by David Cabrera,
Hi, guys. Today is the first time I've ever dissed a figure on the column and then gone ahead some time later and bought it anyway. Blue Rose I dissed on my blog, and then went ahead and bought it anyway, and it was okay after all. I really hope this turns out like that one, but...
I figured this character was too popular to overlook, and that it was the right time to come back to Revoltech. The last time we looked at a Revoltech was Kenshiro around nine months ago. Since then we've done four Figmas, three Chogokins, Nendoroids, Nendoroid-alikes and many other Japanese toy lines. We just never got back to Revoltech, which is a funny thing, because the line continues in force with some great figures.
The thing is, all the really outstanding Revoltech stuff has been from sources outside of the anime world. Buddhist gods, Pixar characters, kaiju, classic scifi. Now put that stuff next to, oh, I dunno, a figure of Kenshin Himura that looks like he's stepped out of a Playstation circa 1996. Starting to understand how I feel? People knock the aesthetics of the Revoltech all the time-- they're definitely function over form-- but I have never seen a Revoltech that ugly, aside from the line's first few attempts at human beings. Look up the Revoltech of Dante from Devil May Cry sometime. Look at its face.
And while it's not quite as pronounced, I feel the same way about this figure of Hellsing's antihero Alucard. That busted Revoltech Kenshin has got one thing on this guy: it's instantly recognizable as the character. Only after squinting at it for hours has this figure begun to remind me of the Alucard from the manga. Something about that face is just off, in a way I can't quite place.
The first, striking issue is the color of the coat: neither a bright red nor a deep crimson, the designers at Kaiyodo went with a flat brown. When I looked at photos of this figure I thought it was just a very, very deep, blood-soaked red that wasn't showing well, but when you have the figure in your hands, there's no question about it. This is Alucard in a brown coat. Seriously. For a character who is covered in an iconic piece of clothing, this is a very strange choice and, I suspect, a deal-breaker for a lot of people before the toy's even been taken out of the box.
Then there's the face. Again, is this really the guy from the comic? I know Alucard's face isn't quite consistent in the manga... but I'm just not seeing it. The hair kind of waves off against gravity at one end, like the nearly sentient hair we see in Hirano's art, so points for that. There are two other faces, smirking and hanging a crucifix out of the side of his mouth. They're all very appropriately “crazy-guy”, but I feel like not including a Hirano-signature ear-to-ear toothy grin was another misstep.
So alright, there are big issues with the appearance. You understand now why I was hesitant to buy this figure. So how is it as a toy? Average. The Revoltech joints are always pleasant: I won't argue that they're not huge and highly visible, but they're also extremely stable, solid and flexible in a way that other toy lines cannot claim. This is the Revoltech tradeoff, and as I've said on the column before I do respect their commitment to pure toy craft.
A guy in a coat is a difficult thing to make a moving action figure out of, and you'll notice that the back of the coat has been reduced to coat-tails with their own revolver joints, the same as we saw for Vash a long time ago.
The signature pair of guns is supplied with separate hands to hold them, rather than molding the gun to the hand. Thankfully, the guns slip in and out of the hands very easily.
The extra hands include a pair of hands for the “releasing the limiters” thing. You know the scene. It's pretty finicky getting the arms just so, as these sort of gimmicks usually are.
Since the fedora and the hair wouldn't get along in three dimensions, there's actually a hair-shaped indent in the hat to get things looking right. Hey, if you want your favorite character to exist in three-dimensional space you're just going to have to make compromises, okay?
The gimmick is a blood effect part: you're supposed to put another figure there to make it look like Alucard is putting his hand through the body. The gimmick part has no way to secure either Alucard or, of course, the second figure, so you're going to have to work out the specifics yourself.
The “Revocontainer” is included again, but since you're no longer collecting chips included with the figures to trade for bonuses (in Japan), the purpose of this little box becomes unclear. Is it to hold accessories? It can't be: it's too small to even hold all the hands. It's getting annoying to have these things included with the figure when the Revoltech doesn't have any kind of accessory storage at all.
With a more recognizable face and a properly colored jacket I might be able to recommend this figure, but as it is those are major issues that make it a “don't”. Revoltechs cost 50, 60 dollars and this one's not up to snuff. At least it's much better than the Alucard that Yamato put out... Remind me never again to buy a figure I'm so certain won't be very good. We got ours for about $60 off HLJ, Amiami is sold out, and the low price is 50-some at Big Bad Toy Store.
In this vicious battle for the Golden Vampire Warrior, only a vampire can defeat another vampire.
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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