I have so much stuff waiting to get reviewed and I just sort of randomly picked this because I thought it might be neat to review. Astro Boy is often credited as being the “first Anime” as it was one of the first really big Japanese cartoons based off a Manga. I never followed Astro Boy much since he’s always creeped me out. Astro Boy basically looks like a prepubescent Namor from Marvel Comics.

Astro Boy’s story is being remade into a new CGI movie by Imagi films which brought us the underrated TMNT a couple years back. It’s hitting this winter and with it comes toys. Astro Boy has been slightly revamped for this movie, thankfully, to make his look something slightly less appealing to pedophiles. As for Astro Boy himself, the story is basically robot Pinocchio that then fights crime and oppression.

Jazzwares new Astro Boy line is out in a handful of retailers and despite having only mild interest in the character I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the figures. This is the smaller scale Astro Boy, I assume it’s supposed to be 3 3/4 scale since 3 3/4 is the new black, but he actually comes up a little shorter.

Packaging:

The packaging is pretty decent, just hip enough to be trendy but not flashy enough to be outstanding. It looks a bit like a cross between the new Kamen Rider figures and Bakugan packaging. Either way, the figure inside looks much better than those franchise’s toys so that’s why I decided to buy him.


The front of the package shows off the figure as well as his accessory (in this case normal feet) and looks clean enough. There are a few futuristic indentations on the front which made it appear like maybe there were more accessories inside. Not sure if that was an intended optical illusion or if I’m just nuts.


The back of the package shows some other figures in the series. pretty standard fare.

Articulation:
Articulation is actually pretty good which is what helped draw me in. Astro has a ball jointed head with a decent amount of movement. Not a ton, but enough to get you by. He has pin/post style ball jointed shoulders, a waist cut, hinged elbows, knees and standard cut legs. Astro also has swivel in his feet, since you can remove them… More on that later.


Overall I think you can get Astro Boy into all his core poses. He’s actually a lot of fun to pose and seems just like he’s flying when he’s got his rocket boots in. I enjoyed posing him and thought he’d look great with a posing stand.


Sculpt:
The sculpt is really charming and he looks like the original Astro Boy which is why I chose him. Even though I never cared much for Astro Boy’s design, I’m old school and wanted this figure to look like the title character… Although it appears as though in the movie he rarely looks like this. Again, the character has some seriously perverted overtones so I understand why they put pants on him.


Dr. Jones! Dr. Jones!

His face has been “matured” a bit which is nice because the fruity eye lashes and rosy cheeks wouldn’t have appealed to kids. It also wouldn’t have appealed to me, but it might appeal to creepy dudes in their 40’s. Anywho, the rest of the sculpt is pretty simple, clean and fits the bill. He has some translucent plastic on his feet to simulate the rocket flying portion.


The paint work is pretty good and while I guess it could be sharper in certain respects I can’t complain. I think it’s better than a lot of mass market toys out there. Jazzwares is a pretty small company but this figure is way better than the larger Bandai company Kamen Rider toys. You can tell Jazzwares put some love into this toyline and didn’t just try to cheap it out and make a buck like so many toy companies seem to do these days.


Accessories:
Here’s where this figure kind of goes in the toilet. I was all ready to RAVE about how much fun this toy was… Until I tried to swap out the feet. I loved the idea that this guy came with regular feet. I prefer the flying feet, but I figured he’d look cool with his regular feet as well. I tried to pop them out and I found they were VERY hard to pull out.


As I fought with the replacement feet, I realized that I was probably going to break this figure if I wasn’t careful. It’s made of a hard plastic and shouldn’t break, but these rocket boots were stuck in there deep. It was like I was trying to remove a joint that wasn’t intended for removal. I decided to check the instructions, but low and behold, there are none. I’m sure the kids who this is marketed for have no idea what a boil and pop is.

What sucks even more is, even after doing a boil and pop I couldn’t get one of the boots out. It was a real pain in the ass. I actually had to use a ton of force and stick the edge of a spoon in there to pry it loose. I was using so much force that when it did finally pop free, it flew across the room and literally disappeared. So now I have one rocket boot. BOO! Seriously Jazzwares, how are kids supposed to change these feet around when a grown ass man can’t?

Additional Notes:
Astro Boy looks like it’s going to be a kids movie. Not one of those “parents want to go see it” kids movies either. I don’t think it’s going to be stupid, but I doubt it’ll be one I see in the theatre unless reviews are just really good. The movie is already getting some drama from conservative right wing nutjobs who say it’s promoting socialism or some such nonsense, so who knows if it’ll be a hit.

Value:

Value is pretty good if you consider he’s $5.99 and that it’s a fairly quality figure. Unfortunately I no longer have the rocket blast boots. Why couldn’t they have just made that easier?! I’m not sure I want to plunk down another $6 to have a pair with the rockets. I’m torn. I also think I warped the leg a bit yanking on it. Make no mistake this figure is sturdy, it’s just poorly engineered in terms of swapping the limbs.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Extra Feet
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10

I’m probably going to pick up a couple more figures from the toyline because they look cool. That’s a big compliment as I’m not a huge fan of the anime, but the toys are neat. Jazzwares deserves some credit for making what looks to be decent toys at an affordable price, however the swappable feet are really poorly engineered and bring the overall score down a bit in my view. Had I not had issues with the feet, you could bump this up a half point or so.

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