Review by VF5SS
Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness was one of Capcom's more unique fighting games. Released to arcades in 1995, it pitted two giant robots against each as they would shoot, stab, and beam saber each other into submission. A spin-off of the lesser known Armored Warriors beat em up, Cyberbots was notable for its highly detailed characters that could boost and roller dash around the screen with a visceral sense of weight that you would expect from two robots locked in mortal combat. Another cool feature was how there were three variations of each playable robot that had different equipment like tank legs or an arm with a giant electrified fist. While the game was released in the United States, its home ports for the original Playstation and Sega Saturn were only available by importing. These days you can purchase the Playstation version on PSN.
A typical match featuring Blodia and Reptos.
Sen-Ti-Nel continues to delve into video game related merchandise with their RIOBOT line with Blodia from Cyberbots being one of their latest products. Not only is this figure the first full sized action figure of Blodia, it is also the first RIOBOT toy to feature a number of diecast metal parts.
Like Ryu in the Street Fighter series, Blodia is the poster boy for Cyberbots and is considered to be the easiest character for new players to use. The RIOBOT figure stands roughly five and a half inches tall and has a good amount of weight due to the diecast metal parts used all around the figure. Most notably, the shoulder pads, knee guards, toes, knuckle spikes, and tiny handles on his chest are all metal.
Blodia is a wonderfully chunky design that the RIOBOT figure captures incredibly well. Just about every detail from the game sprites and promotional art is replicated here and then some.
He comes with a small but essential set of accessories. You get the RIOBOT display base, the Assault Satellite drone, two hands with articulated fingers, and a shield.
Blodia is a well detailed figure whose bright red body looks quite evenly colored even though some parts are plastic and some are diecast. All the painted diecast parts have a bit of wear and tear on them right out of the box and I don't doubt a little playtime weathering is encouraged on this figure.
There are even tiny tampographed markings all over the figure such as "CAUTION HOT SURFACE."
And "WARNING ELECTRICAL HAZARD."
True to his design, Blodia has wheels in his heels. These are just here for show and do not actually roll.
Blodia is also designed to be disassembled as a nod to how each playable "Variant Armor" has three different variations. The upcoming RIOBOT Blodia Riot makes full use of this feature as well.
When you remove Blodia's upper body you can see the the cross-shaped connector and a bunch of detail in the upper skirt area. And despite the ease of which you can take Blodia apart, nothing feels like it would fall off during handling.
All of Blodia's skirt armor is articulated which allows his legs to move without impediment. The hips joints are done with a simple universal hinge setup.
Blodia's arms plug into a large moving ball-joint on each shoulder via a long diecast rod. The rod is keyed to only go in one way and the arms can be swapped around to either side. Each of the diecast shoulder pads can be hinged up and down and also can rotate around a C-clip. The upper arms feature a bicep swivel that can move a full 360 degrees and each elbow has a double joint.
This toy has an interesting upper chest joint that works in conjunction with the ball-jointed waist to give Blodia a good range of motion. Note the white underside of the torso.
When the chest is moved downward, the red outer area of the torso pivots around the white portion like a seesaw.
His whole head can move up and down on a platform in the neck area.
The base of the neck can move rotate left or right. You kind of have to push the head down to keep it in place while doing this otherwise the head will pop off.
The head is just attached with a double ball-joint and pops back on pretty easily. Poor Blodia's head was detached in the package but there was no damage to the toy.
All these upper body joints let Blodia really strike a pose despite all of his bulk.
The Power Knuckle on his left arm can slide his fist forward a bit. The rear of the arm also slides back to reveal a small ejector slot.
Those nasty looking nails at the tip are diecast metal and are sharp enough to draw blood.
By default Blodia comes with two fixed pose fists that can rotate via the ball-jointed wrists. You can easily swap them out for a pair of articulated hands. Each knuckle on his four fingers is fully functional and all of the fingers except the middle one can splay or rotate at the base. I ended up using the articulated hands for the majority of this review as they can be easily balled back up into a fist but I appreciate having the fixed pose pair just in case I do not feel like fiddling around with fingers.
V for victory!
If there is one weakness to the toy, it is how these two silver propellant tanks move around. Each one ends is a super tight ball-joint that necessitates moving it at the very end where it plugs into the backpack in order to move it. It feels like if you tried to move them around any other way would end up breaking them off so please be advised when you get the figure.
Blodia's legs have a great range of motion thanks to his movable skirt armor. You can even get him to do the splits.
His ankles have a detailed pull out tilt joint that is tight enough to allow him to do a lot of wide legged stances.
The knee joints feature some really impressive engineering with all these little mechanisms shifting around to expose some extra detailing both above and below the diecast knee pad.
With all of Blodia's articulation working together, he's just as flexible as a fighting game character should be.
Blodia also comes with his signature gatling gun equipped shield that is appropriately large and quite detailed even on the underside.
To mount Blodia's shield, you must first pull out this little peg from the arm. It actually sinks down in the middle of the elbow guard if you don't want to use it.
The peg then can travel to either side of the forearm via a small track.
You simply plug the shield onto the peg once it is in the desired position. The peg moves stiffly along the track so you can definitely put the shield wherever you want it without the mount flopping around.
You can rotate the shield on its mount so Blodia's hands are always free from obstruction.
As I mentioned before, Blodia's arms can be swapped around which allows you to display the figure just as the character looks in the game depending on whether he's on the left or right side of the screen. 2D video games are known for simply mirroring their sprites in this manner even when the character is asymmetrical so it's cool that the RIOBOT figure can replicate this effect.
And the RIOBOT figure can totally replicate Blodia's win pose.
Blodia is the kind of toy that can do just about any pose you want him to. He is really well designed. Just be sure to plant his feet because the diecast parts make him a little top heavy.
Just like in the game, Blodia comes with a small floating drone called the Assault Satellite. This accessory simply plugs onto the end of the articulated arm on the display stand. The arm itself is not sturdy enough to be used as a flight stand for Blodia so it's really just meant for the Assault Satellite. Honestly I would have preferred a small clear display piece that could connect the Assault Satellite directly to Blodia because using the whole stand for this purpose is kind of awkward.
The Assault Satellite itself is a straightforward accessory. Watch out for the little wings as they can pop off during handling and are tiny.
I do appreciate how the back of the Satellite has all the detail in the known universe packed behind the big half-round disk.
Like all RIOBOT figures, the included display base has a removable clear plastic front that you can put something underneath to customize it. I printed out a copy of cover to the Sega Saturn version of Cyberbots on a piece of card stock to spice up the display. Any image that's under four inches square will fit in there.
Blodia's even comes with a pair of clips for linking RIOBOT stands together. Even if Blodia can't use the stand directly, it still makes a great display to have multiple RIOBOT figures and customized bases together on a shelf.
While Cyberbots never received a sequel, a slightly modified variant of Blodia called "Blodia II" appeared as a hidden character in the spiritual successor game, Tech Romancer. Perhaps someday Sen-Ti-Nel can use Blodia as a bridge into making some Tech Romancer toys.
Now I would be remiss to address Blodia's rather obvious VOTOMS inspired appearance. His faux-Scopedog look (or Fauxdog if you will), is actually related to a fairly common practice in Japanese video games. Hundreds of Japanese games (arcade games especially) are known for including many loving homages that border on direct ripoffs of pop culture characters, and when it comes to Japan no one could ignore the vast number of anime mecha when it came time to make a fighting game about robots.
We are bros.
Speaking of video games filled with pastiches of other works, I hope someday the Super Robot Wars franchise will crossover with Cyberbots.
You just know Alteisen and Blodia would get a combination attack if that happened!
Also I want to point out that like with Detonator Orgun, Blodia's packaging features a tribute to the people who worked to get this toy produced. I think it gives Sen-Ti-Nel a lot of class as a toy maker to take the time to thank all who were involved behind the scenes.
Overall the RIOBOT Blodia is quite an amazing piece. The execution of his incredible engineering really speaks for itself and manages to overcome a few minor flaws with ease. Much like with the RIOBOT Detonator Orgun, you can really tell that Sen-Ti-Nel is dedicated to make the very first figure of a character the absolute best it can possibly be. Thanks to the fighting game origins of Blodia, there is a blue second player color version on the way. They are also making a red shoulder style variant based on some promotional artwork too. The quality of the RIOBOT Blodia makes me excited to see how variants like the upcoming Blodia Riot turn out and if they will continue with the Blodia Swordsman variant. While the RIOBOT figure is a little pricey at 9800 yen (roughly $100), the quality of the figure does a lot to justify the expense.
|Posted 3 October, 2013 - 10:04 by VF5SS|