#1536: Ultraman Ace Suit

ULTRAMAN ACE SUIT

S.H. FIGUARTS X ULTRA-ACT (BANDAI)

It’s Day 5 of my post-Christmas reviews, and today I’ll be returning to one of my very favorite franchises, Ultraman.  My Ultraman reviews have gotten few and far between.  That’s the sort of thing that happens when they end the main line you collect of something, I suppose.  Without a steady stream of new Ultra-Act offerings, there’s a bit less regularity to my Ultra-collecting habits.  The Figuarts offerings are very cool, but there’s also a bit of overlap between the two collections, so I haven’t really picked up anything from that line.  Well, until now, anyway.  Today’s figure is based on the currently running Ultraman manga, which is a sort of soft reboot of the franchise, taking only the original show as canon, and following the adventures of Hayata’s son Shinjiro as he takes up the mantle of Ultraman.  The series has also introduced some of the later Ultras as recurring characters, though they aren’t proper Ultramen like they were before.  So, without further ado, here’s the Ultraman Ace Suit, piloted by Seiji Hokuto, a reimagining of one of Ace’s two hosts!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ace Suit is the third offering in the SHFiguarts X Ultra-Act line, following the standard manga Ultraman and the Ver7.2 Suit.  As the Ace Suit is the third suit to appear in the manga, it’s a sensible release order.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  Ace is the shortest of the three manga Ultras, and the figure reflects that.  I will admit, after messing around with CaRB for a few days, Ace’s articulation felt a little bit restricted, but compared to the average Figuarts offering, he’s not too bad.  The shoulders are the most  difficult thing, because they have to be configured just right for any given move.  But, once you get a feel for the figure, it’s not too hard to get him posed how you’d like him.  Ace’s sculpt is unique to him, and it does a pretty respectable job of translating the manga design into three dimensions.  It certainly helps that Ace is my favorite so far of the manga Ultras.  I definitely appreciate the common elements between this design and the classic Ace design, especially filtered through the manga’s more tactical design aesthetic.  His suit is pretty sleek and clean, and I quite like the more squared off nature.  It really goes well with the classic Ace elements, such as the pseudo Greco-Roman style helmet.  The sculpt gets all of these design elements worked in quite nicely, and doesn’t skimp in the smaller details.  I like that you can tell what’s actually armor and what’s a more flexible undersuit, just through the shaping of the materials.  In terms of paint, this guy’s pretty much on par with the various Ultra-Act figures I reviewed.  Everything is pretty clean and sharp, and the metallics look top-notch.  I particularly like that his lenses are translucent yellow; they look amazing when the light hits them the right way.  The Ace Suit is quite well accessorized.  He includes three sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, and flat poses), extra gauntlets, his specium blade, a slightly longer set of wrists (for use with the blade), and an alternate unmasked head with two different facial expressions.  The blade can be a little tricky to get set-up the right way, since it requires swapping out the wrists and getting the hands and bracers swapped over to the new ones, as well as getting the blade properly seated between the arms.  It took a few tries to get my figure to hold the blade the right way.  The extra head is certainly a nice touch, especially after a similar piece was left out of the first release of the main Ultraman.  The separate expressions work much the same as they do with the DBZ figures, and add a nice bit of character to the figure, though I hardly see myself displaying him unmasked.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ace is Tim’s fault indirectly, and I suppose my parents fault directly.  It’s Tim’s fault I know this figure exists.  Which is a bit weird, when you get down to it, since I’m the Ultraman fan, but somehow this one slipped past me.  Once I saw him, I knew I wanted one, and my parents were nice enough to get me him for Christmas.  It’s kind of funny, because, while I like the original Ace, he’s never been one of my favorites.  This figure, on the other hand, very definitely is.  He’s a ton of fun, and just really cool looking to boot.

#1532: Masked Rider 2 & Cyclone

MASKED RIDER 2 & CYCLONE

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

And let the Post-Christmas reviews officially begin!

Okay, so it’s my first day of Post-Christmas reviews, and for three years running, I’ve kicked things off with a figure of the Alien Queen.  That’s…not the case this year.  Sorry guys, there’s a limited number of Alien Queen figures out there for my family and friends to gift to me.  It was beyond all of our control.  You’re just going to have to make due with a Kamen Rider review.  I’m sure you’ll all manage.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at Masked Rider 2 and the Cyclone!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So, what’s all this “Masked Rider 2” business, you’re probably asking.  I’ll tell ya.  During the production of the first Kamen Rider series, lead actor Hiroshi Fujioka injured himself performing a stunt.  The producers of the show had a few options.  They could replace Fujioka with another actor and hope no one noticed, they could have him get some sort of plastic surgery, or they could come up with a reason for Fujioka’s Hongo to leave the show and introduce an interim replacement.  They opted for the last choice, and introduced the franchise’s first secondary rider, Hayato Ichimonji.  Ichimonji took over as the main protagonist of the show for about half a season, until Fujioka was able to return, at which point Ichimonji and Hongo shared the title.  And now you know all about Masked Rider 2!  There have been a few prior versions of Kamen/Masked Rider 2 from SHFiguarts, but it would appear that this set is the most recent, hitting in 2015.  He’s based on Ichimonji’s first main design, which was fairly similar to the original Kamen Rider’s in a lot of ways.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s very similar in construction to prior Figuarts offerings, especially the Power Rangers and the like.  His sculpt is unique to him, and it’s actually pretty solid.  It does a nice job of translating his design into figure form, all while allowing for articulation and maximum posability.  His proportions are a little bit optimized, of course, as is the style of the line, but it certainly works for this guy.  The level of detail, especially on his helmet, but also on his belt, is incredibly impressive.  The paint on Ichimonji is all pretty sharp and clean, and the colors match up pretty well to his screen counterpart.  He includes several different sets of hands in a variety of poses.  There’s fists, two different flat palms, an open grip and a bike grip.  It’s nice to have the variety, but I’m pretty much only ever going to use the bike grip ones.  He also includes two different tail attachments for his scarf.  One is flat and one is dynamic.  But honestly, who’s ever going to use anything but the dynamic version?

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

He can’t very well be “Kamen Rider” without a bike to ride, now can he?  Of course not.  Previously, Figuarts Kamen Riders and bikes were sold individually, but not this time, and that’s definitely a good thing for me.  The Cyclone measures about 5 1/2 inches long by about 4 inches tall.  It’s got actual moving wheels, and even a working kickstand, which I always count as a plus, and is generally just constructed like an actual bike.  That means it looks really, really good.  Just fantastically sharp construction and everything.  Hands down my favorite part of the whole thing is the back wheel, which is actually on shocks, with working pistons and everything.  That’s an insane attentiveness to detail, that by no means needed to be there, but by god they wanted it to be accurate, so there it is.  The average consumer won’t likely even notice it, but I will, so it matters to me.  The bike comes with two different attachment pieces to keep it standing,  One is pretty basic; it just hooks over the back wheel and keeps it standing, which is decent enough.  The more exciting piece is the one that requires some extra gear not included in this set  There’s a port that plugs into the base of the bike, allowing you to connect one of the standard Figuarts display stands to it.  It’s a pretty awesome option, and allows for some kick-ass set-ups.   It’s a shame no stand was included in the set, but it’s not like there aren’t already a ton of extras included here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This here set was a gift from my boi Tim, who shares with me a love of Kamen Rider, despite the fact that neither one of us has ever really sat down and watched any iteration of the show.  A good design aesthetic is a good design aesthetic.  I’ve been wanting to get one of the classic Riders for a while, so when I opened this set up I was pretty pumped.  And, as luck would have it, I even had a spare display stand that came with the K-2 Tim got me for my birthday.  It’s almost as if he planned it that way (he really didn’t, though).  This is a fantastic set, which has been so much fun to mess around with.  The only downside is now I need more Kamen Riders…

#1486: Ultraman Ginga Victory, Ultraman Jack, & Alien Baltan

ULTRAMAN GINGA VICTORY, ULTRAMAN JACK, & ALIEN BALTAN

ULTRA HERO/MONSTER 500 SERIES (BANDAI)

 

It’s been a painfully long time since I’ve reviewed any Ultraman figures.  In February of 2015, I looked at the Ultra-Act Mebius, but the ending of that line and its subsequent move to the slightly smaller Figuarts scale has left me without any regular Ultra purchases to review.  And that makes for a sad Ethan indeed.  While I’m sure I’ll get around to picking up some of those Figuarts releases one of these days, for the time being, there are some lower price-point options to keep me occupied, such as Bandai’s Ultra Hero 500 Series and it’s companion Ultra Monster 500 Series.  I’ll be looking at a few of those offerings today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ultramen Ginga Victory and Jack were released in the Ultra Hero 500 Series as figures 30 and 04, respectively, while Alien Baltan was released in the Ultra Monster 500 Series as figure 01.  Both series work on the “evergreen” style of distribution, where most figures in a line are kept in constant stock, at least in Japan.

ULTRAMAN GINGA VICTORY

Ginga Victory represents the fused form of Ultras…stick with me here…Ginga and Victory.  Shocking, I know.  This fusion made its debut in Ultraman Ginga S The Movie: Showdown! The 10 Ultra Warriors! which I assure is the actual title of the film, which I most certainly have not exaggerated in any way.  I wasn’t immediately familiar with this variant, but I correctly IDed it as some form of Ginga.  He, like all of the 500 Series figures, stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and has 3 points of articulation at the shoulders and waist.  Hardly super posable, but that’s never been the intent of this line. His sculpt is unique to him, and is about what you’d expect from a softer vinyl figure.  The build of the body is ever so slightly stylized to be a little more heroic in its proportions, but beyond that, he looks to be a pretty close match to the design from the show.  He’s certainly one of the more complicated Ultra designs, but it all flows together pretty well, and he looks pretty darn cool; there’s no denying that.  The complicated nature of his design also translates to his color scheme, but not quite so much to his paint.  He’s certainly got more details than many other Ultras in this scale and style, but there are a few parts of his design that just go unpainted.  It’s not terrible at first glance, however, upon closer expression, you can see the etched-in lines of details that were just left out, which is the tiniest bit frustrating.

ULTRAMAN JACK

This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at an Ultraman Jack on this site, nor will it be the last.  Jack hails from Return of Ultraman, where he was originally intended to be a returning Hayata before becoming a unique character.  Hence the design that’s just a slight variation on the original.  He too has a unique sculpt, which is on par with the Ginga Victory figure, albeit totally different.  His design is obviously more simplistic, and also more keyed to 60s aesthetics in terms of suit materials and his actor’s build, and this figure replicates all of that quite nicely.  I did note that Jack’s pieces don’t seem to fit together quite as seamlessly as Ginga Victory, but they aren’t too mismatched.  Jack’s paint is decent enough.  He’s got less going on than Ginga Victory, so he’s also not missing any key application.  Some of the silver’s a little fuzzy around the edges, but he’s generally pretty well handled.

ALIEN BALTAN

Alien Baltan is one of Ultraman’s earliest and most persistent foes.  The one seen here is Baltan I, seen in the second episode of the original Ultraman.  It’s my favorite Baltan look, so that makes me pretty happy.  Baltan’s sculpt is a bit softer than the other two.  It’s not a huge surprise, given all the extra details he’s got going on.  That being said, as a more organic creature, the softness is a little more excusable.  It’s a decent enough piece, I suppose.  It’s clearly a little more archaic than some of the others, and a tad more simplistic than I’d like, but the general idea is there.  Any Ultra-fan is gonna know who this is.  His paint is actually a fair bit more nuanced than the other two, featuring a fair number of airbrushed details.  Given the price point of the figure, it’s actually quite impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Believe it or not, this trio made their way to me direct from Japan.  They were sent to me by my friend Rio, who previously got me the diecast First Order Stormtrooper.  In exchange for a generous quantity of Oreos, she’s agreed to keep me supplied with lots of cool action figure goodness.  These three were in the first care package that Super Awesome Girlfriend and I received from her.  It was actually really awesome, as the box arrived right after a rather stressful day at work, and nothing fights off stressful days better than Ultraman!

#1454: Phoenix Ikki

PHOENIX IKKI

KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC (BANDAI)

And now for another installment of “Ethan reviews a figure from a source he’s completely unfamiliar with.”

Knights of the Zodiac is…this thing?  Hang on, I can do better than that.  It’s actually a manga and an anime, originally titled Saint Seyia, which showed up in Japan in the ’80s and eventually made its way to the US in the early 2000s.  It’s a story that’s rather heavily inspired by Greek myths…and that’s really it.  Not sure where the whole Zodiac thing came into it.  I’m gonna go ahead and blame the French, since they’re the ones that stuck it in the title when they imported it.  It’s always the French, isn’t it? Odd blaming of an entire nation aside, today I’ll be looking at one of the many figures to come out of the property, based on Phoenix Ikki!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

When the Knights of the Zodiac anime was imported to the US in the early ’00s, Bandai America picked up the license and put out few different styles of figures.  Phoenix Ikki comes from the deluxe line, which was larger scale a featured fancy removable armor.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  All of the deluxe figures were built on the same standard body.  It’s well articulated, though perhaps a little mannequin -like in its build.  Given that it’s really just meant to be the starting point of a much more complicated design, it’s not a terrible sculpt.  He gets a unique headsculpt, which is decent, I suppose.  It’s a little bit odd, since Ikki has long hair and they still have account for the helmet and other armor, which means the shaping is a little weird.  Not awful-weird, but still no-human-could-have-that-weird.  At the very least it’s unique.  To complete his look, Ikki includes several pieces of clip-on armor.  There’s a helmet, chest piece, skirt/belt, wrist bracers, and shin guards.  They’re a little bulky, and any gold sections are rather flaky, but otherwise, it’s pretty cool.  The chrome is certainly eye-catching, and I really dig the wings, which are individually articulated.  My figure is missing the skirt and one half of each shin guard, but I find I actually like him better without those pieces.  In regards to paint, the figure’s somewhat basic and a little bit drab for my taste, but the application is at least clean, and nothing notable appears to be missing.  The armor was the main extra here, so no real other accessories were included, but he did include a small dummy to store the armor in, which was pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was much smaller, I watched this show called Mystic Knights, which had a toy line very similar to this one.  Many years later, I found a few of these figures on clearance at KB Toys, so I got them out of an odd bit of nostalgia.  I actually have several volumes of the manga, which I even read, but for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what happened in any of them.  Nevertheless, this is actually a pretty fun figure, and I’m glad to have it.

#1382: K-2SO

K-2SO

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Oh hey, look!  It’s another K-2 figure!  It’s been, like, forever since I’ve looked at one of these.  But, of course, there were still other K-2 figures in existence, so it was really just a matter of time before I got another one on the site.  I’ve looked at pretty much all of the lower-end K-2s, so now I’m turning my sights to the higher-end stuff, starting with Bandai Japan’s S.H. Figuarts offering!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

K-2SO was released as part of the Rogue One sub-set of the main S.H. Figuarts line, and he hit shortly after the film’s theatrical release last December.  The figure stands a little under 7 1/2 inches tall (he’s just a smidge smaller than the Black Series and Elite Series figures) and he has 34 points of articulation.  Not only does he have the most articulation of any of the K-2 figures, he’s also got the most mobility by a very large margin.  The sheer range of posability on this guy is just insane.  Things like the shoulder pads are on their own hinged joints, allowing them to be posed out of the way, which helps to maximize the possible range of all the articulation.  I didn’t know I wanted a K-2 that could pull of crazy high kung-fu kicks, but by god did this figure convince me that was a thing I wanted.  Posability is one thing, but how’s the actual sculpt?  As much as I loved the Black Series sculpt, there were some definite inaccuracies present.  This figure fixes all of those issues, and presents the most accurate version of K-2 we’ve seen yet in plastic form.  In addition to the sheer accuracy of the sculpt, the detail work is really clean, and really, really sharp.  Truly amazing work.  Given that he’s made from a less rubbery plastic than the Black Series figure, I was a little worried about this guy’s durability, but so far I’ve had no issues.  Obviously, he’s not going to hold up to seriously rigorous play, but he’s still pretty solid.  The paint on K-2SO is also very top-notch.  The base color is the appropriate gunmetal finish, which looks super sleek.  The small details are really nicely handled as well.  I love how they handled the eyes in particular; the lenses are clear plastic, with details painted beneath.  I do believe this is the first K-2 to implement the eyes in the proper way.  K-2 is a little lighter on extras than most Figuarts offerings, but he does at least include three pairs of hands (in fists, gripping, and open gesture poses), and a clear display stand with a posable arm.  I do like the stand, but I really wish he’d included the blaster pistol he has during the climax.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

K-2 here was given to me as a birthday present from my boi Tim.  He’s apparently run out of Aliens to buy me, so he went with the next best thing.  I didn’t know what to expect from this guy, but I have to say, I’m very impressed.  The Black Series release is still perhaps the best toy of K-2, but this figure is definitely my favorite.

#1370: Diamondhead

DIAMONDHEAD

BEN 10 (BANDAI)

Much as I tried, Ben 10 was one of those shows I just could never really keep up with.  I don’t really know why.  I liked the concept and I loved the character designs.  Heck, I even had a handful of the toys, despite the fact that they were made by Bandai America.  But I just never really got into the show.  Well, at least I still have the toys, right?  That’s always the most important thing.  Today, I’m gonna look at one of those toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Diamondhead was released in the basic figure series of Bandai’s main Ben 10 line.  He was in the second wave of figures, hitting a few months after the initial assortment.  He represents Ben’s initial Diamondhead look.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  As with a lot of Bandai America figures, he’s rather under-scaled in comparison to the rest of the line, but he looks halfway decent when placed with other aliens that are meant to be of similar stature.  His articulation is a bit lower than the usual Bandai fare, to the point of not being useful for a whole lot other than standing.  I mean, it’s certainly better than nothing, but it’s still rather on the lacking side.  The sculpt was unique to this guy, and, on the plus side, it was actually a pretty solid piece of work.  He manages to be a mostly spot-on recreation of Diamondhead as seen in the show, and is generally just really sharp looking.  This is one of the better sculpts that this line produced to be sure.  The paint work on this figure is perfectly acceptable, but ultimately rather uninspired.  The colors are all chosen well enough, and the application’s pretty clean for the most part.  Heck, there aren’t even any missing paint apps, a rarity when it comes to Bandai America products.  The issue?  The diamond parts.  In the show, it’s clear that he’s not just one single shade of opaque blue-green, but that’s exactly what he is here.  This figure really would have benefited from some sort of slightly translucent or even pearlescent plastic for his exposed diamond skin.  As it is?  He feels a little drab and lackluster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Here’s something I don’t say much on this site: I don’t know where I got this figure.  That generally doesn’t bode well, since if I don’t remember getting it, it means I’m not very attached to it.  This is perhaps the one Ben 10 figure I own whose origins I can’t relay.  Going back and reviewing the figure, I can’t say that’s a surprise.  He’s not anything special, and he’s not particularly fun.  Sure, the sculpt’s decent, but that’s really it.  Nothing about this figure goes beyond so-so, and without any sentimental value, I can’t say he does a whole lot for me.

#1353: Wasabi No-Ginger – Stealth

WASABI NO-GINGER – STEALTH

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

Hey, you guys, guess what?  It’s been two weeks since my last Big Hero 6 review.  I guess it’s time for another.  This one’s my final review from the series (at least for the time being), and so I figured I might as well go back to the very beginning.  My first BH6 review was a Wasabi figure, and so’s my last one.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wasabi was released in the third series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line, which was the “stealth” series.  Big surprise, that means that Wasabi is a stealth variant.  Also big surprise, he’s the same mold as the standard Wasabi.  By extension, he too is about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  The sculpt’s the same, for better and for worse.  It has the same ups and downs, which means he’s still got one of the best sculpts of the line.  The main changes to the figure are the paint, which has been made more subdued…mostly.  The green’s a lot darker, and there’s more black interspersed (which, by the way, has the added side-bonus of making him look a bit like a Green Lantern, which I’m definitely okay with), but there are also a few more bright spots mixed in as well. Still, he’s definitely darker as a whole.  The work is clean, and seems to be even cleaner than the original Wasabi, which is certainly a plus.  Like his predecessor, this guy includes his energy blade attachments.  I still think translucent plastic would look cooler, but the neon green looks cool.  Wasabi doesn’t have the coat included with the original, but upon looking through the other Wasabi’s on hand when I got this guy, it would appear that later shipments of the original figure were missing the coat as well.  He didn’t have it in the movie, anyway, so it’s not a huge loss, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Have you read all of my other Big Hero 6 reviews?  No?  Go read them.  Good, now you can probably guess where this guy came from.  Yep, he’s another Ollie’s purchase.  I wasn’t initially going to get him, but Super Awesome Girlfriend and I were collectively getting the rest of the team, and I felt weird not getting a Wasabi, especially since he’s my favorite and all.  There’s not a whole lot that’s different here, but he’s still a pretty entertaining figure, and I think he’s the best of the stealth figures, at least going by what I’ve seen.

#1339: Stealth Fred

STEALTH FRED

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

It’s been two weeks, so I guess it’s about time I review another Big Hero 6 figure, isn’t it?  Yeah, I guess so.  Most of the titular team’s members are all scientists, with the exception one guy.  That guy would be Fred, the subject of today’s review.  And awaaaaay we go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Fred is part of the third series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line of figures.  He, like all the figures in the set, has been labeled “Stealth” and done up in slightly darker colors.  Beyond that, he’s the same mold as his Series 1 counterpart.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Fortunately, thanks to the more “monstrous” nature of Fred’s design, he largely avoids the scaling issues that have plagued the rest of the line; he can comfortably fit in with just about every other figure in this line.  In terms of his sculpt, it’s pretty decent; it follows the film design pretty well, and the articulation is quite as glaring on him as it has been on a lot of the prior figures.  My one major complaint I have about this figure is that they didn’t find a way to make the top part of the costume removable, or give him an extra unmasked head.  Fred’s the only character who’s completely obscured by his costume, and not ever being able to see his face feels a little odd.  I know Bandai doesn’t tend to do extras like that, but this would have been a good time to start.  In terms of paint, Fred is generally pretty decent.  Application is pretty clean and the colors all go well together.  Of the stealth figures, Fred probably has some of the more minor tweaks; the only real difference between this and his normal look is that they swapped out the darkest blue for black, which really doesn’t end up looking all that different at the end of the day.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Fred came from Ollie’s, just like the last several Big Hero 6 figures I’ve looked at.  Unlike Hiro, I wasn’t able to get a normal Fred for the set, so I had to settle for the Stealth one.  It’s no biggie, honestly.  Fred’s an okay figure.  Nothing to write home about, but he goes well with the rest of the team, I guess.  They wouldn’t be much without their mascot.

#1325: Hiro Hamada

HIRO HAMADA

BIG HERO 6

Remember two weeks ago when I reviewed Baymax?  And two weeks before that when I reviewed Yokai?  Well, it looks like I’ve got a recurring feature up in here!  I mean, at least until I make my way through this stack of Big Hero 6 figures that I’ve got sitting here.  Big Hero 6 is ostensibly an ensemble piece, but at the forefront of that ensemble is Hiro Hamada, who’s the group’s central figure.  I’ll be looking at his action figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hiro was released in the first series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line, alongside the rest of the team.  The figure stands about 3 1/4 inches tall and has 15 points of articulation.  Remember when I reviewed Yokai and I noted that he was way too small?  Well, Hiro’s got the opposite issue going on:  he’s way too tall!  Hiro’s not that big a guy.  Going by the scale offered by this line, he’s almost 6 feet tall, since he’s only marginally shorter than the likes of Yokai and Baymax, or even Wasabi.  On the plus side, at least Hiro keeps his internal proportions more or less intact, thus avoiding one of Yokai’s major issues.  In fact, his sculpt is pretty darn solid in general.  He looks like Hiro does in the movie, has solid proportions, decent detail work, and his joints are even worked-in pretty well!  Even the paint work doesn’t let this guy down; he’s got one of the best paint jobs I’ve seen on an item from Bandai America.  The colors all match up nicely with their on-screen counterparts, there’s plenty of small detail work, the application is clean, and there aren’t any overlooked details in the sculpt (like what we saw on the Baymax figure).  It also looks like this paint is a bit less likely to chip over time than some other Bandai America figures, but only time will tell on that one.  Hiro is packed with Baymax in his offline form; the piece is hollowed out, but it’s still a nice enough extra, especially when you consider that a lot of the line is largely un-accessorized.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Can you guess where I got Hiro?  If you guessed Ollie’s, the same place that I got the last two Big Hero 6 figures I reviewed, you would be correct.  I almost didn’t find the normal version of this guy and would have settled for his Stealth variant from the second series, but Super Awesome Girlfriend found this one all the way at the back of one of the racks.  Despite the annoying scale issues, Hiro is actually a pretty nice figure, and certainly one of Bandai America’s best offerings.

#1311: Baymax

BAYMAX — PROTOTYPE ARMOR

BIG HERO 6 (BANDAI)

Remember two weeks ago when I reviewed thee Big Hero 6 Yokai figure?  And how I mentioned picking up a bunch of them?  Well, I gotta review them sometime, right?  So, today, I’ll be looking at one of the film’s central characters, Baymax.  Here goes!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prototype Armor Baymax was released in the second series of Bandai’s Big Hero 6 line, which hit a little bit after the movie’s theatrical release.  He’s one of four versions of Baymax to be released in the line and depicts him in the initial armor Hiro designs for him (which I personally prefer the design of to his later, more advanced armor).  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  As with Yokai, there are the ever present issues of scale.  At least the two of them look fairly decent together, though.  Additionally, the sculpt on Baymax seems to be a bit more internally balanced, at least as far as the proportions go, which makes for an overall better looking figure.    He adheres pretty well to the onscreen design for the most part.  All of the important details are there, and they’re mostly where they should be.  The legs are definitely odd in the way they connect to the body, and are oddly shaped in general, to say nothing if the obstructive, obvious, and mostly useless hip articulation that the legs are attached with.  I’m not entirely sure what they were going for there.  At least the rest of the sculpt is pretty solid, with only minor issues (such as the slightly bulkier shoulders).  I do wish he could get his arms a little closer to his sides, but that’s minor.  Baymax’s paint work is about on par with the rest of the figures I’ve looked at from this series.  The colors all match up well enough with those from the movie, and the application is largely sharp and clean.  There are a few unpainted details, but that’s  the sort of thing you expect with Bandai America, so it is what it is.  Baymax includes no extras, which I guess is okay.  What exactly would you give him?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I almost grabbed this figure numerous times at retail, as it was by far my favorite of the three Baymax designs, and I really did want a Baymax.  But, for whatever reason, I just never got around to picking him up.  I was actually pretty excited to find him marked way down at Ollie’s, so he was the first figure I grabbed.  The final figure is okay.  Not quite as fun as Wasabi, but a bit of a step up from the slightly disappointing Yokai, which is decent enough.