Smart Doll: Hands On Preview

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The ball jointed doll (BJD) community received some rather interesting attention last year with the announcement of the Smart Doll, a robotic doll that would interact with your phone. Originally started as a joke by popular anime blogger and entrepreneur, Danny Choo, the popularity of the doll has led to the creation of a non robotic version. How does the Smart Doll compare to other leading doll lines such as Dollfie Dream? How does the Smart Doll really feel like or handle?

We stopped by Danny's office, Mirai Inc. in Tokyo to find out.

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Good Smile Company Announces Pre-orders for New Figures Including Hatsune Miku

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Good Smile Company has announced that they are now taking pre-orders at their online shop for new figures including fan-favorite Vocaloid Hatsune Miku, Armin Arlert from Attack on Titan and Shinobu Oshino and Nadeko Sengoku from Bakemonogatari. The figures will be shipped between June and July of this year, with pre-orders closing soon.

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Smart Doll: Robotic Anime Dolls For Sale Soon!

smart doll

Anime blogger and entrepreneur Danny Choo has announced that he is working on releasing a robotic doll dubbed the Smart Doll based on his character mascot, Mirai Suenaga. Originally posted as an April Fools joke, apparently the joke generated enough buzz for several robotics experts to join the cause.

According to Danny's post, the Smart Doll will contain: "about 24 servo motors, a CPU board, bluetooth and touch sensors." The initial production models will run off external power plugged into the back of the neck with future models currently conceptualized to be charged via a USB mobile battery.

Features currently planned include reactions to users who pat her head via touch sensors, an idle mode where the doll will look around and shift its body, dance to existing sequences made in the popular program Miku Miku Dance, move via Microsoft Kinect, and preprogrammed gestures and movement including Android and iOS remote control.

Currently as the doll is still in the development, there is no price; however, Danny has mentioned that the Smart Doll will be cheaper than the price of standard dolls on auction sites. I am assuming he is referring to Volk's Dollfie Dream line (which is probably also what the Smart Doll's exterior is based on) which normally sells for around $1000 with the more expensive dolls selling for $2000 on Yahoo Auction.

The first version of the prototype is expected to be completed by June and we'll do our best to get a hands on preview at Anime Expo in July where Danny is most likely to bring with him.

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[Max Factory] Belldandy w/ Holy Bell Priced

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Good Smile Company has finally released additional information regarding the highly anticipated Belldandy figure from the popular series Ah! My Goddess.

The figure will be release as part of figure maker Max Factory's 25th anniversary. The figure was originally a garage kit but due to the complexity of the kit, making a faithful PVC rendition would have proven too difficult. From the delicate curves of the wings, to the thin strands of hair, if I could only pick 1 figure to own, this would be it!

She will be available for preorder starting on February 22 for a whopping 19,800 yen, probably one of the most expensive PVC figure to date! Check out additional images inside.

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Winter Wonder Festival 2013 Coverage

With a rough total of 195 new figures at the latest Winter Wonder Festival 2013, there is a lot to cover. Fortunately, we've taken the time to look through most of the new releases and picked out the best ones we think deserve the spotlight and your precious pre-order dollars.

Not surprisingly, Good Smile Company ranks in as #1 for their sheer number of new figures.  Granted more than half of them are Nendoroid and Nendoroid Petit series, but they've covered good ground and haven't left their non-Nendoroid fans in the dark.

Max Factory has 26 new figures, most of them are figmas, while Kotobukiya previewed 11 new figures for their line up.  (Warning: This post is very image heavy.)

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[Alter] Kongiku 1/8 (Muramasa)

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Shown previously as a prototype earlier this year at several hobby events, Kongiku from the cult hit Wii game, Muramasa: The Demon Blade is up and ready for preorder.

Like Alter's earlier release of Momohime, Alter did an excellent rendition matching the pose relatively exact. The sculpt looks fantastic and I really like simplistic base with the stones and flora. She will be released later next year in late February 2013.

Although this 'top heavy' kitsune will probably never make it to my shelf, I would be very interested if Alter decides to make a figure of the 'bottom heavy' Yuzuruha also from Muramasa. Anyone else want to see a Yuzuruha figure?

Gallery of the figure inside.

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[Medicom] Kyubey 2.0 Plushie

news kyubeyMedicom Toy will be releasing an updated version of their Kyubey plushie from the popular anime series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

From the product photos, this new Kyubey appears to have a few new improvements including a sleeker overall body shape, fluffier tail and ears. Fans who have not already made a 'contract' and purchased this fellow can do so in late December for 3800 yen.

Full product picture inside along with the first version for comparison.

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[Yamato] Elin Elementalist PVC (TERA)

news elinWe have seen previously figure maker Yamato picking up highly popular garage kits and turning them into mass produced PVC figures like with sculptor Bubba's Velvet from Odin Sphere. Yamato is back again, and they will be releasing Cerberus Project's Elin from the MMORPG TERA as part of their SIF EX line.

Absolutely love how they were able to recreate the pearlescent shine of the dress. Sculpt on the hair also looks relatively clean and sharp and overall is very faithful to the original garage kit.

As usual, the actual production model may look different and we'll have to wait and see!

More pictures inside.

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