Monday, March 31, 2008

Space Invaders Pillow - Preorder

The 30th Anniversary of Space Invaders is in full swing and Taito's been celebrating the historic event with numerous product announcements and preorders. Over the weekend, the company started accepting reservations for two Space Invaders Pillows. Maybe Taito's trying to pique the interest of buyers who preordered the Space Invaders Towels from a few weeks ago.

The pillows are colored black and decorated with pixel images of Space Invaders in a shade of drab yellow and drab gray. The measurements per pillow are 45cm (17.71") in length and 22cm (8.66") in width which is enough to accommodate human heads, pets, and even fannies. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2008 at US$29.90 each.

Demon Bane Another Blood 1/8 Figure - Preorder

In the Demon Bane mythos, a struggling sleuth named Kurou Daijuuji gets an offer he can't refuse. Charged with the retrieval of a mysterious tome for an inordinate sum of cash, Kurou bumps into a waif named Al Azif... who turns out to be the embodiment of the book he's looking for. In quick measure, Al Azif and Kurou form a bond and the two find themselves embroiled in the midst of a battle between two factions.
Al Azif has enjoyed a number of toy incarnations but the upcoming figure from Max Factory is based on the Another Blood persona from
Kishin Hisho Demonbane. Scaled at 1/8 and measuring 14cm, A.B's hair is pink to match her frilly crimson attire, floppy hat, and blood-red eyes. Her pose may be likened to that of a blooming flower. Pricing is set at JPY7800 or US$78.90 from NCS. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2008.

Japanese Import Outlook - Arrivals on Wed-Thurs

NDS Kouchyann no shiawase! Kanntann! Fonfun

Meitantei Conan: Kieta Hakase to Machigai Bandai

Mitamekara Yomigaeru: Otona no Kikonash Success
PS2 Muso Orochi Maosairin Koei

Muso Orochi Maosairin Premium Box Koei

Pro Yakyuu Spirits 5 Konami
PS3 Pro Yakyuu Spirits 5 Konami
PSP Star Ocean 2nd Evolution SquarEnix

General Updates

USA Release Outlook
A single new USA game is expected this week - Mana Khemia for the Playstation 2 should arrive later this afternoon. Each copy of the first printing includes a bonus soundtrack and mini foldout poster. The game and soundtrack are packaged in a shelf-ready slipcase. Pricing is set at US$46.90.
NDS Release Delay
Milestone has delayed
Shokera Renai Otona no Tame no Metabo Dassutsu from its original date of April 17, 2008 to May 29, 2008. The software is designed to help a user track his daily food intake and exercise regimen (or lack thereof).
Restock Tomorrow
All backorders for PSP Umihara Kawase, PSP Monster Hunter Portable 2 G, and NDS Bangai-O Spirits will ship tomorrow. Playstation Network Tickets for the Hong Kong PSN will also arrive tomorrow and all backorders will be processed and fulfilled by Tuesday afternoon.

Sidewinder F - Clearance

Asmik Ace has released three Sidewinder flight-sims in Japan as follows:

Sidewinder MAX - Originally released on December 7, 2000
Sidewinder F - Originally released on December 13, 2001
Sidewinder V - Originally released on August 21, 2003

Today's sale offering is for Sidewinder F which is the midway game in the series. Sidewinder is a realistic combat flight simulator which goes so far as to include a G-Simulator mode where the screen will go dark if you do a particularly gut wrenching move or barrel roll. That's the G-Forces hitting your onscreen pilot where he blacks out from the stress. The game also features limited caches of weapons, fuel, and chaff which add to the realism of the game as opposed to Ace Combat where the weapon and evasion systems are stocked beyond rational reason. A realistic damage model tracks hits taken by your fighter jet and reduces its performance accordingly. Sidewinder contains a total of 20 missions to conquer.

Sale Offering
- NCS' remaining inventory of Sidewinder F is new, in mint condition, and factory sealed. Pricing is set at US$15.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Photos.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hitman Reborn! Vongola Shiki Taisen Battle - New, In Stock

A clutch of 24 gangsters and malcontents from Hitman Reborn! refrain from outright fisticuffs and engage in board game antics in the latest NDS title based on the popular animation series. Roll the die, move the allotted spaces, grab bonus items, and do your best to reach the goal before your competitors do. The game maps are randomly created and peppered with items and event squares which lead to mini-games or VS encounters when stepped upon. In addition to the solo-player game, up to four gamers may sit together and stare into their NDS screens to play an engaging board game against each other.
All preorders and new orders will ship with a simple table board game featuring the Hitman Reborn characters and gangland themes.

Simple DS Series Vol. 35: The Genshijin DS - New, In Stock

According to conventional wisdom, early man and apes shared a common ancestor. However, something caused man to evolve into Homo Sapiens while apes stayed... apelike. To answer the question of how man evolved, D3 Publisher takes gamers back into prehistoric times.

Take control of an alpha male ape who leads a gang of peons on action-packed adventures of evolution and tactical maneuvering. At the outset of the game, the objective is simpleminded - go forth into the jungle and collect pears, mushrooms, and the occasional rock to bring back to your village of apes. With each new item, the level of the ape commander increases and scales up to allow for controlling ever larger simian squads.

Neo Angelique Full Voice Edition - New Import, In Stock

NCS took delivery of the original Neo Angelique game in March of 2006 and we assumed that was that. Two years later, Koei returns to the well and draws out an updated version of the game which features fully voiced dialogue and twenty new events.

As the story goes, a mighty demon has taken over utopia and it's up to an average student from the Melrose Girl's Academy to battle the evil that has taken over the world. She won't have to go it alone however - handsome handlers with unique skills are present to help her out, offer advice, and perhaps even love. The leading men in the game are:

Rayne: A red-haired gunslinger with unerring aim
Nyx: A lanky aristocrat who wears a monocle and enjoys tea
J.D.: A dreamy blonde guy who would make a good father
Hyuga: A mysterious silver-haired dude who's slightly androgynous

Neo Angelique is a boys love game which is targeted at girl gamers. By engaging in interactive sequences and the occasional battle against enemies, the heroine finds love and rescues the world to boot.

General Updates

MGS4 Premium Pack Update - All Sold
NCS completely pre-sold out of our initial allocation of the MGS4 Premium Pack last night. If we're able to confirm additional quantities in the next few days from our suppliers in Japan, we'll update our website accordingly and re-open preorders. Thanks for reading.
Japanese Playstation Network Tickets
The JPY3000 PSN Cards and the JPY5000 PSN Cards were restocked yesterday and new orders are welcome. PSN Cards for the Hong Kong Playstation Network should be restocked in 2-3 days. Please Note: The code shown on the PSN card image to the lower-left is not an actual code.
Phantasy Star Complete Collection Sega Direct
The final Sega Direct limited edition game shipped from Japan last night and delivery is expected within the next 3-4 business days. Preorders will be processed once the PSCC bundle arrives.

The Sega Direct website has been shut down and Sega has already stopped taking orders. Visiting the site brings up a final notice and a telephone number for customer inquiries. Before the shutdown, we were able to order some Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box with a bonus pinbadge and we'll offer them for sale next week when they arrive.

Driving Emotion Type-S - Clearance

When NCS imported our initial shipment of 1150 copies of Driving Emotion Type-S back in March of 2000, three factors influenced our buying decision:

1) It was Square's first ever PS2 racing game. It had to be good.
2) The PS2 audience was hungry for any new PS2 software.
3) Square could do not wrong. The entire company walked on water.

We submitted our preorder on time and wired a 15% deposit to guarantee stock. We waited two months for the game to finally ship. Five minutes after we ripped open the cellophane and did the play test, we knew pain had arrived right on NCS' doorstep. All 1150 copies of it.

1) Square's first racing game wasn't good. It wasn't good at all.
2) The PS2 audience was hungry but not that hungry.
3) Square and developer Escape dropped into the drink like a ton of bricks.

Despite the wretched reviews, the game still sold relatively well. We're guessing people had to see for themselves what Square had wrought. Stores which had submitted their own preorders with NCS were kind enough to only cancel 60% of their reservation commitments instead of 98%. Small mercies... March 2008 marks the eighth anniversary of our Driving Emotion buying blunder. We're hoping to keep the game in stock for another 3-5 years so we can continue to wince whenever we pass the PS2 "D" section in our warehouse.

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

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kidou Senshi Gundam OO - New Import, In Stock

Sunrise launched a new animated series dubbed Gundam OO in Japan on October 6, 2007 and Bandai follows up with an NDS action game based on the new animation. Taking place in the year 2307 A.D., a quartet of mech handlers known as Gundam Meisters lead an initiative to end a war that's wrecking their planet.

The NDS game features 3D action where newtype Gundam mechs speed off into 3D environments and hack/slash/blast at enemy forces. A variety of missions which feature targeted objectives mix up the action so that it's not just run 'n gun. There's also "fight and find" and "escort and protect" missions to contend with. All preorders will ship with a bonus Gundam EXIA FG Color 1/144 scale PVC toy which was given out in 50% ratio.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus - New Import, In Stock

When Arc System released Guilty Gear XX Accent Core for the PS2 in May 2007, there was a flaw that wasn't debugged before the code went to production. Reports of the glitch appeared on Japanese gaming message boards soon after the game hit retailers. There was disappointment but no one grabbed a torch and threatened to storm the company's headquarters. Arc System didn't issue a recall (those things cost $$$) though they did post up an apology on their website to assuage the hurt feelings.

Nearly a year after the hiccup, Arc System finally "fixes" the problem with an append disc which includes new content to make it a worthwhile purchase. First off, two new characters rejoin the original roster - Kliff Undersn and Justice with their own unique storylines in the new story mode. Arc System touts that the spanking new Story Mode will feature voice acting and multiple scenarios which relay the unique tale of each GGXX fighter. A new Mission Mode has been added and the Gallery features one new cinema. This product listing is for the complete version of GGXXAC+ which boots directly on any Japanese PS2 console.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus Append - New, In Stock

When Arc System released Guilty Gear XX Accent Core for the PS2 in May 2007, there was a flaw that wasn't debugged before the code went to production. Reports of the glitch appeared on Japanese gaming message boards soon after the game hit retailers. There was disappointment but no one grabbed a torch and threatened to storm the company's headquarters. Arc System didn't issue a recall (those things cost $$$) though they did post up an apology on their website to assuage the hurt feelings.

Nearly a year after the hiccup, Arc System finally "fixes" the problem with an append disc which includes new content to make it a worthwhile purchase. First off, two new characters rejoin the original roster - Kliff Undersn and Justice with their own unique storylines in the new story mode. Arc System touts that the spanking new Story Mode will feature voice acting and multiple scenarios which relay the unique tale of each GGXX fighter. A new Mission Mode has been added and the Gallery features one new cinema. This product listing is for the append version of GGXXAC+ which requires the original GGXXAC disc to boot on a JPN PS2.

Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 32 Phantasy Star - New, In Stock

Return to the Algol Star System and revisit world spanning adventures with characters such as Alis, Lutz, Nei, Rolf, and others. It's been over two decades since Phantasy Star first appeared so join Sega in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Phantasy franchise. The game was originally released for the SG-1000 Mark III on December 20, 1987 and for the Sega Master System one year later. Phantasy Star Complete Collection includes the following games on a single Playstation 2 CD:

Phantasy Star
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III
Phantasy Star IV
Phantasy Star II Text Adventures (8 episodes)

Similar to other Sega Ages 2500 releases, a Gallery section on the CD includes scans of instruction manuals, artwork, and other presentations from the Phantasy Star historical record. A leaflet which contains Phantasy Star information is also be inserted inside every copy of the game.

Umihara Kawase Portable - New Import, Restock Soon

Originally released on the Super Famicom back in 1994, Umihara Kawase is a platform action game where a little girl swings around the levels with the use of a rubbery grappling hook. A Playstation sequel made it to market in 1997 and fourteen years after Umihara's debut, Marvelous ships a PSP version of the game which adds new levels and an illustrations gallery. New modes include a Practice Mode to test your skills and a Replay Theater Mode to watch your performance after a level has been completed.

Umihara begins her travels on the lower-right corner of the game screen. By pressing the "SQUARE" or "O" button, a hook is shot out and tethered to platforms which then allows Ms Kawase to gain air, leap from ledge to ledge, and even perform actions reminiscent of a vine swinging muscle man. The "TRIANGLE" and "X" buttons make Umihara jump but it's only a little jump that's primarily used in conjunction with her grappling swings.

To provide adversity, enemy goldfish, lizards and other animals normally found in water mindlessly walk back and forth on platforms but the real challenge is gauging the lift and distance of each swing to reach nearby platforms. Umihara Kawase never sold big numbers in Japan but the original designers likely never targeted the game at a wide audience. The controls are quirky until you discover the hook's tension system and the feats that it allows Umihara to accomplish. Only then will players marvel at the intelligent design that went into the game and sing its praises...

Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G - New Import, Restock Soon

Return to Pokke Village and slake your bloodthirsty nature once again by killing monsters, going on monster killing quests, and chopping up carcasses for meat. That's good virtual eatin' especially when the concept of virtual hunger and realistic stomach growling noises are part and parcel of the Monster Hunter game world.
MHP2G is a action-adventure game where players take control of a hunter who receives missions from the Guild. By fulfilling the missions, payment is earned which may then be used to buy better equipment. With better equipment, tougher tasks may be accomplished to earn even more coin. It's a vicious cycle of capital investment and monster hunting.

Features in Monster HP2G include:
The ability to transfer data from Monster Hunter Portable - players will retain Felyne cooks, weaponry, armor, guild card data, and items.
» Three types of Felyne fighters may be hired as traveling companions. They'll also fight monsters alongside the player and provide support.
» A new area dubbed the Rain Forest with a unique mix of monsters.
» G-Class quests which feature G-rank monsters.
» Chunks of MHP2G game code (up to 1 GB) may be copied to memory stick and stored locally to improve loading times.
» New monsters including the Yamashikami, the fearsome Narugakaruga, Queen Vespoid, and the Green Congalala.
» Updated and new weapons to use which feature elemental effects

Raiden Fighters Aces- New Import, In Stock

Taito snubs the Playstation 2 and ships Raiden Fighters Aces for the Xbox 360 instead. The compilation features three vertical coin-op shooters as follows:

» Raiden Fighters
» Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive
» Raiden Fighters Jet

For the uninitiated, Raiden Fighters is the natural progression of the classic Raiden series with new ships, powerful upgradeable weaponry, and the ability to use the mighty Judge Spear from the Viper Phase 1 game.

The first printing of Raiden Fighters Aces will include a bonus "The Onslaught: Raiden Fighters Special Edition" Master Play DVD which captures the deft skills of a gamer who blows through the Raiden Fighters games with perfect precision and expert maneuvers.

Please note Japanese Xbox 360 games will not boot on USA or European Xbox 360 consoles due to the region-lockout.

Tales of the World LE Items - Clearance

The Tales of the World game and blue PSP handheld have been sold but we still have a bunch of limited edition bundle items as follows:

Stylish Tales of the World PSP carrying pouch and hand strap
Tales of the World cloth which features game cover artwork
Official Sony 32MB Memory Stick Duo w/ Magic Gate technology

Sale Offering
- The three Tales of the World LE items are new and still sealed in their original wrappers. Pricing is set at US$38.90 per bundle which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the U.S. Photos.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Premium Pack - Preorder

Suppliers in Japan started preorders for the MGS4 games last week but it was only last night that they started accepting reservations for the MGS4 Premium Pack which includes a special "Hagane" or steel-tinted version of the Playstation 3 40GB console and a matching Dual Shock 3 controller. The Premium Pack bundle includes the following items:

» PS3 Hagane 40GB Console (Note: multi-voltage 100V to 240V)
» Metal Gear Solid 4 Special Edition Game (two-disc set)
» PS3 Hagane Dual Shock 3 Controller
» Bonus MGS4 "Making Of" Blu-Ray Bonus Disc

The top side of each Hagane console is imprinted with the following text:
"Metal Gear Solid 4 Limited Edition" which is located below the Playstation 3 mark on the top of the unit.

Konamistyle is already sold out of the bundles but NCS is able to guarantee preorders that are submitted today. Based solely on the three preorder offers we've received thus far, vendors will be charging a premium for the bundle. The official retail price in Japan is set at JPY51,800 but NCS will be charging US$689 for the bundle. Since we're fairly certain that the U.S. dollar will hold up against both the Japanese Yen and the Euro for the remainder of the year, we don't expect any price volatility based on currency fluctuations.

Preorders are welcome to ship on June 12, 2008. Reservations for the MGS4 Special Edition game and Regular Edition game are also welcome.

Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 Kiryu Kazuma Lighting Figure - Preorder

Kiryu Kazuma isn't a messianic comic book hero nor is he a super-powered wunderkind out to save the world. He's just muscle. A battle-hardened Yakuza street enforcer who's tactics are brutal. NCS wouldn't go so far as to ascribe the title of "anti-hero" to Kiryu since he has redeeming qualities and a heart of gold when the occasion calls. Maybe we'll coin the term "semi-hero."

Kiryu's broad shoulders have carried three commercially successful games for the House of Sega but toys have been lacking. That changes this summer when Sega Toys releases the Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 Kiryu Kazuma Lighting Figure which features a shirtless gangster who stands on a lit pedestal. The lighting is for dramatic effect. Three weapons are included with the figure for a menacing effect. Preorders ship in late July 2008.

Transformers Binaltech BT-21 Arcee - Preorder

There was a lull with the Binaltech series but Takara/Tomy renews their BT dedication with two new toys which ship on July 17, 2008.

Binaltech BT-21 is based on Binaltech BT-12 which was originally released in 2005 but the roof, steering wheel, and spoiler are new. The pink and feminine robot is none other than Arcee who transforms into a Honda S2000 Hardtop with platinum on pink color scheme. Preorders are welcome to ship in late July 2008.

Transformers Binaltech BT-22 Convoy - Preorder

There was a lull with the Binaltech series but Takara/Tomy renews their BT dedication with two new toys which ship on July 17, 2008.

Binaltech BT-22 which features Convoy looks thicker than normal but that's probably because he has to transform into a muscular Dodge SRT10. Please note the photo to the right is a prototype image and the final product will be colored red. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late July 2008 at JPY5000 or US$53.90.

General Updates

Umihara Kawase Portable
A couple of weeks ago, distributors changed the date of PSP Umihara Kawase to an indeterminate date in the Spring of 2008. We noticed however that the game has shipped last night and we'll receive it tomorrow. Preorders will ship on Thursday.
Old Store Shut-down
We'll be shutting down our old shop within the next few months. We're targeting a 6-month timeframe for the closure so customers have time to check their order histories and perhaps save their order logs from the past 10 years. All upcoming preorders will be listed on our new preorder shop at The main shop will always be at
Unfortunately, the new shop can't import customer accounts over but if you wish to place a preorder, please create a new account on our new preorder shop. Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your attention. The new shop is more versatile and new features will continually be added. This old shop simply can't be upgraded and new technologies are not available to it. We figured it would be best to shut it down instead of maintaining three separate shops.

Pokemon Dash - Clearance

The first sound that blares forth from the NDS' speakers once Pokemon Dash boots up is "Pika!" as bellowed by a squeaky-voiced monster. That's your cue to get ready for some serious fun. Repeat: serious fun. Pikachu appears on a cobblestone pathway with another monster beside him. The gist is to race Pikachu along the road and touch all of the Pokeball markers on the track while on the way to the goal. The mechanism by which the racing motion is accomplished is repetitive stylus swishing across the touchscreen.
Sale Offering
- Every copy of Pokemon Dash is new and factory sealed. Pricing is set at US$23.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the United States. Larger Photos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Persona 4 - Preorder

After viewing the promotional materials for Atlus' upcoming Persona 4 game, it would appear that garish yellow is the color theme for the latest MegaTen adjunct. Yellow is also the hue that colors everything in the parallel dimension featured in Persona 4.

As the story goes, an unnamed high school student moves to rural Japan to live with relatives while attending school. It's a quiet town but when bodies start turning up, the placid atmosphere is disrupted. A classmate named Chie Satonaka tells hero of the Midnight TV where inclement weather causes static and yellow-tinged images to appear on a television. Once the clock strikes midnight, the tv becomes a portal which leads into a netherworld where shadowy creatures with masked faces dwell. Could the murders be somehow linked to the monsters?

Soejima Shigenori returns to provide character designs and art direction while Shogi Meguro serves up the music. Pricing is set at JPY6980 or US$68.90 from NCS. Preorders are welcome to ship on July 10, 2008.

Japanese Console + Freeloader Offer - Preorder

USA Wii consoles are still priced at about $400+ at flea markets or over $650 if you purchase a bundle from a chain store such as Walmart. With the recent release of the Wii Freeloader, region-locks are removed from the Wii and a Japanese console can play USA Wii games with a simple swap disc method. To make sure the Freeloader always works, you'll probably have to refrain from ever updating your console's firmware.

NCS Offer: 1 Japanese Wii Console and 1 Japanese Freeloader for the price of US$389.90. Preorders will ship on Thursday of this week.

Doraemon 40cm Plush Toy - Preorder

If there is love in your heart for all things Doraemon, you might consider investing in a Doraemon plush which measures 40cm or 15.74" tall. NCS has generally only stocked Doraemon plushes that are handheld and easy to handle but we're looking at a bigger specimen that ships this summer in Japan. The upcoming 40cm plush is stout and hearty but still weighs under 2.3 kg (roughly 5 lbs) so it can be hefted by children and adults alike.

Preorders are welcome to ship on or around July 26, 2008 at US$49 per plush. Due to the large size of the toy, NCS recommends only shipping by UPS Ground within the United States.

Revoltech No. 50 Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann - Preorder

In The Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann animated series, the mechs are known as Gunmen. There's hasn't been enough TTGL toy merchandising in Japan so it's Kaiyodo's duty to induct a Gunman into the Revoltech toy line.

The beauty of the Revoltech toys lie in the "Revolver Joints" which allow for full freedom when posing the figure. Once a joint is positioned, it'll ratchet into place and stay there until you change its position. The Gunman measures 12cm or 4.72" tall and features a total of 19 joints. Thanks to the many points of articulation, the robot may be positioned into battle stances galore or even into thoughtful repose. An extra helmeted head, a golden drill weapon, and four extra hands are included in the product packaging. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late May 2008.

Ikkitousen 1/7 Scale PVC Kanu Unchou - Preorder

The Japanese toy market goes into stretches where a certain character is sculpted to death until sales level off. We've seen it happen with Koyori (aka Bosoms), Mai Shiranui, Iroha, Nakoruru, and others. The Evangelion girls are a special situation because they've infiltrated Japanese culture and they'll never die. For the past few months, Kanu Unchou of Ikkitousen fame has been getting a lot of attention. Manufacturer Amie-Grand throws their hat into the ring with a new 1/7 scale PVC figure which features a tanned Kanu in a simple stand-up pose.

The figure measures 23cm or 9.05" tall and comes disassembled in the factory container. Assembly is simple however where interlocking joints are snapped together to form the full figured Kanu. Preorders are welcome to ship in mid-late June 2008 at JPY13,800 or US$135.90 from NCS.

Die Another Day Special Edition DVD - Clearance

If you've never seen the following things in your life:

» A Korean lad with blue eyes and a diamond studded face
» A Korean lad who undergoes a transformation to become British
» A super-agent sailing across a wave of ice
» An invisible vehicle in which sits a super-agent
» A car rolling across the ice on two wheels
» Madonna as a fencing instructor
» Halle Berry as an agent named Jinx

Wait no longer because they're all in Die Another Day. You'll snicker laugh, you'll cry, but most importantly, you'll have a good old time.

Sale Offering
Every copy of the Die Another Day Special Edition DVD is new and is packaged in a slipcase. Pricing is set at US$10.90 per copy which includes free shipping by USPS Media Mail within the United States. Larger Photos.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chubby Star Wars Matryoshka Series 2 - Preorder

Last summer, Hot Toys of Hong Kong released the Chubby Star Wars Matryoshka Series 1 and captured the hearts of Star Wars fans across the globe. Since success begets success, Hot Toys has started preorders for the Chubby Star Wars Matryoshka Series 2.

Hailing from Mother Russia, matryoshka are better known as nesting dolls which consist of a large figurine which cracks open to contain a smaller doll which in turn cracks open to container an even smaller doll. The Star Wars matryoshki keeps the diminishing scale simple at three dolls although it's not uncommon for some nesting dolls to hold 6-8 figures. The characters featured in Chubby Series 2 are as follows (top to bottom):

Stormtrooper/Clone Troopers
[Jan Code: 4897011171791]
An Imperial Stormtrooper serves as the largest figure followed by two Republic Clone Troopers. Each trooper carries an armament across its chest and peers into the world with solemn soulless eyes.

Jango Fett/Boba Fett
[Jan Code: 4897011171807]
Since Jango is the father figure, he's the primary nesting doll which houses a Boba Fett figure in full armor with blaster rifle followed by a Boba Fett as a child. Even as a kid, Boba had trouble written all over his face.

Luke Skywalker
[Jan Code: 4897011-171814]
In the Star Wars movies, viewers watched Luke grow from punk kid to mighty Jedi master. Luke's Chubby turn features his Jedi incarnation as the lead followed by Luke in Bespin uniform and Luke as a lad on Tatooine.

Starfighter Pilots
[Jan Code: 4897011171821]
The vanguard of the Rebel Alliance was made up of dedicated pilots who fearlessly flew into battle against seemingly insurmountable odds. The Starfighter Pilots Chubby features the amber-visor-visage of the Red Leader, Gray Leader, and the toddler-like Green Leader.

Princess Leia
[Jan Code: 4897011171838]
Leia with the duo-donuts hairstyle is missing from this trio but you'll have to be content with Leia as Boushh the Bounty Hunter, Leia from her experience on Endor, and Leia when she was a guest of Jabba the Hut.

[Jan Code: 4897011171845]
The Big Kahuna in the Chubby Ewoks trio is Logray, the wizened medicine man who wears a funky headdress. He's followed by Chief Chirpa who almost roasted Luke on a spit and Wicket, the rascally Ewok scout.

The largest of each nesting doll measures 8.5cm (3.34"), the medium figure is 5.7cm (2.24"), and the smallest stands 4.5cm (1.77") tall.

A new feature for the Chubby Series 2 Matryoshka is magnetic feet so each doll is inherently attracted to metal surfaces. Preorders are welcome to ship in late July 2008 at JPY1426 or US$12.90 per set of three figures.

KORG DS-10 Synthesizer - Preorder, Ships on July 2008

From the Publisher
The KORG DS-10 is a music-creation software for the Nintendo DS that combines the superior interface of the Nintendo DS and the design concept of the famous MS-10 synthesizer.

The sound sources in the KORG DS-10 come from KORG - one of the world's top musical instrument producers - and no effort was spared in creating these ultra-high-quality sounds. The Nintendo DS's dual-screen touch panel is used to the fullest to provide a feel and operability that is unsurpassed, and combined with the sensory input mode at the touch-control screen, this unit can be appreciated by the complete novice as well as the seasoned professional.

In addition to the two analog synth simulators and drum module, a 6-track/16-step sequencer enables precise control and provides a wide range of musical possibilities. Several units can be connected and played together through a wireless link, and this and other features make the Nintendo DS and KORG DS-10 almost limitless in their application - they can take you places that no single synthesizer can.

The KORG DS-10 will introduce “stylus music” to the world at the International Musikmesse Frankfurt (Germany).

Product Description/Specifications
- World's first music tool software created for the Nintendo DS
- Two patchable dual-oscillator analog synth simulators:
- Four-part drum machine that uses sounds created with the analog synth simulator
- Six-track (analog synth x 2, drum machine x 4) /16-step sequencer
- Delay, chorus, and flanger sound effects available from the mixing board
- Three note-entry modes: touch-control screen, keyboard screen, matrix screen
- Real-time sound control mode via touch-control screen
- Exchange sounds and songs and play multiple units simultaneously through a wireless communications link

Preorders will ship on July 24, 2008 at JPY4800 or US$48.90 from NCS.

Juicy Honey Special Edition Hotaru Akane - New Import

We got an eyeful of Hotaru Akane in Juicy Honey 6 last year but adult trading card purveyor Mint wants to give us more. Much more. The JAV idol has been given her very own collection of Juicy Honey Special Edition cards which features Hotaru and only Hotaru.

Some Hotaru Akane stats
DOB: October 25, 1983
Height: 157 cm
Measurements: B83-W58-H83 (cm)
Aliases: Anna Akitsuki, Akii Hotaru

The images from the Juicy Honey SE cards feature the JAV idol in a number of swimsuits, in the nude, and in various situations. The trading cards are priced at US$58 per factory sealed box. Each box contains 12 packs which in turn contain 7 cards each for a total of 84 cards in every box.
Jan Code: 4905040410603

Onegai Teacher 1/7 Scale Mizuho Kazami Figure - Preorder

The peoples of Earth are still in a child-like state when viewed from the lofty perch of the Galactic Federation. In order to observe the follies and foibles of humanity at close-range, an emissary is sent to live amongst everyday citizens and intervene when necessary. In the case of Onegai Teacher, that emissary is named Mizuho Kazami who's not only a ginger but curvaceous and buxom to boot.

Mizuho has enjoyed the attention of many toy sculptors over the years so it wasn't much of a surprise to see another listing a few days ago. Japanese manufacturer Orchid Seed has started preorders for a 1/7 scale Mizuho PVC toy which measures 10cm or 3.93" tall. The height may seem inadequate for a figure of Mizuho's stature but note that she's seated and her proportions are substantial. Preorders are welcome to ship in late May 2008 at JPY6500 or US$68.90 from NCS.
Jan Code: 4582292600329


It took two years but our Under Defeat Limited Edition inventory finally broke below 50 copies over the weekend. As a comparison, we needed 3.5 years to clear out our entire DC Ikaruga inventory which we kept in stock from September 2002 to May 2006. The next question from curiosity seekers might be, "Which big/popular/hyped Dreamcast game from back in the day still hasn't sold out?"

As a tear rolls from our collective eyes, the game that has kept a stranglehold on a chunk of NCS' capital for a few years is none other than the Sonic Adventure 2 Birthday Pack. Back in the summer of 2001, we imported 5000 copies to fill preorders to customers, shops, etc. By the summer of 2003, we were down to about 1500 copies but distributors in Japan and Hong Kong were impatient and slashed the price of the game. Lik-Sang summarily docked the retail price below $10. As the years passed and the inventory disappeared overseas, our stock began to sell again. As of today, we're down to 253 copies. Not bad but not exactly good either. We'll update our website again once the last copy leaves our warehouse and NCS finally closes our chapter on Sonic 2.

Japanese Import Outlook - Arrivals on Wed-Thurs

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