Shinkiro Type 0/0A
Review by The Enthusiast
Sunrise’s Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, has proven itself a durable and successful mecha property in an era of forgettable robot anime.
In broad strokes, the series follows its protagonist, exiled British Prince Lelouch as he rallies a resistance to the oppressive colonial regime in an alternate universe where Britain has occupied Japan. Lelouch possesses certain supernatural powers which ramp up the complexity of an otherwise typical mecha-oriented narrative. I’ve only watched the first season, but it’s awesome. Lots of great robot action with a smart, sophisticated plot and rich characters.
The Shinkiro is Lelouch’s personal Knightmare Frame (the generic term used for the series mech). It is uniquely, fittingly badass.
This is my first of the Composite Version toys, which are cousins to the Robot Spirits line, though I’m unsure as to the distinction. The Composite toys would seem to be a little more substantial than the Robot Spirits pieces, closer in detailing and heft to the FIX Figuration line (also designed by Hajime Katoki, although a small part of me thinks Bandai just slaps ‘Ver.Ka” on half of their product automatically), though with more refined materials.
The Shinkiro arrives in a beautiful, busy window box which again evokes both the Robot Spirits and FIX Figuration packaging. The screened text on the window is a nice touch.
Inside, two trays of parts, half of which are devoted to the Shinkiro’s Absolute Defense System (more on this later).
With some minor assembly, Shinkiro’s good to go. The materials are top notch. While most of the figure is PVC, the material is sharp, solid, and impeccably painted. The paint apps here are terrific. The metallic gold paint really pops from the glossy black. Sculpting is tight.
First off, I’m a little perturbed by the figure’s apparent difficulties with STANDING. Oh boy, I’m starting to get paranoid. Are modern toys incapable of this? Deep breath, Enthusiast. It’s probably because it’s on glass. Fine. I can’t expect every toy to stand on a slick surface. Let’s take away the glass.
This doesn’t make as much of a difference as you’d think. This thing is engineered to stand in one specific pose. Any spread of its legs beyond say thirty degrees and he’s doing full splits, even on paper.
By way of demonstration, here’s my attempt to get him to stand up while showing off some knee-hook accessories. Okay, lets start with some kind of dynamic crouching pose. Nope. Those cool looking feet just do not work unless they are perfectly upright.
But let’s try to see if there’s any more movement we can get out of those feet. Nope. They pop off.
Okay, lets try something more modest, say a stance slightly wider than normal. Nope. Splits.
Back to the generic stance, the only position the damned thing will hold.
Posing without a stand is just too frustrating to continue attempting. Fine. I give up. The stand it is. Better, but barely. Posing is still awkward.
I like the Scopedog-like skates which fold out from his legs.
The chest opens.
The opening cockpit is nice, but why couldn’t we get a sitting pilot Lelouch instead of, or in addition to the standing Elvis?
The Shinkiro can transform into a flight/submarine mode. The transformation is similar to one of those half-assed Gundam “transformations,” where the suit kind of folds in half and ends up looking like a folded-in-half robot with wings. Still, the Shinkiro looks fine in this mode.
A substantial amount of parts and accessories are dedicated to Lelouch’s Absolute Defense mode. An elaborate set of panels and fittings are included to recreate this effect. I found it underwhelming, but it’s a nice display piece.
I’m beginning to think that I’m just never going to “get” these fiddly little figures. Objectively they are just fine, and well done, but they are missing something. I only see an obsessive recreation of a character without any consideration of fun or play. It’s all very pretty and soulless. Like Lindsay Lohan.
|Posted 3 July, 2011 - 14:56 by The Enthusiast