5 Inch Scale
As we continue on with March of the Robots, it’s time to look at the Lex Luthor to Tetsujin’s Superman, the nefarious Black Ox. In every incarnation of Tetsujin, from the original anime to the live action film and beyond, Black Ox has been one of his chief rivals.
Created by reclusive mad scientist, Dr. Shutain Franken, Black Ox is the evil robot counterpart to Tetsujin. While Tetsujin is used for the purposes of good, Franken implores Black Ox to do his evil bidding. Black Ox is the ultimate robot terrorist.
Black Ox is one of the less popular Revoltechs, despite the fact that he appeared in a very popular YouTube stop motion skateboard video. Black Ox is one the neatest looking figures in my view, because of his sleek, shiny robot design. Without Black Ox to cause trouble, there really wouldn’t be much of a reason to call Tetsujin 28 heroic.
Revoltechs all come in small window boxes.
Black Ox’s box matches Tetsujin’s nicely. Tetsujin is #43 and Black Ox is #44.
Interestingly, Tetsujin actually appears on the back of Black Ox’s box. As you can see in the side to side comparisons, these two figures go well together, as do their boxes. Black Ox is press slamming Tetsujin on the back of his box.
Generally speaking, Black Ox has a nice sculpt. The actual Black Ox is usually depicted with a little more of a hunch than this figure has, but you can more or less replicate it with the neck. The entire figure is really glossy and shiny. If anything the figure could be described as minimalist black.
The Revoltech joints completely disappear into this body sculpt. While Tetsujin had a couple of spots where they sort of changed his design, they don’t have that same effect on Black Ox. The body looks almost exact as it’s supposed to. From the bat-like head shape to his forearm claws, it’s all there.
The only real area of weakness I see is that the fingers aren’t claws. Sometimes Black Ox is depicted as having pointy figures. That’s such a minor thing though and it really falls more under the preference category than anything else. The shiny finish can attract fingerprints though.
Black Ox was made to fight Tetsujin, so it’s a good thing that his articulation is up to par with his metal foe. Black Ox in a lot of ways is more poseable than Tetsujin because of his design. While Tetsujin was a bit top heavy, you can pose Black Ox more freely.
In nearly every encounter between Black Ox and Tetsujin, they did a battle that seemed more like Pro Wrestling that two giant robots battling. Thankfully the revolver joints allow you to replicate those old school brawls in frighteningly detailed fashion.
Black Ox also includes a set of hinged hands, just like Tetsujin. Black Ox’s hinged hands do seem a little big when fully opened though. The nice part about the hand hinges and design is that they allow him to hold weapons more easily than his counterpart.
As I mentioned in my Tetsujin 28 review, Black Ox comes with the third head of Tetsujin. This is a deactivated or “dead” head. That’s a cool bonus and chances are if you’re buying Black Ox, you already have a Tetsujin. It’s definitely a cool compatibility thing.
Other than that, Black Ox doesn’t have as much. He includes a couple pair of extra hands, which thankfully aren’t on a revolver joint and swap pretty easily. His coolest accessory feature is a bonus arm and leg piece.
Each of these pieces can be used to replicate the inner workings of Black Ox, or battle damage if you prefer. It would have been cool to get some more extra parts though, or missile fingers. Black Ox doesn’t include an extra head of his own, but he does have the standard Revoltech stand.
Accessory wise, Black Ox can feel a little under whelming if you’re used to some of the more diverse Revoltechs. Still, the extra hands and the Tetsujin head are nothing to necessarily scoff at.
Again, $20 is pretty expensive. Getting both Tetsujin and Black Ox for $40 might make the pain feel a little less, but if you’re mostly a collector of American toys this may seem like too much money. The good news is that Black Ox is probably the cheapest of all Revoltechs on the secondary market and you can usually find this guy for $5-$10!
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Bonus Hands X2, Tetsujin Head, Stand, Arm Piece, Leg Piece
Value – 7
Overall – 7.5 out of 10
There’s nothing really wrong with Black Ox and he makes for a pretty sleek robot design. However, his lack of accessories and the bland design just don’t make him as much fun by himself. Obviously he’s fairly accurate to the source material so Kaiyodo should be applauded for that, but it’s hard to make him too interesting as a result. I definitely recommend him if you have Tetsujin though, as they make for fun battles together. You could also probably work this guy in pretty much any sci-fi or Star Wars collection.
I’m in the process of watching a Maniac Cop marathon of sorts. It doesn’t really fit in with the Christmas spirit, but I recently found out that Netflix has all three movies online to watch so I’ve jumped in. What’s Maniac Cop you ask?
Maniac Cop is a series of films that vaguely fall under the “slasher” formula starting Robert Z’Dar as a cop back from the dead inflicting death upon those who wronged him when he was an NYPD…. And anyone else who gets in his way. The first film up is Maniac Cop from 1988, the one that started it all! And by all… I mean the other two sequels.
The first Maniac Cop movie is surprisingly good in premise if not in execution, with a chilling open, and a downright haunting score by Jay Chattaway. This film also features Bruce Campbell in one of his lesser known roles. I mean, you always hear people talking about Bruce, but no one ever brings up Maniac Cop!
The movie is uneven at best, with a good performance from Tom Atkins as the detective trying to figure out who’s killing people in NYC. Everyone else doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of acting and even Campbell seems a bit tame. There are a few good supporting characters, but the movie isn’t pieced together well enough, nor are the characters fleshed out enough. Unfortunately the movie suffers elsewhere as NYC feels like a tiny city where no one ever seems to go. Some of the plot points are rushed, or never clearly explained at all. There’s also some good effects mixed in, but some bad ones as well. Not to mention a really long police chase that seemed to be padding out the run time, more than advancing the plot.
Atkins character is the central figure for the first half of the movie, until the movie flips and makes Bruce Campbell the central character. Campbell is a NYPD who is brought up on charges that he’s the psycho cop who’s been killing innocent people in the city. The movie doesn’t immediately reveal that it’s not Campbell and I think Bruce is a good choice because of his large chin, which Robert Z’Dar also sports. Although it’s pretty clear Campbell is nowhere near big enough to be the killer.
I guess I should now mention that Robert Z’Dar is a freaky looking dude. We always called him “Big chin man” when I was a kid, but I don’t think that’s actually accurate. Yes, he has a big chin… But he also has huge cheekbones. Check out Z’Dar over at his official site Z-Dar.com and see what I’m talking about.
Maniac Cop works because the camera work is very clever. They avoid showing Maniac Cop’s face for most of the movie. All you see is his hulking frame and huge cheekbones. The rest is blacked out. In fact, by the time you see Z’Dar’s face it doesn’t come off as creepy. They put some scarred makeup on him, but it’s not very good looking. It just looks like he’s got acne and bad teeth. I think they’d done better by just making Z’Dar’s face very pale with maybe just a hint of scarring. Because Z’Dar is creepy looking as is.
In the end, Campbell is cleared, Maniac Cop is dead and all is well… Or is it? Maniac Cop 2 is next. This time Maniac Cop returns from the dead again and looks much more dead this time. I’ll go on record now for saying that Maniac Cop is one of the few slasher flicks of the 80’s that could actually USE a Hollywood redo. The story isn’t as convoluted as Freddy or Jason and there isn’t a ton of emotional attachment to any particular element. It could be tinkered with and improved upon. So long as Robert Z’Dar gets a cameo!
I mentioned how creepy Z’Dar looks and here’s a picture of him with another man who’s made a career out of looking strange, Mr. Michael Berryman. These guys are true throwbacks to the old days of Hollywood horror cinema when you could get a job based on your creepy looks instead of makeup. These guys are modern day Boris Karloff or Vincent Price! They sell the macabre on their natural features, no CGI or prosthetics required.