#1370: Diamondhead



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!


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.


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.

#0177: XLR8


BEN 10

Ben 10. Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in quite some time…

Ben 10 was one of those shows I was very interested in at first, but started to drift from after a few episodes. I don’t really know why. It wasn’t a bad show, I just started routinely missing it. Nevertheless, I had the action figures, because those alien designs were pretty cool. Today I’ll be looking at the resident speedster: XLR8. Isn’t that a clever name?


XLR8 was released as part of the second assortment of Bandai’s Ben 10 line. He has 8 (wow a whole 8!) points of articulation and stands roughly 3 ½ inches tall. He’s a Bandai America figure, so he was in the 3 ½ inch Ben 10 line, meaning every single figure in the line was 3 ½ inches tall, regardless of relative height to each other. Oh the joys of Bandai. The 8 points of articulation allow you to put him in a standing pose and…. Yeah that’s about it. There are no other poses. The figure’s sculpt isn’t terrible, but it’s not quite on model to the animation either. Most noticeably, the upper legs look pretty off, almost like kangaroo legs. The tail has been sculpted in a position that looks good with almost no poses, so there’s that I suppose. The figure’s paint work is okay, but there are a few spots with fuzzy paint masks or bleed over. He also had random black spots various places, even when brand new. The figure includes a removable mask, which actually is pretty cool.


This figure was acquired using a gift card I got for Christmas one year, I believe. I remember I quite liked XLR8’s design on the show, and IU was very definitely looking forward to the figure. As with almost all Bandai figures I own, I remember liking the figure when I got it, but now I have no idea why. They just aren’t very good toys, truth be told. It’s a shame too, because some of the Ben 10 designs really would make cool toys if handled properly.