Review by JoshB
Sen-Ti-Nel Corp. has been doing some really interesting things, most notably the inclusion of diecast on their Blodia figure. I knew there was going to be diecast in their Getter figures, but I was not prepared for how interesting and unique this figure was. As great as Blodia was, it really seemed like their demo tape compared to the Black Getter, which is their major label debut.
Black Getter comes from the OVA series Getter Robo: Armageddon. After a Getter unit is stuck on the moon, original Getter Robo pilot Ryouma Nagare refurbishes the unit into a fiercer fighting machine.
The box is understated but made out of rather thin cardboard.The matte finish shows scuffs, dents and fingerprints easily, so handle with care. Opening the flap reveals the toy in a window opposite credits for the toys production.
Bear with me here as I try to describe the experience of first handling this toy. There is a lot of metal in this piece, but it's surprisingly light. It feels as though where diecast is used it is used with rather thin walls with internal structures. Most toys that use diecast tend to use thick, solid pieces, but in this case, it's used more like one would use ABS. Despite the thin walls, there's no issue with quality or durability.
The matte finish is perfect, so much so that it is difficult to ascertain which pieces are metal and which are plastic.
Lets cut to the chase - this figure is sublime.
It features jointwork like I have never seen before. They've completely re-imagined how joints work in a toy. That's not to say that they are the BEST joint's i've ever seen, but the are the most unique.
With the cape applied, Black Getter looks like some kind of Dark Knight. if Dracula had a super robot, this would be it. The wires in the edge of the cape add another level of expression that really brings this figure to life.
Check out the elbow joints. When the arm is out straight the elbow is invisible. It is as if it has no joint at all. No visible pins or cut-outs at all. To bend the elbow you have to pull the forearm out of the bicep to reveal a multi-segmented golden metal joint. It almost looks like brass. The machining on these parts is sharp and intricate. It feels like something a swiss watch maker would make.
If you want to swivel the arm, Sen-Ti-Nel recommends that you hold the shoulder and swivel at the bicep. The forearm has no rotation, a minor oversight.
The fist sits flush on the wrist until you pull it out a bit. The extra length allows you to bend it on the hinge.
I jumped right to the arms as they are easily the most impressive feature, but the head is also quite nice. The toy comes packaged without the cape on, so to attach it you must remove the head, cowl and neck. The head is sharply molded and painted and accurately captures Black Getter's all too human eyes. The cowl is plastic and has a tab that secures it to the front. The neck features a spring loaded panel in the front for reasons which I have yet to discover. To attach the cape, remove the neck and thread the ball on the bottom through the hole in the cape, then re-assemble.
With the cape removed you get to see a few other cool gimmicks.
When you raise the arms in an action pose the chest panels expand just a little bit to reveal some hidden detailing.
On the back, the center panel on the back between the shoulderblades is actually a button that when pressed, pops off the door of the ray generator on the chest.
The legs are full of secrets. Each leg attaches to a ball joint that is hidden inside the body. Around where each leg enters the body is a movable panel. To increase the range of motion, pull the leg down from the body to expose the ball joint. Be careful though, as there is another joint where the gold part meets the thigh that can separate if pulled too hard. Fortunately, it pops back together easily.
The knees, like the arms, need to be pulled out of the upper leg in order to bend. The back of the lower legs have the common collapsable panels with an uncommon gimmick. When you bend the legs, the panels collapse into the legs not by friction or springs, but by some kind of gear mechanism. This is most evident when you straighten out the legs and compress the joint back into the leg. You can actually watch the panel move back into place as you compress the leg. It's a very cool effect.
By now you should expect that the ankle joint would be something unusual, and you would be right. At the rear of each leg there is a stiff golden metal rod that is hinged at the back. This rod has a ball joint in the middle of it to which the foot attaches. The reason for this is so that you can bend the foot all the way back and still have a full range of motion. In addition, the toe is also articulated. While remarkable in its range of motion, it just doesn't look natural when fully extended. Still, I appreciate the effort.
Several variant hands are included. You've got open "grasping" hands, weapon holding hands and closed fists with interchangeable spikes. Note that the spikes are keyed to each individual hand.
There is a method to attach the included Getter Tomahawks to the back, but it's not that great. Two small clips hold the two axes together and a panel expands on the back on which the top axe attaches to. There's not a lot of give in these parts, so the handles must be slid in rather than clipped in.
The Tomahawks can slide into the holding hands by removing the nub at the end of the handles.
You can also remove those nubs and attach a chain to the end of each to link them together.
The cape is nothing short of amazing. It's two layers of fabric stitched together with a thin wire in each of the sides. This allows some general positioning, but is not so rigid as to look artificial. The edges of the cape have a precision cut faux frayed edge.
A stand is included but it's a bit generic. It has a clear baseplate and a hinged arm that attached to the edge of the base. Included is a claw attachment but the claw is not necessary for this display. Instead Black Getter has a small tab on the back of the waist that must be removed. I found it difficult to remove this tab at first, in fact I couldn't remove it at all. It wasn't until I saw that video by Sen-Ti-Nel that I learned the proper procedure, and when followed exactly it works perfectly.
Once the little door is removed you use a small gold connector to attach the figure to the stand.
The good news is that the figure is light enough that the small arm can support the weight of the figure in the air, allowing for more dynamic display options.
I think this is a great figure, but at 9,800 yen it's a little expensive, especially considering the size. However the engineering is breathtaking and the finish is perfect. I've owned many versions of Black getter (Revoltech, Aoshima, Fewture) and I have to say this one is probably the best so far. The unique jointwork really sells it for me and it's a joy to handle and explore.
|Posted 31 January, 2014 - 12:30 by JoshB|