Thursday 17 January 2013

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Basco & Sally

SH Figuarts Basco & Sally

Superhero figures are great, but where's the fun if there's no villains for them to fight? While this next review isn't the first Super Sentai villain to appear in the S.H. Figuarts line (that honour would go to Shinkenger's Juzo), its by far the most exciting. Released as a Tamashii web exclusive last year was Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's star villain Basco ta Jolokia (in his monster form), in an extra special 2-pack that also included a Figuarts Zero (an alternate line of non-poseable statues) of his simian partner-in-crime Sally.

SH Figuarts Basco & Sally Box Front

SH Figuarts Basco & Sally Box BackSH Figuarts Basco & Sally Tray

The box is a rarity among the Figuarts line, as its one of the few releases that doesn't have a standard window box. The figures are fully covered, with the front of the box depicting the two figures alongside their names and Basco's personal logo. One thing to note is that the packaging refers to the character as "Vasco" rather than "Basco". From what I gather this is because in Japanese B's and V's can be the same character, however to suddenly name him Vasco is a little strange when both his body and ship have clear Bs on them. The other thing to note is that the front, back and spines all feature the figure in the same pose, lacking any pictures of dynamic poses.

SH Figuarts Basco 01

SH Figuarts Basco 02SH Figuarts Basco 03

Basco's monster form featured a fairly detailed and elaborate design, and not a detail has been spared when it came to scaling it down into plastic form. The figure is a really nice matte shade of crimson, and features a ton of golden skull detailing on the hat tassles, shoulders and knee pads. Even the fur-like sections of the suit have been recreated using textured plastic. Even the black arm gauntlets have some moulded detail on them. So with all this positivity, its a shame that the figure does fall short in the posing department (which probably explains the static poses on the box). When the arms are parallel to the body, the pointed sections of the gauntlets tend to brush up against the shoulder pads, the coat tail gets in the way of moving the legs backward and the kneecaps also pop off without hesitation (which is a real pain). It's an excellent display piece with an insane amount of detail, but not one of the most dynamic Figuarts I own by any means.

SH Figuarts Basco 04SH Figuarts Basco 05

SH Figuarts Basco 06SH Figuarts Basco 07

Secondly there's the issue of handswapping, which continues the trend of being more difficult than usual on newer Super Sentai Figuarts. While the giant arm gauntlets don't make things any easier, the pegs that attach the hands to the wrist look much flimsier than they do on a standard figure. While I thought this might just be me, Basco unfortunately also happens to be the first Figuart breakage I've had on the 23 figures I own. While swapping the hands to take pictures for this very review, the peg on the right hand came clean off with one of the hands and is now stuck firmly in it. Like I say this is my 23rd Figuart, so I don't feel I was being overly ham-fisted with the figure. I can still attach the hands with a little bit of blu-tack and it isn't noticeable, but the fact I know the hand is broken is probably going to bother me every time.

SH Figuarts Basco 08

SH Figuarts Basco 09SH Figuarts Basco 10

Much like the Gokaiger team, Basco also comes with a pretty impressive amount of accessories. Included are 12 pairs of hands (closed fists, 3 pairs of grabbing hands and a variety of open ones), his sword, gun, trumpet and gold mobirate. Not only does Basco's mobirate feature a very different deco to the Gokaiger ones, but its the only Figuart-scale one that flips open. Its accuracy is a little questionable (the back piece is nowhere near as thick as it should be) but it's a very nice touch. The isn't a whole lot to say about the sword, gun and trumpet, other than that they all have similar aesthetics and are a very nice blend of gold, silver and black.

SH Figuarts Sally 01

SH Figuarts Sally 02SH Figuarts Sally 03

SH Figuarts Sally 04

Finally we come to Sally, who to some may feel like an accessory anyway! As mentioned earlier, Sally is a Figuarts Zero, meaning she doesn't include any moveable parts and is permanently stuck in her squatting pose. However she doesn't feature any less detail than her poseable master, and even comes with her own accessory! Included is the bomb necklace that Basco gives to her in episodes 47 and 48 of the series, which can be put around her neck by removing her head, putting it around her neck and then putting the head back on.

SH Figuarts Basco 11

Basco and Sally are a great addition to the cast of Gokaiger and S.H. Figuarts in general, but they aren't without their flaws. As highly detailed they might be, Basco's poseability isn't the best and the fact I had a hand joint break on me is also a knock against it. The fact is a web exclusive also means its after market price is only going to rise, and the inclusion of a static Sally figure means you'll be paying 2-pack price - which might put off some. However if you do take the plunge on this set its unlikely you'll be too disappointed...just make sure to be very careful when switching the hands.

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