Review by chachipower
When I first saw this in person at the 2012 Comic Con, I maintained my composure so that I would not look like all the other toy nerds at the show, I mean I have to keep some sort of professionalism right? I stared and stared at it while the 12PM C-3PO deservedly stole my glance for minutes at a time. These two figures together were more than I could handle. One one hand, there is a HEAVY 1:6 scale Chogokin C-3PO and on the other, there is a tall 1:6 scale Wild Tiger...and they are both from the same line! That's how I knew Bandai had yet another line of figures that were bound to be popular with fans who would be willing to part with a minimum of $300.
Wild Tiger is the first release of this new 12PM line. 12 meaning the inches and PM standing for Perfect Model. They couldn't be more right with this designation. If you were impressed with the wildly selling S.H. Figuarts version of this character, prepare to change your panties more often with a much bigger version!
Wild Tiger comes in a high end box indicative of it's high end origins. The sleeve itself is made of a thick laminated cardboard wrapped with a glossy full color foil finish.
Once the sleeve is removed, you are treated to a stiff cardboard door with a satin ribbon handle.
Underneath the door flap, the figure is secured behind a clear plastic tray. The figure rests in the middle and is surrounded by some of it's accessories.
The tray underneath stores his remaining accessories and his display stand parts.
After removing the figure form the tray, you must remove some protective tissue from his joints which are there to prevent scuffing of the matte-finish parts.
The figure itself is a perfect rendering of Wild Tiger in 12" scale. The proportions are spot-on and the finish is beautifully applied. Shiny parts are shiny, satin parts are satin and matte parts are well...matte.
The first thing I noticed is that it felt like a big action figure. I usually handle high-end 12" figures like delicate collectible dolls because, well, that's what they are. This figure felt solid from the start. Nothing was fidgety, joints were solid and there were no really small bits to be wary off. It just felt like a highly detailed large action-figure.
The figure features articulation in all the spots you expect articulation to be. I found the head only somewhat limiting but through no fault of the engineering, instead, it's the collar design of the armor keeps it from being able to look up. The articulation is what you would expect to have if the suit was life-size and then-some.
Accessories include an assortment of optional hands to replace the standard fixed fists. These include weapon-holding hands.
And even the Barnaby-mocking Bunny ear-hands!
The best set of hands, in my opinion, have to be the articulated-hand set which feature all the joints you would find in a real hand.
The figure comes standard with a SoftBank sponsor shoulder piece.
Also included is an optional Family Mart shoulder piece indicating his new sponsor.
The standard head can be removed and replaced with an alternate head that looks exactly the same but has no LED gimmick.
So why would you want that? That's because this version has removable parts to reveal Kotetsu's human face! The mouth piece can be positioned opened or closed.
The top part of the helmet comes off and reattaches to the top of his head to simulate a flip-up visor that reveals his face.
Other accessories include his Wild Shot gimmick which consists of attachments to simulate the extending arm components of his suit's feature. They don't actually extend from the suit, but they do a good job of looking like they do. Part of the extending arm is diecast metal. I recommend removing his forearms which is a matter of just pressing a hidden release button which make attachment a much simpler process.
My favorite gimmick of all and the most breath-taking at that is the built-in LED gimmick. I think at one point I use to despise light gimmicks because there was hollow spaces in the figure to fit silly things like batteries, but at some point I became an LED addict. This figure features 8 non-obtrusive switches located on its backside. This gimmick requires 16 button type batteries which surprisingly enough are included and installed. Prior to use, plastic tabs on the batteries must be removed.
At no point on this figure do the LEDs look toy-like. They all have a scale appearance and the light-piping associated with each light is well thought out.
JoshB gave me this idea.
The plastic armored panels would have been passable if only molded in white, but in this case they have been sprayed in a metallic pearl which needs to be experienced with the naked-eye to appreciate. This gives the armor a painted metal feel.
All other areas of detail feature great detail and attention. I especially like the differences in texture. There are shiny parts.
There are satin finished parts.
And there are the smooth matte finish parts which I find very appealing to the touch.
Speaking of touch, this figure is pleasing to the senses, not only visually but also to the touch. Aside from the different subtle textures, the figure feels right in the hands. It is in no way heavy in the way we would consider a diecast robot heavy, but a bit heavier than a standard 1:6 scale figure. This is probably due to the amount of plastics used in its design and the clever diecast hip joints, which not only provide a delicate weight balance to the figure, but also provide a hip extension feature to allow greater articulation at the hips. Bandai could have just left the metal parts bare, but they saw fit to give it a black-chrome finish since they figured we'd be showing off it's metal crotch to our friends when they come over to check it out.
Since this is primarily meant to be a display piece, there is an included stand which features a white plastic base adorned with a small painted plaque with Wild Tiger across it. A solid metal rod capped in plastic is used as the supporting structure of the stand while a spring loaded claw is used to clamp to the figure.
Of course the clamp has soft black strips on the inside to help eliminate scuffing of the matte-textured finish of the body.
Just for fun, here is a scale comparison with his popular and much more affordable S.H. Figuarts version.
OK, so anybody can figure out that I am impressed with this figure. While the money it demands can easily put a damper on the fun, most fans of Tiger and Bunny collectibles will find the price a little easier to swallow. A casual fan or collector of standard 1:6 scale figures may be swayed by other things at or below this price point. While I am not a hardcore fan of Tiger and Bunny, I do enjoy the originality of the show. It's one of the only animes I give my time to. This automatically sways me to like the figure a bit more than normal, but the figure holds it's own regardless. It's well built, well detailed and well-presented. Seeing as this is the first figure in the line, we can imagine all of its successors to be progressively better. The second release has already demonstrated this trend although future releases hang on the success of these pilot figures.
|Posted 23 February, 2013 - 20:30 by chachipower|