Review by VF5SS
This figure was provided by Bluefin Tamashii and is available at the following retailers:
The undisputed "King of Pop" has gone down in history as a legendary performer for his amazing vocal talents and almost superhuman dance skills. He inspired generations of artists around the world, and even after his death in 2009, he still brought joy to many. Recently his likeness has been cropping up in action figures, starting with Max Factory making a figma of his appearance in the "Thriller" music video. Not to be outdone, Bandai stepped up to the plate with a 1/12 scale rendition of Michael Jackson as he appeared in the feature film Moonwalker. It was in this movie that the famous singer basically became a superhero and he became an unstoppable force of music. Sega produced two different video game adaptations of the film for both the Genesis and arcades which further cemented the idea that the man in the white suit is a force for good. For a lot of fans, this is the definitive look of MJ.
The S.H. Figuarts Michael Jackson stands roughly six inches tall and is clad in his iconic outfit from Moonwalker. Please note that this figure cannot transform into a robot or a car.
Michael's sculpt is overall quite clean and very figma-like with smooth white plastic joints looking a lot like Max Factory's usual fare. He lacks a spot for attaching a stand so if you wish to use a Tamashii Stage with Michael, he will have to get the clamps.
The sculpted details on Michael's suit are very good with natural looking folds in his clothing and little touches like the white suspenders and a fabric-like texture on the tie.
Size wise he fits right in with other 1/12 scale figures like the S.H. Figuarts Shocker Combatman and my Scale Eckhart.
One thing I found interesting about this toy is how Michael's hat reveals a full untouched head once removed. Usually Bandai would include a separate noggin with a peg sticking out of the top to secure such an accessory but here it's all done with friction. I've put the hat on and off the figure a few dozen times and it hasn't scraped any paint from Michael's hair so everything involved seems pretty durable. You do have to wedge it on there so it stays though.
I think Bandai did a pretty good job capturing the famous singer's likeness in a relatively small space. The back of the box boasts that they used "cutting edge technology" to make a copy of Michael's face based on photographs and then tampo print the data onto the toy. As a result, the Figuarts has a somewhat softer look in places like his eyes and mouth. You can even see tiny specks simulating his skin which admittedly looks a little strange when examined through a close up from a digital camera. MJ's face looks a lot more natural in real life I assure you.
The alternate head sports a gentle smile. Sadly he does not come with a head that has his mouth in mid "WOO!" I feel like that would be more appropriate for this figure than the smiling face as the difference is a bit too subtle on this scale.
Swapping the heads is pretty easy with the only caveat being you have to transfer his small ponytail between the two which can be a bit harrowing.
Michael comes with a modest amount of accessories in addition to his spare head. You get seven extra hands, an alternate torso, a pair of fixed-pose feet, and a special silhouette shaped pedestal. The only thing that's really missing is the tommy gun Michael would wield when performing the "Smooth Criminal" act.
True to the real Moonwalker, all of Michael's right hands have tiny bands around some of the fingers. You get a number of different gestures to mimic parts of his dance choreography. To swap the hands you just pop them off the ball-joint at the end of his wrists. The connection between the hand and the flesh colored universal joint is pretty tight so it can be tough to pop them on and off.
Michael's tie plugs into his shirt via a small ball-joint which allows it to sway to either side. Like with the ponytail, you only get one tie to share between the two upper bodies so be careful.
Swapping the torsos around is fairly straightforward and adds an extra layer of expressiveness to the figure at the cost of some mobility. His upper are arms now set in place but the flared out jacket imbues the toy with a bit of MJ magic.
And if you get creative with the unused accessories, Michael can be accompanied by his floating dismembered duplicate.
For extra stage trickery, Michael comes with an extra pair of feet that are fixed at a forward angle. Both sets plug into his legs at the ankle which affords the articulated pair a swivel joint. Due to this setup, one of the movable feet is a bit loose at this connection. While this is irksome, it can be fixed with a little thickening with super glue or floor polish. Also please be aware of the small blue cuffs threaded over the ankle peg on the default feet as they are quite tiny and could get lost in the carpet.
The alternate feet peg into the pedestal to set Michael up for one of his most famous moves. These feet peg in tightly to his legs so be sure to line everything up as you can't really rotate these particular ankles. I find pegging the feet into the base and then attaching Michael works best.
The way the toy achieves this is similar to how it was done in real life. Michael and his backup dancers would wear special shoes with a cutout in the heel that could hook onto small pegs that would subtly rise out of the stage for the big moment. In a way the Figuarts is a case of art imitating life.
Michael has a very good range of motion and can imitate many of his iconic dance moves. He is equal to any typical S.H. Figuarts or figma in terms of articulation with both a separate chest and waist joint, thigh swivels, toe joints, ankle tilts, etc. That being said, there is one area that is a bit limited.
In order to explain this, I have to be a little morbid and pull Michael's legs off. It pretty easy to pop his thighs off the inner hip joint to show just how his groin works. There's an inverted "T" that makes up his hips with the narrow end going up into his abdomen forming a waist joint.On my figure this joint is very tight and makes it difficult to use what is supposed to be a freely swaying groove thang. Due to this setup, getting Michael to cross his legs is hard to do without popping them off the joint when they get too close to the groin area. I think Bandai decided against the "pull down" style hips seen in many Kamen Rider Figuarts because while the ball-joint design is somewhat less capable, it is a lot sturdier and fits the general market that will be buying this toy.
All that being said, Michael here is certainly no slouch in the fancy footwork department.
Set him up with a Tamashii Stage and Michael can get up on his toes.
And he can definitely grab his crotch. It's not every day I review a toy where people demand it can do that.
The only thing missing is a base with a built in mp3 player loaded with hits like "Billie Jean" and "Pretty Young Thing."
The Moonwalker is on the streets ready to fight the evil forces of Mr. Big.
While he may appear to be just a normal man, Michael has many special powers and can even defeat his enemies just by throwing his hat.
With Michael around, everybody dances!
Truly the greatest day was when Aaron met MJ...
The S.H Figuarts Michael Jackson is a toy that is truly oozing with style and charm. While it does have a few issues that keep it from being perfect, it absolutely nails what people love and remember about this legendary performer. Fans of MJ will definitely enjoy this figure. Thanks again to Bluefin Tamashii for providing the S.H. Figuarts Michael Jackson. You can purchase this toy at retailers such as Amazon , Big Bad Toy Store , and Entertainment Earth.
|Posted 16 December, 2014 - 21:49 by VF5SS|