Saturday 18 September 2010

Toybox REVIEW: Bandai Composite Ver. KA Gurren Lagann

So after 2 weeks of no internet and a longer than expected (but nobody's fault) delivery time from AmiAmi, I finally get to do the review I've been waiting for - the highly anticipated (by me anyway) Ver KA Gurren Lagann!

The first obvious thing to point out is that it differs from other Gurren Lagann in that it is covered in highly stylised tribal markings/tattoos - a trademark of designer Hajime Katoki (famous for designing all kinds of mecha, including the mobile suits from Gundam Wing Endless Waltz). While this may be something that could potentially put you off the figure, if anything it was one of the things that drew me toward it even more. For a start its something different and it'll set it apart from the rest of my Gurren Lagann collection, but there's also much more to it than that. The tattoos are highly reminscent of those Kamina had, and in a series that openly flaunts the possibility of parallel universes, perhaps something he may have put on the robot had he had the chance. Secondly comes as something that was initially a blow to me, and something that could also put you off the figure - the paintwork. Now for months on end prior to its release and even on the figure's packaging it's shown as being a rather beautiful shade of metallic red, another element that made the figure catch my eye in the first place and something that would set it apart from my other figures. But no - in the end the figure was released in a flat-but-show-accurate red. I got over this pretty quickly, but I realise this could have been a selling point for some people.

But if you can get over these two things - you've got one amazing figure in your hands. The sculpt and build is spectacular and makes the revoltech Gurren Lagann look basic in comparison. Sure it's not as posable as the revoltech version but the poses you'll want to put a Gurren Lagann figure in it looks much better - especially the "Pierce the heavens!" point. Sadly however it can't manage a good looking Gainax cross armed pose, but then neither can the Revoltech.

It also has it beat on accessories - included are 2 extra set of hands (pointing and weapon holding), 2 dual drill wrist pieces, 4 sets of sunglasses (2 mini ones for the body and 2 full sized boomerang weapons), an additional head and another extra that deserves its own paragraph, so I'll come to it later. The revoltech figure may have the wingpack, but bear in mind you had to buy both Lazengann and Enki to get that, so it doesn't count.

As for that extra accessory - this is probably what sold the figure for many people, because it's a freaking GIGA DRILL!!!! Yup, this is the first (to my knowledge) posable Gurren Lagann figure to include such a thing. The drill itself is hollow and made up of three parts, then slotting into the figure as an additional hand. Since the drill is almost the size of the figure itself, it's pretty much unable to hold it up without the help of the supplied stand. Speaking of the stand, that's also a really nice touch as it includes not only the series' logo but also the pilots of Gurren Lagann (I know there were a few, but Simon/Kamina are the main ones so that's what's here).

Ver KA Gurren Lagann is an excellent figure no doubt, but it's also one that's going to divide fans. The lack of metallic paint is a bit of a bummer, but if you don't like the look of the tattoos from images then its unlikely that you'll like them in-hand either. But if you can get over these things -you're in for a real treat of a figure that is as unique as it is awesome.

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