Wednesday 15 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: RIO:Bone Buster Machine No. 7

Nono's headshot

Sentinel certainly aren't a company as well known as the likes of Bandai, Max Factory/Good Smile Company or Kaiyodo, but they've certainly been causing quite a buzz with the lines they've been producing over the last year or so. Their RIOBOT and RIO:Bone lines have already had a stab at some Gainax properties with Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt figures, but their latest release in the RIO:Bone line covers both the humanoid and the robotic. After a long delay of wondering whether she'd ever see the light of day, Buster Machine No.7 aka Nono from Aim for the Top 2 (or Diebuster if you'd prefer) is finally here!

Cosmic packaging!

That's a nice box backA black tray? Don't see that very often...

The RIO:Bone sadly doesn't have the same elaborate packaging as the higher end RIOBOT figures but while Nono's packaging may be quite simplistic, that certainly doesn't make it any less pretty. The box is covered in a lovely blue/black space look, with some great shots of the figure placed on the back. The box is thicker than your average Figma box (which is a similar scale) to house the unnecessarily raised insert tray. I'm not quite sure why there's so much space underneath it, because all that was hiding in the free space was the stand and instruction leaflet.

Rocking the Gainax pose

Nono from the front......and from the back.

And so here we have our very first mass-produced Nono/Buster Machine No.7 figure, and what a lovely sight she is to behold. The hair and goggles are both made from translucent orange plastic, while the bright red decoration and translucent green accents stand out beautifully against that bone white bodysuit. The scarf pieces are also made from an off-white translucent plastic, with the two tails pegged on and able to freely move about (however the left one on my figure is notably loose). Articulation is great all around, with the figure sporting a ball-jointed head, shoulders, legs, knees and hands. The elbows and knees have natural hinge motion, while there is also a minimal bit of movement in the feet too. One of my biggest concerns upon receiving the figure was whether it would be able to stand up without the need for a stand (since all of Nono's appearance in this form takes place with her floating in space and feet pointed downward), but that's all been covered by hinged heels at the back of each foot. 

Nono's face can be switched in the same way that you'd find in most anime-based toylines - by removing the fringe (and goggles in this case), unplugged and switching the head and then clicking everything back into place. The goggles are a completely optional piece, which is great as without them you can get a look at the cuter side of Diebuster's protagonist.

Without the goggles

Nono doesn't mess aroundNono takes flight

Altogether Nono comes packaged with four pairs of hands, alternate "Gainax pose" crossed-armed pieces, three swappable faceplates, eight Buster Beam missile launcher parts and a clear stand. The crossed arms are something I feel should be mandatory on every Gainax figure, so it's very pleasing to see them included here. Unlike a lot of figures (such as what S.H. Figuarts do), the arms are split rather than moulded as a single piece. This means the arms are a lot easier to attach, but require a little bit of wiggling to get just right. Thankfully the pieces are shaped to fit together nicely and if you get stuck, the instructions are there to help.

The missile pieces can be attached by removing the eight hexagonal pieces on the side of the legs and plugging them into the ports (with the leftover shapes then reattached on the other end). They do fit on securely, but with the way they jut out of the legs they are designed to pop off without breaking if any force is placed on them. They look great attached, although an effect part of two wouldn't have gone amiss (particularly one for the Buster Beam attack, given that she has the hands for it). Meanwhile the stand plugs firmly into a hole on the back on the figure, which is otherwise covered by her hair.


That's a lot of missilesInazuma Kick!

As a huge Diebuster fan (here's a secret - I actually like it more than Gunbuster) and after being EXTREMELY impressed with RIOBOT Gurren Lagann, I was eagerly anticipating this figure. And she does not disappoint - there isn't anything overly complex about Buster Machine No 7 (personally I think they should have gone with calling the figure Nono, it's not in the robot line after all), but the presentation is flawless and everything just works wonderfully about it. It may be the fact that we may not get any other poseable Diebuster figures again talking, but if this is all we ever get then I'm more than happy.

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