Friday, July 25, 2008

Transformers "Animated" Optimus Prime

Here we have a new toy, my newest Transformer from the latest animated cartoon. I have yet to see the new cartoon and I don't think it's really something I could get into myself, but a new toy of Optimus Prime is always cool. This design still holds true to the original Prime, and I really like the style of it. Over all the "Animated" toys are not for me, and many of them look cheap, but I have to say the articulation is great ( at least with this one ) and the robot mode looks cool.

There is little detail with him, but the clean simple style looks good, and I really like the muscular upper body he has. The transform is fun and lends itself to giving Prime all the articulation he has. The shoulders move up and down in addition to the arms having free 180 rotation, this allows him to hold the axe with both hands over his head. Cheap but effective ball joints give movement at the elbow and leg/hip areas which really adds to the poseablilty of this guy. The head has "light pipe" eyes which is a feature I love with many newer Transformers, and the translucent front chest, axe and sheild are nice touches. Over all for a 10$ figure this Prime is a worthy addition to any robot collection. There is another animated style Optimus Prime that is the next step up from this and looks to be far nicer than this one, I will be picking him up soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eva-01 " The Hard Core Mode"

Welcome to your weekly dose of toy coolness! This figure is really more of a statue than toy, as it has limited articulation with only the arms and hands having some posability. It was sculpted by Shinobu Matsumura, painted by Artasylum, and is a Kaiyodo/Xebec release from 1997? First I have to say it was a blast shooting the pics for this one (so there are a lot of pics here) and I felt a creative process happening after I had taken the first 20-30 pics. The first 2 images here are from that first round of "clinical" front, side and back shots.

The figure's body is nicely sculpted plastic, as are the spare hands and head, but there are several nice metal parts included. These parts were the blades on the fore arms and below the knee, the removable chest piece and the knife. Artasylum did an awesome job with the paint details, even putting great detail in the back on the chest armor which is only seen when you remove the part for storage. Over all the paint has a nice metallic sheen, fitting for a great design like the Eva. The display base of a defeated "angel" is reminiscent of a early part of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. If you have never seen the complete series I highly recommend it, it's one of the greatist anime out there. This figure captures the power and rage of the Eva just as it faces defeat, when it's true power is revealed.

Below are some of my favorite shots while I was having fun changing light conditions and posing. One of my favorite things with this figure is how they captured the utter coolness of the Eva's head, with the mouth and teeth you can almost hear it roaring! Enjoy the pics below!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Electric Star Beast Dol

This neat toy is from the 1982 tv show "Uchuu Keiji Gavan" (translated in English as Space Sheriff Gavan) and is probably a knock off. I got it at a local flea market while living in New Mexico, at the time I'm sure I had no idea what it was but that it was from Japan and a cool dragon. After some searching on Google I found out what this was, basically the show it's from is like Ultraman or Godzilla where people in silly uniforms fight monsters, which are really people in even sillier foam monster suits. These movies were great fun to watch as a kid!
This toy was played with quite a bit and it shows, but it has held up well. The transformation here is simple, just pull apart the mid section of the body and flip out the head and tail sections. Then you slide the body back together, the end of the tail pokes out of the bottom front of the ship.

The construction is diecast, plastic and a rubbery plastic (for the dragon neck, tail, etc.) and the paint has a nice metallic fleck in it. The chrome parts are all in great shape, the stickers are showing the most wear and some are missing. This is one of those weird toys that doesn't fit in with my collection as well as most, but then having it really makes things more interesting. I have on more than one occasion thought about throwing it away, but I'm so glad I didn't.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Aura Battler Dunbine

This is a special robot for me, in my collection. This piece is called Dunbine (from the 1983 anime of the same name) and has an awesome design that holds up well against any mech made in the past 25 years. There is a good bit of mobility for a toy made in the early 80s, unfortunately there is some looseness in this one. He stands well and can hold a few poses but trying to set up more dynamic poses results in a pile of robot parts. I have had this toy since the early/mid 80's.

The wings are one of my favorite features with this guy, they fold down and are covered with the thruster pack as seen in the pic below. A robot with wings like this always seemed so original to me. The cockpit clips off and there is a pilot in the chest (you can see him in the pic above) also there is a free standing pilot and sword (not pictured). Located just above the hands are a set of claws that can be removed.

I chose this 3/4 rear shot instead of a straight shot to show the profile of the head and the details of the thruster pack. Also I think this was one of the more dynamic shots I took, He is holding the sword in this one (but you can barely see it) and it looks like some robot ass kicking is about to begin when he turns around! I tried to find out specific info on this toy but found nothing exactly like this, I do think it was made by Clover (Japan) but it might be a 2nd release made after Clover went under and sold their mold. The original Dunbine from the anime is a purple color, but I love the black one I have. If you have any info on this guy let me know.