Cardcaptor Sakura Merchandise Pt. 2
By Darren Chia
Konna-nachi Wa! Welcome to the second installment of RTM's feature on Cardcaptor Sakura toys!
Last week, we showed you a little of what kind of toys were available from the more unusual sources in Japan. This week, we move on to something a little more familiar: High-end collectibles and toys you can buy at retail! (Well, that is, if you live in Japan...)
One of the selling points of the anime is no doubt Sakura herself, and her infinite variety of costumes. As with the toys featured last week, most other items also focus on recreating a variety of Sakura's outfits in plastic.
These aren't your regular action figures! Japanese kit companies, such as Clayz, Kotobukiya, Musashiya and Bandai have released a large selection of Sakura figures, ranging from cold cast displays to garage kits to soft vinyl figures. Each company offers a distinct interpretation of Sakura, as well as a large variety of costumes, poses and sizes to choose from. Supporting cast members Tomoyo (Madison) and Meilin are also available.
Be forewarned, these figures don't come cheap. A soft vinyl figure can set you back 7,800yen (about $80), while a garage or coldcast kit can cost up to 14,800yen ($150).
BANDAI has also produced a small line of 6" high ready made figures. Tomoyo and 3 Sakuras complete the set. 2,980yen (about$30) gets you a numbered box containing 1 figure and a special Star Wars type "freeze frame" featuring a Sakura illustration.
If you're interested in any of these, talk to your local model kit or import store, or visit Hobby Link Japan to browse their selection or place an order.
If these figures are still too small for you, why not opt to get a life-sized Sakura doll? It's a 1:1 scale figure standing at Sakura's "real" height of 4ft (122cm). Fully dressable, this petite angel will only cost you 500,000yen (or about $5,000). If you're a tad short of cash, you can get the one in the authentically reproduced Tomoeda school uniform for a bargain price of only 300,000yen!
One of the coolest toys licensed from the anime has got to be Bandai's FREE POSE SELECTION line of dolls. Taking a hint from Barbie, these 8" dolls come with interchangeable clothes and accessories (poor Kero's an accessory too!), and extra costumes are available so you can dress Sakura in whichever battle costume you like before she goes off to catch some new cards. Tomoyo also has her own doll, as well as a few additional outfits of her own.
One of the most unique features is the doll itself. It only has one joint: the neck. The rest of the doll is one big bendable figure, which allows for a wide variety of poses. Each doll also comes with the standard Bandai doll-stand so you have something to prop your figure up on.
A regular doll retails for about 2,480 to 2,580yen (About $25) and costumes range from 1,200 to 1,380yen ($14) each set. Rather pricey, but worth the cost. Each costume is completely faithful to the original anime design, and comes complete with all the relevant accessories like boots or hats. So far there are no plans to release this line in the USA, which is a shame. Try Hobby Link Japan, import stores or eBay for these, but be prepared to pay a slightly higher price than what's listed here.
If bendables aren't your cup of tea, Volks of Japan has a 12" Sakura (left) with rooted hair and 3 points of articulation for 8,800yen ($90).
Italy also has a line of Barbie-type Sakura dolls made by Giochi Preziosi. These are rather similar to the Bandai/Irwin Sailor Moon line, and retail as individual dolls as well as in sets featuring extra costumes (right). There is also a talking Sakura doll. For more details on pricing and selection, hop on over to the Italian online store www.muscara.com.
I know what you're all screaming. "Where's Kero-chan?" Well, the good news is that the mighty Kereberos dominates the Cardcaptor plush items. Movic has produced a cute pillow in the shape of Kero's head, and Bandai has a few beanies (left) and plushies on the market as well. The gem of the Kero-plushies is surely "Watashi no Kerochan" (which translates as "My Kero", right). Retailing at 5,800yen ($60, give or take a bit), he has nifty sound recording and playback abilities, with some interactive features. Visit Luthien Enterprises for more details on what he can do.
Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this coverage of what Japan has been seeing of Cardcaptor Sakura these past 2 years. Trendmasters presently holds a license to make Cardcaptor products for the North American market, but so far they are being quiet about just what they have planned, or what exactly their license covers. , so cross your fingers, wish real hard, and you just might just see a selection of merchandise that will rival whatever was shown here at RTM!
Cardcaptors Toys, Pt 1
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