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Astro Toy
Tamashii Spec Tekkaman Blade With Pegas

by David Cabrera,

Tamashii Spec Tekkaman Blade With Pegas
Tekkaman Blade
Maker: Bandai
Cost: about $100

Okay, everyone, it's been three or four months, and you know what that means: Astro Toy gets to buy a robot! I'll pause for a minute while a bunch of you leave.

This week we're remembering the 90s, which in turn were remembering the seventies with Tekkaman Blade, the totally edgy remake of the Tatsunoko Pro superhero classic Tekkaman. American 90's kids around my age who used to wake up at 6 AM to go to school may remember this show by the even more 90's title Teknoman. More recently, Blade showed up as a playable combo monster in the Wii fighting game Tatsunoko Vs. CAPCOM.

We last did a Tamashii Spec figure about a year ago-- and even mentioned this set back then-- with Layzner. Tamashii Spec is an offshoot of the super-high-end Soul of Chogokin line: the idea is that you get the same level of loving detail as the SoC line offers 70s robots like Godsigma (oh my god it's so beautiful) on machines from a decade or two up. Usually we can't afford figures this fancy... but I take advantage of sales every so often!

The base figure is, of course, Tekkaman Blade. He's the star of the show, but perhaps not the star of this set. For a high quality line such as this one (I am grading this set according to its original, $200 price tag), this figure just doesn't look as good as the cost would lead one to believe. The sculpt is fine, but the dull paint job makes him look more plastic than metallic. The decals in the shoulders look as bad as the ones that come with a low-grade Gundam model kit, and the posability is average. There is also no diecast metal in this guy at all, though considering Blade will be riding atop Pegas perhaps that's for the best.

That said, even the Blade figure is loaded with gimmicks. We only have so many words in this column, so let's lay them out. Here's the Tekka Lancer (or, if you like, SPACE LANCE). As this weapon separates in the anime, we have one full lance and two separate pieces that are meant to be put in each hand. The included hands for the lance do not easily accommodate the full lance, so be very careful with that.

There's the shield, which stores conveniently on the butt when not in use....

and fins pop out of Blade's sides for the Crash Intrude attack. Bird-shaped light is not included.

Of course, the shoulders also pop open for the signature Voltekka beam attack. You have to be careful with the shoulder armor: there's no easy way to get it open and the red section loves to pop off altogether.

Pegas, on the other hand... Pegas is the real star of the set. He's massive, and nearly as wide as he is tall. Again, there is hardly any metal here (upper legs), and while he's quite the sturdy workhorse, Pegas is much lighter than I'd expected. We'll see exactly why this is very soon...

Pegas transforms like crazy: the little booklet that comes with the toy is completely necessary, as it has three pages of detailed, step-by-step instructions for twisting Pegas into all the forms he can take.

The transformation sequence from the show, Tek Setta, can be approximated by Pegas, who actually opens up to house Blade. Seriously, he fits just fine in there! You have to swap heads and do a bit of fiddling with the arms and shoulders for this: Blade's big ol' antlers will get in the way (and probably break!) otherwise. Pegas can even snap shut during this, hiding Tekkaman completely... but why take a picture of that? Who could tell the difference, right?

Furthermore, Pegas can be switched to flight mode and docks onto a specifically designed stand. This is a really quick and easy transformation: I was reminded of the 80s Macross Valkyries that were so big and chunky and such a joy to play with. Quick, fun, easy. I love it.

Now I know what you're going to ask me. “Dave, can this get more baller?” The answer is yes. It can get more baller. Not only can Blade ride on Pegas' back like a king who travels space, but Pegas' arms pop up and can be grabbed for-- say it with me kids-- HI-COLT VOLTEKKA!!

This set kind of reminds me of an early, unpopular Soul of Chogokin release: Gaiking and Daikumaryu. The mighty robot dragon fortress was perfect, but the Gaiking figure in scale. Meaning, of course, that it was maybe two inches tall and-- since the tiny thing combined just like in the anime-- would fall apart if a breeze hit it. A lot of people hated the set because they wanted the protagonist, not the buddy. A proper Gaiking was released years later, and mine was defective. I was very sad.

There is a ton of cool stuff here. There are a lot of gimmicks, there is a lot of play value. It delivers tremendously on the Pegas gimmick. But it doesn't supply an amazing figure of Tekkaman Blade himself-- or rather, Blade only really shines when he's with his buddy-- so be ready for that. The Armor Plus figure of Blade is what you'd be looking for in that case, and good luck finding one!

This was on big discount at HLJ and even so, it ran us a hundred bucks. It is huge, after all. The original price was more in the $200-some range, which is just crazy even for a toy of this quality. Aside from the Evangelion entries (Eva fans, it is proven, will buy absolutely anything), Tamashii Spec has never been too popular, and it's likely because of the price. Soul of Chogokin figures cost from $80 to $300, but they're so perfect that I've never bought one and felt like it wasn't worth the money. Tamashii Spec, well... it's a line I'd only buy on sale.

Would I buy this out of my own money for $100, though? Hell yeah, I would. It's awesome. Tek Setta!

Now I'll deactivate that giant robot with my Space Lance, nya-ha!!

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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