#1614: Bracer Phoenix

BRACER PHOENIX

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“A Mark V brute that can still run with the VI’s, Bracer Phoenix shoots from the chest, with a centrifugal vortex cannon that is as spectacular as it is deadly.”

Did you guys all go out and see Pacific Rim: Uprising yesterday?  I didn’t, because as I noted in my Gipsy Avenger review, I saw the movie on Thursday night, since there was no way I was waiting any longer than I had to.  While it was hardly the in-depth love letter to old Kaiju flicks that the original was, I found it to be an entertaining spin-off of the original, and hope they can get more movies to tell the stories they want with this new set of characters.  Anyway, I’m continuing my look at some of the toys from the movie, with Jaeger Bracer Phoenix.  Despite what merchandising and promotional materials might lead you to believe by sticking Saber Athena all over the place, Bracer’s undoubtedly the secondary Jaeger in the film.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Bracer Phoenix is from Bandai’s Robot Spirits toyline, numbered 229, thus making it the second of the Jaegers sequentially.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  Bracer’s the shortest of the three Jaegers in the first round, but also the one with the most heft.  It appears that the scaling relative to the other two is accurate to the film, from what we see of the Jaegers together.  As a Mark V, Bracer has a number of similarities to Striker Eureka in terms of design, being shorter and wider than his compatriots.  His sculpt is handled very similarly to Gipsy: lots of individual pieces all built on an underlying skeleton.  This adds a lot of sharpness to the details, as well as creating a very realistic depth of detail.  It’s really great on the head, where the visor is a separate piece from the rest of the helmet, which keeps the whole transition very crisp.  As with Gipsy, the paint on Bracer’s actually pretty light, with most of the color work being handled via molded plastic.  Bracer’s color scheme isn’t quite as exciting as Gipsy’s, but it’s accurate to the movie and looks decent enough in plastic.  For this figure, more of the silver parts are actually painted, which looks a lot better than the molded stuff.  The identification numbers and safety markings are nice and sharp, and add a lot to the figure.  Bracer is packed with a spare set of hands in open poses, as well as both the front and rear vortex cannons, which can swap out for the corresponding torso plates.  The Morning Star hand attachment isn’t included, which is a shame, since Bracer doesn’t actually see any action with it.  However, if you have the Titan Redeemer figure (which I’ll be taking a look at tomorrow), you can swap the arms out at the shoulder (something I only actually figured out after seeing the movie), which works pretty well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t initially sure I would be getting all of the Jaegers from this set, and Bracer was one of the ones I was a bit up in the air on.  Upon seeing all of them in person, I had a hard time saying no, so Bracer came home with me.  After opening the figure up, I was definitely happy I decided to pick it up, and after seeing the movie, I was even happier.

#1613: Gipsy Avenger

GIPSY AVENGER

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“Gipsy Avenger honors the heroic legacy of her namesake as the flagship leader of the Mark VI Fleet.  More than just a jaeger, she is a symbol of hope to millions.”

One of my very favorite movies of the last decade is Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro’s majestic throwback to the Kaiju flicks of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  After five years, it’s finally getting a sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, which is officially hitting theaters today.  By the time you guys read this, I’ll have already seen it (I got tickets for Thursday night, of course), but for now I’m writing this review with some blissful anticipation of the awesome that is to come.  The first film was a little slower with the rollout of the toys, since no one knew what kind of business it would be doing, but for the sequel several companies have already jumped on the gravy train.  Over the next three days, I’ll be looking at Bandai Japan’s offerings, starting with the main Jaeger Gipsy Avenger.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gipsy Avenger is part of Bandai’s Robot Spirits toyline, numbered as figure 228, chronologically the first of the Uprising Jaegers.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  Obviously, this figure’s not designed to scale correctly with the NECA figures from the first movie (the DST figures coming later this month will be better matched), but she’s actually a fair bit taller than I was expecting.  She’ll certainly look fine with Bandai’s various Ultramen, if you’re like me and just want a super awesome epic Kaiju killing force.  But hey, that might just be me.  If you’re used to the NECA offerings, this figure’s sculpt is going to be a bit different, since it uses the Bandai approach of assembling the figure from lots and lots of tiny little parts, similar to how the actual Jaeger might be built.  The end result is a figure that has a whole lot of depth to its sculpt.  The lines are sharp, and it’s a pretty solid translation of the design, at least based on what we’ve seen of it so far.  The multi-piece construction of the outer armor and such also allows for this figure to have maximized movement, so you can get Gipsy into some pretty epic poses, though if you go too extreme, some times parts are prone to pop out of place.  Gipsy is actually a little lighter on paint than you might expect.  The majority of the color work is rendered via molded plastic.  For the most part, it works pretty well, especially for the slightly metallic blue that makes up most of the figure.  I’m also quite a fan of the multi-piece, multi-colored way they handled the visor on the head.  The only downside to the molded colors is the silver; molded silver is rarely convincing, since you always get all of those little swirly elements, and it’s a bit dull.  But, that’s rather minor.  There are a few painted details, mostly for Gipsy’s identifying numbers and insignias.  They’re nice and sharply detailed, and add a nice bit of polish to the figure.  Gipsy is packed with a pretty decent assortment of extras.  There are spare open grip hands, as well as a plasma cannon to swap out for the right forearm, and a sword-bearing left forearm.  It pretty much gives you all of the essential Gipsy elements in one convenient package.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been waiting for these guys to hit ever since they were first announced, and I knew for certain Gipsy was at the top of my list.  Imagine my surprise when I walked into Toys R Us and found an entire rack of this figure.  That won’t be happening ever again.  Gipsy is an awesome figure, well worth the $20 price tag.  Here’s hoping the figure’s an indication of the movie’s quality!

#1555: Gold Ranger

GOLD RANGER

POWER RANGERS: LEGACY (BANDAI)

I don’t review many Power Rangers figures on this site.  And when I do, they’re pretty much always from the Mighty Morphin’ incarnation of the show.  It’s amusing, because, while I certainly have an appreciation for MMPR, since it’s the original and all, I only caught it fleetingly in its original run.  I’ve touched on this somewhat in past reviews. Power Rangers in Space is actually the first Rangers show I got actively invested in, but the first incarnation I owned any toys from was Zeo, Mighty Morphin’s follow-up series.  My favorite Ranger design of all-time is definitely Zeo’s sixth member, the Gold Ranger, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gold Ranger was released in Series 4 of Bandai’s Power Rangers: Legacy line.  He’s one of the three Zeo-based figures in this series, alongside the Green and Yellow Rangers (the other two figures are the Blue and Red Rangers from Dino Thunder).  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  That’s slightly less posability than the Red Space Ranger, but the missing joints were mostly redundant on that figure and ended up adding a bit of extra work to pose him so that none of his extremities were oddly twisted.  With this figure, he’s definitely less contorted looking right out of the box.  That being said, I do feel it’s important to note that this guy does *not* have mid-forearm cut joints like the last figure.  I gave one of them a small twist on my figure and the glue holding his wrist in place came undone, which was a pain to fix.  The Gold Ranger’s sculpt uses the same basic starting point as the Red Space Ranger, so he has the same exaggerated, superhero build the Bandai America likes to give to their Rangers, for better or for worse.  He also has the same wonky shoulders that I wasn’t super crazy about, but fortunately those shoulders are mostly covered by his chest plate, so the issue is lessened.  In general, the new armor additions really help this figure out, since they cover a lot of Bandai’s usual sins on these figures, and in general help to keep him looking far more in line with his onscreen counterpart.  The armor pieces also off Bandai the chance to add a little bit more intricate detailing to the figure, thus keeping him from being quite as simplistic and bland as some of their other sculpts.  I also quite like his head sculpt, which does a great job of capturing the show’s design, and manages not to look too small in comparison to the rest of the body.  The paint on the Gold Ranger is the source of some controversy.  The prototype and all promotional shots of the figure showed him with armor that was actually gold, matching up with the show depiction.  When he arrived on retail shelves, his armor was more of a orangey yellow, with only the slightest metallic twinge to it, which has upset a lot of fans.  I can understand the complaint, and I’d probably be happier with the figure if he were in the proper colors, but I don’t find myself all that upset with the final product.  As it stands, I think the color’s close enough to work, and his overall appearance hasn’t been altered all that much.  I suppose it might bug me more if I had the Green or White Rangers, both of whom have a different shade of gold, but just on his own, I think this guy looks fine.  As a sixth ranger figure, the Gold Ranger doesn’t include a piece of his team’s Megazord, but he does include his Staff of Gold, which is pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy’s really the whole reason I got into the Legacy line in the first place.  I’ve wanted a Figuarts version of him since I got the Mighty Morphin’ team, but the odds of that getting made are kind of slim at this point.  So, when this guy was shown off, I was pretty pumped.  It took him a little while to get here, but I can’t begin to describe the excitement when I found him.  He’s got his flaws, but I’m overall very happy with this figure!

#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.