Monday 7 May 2018

Toybox REVIEW: Robot Damashii Obsidian Fury

Release Date: March 2018
RRP: 3564 yen

When Bandai Tamashii Nations announced that they would be producing figures for Pacific Rim Uprising, they certainly didn't mess around in releasing them at a steady pace. Three of the six main Jaegers preceded the film's release in February 2018, with the remaining three coming the following month just as Uprising landed in cinemas across the globe. As well as receiving a global release, one of the biggest appeals of these Robot Damashii (aka Robot Spirits) figures was a significantly lower price point - with Gipsy Avenger leading the charge at an incredible 2484 yen. Although the price of its fellow Jaegers such as Obsidian Fury here a slightly higher 3564 yen, they're still far more affordable than your average Robot Damashii figure. A mysterious rogue unit that attacks the PPDC council meeting in Sydney, Obsidian Fury is a Jaeger that's not just a force to be reckoned with but also houses a dark secret - revealing that humanity's battle with the kaiju and their alien Precursor masters isn't over yet.

Robot Damashii Obsidian Fury comes packaged in a tall, windowed box complete with a punch-flap protruding out of the top - a style that's so far been completely unique to the Pacific Rim Uprising range. While the overall colourscheme of the packaging remains in those deep blues used across all of the Pacific Rim branding, the text and "blueprint" image on the front of the box have been changed to red - giving it a bit more uniqueness among its fellow figures as well as slightly more sinister tinge befitting of the film's evil Jaeger. On the back of the box is also a short bio and selection of stock images, while inside you'll find the figure and accessories housed inside a single clamshell tray.

Does anything scream "evil robot" quite as well as a faceless, jet-black behemoth? While Obsidian Fury follows a similar design aesthetic to the rest of the Pacific Rim Uprising Jaegers it still manages to have its own unique alien-like charm to it that separates it from the others. As usual Bandai have done an absolutely fantastic job with the sculpting. Moulded entirely from black and gunmetal grey plastic, the body is awash with all sorts of intricate panel lining and exposed mechanical parts. The pistons in the legs are a particularly highlight, but there's something especially satisfying about that raised spinal section (which intentionally or not lends itself well to the idea that Obsidian Fury is a Jaeger/kaiju hybrid). But despite the fantastic sculpt the figure is sadly devoid of any paint apps whatsoever, which perhaps wouldn't be much of an issue if Obsidian Fury didn't have so little to begin with. A few orange highlights here and there would have done a great job of breaking up that overwhelmingly dark colour scheme and complimenting the visor, but alas for whatever reason Bandai decided to omit them altogether. All the panelling is there should you want to add them in yourself, but even at a lower cost it shouldn't be up to the buyer to complete the look of a higher-end collectible like this.

One area Obsidian Fury doesn't disappoint in though is articulation. Like Gipsy Danger the package boasts that the figure features over 24 points of articulation and that certainly isn't a lie. The overall structure of Obsidian Fury is largely similar to that of Gipsy Danger's, meaning plenty of ball joints, swivel joints and of course double-hinged elbows and knees. The figure also has that wonderfully impressive swing-out crotch section, giving even more range to that already amazingly versatile lower section. There are a couple of restrictions worth mentioning though, the main one once again being those shoulder pad sections. Despite being able to move separately from the shoulders, they still unfortunately prevent the arms from raising any further than 90°. What is much better however is how these shoulder pads clearly move away from the torso to properly reveal the joint underneath. This means its much easier to grasp what the arms can and can't do, avoiding the risk of accidentally forcing them and ending up breaking the tiny ball joint holding them on. Additionally despite being able to rotate flawlessly the waist joint has severely minimal forwards and backwards motion, which kinda defeats the purpose of it being on a ball joint. Nevertheless this is still an incredibly articulate and posable figure, and capable of far far more than any Pacific Rim figure you're going to get elsewhere.

Obsidian Fury's sparse accessory count consists of a single pair of alternate open hands, along with her trademark plasma chainsaw weapons. It's not a lot of accessories, but as was the case with Gipsy Avenger (as well as the other Uprising figures) the trade-off for this is of course a much cheaper figure so it isn't all bad. The alternate hands are the same as Gipsy's in that they are moulded with the hands at a 90° angle to the wrist, but with spindly claw-like fingers that are much more befitting of an evil robot housing kaiju innards. Meanwhile the plasma chainsaws can be attached to the figure by first removing the forearm panels, pegging the weapons into place and then placing the panels back on top. It's a lot less fiddly than removing the entire forearm sections like on Gipsy, but unfortunately means there isn't any sort of cross-compatibility between the two figures. So if you were hoping to have Gipsy Avenger wield the plasma chainsaws like she did during the movie's final showdown, you're unfortunately out of luck. Additionally while the translucent orange plastic used for them looks fantastic, it isn't quite accurate to the onscreen model as they lack the gunmetal grey frame running down the centre. Given the price point it's easier to accept minimal accessories with these figures, but not so easy to forgive omitted paint apps - especially when Obsidian Fury barely has any as it is.

Robot Damashii Obsidian Fury is another solid figure in the Pacific Rim Uprising figure line - not quite as strong as Gipsy Avenger but certainly another example as to why the Pacific Rim license is truly at home with Bandai Tamashii Nations. Though slightly more expensive than Gipsy Avenger, Obsidian Fury shows off exactly the same quality sculpting and articulation. However on the other hand if you're paying more for this figure it would have been nice to have a little more to show for it - whether it be via more paint apps or a wider range of accessories. If you're not planning to go all in on the Uprising Robot Damashiis then Gipsy Avenger should still be your number one choice, but if you ever find yourself in need of another one then Obsidian Fury is definitely the way to go. 

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