Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review 1: Armor Plus SG Tekkaman Aki

Aki Kisaragi (Star Summers) like she's never been before!

                Here it is…my first review! It’s been a long time coming. I should have started this sooner. Well, without further ado, Armor Plus SG: Tekkaman Aki!
                I don’t know much about the character itself. The information that I can find about her(it’s a she) isn’t very thorough. She is from anime/manga Tekkaman Blade II(or “Teknoman” as it’s known in America), and is the navigator at the “Blue Earth”, the base of operations for Tekkaman Blade(main protagonist) & co. apparently she has the hots for Slade/D-Boy(Blade). Not much more of her is known, other than she also can change into a Tekkaman with her Tek-Setter crystal. Now…onto the figure.

You'll find most Tamashi Nations exclusives come in these.

Smaller than normal.

First, the Tekkaman Aki is the first SG release I have, and first thing’s first…the box. Other than the nice Japanese packaging box that often comes with exclusives. More noticeable than that, is the size of the box. It’s significantly smaller than its Armor Plus predecessors: Tekkamen Blade and Evil. Also, it’s much lighter than Blade and Evil also. My first thought: “mostly plastic”. I open the box remove the figure from the 2 plastic casings that held it and its pieces…very light. It’s about the same weight as an average Revoltech or Figma. Both S.H. Figuarts and Myth Cloth(no armor) figures are heavier. I assume the light weight is due to very limited amount of painting done. Most painting is done on the hands, weapons, neck and waist, and cloth pieces. The rest is just colored plastic pieces, and I love it. The heavier it is, the harder it is to stand on its own(much like Tekkaman Evil), as well as when and if it falls, you have a higher risk of damage that requires super glue. 

Comes with everything you see here.
Next, the armor does not come off, and is a part of the original mold off the assembly line. Unlike the rest of the Armor Plus line, it came with the armor already attached. This did shock me a bit. It makes me wonder why there is a $130 price tag on it, and it doesn’t even have Armor Plus basics. I’m just gonna have to chalk it up it being an “exclusive” that the price is up. Even though I was shocked by the permanent armor, it didn’t upset me at all. Again, it ensures the light weight factor, and my heart doesn’t skip a beat if the figure falls down. 

I really don't see a purpose to the U shaped pieces. Maybe, capturing a scene from the anime?
An interesting note is the white cloth parts. Made from rubber(or at least a rubbery substance)  with painted details that serves as a vest, and under cloth for the rear skirt armor. It’s a very nice touch. Using rubber doesn’t exactly allow for a dynamic pose made over too much time. Prolonged exposure to a bend will eventually make the rubber stay in that direction, and will take more time manipulation to put it back where it was. The vest actually is not part of the original mold off the line. It attaches to the back of the figure via two pegs that are inserted into the back of the figure. The skirt armor cloth is standard factory mold.

Special Parts: a mixture of hands and the weapon. Two fists, two open hands, two hands to hold the weapon straight, two hands to hold the weapon more angled, and a right hand to hold the Tek-Setter crystal. As for the weapon: it seems to be standard that Tekkamen have some fort of double edged sword, and Aki follows suit. I am not particularly a fan of this weapons design, nor its “functionability”. I see that it comes in a U shape and folds into a twin saber whose blades extend. You don’t get to unfold or extend anything, but instead get three incarnations of the weapon for you to decide what you want. The weapon itself, I believe does not fit Aki. Though it’s beautifully painted(about the only piece of the figure that has a real paint job), again the design doesn’t fit the bill. Firstly, its blue, and NOTHING on Tekkaman Aki is blue, save for the diamond on the forehead, helmet visor and wrist crystal. Its robotic, rectangular shape doesn’t seem to pay any homage to the smooth, sleek attributes of its wielder, unlike that of Tekkamen Blade and Evil. In fact, the weapon I believe only does justice to the figure when viewed from a distance, in which almost any skinny blade would make Aki look more alive. The last special piece is the Tek-Setter crystal which is a transparent blue plastic piece. Following every other Tekkaman in the line, it was standard that it comes with one.
Complete w/ vest.

Note the effect part crystal on the inside left wrist made of transparent blue. Nice touch :)

                Final thoughts: I like this figure…a lot. I’m loving the long hair, cloths, and subtle pink paint on the fingers. Its relative size being smaller than Blade and Evil is nice also. The character itself is a supporter of the main protagonist, and love interest. It only fitting that is made with less flair, just to make Blade shine even more. Tekkaman Blade has been a staple in my childhood. My brother was always at the video store waiting for the new Tekkaman/Teknoman VHS tapes to come out so we can watch them over and over. They never did Tekkaman any justice in a figure back then(I wasn’t too overly enthused with the model kits) so it’s nice to see the return for the slightly older collectors out there. I give this a 8 out of 10. It’s hard to give it any more, since its plain. It’s supposed to be plain, and I can’t go any higher than 8 because of it. The purpose of this figure is for completion of the Tekkaman line…period. I want to collect this entire lineup, so I have Tekkaman Sol on pre-order, and am waiting for my Tekkaman Rapier to arrive as well. So, if you love Tekkaman Blade, and don’t mind spending upwards of $150, then go for it. Don’t expect much, but don’t expect low either. Great job again, Bandai! Can’t wait to see more!

*If you need any more motivation for this figure: 

This is where I bought mine: http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=BAN13963&mode=retail

Just trying some poses.

I love poses like this.

Trying to capture the detail of the sigil on the vest.

A reason to whip out the ol' Tamashi stage.

"No, D-Boy! I won't let you go!"

"You will not harm D-Boy!"

Triple Threat
Her final place in on the shelf. Next to her love, and third member of my Tekkaman Blade Armor Plus lineup.

1 comment:

  1. I was considering to get Aki or Rapier but in the end i decided to get Tekkaman Rapier for various reasons. I would recommend watching the Tekkaman Blade series which are really great anime.

    Nice Blog btw and i would love to see some review for Tekkaman Blade or Evil in the future.