Review by chachipower
While I never got into the anime Special Armored Battalion Dorvack, the designs became memorable to me. Most specifically the design of the robot in this review. I knew him as Roadbuster from the G1 Transformers line. Sometimes, Hasbro felt the need to look elsewhere for designs to bring into the Transformers universe. This happened to be one of them. Welcome the VV-54 AR Mugen Calibur by Artstorm. Where this differs from the old blocky Takatoku molds is that it is in the super deformed fashion as part of the ES Gokin line. While I admit the ES Gokin line is not for everyone, there is a character to please almost everyone. While I have no nostalgic attachment to this design, I can dig it. At least enough to warrant the purchase.
Mugen Calibur comes in the standard ES Gokin thick cardboard box with great graphics and the name in foil. Inside, the robot and accessories come nestled in the now standard clamshell plastic case.
Once I pulled out the figure, I was shocked at how short it was. ES Gokins were never big, but this one seemed short and too stubby. Until I realized I could pull the legs down. Then he looked just right.
There is diecast in the chest and legs, making it a well balanced figure.
There is a reason that we as humans are proportioned the way we are, so that we can articulate our bodies as needed. Humanoid robots tend to carry over some of those proportions. Some better than others. In the case of SD figures, those proportions are thrown out the window, yet somehow this figure retains a great amount of articulation.
He can even kneel!
Face detail is rather plain but well done. The visor uses clear green plastic and for good reason.
Some ES Gokins have built-in gimmicks like powered drill-arms or light-up eyes. This figure got the latter of the two. To work the light, first remove the back of the head to reveal the space for 2x LR41 batteries. You know, the types that everyone and their mother carry in their back pocket or handbag.
Unfortunately I am naked as I write this and I don't use handbags. Photoshop it is. If I ever source some of these LR41s, I will update this photo. Sorry. A great solution would be for Artstorm to charge the extra fifty cents to include a couple.
This set comes with the standard fists attached to the figure. There are also weapon-holding hands and open hands. Aside from that the only other accessory is a teeny... and I repeat TEENY little Masato Mugen figure, which is surprisingly well painted.
The main gimmick with this set is the transformation feature which is well done. Sort of. I mean, it's great and all, but the engineers just said "To hell with that big-ass head, just make it pop off." All the engineering in the world could not possibly hide that enormous head. Aside from that transformation is pretty neat. Check out the transformation video.
Once transformed, you are left with a shrunken jeep-type vehicle. It is pretty solid and retains its shape well. I couldn't get the wheels to roll, but it may have been an alignment issue on my part.
A big blaster mounts on the back, while his gun chills out in compact mode on the side of the vehicle.
Masato even has a fold out seat so he can chill out and do battle when needed.
It looks rather cool from the front.
So what are my final thoughts? It's well-built, very high quality, but it's not perfect. It is easy to chip certain parts of the paint if you are not careful. Transformation is well-engineered, but at times I feel like I am applying way too much force on the plastic parts. In fact, I gave up on the video review when I was halfway done when I read of breakage issues online. Batteries would have been nice, especially when candy toys that cost a couple of bucks come with them. This is a high-end collectible and batteries should be standard. Overall a nice piece that unfortunately isn't on everyone's radar due to it's SD design.
|Posted 26 May, 2012 - 21:23 by chachipower|