Mutant Bigaro (Custom)
|Character Design||Mori Katsura|
|Toy Design||Mori Katsura|
Review by Prometheum5
Real x Head is a small Japanese vinyl company started and run by Mori Katsura in 2003. Mori’s first figure was the Oni-Head, but he saw much more success with his second figure, the Mutant Head, the start of the iconic Mutant Zone series. The Mutant Head sculpt was borne out of Mori’s love of classic 80’s toys, especially Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Taken from the Super 7 Mook and the new Encyclopedia of Kaiju, the Mutants are an invisible race that lives in the forests and mountains in natural harmony, existing outside the realm of human perception. The evil Mutant organization Akrobat is led by the militaristic Akro-Kaiser, and the Mutants dislike humanity because of the damage we do to their natural habitats, and so cause accidents and natural disasters to punish us. During an engagement, Mutant Head is injured and loses his ability to stay invisible. Mutant Head is found by a young boy and nursed back to health, showing Head that not all humans are evil. When Mutant Head returns to confront Akro-Kaiser about their aggression towards humanity, a schism erupts within the Mutant world over how to deal with humans, leading to what amounts to a civil war among the Mutants against Akrobat, with the human-defending Mutants being lead by Mutant Head.
Mutant Bigaro is the third Real x Head to use the Mutant head body as a base, as well as the third friendly character in the Mutant Zone Series. The Encyclopedia of Kaiju interview describes Mutant Bigaro as a childhood friend of Head's and a gentle character. Bigaro looks to be a bit of a brute when compared to the previous Mutants, with a stockier look and single eye in a large cavity, similar to a Zaku mono-eye from the Gundam series. Bigaro has visible cracks in his skin, suggesting a thick and rugged hide, to me, as well as a cape on his back. The actual physical design of the figure in making a new character is unlike any other figure in the line (except for one specific case that we’ll get to later), but the idea of creating add-on parts for the Mutant body to create different characters over a single base body is something integral to the Real x Head style and business plan. Instead of using the neck joints already on the Mutant body, the Bigaro head-piece is a cowl that fits over the shoulders and neck of the Mutant body, using a piece of foam in the front and back to keep it safely in place. This is both a blessing and a curse, and I have somewhat mixed feelings about the Bigaro head-piece. Because the head-piece does not actually clip onto any specific mounting point, it has a large range of movement on its shoulder perch, and can be very expressive. At the same time, however, I do not like how the head-piece flops around in your hands while you handle the figure, making the figure feel almost incomplete. As such, I typically relegate my few Bigaros to shelf-duty and leave them alone. Even with this problem, Bigaro is a popular character with many different colorways, and I am a big fan of the design even if I do not care for its actual execution.
The particular figure pictured here is a custom of mine. The stocky and round appearance of Bigaro gave me a classic Gigantor (Tetsujin-28) feel. I painted the cape to look like flames from Tetsujin’s jetpack, and took advantage of a piece of advice Sanjeev gave me on how to give the blue a metallic finish without using a metallic blue paint by over-spraying the blue coat with a thinned down coat of silver. I painted over a beige ‘flesh’ blank, just like the Mutant Evil I reviewed, as can be seen through a number of spots on this figure where the paint has rubbed off… I did not do a good enough job of sealing this figure, and the paint is not well enough protected, especially around where the head-piece rests on the shoulders.
|Posted 29 October, 2009 - 11:24 by Prometheum5|