Review by Anavel
Bandai launched it's Soul of Chogokin: SPEC line in January 2009. This offshoot began with Evangelion and has featured classic real robots from the 1980's such as Layzner, Dragonar and L-gaim. Two years after the start of the line Bandai has released their eleventh piece in the line, XS-11 Falguen. Falguen is the villain mech to Dragonar from the 1987 anime Metal Armor Dragonar.
The box is excellent, as I have come to expect from this line. It features a flap with windows underneath on the front. The figure and accessories are packed in two plastic trays.
The figure has plastic armor built up upon a largely metal skeleton. It feels very similar to the SPEC Dragonar. The inner arms, legs, lower torso and inner feet are all metal. There is no way to tell if there is any metal in the upper torso. The fit and finish is very good. The sculpt is excellent, and the paint applications are good, with a few very minor issues. (see gallery)
The figure is very well articulated outshining its predecessor. Double joints are featured in the elbows, wrists, ankles, and knees. The shoulders have a series of ball and traditional joints, the large shoulder armor plates are ball jointed and the cable that connects to the figure's left shoulder is soft PVC.
The hips are fully articulated and the legs can swivel. There are two joints at the waist, a traditional ball joint, and an additional joint that allows the upper torso to bend forward. The neck is double jointed and ball joints connect the wings to the backpack. All the joints are tight with one exception. When placing the large wings on the backpack the left side is very loose, it cannot sufficiently hold in position. I am not sure what the issue is but have not seen any other occurrences of this problem documented.
You can get the figure into a wide range of great poses. The stand is very good, and the figure balances very well on the ground. One important thing to mention is the front of the skirt. It is made of soft PVC so it can bend out of the way if it comes into contact with the upper legs. One note of caution is that if the two inward facing tabs are bent at too extreme of an angle, the gold paint may crack. I had only seen one early report of this happening, but I would advise to just be aware of this when posing the figure.
Previous entries in the line have featured fully removable armor. This figure similar to L-Gaim was not designed with removable armor as a feature, but the armor on the legs can be removed.
The figure comes with several accessories. First is the stand, it is the same stand that came with Dragonar, but it does not include the parts that plug into the base to replicate the catapult. The stand has a few points of articulation and attaches to the figure well.
Other accessories include a gun with removable magazine, two beam sabers with translucent blades, extra magazines and arm clip, Forge Unit M.A.F.F.U (large flight wings), multi dischargers (alternate for flight wings), several hands, and extra stiff antenna (the attached ones are PVC).
Overall this is an excellent figure. Design, paint and build quality are very good, despite my believed to be isolated joint issue. The price, 8000 yen does seem a bit high for what you get when compared to previous releases. Unfortunately this seems to be a trend from all companies. I would highly recommend the figure to Dragonar fans, or anybody who has either of the previous Dragonar figures.
If you are looking to purchase Falguen, you can get yours at HobbyLink Japan
Comments8 comments posted
Great! I've got my Falguen on the way so I'm glad to hear that there aren't too many serious issues with the figure. ^^; That said, I found that Anime-Export has the best price for Falguen at the moment, at 6500 yen versus HLJ's daunting 8000.
The price on this is pretty weird. It was marketed for a long time at ¥6000, then at the last minute it jumped to ¥8000. It was why I canceled mine in the first place, and it seems to pissed off quite a few folks as well.
I remember the original listing on HLJ being about 6000 yen. If you had preordered it when it was at that price, HLJ did honor the old price (as a friend of mine discovered), but if you waited too long, then you were out of luck. I think the issues stems from Bandai themselves. On the Tamashii site the Falguen's price is listed as OPEN, which leads me to believe that retailers and merchants are free to set their own prices. Naturally this means they're going to charge as much as they think they can. I'll be honest, I'm a big Dragonar fan and the Falguen is an amazing design. This SOC SPEC looks absolutely incredible, but 8000 yen incredible? I don't think so. I'm glad I managed to get it for the price I did (Anime-Export actually had it on sale a little while ago for far less, at 5440 yen. I couldn't pass that up!) but the current "market" price is pretty baffling. I fear this might be a trend that will stick. We'll have to see what the SPEC line holds for us in the future. Now that we've gotten Falguen I wouldn't be surprised to see another Nadesico or L-Gaim, or perhaps even Layzner design (Zakarl please?) for the next release, or maybe a new property altogether.
The jump in price was the primary reason I canceled it, but to be frank it just came down to how much I was willing to pay for something I liked but had no real history of liking - the Falguen - or the CM's Calibur which was released at the same time and I just unloaded a wad of cash on.
The Calibur is a design I've loved since I bought the old TT in 85, and is probably my favorite design of all robots. So having just bought that, I had to forgo the other, and the switcheroo pricing just made it an easier choice. I'll get one eventually, so far the Dragonar toys have all gone to clearance so patience will help me endure.
It looks about as good as I expected, and villain mecha always gets a plus since it's so rare in this medium.
its very beutifull!!
I'm happy with mine. I wasn't sure but now I now that the upper leg armor can be removed too. Nice!
Additionaly, the shoulder armor is removable down to the diecast, and the forearm clips are removeable, as is the head. When looking into the head/neck cavity you can see quite a bit of diecast in the torso. You can also remove the drop tanks and missiles from the wing pylons which is a nice touch. I love the execution of mixed materials in the feet. Bandai really hit the nail on the head with using the right materials for the right parts on this one.
Finally got mine in today and love it to death! Amazing figure without any structural issues (though I'm a little miffed that someone apparently dripped some glue onto the edge of one of the shoulder pylons. Doesn't interfere with anything but it's fairly visible.) I'd say if you own either of the Dragonar SPECs (or any SPECs in general) you NEED to have this figure.