Mega Man X
Review by VF5SS
The road to TruForce Collectibles's Mega Man X figure started with a successful Kickstarter campaign, that helped give the fledgling company a leg up in producing this meticulously designed high-end toy. My fellow CDX writer, Ender1000, reviewed the New York Comic Con exclusive Kai variant, and really enjoyed the figure. Here, I will be looking at the normal retail release, which represents the famous Maverick Hunter in a more familiar Blue Bomber color scheme.
This stylized redesign of the heroic robot comes from Capcom illustrator and character designer, Keisuke Mizuno. On the fold-out front flap of the packaging, Mizuno remarks that this is his "ideal" version of Mega Man X, and that he hopes this toy will inspire other fans to create their own ideal version of the character. Personally, I find the design to be a pretty solid update, though the added dark blue lines on the light blue parts of X's body are giving me flashbacks to the old HCM Pro Gundam toys. Regardless of how I feel about the aesthetics, the toy's overall feel and finish is downright amazing, which is no doubt thanks to Sen-Ti-Nel Co. Ltd. being tapped to manufacture the figure. The toy stands six inches tall, and has a fair bit of weight thanks to diecast parts in its upper body and legs.
Another thing that gives this toy a Gundam-like feel is the presence of numerous caution markings on X's armor. While I am not against the idea, I figure Mega Man X would be able to just tell others to watch out for the dangerous parts of his body. I mean, he is alive, ya know?
The markings include some familiar words of wisdom, such as "BEWARE OF BLAST" near his back-mounted Vernier thrusters (which the box incorrectly calls "Apogee Motors") and "ENERGY TANK INSIDE", which is a reference to X's in-game equipment.
And apparently there is "HOT ARE (fire?)" coming out of X's wrists...
...and head, that we should all be cautious around.
Keisuke Mizuno's version of X keeps the his iconic helmet design more or less the same, and Sen-Ti-Nel's toy version makes it look quite stunning. Clear red parts in his forehead and "ears" do a good job of catching the light, although there is no LED to make them really pop. Continuing with surface markings, X has "IRREGULAR HUNTER 17TH ELITE UNIT" printing in the middle of his chest. The name is derived for the Japanese term for "Mavericks," which are the rogue Reploids that X and his fellow Hunters do battle against to keep the peace in the year 21XX.
X's face sculpt is another high mark for this figure, as it perfectly captures the character's eternal 90s anime style design. This is especially true in profile, where the hero's nose looks like it could puncture soft objects.
Below the waist, X has some more "BEWARE OF BLAST" markings under his calves, as well as "AUTO BALANCER INSIDE" near his ankles.
Even the soles of his feet get the full detail treatment with more markings, fully-painted vents, and the clear sensor things which I presume are what signal X's body to make that funky electronic "BWANG BWANG" noise when he walks.
In terms of articulation, I can only echo Ender1000's review, as TruForce's Mega Man X is incredibly well engineered. Everything that needs to move can move, and generally does it with a very smooth motion.
A pair of optional splayed hands give the toy an extra bit of character with each pose.
"Why must Reploids continue to fight each other?!" says X, after his 70th murder of another Reploid.
Popping off the front of X's helmet allows you to swap out his normal calm face for a shouting one.
Putting the splayed hands and alternate face together allow fans to recreate X's true hidden potential.
Extra tricks, like extending thighs, allow X to work past the limitations of his 2D character design roots and get a large range of motion out of his hips.
The three-joint assemblies in X's ankles let him maneuver his big robo-hooves out from what would normally be very restrictive armor cuffs.
Speaking of X's legs, hidden within each is a pop-out rocket booster. In the games, X is known for his ability to dash along the ground with the push of a button. Personally, I've always been okay with the idea of ill-defined boot jets allowing Mega Man X to do this, but this interpretation is kinda neat. You do have to dig into the leg armor's seams with a good fingernail to extend the boosters, though, so this is not a feature I find myself using too often.
X's shoulders feature swing-out joints so he can bring his arms around for some robo-muscle flexing.
There's even an additional hinge inside the joint, so the Maverick Hunter can get his arms up near his head in a natural (well, androidal) manner.
Either of the blue Maverick Hunter's forearms can be swapped out for his trademark X-Buster.
His arm cannon has its own printed marking, which warns everyone around X that deadly stuff (like penguins made of ice) comes out of the open end of the gun.
A pair of included LR-41 batteries power a surprisingly bright LED within the buster's barrel. After inserting the energy pellets, just turn the light blue outer part of the gun clockwise to light it up.
Usually I'm not into light up gimmicks, but this is pretty striking. Even in photos.
For putting X into jumping or dashing poses, the toy comes with a clear plastic display stand. You get a pair of articulated arms with angular claw grips. The stand cannot plug directly into the figure.
While Sen-Ti-Nel's heart is in the right place, they've been using this same stand since their toys were all-plastic, and even then they could barely grip the toy firmly. As their toys gained noticeable amounts of diecast metal, using this thing with a figure like X for more than a quick photo is just asking for an accident.
I am able to do these kind of poses with the toy because I am a very patient man.
Try these at your own risk.
At the very least, the base of the stand still lets you pop the faceplate off to slip in your own custom images.
X's aforementioned back-mounted verniers can be swapped out for a pair of open versions. Like the new dash boosters, these maneuvering thrusters are the designer's way of explaining how X is able to move through the air like a video game character.
While these extra parts allow for some cool images of the future Blue Bomber leaping like a Tokusatsu hero, I can't help but find their inclusion kind of unnecessary. He's a super fighting robot, I know he can jump!
Rounding out X's accessories is a pair of energy blast effect parts. One is meant to represent his normal low-powered shots...
...while the other is for his charged shot. Either piece clips into the small divots surrounding the gun's barrel. These are made of pretty hefty clear plastic, with the charged blast being difficult for the toy to hold up without support. If you futz around with the position of X's arm joints enough, he can get a decent one-handed firing pose with the big blast. Sadly, neither effect part is enhanced by the use of the LED gimmick, so just leave it turned off when using them.
The smaller yellow piece can swap out the front part of its energy discharge for an adapter shaped like the X-Buster's business end.
This allows you to combine both effect parts into one large plasma projectile, which X most definitely needs extra support to wield.
Since the figure comes with two arms for the stand, it is possible for X to pull off some action-y jumps with the fully charged blast. With a better stand arrangement, this could have been a fun way to display the figure, but as it is you'll only want to do this for a quick snapshot before X takes a tumble.
"HEY, MEGA-TWERP MARK TWO, WHY DON'T YOU COME HERE AND FIGHT ME LIKE A BIG BOT?"
"I'm going to sssssssssstrike you with my ssssssssnakessss!"
"Huh! Dr. Wily's bots are bad, but not as bad as my plasma power!"
And while there aren't many good toys of the enemies from the Mega Man X games, the old Ruby Spears cartoon's action figures make a decent stand-in.
Do you remember that one time X went back in time and teamed up with Mega Man? That was so cool...
At the end of the game, TruForce managed to help produce a real winning toy. I've had the chance to handle many of Sen-Ti-Nel's toys, and this is easily one of their best. The only thing I can really fault it for is the choice of display stand, but that just what Sen-Ti-Nel throws in the box with every release so I've learned to accept it. Really, the only things I could see swaying people away from this toy is the price tag (roughly 80 dollars), but I assure you that cost is going into a very solidly built and engineered figure.
Hopefully TruForce will move on to the next stage and tackle everyone's favorite long-haired pretty bot for their next project.
|Posted 5 February, 2016 - 13:36 by VF5SS|