Variable Machine VV-54AR Mugen Calibur +PA-36HD-R2 Nove Laser
Review by JoshB
This non-transforming version of the Mugen Calibur comes from Fewture Models. You may be more familiar with the American version of the toy - Roadbuster, from the original Transformers line. It's true origin lies in the 1983 anime series "Special Armored Battalion Dorvack".
The toy is the first entry into Fewture's "EM Gokin" line. It's also the only entry, unless you count repaints. For those of you keeping score at home, Fewture now has EX Gokin, ES Gokin, and now EM Gokin.
The packaging is gorgeous. The outer sleeve is made out of a thick textured cardboard reminiscent of the old Takatoku mecha toys from Orguss and Macross.
Take off the cover and the quality continues with a beautiful, yet understated box. Inside the beautiful toy is encased in a simple plastic tray, with each accessory wrapped in plastic.
Its at this point the anticipation is killing me. If the packaging was that great, surely the toy would be great as well, right?
I lift out the toy, place him on the table, try to turn the head, and the tiny head twists off in my hands.
What the f@#k. Seriously?
Enough is enough. I've had it with expensive toys practically falling apart in my hands. I'm going to make this thing right. Down to the garage I go.
The head is attached on a very small ball joint, and both the head and ball joint are painted. What I think happened is that the paint on both bonded in the factory, and it twisted the ball right off the neck. What I decided to do was take one of the small Revoltech joint and drill holes in the neck and head. Due to the small size of the head, I had to trim down the length of the joint, but once I got it all set I think it looks better than before.
So from this point forward, the toy features a modified Revoltech joint instead of the factory neck joint. Aside from the whole broken neck thing, the toy is kind of cool.
The first thing to keep in mind is that this toy was made for posing. It's got some really great joints that allow you to get some really dynamic poses.
The head is soft PVC but the body is painted diecast metal. The back features a wheel assembly that you have to assemble. Both wheel sections can move on very tiny ball joints, but the wheels do not spin. There's also a rifle that attaches to the back that is articulated. Apparently there is supposed to be only one rifle with the Mugen Calibur, and it's either supposed to be on the back or held in hand. (A fact I missed when shooting images fo this toy). The toy provides two different rifles for this.
The shoulders have unique ball joints that allow for a wider range of motion. The arms are loaded with swivel and hinge joints, and as a rule feel pretty good. Each arm has EIGHT unique points of articulation.
I did notice that one arm joint is longer than the other. Not sure what's up with that.
There's a waist joint, and the hips are ball joints. The blocky hips are metal, and while they show the weels from the vehicle mode, they do not turn.
Just below hip section there is a swivel joint, then a double jointed knee. The lower legs are metal, with articulated feet. The feet are one solid piece and could have benefitted from a toe joint.
The legs are where most of the metal is. On the right leg is a holder for the grenades, some of which do not like to stay in place.
Speaking of accessories, the Mugen Calibur comes with quite a few.
First up is the Armor Rifle (See above) which comes with an attached fist. The fist is for the right hand, and swaps out easily. There's one other variant "open" hand included.
Any of the grenades can be attached to the end of the rifle.
Two large bazookas (also with pre-attached fists) are included.
A variant head is included. The default head is for the original Mugen Calibur, while the variant head is the one later seen on the green Mass Production version.
Also included is an in-scale Nove Laser powered suit, made out of PVC. While the thought is nice, it's kind of crap. It won't stand up on it's own, and while it says it's articulated, it just has a moveable waist and arms. A variant set of cannon arms are included, but of course, when trying to remove an arm, the whole joint broke off.
An exceptional display stand is included. This stand is solid, and the joints just tight enough to hold almost any pose. Unfortunatley the only need for the stand is if you want to try any kind of flight or jump pose.
Despite all it's flaws, I do like the core robot. It's solid enough that you can take it down and just fiddle with it while watching TV or something. Once I made the "modification" to the neck, the core robot is actually a very nice toy. The downside of course is the price. This retailed for 6,980 yen which is a bit expensive for a non-transforming toy thats about as tall as a can of soda, espescially one with the flaws that this one has. However, if you can get one on clearance somewhere, and don't mind working with a drill (or being really REALLY careful with the neck), it could be a cool toy to have.
All the extra parts went back in the box, but the core robot has a place on my shelf.
|Posted 2 April, 2011 - 22:13 by JoshB|