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Saturday, 12 September 2009

di:stage Basic Set Black Version Review

I finally received the stuff I ordered for August yesterday. My order for August included one Konata Izumi Summer Uniform Version Figma and three di:stages. I will be doing a review on the di:stages first today and my review on Konata will be posted two from now since I’m currently looking for more ways to get pictures out of her. By the way, this new picture uploading system of Blogger's is much more reliable than the old one but the interface is really confusing. Why didn't they just let us have the option of putting in all those pictures at once instead of one by one?

Three di:stages and one Konata

Side view

Top view
Bottom view
Side view
Front view
Back view

As usual, I ordered them through Hobby Search and they charged me 525 yen, originally 552 yen, for each di:stage which amounted to roughly B$24 since I ordered three of them. The shipment cost was unexpectedly heavy though. My stuff was bundled with my friends’ so I expected to pay around B$8 since the gunplay display bases hardly affected shipping at all but they really gave a surprise since each unit weighed almost as much as a figma. In total I paid B$21 for shipping, $13 more than I expected so I was glad I didn’t order five like I wanted to at first.

Note the speech bubbles on either side
di:stage cover

1st Layer: Cardboard

2nd Layer: Bubble wrap

I popped them after I finished taking pictures

Components in one layer of plastic


Another set of plastic between me and them

The reason for the extra shipping costs come from the wonderful way that Max Factory decided to package these things. They packed them with so much care and detail that I really had to wonder if they even needed to be put into another box when shipped. You see, the box is the same height and width of the average figma box but their thickness is roughly 3/4 of the figma boxes. Inside they put in a separate layer of cardboard to hold the bubble wrap protecting the di:stage parts. I can see where they’re coming from with all this extra packaging material but I wished they had considered how much more they’re making us foreign customer pay for these di:stages especially since the currency exchange is really putting a lot of strain on our funds.

The contents aside from the packaging material include:
  • 1 Manual
  • 1 10cmx10cm black stage
  • 4 Stage side covers
  • 1 Stage connector
  • 1 Vertical stage connector
  • 1 Support stand
  • 1 Clamp attachment
  • 1 Speech bubble holder attachment
  • 1 Long bubble stand
  • 1 Medium long bubble stand
  • 1 Medium bubble stand
  • 1 Medium short bubble stand
  • 2 Short bubble stand
  • 4 Pegs
  • 1 Thin stand base
  • 1 Thick stand base

All of the parts

The base itself. Very hard plastic
Base underside

Covered on all sides
How it looks from the top

I must say that these things are the work of pure genius. Each stage is 10cm by 10cm making them more than enough display space for one figma but not enough for two. That's where the connectors concept come in. You can fit 4 figmas comfortably on 3 stages so long as you have enough stands but it won't be enough unless you have a lot more. In my case I'd like 6 more of these things to make a 30cm by 30cm field display and that should be able to fit at least 12 figmas on them. Then there's the fact you can make covers for each base if you have the right design. They provide you with one to cut out of the box. You'll miss it if you don't take out the cardboard packaging but it's there ready for you to cut out.

Stand on the top...
...or on the bottom
Shorter than normal figma stands
Detachable clamp
Sign holder attachment
Use these change which holes you can put the stands in
Be careful not to break these
Used to keep covers in place
Base connectors
Transparent alone to connect on the same plane
Connect the other to the transparent connector to get a wall

The stands are slightly shorter than the ones they provide with each figma but I think that is a good thing since it saves space on the di:stage bases. Also, they provide clamps to be attached to these stands that are tight enough to hold figmas in place. In fact, these clamps actually make it easier to hold the figmas in place since they're pretty tight. You can also use them on 1/144 HG Gundams models and Revoltechs so they're quite versatile. The clamps fit onto normal figma stands too.

It was a pain in the ass cutting that out
Putting it in was almost as much fun as cutting it out
Results are nice though

Front view

Rear view

Cut out a bubble. My ass is hurting again...

They give you a Exclamation and a Normal speech bubble for every box so I have 6 speech bubbles in total and 18 separate stands to put them on. That's 5 signpost types and 1 stand attachment type like the clamp they give. You still have to cut them out again just like the di:stage covers they provide though so it really gets annoying.

I have this sudden urge to go rock climbing...
A Deathray accessory would look good here
Heavy bases were good for something...
Final Shot!
Best formation for now

Used to hold my Yu-gi-oh card collection but now it contains di:stage parts

Relax, they're fake anyway. Me and my friends had a great time playing it back in lower secondary days. I was pretty damn good at it too.

All in all, this is a display base unlike any display base before it. With Gundam display bases, you are limited in what way you can use them but in the case of di:stages their application is really only limited by your own creativity. They are like Lego pieces that you can install custom skins onto and they can be used for far more than figmas. And since this is the basic set, there's going to be a lot of different accessories and extensions like the one coming out this month in the future. Hopefully they'll come out with bases included instead of just the layering parts. Come back here tomorrow if you have a di:stage, you're probably going to thank me for what I'll be posting up.

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