Kaiyodo



Sci-Fi Revoltech #033
Legion
5 Inch Scale
By: Kaiyodo
$50 (price varies)

What’s this? Yes it’s the 12th Day of Gamera… Better late than never. This is my final Gamera review for now and with this review, we at Infinite Hollywood can claim to have more Gamera toy reviews than any website on the net! Or at least English speaking websites. This Gamera is the Revoltech version of 1996’s Gamera 2: Advent of Legion.


This Gamera figure is similar in many ways to the original Revoltech Gamera and yet, quite a bit different too. Kaiyodo continues to find new ways to make these figures stand out. As much as I love the 1995 design of Gamera, I must admit that the 1996 design and by proxy this figure, are quite awesome too. The 1996 design is a perfect marriage between the original Heisei Gamera and the final Heisei Gamera.


Is this Gamera big and bad enough to take on Legion?!
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Sci-Fi Revoltech #026
Gamera 1967
5 Inch Scale
By: Kaiyodo
$40 (price varies)

Today marks the first day of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights and it’s also the 8th day in the 12 Days of Gamera! For the rest of the days of Gamera, the famous green turtle will be lighting the letters in his name. It’s gonna be four more crazy nights of Gamera! The Festival of fire, if you will!


I’d be lying if I wasn’t shocked when Kaiyodo first announced these 1967 versions of their famous Gamera monsters. I wasn’t sure if the Gamera would be as cool as the Modern Gamera version. But sometimes I’m an idiot!


This Gamera figure kicks all kinds of ass. In fact it’s even BETTER than the other Revoltech Gamera. As much as I raved about that figure, to be even better is a tall order of business. Somehow Revoltech delivers again and this is one figure that any classic Gamera fan should rush to have as part of their collection! This guy can do everything!
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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.


Revoltech Mobile Police Patlabor
AV-98 Ingram 1 (Movie Version)
5 Inch Scale
By: Kaiyodo
2008
$20 & Up

I haven’t seen a ton of Mobile Police Patlabor, but I have seen more of it than I saw of King Gainer (which was none) and I generally liked the anime. There have been countless spin offs since the first anime in 1998. The general premise of Patlabor is that robots are now used for industrial and municipal jobs. With those robots everywhere, comes a police force that also uses them. Again this falls under the giant robot category as these robots are controlled by little drivers inside. Of course it wouldn’t be Japanese anime if our star wasn’t either a little boy in short shorts or a sexy femme fatale. In the case of Patlabor, it’s the latter.

Revoltech has actually released several Patlabors prior to this differentiating them by what anime or OVA they came from. This is the movie version and it’s #42 in the Revoltech series. Let me save you a lot of time researching the other versions right now, this is the best one.

Packaging:
This comes in the same sort of window box treatment deal that King Gainer did. As I said in that review, almost all Revoltech boxes are designed pretty uniform. That doesn’t take anything away from the design, but it also doesn’t leave me a ton to write about each time.


Because the Patlabor robot is a very nice white and gray color, it really looks good in the minimalist box because it fits into the same design. This makes the figure look quite sleek inside.


Once you remove this guy from the box you get a plastic shell. Underneath there is a stand and a few more accessories taped inside a little bag. The actual shell lifts off and inside is the Patlabor robot and some of his other accessories. There isn’t a single rubber band or a twist tie here. HOW DO THEY DO IT?! I kid of course, the Japanese market doesn’t have to deal with the heathens we have here in less sophisticated countries. Not that Americans are dumb per say, but clearly the American toy companies feel the need to strap everything in so that no one can open the package in the store, much less at home.

Interestingly, Mego used to sell their toys in little window boxes and K-Mart and other retailers told them to stop because kids were ripping them open and stealing all the parts. So don’t think this is just conjecture on my part, American kids have proven to be out of control. Anywho, enough about the problems of the American toy market and back to the review…

Sculpt:
Unless you’re an anime fan, you probably won’t be ale to tell the differences in the models of the Ingrams. The movie version is slightly different, but it’s pretty close overall. To me this looks like classic Alphonse, (the name the driver gave her Ingram) but there are probably minor differences throughout. There is even the name Alphonse written in tiny letters on the side of his chest.


This is definitely a more modern anime giant robot. He has lots of sleek curves and pointy tips just for the sake of having pointy tips. Despite the fact that I think sometimes the genre has gotten too cliched, the Patlabor Police robots are really a great design and this Revoltech greatly mirrors that.


Just because the design of the Ingram is a classic, doesn’t mean that the Revoltech would necessarily be any good. However it’s pretty apparent that lots of love and attention went into this figure. The Ingram is loaded down with extra little paint details and some of them are really tiny.


Much like Robocop the Ingram can store it’s pistol in a built in leg holster. Revoltech has incredibly replicated this ability by including a opening panel on the leg (on a revolver joint no less) and an extra arm that is the “extending” arm that the Ingram uses to grab it’s gun.


It’s almost scary that Kaiyodo can get that into their 5 inch Revoltech figure but McFarlane can’t get that into the 8 inch Robocop toy. If you ever wonder why Japan is so far ahead of America in terms of toys, this goes to show you why. It’s an attention to detail and a love for the products that they make.


Despite being a giant robot, this guy very much feels like a COP! The built in arm shield instantly reminds you of a riot squad and with the amount of posability combined with the weapons and little details like the badge and Police logo, you can’t help but pose this guy into positions that you might would pose Charles Bronson… Well, if Charles Bronson was a robot.


Size wise, this guy is pretty small. He’s even shorter and more pequeño all over than King Gainer. He feels more like he’d be GI Joe scale than Marvel Legends scale, but some of that is design. Don’t let his small features turn you away though, because this is one of the coolest toys out there.

Articulation:
Take a look at most robot toys in America, even the ones that are designed in Japan like Transformers and you’ll see that mostly, they don’t have a lot of posing opportunity. The Revoltech Ingram defies all that. You can get this guy into a ton of realistic poses that you can’t get most human figures, much less robots.


Sometimes people don’t think much of the Revoltech joint. They believe that perhaps it’s more hype than reality. When you see it in action, on a figure like this which would usually be an almost immobile clump, you really get the brilliance of the engineering. There is such solid work here.


The head is on a combo Revoltech joint, which means it basically has two revolver joints on it. This allows you to get all the movement of a ball joint, but also added poses. He can move his head like a chicken and this has become affectionately known as “chicken neck” by some fans. I can’t recall a single other toy that’s not a Revoltech that I have in my collection that can do that. The shoulders and upper arms are done via cut joints, which typically is a bad thing but these have been cut in several different areas to allow you a lot of the same range of motion as a ball joint would have. The elbows are revolver joints while the hands are simple peg joints.


There is also a revolver joint at the waist which really amps up the posing opportunity. He has cut legs and thighs, but again these don’t work quite like your standard cut joint. Revoltech’s patented revolver joint at the knee and ankles round things out.

Accessories:
In my King Gainer review I mentioned that Revoltechs typically come with a lot of accessories. Ingram is one of those perfect examples. There is so much stuff here to cover and surprisingly it’s all really good stuff as well. This guy has extra hands, but thankfully they aren’t on a Revoltech joint, which means they are pretty easy to swap out.


Ingram has the aforementioned extendable arm, two extra sets of hands for a total of three sets of hands. They are fists, one open hand and one pointing hand, two gun holding hands. Despite the fact that gun holding hands are made to hold the gun, you really have to wedge it in there. I actually ripped my gun’s trigger piece a bit pulling it in and out. Alphonse also has an extra head where his eye visor is “squinting” and a bonus set of antennas.


Perhaps the most incredible accessories are the guns. You get a really cool shotgun that has actual PUMP ACTION as well as three versions of his pistol. The detail on the pistol are really out of this world. This thing is the size of my thumbnail and it has as much detail as guns we typically see on 8 inch figures.


The three versions of the pistol are cocked and ready, one with a peg to attach to the inside leg holster and one that’s in the process of being loaded. It even has BULLETS IN IT! Out of this world. Also included are two billy clubs, one that’s folded up and one that’s unfolded. Finally he has the standard Revoltech stand with the extra basing piece. A total of 15 accessories.

Value:
Expect to pay at least $20 for this guy. You might catch him for a little cheaper, but generally this guy still runs for his original retail price. In fact the movie version of the Ingram can often be found for over the original retail. The reason for that is that this character is really well done and in high demand. Even though there are three or four other Ingrams in the Revoltech line, this is the definitive version and worth tracking down if you’re a fan of the robot or the design.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 10
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Extra Hands X2 Sets, Extendable Arm, 3 Pistols, 2 Billy Clubs, Extra Head, Bonus Antenna, Stand
Value – 8
Overall – 9 out of 10


This Revoltech scores another high mark and ranks itself among some of the best. From an aesthetic stand point, it’s vastly superior to the King Gainer figure, but the high price and fewer revolver joints are enough to make me feel comfortable giving this guy a solid 9 rating. He’s almost too small to really feel comfortable spending $20 on, but there are far worse deals out there. This is the kind of toy I wish I could build an army of and is without a doubt something that if you left on your desk you would constantly be playing with. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to get all your March of the Robots updates.

So all March long we’re going to be highlighting special reviews of robot figures and what better way to get into the mood for robots than with a Revoltech. The toy line is named Revoltech, for it’s special revolver joint system and was started by a company called Kaiyodo in 2006, who had previously made their name in Japanese “garage kits” and is primarily sculpted by Yamaguchi Katsuhisa. The general release schedule for Revoltech is two figures per month. Not counting spin offs series and some special editions, there have been 85 Revoltech figures. Most are anime robots, but Revoltech is expanding it’s line to encompass lots of new characters like Kaiju from Gamera and Godzilla, plus Predator, Alien and much more.


Overman: King Gainer
5 Inch Scale
By: Kaiyodo
2006
$20.00 (Then) – $15 & Above (Now)

King Gainer comes from an anime of the same name. Gainer is actually a giant robot. In the anime, a kid steals an “Overman robot” and uses his gamertag (Like on Xbox) as his name. Thus he becomes Overman: King Gainer. It sounds neat in premise, but I must confess I’ve never seen a single piece of this anime and I likely never will.

A lot of people have a hard time understanding buying into a figure that you know nothing about. Personally I remember as a kid I used to buy all sorts of cool looking toys without knowing much about them. The entire Shogun Warriors line was based upon this premise. Buy a cool robot figure, make up your own storyline. The Revoltech line doesn’t cover a full series of figures, it generally picks out two or three popular characters from an anime and makes figures of them.

Packaging:
Revoltechs all come in similar packages, although some of the later series do offer up some variations on the same idea. In essence these are small boxes with a window on the front showing off what is inside. A simple paper wrap and couple pieces of tape hold the box closed.


Generally speaking, the box is nice. It’s that sort of chic minimalist design that you get with Apple products. The market in Japan is a lot different than that of America, so these are actually aimed moreso at collectors than little kids. American kids are basically little savages, so a package like this would never work at your local TRU.


On the side you get a nice graphic picture of King Gainer in blue. This doesn’t seem all that eye appealing, but as you collect more and more Revoltechs, you can actually display the boxes like this. Each one has a side panel like this, though in varying colors. I’ve seen some pretty impressive displays of Revoltech boxes. Every Revoltech is numbered in the regular series. Gainer is an early figure at #7.


The other side shows off the Revoltech joint and explains a bit about it. In laymen’s terms it’s a “clicky” joint. This means it ratchets so that it holds poses tightly.


The back shows off some incredible poses with the figure and gives some more general information. The Japanese text reads: “Revoltech’s King Gainer is the pinnacle in excellence of flawless design and ingenuity. He is generally regarded as one bad mamma jamma and can slice and dice you in 14 different ways. He enjoys long walks in the park and Ron Popeil infomercials…” Actually I have no clue what any of that says. I don’t read Japanese. I’m not that cool.

Sculpt:
I was drawn to King Gainer, largely because of his cool design. This doesn’t look like your standard Japanimation robot. Sure there is certainly something VERY Japanese about him, but he looks different than a lot of anime flair. He reminded me a bit of the robots on the old Bots Master cartoon. “My name is Ninjzz. The guy with hinges and how I use my sword, it singes!”


King Gainer is full of lots of unique charm. His head has these sort of dreadlock things going on. His colors are a bright mix of white, yellow, red and dark blue. There’s a little green sprinkled in too. He looks a little like ASIMO the Honda robot.


The sculpt is just loaded with details throughout and the Revoltech joints seamlessly mesh into the design. He has sort of weird feet, that don’t look like regular feet but scream Reeboks for Robots or something. Needless to say this is a pretty cool sculpt, even if you have no point of reference.


I don’t personally see a “giant robot” here. I see a smaller, sleek ninja style robot. Japan spent a long time defining what a giant robot was and then they’ve spent the last 20 years completely reinventing what a giant robot is. I don’t really dig the sleek giant robots, so I see this guy as a robot without a “driver” as it were.


In fact I sort of see him as some sort of intergalactic space robot Usagi Yojimbo type character. Hey, like I said, this figure is a clean slate as far as I’m concerned. I can do what I want with him.

Articulation:
Unlike a lot of ratcheting joints this just barely moves, meaning it’s not jumping from place to place as you ratchet it around. Finally and perhaps most importantly, the joint isn’t connected to anything. This simply means that the joint functions solely as a joint and the two pieces fit on the ends, allowing you swivel on both ends, plus the ratcheting. When used properly a Revoltech joint can be a masterpiece in articulation.


I’m not even going to attempt to count all the articulation points on this figure. So sue me. I don’t even know how to begin. Does a single Revoltech joint count as three different points of articulation? Whatever the case this guy has 14 Revoltech joints including the four in his hair. He also has some unique swiveling cuts on the legs and arms. It’s a bit hard to explain how they work, but you get most of the same range of motion that you would get in a swivel hinge, but it’s done differently.


In a nutshell, this guy is VERY poseable. However Revoltechs may not be for everyone. They are fiddly, and it takes a little getting used to. Once you get the hang of it you’ll find yourself putting this guy into all kinds of neat poses, but it’s a learning process if you’ve never handled a Revoltech before.


Perhaps there is even a learning curve when it comes to Revoltechs. The longer you have them, the better you are at posing them. At the end of the day though, this guy gives you way more articulation than anything Hasbro, Mattel, Mezco, NECA or any of the big boys here in the states are offering. It might be done differently, but if it wasn’t, then it wouldn’t be Japanese would it?


Scale wise these guys can be a little all over the place. Gainer here is a little over 5 inches, but some can be up to 6 inches. That said, they aren’t going to be to scale with standard 6 inch American figures. Revoltechs mostly have their own scale and are pretty interchangeable with each other, though not always.

King Gainer generally has some awesome posing potential because of his hair. That allows you to create a false sense of “wind”. So he can be diving, swooping, jumping, flying, etc. The hair element really adds a lot in that sense.

Accessories:
Revoltechs are known for their accessories. However they can sometimes widely vary in the sheer amount that they have. Sometimes a figure like Soltic H8 Round Facer will only have a few. In a review I have coming up soon, you’ll see a Revoltech with about 500 billion accessories. King Gainer is sort of in the middle. He has way more than a lot of American toys give you, but an unimpressive number by Revoltech standards.


To start with you get two extra sets of hands, for a total of 6 pairs of hands. The hands are fists, gripping hands and those weird sort of kung-fu/diving hands that you’ve seen in a few of the pictures. It’s great having all these hands and it makes for lots of fun posing potential, but I will cut the BS and say that at times it can be a pain in the ass to change the hands. Some Revoltechs change hands easily, some don’t. Gainer’s hands are on Revoltech joints which means it’s more of a hassle to change the hands. Not impossible mind you, just more daunting.


He also comes with a stand that’s pretty good for posing and it breaks into two parts. Finally he has his laser chainsaw sword gun. Yep, laser chainsaw sword gun. It’s a gun, it’s a sword, it’s a laser chainsaw. It has two blades, the normal and the laser chainsaw blade. It’s easy to switch between the two.


All of this certainly ups the play value with these figures. That said, kids would probably have some difficulty.


To finish things off, King Gainer has some sort of laser force field circle thingy… Yeah I don’t really know what it’s use is, but it looks cool.


It makes for great flying poses, or force field ones. It connects to two of his “hair” pieces. This thing is also on two Revoltech joints, which means you can do a lot of posing with it as well. Though it’s generally intended for a pretty neutral pose.

Additional Notes:
And then there’s this… Any joint that’s a Revoltech joint can be removed. That means you can swap any piece with any other piece that will fit in that Revoltech slot. That’s where Revoltechs more or less become Legos. I’m surprised I don’t see more people playing up this aspect of Revoltech, because it makes any figure limitless to customization.


Say for example that you didn’t like King Gainer’s hair. You could simply pop off the hair pieces, then remove the Revoltech joints (if any are stuck you can pull them out with a pair of pliers wrapped in a towel) and replace them with, oh I don’t know… A bunch of extra hands.


Now he’s ready to shake your hand and punch you in the face with his head!


Hey he’s crazy customizable. That was the first thing that popped into my head, hand head.


If you just generally don’t like the hair, you can remove those pieces and he still looks pretty good.


The basic holes in his head actually look pretty good and fit in with his overall theme.


Maybe you really like the hair and want to make it his head. Now he’s Mr. Noodle Head.


If you had say, two King Gainers you could swap their boots out. That way they can have matching boots, instead of one large boot gauntlet and one small.


Or take one of those extra legs and plug it into his arm, then plug a noodle hair piece in and make this weird Cricket mitt arm guy.


Swap out his legs with Patabors! The possibilities are really quite diverse depending on what Revoltechs you have and what your imagination is. Essentially you can break this figure down to almost his entire set of pieces and rebuild him as you like… And because of the stiffness of the Revoltech joints, you don’t have to worry about him becoming loose.

Value:
These guys all originally retailed for about 2,000 Yen, which is roughly $20. Most Revoltechs coming out now run a little closer to $30 depending on where you order them. That’s certainly not cheap, but the quality is there. King Gainer is a good entry point to Revoltech because he’s a very old Revoltech, #7, so you can get him for under $15. I actually paid less than retail value for two. Sweet.


“WHO WANTS TO DIE?!”

Score Recap:
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 10
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Extra Hands X2, Removable Belt, Gun Sword, Chainsaw Blade, Stand, Neon Circle
Value – 9
Overall – 9.5 out of 10


King Gainer is a brilliant toy. This is the kind of toy that you will love once you get your hands on him. He’s well sculpted, comes with plenty of accessories and has as much potential as your mind can allow. He’s very close to a 10 out of 10 but the hassle of changing the hands takes a little away from his overall score. There is a Revoltech learning curve, but if you’re tired of the stale American market toys or just like cool Robots, the Revoltech line is for you. CATCH EM’ ALL!