ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)
A lot of the entries on this site are reviews of licensed properties. Quite frankly, a lot of action figures in general are licensed. It’s easier to sell something that people already know, and, as a buyer, it’s far easier to be swayed on a purchase when it’s something you’re familiar with already. However, action figures didn’t begin their life as a licensing thing, they began with GI Joe (which, ironically enough, has become a property that is licensed). As someone who appreciates action figures as action figures first, I get an immense enjoyment out of figures that are something all their own. Things like Micronauts, Weaponeers of Monkaa, or even I Am Elemental, offer a totally different experience than something that’s just licensed, and, when done right, they’re pretty much pure fun. I’ve recently stumbled across another such line, from the toymakers Revoltech, called Assemble Borg. Today, I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, Nexus.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nexus is entry 020 in the Assemble Borg line. Technically, that makes him the 20th item in the overarching line, but it should be noted that the original Assemble Borg line actually went on hiatus a couple of years ago, and Nexus is in fact the first figure in the re-launched version of the line, which now bears the sub-heading of Nexus. So, if you want to really get technical here, this is actually an Assemble Borg Nexus Nexus. That’s not confusing or anything! Initially, Assemble Borg focused on a set of characters, divided into heroes and villains, who were sold as established figures whose parts could be interchanged. The focus was very much on collecting each specific character, much like a traditional action figure line. For Nexus, things have changed ever so slightly. Instead of many figures, there are two figures. One is Nexus, who is the base figure from which many other figures can be built. The idea here is that, in theory, you can have as many Nexuses as you want, and they can all be different, through use of either the extra pieces packed in with this figure or with complimentary pieces included in various add-on sets that are available (more on those later). The line is built around the collector’s creativity, which makes each collection completely unique. In his most basic set-up, Nexus stands 6 inches tall and features 42 points of articulation. As a Revoltech figure, Nexus’s body is built out of a large number of pieces, each connected by a Revoltech revolver joint. Many Revoltech figures will have sculpts that are made to mask these joints, however, the Assemble Borg figures leave them pretty much fully exposed to allow the fullest possible range of motion. That being said, the sculpt still does quite a bit to make the joints “meld” with the overall flow of the sculpt, so the figure doesn’t look flimsy or hastily put together. Each piece of the figure has a nice mixture of textured mechanical sculpting and smoother housing components, which ends up being really cool looking. To aid in customizability, many portions of the body feature ports that will fit any basic Revoltech, meaning you can pretty much plug anything into anything else. You want Nexus to have hands on his calves? I mean, that’s kind of weird, but you have the ability to do it. If I had one complaint, it would be that there aren’t quite enough of these ports. For instance, there aren’t any on the arms, which can be a little limiting. More ports = more fun! Now, the cool thing about this figure is all the extra parts he comes with. In his basic, out-of-the-box load-out, Nexus has a faceplate, a set of shoulder pads, a center piece for the torso, and a pair of fists. According to the back of the box, this is the “Fang” setup. The faceplate is the most “face-like” of those included, with eyes and such outlined, and he’s got quite a bit of orange going on. This is probably the slimmest combination of parts and it seems the most “conventional” of the bunch. On the opposite end is the “Galiber” set-up, which features a much blockier selection of parts, with lots of squared edges. I liked the look of this one on the box, but the face plate ends up sitting at a weird angle, which I was not a fan of. Also, the bulkier shoulders are cool, but you need revolver joints to hold them in place, so they do sit out just a bit far. On the plus side, these can be used in place of the hands, for a metal fighting fists type of set-up, which is sweet. The final set-up is called “Edge,” and it’s a sharp one. No, literally, it’s sharp. Everything is blades on this one, except for the face, which is simple and smooth. In addition to the three sets of faceplates, chest armor, and shoulder pads, Nexus also includes a pair of gripping hands, a pair of splayed hands, a gun, a sword, two holster pieces, and two double port pieces, as well a wide selection of various Revoltech joints and connectors so that you can configure the figure (say that ten times fast!) however you like.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This is Tim’s fault. No, really, it’s all Tim’s fault, start to finish. He told me he found this cool line of figures (always a bad thing to say to me) and followed up by saying that people were comparing them to Micronauts (an even worse thing to say to me). He then tells me he’s already ordered himself two of the figures and shows the pictures to me. Well, great, now I have to buy myself a few of these. But then, Tim texts me a few days later and tells me that Amazon accidentally sent him two of Nexus, and they’re letting him keep the second. He then asks if I might, possibly, just maybe, be interested in the spare. Seeing as I just reviewed the figure, you can probably guess what my answer was. Now, the prototype shots of Nexus were cool, but I wasn’t super sold on any of the set-ups. Then I got him in hand and discovered the whole “plug anything into anything” bit, and the figure became oh so much better. So, I bulked him way up, gave him fighting fists and a handle face, and now he’s one of coolest figures I own. This line is just way too cool.