Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review 16: TruForce Megaman X

Do I own these pictures? Of course not. 
    Bah nah nah naaaaah, super fighting robot. Bah nah nah naaaaaaaah, MEGA MAN!! You’re right, I remember that show too. But no, we’re not here for that guy. We’re here to talk about the real savior of the future, and the father of all Reploids…Megaman. F’n. X.
   First, I feel the need to address the possible elephant in the room: Megaman and Megaman X are not the same robot. Oh sure, everything about them is just about the same, and you can tell that they hail from the same beginnings, but they are not the same guy. X was made while the original was still carrying out his missions in what was called the “Wily Wars” (Megaman 1-10 games).
   Megaman X is Dr. Thomas Light’s greatest creation…without a doubt. Using the success of the original “Rockman” project, he dove deeper into the field of A.I. You see, Dr. Light wasn’t just a scientific genius, he knew that if the bad robots didn’t stop, eventually his Rockman would not be able to handle it on his own. More would be needed to fight them…let alone defeat them. Therefore, he concentrated his efforts to making a successor to his Rockman project. In order to give the world its best shot at a chance of peace, he needed to make this new robot the absolute best he could. Unfortunately, giving it the limitless potential it needs would require much more time than the good Dr. had left in this world. Therefore, the project was kept deep in the basement, and hooked up to computers that would work on its progress even after the Dr.’s death. Dr. Light made sure to leave plenty of messages for the project along the way, including informing it of the inception behind its creation: to build a robot unlike anything else. Capable of independent thought and emotion. A robot that would grow and mature as time went on, and learn from its mistakes. A robot that would prioritize human safety by being more human itself. This ability to learn, cope, and mature could theoretically lead to limitless potential. The Dr. could only dub this limitless potential as the unknown variable: “X”.

   X’s creation was really, just a countermeasure. In fact, it was Dr. light’s hope that there would never be a use for him. Of course, as we know, there is a need for X. He needs to save the world from the very robots reverse engineered from his blueprints. X has a few abilities at his command, but he mostly deals with 3 primary powers:
-          The X Buster – X’s signature weapon. Several times more powerful than the original Megaman’s Mega Buster, this patented arm cannon is the main armament of the bluer bomber. Like its predecessor, it can fire little lemon pellets in a three-round burst, or can charge a more powerful shot for extra incendiary ability.
-          Variable Weapons System – X’s copy ability. In keeping with super fighting robot tradition, X can copy the ability of certain powerful defeated opponents, and use them as his own, albeit with limited use. Each different weapons changes his color scheme, and he only carry up to 8 additional weapons to his own at a time.
-          Armor Series – Hidden all over X’s world are giant capsules from Dr. Light that contain recorded messages. Usually, the Dr. has something sad to tell X, normally eluding to how he wish he didn’t have to use these powerful instruments of destruction the Dr. just so happen to create for him. Once X finds and dons all 4 pieces of each armor, he can access a slew of new abilities, including higher mobility, defense, attack, more usage of his copied weapon, charge of his copied weapon, limited flight, impervious to spikes, and in most recent cases, the ability to use the Giga Attack, an armor’s most powerful offensive tool that is only allowed when the Giga gauge is full. If you want to know more about X than is likely healthy for you, I implore you to see what makes him tick:

Ok, so onto the figure. If you read my last post, you would know that I am a giganthorastic fan. Everything about it boasts time, attention to detail, and a legitimate strive for excellence in an action figure. Man, if I could be a part of an awards panel for figures, I’d cast my vote a thousand times for him. As for the box art: this is what I’m talking about. It’s got a simple pose on the front so you know that you’re dealing with a new kind of Megaman X. On the back side, it gives you some facts about the figure, and not X himself, and gives you three poses, two of which shows off his impressive leg articulation. The front pane is magnetically held, and reveals the figure inside. I've always been a supporter of the magnetic door feature. I find it preferable to using Velcro, like the Saint Cloth Myth line figures.

The caution decals would make me think he's a 50ft mech or something

Paint: The first thing we have notice is that normally, X has less colors and designing than this. That being said, the painting is lovely. There is extra design all over his body. Even his shoulders aren’t spared an extra shade of blue to give it the pop. His helmet is particularly spectacular, being comprised of several hues of blue, beautiful black panel lining, gunmetal ear pods whose center shares the same majestic red as the jewel in the forehead. The center of his chest now is home to a pretty sweet diamond sigil with some text that is admittedly too small for me to read. Speaking of text, there is some scattered all over the figure. The shoulders, chest, arms, X-Buster, legs, feet, etc. It’s pretty safe to say that every single section of this figure has some kind of stylization on it. The bottom of the feet aren’t missed either. The thrusters sport the same transparent plastic as the forehead and look great. In total, Megaman X normally sports about 6 colors off the top of my head, where this figure sports more than 10. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but the difference is truly special.

Reminds me of the EW line MG's I bought some years back.

Top notch engineering right here...

Articulation: Now, if the design isn’t enough to sell this guy…this is where he shines. Make no mistake, of all the things TruForce put their heart into, the articulation is it. Like any figure, the articulation is the heart of the piece, and this one is no exception. Starting from his head, there are two ball joints at the top and base of the neck, allowing a generous range of articulation. The chest is also connected via ball joint, giving it a familiar range of motion as the “Arts” lines of Bandai Megaman X figures. The intersecting mid-torso mirrors the chest’s connection at the waist armor. The arm connection is something a bit different for this kind of figure. In similar fashion to the EW Gundam Master Grade line of kits, there is a rod protruding from the side of the chest cavity with another rod bisecting it. The arm is connected via a rod with a circular end to fit over the bisecting rod of the chest cavity. Because of this setup, it looks pretty simple to disassemble, but I’m waaaay too scared to try it. I’m not gonna buy this thing twice over an idiot mistake. Anyway, the shoulder armor straight up moves out of the way of the shoulder via a small but versatile hinge. Double hinged elbows allow for his hand to rest on his shoulder if he wants, which isn’t something I normally see outside a Transformer or MG something. Ball jointed hands, but that’s something I expect with interchangeable hands. Back down to the hips, there are some massive ball joints.

Unparalleled stability

I don’t precisely follow this logic, but the leg can be pulled from the ball joint, but not pulled off. If you play with this too much, it will fall every time you lift the figure, due to the weight of the bottom of the legs. Ok, so the bottom portions of the legs. They are the crown of the articulation. Starting with the knees, they are not just double jointed. It’s actually one very segmented joint that allows a full bend. By full bend, I’m talking “X sitting on his ankles” full bend. When you bend the knees, they accordion open to reveal the innards of the robot frame which is pretty cool. The ankles aren’t on a ball socket kind of ball joint, but the linkages make a ball-shaped joint that allows his foot to…do…everything. No kidding. The poses that comes with the foot go from calm to grandiose in seconds. In 90% of the poses you can think of or get him into, you can get his feet flat on the ground. A great deal of the die-cast in this figure is in the bottom half of the legs, so it has a great base for all kinds of poses. Almost any pose on one leg can be supported because of the die-cast base. You are getting extreme with the poseability with this one.

I like the new crest on the chest

Special Parts/Accessories: Here, we’re putting the finishing touches on. First up, interchangeable hands. Not much in that department. Fists and open hands. X has nothing to hold, nor is he an evil character, so there isn’t much need for a gripping hand, or a bent finger hand. 4 hands. Boom, done. As for faces, get a serious one and a screaming one. You really need anything else from X? Not really. He's a simple guy. Next up, the X Buster. Pull that forearm right off, and slide the Buster in its place. It’s a bit shorter and stumpier, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It has its own stylization that is a bit verbose in comparison to Normal X’s buster, bit it comes with a cool gem: The LED. Unlike say, the MG’s of the 00 Gundam line, or a few other Bandai and Kotobukiya kits, the LED for X’s Buster come with the figure. With a very short twist of the barrel, you can light your darkest hour without the trip to Radio Shack for LR44’s.

When you need to charge your "Turtle Crushing Wave"

Inafune had a Kickstarter for WHAT!?!?

Next, we have the effect parts. Three distinct pieces that show off X’s firing ability. Piece one is the is the base of the muzzle flare in a “X” shape. It doesn’t work without another piece to keep it in place, however, so you need to use at least the Cone Part. The Cone Part blast effect is a sizeable yellowish-orange explosion that’s honestly something that looks more to me like a lifting effect rather than firing. I just see it serving a more convincing part if it fit under his feet. As a Buster Shot, maybe I could see it as firing some kind of cylindrical round. Other than that, it reminds me a bit of a flower or something. If not just the Cone Part, but with the Bell Part is where it’s at. The Bell Part is the real eruption of the blast effect, with the crest taking a darker red hue. Remove the central spike of the Cone Part, and insert the base of the Bell Part. There is a specific configuration that goes with combining them, so it’s hard to get it wrong. Be warned, X does not have the arm strength to hold both parts up, so be prepared to use some armatures for help.

This brings us to the coolest special parts for X. So, there are a few things that X does in contrast to Megaman. One of them is instead of a slide, he dashes with his foot rockets. It’s a huge part of his mobility. This time around, more of his body is used for dashing. You can remove the two grey plates on his back and replace them with vented pieces. Then, we have the leg thrusters. This is the crème de la crème of the figure. You may have to get a tool to help, but there are slits in the back of X’s legs you use to pry open the blue panels with inner framing and linkages that conform to show off the thruster cone inside. The combination of the foot thrusters, leg thrusters, and back vents gives him the look of maximum dash capacity…maybe even flight in some angles. Finally, X comes with his own stand. Well, more like a stage with two armatures. The armatures have the screws exposed, so if you have a jeweler’s Phillips head, you can tighten or loosen the linkages to your discretion.
"Day of Sigma" inspired

Overall Score: 10/10. Not that it was easy for me to come up with. The figure parts, articulation, and design is worth a 8.5-9.0 by itself, but I had to consider other things: this is a first for the TruForce and they knocked it WAAAY out of the park, it’s a redesign of a base character whose design hasn’t changed in nearly 25 years(save for Command Missions and the Zero games) and in such dramatic fashion, it came with it’s own LED’s inside the part vice having to search for them yourself, and adding more to the original design’s workings by designing the leg thrusters and back vents. But, is this the perfect figure? Not exactly. It only comes with two faces, and two sets of hands and while I don’t necessarily mind the faces, I would like a bit more with the hands. However, the open hands are in such a good finger position that it can accommodate supporting the buster, supporting weight off the ground, basically fitting the bill for anything you really need.

When mom makes you take your little brother out with you...

The sheer weight of the leg doesn't allow it to fully bend.

Should you get him? The answer is…if you can find him for less than 100 USD. This is just a damn good toy. Plain and simple. It’s got the moves. It’s got the colors, and it’s got the attitude. If you’re a fan of Megaman X and haven’t picked him up, please do. Do yourself the service. If you aren’t a fan, do it simply to have a nice figure in you collection. It genuinely is a cut above the rest, and I think the price range of roughly 80 USD is on point for what you get. Besides, it comes in four different color arrangements…if you can find them that is.

Getting serious now...

X vs Seraphicus

X is a great addition to anyone’s collection. He doesn’t disappoint. Don’t believe me? Go see one the many, many reviews done about this guy already. He’ll make you eagerly anticipate another TruForce release. Unfortunately, I’ve heard nothing of the sort regarding TruForce. I mean, I would probably lose my mind to see a Zero Prototype. My body…will not be ready. 
Lemme get a prototype of this in figure form...**mouth waters**
Next up, I'm gonna dig into a realm I don't know much about. I can promise that the character and figure are great, so don't worry...I got you. I don't want to spoil too much, but all I can say is that this guy...will never be a memory. 

Happy Hobbying, everyone!

*Special Note: I'm a bit disappointed over how long this took me. I started this particular review immediately after my last post, took 4 MONTHS to complete this. Man, free time is really a treasured commodity in my house.*

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