Monday 12 April 2010

Toybox REVIEW: Bandai Robot Spirits Devilfish

Here we have the first figure I've bought from a line I've been wanting to get into for a very very long time. Bandai's Robot Tamashii/Damashii (or just Robot Spirits) line offers a wide variety of mecha in a similar scale to Revoltech from series such as Gundam SEED, Gundam 00, Full Metal Panic, Code Geass, Macross Frontier and many more. What we are reviewing here appears in the fantastic series Eureka Seven. The only problem is these figures don't come cheap - you're looking at around £25-35 depending on which figure you're after. 70% off at HLJ later, and I've got myself a Devilfish.

The Devilfish is Holland Novak's personal LFO (Light Finding Operation) which appears at the tail end of the series and the alternate universe movie Goodnight, Sleep Tight Young Lovers (Pocket Full of Rainbows). One of the most powerful LFOs in the series, it is not equipped with a limiter, which allows it to function to the very zenith of its capabilities. However, to keep up, the pilot must take special drugs which enhances their nervous system to keep them from blacking out. Constant intake of these drugs can have dire consequences and is considered near-suicidal.

The sculpt is great, as you would expect from a highly regarded company such as Bandai. Articulation is superb - equal to Revoltech in terms of points of articulation - minus the clicky revolver joints. It feels far more fluid here and therefore less effort to get a diverse range of poses. It even comes with a few accessories - some interchangeable fist hands, a green eyed head and connectors so that its ref board can be split in half and stored on the figures hips (making some rather badass hip guards). The ref board itself is huge - even taller than the figure itself!

Sounds like the perfect figure right? Well there is one rather large oversight that is quite hard to ignore. The figure, as with the rest of Robot Spirits line, do not come with stands. Usually I wouldn't consider this a huge problem but the fact is to get the best range of poses out of this guy, and with any other Eureka Seven LFO, you NEED a stand to get some mid-flight ref boarding awesomeness. To add insult to injury, Bandai do in fact make stands for their figures, only they are SOLD SEPARATELY. And in packs of 3 none the less. So in essence you really need about 3 of these figures before you get your value for money from the stands, and even then they don't come cheap.

It's by far not my favourite Eureka Seven LFO, nor is it my favourite mecha in the Robot Spirits line. But its still a fantastic toy and convinced me that these figures are worth every penny. With the Nirvash Spec1 due out in June (yes, I've preordered it) and Nirvash Spec2 and theEND already out, I think I've found a new pet project for my robot collecting. And then I may have to move on to Evangelion, then Macross....

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who Seventh Doctor & Imperial Dalek 2-pack

The latest in what is becoming a long line of Character Options/Forbidden Planet exclusive classics 2 packs is one of my favourite incarnations of the Doctor - the Seventh Doctor (as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy) and a standard Imperial Dalek, loyal to mad scientist and Dalek creator Davros, from his 1986 story Remembrance of the Daleks.

Firstly, let's take a look at the 7th Doctor. As usual CO have gone all out with the sculpt detail, with everything from his scarf to the pocket watch chain on show, and even his handkerchief hanging out of his pocket! You could argue that the grin face-sculpt they've gone for does come out as more of a stoner smile but it's not too badly executed, and still captures McCoy's likeness fairly well. If you feel you'd prefer a more serious expression 7th Doctor, pictures of an alternate head have been floating around the internet - and will most likely be included with the 11 Doctors box set due out later this year in September. His only accessory comes in the shape of the his infamous umbrella with '?' shaped handle. While the umbrella is made of a rather rubbery plastic that potentially break easily at least it isn't small and easily lost like a Sonic Screwdriver.

The Imperial Dalek, while hands down the best version of an Imperial Dalek that's ever been produced, also suffers from a few minor problems. While a lot of the little details that separate Imperial and Renegade Daleks that older toys have missed out are present - smaller light ears, slotted plunger, lozenge shape on the chest section, it's not entirely PERFECT. The skirt section should be far more angled than it is (although obviously then CO would need to create an entirely new mould for the figure, so the reasons for this are easily explainable) and the eyestalk should have a clear ring for an iris rather than a blue circle. The slat section is also painted a slightly different shade of white to the colour of the plastic, which on first viewing did look a little strange. However if you can easily get over these problems or are not as bigger perfectionist when it comes to Daleks as I, this is a great figure that deserves a place in anyone's Who collection. My main gripe is that it's included in a £25 2-pack, as I'd rather like to buy a few of these and troop build...

All in all this set is certainly a winner. If you don't want the Dalek you might be better off waiting for the TARDIS 2-pack or the 11 box set but these versions will be slightly different to the one pictured here (the TARDIS figure has a brown coat and the set version is rumoured to wear an entirely different costume altogether). But the 7th Doctor is a hugely underrated Doctor and, as I said earlier, one of my favourites so I can't recommend him more - any version you pick will be a winner. And let's be honest, Daleks look damn good in white and gold.....