Hey it’s twelve days into March of the Robots and we’re reviewing our first official robot. Sure we’ve covered men in robotic suits, cyborgs and the like, but we haven’t actually reviewed a single figure that’s a complete robot. That is until now. Today we’re looking at another Tetsujin 28 product, this time an action figure.
5 Inch Scale
So what is Tetsujin? Well in the 1960’s he was known as Gigantor here in the United States. That was before my time, but I’ve been watching the classic Gigantor episodes on DVD. If you don’t have Netflix you can check them out over at Hulu.com or buy them somewhere. This Revoltech figure isn’t based off that version of Tetsujin, but rather the much superior 2004 anime remake.
Professor Kaneda creates the ultimate soldier robot, Tetsujin, as a substitute for his son, Shotaro, whom he believed died in a bomb raid on Tokyo during World War II. To prevent the army from using Testujin as a tool for destruction, the professor hides it on a remote island. Ten years after the war, Tetsujin is finally resurrected after 28 attempts made by the late Professor Kaneda’s protege, Professor Shikishima. Meanwhile, Shotaro has grown up to become a genius boy detective and now joins forces with his beloved Tetsujin to wage a courageous battle against evil!
Tetsujin 28 is actually the father of all giant robo. It was the first manga of the genre, it was the first anime of the genre and it really started the whole craze both in Japan and here in the United States as Gigantor. Even if you’ve never heard of Tetsujin, he deserves your respect if you’re a fan of similar properties. Of course if you’ve been reading Infinite Hollywood during March of the Robots, you’re starting to get an education in the big bad robot. How does this Revoltech version measure up though?
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 window boxes that open with just a few pieces of tape. Inside you have a blister and bubble shell that open up with no twist ties or rubber bands.
Generally speaking, it’s a pretty snazzy presentation. I mentioned before that the more of these Revoltechs you get, the more you’re likely to keep the boxes. Here’s an example of a few boxes and how nice they could look on a shelf.
Even if you’re not a MOC or MIB guy, you may be inclined to keep your Revoltech boxes. And if you are a MIB collector, you’ll be happy to know that you can take these guys out, pose them and stick them right back into the box as if nothing was ever touched. It’s a nice feature in my view.
Before we get to Tetsujin’s sculpt, I should note that Revoltechs are MADE to be taken apart. In fact I recommend taking just about any Revoltech apart two or three times before you ever play with it. Just in case you were thinking that you won’t ever have to take your Revoltech apart, I present to you, Tetsujin straight out of the box.
Yup, he comes with that plastic bib on him. It’s actually wrapped AROUND one of his inner Revoltech joints. That means you have to take him apart before you can even pose him. You might be able to rip the plastic, but it’s surprisingly strong and you might break the joint yanking the plastic. Best to just take him apart.
Once you take him apart you have a pretty good idea of what he’s all about. Tetsujin is basically all Revoltech or “revolver” joints. This is a double edge sword. You get all the poseability that comes with Revoltech joints, but you also get all the flaws.
Sculpt wise the Revoltech joints do stick out a bit, but they generally fit in with Tetsujin’s design. No they aren’t perfect, but it translates pretty well to this design. I had some issues with the knees though as I can’t get poor Tetsujin to stand perfectly straight. As Wes once pointed out to me, standing a figure straight up is boring. That may be true, but it’s also one of Tetsujin’s classic poses. Tetsujin is an old school robot and moves around like one. It’s a shame he can’t stand straighter.
The rest of the sculpt is relatively well done. His head does seem a little small, but that is part of the design. Revoltech heads tend to run a wee bit smaller than they should though and I think Tetsujin suffers from that a little. His paint matches the 2004 anime which is more purple than blue but there is a neat “metallic” effect going on that helps make him seem more legit.
His rocket pack includes two removable flames and one of them has a hole on it to work with his stand. This allows you to create a couple of neat flying poses. That stand comes in handy in general because with the constantly bent knees and the top heavy design of Tetsujin, he can’t really stand much without it.
He looks “alright” without his jet pack, but it’s probably best to leave it on. Not that Tetsujin ever really removes that anyway. The mid torso joint takes away from the design esthetic a little bit.
Tetsujin or Gigantor if you prefer, has had a lot of figures through the years. In fact Tetsujin might be in the running for some of the most toys in the history of licensed toy making, but few if any have had good articulation. The Revoltech Tetsujin amps up the articulation in typical Revoltech fashion, but suffers all the pratfalls that it brings with it.
I’m sort of torn on Tetsujin’s articulation. On one hand he can hit pretty much all of Tetsujin’s vintage poses (sans the aforementioned plain stand) but because of the way the joints work and that every one is a revolver joint it requires a lot of manipulation. Some of the poses are incredible, but they can also be frustrating at times. There were times when I thought a couple of ball joints and some basic hinges and swivels would have been better served.
Revoltechs love to load you up with accessories and usually they are pretty useful too. Tetsujin continues that strong tradition with several sets of extra hands, a stand, a flight stand and some more goodies.
You get three sets of hands total. They are punching fists, flying/chopping hands and gripping hands. The gripping hands have a hinge in them and it’s actually pretty tight so you could hold something with it. These are all really good but can be a real pain in the ass to change because they’re on Revoltech joints.
You get two heads total, the one with the red “angry” eyes and the normal yellow eyes. The gray “dead” eye head is a bonus pack in if you buy Tetsujin’s arch rival Black Ox. The heads can also be a bit of trouble to change, but not as troublesome as the hands.
You get the aforementioned stand with a flight stand add on piece. It’s decent but not as good as I would have liked. The rocket pack is also removable and breaks down into three pieces. It’s actually all on separate revolver joints as well, though I don’t entirely see the point.
Finally you get a bonus arm. This is the battle damaged arm that Tetsujin starts with in the anime. It’s a pretty cool little piece with some decent detail on it. Unlike everything else, this is actually pretty easy to swap on and off.
For $20 you are getting a really fun figure with lots of poseability and plenty of extras. Is he worth it in comparison to say DCUC or MOTUC though? That’s debatable. The quality is generally better and it’s a nice representation but it’s a shame it isn’t a tad cheaper. The fidgety joints and the hard to exchange accessories can take away from the fun a bit.
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Bonus Hands X2, Rocket Pack, Flames, Stand, Flight Stand, Bonus Head
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10
Tetsujin was the very first Revoltech I ever wanted. He’s the one who got me into Revoltech, even though I didn’t buy him right away. Perhaps my affection for the character is why I’m kind of indifferent on the figure. It’s still a great toy, but I can’t help wishing some things were better. I’m going to have a lot of fun with him, make no mistake about it. I just wish a few things had been implemented better.
He’s a solid recommendation to Tetsujin or Gigantor fans, but I wouldn’t pay over $20 for him. He’s flawed in some respects and there are better, albeit more expensive Tetsujin toys out there.