|Character Design||Yoshinori Nakai|
Review by VF5SS
Robin Mask (ロビンマスク) is easily one of the most enduring characters in the Kinnikuman series. Based on British wrestler Billy Robinson, this London-born superhuman was introduced as the reigning champion of the previous Superhero Olympics, and he was Kinnikuman's first big challenge on the way to becoming a world-famous wrestler. The two have clashed many times, with Robin often getting more desperate in each encounter. And yet, despite him sometimes employing underhanded methods to win, the sense of honor within his heart helps make him a true fan-favorite.
The character's legacy extends far into Kinnikuman merchandise, with the knight themed hero getting a large number of statues, action figures, and little rubbery things. If there's a line of muscle-bound toys, there is little doubt that Robin Mask will make an appearance.
Robin Mask enters the ring as the third Kinnikuman S.H. Figuarts, and, like the other figures, represents the wrestler in his anime color scheme. While his design is pretty much the same in the manga, he is shown with normal flesh-colored skin, rather than the blue bodysuit from the TV series.
The sculpt on this figure is fantastic, and its use of color couldn't be more perfect. I especially love how his armor is painted in a shiny metallic blue for maximum effect.
Robin comes with a total of three heads, which manage to show a fair range of emotion despite him being a dude in a Transformer-esque helmet. First up is a normal head, with his piercing red eyes set in a stern gaze. Also, note that the pointy spike on Robin's helmet is actually sharp and should be handled with caution.
The second head shows Robin being slightly alarmed with a tear rolling down his cheek... er... mask. Check out how the top part of his helmet arches upward with his widened eyes.
Also, I assure you that is supposed to be water on Robin's face and not wax from King Cobra's body or something else entirely...
Lastly, the third head depicts a battle-damaged helmet with a visible scar on top. Less scrupulous opponents often went straight for Robin's mask during bouts, so this is very true to the series.
Like S.H. Figuarts Kinnikuman, Robin Mask is an extremely poseable action figure, whose articulation works with his muscular sculpt, and doesn't add a lot of obtrusive seams. Check out those 8-pack abs!
All the Kinnikuman Figuarts possess a wonderfully natural range of motion, which makes posing them like a real wrestler very easy and fun!
In addition to fists, Robin Mask comes with two pairs of gripping hands that are ever-so-slightly different. One set has his thumb more parallel to his palm (left), while the other is designed for grabbing limbs with its outstretched thumb. Both pairs feature hinged fingers, which allow Robin to execute a variety of wrestling holds and maneuvers.
I find the flatter hands work quite well when you want Robin Mask to assume a haughty stance. Crossing his arms is pretty easy to do, although this is where you may notice his fancy armor impeding Robin's arm movement to a small degree. Honestly, though, this is a really minor flaw in an otherwise outstanding toy.
"Moe~ Moe~ Kyuuuun!"
The poseable hands let Robin do much more than just fighting!
He always knows how to please a crowd...
At six inches tall, Robin measures up nicely with the rest of the Kinnikuman Figuarts. You may be tempted to assume that these figures share some parts, but, as far as I can tell, each superhuman wrestler has a unique physique.
It's good to have both Warsman and Robin Mask, as the former can only be calmed down by looking at his partner's face for some reason...
"Ah, Robin-san! If you are from Britain, does that mean you know Kongou-san?"
"Errr... I can't say I've heard that name..."
After his defeat by Kinnikuman, Robin Mask traveled the world looking for new ways to train for a rematch. Along the way, he encountered some strange people along the seaside...
"Haa... Laughingman is a tough opponent, but I can't let some wild wrestler stand in the way of revenge on Kinnikuman!!"
He fought hard against powerful fighters from all over the world.
"You think a smiling fool can defeat me? HYAAAH!!"
"Here! I've got a new technique that needs a good test! Toooooryaaaah!"
This impressive move involves Robin Mask catching his falling opponent in a triangle choke with his legs. Fans of the series consider this one of Robin's most famous finishers, and Bandai even saw fit to make the technique the main image on the back of the figure's box.
Note that none of the Kinnikuman Figuarts have a dedicated port for attaching a stand, so you have to get creative with a Tamashii Stage and the standard figure clamp. For my photos, I always try to challenge myself by using as few stand parts as possible, so what I am doing may be more difficult for someone else to achieve. Some may call me a madman for showing such dedication to toy posing...
"Kinnikuman! The time has come for another rematch! I won't let your incredible luck defeat me this time!"
"Feel the mighty strength of London, the TOWER BRIDGE!"
Robin Mask's signature move is his version of the Argentine Backbreaker, which he renamed in honor of the famous landmark. Getting the Figuarts to hold up an opponent is fairly simple, and makes for a striking display of skill.
"This should finish you off, REVERSE TOWER BRIDGE!"
A variation on Robin's usual finisher, this time he jumps into the air while holding his opponent, and uses the force of impact to drive his spiked helmet into his foe. Some fighting game aficionados may recognize this powerful attack, as characters like Clark from King of Fighters or Potemkin from Guilty Gear pay homage to the great wrestler in their own move set.
And yes, Robin Mask is actually holding Kinnikuman off the ground in this photo. Setting this up took a bit of trial and error, but it's doable with enough patience.
"I did it! I defeated Kinnikuman! Referee, why aren't you counting him out?!"
"We haven't heard him say, 'give up' yet!"
"But I pierced his backside! He should be-"
"Robin, I need to bring you to your senses!"
"Mexican Rolling Clutch Hoooold!!"
"ONE! TWO! THREE!"
"Impossible, I lost again!"
"Kinnikuman, can you forgive me? I was blinded by my thirst for revenge."
"It's all water under the tower bridge now, but if you want to really make it up to me..."
"Buy me some gyuuuuuudon for dinner for the next five months!"
Remember, it's not genuine Kinnikuman action without a hearty meal after the bout.
S.H. Figuarts Robin Mask continues the line's excellence by being another amazing action figure. Bandai is putting a lot of love into these toys, and as a new fan of the series, it just makes me more excited to see more stuff! The blue-suited Briton is one of the best out there right now, and I highly recommend him.
And while it's cool that the line is focusing on some of the later (and larger) characters, I can't help but feel there is a Terryman shaped hole in my collection...
|Posted 16 August, 2015 - 06:30 by VF5SS|