#2498: Captain America – Final Battle Edition

CAPTAIN AMERICA — FINAL BATTLE EDITION

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Bandai Japan’s S.H. Figuarts is a toyline that I’ve looked at a handful of times previously on the site, but the very vast majority of the items I’ve looked at from the line have been, rather predictably, I suppose, based on Japanese properties (well, excepting of course Freddie and K-2, but they were sort of stand outs).  They’ve been dabbling in plenty of American properties over the years, but up until now, I’ve been totally content to stick with the domestic options on those.  As of late, they’ve been really getting into the MCU side of things, with Infinity War and Endgame both getting a noticeable focus.  Today, I’m taking a look at their latest take on Captain America, specifically in his Endgame attire.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Final Battle Edition Captain America started showing most places in the last month or so, right alongside the similarly Final Battle-themed Iron Man from the movie.  This marks our second Endgame Cap in the Figuarts line; the first one hit closer to the film’s theatrical release, and featured a much more paired down accessory selection, largely to avoid spoilers and the like.  Even as a basic release, it sold out pretty quickly, so Bandai was fairly quick to get another version out there.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s on the taller side of the Figuarts spectrum (due to Chris Evans being generally a pretty tall guy), but he’s still going to be a little small to scale with Legends.  Obviously, that’s kind of expected.  This release of Endgame Cap appears to be using the same core sculpt as the prior release.  The articulation is a little bit on the obvious side, falling back in line with what I’m used to from Figurarts.  There’s a pretty amazing range of motion, though some of the joints on mine, particularly his left elbow, are a little looser than I’d like.  I do wish the tolerance were just a touch better there.  As with any Figuarts sculpt, it’s definitely got a little bit of a stylization to it, to bring him in line with the rest of the figures.  It works pretty well for Cap, though, and gives him even more heroic proportions than usual. It also looks astoundingly svelte when compared to the Hasbro version, which was itself a bit beefy, I suppose.  It’s not a bad match for Evans’ build in the film, though, albeit in a slightly caricaturized way.  It does manage to get the costume details down a bit more accurately, I think, than the Legends release.  There are three separate heads included with this figure: masked with calm expression, masked with battle expression, and fully unmasked (which also gets its own separate neck post, since there’s a little bit of the helmet visible on the standard neck).  Of the three, I the neutral masked is probably the weakest.  The likeness just isn’t quite there, and he looks a little void of personality.  I really like the other two heads, though.  The intense expression is great for battle poses, and the unmasked head has a pretty fantastic Evans likeness on it.  The paint work on this figure marks a difference from the original release, which gave us a slightly more pristine Cap.  This one takes the “Final Battle” title and runs with it a bit, so he’s got a bit of grime and dirt.  It’s not enough to make him look “damaged”, but it gives him a little extra flavor.  All three heads have printed faces, which look a little wonky from up close, but great at a distance.  The gold color used on the hair of the unmasked head looks a little weird, but after having him in hand for a bit, I don’t actually hate it.  The major selling point of this guy is his accessory complement.  In addition to the three heads mentioned above, Cap also includes five pairs of hands (fists, relaxed, hammer gripping, flat, and with the shield strap in hand), his shield in both regular and broken forms, with interchangeable straps to go along, and Mjolnir with interchangeable energy effects.  The hands offer up some fun posing variety, and the flat palmed ones even have a tab to allow the corresponding strap with hanger on it to be attached, letting Cap actually hold his shield by its edge.  The shield’s straps also allow for use on either arm, one-handed hold, or mounting on his back, again really giving posing options.  Both shields are great pieces, and it’s awesome to finally have the destroyed one in toy form.  Mjolnir practically steals the show here, though, as the swap out panels with the energy effects are pretty amazingly dynamic for posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t typically jump into the Figuarts realm for stuff that has other 6-inch lines, but I’ve been kicking myself for passing up the chance to grab the AoU Cap at a good price, and I was a little bummed when I missed the first release on Endgame Cap.  Fortunately, the updated version came along, and he’s even better, so it works out well.  When All Time got these figures in stock, I came very close to grabbing this guy right away, but ultimately held off.  However, Super Awesome Wife was nice enough to work with Jason to get me one for my birthday, and I really couldn’t be happier.  He’s a really fun figure, and goes great with the rest of my ever-growing Captain America collection.

If you’d like a Cap of your own (or the Iron Man that goes with him, perhaps), he’s still in-stock at AllTimeToys.com. And, if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2370: Great Saiyaman

GREAT SAIYAMAN

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Oh wow, another Dragon Ball review?  This soon?  Is the reviewer going crazy?  Or is it just that he’s got no means of getting new toys and so therefore just has to make his way through pretty much whatever he’s got sitting here waiting to be reviewed in order to keep up with a daily review schedule?  I think it might actually be both, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out for sure.  So, Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z‘s got a couple of time skips built into it.  The first is of course the big jump from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z, which sees Goku and his friends go from kids to adults.  However, within Z, there’s also another sizable jump following the resolution of “Cell Games”, doing a similar time skip to what we saw with Goku, but this time with his son Gohan, who takes over as the series’ main focus, at least until his dad comes back from the dead…again.  During his time as lead, a high-school aged Gohan takes on the secret identity of the Great Saiyaman in order to protect the city without giving away his identity.  I’m looking at a figure of that identity today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Great Saiyaman was released in 2019 as part of the Dragon Ball Z-sub-set of the S.H. Figuarts line.  He’s the third Gohan figure, slotting right in the middle between the previously released kid Gohan and adult Gohan.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Saiyaman scales pretty well with the rest of the Figuarts Dragon Ball stuff I’ve got, excepting of course the Krillin that’s out of scale with everything else.  The sculpt is probably the sturdiest and cleanest of the Dragon Ball figures I’ve looked at.  The articulation doesn’t break up the sculpt too much, and he seems to follow pretty closely to the animation designs for the character.  The only part of the figure I don’t really much care for is his cape, which has a hard plastic construction (except for the part on the shoulders, which is rubber), which makes it really awkward to handle.  It doesn’t help that it also doesn’t stay in place particularly well, meaning it falls off a lot during normal posing.  If you can get it to work with you, however, it makes for some dynamic looks.  The paint work on Saiyaman is pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid application.  It seems to match pretty well with the show in terms of color, and I quite like the slightly different finish they’ve given the helmet.  It does well to differentiate it as a different, harder material than the other portions of the costume.  As with most Figuarts releases, Saiyaman is quite a well accessorized.  He’s got four sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, wide open gesture, and flat), two faceplates for the standard helmeted head (calm and angry), a plug for the spot on his back where the cape usually goes (should you wish to display him without it), an alternate left forearm without his watch, and not one, not two, but three separate extra heads.  He’s got his “tournament” look with the bandana and sunglasses, which is kind of the standard alt look for this costume, as well as a standard unmasked Gohan, and a Super Saiyan Gohan.   What I find most impressive about this release is how many distinct alternate appearances he’s got thanks to all those parts; you can effectively build four different figures with the parts included here.  I’m planning to stick with the helmeted look, but boy is it tricky to stick with just one.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though my main focus with DBZ is the Android Saga, which is before the time-skip that leads to this guy, I did watch this particular chunk of Gohan’s story pretty regularly when it was airing on Cartoon Network.  I’m also just generally a fan of Super Heroes, so this part of the story always stuck out to me.  The story of how I got this Saiyaman figure is pretty similar to how I got Krillin, though without the “I missed out on the previous version” bit.  I recall him being announced, and I thought about picking him up a few times, but never did get around to it.  He was traded into All Time, and I still had some trade credit to burn, so he was mine.  I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for this figure, and I wasn’t sure about what to do with him on his own, but this figure’s such a nice package deal to himself, and I’m really glad I decided to grab him.

#2363: Krillin

KRILLIN

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

It’s been three years since I’ve looked at anything Dragon Ball Z.  It’s not a huge surprise, really, because, while I was a child of the ’90s and therefore it was impossible for me to totally miss the DBZ phenomenon, I still never got *super* into it.  To date, I’ve reviewed my whole collection of stuff from it here on the site; all five pieces of it.  Well, now it’s up to six, thanks to today’s entry: Krillin!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Krillin was released as part of the Dragon Ball-sub-set of S.H. Figurarts in 2018.  You’ll note I said “Dragon Ball” and not “Dragon Ball Z”.  That’s because this figure is actually from the earlier show, and is meant to represent Krillin as a kid, rather than his adult form, which got a Figuarts release much earlier in the line.  Krillin stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  If you want to get really technical, Krillin’s a little bit on the large side to be in scale with the rest of the line, but to be fair, this was true of the prior figure as well.  At least this one is shorter than that one, so there’s a loose sense of internal scale.  The Dragon Ball animation was a little looser with the character models than later incarnations of the show, so it’s hard to really nail them down for one single representation in figure form.  The figure does its best, and I think the end result works out okay.  It’s pretty clear who he’s supposed be, and more specifically which version he’s supposed to be.  He also adhere’s pretty well to the line’s pre-existing style, so he blends in alright with other figures.  That said, he does end up a little more toned than he usually looked in the show, bringing him slightly more in line with his DBZ appearances.  I think it’s a good medium, and it works particularly well for this style of figure.  Like the DBZ stuff, Krillin gets multiple heads with differing expressions.  He comes wearing the one with the friendly grin, but there’s also a more devious grin, and a screaming expression.  The likeness on the face is pretty consistent across all three heads, but they still offer a lot of variety to the display options.  Krillin’s paintwork is fairly nice.  Overall, it’s pretty basic, of course, but that’s appropriate for the character.  The application is all nice and sharp, though, and he fits well with the rest of the line style-wise.  To make up for his smaller stature, Krillin is pretty heftily accesorized.  He’s got the three heads I mentioned previously, plus a display stand, a blast effect, 11 hands (L/R fists, L/R wide open gesture, L/R open gesture, L/R peace sign, L/R claw, and R grip), a Dragon Ball, and a…rock with a kanji on it?  I don’t know exactly what that last one is, but I’m guessing its some sort of story specific item.  Whatever the case, a cool selection of extras to be sure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on getting the DBZ Krillin at a reasonable price, which was a serious bummer, since he was really the last prominent character I wanted for my “Android Saga” collection.  When this guy was released, I looked at him a few times, but just never got around to actually buying him.  One was traded into All Time last month, though, and I had a bunch of trade credit, so he was suddenly a much easier purchase.  He’s actually a pretty nice figure, and not a terrible stand-in for an older Krillin.  I was even able to mod the extra Krillin head included with Android 18 in order to make him look even more like a proper adult Krillin!

 

#2200: Shrikethorn

SHRIKETHORN

PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING — SOVI SPIRITS (BANDAI)

Though not the smash critical success of its predecessor, Pacific Rim: Uprising was if nothing else a nice run through the world of the original, even if under some slightly different confines.  Had Pacific Rim been made in the ’70s, Uprising would have no doubt made a solid pilot movie for the inevitable TV adaptation.  It also did wonders for the very strong collectibles market associated with the franchise, giving us a whole new pool of Jaegers and Kaiju to give cool new toys.  Back around the movie’s release, I looked at a bunch of the Jeagers, but never did get around to looking at any of the Kaiju.  Let’s switch that up today, with a look at one of the three final battle Kaiju, Shrikethorn!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shrikethorn was part of Bandai’s Sofvi Spirits line, as one of three Uprising-themed figures in the line.  The Jaegers were covered by the more conventional action figure stylings of the Robot Spirits line, but for the much larger designs of the various Kaiju, it’s not really quite as cost effective to produce solid, fully articulated figures.  So, these figures take a page out of the same book as the likes of the Ultra Hero 500 and Ultra Monster 500 lines, crafting the figure from a soft (and hollow) vinyl and cutting back on the articulation.  It makes for a much lighter, and slightly less detailed figure, but it also means that getting the Kaiju in the same scale as the Jeagers is attainable without dropping rather insane amounts of money.  The figure is about 6 inches tall (with a bit of a hunch, of course), about just as wide, and has 7 points of articulation.  The articulation’s really not meant for getting much variance of poses; it mostly is there to help add more balance when getting the figure standing.  For a big monstrous thing like Shrikethorn, it’s not really like there are going to be a ton of poses needed.  He’s good for looking rather menacingly at your Jeagers, which is kind of the main point here.  Being made from a softer material, his sculpt is understandably a little softer when compared to the likes of the Robot Spirits figures, and especially when compared to the NECA figures.  That said, all of the important details are there, capturing the broadstrokes idea of Shrikethorn’s design quite well.  Most importantly, they get the silhouette down, and that’s really were this figure’s success lies.  Shrikethorn’s paintwork is respectable enough for what it is.  Again, when compared to something like NECA, it’s a little soft, a little cartoony, and a little simplified, but the slightly more cartoony designs from Uprising do the figure some favors here, and the end result is a pretty solid offering.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since all of the Uprising stuff was hitting right as Toys R Us was going under, these guys showed up there at full price, quickly got discounted, and quickly disappeared.  I recall looking at Shrikethorn when he first hit, but just never got around to tracking one down.  So, where did this one come from?  Well, from my Super Awesome Fiancee Wife (yes, you read that right), of course!  She found him all alone in the clearance aisle of the Barnes & Noble right next to her new job, and decided to bring him home for me.  As a piece on his own, Shrikethorn is perhaps not the most impressive offering, but he’s a really fun accent piece to the Jeagers, and I’m honestly just happy to finally have one.

#1982: Ultraman – B Type

ULTRAMAN — B TYPE

ULTRAMAN FIGURE-RISE (BANDAI)

Hey, how about a look into two things I haven’t looked at in a long time?  It’s been over a year since I reviewed anything Ultraman related (the end of Ultra-Act and subsequent transition into Figuarts has been a rather major contributor to that), and three whole years since I’ve reviewed any model kits, but now I’m just throwing caution to the wind and looking at an Ultraman model.  I know, crazy stuff for me, right?  Just stepping way outside my comfort zone for this?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraman (B Type) is the first in Bandai’s newly launched line of Ultraman-themed Figure-Rise kits.  They’ve previously offered kits for Dragon Ball Z and Kamen Rider, and it’s not a huge shock to see them move onto another immensely popular license.  So far, it appears this line will be taking its cues from the currently running Ultraman manga, which sequelizes the original show, while working in elements of its successors in a new timeline.  This figure is the main Ultraman from the series, Shinjiro Hayata, son of the original Ultraman, wearing his second set of powered armor (as noted by the “B Type” at the end of the name).  The kit is billed as 1/12 scale, so the final figure stands a little over 6 inches tall, meaning he scales pretty decently with the Figuarts stuff.  He’s got 31 points of articulation, so he’s not quite on the same posability level as most of those figures, but he’s not terribly far off either.  Of all the models I’ve built, Ultraman is definitely the most intense.  As in “took multiple sessions to complete him” intense.  He’s made up of a lot of small, little pieces, that all click together very carefully.  While this may be a little stressful on the assembly side, it pays off on the appearance front.  This is definitely a sharp looking figures. Details are well-defined, and he’s a good match for the source material’s very machined appearance.  If I have one complaint, it’s that the figure’s not quite as sturdy as I might have liked.  I’ve had no breakage issues, of course, but the torso assembly pops apart with regular handling (mostly by design, to be fair).  He’s more a pose and set figure than a mess around with him figure.  Paint’s a no-go on these sorts of sets, so there are a few different ways to handle variations of color.  For the most part, this guy goes with the “mold it in the right color” method, meaning there’s a lot of very precise part assembly.  However, there are also some pretty extensive decal applications mixed in with that.  Again, they can get a little stressful, but the end result pays off, and you’d be hard pressed to discern these decals from actual paintwork.  Of course, time will tell as to their longterm hold-up.  Ultraman is pretty well accessorized for a thing I built myself.  He’s got five interchangeable hands (fists, open, and a trigger finger for his right side), a Specium Ray effect, two Specium Slash effects, alternate forearm guards for use with the Specium Ray, alternate guards with Specium Blades deployed, the MARS-133 rifle, and a display stand.  Pretty much, he’s on par with a Figuarts or Ultra-Act release.  He has one more feature: he lights up.  There’s a battery pack with LEDs attached that’s installed in the torso (hence how easily it comes back apart).  Using the included tool, you can turn it on and off.  It illuminates his eyes and color timer, and with a push of the button you can even switch the color timer from blue to red, which is fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Is it allowed to be Max’s fault two days in a row?  This one’s a borderline example at the very least.  He wanted one of his own, and they come in cases of two, so he needed another buyer.  Well, hey, I like Ultraman, right?  Admittedly, I was looking to get back into the model building anyway, and I didn’t yet have a Manga-style Ultraman, so why not give it a try?  He’s an intense build, but I do really enjoy the final product, and I think he’ll slot in pretty well with the rest of my Ultras.

I picked up this set via All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1902: Sohei Darth Maul

SOHEI DARTH MAUL

MEISHO MOVIE REALIZATION (BANDAI)

Post-Christmas reviews, begin!

Yes, it’s that time of year when I’ve gotten so many new toys from all the people that love me so much, and I always feel the best way of handling a large influx of new toys is to just jump headlong into the reviews.  No turning back!  Today, I kick things off with a theme that I assure you will be sticking with us for a good portion of the reviews to come: Star Wars.  That said, today’s focus item is a slight variation on the theme.  He may be from Star Wars, but it’s definitely a more conceptual version of the story.  I’m taking my second look at Bandai’s reimagining of the Star Wars movies as Samurai films, Sohei Darth Maul!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Sohei Darth Maul is one of the 2018 releases from the Meaisho Movie Realization line, which re-envisions Sith Lord Darth Maul as Sohei, or a warrior monk.  Admittedly, “warrior monk” isn’t much of a stretch from the basic Jedi thing.  It’s *almost* as if the Star Wars characters naturally lend themselves to this sort of thing!  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 43 points of articulation.  As with the Royal Guard, there’s something of a learning curve on posing these guys, though I had a much easier time with Maul, largely do to already having experience with the line.  Maul’s sculpt appears to be totally unique to him, which is sensible, given that as a prequel character, he would be of a slightly vintage than the Vader and troopers we’ve gotten so far.  It’s certainly a very nice sculpt, with lots of detail work worked throughout all of its various pieces.  The texturing on his tunic is very realistic, and keeps it from being too bland, and the armored pieces are all quite intricately designed.  The head is rather demonic, even for Maul, indicating that he’s actually some form of spirit or demon in this reimagined version of the tale, which is certainly a cool concept.  It gives Bandai free reign to have a bit of fun with it, and the end result is a very expressive piece.  The paint work on Maul is quite impressive, especially given the fact that the character is typically quite monochromatic.  While his basic clothing is still straight black, the overlying armor has all sorts of subtle color work going on.  It makes for a very interesting looking figure, and he’s got plenty of elements to help him pop off of the shelf.  Darth Maul is packed with a pair of swords, which can be attached at the hilt to simulate his signature double-bladed saber from the movie.  The actual blades can also be removed simulation them being turned off.  Also included are a face mask  (furthering the demonic experience), and beads, which can be removed to mix up the appearance.  Finally, he includes three sets of hands in fists, gripping, and open gesture poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the Royal Guard before him, Sohei Darth Maul was a Christmas gift from my boy Tim.  I had actually just been looking at this figure about a week prior to receiving it from him, so it was a rather well-timed gift.  Again, like the Royal Guard, there’s just a lot to like about this figure.  He’s got a cool look, has a great selection of alternate appearances, and is just generally a lot of fun.  I really look forward to seeing what else this line tackles (I’d kill for a scout trooper, let me tell you).

#1660: Guardian Bravo

GUARDIAN BRAVO

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“Designed for combat at range, Guardian Bravo wields the Elec-16 Arc Whip: a proto-metallic successor to the chainsword, and brings a new sophistication to the chainsword’s whiplash move.”

When a problem comes along, you must whip it.  Before the cream sits out too long, you must whip it.  When something’s going wrong, you must whip it.  Now whip it!  Into shape!  Shape it up!  Get straight!  Go forward!  Move ahead!  Try to detect it, it’s not too late, to whip it.  Whip it well.  Yeah, I know it’s “good” in the song, but grammar is important.

Sorry, I didn’t know how to start another Uprising review, so I went all pop-culture on it.  Anyway, in the spirit of whipping it good, let’s have a look at the whip-wielding Jaeger, Guardian Bravo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Guardian Bravo is figure 233 in the Robot Spirits line, the third, and final, chronological figure in the second series of Pacific Rim: Uprising-themed Jaegers.  The figure stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Guardian Bravo’s design calls back the most to the first film’s Coyote Tango, though perhaps not so much in color scheme.  He’s also got a lot in common with your average NFL football player, which I suppose is fitting for a Jaeger with a name as American as “Guardian Bravo.”  Guardian has the same basic construction as the other Jaegers in this line.  Obviously, he’s not quite as mobile as Saber Athena, but compared to the first series Jaegers, he’s actually a fair bit more posable.  That’s more a design thing than anything, though.  Guardian is a lot blockier and less advanced than his two series-mates, which helps offset him a bit.  If anything, he almost looks more at home with Bracer and Titan (that’s certainly not a bad thing).  The sculpt on this figure does a solid job of recreating the on-screen appearance in plastic form.  Guardian’s paintwork is some of the more complex of the Jaegers in this line, which on one hand is nice, but on the other hand, it’s actually not quite enough.  Guardian’s got some of the most complex detailing in the film, and the figure tries to handle some of that, but ultimately, a lot of details end up lost.  There are sections of red that should go on the white, and vice versa.  At least he gets all the identifiers and insgnias, though.  I can understand Bandai’s dilemma, of course, since Guardian done correctly really would require a lot more paint than any other Jaegers in the set.  It’s difficult to make that cost out.  As is, he looks reasonable on his own, provided you’re not making direct comparisons.  The figure makes out pretty well on accessories, with both gripping and open palm hands, as well as two Arc Whips to hold.  The clear plastic on the whips is particularly cool, and a very effective way of handling the energy effects.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Guardian Bravo at the same time as Saber Athena.  Of the two, Athena was the one I was most looking forward to.  I liked Guardian, but I largely got him to fill out the set.  He’s got some paint issues, which are a little annoying, but the thing that surprised me most about this guy is just how much I like him.  Out of the three Series 2 figures, I think he may well be my favorite.  I didn’t see that coming.  As it stands right now, Guardian is the final figure in this sub-set.  I’m still hoping for a third series with November Ajax, Valor Omega, and perhaps one of the drones, but I may have to turn to DST for those.

#1659: Saber Athena

SABER ATHENA

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“The sleekest and most elegant jaeger ever created, Saber Athena is the fastest in the fleet, wielding twin blades in hyper-acrobatic combat.”

Saber Athena was kind of advertised as Pacific Rim: Uprising’s equivalent to Striker Eureka, a secondary Jaeger that would get a lot of focus.  That was not the case.  Honestly, I was a bit shocked by how little Saber Athena there was in the movie.  The expected secondary Jaeger turned out to be Bracer Phoenix instead.  Nevertheless, Saber Athena, like all the Jaegers, did at least get her moment to shine.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Saber Athena was figure 232 in Bandai’s Robot Spirits line, as the second figure sequentially in the second series of Uprising-themed figures.  The figure is one of the shortest in the set, standing just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 35 points of articulation (the fins on her back provide for some extra mobility).  Saber has perhaps the most delicate and ornate sculpt of all the Jaegers in this set.  She uses the same basic style of construction as the others; a skeleton with armored pieces.  The sleek and slighter build of the armor means that Saber also gets the most range out of her joints of all the Jaegers.  She’s just a heck of a lot of fun to pose, especially deep running poses.  The detailing on the armor is sharp, clean, and very concise.  She’s a great recreation of the on-screen design, and melds accuracy with playability quite well.  Saber gets more paint than the other Jaegers; it’s still not a ton, but there’s some decent detail work, especially on the identifying numbers and insignias.  In addition, the slightly pearlescent plastic that was used for the majority of her armor looks really slick, and makes her one of the coolest looking of the Jaegers when the light catches her.  Saber is pretty well accessorized, including two sets of hands in gripping and flat poses, as well as her blades in both twin and combined configurations.  Compared to some of the other Jeagers, that’s pretty great, though I’d imagine it’s more to offset the slightly smaller nature of this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After managing to find Obsidian Fury at Toys R Us, I was keeping an eye out for both Saber and Guardian, but not having much luck.  I’d pretty much resigned to have to order the pair of them online.  That said, a few weeks back, I was out with my family, and we decided to catch a movie (Isle of Dogs, for those curious; definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it).  We got to the theatre with about an hour to kill, so we decided to stop in the Barnes & Noble next door.  I wasn’t expecting to find anything, but I wandered over to collectibles aisle and boom, there was this figure staring right back at me.  I was actually pretty darn excited, let me tell you.  Saber was possibly my favorite of the new Jaeger designs (well, barring November Ajax, who is just boss), and it translated really well into an action figure.

#1658: Obsidian Fury

OBSIDIAN FURY

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“A towering mecha so powerful its origins are shrouded in secrecy, meet the deadliest Jaeger to ever walk the Earth.  With stealth chrome armor plating chainsaws and a chest-mounted AKM salvo-launcher, Obsidian Fury is ready to defend our world…or destroy it!”

Infinity War may have come along and blown everything else away, but before it came along, I was all about Pacific Rim: Uprising.  Though hardly a perfect film, it was certainly a fun movie-going experience, and, most importantly, it gave us a bunch of cool new robot designs!  One of the coolest was the dark rogue Jaeger, Obsidian Fury!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obsidian Fury is figure 231 in Badai’s Robot Spirits line, sequentially the first of the second series of Uprising figures, and fourth overall from the movie.  The figure stands the tallest of the new Jaegers at 7 inches and has 31 points of articulation.  Obsidian is the most advanced Jaeger we see in the film, so his design is a lot sleeker and made up smoother lines than all of the others.  This gives him a slightly more organic feel that goes well with his Kaiju-origins.  He’s also got a bit of a modern-BSG Cylon feel to him, which helps keep him appropriately sinister.  The figure’s sculpt is handled the same way as the others; there’s an underlying skeleton of sorts, with all of Obsidian’s armored bits placed on top.  It’s definitely a solid piece of work, though I do have one complaint, having to do with how the articulation has been worked in.  For the most part, the joints of the figure follow the natural points of movement from the movie, but Obsidian’s shoulder pads just sort of break right in the middle to allow them to move.  It doesn’t follow the flow of the design at all and can be quite jarring.  Like his three predecessors, Obsidian is mostly light on the paint, but the few bits he has work well.  I quite like the translucent orange visor; it looks a little off from some angles but when it catches the light just right, it looks pretty sweet.  The figure is packed with two sets of hands in both open grasp and fist positions, as well as his laser chainsaw attachments from the film.  Interestingly, the blades aren’t attached to a separate forearm like Gipsy, but instead require you to pop the outer plate off of the forearms and click the blade into place.  It’s actually a lot easier than swapping the arm every time, so I prefer this method.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up the whole first set from Toys R Us a week before they announced they were going under.  I wasn’t expecting to find any of this set there.  After the announcement of their closure, and the beginnings of the markdowns, I made my first stop at my usual store.  It was something like a wasteland, really, with things just in piles everywhere from people rummaging through (and this was when they were still only at 10% off, mind you).  After doing a few loops around the store, I had one or two things I was going to buy.  I was standing in line at the register, when Christian texted me about an Amiibo they had that he wanted.  On my way back to grab it, I happened to knock over something from a shelf near the front, thus revealing two of this bad boy.  I was surprised to say the least.  This is a pretty good figure, and a great counterpart to the first assortment’s Gispy Avenger.

#1615: Titan Redeemer

TITAN REDEEMER

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“Built for brute force and armed with a seismic morningstar, Titan Redeemer is the walking wrecking ball of the new fleet.”

Before Pacific Rim: Uprising hit theaters, there was a little bit of confusion about specifically which Jaegers would be making up the four ‘bot team seen in the big city shot from the trailers.  The source of the confusion?  Titan Redeemer’s seismic morning star weapon, which was prominently featured.  The catch was, it wasn’t actually Titan using the weapon, but rather yesterday’s Bracer Phoenix.  Titan’s role in the film is decidedly more minor, but it’s unique design does make for a stand-out design.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Titan Redeemer is part of Bandai’s Robot Spirits line, and is figure 230, making him the third of the three Jaegers in the first Pacific Rim: Uprising assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  Size-wise, Redeemer falls between the other two in both height and bulk.  At first glance, Titan and Bracer seem a little similar in design, but they’re actually quite divergent in person.  Titan’s sculpt is on certainly on par with the other two figures, being a multi-piece sculpt over an underlying skeleton.  I think motion-wise, Titan’s the most restricted of the three figures, and it’s mostly due to the way his shoulder armor is designed.  Since, unlike Bracer, the shoulders are all one piece, there’s a limit to how far the arms can move in any direction.  Honestly, this is less an issue with the figure and more a design thing; I suppose the real Jaeger would have these issues too.  On the plus side, the actual sculpt quality is pretty top notch, and the details are the sharpest of the three figures here.  Literally in some places, most notably his morning star hand, which looks appropriately lethal.  Overall, the sculpt just looks pretty sleek.  Also pretty sleek is his color work.  Like the other two Jaegers, the actual paintwork is one the scarce side, with most of the color work being done with molded plastic.  The dark metallic green in particular is really spiffy looking.  It gives him a nice sense of polish, similar in a lot of ways to NECA’s Chero Alpha.  Titan Redeemer is somewhat light on the accessories compared to the other two Jaegers.  There’s a swappable open palmed hand for his right side, which is the only Titan-specific piece.  No extending chain for the morning star or anything, which is a bit of a bummer.  To make up for it, Titan is also packed with Scrapper, Amara’s one-man Jaeger.  It’s just a little unpainted, unarticulated figurine, but seeing as it’s one of my favorite parts of the movie, I’m glad it wasn’t totally overlooked.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with Bracer, I debated whether or not I should pick up Titan.  The announcement early on that Titan would be including Scrapper certainly swayed me, and seeing the figure in the store, I just couldn’t turn it down.  I wish there were more accessories, or that Scrapper was at least painted, but I can’t deny Titan is a very solid figure.  If I had one complaint, it would be that we’re getting Titan, who is quite minor, before we’ve seen any indication of a November Ajax, who is the first Jaeger we see.  But, that’s hardly Titan’s fault, and it really doesn’t actually impact this figure.