Bass & Treble
Review by VF5SS
The late 90's was in interesting time for the Mega Man franchise. While the sleek new Mega Man X spin-off brought the series into the 16-bit era, the classic Blue Bomber was seemingly on the back burner. Yeah we all had fun exploiting Gemini Man's special weapon in Mega Man Soccer, but what we really wanted was a true action platformer in the style of the original NES games. Mega Man 7 would be the only proper game in the classic series to come out on the Super Nintendo but the new characters it introduced would be seen throughout the subsequent games.
Bandai's D-Arts line has been rockmanning it out with Mega Man figures as of late. As a follow up to their D-Arts classic Mega Man, they released his evil counterpart as a Tamashii Web Exclusive. Thanks to the efforts of Bluefin Tamashii, the Bass and Treble set is available at US retail.
This figure was provided by Bluefin Tamashii and is available at Big Bad Toy Store
Please check out my video review.
Here is D-Arts Bass, who stands a little under 5 inches tall and is made entirely out of plastic. The colors and detailing on this figure all are quite vibrant and capture the simple cartoony look of the video games and their promotional material.
The pleasing black and gold used on Bass has a good shine to it which strengthens his overall look as artwork come to life. My small complaints are the matte gray used on his limbs looks a little flat compared to the rest of his body and that some of the seam lines in his construction can be distracting.
There's just something about black and gold that I find really pleasing.
Bass comes with small but essential set of accessories. You get his trusty companion Treble, a pair of arm cannons, three optional hands, and two extra faces. All of the hands simply plug on to small ball-joints in his wrist and can swap in and out easily.
The swappable faces all look spot on and really capture Bass's penchant for being angry all the time.
To change Bass's face, start by simply yanking off his entire head fin assembly to allow the front half of his helmet to detach. The fins were attached really tightly on mine and took some repeated yanks to get them to come off. When removed, Bass is left with a pair of angry eyebrows.
I saw this once in Stephen Spielberg's A.I.
Pulling off the front half of Bass's helmet is thankfully a lot easier. Just work your finger between the two peg holes on top of his head to dislodge the small pegs on either side of Bass's face. The face then just slides out from the back of the helmet via a peg.
"They... took... my... FACE!"
You can even reassemble Bass's helmet sans face for some horrific imagery. Sadly you can't pop the whole helmet off and pretend it's a 1-up.
Articulation wise, Bass does a great job of balancing a near seamless cartoon-like appearance with a good range of motion. Both his elbows and knees are double-jointed with movable sleeves to cover up the mechanisms inside. The only thing that may impede movement is the tips of Bass's glorious head fins if they get hung up on his shoulders.
Bass's robotic posterior has a curious series of sleeves and pull out joints that attempt to keep the classic "metal underpants" groin while allowing usable articulation.
The result is Bass is fully capable of wide-legged poses. His enormous feet can tilt forward and back but possess only a little side to side a movement.
And he can even do a decent crouch. Not that Mega Man characters need to do a lot of crouching. Well not unless they're in X5 or X6 and if they are then they've got bigger problems than whether or not they can get low to the ground.
Swapping Bass's forearms for an arm cannon is a simple matter of pulling off one piece and plugging the other onto this square peg. With a forearm removed, you can see how Bass's elbow joints use a combination of a bow shaped bar that extends under a hollow sleeve piece to keep that smooth look to the arms.
With his arm cannon equipped, Bass is ready to battle Mega Man to the last extra life.
He seems a little miffed about that tiny fleck of yellow paint on his shoulder.
I find the arm cannons can pop off a little easier than the regular forearms so be aware when bending Bass's elbows deeply.
The end of each arm cannon has a clear red plastic insert for some real plasma power!
"You're probably asking yourself, 'did he fire 112 Metal Blades or only 110?' With the Bass Buster, the most powerful hand cannon known to man you gotta ask yourself, 'do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, Megatwerp?"
High or low, Bass is probably gonna shoot ya.
The dual arm cannons let you either replicate the ambidextrous sprite mirroring or give Bass some two fisted firepower.
When Bass gets really fired up for a battle, you can stick him on a Tamashii Act Stage (or a Figma stand) for some high flying action.
Hidden Versus Game Kick!
The included Treble figure is a good companion piece for Bass.
Just let him sniff you.
The aggressive half crouch does make this Treble look the part and overall his sculpt and paint work is pretty spot on.
He does have a little sloppy paint in his techno tail though.
At first I thought Treble was a fixed posed statue, but after someone on Youtube told me his legs do move I tried to wrangle some articulation out of him. His legs only seem to move at the big yellow joints where they were plugged into his body. As far as I can tell he has no mid leg joints like the Rush that came with D-Arts Megaman. Given how most of these joints were stuck in place at first and the lack of movable paws, I do not believe Treble is supposed to be able to move. This seems more like a vestigial feature leftover from the figure's construction or possibly a fully articulated version that got toned down in favor of a simpler figure. There was certainly no indication Treble could move on the back of the box, Bandai's website, or in the instructions.
Together Bass and Treble form a diabolical duo that is diametrically opposed to those do-gooders Mega Man and Rush. Bass even gets an extra pointing hand so he and Treble and act like Casshern and Friender.
The pointing hand has an odd pose to it. It's almost like Bass is turning up the bass on some heavy metal or maybe it's a little (ﾉゝ∀・)~キラ☆.
While Treble is a great looking fixed pose figure, I kinda wish he had some more interactivity options with Bass. Awkward horsie rides aren't that exciting.
"Protoman! Today we finish this!"
Right after Treble takes a bathroom break.
Treble's limited articulation is good for something.
While the old Bandai America Mega Man action figures based on the Ruby Spears cartoon seem kind of primitive in comparison, they look alright next to Bass and pretty well sized to stand alongside him.
While I don't have a D-Arts Mega Man to show him in comparison to Bass, the back of the box has a handy picture of the two standing next to each other. Oddly enough while the box has been rebranded from Rockman to Mega Man logos, both the back of the box and instructions remain in Japanese.
Back in 1995 Bass made his debut in Mega Man 7 for the SNES and is still a prominent character in the games to this day.
And a few years later we'd get to hear the official way to pronounce his name in the wonderfully dubbed cutscenes from Mega Man 8. Ol' finhead would never get over being named after a series of sports fishing games.
D-Arts Bass and Treble are a good set of Mega Man figures that do a lot of capture the look of the characters in a fun toy package. Although I must admit as the third D-Arts product I've reviewed after Metabee and Terry Bogard, I can't help shake the feeling that Bandai doesn't care as much about this line as they do S.H. Figuarts or Robot Damashii. Toys of video game characters often get the short end of the stick due to how the games themselves are first and foremost more important than ancillary merchandise. While Bass is definitely a high class figure, in some ways he feels a little outclassed build quality wise by other Bandai products like the utterly brilliant S.H. Figuarts Shadow Moon from Kamen Rider Black. Don't get me wrong though, for any Mega Man fan having a great articulated Bass figure on their desk to say "HEY BASS" to is absolutely worth the price of admission. I just wish D-Arts was getting all the love it deserves.
This D-Arts Bass and Treble set was provided by Bluefin Tamashii and is available at Big Bad Toy Store
|Posted 25 August, 2013 - 11:58 by VF5SS|