#3004: Grice Anna – 19th Legion United

GRICE ANNA — 19th LEGION UNITED

BATTLE FOR THE STARS (JOYTOY)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Joytoy?  It was, like, three days ago?  Man, wasn’t that cool, and new, and different?  I sure thought so.  How about we give that another go, perhaps?  While the main focus of their output is the cool Mechas, Joytoy actually puts quite a lot of effort into the scale figures that go with said Mechas.  Enough effort that they don’t just want to leave them only available within the larger sets, so they also sell them in a few other ways, including just flat out selling them on their own.  So, today, I’m looking at one of those figures on its own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grice Anna is from Joytoy’s Battle For The Stars line, which, in contrast to the last item I looked at, is actually one of their 1/18 scale lines, meaning the humans are roughly at that 3 3/4 inch mark.  The figure follows suit, standing just shy of 4 inches tall and sporting 32 points of articulation, at least on the base body.  The design also features an exoskeleton sort of brace kind of set-up, which also features some articulation, though mostly its really just in a fashion that allows the underlying figure to still be posed without any trouble.  The articulation on the core figure is a lot like a 30th Anniversary/POC Joe, but even further improved, to the point where there’s even toe articulation, which, at this scale?  Well, that’s pretty impressive.  The joints are also quite well-toleranced, so she’ll be able to hold poses without much trouble, which is always a concern at this scale.  Anna’s design is sort of a merging of modern tactical gear with a little bit of military sci-fi, in keeping with the other stuff Joytoy’s been doing.  The core figure is much more on the realistic modern tactical side, and you could honestly fit her in pretty well with Joes and the like in this state.  She’s got a long sleeve shirt and some combat pants, as well as armoring on the torso, knees, and shins (the shin armor is a separate piece, so you could remove those too if you wanted).  The full armor is comprised of a pair of shoulder pads, an alternate helmeted head, and an exoskeleton that hooks over the wrists and legs, and runs pretty much the whole body.  She’s also got a cool neckerchief, you know, for a little bit of tasteful accessorizing.  Everything slides into place pretty well, although you will need to do a little bit of disassembly of the main body to get everything on there.  My only complaint is that the helmet isn’t actually attached to the alternate head in any way, so it falls off a lot.  Feels to me like it would have made the most sense to just glue it in place, especially since the alternate head foregoes even giving her painted eyes or anything, which winds up looking pretty creepy.  Her paint work is generally pretty nice.  The base work is clean, and she also gets a darker wash on the armored parts, as well as the pants, which helps to not only emphasize the sculpted details, but also to give her a slightly more worn-in appearance, which fits the setting they’re going for.  Anna is packed with two sets of hands with differing grips, as well as an assault rifle and a pistol.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been keeping Tim in the loop on my delve into Joytoy, since he is also big on the cool robots front.  This turned out to be a point in my favor, as his sister-in-law Becca was looking to get me something cool for Christmas this year, and he was able to point me in the direction of this particular figure.  I wasn’t intending to jump down the rabbit hole of the individual figures quite this quickly, but this one’s admittedly really cool.  Sure, she’s not the same scale as the one Mecha I have, but I guess I’ll just have to get a Mecha that scales with her.  Oh darn.

#2758: Evangelion Proto Type 00/00

EVANGELION PROTO TYPE 00/00

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

Despite being a pretty big fan of the whole big mechas versus big monsters sub-genre, I somehow managed to avoid any major exposure to anything Evangelion until the last two years.  I know, shame on me.  Last winter I marathoned my way through Neon Genesis Evangelion and it’s follow-up movies, and then after a few months, my brain started working again, and now we’re kind of here?  I did enjoy the show, despite it’s brain breaking properties, and I certainly was down for some toys.  Fortunately for me, there’s a lot of options on that front!  I’m decidedly going with something generally more on the recent side, and I’m kicking off my collection with Eva Unit-00, who I’m taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evangelion Proto Type 00/00, or Unit-00 for short, was released as part of Bandai’s Robot Spirits toyline.  She’s figure 270 in the line, and marks the second of the Evas for the line.  This particular version of Unit-00 is based on her appearance in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies.  While Units 01 and 02 remain rather similar to their original designs, Rebuild does mix things up a little bit more for Unit-00, who in the original begins as an orange mecha, and then switches to blue for her more armored appearance.  In Rebuild, she instead keeps a more consistent orange and grey color scheme between both appearances.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 54 points of articulation.  This sucker’s pretty darn mobile, with a very impressive range of motion.  My prior exposure to Robot Spirits was through the Pacific Rim figures, and they  were solid for what they were, but the posability definitely wasn’t like this.  The figure’s designed for a lot of deep poses, as the Evas are prone to get into within the series, and that definitely works out very nicely.  I was also quite impressed by the engineering of the articulation, and how it works within the sculpt.  By far the coolest part is on the neck, which has a segmented construction that actually simulates stretching and compressing.  It’s really cool.  In general, the sculpt, which is quite an impressive piece of work, does a really good job of working in the articulation in an aesthetically pleasing way, while still maintaining a nice bit of accuracy to the source material.  Speaking of accuracy to the source, Unit 00 has two different looks in Rebuild, and this figure is actually designed to replicate both of them.  Right out of the box, she’s in her later, more armored up appearance, complete with the shoulder pylon things.  The shoulders are even on separate joints, so that you can keep them properly oriented, and out of the way of the arms when posing, which is pretty cool.  The shoulders, chest plate, and part of the thighs swap out for secondary parts, allowing for a conversion to the more streamlined appearance from earlier on, which looks pretty good too.  I’m more a fan of the out of the box set-up, but extra display options are always fine by me.  Unit 00’s color work is bold and clean, which is what you want to see on such figures.  A lot of it’s done through molded plastic, but the actual paint application that’s there is cleanly applied as well.  I certainly had no issues with it on my figure.  Unit 00 is quite nicely accessorized.  There are, of course, the previously mentioned alternate armor pieces, but on top of that she gets six sets of hands (fists, gripping, flat, relaxed, and two different styles of open gesture), an umbilical power cord, knife, smaller rifle, larger gun (complete with a spinning drum), handcuffs, an alternate open port for the plug, and some sort of crucifix antenna thing that I assume is somehow plot relevant to Rebuild.  It’s a really impressive selection of extras, and pretty much covers anything I could possibly think of wanting for the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I hadn’t seen anything Evangelion-related until the last two years, I also hadn’t gotten any of the toys, since I (typically) steer clear of toys for things I haven’t really experienced.  After watching the show, I definitely found Unit 00 to be my personal favorite of the main Evas, and I was definitely down for some version of it in toy form.  I’ve been looking at my options, and then this one wound up being the first of the Robot Spirits Evas to come into All Time, which certainly made my choice quite simple.  It’s a really fun figure, and probably the most fun I’ve had with a Robot Spirits release.  There’s so much cool stuff going on, and so many different options for display, but at the core of it, there’s a figure that’s just really, really fun to play around with.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2716: Ultraman – The Animation

ULTRAMAN — THE ANIMATION

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

You know what be nice?  Not going over a year between Ultraman-related reviews.  Wouldn’t that be a novel concept?  I think it would!  I’m going to do my part, and so should you!  Now, my part is very clearly purchasing the Ultraman items and then reviewing them.  Your part is…reading the reviews?  I guess.  Seems like one of these jobs is gonna be way easier.  Not gonna say which.  But I’ll imply.  Because of the implications.  When last I spoke of Ultraman, I was focussed in on the Netflix animated adaptation of the manga, and I’m staying in that general area for today’s review.  But, while that review was of the Ultraseven stand-in, this time I’m looking at the series’ main central Ultra, Shinjiro Hayata.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraman (The Animation) was released as part of the greater S.H. Figuarts line back closer to Netflix’s launch of the animation, as a tie-in.  I know, it’s a radical concept, right?  This is the second version of Shinjiro, following the manga-based version of the character that launched the Ultras into Figuarts back in 2015.  In adapting into animation, the suit uses the B Suit version’s colors, which were tweaked a bit to more closely read as the classic Hayata suit. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  Ultra’s movement is rather similar to the Ace suit, as opposed to Version 7, where the hips and legs have good range, but the shoulders are a little more restricted.  It’s slightly different, since it’s not sculpt getting in the way so much on the shoulders, but more the joints just being tighter.  So, it’s possible to get more movement out of them, but it just takes a bit more doing.  I suppose that’s a little better for long-term posing, but it does at times make me worry I might break the joints.  The figure’s sculpt is up to the usual standards for Figuarts, so it’s sharp and pretty precise.  Compared to the pointy-ness of 7 and the boxy nature of Ace, this one’s a fairly good middle ground.  He’s fairly compact and streamlined. It has a lot of similarities to the 2015 figure, obviously, but it looks like parts sharing between the two is minimal.  This one adjusts things to slightly more streamline the silhouette.  It makes him look quite sleek, and I really like how clean he looks, especially when you get him into the right poses.  It also better captures the slightly adjusted design of the later suit, better emulating the classic Ultraman design.  The paint work on this guy is, like the sculpt, clean and sharp.  The color scheme is the later design’s colors, which, while perhaps not as unique, I find to be a bit more eye-catching.  The larger sections of the same color just seem to read better for the character.  In terms of accessories, Shinjiro includes three pairs of hands (fists, relaxed, and open gesture), two Specium Slash pieces, a Specium Ray effect, standard arm guards, arm guards with the Specium Blades deployed, and one arm guard with a spot to plug in the Specium Ray.  It pretty much covers all of the basics for the character, and they’re all pretty solid pieces.  I did have a little trouble with the arm guards popping out on my figure, but it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting the Version 7 figure from Super Awesome Wife for Christmas, I found myself with both Ace and 7, but no standard Ultraman, which seemed slightly incomplete.  She and I wound up with several Barnes & Noble gift cards after the holidays, and this guy was one of the figures they had in stock, so I figured it was as good a time as any to snag him.  He’s a fun figure to be sure, and I’m glad I finally rounded out the set.

#2709: Piccolo – The Proud Namekian

PICCOLO — THE PROUD NAMEKIAN

S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)

Last year, as I delved a bit into some lock-down-induced madness and lost my steady stream of new toys for a little bit, I expanded my ever so modest selection of Dragon Ball-related reviews with a pair of Figuarts I’d grabbed second hand.  Well, it’s been, like, a year, and I’m really hoping this one’s not going to be followed by more lock-down-madness, but I’m looking at another Dragon Ball Figuart.  This time around, I’m looking at one of the franchise’s most prominent characters, Piccolo, the Proud Namekian!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Piccolo the Proud Namekian (which is, by the way, this figure’s full and proper title) is an early 2021 release for S.H. Figuarts.  This is the third time we’ve gotten Piccolo in the line following the prior Anime and Manga colored variants of the last mold.  Both versions have shot up in price, and Figuarts have evolved somewhat since their release, so it was high time for a new version.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 38 points of articulation.  Piccolo marks some pretty great strides for Figuarts articulation, at least from my interactions.  The range on these guys has always been great, but all of the joints and various separate pieces needed to give the best range generally makes the figures feel a little bit less sturdy.  As I touched on a bit in my Great Saiyaman review from last year, Piccolo is less broken up to facilitate the articulation, and just generally feels like a more solid figure, while still getting a really good range of motion.  This is especially evident on the legs, which don’t feel as floppy as some of the other figures from the line tend to be.  Notably, they lack the usual drop-hips, but are constructed in such a way that they don’t miss out on too much movement.  I definitely dig this new set-up.  Piccolo’s sculpt is an all-new offering, totally unique from the last version of the character.  This one seems to go a bit more for a slightly later-show incarnation of Piccolo, after they were consistently drawing him as a bit more bulked up, looking a bit more like his appearance post-merging with Kami.  It’s quite a nice sculpt, with sharp detailing, and a rather nice, dynamic layout to his outfit.  Right out of the box, Piccolo is in his fully kitted out set-up, with his cape and turban.  The cape is, as with most Figuarts capes, a little tricky to work with, due to its hard plastic construction.  It’s a little better handled than it was on Saiyaman, and I had less issues with it falling off on this release.  It’s using a multi-piece construction, with the shoulders and actual cape being separate parts, and the cape proper being made up of three separate sections in order to allow for more dynamic posing.  The standard head has the turban in place and a calm, more neutral expression, which is a good fit for the character.  Piccolo’s paint work is generally pretty basic, without a ton going on.  It’s cleanly applied, and bright and eye catching.  There are some very cool touches mixed in, specifically the small bit of exposed skin at his ankles; it’s an easily overlooked detail, but a cool one.  Piccolo’s accessory selection is quite impressively large.  He gets an alternate screaming expression for the turban-wearing head (the turban piece can be swapped between the two), plus three different heads without the turban, one calm, one screaming, and one with a really exaggerated expression.  He’s also got seven hands, in fist (R/L), clawing (R/L), wide gesture (R/L), and special beam cannon (R), plus an alternate set of crossed arms (rather recurrent with DBZ figures) and an extra torn off left arm stump.  Lastly, he’s got three pieces for his back; one to plug up the hole left by the cape, one for use of a stand with the cape down, and one for a stand with the cape up.  *Not* included is any sort of actual stand, as is pretty standard for Figuarts; I provided my own for the photo at the top of this review.  All in all, this selection of extras covers all the major Piccolo looks, and ives the figure quite a bit of range, which I certainly appreciate.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was first getting into these guys, Piccolo’s original Anime color release was already kind of pricey, so I held off on him, but still kind of wanted one.  Last year, when All Time started carrying Dragon Stars, I thought about snagging that line’s version of Piccolo, but ultimately decided to wait for a chance at another Figuart.  So, when this guy came in, it was kind of hard to say no.  So…uhh…I didn’t?  He’s a really impressive figure, and probably the best I’ve picked up from this sub-line.   Definitely glad I snagged him.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2634: Iron Giant

IRON GIANT

RIOBOT (1000TOYS)

Robots sure were a somewhat common theme amongst the gifts I received this year for Christmas, and when it comes to robots, a fairly early one in my personal lexicon is The Iron Giant, Brad Bird’s lovely ’50s period-piece animated film from 1999.  I saw it in the theatre, I had the poster up on my wall, and I’ve had a small little collection of the admittedly small selection of merchandise to come out of the film.  There’s been a bit of of an uptick in stuff from the movie in recent years, including some offerings on both the lower and higher end.  I’ve covered a couple of the lower-tier items on the site previously, but now I’m jumping into the higher end, with an offering from my rather recent discovery, 1000Toys!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Iron Giant was released by 1000Toys as part of the Riobot imprint, where he’s figure #019.  This is the standard version of the Giant, but there’s also a Battle Mode Giant from the film’s climax.  But the standard’s really where it’s at, and that’s where I’m at too.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The Giant continues the trend of the 1000Toys figures I’ve had of being very nicely articulated.  This one’s not so much about the quantity as much as it is the quality of those joints.  The most impressive piece of design work is the neck and jaw, which are technically one joint, but a very smartly designed one.  It’s a ball joint, which the jaw piece clips onto first, thereby allowing the mouth the much more fluid range of motion the Giant’s jaw demonstrates in the film.  It’s key to getting some of his more notable expressions, and I particularly enjoy the ability to give him that lopsided look that he uses when he is confused.  It’s a subtle thing, but it really works well.  One area I was initially disappointed by was the elbow movement, which I at first found to be very surprisingly limited.  Like, not even getting past 45 degrees levels of disappointing.  What, did Mattel design this figure?  Not to worry, though.  It turned out I’d just not fully loosened up all of the joints, specifically the sliding component on the forearms, which allows them to move further down and get the elbows a much deeper bend.  It’s another clever design, and one that again adds a lot of potential to the figure’s range of motion.  Additionally, the tolerancing on all of the joints is nice and smooth, while still being tight enough to hold the poses.  In order to give the Giant that proper sort of heft, a good portion of the figure is made from die cast parts.  Some of the smaller parts, such as the head and lower arms, are plastic, so as to prevent any issues with wear or breakage.  The sculpt itself is quite a nice piece of work.  It takes the animation model and does a very solid job of replicating it in proper figure form.  It’s clean, sharp, and properly geometric, and the proportions are all pretty much spot on.  The layers to the sculpt are well rendered, and it’s just a nice and slick looking figure.  The Giant’s color scheme isn’t exactly the most complicated thing, being pretty much just variants on grey.  The figure sticks to that, of course, but does a pretty bang up job of making it not totally bland or too basic.  There’s quite a bit of variance in the types of grey, and the application is all really sharp and clean.  The Giant has a pretty impressive selection of parts.  Obviously, they split all of the specific Battle Mode stuff into a separate figure, but this guy still gets four different heads with slight variations on how his eyes are configured (fully open, fully closed, angry, and concerned), two different jaw pieces (with and without his lower teeth), a set of upper teeth to clip onto the heads, three sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, and flat), and the “S” sign he uses when playing “Superman” with Hogarth.  There’s again a lot of subtlety to some of these parts, especially the heads, but there’s also a lot of variation possible, making for some very fun posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Iron Giant is a movie I fondly remember seeing in the theatre with my parents, and one of those instances of me wanting to immediately run out from theatre and buy a toy of the Giant, which I in fact did.  Over the years, I lost the hands to that one (because they didn’t ever really stay in securely), and I’ve been really looking for a real proper upgraded Giant figure for a little while now.  I’ve been really liking everything I’ve gotten from 1000Toys, and I’d been eyeing this guy for a little bit.  My parents were nice enough to get him for me for Christmas this year.  He’s really an awesome offering, and just so much fun.  I’m definitely glad to have this guy in my collection.

#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!

 

#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.

#1904: Etherow

ETHEROW

APOSIMZ (1000TOYS)

Hey, you guys remember yesterday’s review?  Well, good, because I’m covering some similar ground today.  Yes, for Day 4 of my Post-Christmas reviews, I’m returning once again to 1000Toys.  However, unlike my previous two 1000toys reviews, I’m actually mixing things up and looking at a proper licensed toy, not an original creation.  Etherow, today’s focus, is the lead character of the manga Aposimz, a sci-fi epic set on an artificial planet.  I can’t say as I know much about it, but it sounds kind of fun from what I’ve read so far.  But enough of that talk of reading!  That’s not what we do around here!  How’s the toy?  Read on!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Etherow is a 2018 release and is, so far, the only figure in the Aposimz line from 1000Toys.  Time will tell if that’s going to change, but not being familiar with the source material, I can’t really say for myself.  Though technically he’s a standalone figure, the fact that Aposimz is by the same artist who did all of the design work for 1000Toys’ in-house TOA Heavy Industries figures means that he’ll fit in very nicely with them.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 43 points of articulation.  Of the three 1000Toys figures I own, I found Etherow to be by far the most restricted in terms of movement.  It’s not so much the actual joints, though, but rather elements of his design that are slightly hampering him here.  All that said, there are still plenty of awesome poses to be had, and his articulation is still very smooth and easily used.  The sculpt works all of this articulation in pretty well, and, apart from the slightly impeding nature of some of the little add-ons here and there, the two aspects work nicely in tandem.  Etherow, as an armored character, has a slightly different appearance to him than the fully robotic likes of CaRB.  He’s segmented, asymmetric, and, above all, he looks like he’s been through the wringer.  His armor is dinged and dented, and just generally looks battle-hardened.  Clearly it was at one point new and sleek, but that time has since passed.  From what I’ve been able to find of Aposimz online, the figure seems to be a rather faithful rendition of Etherow in three dimensions.   Paintwork on Etherow is actually pretty impressive, considering how basic it looks at first glance.  You might think he’s just molded in shiny red plastic, but there’s quite a bit of variation to all of that red, including a good deal of accenting on the various raised edges of the armor, helping to highlight all of the different pieces.  The white striping running throughout adds a nice bit of pop, and is cleanly applied, if perhaps a little thin.  While CaRB had no extras and the Robox was a little sparse, Etherow is actually pretty decently accessorized.  He has three pairs of hands, as well as three interchangeable left forearms, one of which includes Etherow’s Ballistic Acceleration Device, which is apparently his weapon of choice.  It’s all rounded up with a rather nice articulated display stand, which makes for lots of very fun posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Etherow continues the 1000Toys tradition of being from my parents.  I caught a blurry image of this guy on Twitter back in February of last year, and had no idea what the heck he was, but I knew I wanted one.  Upon figuring out what the heck he was, I wanted one even more.  Fortunately for me, my family had me covered there.  Etherow’s not quite as free range as the other two 1000Toys figures in my collection, but he’s still a lot of fun, and there’s no denying that he’s very, very cool looking.

#1904: Robox – Basic

ROBOX — BASIC

ROBOX (1000TOYS)

“Born from a collaboration between the world famous Korean artist Kim Jung Gi and 1000toys that will produce products based on designs by Kim drawn specifically for this project.  This basic Robox is highly articulated and built stiff enough to hold poses. The first release is the standard version of Robox featuring a military paint finish with weathering and small markings.”

For Day 3 of this year’s Post-Christmas reviews, I’m actually calling back on Day 3 of last year’s round, where I took a break from all the licensed stuff to take a look at something that was designed as a toy first.  That was, of course, C.a.R.B., perhaps my very favorite item from last year’s round-up, and my first experience with 1000Toys.  Today, I’m following that up with another of 1000Toys’ offerings, a line of collapsible robots called “Robox.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This guy is the debut figure in the Robox line, as the most basic model up for grabs.  As of right now, the only real difference between releases seems to be coloring, but time will tell if they plan to expand on things.  Basic was released early last year.  He’s about 6 1/4 inches tall (a little taller than C.a.R.B.) and he has 34 points of articulation…more or less.  There are more joints than that, but they’re tied into the collapsing feature and are thus not usable in his more standard configuration.  As with CaRB, posability is one of the figure’s strongest suits.  He’s got a ton of motion, the joints move smoothly, and he’ll be able to hold poses long-term.  He’s also quite sturdy on his feet, which is always a plus in my book.  Given the robotic nature of his design, the articulation is also quite easily worked into the sculpt, by virtue of it being purposefully on display.  Basic is decidedly a different sort of robot than CaRB was, of course, being a more deliberately robotic and utilitarian design than CaRB’s uber sleek load out.  Where CaRB (and, by extension, the Synthetic Human he’s built from) is a top-of-line, artfully-crafted masterpiece, Basic is decidedly mass-produced and economized, an emphasis on practicality over finesse.  It’s a design that quite appeals to me, and the sculpt translates the very machined appearance into plastic very well.  The design is, of course, all built around his ability to fold up into a much more compact package, and it is in fact this folded up configuration that he is packaged in.  There are a handy set of instructions included showing how to unfold him, and once you’ve done the process back and forth a few times, it’s pretty intuitive and easily done.  I didn’t feel like I was risking breaking any of the joints or anything, and he stays in either configuration pretty well once full transformed.  The paintwork on this guy really reinforces the utilitarian aspect.  He’s clearly some sort of military grade item, with his olive green base coat and all of his safety markings.  I really enjoy all of the little warnings and messages printed throughout the figure, as though he were a real piece of machinery.  The work is so tiny and easily missed and yet so pivotal to giving the figure that high-end feel.  Basic is armed with two pistol-like armaments which come plugged into each leg, as well as a large shield plate, which can either be stowed on his back or placed defensively on his arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Basic here was, like CaRB, a gift from my parents.  After how impressive CaRB was, I was itching to get more 1000Toys offerings.  As a smaller company, their releases are kind of slower and lesser in number, so options are somewhat limited, somewhat pricey, and somewhat likely to move more on the quick side.  Upon seeing a review of these guys, I definitely ear-marked one for hopes to add him to my collection later.  My parents were kind enough to do that part for me.  He’s rather a different figure from CaRB, but no less impressive.  I’m a sucker for cool toys and cool robots, so this guy’s right up my alley.