Review by VF5SS
In the realm of Original Video Animation, few titles can garner the unique distinction of being a true pioneer like Megazone 23. If wasn't the first, but it certainly one of coolest. One of Megazone's notable staples is the Garland: an oddly named red motorcycle that goes one step beyond the Akira bike in coolness as it can transform into a sleek robot.
Megazone 23 III, is the often maligned end to the Megazone franchise. It resides in that awkward niche of anime sequels set far after the original work that they hardly seem relevant to their forebears. Despite issues that arose in the whole series from changes in directors and character designers, not to mention the passage of time, there was still one consistent element of mechanical designs from Shinji Aramaki. If there's one thing the man gets, it's robots that turn into motorcycles and the E=X Garland is one of his best designs.
During the brief resurgence of Megazone 23 merchandise, Atelier Sai released three unique Garland action figures under the "Megazone 23 Mechanics" line. Out of all of them the E=X Garland figure intrigued me the most in part because this is to date the only toy of this design.
After liberating the figure from it's odd box (a plastic clam shell inside a plastic sleeve), I was immediately drawn to the toy's excellent sculpt and flexibility. Atlelier Sai was really able to capture the sleekness of the E=X Garland. The prominent thighs, tapered shins, and the pointy feet immediately remind me of a classic 80's anime ninja. Other parts such as the long forearms, wide shoulders, and small head almost remind of something from a Gainax work. Despite the figure's inability to transform into motorcycle mode, the general shape of the limbs and visible wheels one the shoulders capture the feeling of a high powered street machine.
Detail all around the figure is excellent. However, I have mixed feelings on the paint job. The shiny metallic paint goes a long way for catching your attention and accentuating details, but every nick and flaw is also immediately apparent. The figure's PVC construction also means some details parts can appear misshapen and the joints are especially sensitive to heat. Putting the E=X Garland under a hot lamp for these photos made the whole toy a bit floppy. I recommend either heating or cooling the figure and carefully moving each joint to break any excess paint that might be gumming up the works.
The figure is absolutely loaded with articulation. Each leg contains a total of six points of articulation and employs a lot of nifty tricks such as double-jointed knees and ankles to give the toy a wide range of motion.
The arms are equally flexible with many swivels and hinge joints. One thing that may not be immediately obvious is the rotational shoulder joint consist of the entire wheel assembly. The figure comes with several optional hands including the usual open palm and fists. The other hands are all permanently attached to a weapon.
The figure includes a pair of hands grasping the E=X Garland's signature knives.
The E=X Garland comes with the gun is it seen wielding in the OVA.
It also comes with a much smaller hand gun. I can't recall if this is shown in the series. Given Altelier Sai's use of concept art weapons in their Proto Garland toy, I think this may be straight from the lineart.
Weapon bay: lock off.
Also included are two alternate arms with the missile launchers open. These arms do not possess a full elbow joint, although the upper arm is still a separate piece which is joined to the lower arm via a ball joint. These arms can accept any of the optional hands.
The E=X Garland is roughly the same size as Organic Hobby's Maneuver Slave Collection figures. I find there is a striking contrast between the two toy lines as one emphasized a very rounded, animated look with a few robust joints while the other is much more chiseled, dynamic, and loaded with joints.
Now before everyone gets too excited, I just want to point out that this guy is a little on the small side. As much as I want to recommend this toy, not only is it smaller than a can of soda it also costs at least 10 times as much. I realize the relative obscurity of the design coupled with the intricate nature of the toy does somewhat justify the MSRP of 3000 yen. However, the combination of sloppy paint, size, and finicky PVC construction doesn't make the reality sting any less. My overall opinion of the toy is that at some level it is worth checking out, especially if you find a good deal.
|Posted 23 February, 2010 - 10:14 by VF5SS|
Comments36 comments posted
Yeah as much as I like the Garland that size is a turn off.
"I realize the relative obscurity of the design coupled with the intricate nature of the toy does somewhat justify the MSRP of 3000 yen. However, the combination of sloppy paint, size, and finicky PVC construction doesn't make the reality sting any less. My overall opinion of the toy is that at some level it is worth checking out, especially if you find a good deal."
It's strange that you think this is worth checking out, as the review seems 75% negative about the toy... why should I check this out? because I like Megazone 23? or because this is a good toy?
For 3,000yen, for such a tiny figure, there shouldn't be *any* problems. I know a pipe dream, but when something sells, even if it sucks, it makes companies think "hey they bought that crap, maybe they'll buy this crap too" - and begins the chain of bad QC, low diecast, small size large price, etc. It's the same size as a Star Wars figure, and for $7 those have clean paint and are pretty solid. The Revoltechs are a little bigger but for $15-20 average, they are 99.999% flawless QC. I know it's not fair to compare the three companies, as they are different physical sizes, edition sizes, markets, countries, but you really have to question it when stuff like this is out on the market.
I love Megazone 23 and the Garland designs especially, but this certainly seems to be another "Let's see what else we can get those nerd idiots to buy, pass the champagne" product.
"For 3,000yen, for such a tiny figure, there shouldn't be *any* problems."
Wow, you have some insanely high standards. You must not enjoy any toy ever if 30 bucks means it must be completely flawless.
Read the next line: "I know a pipe dream, but when..."
I just think if you're going to make a detailed little guy, and paint it, then do it well.
It's a good thing I bought it on sale for 1500 yen :3
"The Revoltechs are a little bigger but for $15-20 average, they are 99.999% flawless QC."
In my experience, most toys of this size and price range - Revoltechs, HCM Pros, and these Garlands - have terrible paint QC. Another problem Revoltechs share with the Atelier Sai Garlands is some joints that are very tight and others that are very loose.
Oh, and Star Wars figures? Really? I wouldn't hold up ANYTHING Hasbro produces as an example of good paint QC.
$5-7 vs. $30 price here.
I expect more if I pay more.
I'm using the comparison because of the size.
But Hasbro can't even do clean paint ops on a GI Joe or a Star Wars or a Transformer. I sometimes look through 10 or 15 of the same toy on the pegs before I find one where the eyes stayed in the lines, or some stripes aren't misaligned or fuzzy. Why would that prove anything about other companies' ability to produce well-painted figures at that size?
Maybe you have problems that I don't have with that. Very rarely do I have issues. Maybe I'm lucky, or we collect different stuff.
It proves this: If you're going to charge a premium price, then you should get premium product. You shouldn't just settle for mediocre just because of the property. Enough said.
I think you're probably just not very sensitive to the problems in the paint ops present on most mass-produced small toys. It's impossible to know now, but I bet if you'd gotten the E=X Garland yourself, instead of reading VF's review, the messy paint wouldn't bother you any more than the problems 90% of Star Wars toys have.
Collecting the new ones on & off since 1995 relaunch with no serious problems (maybe 1 out of 100 figures have an issue)- again, maybe I'm lucky man.
I can't say I'm a huge collector of the Star Wars figs,but I get ones I like,and Hasbro's Marvel versions of the same thing,and I almost never have paint problems,maybe minor bleeding on one or two of the maybe 30 figures I have.
A master of mind control who hides inside a Ford Pickup
You're getting more. You're getting an articulated figure of an obscure design from an old OVA. And honestly, all the paint problems are typical to any toy of this price range. Like the other guy said, Revoltech have their own issues. I have a bunch of Revoltechs with bad joints and paint.
Also if you want to rant about toy pricing, do it somewhere else.
It's not really a price issue,though. This figure looks like it was carved out of wax with a dremel tool,and by your own admission has numerous construction problems.
The price comes into play when you realise this glorified MSiA figure costs thirty bucks for no discernable reason.
Target sells G.I. Joes for 5 dollars,and they all have better paint and sculpts,and (I've only actually bought a couple) from what I understand have few durability problems. So why is it that these guys can't get it right for 6 times the price?
Again,I'm not complaining that there are thirty dollar action figures. I've purchased thirty dollar action figures. I do think,though,that for thirty bucks you should get something that compares favorably to the "Scuba Splashin' Spidey" you can find for 6 bucks at the local WalMart.
A master of mind control who hides inside a Ford Pickup
No offense, but if you write about mostly the problems, and the cost/size, then recommend others get one, then why is it bad I bring it up for discussion? You brought it up yourself in the review!
I like Megazone also but I'm not going to buy a toy just because it's Megazone. Don't make apologizes for it, because someday, something else will come out.
Why is only *your* opinion and point of view valid? You write the review but you're not God. VF5SS, you can't control the reaction of others reading it, and their viewpoints.
You only call my comment a rant, only because you disagree. That's ridiculous.
"No offense, but if you write about mostly the problems, and the cost/size, then recommend others get one, then why is it bad I bring it up for discussion?"
Because you're being incredibly self-righteous about it. And you are ranting. You went off on a tirade about toy pricing while other people in this thread pointed out that you are wrong on several fronts.
"I like Megazone also but I'm not going to buy a toy just because it's Megazone. Don't make apologizes for it, because someday, something else will come out."
I wasn't apologizing for the toy. I was trying to be honest about its problems. Since its main selling point is articulation, there's not much more I can do other than show it in cool poses. If you read my review I said, "My overall opinion of the toy is that at some level it is worth checking out, especially if you find a good deal." The good deal in question was the fact that I found it for HALF PRICE at HLJ. I have to report the MSRP because that's what we do at this website.
Oh what's that? You're mad because people bought these and it sent the wrong message to the companies? Well they didn't sell, as is apparent by the fact retailers are marking these down for clearance.
And you know why these toys have a high price tag. It's always cost vs. the size of the market and the number of figures produced. Star Wars toys are produced in large numbers and are shipped to stores all around the world. This toy was lucky enough to get into a small market in Japan where prices are generally higher anyway.
So does my review offend of a crappy toy offend you? You could have said something more serene like, "I feel as though you are sending mixed messages. Could you please clarify?" I know civility is tough for all of us as evident by this very post, but you're not putting me in the best of moods right now.
Now be quiet and get ready for some smiting.
Your smiting threat is as frightening as a Care Bear.
You always do the same thing when someone disagrees with you- Make it personal. If you feel buyers regret, or ashamed, or whatever you feel, how does that make what I say any less valid? I see the same ## of people commenting either way on this on this post, some agree it's too much, and some agree it's good product. It's even split. So why make it about you and your ego?
By mentioning your discount you prove my point- this thing was overpriced for what you get. It might come from an obscure show, and it might be super articulated, but that doesn't make it look nice on the shelf. Good QC and paint does. I'm not mad at anyone. You can read my posts and see that clearly. You can buy whatever you want buddy. Spend away. Megazone 23 toys, classic gokin, modern gokin, revoltech, lego, toilet paper rolls, junk mail... collect whatever you want. If you like it, fine. That's you. If you don't like it, fine. That's you. Not everyone thinks like you. It's part of being an adult in the real world. Deal with it. Do you need the comments section of every review to follow your own dogma? if so that's sad. Pointing out something odd in a review is completely different than being self righteous. Don't make things out to be more than they are, it's a comment about a toy review, not a challenge to your poor self esteem. To me, honesty and helping other collectors out is far more important than my own ego and whether I'm the boss or I'm right or in charge, or whatever dominance that can be pushed.
If you can't handle an honest criticism it says more about you than the toy. I am only comparing two toys, same size, different companies, big difference in price. You want to make it about you and your nerd muscles? Good for you. That is a lonely road and not a good way to make friends out there.
I am just pointing out your review gives a confusing opinion of the toy. You've clarified, you like it. End of story. If you want to "smite" or whatever Monty Python things you do with your friends in private go ahead. Anything else you post, especially when you try to make it personal, just makes you, the author, look sorry, immature, and sad.
I'll continue to have fun with toys, you can have your tantrum in the corner. So go ahead and "smite" all you want.
Cool story, bro!
"I am just pointing out your review gives a confusing opinion of the toy. You've clarified, you like it. End of story."
Except it wasn't. YOU decided to continue on a rant about toy pricing. In fact, 75% of your post is about that.
But really what this all boils down to there is a toy you have no interest in buying and that makes you mad.
And YOU can't let it go. No, what it really boils down to is that you can't handle being wrong, or anyone questioning your viewpoints.
So you bought an overpriced toy. Big deal, don't cry about it. So have I. And so have 99% of the people who read this site. So have a tissue, dry your eyes, and let's continue this discussion when you grow up.
I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with you in person.
I bought it at half price, as I said so before. You need to learn not to throw temper tantrums when someone doesn't like your stupid tirades.
Keep responding. I'll be here.
No temper tantrums here, however much you want it to be so!
All I see is a teenage writer throwing an immature temper tantrum because "he controls the internetz"
I can't wait for you to graduate school and sell your collection. Then I won't have to read your pitiful "reviews"
Where's that smite? Did you trade it for a Big Mac?
Why do you keep posting?
Because it makes you mad. It's amusing when people like you need "the last word" and I'll never give you that satisfaction.
You have a poor attitude towards anyone who disagrees with you.
You turn things personal as quick as you can.
You need to get called out for your crap.
Just because you don't agree with me doesn't make what I have to say "crazy" or "a rant." - to go that root shows how much of a little kid you are.
Just because I don't agree with you and write legible, clear posts, that has something of substance to say about our hobby beyond "LOLz Duuude cool!" doesn't make my opinion less than yours.
We can disagree and be friendly. If I say it's overpriced, and you disagree, that's that. But you want to troll it out at all times because you're lonely, friendless, whatever reason. If you didn't try your hardest to make it personal and make me angry (all you've done so far is prove that you have a problem when people don't like the same things as you, and provide a good laugh for me and my friends at the bar last night) then this thread would have only 3 or 4 posts on it.
You don't own CDX , the comments section, and you especially don't own the internet. Stop trying to be "boss" of something you have no right to. It's like the pimply kid at Best Buy who says "but I am the manager" when there is a problem, and they're 14yrs old and lying- all you can say is "yeah right."
Agreeing to disagree is part of being an adult. When you get there, you'll understand. Give me a call when that happens.
And, believe it or not, most of the people read this site for -actual reviews which offer a clear legible opinion- not you. Nobody cares about you.
EPIC FAIL! Facepalm, and all those dumb memes from 4chan. You sir, Big R, winnir of the internetz...
Now PLEASE put on some big boy pants, your discourse in this thread is embarrassing.
I am laughing so hard right now.
I was in agreement with you from the start,but now you look as bad as VF does.
There's always going to be smartass teens on the internet. You can get in an imaginary wang measuring contest with them and embarrass yourself in the process,or you can just walk away,which is what you should have done.
A master of mind control who hides inside a Ford Pickup
Are you done now?
Don't be a coward and delete my posts.
Time for you guys to take this outside! I'm closing comments on this thread. Grow up, both of you.
My review is about 75% pictures of the toy in cool poses and some text. Maybe I didn't emphasize the fun I was having with the figure but do I genuinely like it. I just wanted to let people know the toy has some flaws and that size and cost may be determining factors for buying it.
Good review ! I really like the style of the tapered shinlegs and the base design in general.
As a person who bought the Bubblegum Crisis figures from the same people, I can attest to the price not being a significant part of the quality. It's all about getting the license - AIC in particular is very elusive - and being the only game in town when it comes to obscure designs. The majority of late 80s - early 90's OVAs were the territory of the then explosive garage kit industry. There were dozens of resin and vinyl kits of Megazone, BGC, and other videos of the time, but absolutely no toys. The toy industry in Japan was still largely centered on Bandai Sentai, Takara Brave toys, and the occasional Bandai toy if it was a huge TV show.
Oddly enough it wasn't until Macfarlanne revolutionized the toy industry with Spawn that figures with detail became popular. Then companies like Kaiyodo and Kotobukiya started to make highly articualted and well-detailed figures in the same vein as Spawn. Bandai then jumped in with MSiA and we eventually got to Revoltech and beyond.
Getting back to this piece, it marks what is now fairly common, picking something old that never had a toy (or had a crummy toy) and make one - for an inflated price since it's the only option. You will get the few hundred people that care enough to pay the price to have a toy of it - no matter the quality. These are sometimes done by companies that have little experience with this type of product. Atelier Sai makes static figures of pretty girls, usually a statue or a trading figure. Articulation and sharp sculpts aren't their forte, but they got the license so they do it anyway.
It's not the best way to make a toy, but there is a mindset that some people have that makes them have to get a toy of something, even if they know it will probably be less than stellar. Sometimes it goes so far as to being pleased with it regardless, since you now have a toy of something you've always wanted, even if it's not that good. The Bubblegum Crisis figures were that for me, and those were obscenely expensive, but there was no other option and they were worth it to me to get them.*
So it's a losing battle to try and argue why one would or wouldn't buy something like this. Just chalk it up to beauty in the eye of the beholder and not get too worked up over who buys what. We all have likes and dislikes and one man's trash is another's treasure. It's fun to trade ideas and offer information about pieces that others might not know, but getting into arguments about toys and throwing insults around just makes the site a place people won't want to visit.
I actually looked at these back when they came out but the biggest problem was the articulation was never mentioned. They showed them in one or two poses and that was it, leaving it a gamble if it was more than the typical few points a generic toy has. I decided not to bother since it was low on the list of other things I was interested in, but if I come across one for cheap I might partake.
*(This was a good decade or so before the Yamato ones were made, of which those are almost as guilty since the AS ones were all but forgotten by then.)
Sir, this reasonable and measured analysis has no place in this thread.
You know, if you don't like what I have to say is one thing.
When you delete my posts you prove everything I say true.
Instead of saying I don't agree, you'd rather 2ch it out, and it's ridiculous.
This is what killed RJ, MW and many other sites: idiots who treat differing opinions with contempt, and censor the site so it fits their agenda.
I'm done with this. Some of the people here are a joke.