Guest Review #0040: Vic Viper

VIC VIPER

ZONE OF THE ENDERS (REVOLTECH YAMAGUCHI)

I love robots and space ships. Thankfully, today’s figure gives me both of these. Now, if you saw the title of this post and got exited for a review of the ship from the 1985 Konami arcade game Gradius, you might be thinking, “Where does the robot part come in? It’s just a ship.” That is because this Vic Viper (while hinted to be the same ship from Gradius) comes from the 2003 Konami game Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner as a supporting LEV to the leading orbital frame Jehuty. But we’re not here to talk about Jehuty this time, transforming into review mode.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As mentioned before, this Vic Viper is based on its appearance in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall, plus a little extra height from the stand. Vic sports an impressive 65 points of articulation thanks to the extensive use of the standard revolver joints found in Revoltech figures. This makes Vic extremely poseable (almost frustratingly so), but it does disrupt the sculpt ever so slightly in places like the arms and wings. The sculpt work is entirely original to this figure and does a pretty good job capturing all the necessary dimensions and details. Everything is where it should be, although there are a few very minor instances where the mold seams interrupt some of the sculpted details. Vic’s paint is pretty great, barring one or two little spots of bleed, with a lot of really crisp detail work on the barcodes and 74 on his arms, wings, and shoulders. All of the colors match up to the game pretty closely, but what stands out is the slightly pearlescent finish to the white paint which really adds some depth to what could easily have been left a simple flat white. Contrasting that with the purple, dark grey, and metallic gold detailing really makes the figure pop. Vic comes packaged with with a spare set of arms with the hands deployed, 2 slashing effect pieces, a stand, and an extension piece that lets you transform him into ship mode if you want, though it’s a little bit of a hassle getting him there. Vic isn’t without his issues, but all in all, he’s a well made figure with a lot of potential for very dynamic poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Vic Viper a few months after I received the HD remaster of Zone of the Enders for Christmas. Oddly enough, I already had a figure of Jehuty prior to that point, so playing the game only confirmed that I would expand upon this. It took me a little time just getting used to posing him since Vic has joints all over the place, but once I got the hang of it, he turned out to be a bunch of fun.

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Guest Review #0030: Anubis

ANUBIS

ZONE OF THE ENDERS – KOTOBUKIYA

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The following is a guest review by Tim Marron. For more from Tim, check out Timsical Thoughts and Tim’s Blarg.

As if out of nowhere, from compression space, enters Orbital Frame Anubis, the twin craft of Jehuty. If you read my review of Jehuty, or were within ear shot of my incessant fawning over the figure, you probably clued into my immense enjoyment of owning it. He was just so lonely being the only Zone of the Enders figure in my collection. That’s where my amazing girlfriend Jill came in to save the day just this past Christmas. Unfortunately Sentinel hasn’t yet made an Anubis figure to match their Jehuty, but I knew there were other Anubises…? Anubi? out there. I ended up receiving the snap-together model kit version made by Kotobukiya. So here he is, the perfect fusion of model kit and action figure. This review is the true will of Metatron!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Anubis3This figure is based on Anubis’ primary appearance in the Zone of the Ender’s franchise, before he is transformed into Aumaan Anubis. The figure itself is roughly 8.5 inches tall, however his distinct lack of feet (much like Jehuty) mean he pretty much has to be on a stand. Taking that into account, plus any extras such as his vector trap “wings,” he stands somewhere closer to 10 inches. Like Jehuty, Anubis has some pretty great articulation, a point which is made all the more impressive when you remember that this is a model that I built and not assembled in a factory by skilled workers. The main figure features 56 points of articulation including a posable wire tail and an additional 24 points when you include the vector traps for a grand total of about 80 points of articulation (I’m assuming I overlooked at least one point because I’m just dumb like that). The sculpt work on Anubis is phenomenal. Every last little detail I would expect to be there and even some I didn’t are all very sharp and really help him feel like an enormous complex machine while still being very sleek and refined. More importantly, he looks just like he did in the games. The head in particular is outstanding, featuring a single tiny piece of transparent red plastic for the eyes. Anubis has no paint to speak of, given that his coloring is largely handled by having the parts cast in the appropriate hue of plastic. All of the important details are well colored and match well to the game source material. My only issue is that some more minor details such as the beige trim on the shoulder plates or the red Metatron lines aren’t there. While it is a little disappointing, I do see why leaving those details out had to happen. Plus, if you really feel like it needs it, the instruction booklet provides exact color palettes for these missing details, which I thought was a nice gesture. As mentioned before, Anubis comes with six vector traps as well as a spear and a stand. The stand even has a secondary arm to hold up the vector traps, which themselves can be positioned around Anubis in a wide variety of poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After I got my Jehuty figure, I spent a long time looking for a suitable Anubis for him to square off against. I settled on one of two options, Revoltech or Kotobukiya, but I could never find enough reason to buy either of them outright. So Anubis stayed on my Amazon wishlist for a good long while. When I actually received him as a gift, Jill and I were visiting Ethan and his family on their holiday trip to the beach. I recruited Jill and Ethan to help me put him together and we all had a great time, although I could have done without explaining that, yes, it is literally a cockpit to everyone who bothered to inquire.

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Guest Review #0006: Orbital Frame Jehuty

ORBITAL FRAME JEHUTY              

SENTINEL RIOBOT

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Today’s review is written by Tim Marron.  Check out more from Tim over at Tim’s Blarg and Timsical Thoughts.  Take it away Tim!

Grab your Metatron and engage Zero Shift, it’s Orbital Frame Jehuty. Yes. Today I’ll be reviewing the main mecha from Konami’s Zone of the Enders series which originally launched for the Playstation 2 but was recently rereleased for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. But enough about games. Let’s take a look at the figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

There are already several companies that make action figures of Jehuty, but this one specifically is made by Sentinel as part of their Riobot line. From my understanding, they’re a fairly new company but they specialize in really high-end figures, usually of the robotic sort. Jehuty’s design is taken from his appearance in Zone of the Enders: Second Runner. He stands about 7″ tall, but given he has no real feet that I trust to hold him up, he pretty much always needs a stand which boosts him to around 8″ standing bolt-upright. Of course, thats not how you’re meant to display him. Jehuty has really excellent potential for awesome action poses thanks to his mind-blowing 85 points of articulation. It really feels like someone at Sentinel had a point to prove about how many moving parts they could fit into the figure and I love it. Any pose Jehuty ever makes in the game ever can be faithfully replicated with the figure. He has a really amazing range of motion which is even more impressive when you realize that they didn’t have to mess with the sculpt to pull it off. Speaking of, being a new figure, the sculpt is all new and spot on if not a little nicer than his look from the game due to the PS2’s limits on rendering polygons. This is helped by the immaculate paint job on this thing. It’s official, Sentinel hires wizards to paint their figures. That has to be it. No bleed over, no slop, tasteful and appropriate use of metallic and matte textures, and printed text so small I can’t read it without a magnifier. Wizards. Jehuty comes with loads of accessories, 2 relaxed hands, 2 fist hands, 2 splayed hands, 2 pointed hands, 2 pointed hands with pegs (I’ll explain shortly), a long sword blade, a short sword blade, 2 wing vanes, 4 missiles with clips, 3 “option” modules with clips, a ring radar, a girder beam, a large panel, removable butt plate for attaching to the stand, and finally the stand itself. Phew. Now the purpose of the hands with pegs is that they allow Jehuty to hold the girder or the panel like he does in the game to use as a bludgeon and shield respectively. Also, the missiles and options can be attached to the ring radar to give them the appearance of floating around Jehuty. One more detail about the hands that I particularly liked was how, in the game Jehuty’s hands have 2 thumbs and 3 fingers, making them effectively symmetrical. This means Sentinel could have easily gotten away with doing one sculpt of each hand pose and just putting 2 of each in the box, but thats not what they did. If you look closely at each pair of hands, you can see that each hand is not quite symmetrical but is a mirror of its pair, so yes, Jehuty’s hands are left/right specific even though they really didn’t need to be. I still appreciate the effort though. All in all, this figure is incredible and a must-have for any ZOE fans, just as long as you have the coin for it.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this figure for my birthday after my parents got me an Amazon gift card. I’d seen it before and had been locked in an internal debate over quality/coolness of the figure vs the price but thankfully the gift card settled it peacefully. My exposure to ZOE in general actually started with action figures. Again, I’d seen various models of Jehuty on Amazon and immediately loved the design. Well, aside from the rather unfortunate uh… “cockpit” but I was willing to overlook that. It was only after I had been looking at the figures for some time and even bought the soundtrack that I got the actual game. After playing for a while I knew purchasing figure was inevitable. To my knowledge, theres been talk of Sentinel making more ZOE figures but no real developments in that. Given the quality of this figure, I’d love to see Anubis pop in out of nowhere, as is his way.

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