Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Fraulein Revoltech Yokoby Rob Bricken,
You know, I really think I'm going to have to start looking specifically for terrible toys, and just make “Astro Toy” a 1,000-word bitch session. Based on the comments, that's what you folks want; and based in the fact that my writer's block shows up almost exclusively when I get a toy I enjoy, obviously, it's what I subconsciously want, too. I mean, I have an infinite supply of eloquence for describing why something is terrible and you're a terrible person for buying it or even wanting to buy it, but when it comes to liking it, that's about the only thing that comes to mind.
So the short version is: Kaiyodo's Fraulein Revoltech figure of Yoko from Gurren Lagann — I like it. She's very poseable, with many 20 points of articulation, although since many of those are the Revoltech ball joint, she has an wider range of movement than 20 points might suggest. Hell, her massive ponytail has a ball joint connected to the back of her skull, which I think is a wonderful touch.
Now, before I get into the nitty gritty, I think it's probably worth pointing out what makes the Fraulein Revoltech different from a regular Revoltech, because there are differences, and they are significant. First, Revoltechs are made by Organic Hobby, and Frauleins are made by Kaiyodo. I have no idea why. Second, Revoltechs are about 4-inches tall, while Yoko is a touch over 4 ½-inches; you can clearly tell they're not in scale. That means if you have any of the Gurren Lagann mecha Revoltech figures, not only will Yoko not be in-scale, she'll actually be taller than the robots.
But the big difference is in the joints. While all of the Revoltech's points of articulation use the standard Revoltech ball joints, only a few of the Fraulein's joints do; her shoulders, elbows and knees are all hinge joints, which are less obtrusive. Obviously, this helps keeps the lines of the ladies solid — a major concern, of course — but still enables natural movement, at least when coupled with the other joints. For instance, Yoko can nearly do the splits while holding her arms above her head, and doesn't look too bad while doing it.
As usual, there are problems; when moving the arms, Yoko's head is apt to pop off, although since her neck is a standard Revoltech joint, it's a snap to pop it back in again. Her chest joint, hidden neatly under her bikini strap, allows her to twist and lean back some, but not bend forward. Her breasts are non-squishy, sorry to disappoint the perverts. And her ponytail is really, really big and heavy so, while you can stand her up on her own, you'll need to use the accompanying base if you want anything that even slightly messes with her center of gravity. And as always with a Japanese articulated figure, there's the ass problem.
Basically, Kaiyodo has added two flesh-colored knobs inside her ass, which are only supposed to be exposed when the thighs are pushed all the way forward. It does look a big odd, but it should work...in theory. The problem is that Kaiyodo has colored the tops of Yoko's thighs the same color as her shorts, so when the leg is extend, you get the shorts, a weird hunk of flesh, slightly more shorts, and then the thigh. And the fact that Yoko's ass has been so lovingly sculpted makes the whole thing more awkward.
As for accessories, she has two faces — the smiling face you saw earlier, and the open-mouthed angry scream you see directly above. I'm not a big of fan of these; it seemed to me Yoko's primary two expressions were smug and close-mouthed anger, but it's not the end of the word. She has two sets of bangs, which can be switched — one is regular, and one has her orange glasses which you also see above. She comes with her massive rifle and seven — count ‘em, seven — extra hands, only one of which is noteworthy as it's the victory sign.
And that's about that, actually. Sure, she may have some semi-ugly joints on her, but I prefer articulation to seamless mini-statues; I'd much rather be the one posing my figures, which is in direct opposition to what Japan normally likes. At the very least, it's an excellent choice for an action star of an action show like Yoko, and besides, there are only several jillion PVC figurines and statues of her available if you prefer ‘em, and most of ‘em are wearing less clothes, too. Finally, I — hey, what's this? No!
Krauser! Go away! We don't need you anymore! Stay away from her, you demon! Oh no! He's — he's going to— that's horrible! You death metal monster! Stop the column! STOP THE COLUMN!
You can read more of Rob Bricken's bitter, needlessly mean-spirited thoughts on toys and many non-anime subjects over at ToplessRobot.com (safe for work).
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