#0595: Panzer Puncher

PANZER PUNCHER

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

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What the heck is a Panzer Puncher? That’s probably a question that you, dear reader, are wondering right now. Well…um…it’s kind of just this thingy. I honestly feel like no explanation is ever going to live up to that name. Is he a Panzer that also punches? Is he a guy who exclusively punches Panzers? Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure, but I’m hardly going to complain. ‘Cause how can you complain about a name like Panzer Puncher? You just can’t. Anyway, he’s another figure from the Assemble Borg line, on which have recently become hooked. Does he live up to the phenomenal Nexus? Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PanzerPuncher2Panzer Puncher was entry 011 in Revoltech’s Assemble Borg line. He was part of the second round of heroic Borgs, under the “Counter Strike” heading. The Counter Strike figures each had a “CONVERTING SYSTEM” gimmick, and Mr. Puncher here is apparently “For Close Combat CONVERTING SYSTEM” according to the box. Panzer Puncher pre-dates the change-over to the more modular style of Assemble Borg introduced with Nexus, so he’s a little bit more of a traditional figure. However, he does still have a fair bit of customizability. In his standard, no-add-on set-up, Panzer Puncher is roughly 6 inches tall and has 42 points of articulation. While Nexus had a rather technical detail-intensive sculpt, Panzer has a much cleaner, sleeker design. Every detail carries a certain quantity of weight to it, which gives Panzer Puncher a rather bold looking design. He definitely feels like a different style of character compared to Nexus, though the two still manage to mesh well together. They’re definitely from the same line. All the PanzerPuncher5Counter Strike figures feature the same set of pieces as a starting point, with tweaks here and there to emphasize their particular theme. Since Panzer Puncher is a thoroughly close-combat style of character, his armored parts are a little bit more bulky and lot more squared-off. The guy’s even got a freaking battering ram on his face, just to send home the message of what exactly his specialty is. Panzer also includes a set of big ol’ shoulder pads, which, through use of some extra Revolver joints, can be attached to his shoulders for additional protection. But, hang on, isn’t this guy’s name Panzer Puncher? Shouldn’t he have some serious fighting-fist capabilities? Fear not, dear reader. The shoulder pads can be moved from the shoulder and attached in place of his normal-sized hands, for proper giant fighting-fists. What’s more, the tops of the shoulder pads can be removed and placed together, to create a big sea mine looking thing, which you can use for just about whatever you want. Also, I don’t think this is true of every version of the figure, PanzerPuncher4but my Panzer came with three tops for his shoulder pads instead of two. More armor for me! In addition to the shoulder pads/fighting fists, Panzer includes a multi-part display stand, an action impact stand (my favorite of the two), a backpack, a selection of Revolver joints (with a cool box to keep them in), and four pairs of hands: fists, gripping, open gesture, and karate chop. For some reason, my figure has two left chopping hands, but I feel certain it’s supposed to be right and left. Bummer, but it’s not like I’ll be using the normal hands anyway. Also, Panzer has a Revolchip worth 10 points. During the line’s run, these could be traded in for various promotional items, but only if you had a Japanese address. No Revolchip points for me! For Nexus, the paint hardly seemed worth mentioning, but I would be remiss to neglect it on Panzer. He doesn’t have the most complicated paint in the world, but he does have some pretty amazing semi-metallic, glossy finish blue on his armored parts, which just looks absolutely amazing in hand. It just pops!

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s still Tim’s fault. See, I didn’t quite share the whole story last time. After Tim showed me the two figures he had ordered and before they arrived, the two of us decided to troll eBay to see what figures were readily available. Tim ended up purchasing yet another two figures, and, after looking through a fair amount of pictures, I decided that Panzer would be my first Assemble Borg. So, I went ahead and bought an amusingly incorrectly named “Panzer Pancher” from a seller on eBay. Of course, then Tim got an extra Nexus and ruined that plan, but hey, what are you gonna do? Panzer definitely exhibits a different side of the line than Nexus, but I certainly didn’t enjoy him a single bit less. He’s an incredibly fun figure, and one of those toys that I keep finding myself picking up and messing with a lot. Of course, now I’m firmly entrenched in this line and there’s no way of going back, but, hey, what’s one more import line to collect?

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#0584: Nexus

NEXUS

ASSEMBLE BORG (REVOLTECH)

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A lot of the entries on this site are reviews of licensed properties. Quite frankly, a lot of action figures in general are licensed. It’s easier to sell something that people already know, and, as a buyer, it’s far easier to be swayed on a purchase when it’s something you’re familiar with already. However, action figures didn’t begin their life as a licensing thing, they began with GI Joe (which, ironically enough, has become a property that is licensed). As someone who appreciates action figures as action figures first, I get an immense enjoyment out of figures that are something all their own. Things like Micronauts, Weaponeers of Monkaa, or even I Am Elemental, offer a totally different experience than something that’s just licensed, and, when done right, they’re pretty much pure fun. I’ve recently stumbled across another such line, from the toymakers Revoltech, called Assemble Borg. Today, I’ll be looking at my first figure from the line, Nexus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nexus3Nexus is entry 020 in the Assemble Borg line. Technically, that makes him the 20th item in the overarching line, but it should be noted that the original Assemble Borg line actually went on hiatus a couple of years ago, and Nexus is in fact the first figure in the re-launched version of the line, which now bears the sub-heading of Nexus. So, if you want to really get technical here, this is actually an Assemble Borg Nexus Nexus. That’s not confusing or anything! Initially, Assemble Borg focused on a set of characters, divided into heroes and villains, who were sold as established figures whose parts could be interchanged. The focus was very much on collecting each specific character, much like a traditional action figure line. For Nexus, things have changed ever so slightly. Instead of many figures, there are two figures. One is Nexus, who is the base figure from which many other figures can be built. The idea here is that, in theory, you can have as many Nexuses as you want, and they can all be different, through use of either the extra pieces FANG Versionpacked in with this figure or with complimentary pieces included in various add-on sets that are available (more on those later). The line is built around the collector’s creativity, which makes each collection completely unique. In his most basic set-up, Nexus stands 6 inches tall and features 42 points of articulation. As a Revoltech figure, Nexus’s body is built out of a large number of pieces, each connected by a Revoltech revolver joint.  Many Revoltech figures will have sculpts that are made to mask these joints, however, the Assemble Borg figures leave them pretty much fully exposed to allow the fullest possible range of motion. That being said, the sculpt still does quite a bit to make the joints “meld” with the overall flow of the sculpt, so the figure doesn’t look flimsy or hastily put together. Each piece of the figure has a nice mixture of textured mechanical sculpting and smoother housing components, which ends up being really cool looking. ToGaliber Version aid in customizability, many portions of the body feature ports that will fit any basic Revoltech, meaning you can pretty much plug anything into anything else. You want Nexus to have hands on his calves? I mean, that’s kind of weird, but you have the ability to do it. If I had one complaint, it would be that there aren’t quite enough of these ports. For instance, there aren’t any on the arms, which can be a little limiting. More ports = more fun! Now, the cool thing about this figure is all the extra parts he comes with. In his basic, out-of-the-box load-out, Nexus has a faceplate, a set of shoulder pads, a center piece for the torso, and a pair of fists. According to the back of the box, this is the “Fang” setup. The faceplate is the most “face-like” of those included, with eyes and such outlined, and he’s got quite a bit of orange going on.  This is probably the slimmest combination of parts and it seems the most “conventional” of the bunch. On the opposite end is the “Galiber” set-up, Edge Versionwhich features a much blockier selection of parts, with lots of squared edges. I liked the look of this one on the box, but the face plate ends up sitting at a weird angle, which I was not a fan of. Also, the bulkier shoulders are cool, but you need revolver joints to hold them in place, so they do sit out just a bit far. On the plus side, these can be used in place of the hands, for a metal fighting fists type of set-up, which is sweet. The final set-up is called “Edge,” and it’s a sharp one. No, literally, it’s sharp. Everything is blades on this one, except for the face, which is simple and smooth. In addition to the three sets of faceplates, chest armor, and shoulder pads, Nexus also includes a pair of gripping hands, a pair of splayed hands, a gun, a sword, two holster pieces, and two double port pieces, as well a wide selection of various Revoltech joints and connectors so that you can configure the figure (say that ten times fast!) however you like.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is Tim’s fault. No, really, it’s all Tim’s fault, start to finish. He told me he found this cool line of figures (always a bad thing to say to me) and followed up by saying that people were comparing them to Micronauts (an even worse thing to say to me). He then tells me he’s already ordered himself two of the figures and shows the pictures to me. Well, great, now I have to buy myself a few of these. But then, Tim texts me a few days later and tells me that Amazon accidentally sent him two of Nexus, and they’re letting him keep the second. He then asks if I might, possibly, just maybe, be interested in the spare. Seeing as I just reviewed the figure, you can probably guess what my answer was. Now, the prototype shots of Nexus were cool, but I wasn’t super sold on any of the set-ups. Then I got him in hand and discovered the whole “plug anything into anything” bit, and the figure became oh so much better. So, I bulked him way up, gave him fighting fists and a handle face, and now he’s one of coolest figures I own. This line is just way too cool.

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