чебурашка in Russian) and the little guy was conceived by Eduard Uspensky in the 1960s. At first glance, Cheburashka shares similarities with popular Japanese icons such as Hello Kitty or Tarepanda as follows:

» Simplistic facial structure with requisite blank stare
» Diminutive stature and short limbs
» Somewhat androgynous and non-threatening
» Simple color scheme

Where Cheburashka derails the Japanese design convention for cute characters is the massive ears. They're nearly as big as Che's head and would probably serve well as radar arrays or solar panels. Despite the strange dimensions and lack of golden spiral harmony in the beast, Japanese as well as Chinese have taken a liking to Cheburashka. Animated films with titles such as "Cheburashka Goes to School," "Old Witch Shapoklyak," and "Gena the Crocodile and His Friends" from Russian studio Soyuzmultfilm have all made the rounds in Asia and Japan. The Japanese refer to Cheburashka as "Tieburasika."

To take advantage of the popularity of Cheburashka, Japanese toy company Omron has started preorders for three toys based on the brown animal. The first is a 16cm plush which features three variants. The actual Cheburashka figure is the same but the color of the Чебурашка sign that it holds is different. Next up is an 18cm plush with two styles on offer - one where Cheburashka holds an orange and another where the cuddly creature stands with arms to its side like a plank. We're likely not going to stock the third set of Cheburashka toys which are little matted plushes with loops on top. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2007 at US$12 for each 16cm plush and US$16 for each 18cm plush.

Dynamite Deka EX -Asian Dynamite

Sega has started preorders for another sequel to Dynamite Deka (Dynamite Detective) which ships in Naomi cartridge kit form. Some other Naomi games that were based on cart instead of GD-Rom include both Power Stones, Sega Tetris, and Dynamite Baseball. Similar to its forebears, Dynamite Deka EX is a 3D punch 'n kick 'n shoot action game where a one-man-army beats down on terrorists and their ilk. It's been 9 years since Dynamite Deka 2 was released in 1998 but the new game appears to be much of the same formula as before. The levels look sharper and more textured which should draw the usual crowd of action game fans. Pricing is set at US$1295 for the Naomi kit which includes EMS shipping costs directly from Japan to any address in North America, Europe, or Asia. Orders are welcome by email request from customer accounts in good standing.

Pocari Sweat Cooler

Summers in New York City are hot, hazy, and uncomfortable. June isn't too bad but when you get into July and August, the "dog days" are an apt description of the muggy blanket of heat that overwhelms the senses. Add the traffic congestion, the heavy foot traffic, and sweat circles... and you have a conspiracy on your hands.

Whenever it's a scorcher outside, we like to sit down with a can of refreshing Pocari Sweat (not really but work with us here for the sake of the solicitation). Buy two bottles from the local Asian food store - one for now and one for later. To keep the second bottle cold, NCS recommends the Pocari Sweat Cooler which holds a single bottle in its frigid battery-powered confines. Never mind that it weighs nearly 2 lbs and sucks up a lot of battery power - your enjoyment of Pocari should never be ruined by a lukewarm bottle.

The Pocari Sweat Cooler measures
11 x 11 x 26 cm (4.33 x 4.33 x 10.23") in dimension and features the snazzy Pocari Sweat logo with the swish underneath. A clear compartment ensures that you'll be able to look at the condensation inside as your bottle of Pocari is being chilled. Since the cooler is fairly large, we're guessing a bottle of regular Deer Park Spring water and assorted soft drinks will also fit inside. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2007 at US$25 per cooler.

Horror Summer Toilet Roll + Cover

It is NCS' firm contention that man is most vulnerable when sitting upon the porcelain throne. Loud noises, explosions, and shouts of murderous anger are not things that one wants to hear when perched thusly. That's where Sega comes in with a gimmick toilet roll device which says things that aren't comforting when man is in his most private moment. To instill both fear and trepidation upon a victim, simply replace the toilet roll holder with the device shown and the next time the roll is spun, the mark will get a shock... or maybe just a goofy chuckle if he's good natured. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2007 at US$20 per toilet set.

Import Outlook

PS2 Musou Orochi leads preorders for the week followed by NDS Front Mission: The First.
NDS Bomberman Story DS Hudson

Crayon Shin-Chan DS Banpresto

Custom Beat Battle: Draglade Banpresto

Front Mission: The First Square

Negima!? Chou Mahora Taisen Chuu Konami

Sangokushi DS 2 Koei
PS2 Musou Orochi Koei

Musou Orochi Treasure Box Koei

Musou Orochi Super Premum Box Koei X

Rogue Galaxy Director's Cut Sony
PS3 Mist of Chaos I. Factory
PSP Bomberman Land Portable Hudson

Puyo Puyo! Sega
X360 Armored Core 4 FromSoft

USA Release Outlook

PS3 Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and PS3 Virtua Tennis 3 lead preorders for the week. There's mild interest in the multiple versions of TMNT.
NDS Custom Robo Arena Nintendo

Major League Baseball 2K7 2K Sports

Puzzle Quest Challenge of the Warlords Disney

Steel Horizon Konami

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles UbiSoft

Theme Park EA

Yu Gi Oh! World Championship 2007 Konami
PS2 Shining Force EXA Sega

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles UbiSoft

Test Drive Unlimited Atari

UEFA Champions League 2006-2007 EA
PS3 Armored Core 4 Sega

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Bethesda

Godfather Don's Edition EA

Virtua Tennis 3 [Delayed to Mar 26] Sega
PSP Afterburner Black Falcon Sega

Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai Another Road Atari

Full Auto 2 Sega

Puzzle Quest Challenge of the Warlords Disney

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles UbiSoft

UEFA Champions League 2006-2007 EA

Virtua Tennis 3 Sega
X360 Tetris Evolution Sega

Armored Core 4 Sega

Earth Defense Force 2017 D3

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles UbiSoft

UEFA Champions League 2006-2007 EA

Virtua Tennis 3 Sega
Wii Blazing Angels UbiSoft

Cooking Mama Cook Off Majesco

Godfather: Blackhand Edition EA

Kororinpa Marble Mania Konami

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles UbiSoft

Wing Island Konami