Astro Toy Revoltech Vash the Stampede and Wolfwood
by David Cabrera, Aug 22nd 2010
Vash the Stampede and Nicholas D. Wolfwood Revoltech
Cost: around $30 each
Alright, guys, I believe I need to make it up to you all for last time's emergency installment of Astro Toy Featuring This Crappy Figure I Found Around, so this time we're doing a double Revoltech review of characters you've actually heard of. You might know these dudes, they were on TV for a while!
(I didn't bother with a box picture this time because these guys come in the usual Yamaguchi Revoltech box that you've no doubt seen walls or tables of at your local convention or comic shop.)
Vash the Stampede and Nicholas D Wolfwood are a bro team. It might have kicked some Space-Old-West ass to review just one of them, but I decided it would be best to double up on the ass-kicking. Kaiyodo already did excellent figures of these guys back in ‘04, before the Revoltech line had come into existence: the recent completion of the new Trigun movie Badlands Rumble just gives them occasion to take a second shot at the characters.
Vash looks worn in straight out of the box: I remember the old version had a very glossy finish on the coat, but they go for the opposite approach here. The red coat is even more heavily wrinkled, and (not that you can tell, but...) the paint job is very gently desert-weathered.
The articulation is Revoltech-standard, so I won't get too much into it. Also standard are the accessories: there are a lot of hands, including the gun in Vash's mechanical left arm. I liked the flip-open arm the old toy had better, but oh well. Vash's signature inverted-barrel revolver is molded as a single piece, permanently fixed to the hand used for holding it. For the purposes of the figure this is preferable, but if you wanted a little Vash gun to look at, that's not happening. I'm a little surprised it wasn't included by itself. Extra hands are thoughtfully included on both figures for holding other toy guns.
The biggest difference about Vash here as opposed to the old version is the bottom of the coat. Rather than a solid sheet of plastic, the ends of Vash's jacket have been changed into a number of jointed plastic strips at his waist. Each of these bits has two very flexible points of articulation: the idea is both to keep the coat out of the way of Vash's legs and to capture the kind of stylized movement that we see in the Trigun manga and anime.
Vash's fragmented coat looks pretty odd when he's in a standing pose, but in action the effect of these many strips flying out in different directions is more than just that of a coat blowing in the wind: it's moving with Vash as he runs through the chaos of a gunfight. On the downside, these pieces can be especially finicky and prone to falling out during posing: even more so than the usual Revoltech accessory.
Vash also comes with a very cool stand in addition to the standard-issue clear Revoltech stand and effect base (dust-colored here, like the desert). It's simply a slab of bullet-riddled rubble, like you might see a house reduced to after an armed confrontation with Vash, Wolfwood, or a friend of theirs. With a peg up top for either foot, it's easy to perch the figure up there, and he looks pretty slick once you pose him appropriately.
Wolfwood is lookin’ fresh in black, of course. The base figure, given the character, is neither as flashy nor quite as posable as Vash, but Wolfwood makes up for it on accessories.
Guns! Sunglasses! Two smokes! This guy is doin’ it! There are some problems with the basic accessories, though: first and foremost, I appear to have a defective piece. (Been a while since we had one of those!) The left hand gun piece simply doesn't fit onto the figure: the hole is too small for the Revoltech wrist joint to fit it. I'd love to turn out to be an idiot and totally wrong about this-- the discovery dashed my hopes of a gag photo of Wolfwood posing with Chow Yun Fat-- but I don't think I am. Here's a comparison of the two gun hands I have for Wolfwood, keeping in mind that the Revoltech wrist joints are identical:
If you were to run into this defect yourself (I have no idea whether it is widespread or whether it's just me out there), you could probably make the hole very slightly bigger yourself with a little work. I'm not touching it, thanks.
The cigarettes should be cool, but they're poorly implemented. Before I was saying that the guns are molded to the gun hands on these figures. Well, Wolfwood's cigarettes are not, despite the fact that the hands are clearly sculpted to be holding them one way and one way only. There isn't a peg or anything like that to stick the smokes into: you have to place them Jenga-precariously into Wolfwood's hands. Once placed, the cigarette will fall out the very next time you touch the figure, or perhaps if a light breeze hits it. And they're tiny little things, very easy to lose. If I was displaying this I wouldn't even bother with the smokes, even though I really like them in theory.
Of course, a Wolfwood action figure is completely remiss without his Punisher cross, and they definitely got that one right. The cross comes with replacement bits for the machine gun and the rocket launcher and can be held, slung over Wolfwood's shoulder, or simply dragged. These parts are all simple by nature, very impressive on display, and these huge slabs probably make up the bulk of the plastic in the package. The only problem, again, is that these bits very easily fall off, making for some infuriating posing. They could have just had this thing in the box and the most basic of accessories and it still would have been worth it.
I'm not sure which of these guys I like better: the Vash, with the stand and the dramatic coat, is probably the cooler display piece, but the Wolfwood figure and its tremendous armament are great fun to actually sit down and play with, if you're patient and if you still do that with your toys. I advise you do!
(Did you notice I took a lot of pictures this time? They were very photogenic.)
Want these figures? I'm pleased to say that for the first time in a month I'm covering something that isn't lost to time or sold out or anything like that. Have at ‘em!
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze.
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