Finally, my current most expensive figure for the month of December 2008. Cost me about USD170++ just for this baby. Most of you might think I'm nuts for spending way too much on this, but for a long time Takara CG (cool girl) collector. I vowed to collect and complete all available collections.
Currently what missing in my collections of Takara CG are LUNA (from Casshern the Movie). XIXOX, ICE (PS2 ver.) & Motoko (Japan Mail -order ver.)
Takara CG figures are exquisitely made for vivid collectors. It's not your run-of-the-mill Barbie dolls as many pressummed (after some feedbacks from HobbyCon 08 I participated).
Many fellow collectors had finally felt the pinched for recent releases as for the price was 4-5 folded from 2-3 years of previous releases. Back then, most CG line are original designs and solely trademarked by TAKARA itself. The one that needed branding and licensing are of LUNA (The Movie), Catwoman (Comic Ver.). Some ULTRAMAN chick, Gatchaman and Motoko (from Ghost In The Shell).
Those were like 2-3 years ago where most of the licensed commodity wasn't exactly a huge hit. The most ultra-rare among previous releases are LUNA where only 1000 limited unit worldwide release. It reaches USD600 as per now in Ebay.
More recent licensed CG Girls are Deunan (from Appleseed), Casshern, Yatterman Doronjo just to name a few. Today licensing are way expensive compare to last time. So TAKARA too charges us with their premium pricing. But, not many collectors knew that recent releases are considered limited - as not much of them are produced. This is their marketing strategy, I guess.
All TAKARA CG figures are hand-made from tip to toe. Well accept the body parts. All outfits are handmade with pleather (aka plastic leather) or better know as faux-leather. I've been back-collecting TAKARA CG figures and I'm impressed with the quality of the outfits and compared to BBi CY lines (joint released of early CG/CY lines), those faux-leather already started to withered. But the pricing are 50-70% cheaper of those TAKARA releases.
Another usual/standard critics on TAKARA CG figure are not anime/movie accurate. Many people had mis-concept TAKARA CG as they merely on faithful accurate to certain extend. To put it simple, TAKARA CG girls are on a cosplay job. Non-TAKARA CG collectors are clouded by companies such as Hot Toys, Medicom & Sideshows that produced anime/movie accurate figures while TAKARA CG have a different approach.
Let's head to my TAKARA CASSHERN in CG (tribute) release.
This is a factory packaging wrapped-up with tracing papers straight out from the factory sealed box.
This is the front view of the packaging
and this of course the rear view of that package
This box comes in the usual flap-box. But of all my collections, the packaging had improved alot even the box feel sturdy and the flap had a small piece of magnet to secure the flap. Previously it was just a small piece of velcro to served the same function.
Traditionally, smaller parts and base are seperate two sides. Which packed on the flap side.
This is the main compartment of the package, with the figure securely hold by the plastic cover.
Straight out from the box and some pose.
Though this figure uses the CG2.0 (which is the best female body to date) but the tight suit on her limits her articulations.
The hand mold were same as previous releases of the Gatchaman series.
Because of the limit of the articulation, I was disappointed and put her back to her box and stored it.
The helmet is a bit tricky to put on. It was molded in two piece so you need to dissemble the helmet and use the little clear plastic that hold the hair and secure the helmet back from bothside of the head. Just use some simple logic there, mate !!
Overall, I am happy with figure as a true TAKARA CG collector. But if I were to compare to other releases from a waaaaaay cheaper alternatives. There's NO competitions at all.
Again, TAKARA CG had labeled itself as a masterpiece collector's item. It's not meant to be treated as a mere toy or an action figure but rather a piece of art.