Anime


3-D Animation From Japan: Tenchi Muyo!
Tenchi Masaki
6-inch scale
By: McFarlane Toys
$6.99

It’s been almost 20 years since Todd McFarlane changed the way we look at action figures. Todd Toys (as it was originally known) brought to the table a larger scale along with more involved sculpts, paint, and packaging. A lot of companies started quickly trying to play catch-up as McFarlane put out tons of awesome action figures of relatively unknown Image Comics characters. Unfortunately, the glory days could only last so long and McFarlane couldn’t keep up the pace with larger companies who could afford to add super-articulation into the mix.

The figure I’m reviewing today comes from one of Todd’s better ideas from his waning days of being relevant in the mass market toy world. Anime and manga culture is relatively new to America, and was really hitting its stride during the late 90s with programs like Toonami bringing all sorts of new shows and movies to our shores and whetting our appetites for more. McFarlane Toys debuted its “3-D Animation from Japan” line in 2000, bringing many popular anime properties to shelves around the US. Tenchi Masaki of the wonderfully light-hearted Tenchi Muyo! (No Need for Tenchi) was featured in series 2. Let’s take a look.

Aesthetics:
“Clothes make the man. I believe that.” – Joe Versus the Volcano


Mr. Masaki here looks fantastic. Animation in general and anime in particular has a long history of being hard to capture in three dimensions, but the sculptors at McFarlane Toys pulled it off beautifully.


Tenchi is only a teenager in the show, which accounts for the particular roundness of the face. Tenchi’s descended from an alien race from the planet Jurai, and here wears the robes of the house of Jurai, beautifully sculpted and painted to appear just like the anime. There are soft color changes painted on to imitate the cel-shading of animation, as well as thick black lines to represent the ink-lines of the art. You can even see on the white areas some light blue added to re-create the blue-on-white shading of animation along with some darker blue on the hair for sheen. Aside from the unusually dark skin color on Tenchi (who, like most anime characters, usually appears Caucasian) the paint is flawless.


In the package, McFarlane included two swords that fans will recognize from the show, a large base with the show’s title in big awesome letters, and the light hawk wings, a sort of shield that Tenchi manifests later in the series for maximum badassery. The light hawk wings and lightsaber-looking sword are both cast in clear plastic and look great. The other sword is sort of bland looking, but I never really liked the design in the show either, so to each his own.


The two parts of the light hawk wings can be connected to each other and attached to the base to imitate the look of the show. There’s a clip on the back of the smaller one, but I can’t recall what the significance of it is.

The only issue I have with the sculpt itself is that I think the face is a bit calm for such a dynamic pose. By the time Tenchi got to use the light hawk wings or fought in this costume, he was usually pretty pissed or at the very least put out. As it stands now, he looks like he’s doing lunges during his lunch break to keep his ass in check.

Articulation:
Here’s where, once again, I gotta dock points. There’s not much articulation here at all, but more than you might think.


Tenchi’s articulation is thus: Swivel neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, and calves; Pin ankles; and Swivel-hinge hips. I gotta give McFarlane credit on using the swivel-hinge before it really made its mark, but without knee articulation it just kinda pisses me off. I’m like, hmm that’d be nice if it did anything at all, but poseability-wise it’s as useful as a swivel would be. The ankles are actually pretty nice, but the feet are so small that the weight of the figure just uses the ankle as a lever to make him fall over on the base all the time.


This is pretty much what you’re going to get out of him. I was pleasantly surprised that he had more articulation than I thought, but it’s so poorly executed that I actually wish he was less articulated so he could hold that dynamic pose better.

Value:
So what we have here is basically an okay shelf piece in 6-inch scale. While he comes with some really nice accessories and looks great, the lack of poseability makes him pretty useless for anything but staring at. I picked him up for $6.99 at PuzzleZoo, who has an awesome flat-rate shipping policy. Even at that price, I would say he’s for die-hard fans only. The sculpt and paint are both admirable, but he’s about as useful as an animation cel.


Score Recap:
Aesthetics: 8
Articulation: 4
Value: 6
Overall: 6

Tenchi here is just articulated enough to wish he was better. A less dynamic pose would have made him more fun as an action figure, but definitely not fit in with McFarlane’s work at the time. If you’re just dying to get your hands on a Tenchi figure, he does have a really great sculpt and the paint work is well-handled aside from the odd skin color. He’s definitely not your iconic Tenchi Masaki, but as is the case with most male anime characters, your toy options are going to be pretty limited.


Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.


Revoltech Fraulein
Pocco (2004)
6 Inch Scale
By: Kaiyodo
$11.99 from Circlered.com

I’m not big on the “Sexy Anime Girl” genre of toys, even the tamest of them tend to make my skin go all crawly. I’ve watched my share of anime and have even enjoyed the majority of it but there’s just something about a small plastic version of these doe-eyed women that tends to gimme the willies.

I’ve seen this character before while looking at different Revoltech figures online, I had no idea who she was but thought she looked neat. After some very lazy research I found out that she’s based on a drawing done by Shunya Yamashita in a book called “Sweet Dreams”. Wikipedia says that he’s known for the ”beautiful expressions and entrancing eyes of his subjects” and that his work “ranges from classic fantasy to post apocalyptic futures”. Sounds pretty neat actually.

I ordered this little lady online a few weeks ago when I bought the Revoltech Toy Story 3 figures. She was on sale and, since I am a big fan of the few Revoltech figures I own, it seemed like a good deal on something I could talk about for good ‘ole InfiniteHollywood.com. As a bonus, I can chase my wife around the house with her making squishing noises!

Packaging:
Pocco comes in a well-constructed window box that’s reminiscent of other Revoltech packages. It’s not as elaborate as the boxes my Woody and Buzz came in and not nearly as big. I’m guessing this is a feature of the Fraulein line and meant to keep costs low.


The back of the box shows Pocco in several different poses and displays the multiple hands that she’s packaged with(more on these later). On the bottom left of the box is the original art that Pocco is based on, she’s hanging out with a little fuzzy critter that isn’t included (awwww).

There is also a lot of Japanese print but I’m far too lazy to translate it for you. It probably talks about her many run-ins with Jake the Tentacle Creature and his handsy cousins so in all likelihood I’ve done you a favor.


Inside the box, Pocco rests in a plastic tray that holds her and her gear securely with no twist ties or clips. Her stand is packaged underneath the tray along with a little bit of advertising paperwork. I love the way Revoltech figures are packaged and I really wish that some of the collector-focused lines in the US would switch to this method.

Sculpt:
Pocco is sculpted out of slightly flexible PVC, it’s a material that does a good job of looking like exposed skin. This is a good thing because Pocco has a whole lot of that going on! Her overall appearance falls in that really strange zone between “Cute” and “Stacked” that so very many anime girls inhabit.


Believe it or not, the first things I noticed on Pocco were her cool goggles sitting on top of her head. Once I realized those were sculpted in place I admittedly noticed her, erm, well…. her boobs. You see, Pocco is basically wearing a painted-on white bikini that’s accessorized really well.


She’s got some great looking red boots that look to be folded down over themselves. They only cover her legs up to the knee but she also has a kind of sheathe that covers her left leg all the way to her thigh. It has a detailed black lace pattern that looks really nice.


Her arms are wrapped in sculpted lavender cloth all the way from shoulders to hands. The cloth looks almost loosely draped, leaving small sections of skin exposed. Her left arm has a wicked gauntlet attached to it that looks like it could do some serious damage while the right arm has a loop of excess cloth that hangs down.


Expanding on the “sexy” elements, Pocco is roccin a corset (I think it’s technically a cincher) about her bosom. It does a nice job of framing her assets and is actually very detailed. Check out those sculpted laces! She has a very cool belt that covers most of her crotchal region, I particularly love the scarf thing that is wrapped around the right side of her belt.

Pocco’s face is very cute, even beautiful in some ways. She has a nice girlish hairstyle that frames it very well and a blank, almost expectant, expression on it. Her goggles look awesome, so awesome that it makes me even sadder that they can’t come down over her eyes!


Lastly, Pocco has little metal wings that peg into a little assembly attached to her back. I’m not sure if these wings are functional or not, maybe she’s on her way to a Halloween party and she decided to go as a steam punk faerie. Either way, the wings are one of the coolest parts of the figure and they are sculpted with just enough detail that they look right at home.

Articulation:
Pocco is absolutely packed with revolver joints, the signature joint of Revoltech. These are unique connections that allow both pieces that peg onto the joint to spin, they also have a hinge within the joint. Because of all of these revolvers Pocco can get into all kinds of crazy poses.


Her arms in particular are very flexible, the joints are unlike any I have ever seen and allow her to cross her arms, put them behind her back and many do many other things that normal figures only dream of.

I had some problems with the legs, a bit of their articulation is blocked by the belt that hangs on her hips. The belt is easily moveable to allow full posability but it does take away from her looks just a little when it’s scooted up past her waist.


Another neat feature of her articulation is the ability to swap parts with other toys that use the revolver joints. If you have other Revoltech or Fraulein figures the combinations are just about limitless!

The down side of these removable joints, and to the high number of them present on the figure, is that they tend to come loose if you spend very much time posing them. Her arms, in particular, like to slide out at the shoulders giving here a kind of depressed and slouchy look. It’s easy to fix this, you just push her arms back onto the pegs, but it’s annoying enough to note.

Accessories:
Pocco doesn’t really come with much in the way of extra gear. You get her sword, extra hands and a stand.


The sword is my favorite by a long shot, I love the design of it and I think it matches her very well. There is a lot of nice detail to it and its unique looking, something that tends to be a bit rarer than it should in toy weapons. I really wish the length of cloth from the drawing of Pocco had made it to the toy though!

Her extra hands are not all that impressive. I tend to prefer articulated hands to these swappable ones but I know Kaiyodo has fallen firmly on the other side of that argument. I imagine it would be difficult to make hands this size articulated without making them EXTREMELY fragile so I won’t get hung up on it.


You get 6 hands total, 1 open and 1 closed for each arm as well as 1 that’s sort of half open but mostly useless for each side. I don’t find that the difference is all that big between them, the hole in the hand is just the right size to hold her sword and doesn’t disrupt the sculpt very much. I’d have much preferred they include the adorable fuzz ball from the original art instead of her closed hands.

Value:
I’m probably going to have to fudge things a little bit on this section since the prices for this figure are all over the place. She runs between $7 and $30 on ebay and I’ve seen her for as much as $25 in different online stores. I paid $11.99 for her which is a bit on the low end of average.

The real wild card factor to consider is the dreaded S-word: SHIPPING.


The vast majority of sellers that offer this figure and other Revoltechs through Ebay are based overseas. This adds a large amount via shipping and handling charges to the actual cost of Pocco and her super-articulated friends that can make them a lot more expensive than they initially appear.

This is one of my big problems with Ebay sellers in general and more specifically sellers located in China. While there are a lot of domestic sellers using shipping and handling as an extra profit cushion I have never run into any quite so consistently in your face with it as some of the China-based vendors. Often times you will see an action figure listed for less than $10 only to have shipping and handling marked at over $20 for the cheapest method available. Be very careful when pricing imported items!!!


Assuming you can get her for around what I paid, and don’t get lambasted by shipping, Pocco is worth the price. Her flaws are far outweighed by her gorgeous sculpt and excellent poseability.


I usually mention value relative to kids vs. adults, but I don’t think kids are a true factor here. This is an adult collectible (not THAT kind of adult collectible, not really) and I’m not going to count it’s fragility against it’s value.

Summary:
Pocco is a really interesting and mostly well constructed figure and I’m very happy that I took the chance on her. She doesn’t really fit into any of the existing collections on display at my home and I know next to nothing about her but I had hours of fun taking pictures for this review. I think everyone should own at least one Revoltech figure and Pocco is a good one to test the waters with because she is relatively inexpensive.


If Pocco isn’t your cup of tea, and I certainly won’t blame you if she’s not, then I encourage you to pick up SOMETHING from the Revoltech line. You can get Batman, Predator, Buzz Lightyear, Iron Man, Jack Skellington and many, many others all in essentially the same “scale” (used VERY loosely) and all made with similar articulation and attention to detail.

While Ebay offers the widest selection I’d encourage you to try places like bigbadtoystore.com or circlered.com first. If all else fails and Ebay becomes your only option try sellers based in your home country.


As long as you don’t end up spending too much I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!


GN-U DOU
Galactic Gale Baxinger
5.5 Inch Scale
By: Yamato
$20.00

The Japanese toy market is filled with lots of different styles of figures. Often they aren’t marketed so much as toys, as they are model kits. Many of these kits however, when completed, leave you with an awesome action figure. It can be confusing for the Western consumer at times to decipher whether an item is a kit or a figure. Yamato hoped to split the difference with their 2008 GN-U DOU line, which offered up fully composed action figures that were built off a variety of pieces as if assembled via a kit.

The story of Baxinger is set 600 years after the destruction of Jupiter where the solar system was in a state of peace under the Bakufu government. However, the lawlessness of this new solar system prompts a man named Dan Condor to organize a new J9 team to fight against injustice. Equipped with Cosmobikes, they merge into a super robot named Baxinger.

Galactic Gale Baxinger isn’t known to American anime fans in most circles, likely because nobody bought the rights to it and renamed it Voltron. That’s sort of ironic as the show is very similar, with bikes replacing the Lions. Had World Events Productions selected Baxinger instead of Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV for season 2 of Voltron, everyone would know this guy.


Of course, I picked this guy up because he looked cool. I’m a fan of giant Japanese robots and the uncanny resemblance to Voltron certainly didn’t hurt. But how does Yamato’s unique joint system figure compare to other offerings like Revoltech?

Packaging:
Japan has a different market than America, as toys are regularly marketed for adults. Unlike most toy companies here in the states, “adult collector” isn’t a hush-hush word in the land of the rising sun. As such, these toys are packaged and marketed more towards that demographic. Of course, these are likely popular with children as well.


Yamato has given us a nice window box design here. It’s not much different than what we see from Bandai or Kaiyodo, but there is definitely a certain sleekness to this package. For whatever reason it seems more upscale to me than the other window boxes out there. Yamato typically deals in a lot of high end stuff and maybe that’s why the presentation appears that way to me.


The back of the package has a few pictures of the figure in action. It’s also loaded down in language, I presume describing the figure and it’s features, but my Japanese is a bit rusty.


One side of the box is particularly useful, with a great photo of the interior skeleton of the line. Every figure in the toy line is built on this frame. The armor is then snapped into or around the inner body, hence the model kit aspect. I believe the concept was to allow people to customize creations and characters as well.


Inside is a simple double layer tray that’s taped together. The figure and his accessories are free to be removed when you take the top tray off. Easy peasy.

Sculpt:
You might think that since all of these figures are built on the same frame, it would be obvious in the sculpt. Actually it’s the complete opposite. Unlike Revoltech, which often has it’s joints exposed, it’s almost impossible to see the joints on this figure.


The shoulders are connected via a double ball joint and that’s the only area that’s readily visible on the toy. The rest of the sculpt is nearly flawlessly concealed in the excellent framework of the figure.


Truth be told, I prefer this character’s design to Voltron. This guy has a more solid build and seems better thought out. Voltron, like many Megazords, often seems uneven or clunky. That’s not the case with Baxinger. Everything just seems right with his proportions.


The scale is a bit odd, at 5.5 inches but the rest of the line is scaled the same. This means you won’t have any worries about if this guy is compatible with other giant robots. Naturally, of course, that means you gotta catch em’ all.


One interesting note is that the figure comes with a plastic bib attached around his neck. Revoltechs sometimes do this but I assume it’s here on this figure to protect the head from scratching the chest. It’s easy to pop off the head and remove that.


Actually it’s pretty easy to remove everything from Baxinger. That’s pretty much the whole idea. If you wanted, you could unsnap every piece of armor until you have the same wire body that was shown on the side of the package. That’s a pretty interesting concept, but especially useful at times as well.

Articulation:
Japan seems to know no bounds when it comes to articulation. While they crank out tons of limited articulation vinyls, they just as often set the standard for articulation points. Many times, like the case here with GN-U DOU, they invent entirely new ways of doing articulation.


The base skeleton body has a ball jointed neck, double ball jointed shoulders, upper arm swivel, double hinge elbows, ball jointed wrists, ball jointed upper torso, ball jointed midsection, 190 degree swivel hinge thighs, thigh swivel, double hinge knees, swivel ankles, and swivel hinge rocker ankles. There may even be a couple of points I missed.


With all the armor on, though, he’s slightly less articulated. Yet I am absolutely blown away at how much poseability this guy really has. While he can’t get the full extension of every joint, most remain poseable to some degree and others are completely unhindered. You’re left with a much more natural movement and honestly, I think I prefer it to the Revoltechs.


He’s not really fiddly at all. Unlike the Ultra-Act line, he’s also not loose at all. His joints remain tight and it’s a cinch to pose Baxinger in any fashion you can imagine. He can cross his arms out and inward at an almost unheard of degree, given the design.


The side to side hip motion is the one area that’s most hindered by the armor, but it’s very easy to just pop off an armor piece to give him more extension. In theory you could do that with any piece of the armor, but it’s particularly non-noticeable on the hip area.

Accessories:
The one area where this guy is a little light, at least by Japanese standards, is the accessory column.


Baxinger gets three alternate hands, in addition to his regular hands. That works out to one pair of fist hands, on pair of open hands and a sword holding hand. The sword is stuck in his hand, which does limit posting somewhat, but it’s not the more grievous offence out there.


The hands swap out pretty easily. I do worry a bit about forcing the hands on and off on such small pegs, but it’s nowhere near the hassle that I’ve had on certain Revoltech figures. All of the hand poses are pretty good and you get several simple posing opportunities from them.


I love the design of the sword. It’s big and cool, but keeps it just simple enough.

Value:
When these originally hit, I suspect they were going right at the same market as the Kaiyodo products. At $35ish they were a tad steep, especially given the lack of accessories. Now they’ve come down in price and they can be had for $20 and under. At those price points, I can wholeheartedly recommend them.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 10
Articulation – 8
Accessories – 2 Hands, Sword Hand
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been souring on the Revoltech execution a bit as of late, but I would very much prefer to buy more GN-U DOU figures than Revoltech. I’m pretty sure that Yamato is finished with the line, unfortunately, because sales weren’t quite as strong as they had hoped. A lot of that is likely because of the properties they selected, moreso than the figure execution.


Even though Galactic Gale Baxinger is pretty obscure anime wise, it’s 1982 cartoon has finally gotten a truly great figure in this representation. Even if you don’t know the character, this would be a great addition to anyone’s toy shelf. It’s probably falling on deaf ears, but I’d love to see Mattel adopt a similar concept to Yamato’s inner frame GN-U DOU for it’s upcoming Voltron toys.

I’ve been holding onto this review for a while. I took the pictures quite a while back, but never got to actually sitting down and writing it until today. That happens sometimes. As far as I know there are no English reviews of this figure available. I thought about doing a video review of this Revoltech, because I’ve gotten some requests for one in that format, but I doubt I will… Anywho, on with the show…


Revoltech Fraulein
Moyashimon
Haruka Hasegawa
6 Inch Scale
$29.99

If you follow my reviews you’ll probably notice that I’m not one of those guys that buys sexy lady figures because I think they’re attractive. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess, but I’m not one of those dudes. In fact I don’t know if I’ve ever even reviewed any female figures on this site until now. Total plastic sausage fest around here.

Hasegawa Haruka is the heroine from the agriculture base anime Moyashimon. A post-graduate student at the university where the anime takes place, she is famous for two things: one, her violent behavior and two, her skimpy clothes.

It’s not that I can’t appreciate a good looking female figure, but I’m not the base. That said there is a big fan base out there both in Japan and here in the States for that. Just look at most of the Independent Comics that have ended up with figures… They’re almost universally chicks with big boobs. Why? Because there’s a market for it. Maybe there’s some correlation between nerds and hot chick toys or maybe it’s studs who are buying these things… I don’t know. What I do know is that when it comes to trying to find a super articulated figure of a female, you’ll probably have to dip your toes into that fringe wading pool.

Such is the case with Haruka here. Moyashimon is another anime I’ll never see. The premise certainly sounds way different though. I bought her because I was looking for a figure that would work with my Hellboy Animated toys as a Liz. That wasn’t easy and I’m not entirely sure this figure hits all the criteria, but I’m pretty pleased overall. Let’s break it down.

Packaging:
The Fraulein (that’s German for Girl) figure box is very similar to a regular Revoltech box. Not much has changed, although there are Fraulein logos and a couple of other things that separate this from the more normal Revoltech series.


As always, the box is good. She’s got a nice box. Sorry, couldn’t help it.


I still love that these figures can manage to pack so much into these shells and not have a single twist tie or rubber band. However in the interest of full disclosure, one of the little pieces was sort of flopping around in the package. Not in jeopardy of falling out or anything, just loose.


As with all the Revoltech figures, it’s a good presentation.

Sculpt:
I wouldn’t say I necessarily find this figure attractive, but it’s certainly got all the tools that I’m comfortable saying that if a real girl looked like this, she’d catch my eye. When trying to find a female figure that wasn’t some ridiculous caricature of male fantasy, it wasn’t a easy task. I’m proud to say that this figure looks like it could be a real person.


Haruka has plenty of curves, but her bust line isn’t Dolly Parton proportion either. That immediately put her ahead of so many others. In order for her to work as Liz, she needed to be a little bit Goth, a little bit sexy and a little bit normal. She hits most those marks.


Right out the gate though, you have to tangle with a few issues. She’s wearing one of those plastic bibs! In this instance it’s more of a skirt and you could probably just leave it in there, but it was pretty annoying. What does all this mean? It means you have to completely take the figure apart right off.


If you’ve ever wanted to rip a woman apart or saw her in half, then this is the figure for you. Also, seek psychiatric help!


Once she’s back together though, you’ll see she’s pretty flawless. Assuming you can get past some of the joint breaks. Because she’s a Revoltech and because this line focuses on lots of articulation, you have to be prepared to see some cuts and gaps. That will likely be a hump for some people, but I’m okay with it.


The paint and proportions all seem pretty perfect to me. I didn’t notice any real defects anywhere. There are a couple of kinks that have to be worked out, but I’ll go more into that in the accessories section.

Articulation:
The bread and butter of these figures is the articulation. These versions of Revoltechs are supposed to compete with the Figma figures, which also feature mostly scantly clad women. This is one hyper articulated figure.


I’m not even going to venture a guess at how many points of articulation are on her. I’m sure it’s in the millions. There’s like 6 different points in her knees alone. She can just about do anything in terms of posing and you can get some really realistic ones as well.


Don’t let my crappy posing skills fool you, she can really get in some very interesting poses.


There is some debate about who does better with the articulation, Revoltech or Figma… But chances are if you have an opinion on the matter, I won’t be able to change your mind anyway. For most us regular folks, you’ll find this articulation more than satisfactory. Though as always, there’s a bit of a learning curve here and you may not know how to work every joint in the beginning.

Accessories:
Revoltechs and their accessories. Gotta love them. Haruka has a ton of accessories and it’s going to be a pain for me to cover them all, so I hope I don’t forget any.


She has a stand, numerous pairs of hands, three little germ microbes (that’s a big part of the anime), a wine glass, a bottle of wine, two extra faces, a cup, a petri dish, some connectors to help her hold the microbes, removable hands with flesh pieces instead of bracelets and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.


She has a total of 13 different hands. THIRTEEN HANDS! Twelve sets, plus one extra. Some of the sets also have slightly different sculpts. It’s really pretty impressive. As I mentioned above, the bracelets on her hands actually cover a joint, but if you want there is a set of hands with flesh pieces that work in the same fashion.


Instead of swappable heads, you get removable faces. This works by breaking her hair into two pieces and sliding a new face in. It’s a bit of a complicated process, honestly. The extra faces include a sorta smiling face and a crazy anime crying face. This in addition to her normal smirk.


The microorganisms are well done and look very much like they should based on the anime. They have little holds in them to place the connectors on and then you can have them attached to her body or something else. It works pretty well.


The other accessories also have really good detail and as with the norm of Revoltech, everything is top quality, if not overly complicated.

Additional Notes:
Is she a perfect Liz? No. Given what I was going for though… I’m pretty pleased. I doubt the real Liz would ever wear an outfit like this but apparently Japanese women don’t wear pants. The Animated Liz didn’t really look anything like this either but she didn’t really look like any other depiction of Liz Sherman either, so I’m happy with the results and that’s all that matters. I do wish she was a tad bit shorter though. These figures are a little over a inch taller than most Revoltechs.



If you wanted to use her for something else, I suppose she could fit in with a couple of scales. She works for me with the Hellboy Animated guys because they are all hyper articulated. The level of articulation might would mess her up for other toy lines.


Value:
In terms of accessories and all that jazz, Haruka is one of the best Revoltechs I’ve gotten. Heck she’s one of the best figures I’ve gotten in terms of accessories. However, her small frame and tiny joints makes her a bit of a hassle at times. For cheesecake factor she’s pretty good but some folks will be turned off by the cuts and joints. She remains one of the harder to find and rarer Fraulein figures so expect to pay close to $30 for her. I scored a sale and thankfully didn’t pay that much.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Extra Hands (x13), Stand, Faces (x3), Microbes (x3), Tea Cup, Petri Dish, Connectors
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10


Trying to hassle with the Revoltech joints hurt this figure’s score considerably. If everything worked as easy I’d hoped, she might have got the rare 10 out of 10. As is, I find it’s more trouble than it’s worth to switch most of her parts. Which means I have to assemble her the way I want, but then the extra accessories have less value.


Regardless of those minor quibbles, it’s a pretty decent toy and definitely something that I’m sure certain collectors will love. I’m happy with the purchase and that’s about as much of a seal of approval as I can get with these specialty items. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter if you enjoyed these reviews and want more. Leave a comment, let me know what you think! Your opinion matters.


Revoltech
Black Ox
5 Inch Scale
By: Kaiyodo
2008
$19.99

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.

Packaging:
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.

Sculpt:
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.

Articulation:
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.

Accessories:
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.

Value:
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!


Score Recap:
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.